Good morning! It’s update time again, and today we’re revisiting Lindsay McLoughlin of Proofed by Linds. We first met Lindsay in November 2012, and hers was already one of my top five most popular Small Business Chat posts by the end of the year! She’d only been going for a year at that point, and had this to say about her coming year: “My business is in its early phase. I am hoping to build long-term relationships with my clients so that they use my proofreading, editing and copywriting services regularly. I would also like to deliver a monthly newsletter to my client/business contacts database and to have a more sophisticated website”. In her first year, she’d changed and developed her offering quite a lot already, so what happened next …?
Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
I was hoping for three things: long-term relationships, a monthly newsletter and a more sophisticated website. I can confidently now say “Yes!” to all three.
I have good relationships with clients who are using my services for proofreading, editing and copywriting. However, I have also added blogging to my list of services and have built up a reputation around this. One of my products/services is my “Writer meets…” blog profiles series. I interview the client and then write up a business profile in my tone of voice and upload the post to my blog. The post is then supported by a carefully crafted social media campaign to raise my client’s online profiles. Amongst others, I have interviewed and written about an architect, a personal stylist, a nutritional therapist and even the Mayor of Henley on Thames.
The newsletter is on its way… I see this is as the “glue” that will bind my contacts list together in one monthly communication. I am looking forward to tapping my contacts on their shoulders to let them know what I am up to. As I write this, I have just negotiated a strategic partnership arrangement with Mmunic as my preferred email partner. To say I am excited about working with them, and to have a stylish electronic newsletter, would be an understatement!
As for the more sophisticated website, I worked with a graphic designer to spread my brand consistently across my website and my social media. She also designed a branded template for my “Writer meets…” blog profiles. I also worked with The Fairy Blog Mother to organise my blog posts into categories (Writer meets…, Business Posts and Love Writing). So, again… Yes.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
My love of words has stayed the same. It’s where the words have taken me that have changed. I now have what I hope is a very respectable reputation for blogging, together with two or three innovative blogging services. I also write a monthly networking roundup blog for Britmums and posts about subjects close to Henley’s heart for The Best of Henley. I also went to the Britmums Live Conference in the summer. I never imagined when I wrote the last Small Business Chat that I would be going to that! I was blown away.
On the copywriting, editing and proofreading front, I have edited several business and marketing ebooks and proofread a wealth of marketing and business materials. For example, I edited an ebook for Dean Weller, aka The Careers Guy, entitled “The Career Workbook. How to Get the Job You Really Want in the 21st Century”. I just loved it! It was all about business, goals and how to find the job you really want in today’s world. Dean was delighted; this project led to a referral and other ebooks of a similar business nature. I am looking to doing more of this kind of work in 2014.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I have learned that your business has to flex and deliver products and services to suit the people you are meeting. The “Writer meets…” blog profiles series, for example, was created to raise the online profiles of people I network with. I created a template and a marketing strategy at a price point that was acceptable. The result has been wonderful and a great adventure.
What do I wish I’d known a year ago? If somebody had told me that I would have an innovative blogging and social media product that would form part of my clients’ marketing collateral, they could have knocked me down with a feather. It would have been good to know this ahead of time as it would have helped with the planning but, by the same token, knowing this would have taken away from what has been a fascinating personal learning experience.
Any more hints and tips for people?
Play to your strengths.
This has been very much at the forefront of my mind over the last year. My strengths lie in words and writing; I can proofread, edit, blog and copywrite words, and my interest in business, marketing and social media means that I work in these general arenas. When I am operating within this definition, I find the work easier. It is almost as if the whole of me is “in flow”. It’s very liberating.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
When I meet people, they often say “Oh, you’re the blogger. I loved your post about…” I find this very gratifying and something to be proud of. However, going forward, I would like clients to think of me as a blogger/copywriter, and to also think of me for the following services:
– copywriting their newsletters, for example. Today’s strategic alliance with my email partners, Mmunic, is designed to support this goal
– editing & proofreading more business and marketing-related ebooks. I will be promoting these services on and offline next year.
With me, it’s all about words… I like to read, edit or blog them!
Well, that’s been an exciting journey, hasn’t it! I love the way that Lindsay is genuinely excited by what she’s doing. She developed a new line in blogging and expanded her copywriting activities, and is managing to leverage exposure for her clients and income from her blog with her new “Writer meets …” series.* I also love the way that she says thank you to her designers and other partners with links here. I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen next with this one – but I’m looking forward to finding out!
* I feel I should point out that participation in my Small Business Chat blog series that you’re reading right now is completely free (apart from agreeing to provide an update every year), however it is a different service, with me presenting you in your own words and with an effective but less blanket coverage on social media!
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured. If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my new book, Going It Alone At 40: How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment.