Who's At Your Roundtable?
Steve Roller here, with your final edition of The Writer's Life this week. We've been talking all week about using strategies from the corporate world to make your freelance business stronger.
I have one more tip today, but just to recap …
- On Monday, I suggested a three-tiered approach to keeping a steady cash flow.
- Tuesday, we talked about the importance of keeping score, including seven key factors you should track.
- On Wednesday, I gave you seven steps to attract new business and the seven components of a powerful strategic plan.
- Yesterday, we took things one step further with the idea of polishing your "corporate" image.
Today, I want to give you one last secret. This is probably the biggest thing I've done to move my business forward.
Three months ago, I joined a mastermind group. I wish I had done it three years ago.
For too long, I tried to do everything myself.
I reviewed my own copy, which isn't a good idea. I didn't have an accountability partner to keep me on track. I didn't ask for help on challenging projects, and I didn't celebrate with anyone after successful projects. I didn't let anyone (except my wife) know what my plans and goals were.
I flat out didn't stretch myself … until a fellow AWAI member asked me to join a mastermind group, what I like to call my "roundtable."
It happened by coincidence about a week after I had a phone conversation with my old sales manager. He and I were reminiscing about the good ol' days, and he reminded me of our organization of nine sales reps in Wisconsin and the monthly meetings we used to have.
There was serious power in coming together as a group, sharing success stories, and challenging each other to improve. There was an energy and an expectation level that caused each of us to do our best. More than anything, there was a sense of camaraderie that kept us all going when things got tough.
Since the end of October, I've gotten all those things back from my copywriting mastermind group, and I've never been more fired up about the direction of my business.
I won't divulge the members of my group or our super-secret name. But I'd highly recommend you join or start your own if you want to take your business to the next level. Find other copywriters who are at a similar level as you through the AWAI forum, COS, or PWA. Follow these best practices when organizing your group:
- Five to 10 people seems to work well
- Weekly meetings at a designated time (we're spread out across the U.S. and Canada, so we do ours by conference call)
- Equal participation among members
- Accountability through progress reports
- Careful selection of members
- Commitment to group and individual success
- High expectations
- Positive and uplifting
- Equal parts of instruction, accountability, and encouragement
Freelance doesn't mean flying solo. If you can find like-minded, ambitious copywriters who are at a similar level, a mastermind group can quickly accelerate your growth.
Have you ever been in a mastermind group, either with writers or other professionals? Did your business increase because of it? You can leave a comment here, including if you'd like to develop your own mastermind group. (Perhaps you can connect right here in comments on this post.)
Let me leave you with one last thought from one of the greatest business minds of the 19th century and all of history, Andrew Carnegie:
"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing."
Use the ideas from this week's series to build a solid freelance business, but make sure you enjoy the ride, too.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »