This is a guest blog by Beatrice Mangar who might be one of Xolo’s most inspiring clients. A self-proclaimed ‘slow entrepreneur’, she has a huge online following of fans who are desperate to learn how to “live an intentional story with their one life on earth”. Read on to hear her story and benefit from her top tips on how solopreneurs can combat the coronavirus blues.
Agility and Adaptability
The coronavirus crisis affected my business in the sense that I realised I was not able to be as agile and adaptable as I would have hoped to be. When 'life as we know it' changed in the blink of an eye (having my travel plans as a location-independent entrepreneur halted was particularly painful for me), it meant that I was not able to initially give my clients the support and reassurance they needed.
After this early slow start, I would say that the crisis has actually been great for my business, with this quarter being one of my best and I foresee even greater interest from potential clients in the future. Interestingly, people who had previously unsubscribed from my mailing list have personally asked to be added back on again.
I have encountered several challenges due to coronavirus that I have had to overcome and find solutions to.
- The first was physically not having the 'manpower' to set up everything I wanted to set up while still doing life admin (getting food supplies etc). I felt burnt out a few times at the overwhelming tasks ahead of me, and so desperately wanted to help people that were coming to me for answers or guidance. However, I collected myself together, wrote a contingency plan and in less than 24 hours I had done multiple live-streams on my social media channels, created a series of videos to help my clients, and scheduled a weekly virtual Happy Hour for entrepreneurs to brainstorm about creative life, and how to pivot in business.
- Unfortunately, I found that I didn't have as much time to be the Creator and the Star of my work because I had my head down into 'admin' tasks that were suddenly dumped on me by this pandemic. I had to restructure my content which I'd previously planned and automated, had to modify my launch date for digital products as they suddenly felt frivolous, and quickly respond to an influx of DMs on Instagram of people panicking, wanting my help and guidance on how to pivot in their current line of work.
- My third ‘pain point’ was not having a quick legal template or advisor to quickly let me know what addendum to attach with my new service agreement post COVID-19 to clients I'm onboarding this month and the next.
Top tips and tricks
From these challenges I have learnt several things that I would like to share with other solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, freelancers and digital nomads.
- Take care of yourself first. You are your greatest asset in your business. If you are down, or burnt out, you can't function properly and give your best, which will further impact on your business.
- Take in the news in small doses. Get the facts you need, but after that create a contingency plan or try to find ways to crisis-proof your business rather than keeping up to date with what's going on.
- Review your contracts with your current clients and think what you'll have in place to accommodate future clients.
- Review your services and offers. Do you need to make your price more affordable? Do you need to change something to make your offers more irresistible, so people perceive it as necessary to invest in?
- Tailor your social media content to your audience's needs. Meet them where they're at right now - do they need reassurance? Do they need practical information from you? Do they need a refund? Whatever you do, do your best to keep them happy.
- Show conscious leadership - this is not a time to hide, but to offer massive value to the people you wish to serve to create impact in the world.
- Go back to your 'why' - what is the reason you started your business in the first place? How does the global pandemic relate to this, and in light of what's happening, what can you do/offer? Where can you fill the gaps?
- What offers could you create or dismiss? Maybe some of your high-ticket offers may not be relevant right now as people suddenly might not want to invest, but perhaps you could connect the dots and provide a low-price offer, a no-brainer that your prospects need during this time? E.g. if you're a freelance graphic designer, instead of building a new website for people, maybe they might need quick social media graphics for their channels or if you're a nutrition coach, maybe instead of your weight-loss programme of 6 months you could offer consult sessions virtually with people who suddenly find themselves cooking at home when they've never had to do so before. The list is endless!
- Prioritise your mental health to show up your best self. It might get worse before it gets better, you will need to keep level-headed, and you will need all your wits about you so you can turn this into a transformative and positive experience for you and your entrepreneurship journey.
- Social distance yourself by all means but do continue to foster a sense of community online as much as you can. Business is about people. People buy from people after all, so don't let those precious connections and relationships go silent. Keep them alive.
- Always remember that in light of change, our brains find new ways to cope, to adapt, in order not just to survive, but to thrive.
My experience with Xolo
The team at Xolo has been professional ever since I first made contact. From my initial query to becoming a new client, I've been impressed by how thorough and timely the email replies are, giving me absolute peace of mind and useful information when it came to things like choosing banking options. I love using the self-service platform, and how streamlined my work can be with regards to invoicing my own clients.
Beatrice Manger is a writer, social media influencer and business mentor. She has created signature mentoring programs and online courses and regularly comments in the media about nomadic and slow living, life abroad, and slow entrepreneurship. Find out more information from her website here: wanderandpen.com.
Being a location-independent entrepreneur means that Xolo’s business service was perfect for her and she became a client in March 2020. We help her to be able to stay nomadic while managing the paperwork, admin, invoicing and banking side of her business.
Freelance Customer story