10 Timeless Business Lessons I Learned During My 7-Year Agency Career (And Why I Sold Mine)

Matt Gartland, CFO and COO at SPI, shares 10 timeless business lessons, from the importance of your people and culture to why ideas alone don’t make a business. Matt Gartland February 25, 2019 By: Matthew Gartland, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at SPI. If you haven’t heard the news, something special is happening here at SPI. The team has officially forged as one. We’re upping our game with smarter and bigger plans for the future of SPI. (Hello, FlynnCon1!) And all of us as the collective “Team Flynn” community are invited to have a louder voice than ever to help empower entrepreneurs from all walks of life to create a lasting impact with their work. Personally, I couldn’t be more excited to press start on this new chapter! As Semisonic made famous during my youth, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Ends are bittersweet. This […]

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15 Ways to Be a Wiser Content Marketer

It’s great to be smart. It’s wonderful to have clever strategies and tactics that help us do our work better. But sometimes, it’s also a good idea to think about how we can be wise. This week, we offered up 15 ways to be a wiser writer and content marketer. Jerod Morris started us off with seven steps to improve the quality of our thinking. We’ll be playing some more with this theme in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out. On Tuesday, Claire Emerson brought us three strategies to strengthen your relationships with clients so you (and they) can have a much happier experience. And on Wednesday, Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer Austin Mullins made his debut on the blog with a post on five things that successful copywriters do to make sure their well-crafted content gets the audience they deserve. Do you have all of these covered? Over […]

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3 Powerful Strategies for Pain-Free Client Relationships

When you’re a freelancer, your clients impact everything. Who you choose to work with (and how you choose to work with them) directly affects your income, lifestyle, productivity levels, mental health, and the satisfaction you gain from being self-employed. In other words, your relationships matter. And when they aren’t built on a solid foundation of trust, value, and mutual respect, business becomes stressful, and you end up plagued with the awful anxiety that comes with not feeling in control of your environment. No one does their best work in those conditions. But the good thing is, there are some simple ways to prevent that loss of control and instead build strong, pain-free client relationships that allow you both to flourish. Where bad relationships begin … Poor client connections are usually a result of unclear boundaries, lousy communication, or a mismatch in your marketing strategy. Of course, these are all problems […]

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Get Copyblogger to Tell the World Just How Great You Are

Hey, writers! Whether you’re a freelancer, an employee, or you write content to support your business, you might find it beneficial to have Copyblogger publicly declare: “This person has a terrific writing voice and rock-solid grasp of content strategy.” If that sounds good to you, go check out our Certified Content Marketers program before we close enrollment next week. (If you’re a member of our Authority community, make sure you log in to get your substantial member discount.) Now then, on to the week’s content … On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman gave some practical advice on how to impress and score your next freelance writing client. And she talks about why setting expectations can be a surprisingly magical secret to strong client relationships. (This post uses freelancing for the specifics, but this advice works for bosses and employees, too!) On Tuesday, Kelton Reid offered us a wealth of ideas on how […]

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Copyblogger Certification Is Open to New Writers (Limited Time)

Heads up: We just opened the doors to enrollment in our Copyblogger Certification program. If you’re a writer with a terrific writing voice and the desire to learn rock-solid strategy, we’d love to see you there. 🙂 If we had you at Hello, you can jump in here: Learn more about joining Copyblogger’s Certified Content Marketer program (And if you’re in our Authority community, make sure you’re logged in so you can get your substantial member discount.) Certification is our program that lets the world know about excellent content marketers. It’s designed to help you turn your back on the soul-sucking moments when it feels like you’ll never get a solid handle on finding great clients. And maybe even turn your back on self-doubt and impostor syndrome that can creep up on the best of us. We don’t do a ton of videos or webinars to promote this program, mainly […]

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How to Impress and Score Your Next Freelance Writing Client

I have an affinity for service businesses. I love when people: But I don’t love when these driven individuals make a certain mistake that invites unnecessary frustrations into their workdays and weakens their reputations. “Sure! I can do that!” I understand that it’s exciting when a work offer sounds good. So, when a potential client proposes a project to Joe Service Business, he’ll immediately respond with, “Sure! I can do that!” (or another phrase with a similar sentiment) before he finds out everything he needs to know about the project. For example, more information about the project may reveal that he’s not the best person for the job or it’s not actually an assignment he’d like to work on. When you respond to an inquiry and move ahead with a project too quickly, you operate under the assumption that you’ll figure out the details later, as issues arise. But your […]

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Getting Comfortable (and Effective) at Selling Your Product or Service

This week, we have some resources to help you actually Sell the Thing. Because you can create magnificent content all day long, pull together a wonderful audience, and produce a glorious product or service. But if you lack the skills to Sell the Thing, you don’t get the benefit of all that hard work. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman outlined crucial “survival skills” for service providers — the ones that will help you set boundaries and actually enjoy your clients. On Tuesday, Chris Garrett shared some simple ways to get started with relationship-building webinars. We’re cooking up a very cool resource for you that goes deep into this topic — and you can get a running start with Chris’s post today. And on Wednesday, I wrote about the discomfort a lot of folks feel when they think about selling — and what selling is really about. If you prefer audio, there’s […]

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10 Service Business Essentials: Win Clients with Confidence

Here’s a scary thought: What if your content marketing actually works? What if you get all the clients you want? Will you be able to handle them? Those are important questions every service provider needs to answer honestly because there is often a disconnect between what we say we want and the actions we take. Fear of success can prevent us from crafting the bold, strategic plans that will grow our businesses. Without realizing it, self-doubt causes us to make weak and safe moves that limit our potential — because we’re unsure if we’re capable of managing a full roster of clients. Self-doubt will arise in any business journey, but if you prepare for the healthy, sustainable relationships you want to have with clients, you’ll be one step closer to attracting and winning over prospects with confidence. Check out these 10 service business essentials, so that you’ll feel nothing but […]

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Join Us for a Live Workshop on Modern Email Marketing

The major heads-up today is that we have a live workshop next week (Tuesday, April 24 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time) on how to use sophisticated segmentation and automation in your email marketing — even if you have a limited budget and you’re not particularly technical. This lets you create focused and relevant messages for your audience — without flooding their inboxes. You can sign up for the free workshop here. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman shared (without oversharing) seven ways to make your writing personal but not self-indulgent. (Point #3 is my favorite.) On Tuesday, Brian Clark talked about why email is still the “killer app” for digital marketing … and some of the important ways that it’s changing. And on Wednesday, I reviewed the current state of chatbots, email, and how we can get our messages not just delivered, but read. (Hint: It has a lot to do with […]

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It’s ‘Light the Fire’ Week on Copyblogger

We all have those times when we’re sort of coasting … gently floating along, letting things happen the way they will. But that time is not today. 🙂 This week, we’re fired up and ready to help you get (safely, sanely) out of your comfort zone and into some serious progress. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman outlined seven occasions when progress isn’t so pretty — and why they can all be great signs that you’re on the right track. Because progress doesn’t need to feel like you’re hanging from a cliff — but it’s not always totally comfortable, either. On Tuesday, we asked our longtime community member Hashim Warren to share some thoughts with us about how to craft “the offer.” I’ve seen this one really tie otherwise excellent content creators in knots. Hashim has been there, with the scars to prove it — and he’s brought us a super useful […]

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A Potent New Content Tool and the Power of “No”

This week we’re talking about chatbots, ruthless editing, and the impressive power of the word “No.” On Monday, I unpacked some of the reasons why I’m now a chatbot cheerleader. If you’re already familiar with this tool, feel free to mock me for not knowing about it sooner. (And really, I should have, because way back in October of 2016, Brian Clark was telling us that this type of tech would be the next great opportunity for writers.) I predict that the Copyblogger-style, audience-driven, “poet and killer” approach will be a huge factor of success with chat. On Tuesday, Stefanie Flaxman revealed that not only is her name No, but her sign is No, and her number, also, is No. And she gave some suggestions about what you should be saying Yes to, with all that free time you’ll gain. It’s a super useful post. On Wednesday, Loryn Thompson showed […]

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7 Unusual Signs on the Path to a Breakthrough

It’s easy to envision that other people’s paths (career or otherwise) are somehow smoother than yours. Have you ever had thoughts like that? Notions that everyone else who has some form of success achieved it by taking smart, consecutive steps that always led them forward, while you: Take two steps forward, one step back Stop to dance a little Forget why you’re even standing up, so you sit down for a bit … It can feel like that, but I have to remind myself that I don’t actually believe success comes from making “ultra productive, wise decisions” all the time. The “continually-trying-to-figure-things-out” shuffle goes hand-in-hand with a professional creative life. You can practice mindful decision-making to increase your chances of a favorable outcome, but that doesn’t make you immune to challenges. And sometimes challenges are exactly what we need to get clear about our priorities and make the next right […]

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Free Workshop *Today* on an Awesome New Content Tool

First things first: Brian Clark is co-hosting a free workshop today (in a few hours, at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time / 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time), all about getting started with chatbots. If you don’t know much about chatbots, or even think they might be weird or creepy, check out my post from Monday explaining why I’ve really turned around my opinion of these. (I turned that opinion around based on, um, finding out how they actually work.) You still have time to join us for the workshop … just drop your details here: https://botacademy.com/workshop-registration/?wid=brianclark If you see this too late, go ahead and drop your information anyway, and I’ll see if we can get a replay for folks who registered. Now then, let’s talk content. On Monday, I unpacked some of the reasons why I’m now a chatbot cheerleader. If you’re already familiar with this tool, feel free to mock […]

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‘No’ Is My Favorite Word

On your own, without any way to gauge whether or not your ideas are practical or wise, you might get carried away with your creativity. That’s why the word “no” is an essential part of the professional creative life. Hearing it helps me incorporate another perspective into my vision. I actually like hearing it so much that I consider it my favorite word. If your client, editor, or boss says “no” to something you want to create: It’s an opportunity to trust someone else’s decision, rather than blindly believe the best option is what you want to do. It teaches patience because perhaps you’re not yet ready for what you think you want to do. It allows you to improve your work and find a new, more appropriate way to execute your idea. “No” might not be your favorite word, but if your business offers services, adding it to your […]

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