Don’t think of yourself as a business: Six stupid mistakes made in the early days of independent cases

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Before committing to taking cases full-time, I had experience in trying to start a business. But this does not mean that it is relatively easy to accept cases.

I mainly start from text-related fields such as copywriting, copywriting, and content marketing. But at the beginning, I didn’t know anything about this market. In addition to that, I carry 4 “no”s on my shoulders.

There is no perfect plan, no rich related contacts, no large number of first-class works, and no senior related industry experience…

The end of working full-time on cases for nearly half a year is not bad: neither eating enough nor starving to death is the most appropriate portrayal.

After actually contacting customers step by step, I found that the market demand is greater than expected, and the scope of application is also very wide. As far as copywriting is concerned, the scope of services that can be touched includes: website copywriting, advertising copywriting, sales copywriting, SEO content writing manuscripts, community copywriting, Email newsletter copywriting, etc.

At this stage, it is still necessary to continue to adjust the strategy and find a way to prevent the cash flow from breaking the chain.


Reasons for choosing to provide text and copywriting services

I like to recite classical poetry, love China, and the history of various countries. But I was not sure whether I could master literary creation until I realized that in the professional field of writing, there is actually a way of “copywriting”.

When entering a new market, you must do one thing first: analyze your own strengths and weaknesses.

Most of the seniors in the industry suggested that I give priority to interview cases and community management cases, but after thinking about it and trying to interview seven entrepreneurs, I found that although I like to communicate with people, I may not be a good interviewer . Interviewing requires being good at asking questions, which sounds pretty exhausting. At this stage, I don’t want to touch it, let alone run a community for customers. I write self-promotional copywriting on my account every day. The number of likes is small, and I will get angry because of this, and I am angry at the world.
I found that I can do the following things

  • Copy the brand or a person with a distinctive personality, and write a tone that fits the tone of the brand
  • Explore new fields and industries, absorb a large amount of product knowledge in the industry in a short period of time, and transform it into easy-to-understand information
  • Mining stories, shaping the buying atmosphere for products, and creating selling points

Therefore, I decided to focus on contracting brand copywriting, sales copywriting, and content writing, and abandon interviews and community management projects.


​It is best to avoid the following six common mistakes when taking cases independently

When accepting cases independently, you will always encounter blind spots that you cannot see, which leads to delays in the progress of the expected results. No progress means that the rent at the end of the month will be skylighted. When encountering such a predicament, you must adjust your mentality, lower your face, and humbly ask your seniors for advice.

I used to feel ashamed and feel useless. After the guidance of my seniors, I realized that I am not the only one. Almost every expert who seems to be very good now has the experience of getting stuck in the beginning – like the source of cases is unstable, and I don’t know how to create new customers. Or there are a lot of cases in hand but no money is made, and there are people who are extremely world-weary.

There will be these situations, and most of them can be summed up as the following six mistakes. These are the mistakes I often hear many people make in the early stage of accepting cases (including myself and seniors). Attached are a few ways to improve (I’m also working on it).


Mistake 1—Still looking at things with the mentality of employees

As the saying goes: If you change your position, you need to change your head. However, don’t force yourself too much, give yourself some time to change your inherent inertial thinking.

Three ideas for improvement:

  • Take the initiative in everything: Don’t wait passively for customers to tell you what to do, take the initiative to dig out the goals and needs of customers, clarify the reasons for cooperation with you, and the context behind each decision.
  • Consciously notice: and find out the time when your work efficiency is the highest at the end of the day, and arrange important things in this time block.
  • Productivity: Be a little picky about “what to do”, and don’t need to deliberately stuff your work schedule to make yourself look busy. Just focus on doing the most important things first at each stage.


Mistake 2 – Negative communication with customers

Not everything has to be accommodated to the client. But if you don’t have a clear collaboration process and communicate your preferred communication mode, customers will quickly feel uncomfortable, and once uneasy, it will be difficult to win trust.

Example: Unless there is an urgent matter, the work rate is mainly based on email communication, and no reply to messages during holidays.

Three ideas for improvement:

  • ​Rather “excessive” communication: distrust almost stems from lack of communication. Proactively updating the progress of the project to the customer, instead of asking the other party to urge and inquire, will definitely create a positive cycle of cooperation.
  • Expectations management needs to be done well: you can boast, but find a way to live up to it. Otherwise, just use your conscience to say the scope of services you can provide, what to do, and what not to do.
  • Don’t disappear inexplicably: If you disappear, you’d better have a reasonable reason, otherwise disappearing is only applicable when: “The date likes you very much, but you don’t like the other person that much”. That’s the way to go.


Mistake 3 – There is no line between work and life

Accepting a case is also like starting a business. You must complete a project that is behind schedule before the deadline. But this need not be the norm. Even Yonghe Soy Milk, which is still open in the middle of the night, has a rest time.

Three ideas for improvement:

  • Have a clear service time range, don’t let customers feel that they can find you at any time, and challenge your bottom line. ​
  • Arrange a fixed rest day every week or every month, get away from work, and go out to relax.
  • Arrange work progress for next week and next month in advance.

Mistake 4 – Always dwelling on secondary issues, secondary tasks

There are many productivity-enhancing skills on the Internet, but looking back on my experience of working independently in the past half a year, the difference in work efficiency is mostly not because of low efficiency, but because of the low value of the things I do, and the really important things are delayed. do it like what? For example, at the beginning, when I needed to talk to clients and fight for cases, I hid in my room all day long to make my personal website, think about typesetting, and think about which color to use is more beautiful…​

Three ideas for improvement:

  • Talk to senior seniors and peers who have done well about the challenges you are facing, and use the perspective of others to break through your blind spots.
  • In addition to developing new case sources, keep in touch with existing customers, pay attention to their movements at any time, and explore the possibility of long-term cooperation.
  • Content marketing, self-media management, personal brand management, no matter what you call these professional terms, there is only one goal at the beginning, focus on creating content that can attract the attention of potential customers, don’t do it for the sake of doing it.


Mistake 5 – Wanting to be a one-stop service from the start

If you think about diversification before you have a firm foothold, you may let yourself be reimbursed early on this long road. There must be a lot of ideas in your mind that you want to do, but you don’t have to force yourself to realize them all in a short time. No matter how grand the vision is in your mind, break it down into countless small and feasible specific actions, and do it in stages.

Three ideas for improvement:

  • For the time being, don’t let yourself play multiple roles, and use yourself as 100 people.
  • First specialize in a skill, and then gradually open the skill tree.
  • Put your brain on autopilot when you’re dealing with routine tasks, and use your brain for important things.


Mistake 6 – Running Yourself as a Business

Recently, many experts advocated treating themselves as a company, but after half a year of accepting the case, I had an opposite thought: Why bother? Why put such huge pressure on myself?

There are hundreds of ways to improve work efficiency and results, but everyone is comfortable in a different way. When starting out, why not focus on the most important thing first, or do the first three things first?

Three ideas for improvement:

  • Let go of the idea of ​​running yourself as a business and give yourself a break
  • Focus on finding the first customer who is willing to pay you
  • Then go to the second, third…
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