It’s 2017 – I can’t quite believe it! This time last year I was just beginning my journey into full-time self-employment and if I’m honest was a little terrified at the prospect. Until then I had worked at the same job for over 10 years, now I was going it alone. I had all the worries every small business starting up has – will it succeed? Where will I find clients? Will I earn enough money? And the little voice that whispers, ‘what if I fail?’.
Despite the worries, I was fully determined and fired up to give Wildflowers & Pixels everything I had. And now looking back, 2016 was a whirlwind of new opportunities and experiences that I have thoroughly enjoyed.
It was busy. It was a little stressful at times. But I learned so much and I’m ready to put all of that into building my business, even more, this year.
A quick recap of 2016:
- I worked with over 50 clients creating everything from logos and full branding to websites and book covers.
- I had clients in the USA, Mexico, Canada, Cyprus, London and many local businesses right here in Scotland.
- My WordPress themes were sold and downloaded over 300 times.
- I made lasting connections and relationships with fellow small business owners and clients.
- My partner and I opened a joint studio for photography and to meet clients.
- I built solid foundations for my business that will allow me to expand and grow.
I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with each of them because without them I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. It’s been so amazing getting to work with small businesses and startups across the world. You can see some of their projects on the portfolio and others will be added there soon as we are putting the final touches on them.
I’ll be honest and say that there are times when I have a love/hate relationship regarding my blog. I love it because I can help people by providing useful articles on WordPress, Social Media and Website Design. And I hate it because sometimes I feel like I struggle to find time to post regularly which is why I plan to schedule spots in the diary to work specifically on the blog.
However, I did manage to write 32 blog articles during the year and here are some of the most popular from 2016.
- 8 Ways To Establish Credibility On Your Website
- 7 Ways To Build Trust On Your Website
- Instagram Layout & Post Planner Template
- What Are Permalinks & Why They Are Important To Your WordPress Website?
- How To Make Your Website Social Media Friendly
- How To Boost SEO With Your Website Images
- How To Set Up An Online Shop On Your WordPress Website
Towards the end of 2016, I was itching to rebrand my website. I hadn’t made any changes to the design since earlier in the year, so I felt it was long over due.
My previous website design wasn’t bad, in fact, my clients commented that they liked the style and it was one of the reasons they chose to work with me. But as a designer, I’m always looking to improve things, to make them better and more streamlined. The actual getting around to working on my own website was the problem. I just didn’t have time so it lay neglected, for the most part, particularly the portfolio which hadn’t been updated since August.
I decided that December was going to be set aside to work on my website and behind the scenes stuff like new packages, processes and getting my business in gear for the new year.
So during the Christmas and New Year break, that’s what I was up to and I’m so glad I did as I feel really confident going into a new year. So the new look Wildflowers & Pixels has arrived – I still have a few tweaks to make but I’m happy with it. As a big fan of clean, simple designs I opted to keep it fairly minimal with injections of colour through the images.
The New Services
As well as the new design, I have rejigged my packages, added new services including ‘Website in a Week’ and ‘Mini Branding’ and created information packets for clients to help make the projects flow easier. The big one being ‘Website in a Week‘ – it is fairly self-explanatory but the idea is that from signing up to getting online will take just 1 week.
It’s a turbocharged package created for businesses who have a super quick timeline yet still want a professional website. Even with the quick timeline, there is no drop in service or quality. Everyone gets the same level of service and support through and after the project.
I’m excited about the package and initially it will be a limited package as I will be only taking one per month. I’m running it at a introductory rate at the moment so if you are in need of a website quickly, get in touch with me for more information.
Another new service is the ‘Mini Branding‘. I created this package as an in-between for the standard and full branding package because not everyone wants or needs ‘all the things’. With the mini branding, you get a logo and business card design instead of the whole ‘shebang’.
The Goals For 2017
I’m not usually much of a long-term planner. I kind of ‘winged it’ and learned on the go last year. However, I decided that this year was going to be different, I would finally set some actual goals for my business.
For the most part, my goals are to build my audience and grow more of a profile (goodbye introvert) and streamline my client processes.
- Increase my social media following across all platforms.
- Schedule social media posts frequently at least 5 days per week.
- Write two blog posts per month.
- Streamline my processes to ensure projects keep on track.
- Take more time off (apart from a few days in December I didn’t take any time off last year).
- Send one email per month to my list (I gained a bunch of new subscribers towards the end of the year and I’ve yet to send them anything). Get in on my ‘Pixel Perfect‘ list.
- Create two super sweet opt-ins.
- Expand my shop to include more themes and pre-made branding items.
- Collaborate with other businesses.
That is just some of my intended goals for the first half of the year. I’ll keep you posted.