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Give yourself the gift of time

It’s that time of year where people start buying gifts for their loved ones, but have you thought about gifts you can give yourself. As a small business owner you may find yourself rushing around, focusing on the work you do for others, creating products or trying to come up with ideas.

This year why not change all that and give yourself the best gift of all…. the gift of time. “Spare time what’s that?” I hear you cry, but there are ways to achieve it. Due to the strange times we have been living in for 2020 I found myself with time to think about what I wanted to achieve and how I could do that. This involved investing in my business. Here is a round up the best time creating gifts I gave myself this year.

Brand images

I finally had some brand images done. It’s only taken me 7 years. I realised that the selfie taken at the train station wasn’t quite cutting it when trying to give off a professional vibe. I won’t lie, I was a bit hesitant about it all but knew that it needed to be done. Local photographer Emily Moya was recommended to me and so I got in touch.

I couldn’t understand how Emily was going to capture my personality and approach to work through asking questions about my business and what I am like whilst also ensuring that everything looked professional, but she did. Somehow, she managed to capture what I wanted to say from behind her camera. When I shared the images a friend, who I have known for 30 years said, “I love these, they really do capture who you are without words.” Which was precisely the aim.

Time saving factor: When somebody asks me for a photo to promote a talk I am giving or to include on their website I no longer have to scrabble around looking for one or begging my husband to make a weak attempt at what looks like a pro shot. My website looks more professional and the images combined with the words give potential clients a proper feel for who I am and what I am about. Potential clients can get a feel as to whether I’ll be a good fit for their business immediately, cutting down on enquiries that don’t lead anywhere.

Blog and Brunch

I am writing this whilst in a virtual Blog and Brunch meeting hosted by Gayle Edwards of GECopywriter. The group enables you to discuss blog ideas with other business owners, get their input and Gayle will review the content before you share it with the world.

Time Saving: My blog tends to move to the bottom of my To Do list as the week goes on. Not because I don’t want to do it but because I always find myself doing client work instead. This group saved me time as I have an hour and a half blocked out to write, am accountable to the others in the group and can agree a time with Gayle as to when I will get my copy over. This eliminates procrastination.

Vision and Visibility session

One of the best things I have invested in this year is a Vision and Visibility session with Laura from Shoreway Business. I had been following Laura and a few others offering similar things on Instagram for a while. I took my time weighing up whether to make the investment and went with Laura as from her website, newsletters, and social posts I knew we would work well together.

Having finally taken the plunge I can say that it is the best gift I have given myself this year. The session involved digging deep into my brand, looking at my mission and vision, exploring who my ideal customer was and looking at current and potential income streams (things I hadn’t reviewed for years).

Laura provided lots of ideas that led me to create my Making PR Work for You online course and my collaboration with brand photographer Susan Truseler to create The Bigger Picture package.

Time saving: Doing the session gave me ideas for great passive income streams, which after the initial work means they run themselves, while I focus on my client work. It helped me up my social media game - I post more regularly, am more engaged and get more referrals. It also inspired me to be more proactive and really focus on what I want to achieve and how I can do it.

Virtual Assistant

Using a VA was tricky for me. I had convinced myself that as clients were paying me to do the work, I should do all of it. It was a chat with a client that changed that. She pointed out that there are probably areas of my work that don’t require knowledge of PR and that there are also probably parts I don’t enjoy and that I should consider outsourcing.

At the time I was working on a project that, whilst allowing me to do what I love (creativity), also required me to do something that I don’t particularly enjoy (extensive research). The research that needed doing was time-consuming but didn’t need to be done by me personally, so I hired a VA to help me on a one-off basis.

Time saving: Using a Virtual Assistant to help me do something I hate and something they enjoy was a game changer. It took them half the time it would me to do it (as they liked doing it) and freed me up to do the actual client work that I enjoy.

Are there ways you can save time on your business? By giving yourself the gift of time you might find your overall productivity increases. Share your ideas for time-saving gifts in the comments

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