It’s nearly 2018 folks, which means one thing: resolutions, revamps, and new routines!

A new year means reflection, new work, new business, new direction. There’s never a better time to look at what you’ve been doing, see if it’s been working and to set a new direction. Here are my top 7 things to help you refresh your business this year.

  1. Take a Class

    • Education is the best way to develop your business, reduce your outgoings, and strengthen your position as a kickass expert. Whether it’s finally learning continental knitting (seriously guys, TEACH ME!), diving into search engine optimization, or learning more about the golden rule of photography. It doesn’t matter what it is but it does matter that you’re learning. Spending an hour a day practising a new technique or learning is the best way to grow your business. Check out my suggestions for learning here.
  2. Start that mailing list in 2018

    • Collect email addresses even if you’re not sure what you’d write in a newsletter. Collect the email addresses until you have so many you don’t know what to do! Then use them. 2018 is going to be your year for taking control of your connection with your audience. The best way to connect with your audience, to tap into sales, and to own your own information is to have a mailing list. It’s as simple as setting up a free account with MailChimp (free for the first 2000 subscribers). Conversion rates run at around 2% but even higher if you really make sure your list is filled with your ideal customers. To get started with the ultimate guide to mailing lists head over to my exclusive (but free) resource area and read more about why you need a mailing list.
  3. Learn about your audience

    • I talk about your ideal customer a lot. Why? Because you need to have an idea of who you’re selling to and what they want. It’s 2018 – so this doesn’t even have to be hard work! For instance, if you sell wedding photography then you probably want couples in their 20s and 30s on your mailing list, maybe a few parents (so they can nag their daughters about you). It’s fine to be in the scope of other people but be honest with yourself if you’re trying to create content for everyone it won’t work. If you only post images and ideas that a high schooler might like you’re unlikely to book many weddings. Taking it a step further, it’s good to consider what type of things your customers like doing. If you’re an outdoorsy, natural light photographer then the type of people you want to appeal to isn’t the couple that likes everything pristine, perfect, and hates camping or being, you know outdoors. Learning more about your audience helps you learn more about who you’re selling to, what they want from you, and how to connect with them. It’s not hard either, as I outlined in my post about DIY Market Research.Do it yourself market research for small businesses and artists free
  4. Automate Your Calendar

    • If you’re still wasting time with back and forth emails then you’re doing it wrong. You can easily and simply set up an online calendar that syncs with your current daily calendar. There’s no risk of missing opportunities, appointments, or having to reschedule. It’s so simple and it’s changed my life. Many creatives don’t think they need one but you do! Whether it’s for booking time with your admin team or social media guru, having an online calendar will streamline your business. There’s no doubt about it.Automate your online calendar for artists
  5. Learn from other people

    • Learning from other people is kind of a given with this online world. It’s no longer 1999 where it was hard work to find people doing similar things to yourself. In 2018, it’s about connecting with people around you. There’s advice everywhere and it can all be super contradictory and confusing. Take some time and find the people that make sense to you, that give you the guidance you need during your navigation of the new online world. Here are my 30 things I wish I’d known when I dived deep into my business.30 things I wish I knew when I started my online business
  6. Practice Gratitude

    • If you’ve hung out here ever, you’ll know that I love to talk about gratitude, journalling and growth. It helps you grow as a business owner and as a person. Keep your business strong with these tips on expressing gratitude both within your business and outside of it. It doesn’t have to be gushy, sitting around the table, sharing your most heartfelt gratitude – instead, make of it what you will. Think of little, daily ways to incorporate it into your world and life, from giving shoutouts on social media to your crochet buddy, writing a thank you card to a client when the contract ends, or simply picking up the phone and calling your sister to say ‘hey, you’re still kinda dorky cool in my books”.Use gratitude in your business
    • Here are my favourite places of gratitude:
  7. Listen to Podcasts

    • Learning from other people genuinely makes me happy. And, if you’re not a huge fan of taking online courses then you’ll be happy to know that podcasts can be used in the same way. But don’t just listen to the podcasts and move on. Make notes as soon as possible after listening and file them so that you always have access to that information later. Create your own resource of online business savvy from people that you love and trust in the arena. Not sure where the best podcasts are? Check out my article on podcast love.

2018 is your year! Of this, I am absolutely certain.

Remember that you can always explore the archives on this site and hop on back to check out new ideas. I post once every two weeks to ensure that the content is always strong and good.

What are your 2018 business goals and ideas?