Business or Hobby? 

You know how you started your business because you love doing your ‘thing’? Then as you get going you realise there’s so much more to running a business and being self-employed than just doing the thing you love. It’s easy for it to become a full-time hobby unless you are thinking about it as a business and looking at how much things cost, where you are spending your time and so on. 
I’ve got to admit that in the first couple of years of self-employment I used to stick my head in the sand and had no idea about how much profit (or not) I was making. I didn’t budget or plan much and just thought as long as I kept all my receipts and didn’t go overdrawn, I was ok. As a newly single parent of a young teenage boy, solely responsible for keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table,  I relied on working tax credits and rented out a room the ground floor of my house on Airbnb to supplement the earnings from my colour and style business. I also taught beginners drawing classes around my dining table, so I had a couple of income streams. 
It would get to this time of year, and I’d begrudgingly get out my carrier bag of receipts and sort them into envelopes, month by month, check them off again my bank statements and fill in a spreadsheet that I’d created to see if I’d made any money. I’d then spend hours trying to log in to the HMRC website to upload the info. I found it stressful. I didn’t enjoy it and I was always thinking about new things I could try to boost my self employed income. I hadn’t ever thought it was going to be easy but some days it felt really fucking hard. 

CEO - Chief of Everything Officer 

Despite the hardship and challenges I was incredibly determined not to give up and for various reasons (the main one being my mental health) I could not face being employed ever again. Just as I’d gotten into my stride with business there were some personal challenges to get through as I lost both parents within a couple of years of each other. My resilience has definitely been well and truly tested. Thankfully though, here I am January 2024, still my own boss, no carrier bag of receipts to sort through and my accounts were submitted sometime last May by my accountant. I’m not a millionaire (yet) but being able to outsource tasks that aren’t my strong point really makes difference. 
Unfortunately, until you can afford to outsource all the other stuff you don’t like doing, you are in charge of doing ALL the things, not just the thing you love. Accounts and admin were the first two things I got help with by the way. One of the other things I hear my members of the FAB Business Club say they don’t enjoy is the sales and marketing side of being in business. They say it’s hard to be consistent and they’re not sure how to best go about getting clients. Obviously, without clients you don’t have a business and you’re in danger of having a full-time hobby. It’s catch 22 because unless you promote your business and do the marketing (which is the bit you find tricky) to get the sales, to make the money , you can’t outsource. 
My business these days has moved on from the focus of confidence building using the power of colour and clothes. They are still relevant, but I work with clients more holistically around connecting with the truth of who they really are, so they create an authentic brand that is aligned with their personality. In turn this means they skyrocket their vibe and find the marketing process simpler. As your vibe attracts your tribe it accelerates the know, like, trust factor and shortens the journey to them becoming clients. 
When it comes to putting yourself out there and being more visible in the world of business there are a few things you might want to consider. As part of my upcoming Raise Your VIBE signature programme I have developed my 7 P’s of Visibility that are designed to give you a bit of a steer, here’s an overview of them. 

The 7P's of Visibility 

1.       Platform Message – This is a short phrase that encompasses the outcome you want to people to have from working with you. It underpins everything that you do in your business. Think of it like a hashtag that sums up what you help people do. I call it a platform message because I like to think of it being something you’d shout to someone as they are leaning out of the train window like in the old films. (Or the current Domino’s pizza advert.) 
2.       Pillars of Joy - A content pillar is a broad topic or theme that represents the main areas of interest for your target audience. They are the foundation upon which all your content is built. The idea is to create a consistent and cohesive brand message that resonates with your ideal client whilst showcasing your expertise at the same time. I call them pillars of joy because they need to be topics you love and be like a broken record about. 

Establishing Yourself as Your Personal Brand 

3.       Pie Ingredients - To generate your personal brand message, start by identifying your unique skills, values, and interests, these are your pie (as in pie chart) ingredients. Then, think about how you want to be perceived by others and what sets you apart from others in your industry. You can relate your pillars of joy and platform message around your uniqueness, and this helps you communicate your personal brand. 
4.       Prompts - can help generate topics or themes for content to use in your pillars of joy. They are a helpful tool for when you’re looking for inspiration for blog posts, articles, or any written materials, videos, infographics, memes, reels etc.  Content prompts can take many forms e.g. A-Z lists of questions, images, quotes, or even random words or phrases. Select ones that resonate or inspire you and use them as a starting point for brainstorming, outlining, or drafting your content ideas. 
Don't spread yourself too thinly  
5.       Places – We are so lucky these days that there are so many social media and other platforms where you can promote your business for free. I remember when you used to have to pay to place ads in newspapers, Yellow Pages and post office windows to get your business message out there. It’s best not to spread yourself too thinly if you’re a solopreneur. Think about where you like to hang out most when you’re scrolling and what you’re familiar with and focus on getting really good at being there. However, this is only useful if it is where your target market also hang out. Do your research. 
Off the top of my head I can think of Facebook, Instagram, Threads, Twitter (X), Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok. Aside from social media, there are other platforms and directories where you can promote your business for free such as Google My Business, where you can create a business listing and appear in Google search results. Additionally, you can create a blog where you can share your content  try Substack and Medium for this as well as your own website. 
6.       Preference - Deciding which social media channels to focus on can be a daunting task, especially with so many options available. Consider your audience and what you want to achieve from your activity and also think about what you are best at and most comfortable doing to start off with, then start to stretch yourself later once you’re consistent. Do your prefer writing or speaking? No good saying you are a professional speaker if people can’t see videos of you talking.  Remember that people buy people so showing your personality and face is quite important too. 
Broken Record 
7.       Playlist – Once you’ve got all this broken record content prepped think about it like a juke box and create a playlist. Don’t just use it once think about how you can repurpose it by taking existing content and adapting it to fit a different format or platform. E.g take a blog post and turning it into a video or creating social media posts from snippets of a longer article. It helps you make the most of the time and effort you put into creating the original content. It can also help to reinforce the message or idea by presenting it in different ways. 
I hope you’ve found my 7P’s useful and they’ve given you a few ideas on how you can amplify your personal brand. I talked about them in the Flamingle Fest videos a couple of weeks ago. They are still available to watch on replay in the FAB Club Facebook group for the next few weeks. 
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