Alyson Lex is a top class Copywriter and Marketing Consultant. We got to go behind the scenes to see how she runs her business.
1. When did you realise you wanted to start your own business?
I actually came into biz on my own through no choice of my own – I was laid off! I had taken a job with a new company about 6 weeks prior and they laid me off a week before my wedding and 10-day honeymoon in 2012. Seeing as it was arguably one of the worst job climates in US history AND I wouldn’t be able to start looking for work for about a month, I figured now was the time to jump in with both feet.
2. How did you get started and what was the biggest hurdle you overcame?
I’d been doing “side” projects for years – since about 2007. The money was great for getting rid of debt, boosting my income… partying a little harder with friends… that sort of thing. But I wasn’t ready to make the leap because I, frankly, was scared that I wouldn’t make enough money. And some months, it’s been tight. But I get out there and I hustle and I’ve made it work. And some months, I make it absolutely awesome!
3. What’s been your most successful way of getting clients?
Referrals are by and large the lifeblood of my business. I’ve implemented a referral program to help boost referrals – but surprisingly, many of my clients refer even without incentive.
4. How do you get clients to stay with you and use you for more work?
This has been a consistent struggle in my business. The nature of my work can be a very single-deal type of thing and that makes it tough to get clients consistently coming back. Many of my clients DO repeat when they have a new need, but it’s not always easy for me to predict when that’s going to happen.
5. Do you ever have issues with clients paying late? How do you manage that?
I have been burned by many clients! And quite honestly, I had no idea how to get around it. Even when you get a deposit before work is to be completed, you’re still at the mercy for the balance of the money. So I went to my bank and got a merchant account which allows me to process credit cards. I created a credit card form that they sign and I’m in charge of when the money comes in. It has completely changed the way I do business.
6. What does your typical work day look like?
My work day is as varied as my client list! Most days I’m up by 6:30, at my desk by 7 with coffee in-hand, and checking e-mails and social media. This also gives me an opportunity to relax and figure out my day BEFORE normal business hours – I check my calendar to see if I have any calls scheduled, whether I have any deadlines in the next couple days, etc. Then I can get going – sometimes I have client work, and sometimes I work on developing my info-product or creating my copy.
I’m actually working on setting a WEEKLY schedule – Mondays will be Rock Your Marketing blog or copy days, Tuesday-Thursday is client work, and Friday is education and administrative. This way I can really block out my weeks and even take a half-day on Friday if I want to go somewhere for the weekend.
7. Any piece of advice/wisdom that you’d like to give the readers at Business Unleashed?
One of the most valuable things that I’ve ever had in my business is my relationships with other entrepreneurs and business owners. I value my relationships so much, because those relationships lead to referrals and I’ve already said that referrals are the lifeblood of my business. I go to networking events and seminars with the intention of building relationships – not selling my services, but helping out other people. I am a member of a ton of Facebook and LinkedIn groups and have built some AWESOME relationships because of those.
I’ve connected people with each other, found clients, been featured on great websites like Business Unleashed, had awesome opportunities come my way, and begun to ENJOY my business more because of the connections I’ve made. Not only have I made money, but I’ve made friends. And that’s pretty awesome!