5 Ways to be a Better Business Parent
This week has been about the parallels between being a freelance copywriting business owner and being a parent. So today, if you’re a parent, I have a question for you:
How many books did you read when you first found out you were going to become a parent? How many books, blogs, and magazine articles do you STILL read (assuming your children aren’t already grown)?
Now, how many programs did you take when you first decided to become a copywriter? How many books, blogs, and articles do you STILL read?
As parents, we constantly seek new information because our children grow and go through new stages of development.
Because our businesses are in an industry that is growing and changing all the time, we do the same as web copywriters.
So HOW do we stay on top of all these changes and new developments?
1. Set up Google Alerts
Set up Google Alerts to receive notice of newly published content on any topic you choose. The key is to figure out what, specifically, you want to stay on top of.
For example, one of my specialties is social media, so I have an alert for “social media.” This seems so simple. (And it really is!) I get daily notification of news sites and blogs that are talking about social media, so I know about trends and issues right away.
2. Subscribe to useful blogs and newsletters
If your alerts keep bringing you useful posts and articles from the same sites and blogs, subscribe to them directly. If you find newsletters that are helpful, sign up. This way, you won’t miss any good stuff.
Google Alerts may not bring you every article published by your favorite sites. But by subscribing — either to the RSS feed or to receive email updates — you WILL receive everything.
3. Follow industry leaders on social media
You know who they are for you and your copywriting niche — for example, a B2B copywriter may not follow the same people as a social media expert. Follow people you admire and who provide valuable information.
4. Attend webinars, workshops, and conferences
There are a TON of webinars, live workshops, and conferences available. But I’ve found some are definitely more useful than others.
Of course, I’m partial to AWAI live events, but there are others out there as well. Do your research and determine which are best for your particular needs and goals. Then attend as many as you can.
5. Join industry associations
Many trade associations exist solely to keep members up to date on new developments in their industry. Some offer training and other perks. The cost of membership varies, so here again, choose wisely and well.
For me, the problem isn’t finding information; it’s managing the time I spend on this information. There has to be a balance between learning and doing!
As a parent, I hope you’d never spend so much time learning to care for your child that you'd neglect actually caring for the child. For example, you wouldn’t keep reading about how to calm a crying baby and not do something to calm the baby as he’s crying.
As a business owner, you can’t just read about new techniques and developments; you have to put them into action. You need to put limits on the time you spend acquiring new knowledge so that you have time to act.
How have you balanced learning new things with acting on your new knowledge? I’d like to know, and I’m sure your fellow readers would, too. Please leave a comment here.
Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, I hope this week has given you some tips on becoming a better business “parent.
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