How to Eliminate That Overwhelmed Feeling
Back in 2007, when I first started my freelance copywriting business, I formed a small corporation with three other people.
The services we offered were website design, high-end PowerPoint presentations, email campaigns, and copywriting services for any type of project you could think of.
As the only writer in the group, I worked with a huge variety of types of projects.
It was great experience, but after a couple of years of working incredibly hard, I felt like I was spinning my wheels.
I was all over the map – trying to write for so many different types of projects that I was in constant learning mode. Worse, I didn’t feel like I knew enough about any one thing and wasn’t always working on projects I liked.
So … I left the company and went out on my own in order to narrow my focus.
Narrowing my focus alone took a huge burden off my back; however, now I had a whole new list of things I needed to tackle.
I needed a website, a way to promote myself, samples (because I couldn’t use most of the samples I had), and customers because walking away from the company, I was only able to retain one client.
I wasn’t really sure how to start.
Should I finish Nick Usborne’s Copywriting 2.0 course I was working on?
Build my website?
Take that course I was reading about by Steve Slaunwhite, Secrets of Writing High-Performance B2B Copy?
Work on getting some new clients?
I felt like I needed to do them all. And secretly, I must admit I’m not always great at finishing what I start when I have lots on my plate.
It was about this time that I read an article about the “Power of One” by Michael Masterson in an issue of The Golden Thread.
A light bulb went on in my head.
I thought … “Why couldn’t I apply that to my business?”
I determined my “to do” list fell primarily into four categories: read/learn, writing, improving, and marketing/getting clients.
Next, I made a chart and applied the “Power of One” by committing to do at least one thing in each of these four categories every day.
Here’s how I broke it down:
Read, listen, or watch one copywriting lesson each day. This could be an article, a chapter, a teleseminar, or a webcast. Write down one idea from that lesson – something you can apply to improve your writing or marketing.
Write at least one thing a day. This can be an article, an email, a headline and a lead, a self-promotion piece, a bait piece, a web page for your website, or a project you are working on for a client. Commit to writing at least 800 words a day. Don’t worry if it’s good at first. Just write.
Read a minimum of one promotion, email, or website, etc. per day. (What you read depends on what your specialty is. For example, if you want to write autoresponders, then you would read one autoresponder per day.)
In addition, once a week, pick one idea to improve your writing and apply it to everything you write that week. I usually picked one thing from the list of ideas I collected during my read/learn time from the week before.
For example, looking back at my chart, one day I read about how to write great bullets. So the following week, I spent time practicing writing bullets and improved bullets in my existing copy by applying what I had learned the week before.
This one I actually labeled “Take Action” on my chart because this was all about doing one thing every day that could bring me new business.
Think of this as doing one thing to get a client. For example, you could return a phone call. Research one new potential client and find their contact information. Call a friend to ask if he can introduce you to anyone at an organization on your potential client list. Add a place to capture email addresses on your website. Or send out a lead generation letter to prospects. Basically, any action that leads you closer to finding new business.
After implementing this for just two months, I made more progress in my business than I had in the last year and a half!
Of course, this isn’t the only way you can apply the “Power of One” to your business in order to make progress.
For instance, if you are working on multiple courses, pick one course to focus on. Then commit to reading one chapter every day until you are finished.
Or, if you need to get your website done, do one thing for your website each day until it’s finished. For example, put one page up. Create one sample. Contact one person for a testimonial.
Applying the “Power of One” principle to your business will help you take action and make forward progress.
So if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, apply this principle to the areas that you are having trouble tackling. Before you know it, you’ll have made great progress and completed your big projects. And if you have any questions or comments for me about applying the “Power of One” to your freelance business, feel free to comment below.
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