Updated: Jan 4, 2021
The other day, I posted a question on a Facebook group page, asking what people were resolving to do differently in 2021. Answers to those kinds of questions are always fun to read, and can also be instructive.
As expected in a freelancer group, most of the answers had to do with improving skills, getting better organized as a businessperson, balancing "life" and "work," and of course, earning more money. I think those are all good goals. I'm going to do a little mini-series on each of those during January, but let me do a flyover of 2020 first, as we approach the new year, for perspective, and to talk about my own experiences a little.
Looking Back on 2020
While I refuse to fall into using the catch phrases like, "challenging times" or the "new normal," there's no denying 2020 was a strange year. Not so much for me as others, since I was already kind of living the "new normal" before the Covid thing struck. My work and much of my activity centers around home, I've always been careful about door handles and elevator buttons, and with the exception of making more of a point of keeping a little more distance between myself and those around me when out in public, nothing much has really changed for me.
I came into 2020 firmly resolved to devote more time and effort to my business. I hit the ground running as the new year came 'round, and started things out by learning some new stuff related to social media, marketing, etc. I bought a webcam. I started up The Gig Doctor service, and accompanying Facebook page I started this blog. I dreamed up new ways of earning more money on Fiverr which not only increased my income on the platform, but has also helped others to do the same via some brand new "HeadSlapper" videos. I increased my monthly income both on Fiverr and off. In December, I bundled my four HeadSlapper technique videos and did a special holiday discount. I started promoting my voiceover coaching services, which has been extremely rewarding as a way of helping others.
In late 2020, an idea occurred to me for a new service. Working with a devilishly clever programmer named Alexander G.M. Smith, we came up with a free online service for the voiceover community called Real Count, which helps voiceover people charge what they really deserve. It converts numbers, stats, URLs, etc. into spoken words, and then presents the REAL number of words that the voiceover person is being expected to say, thus allowing them to charge what they really deserve to for the scripts they do.
At the same time, I was also doing some things to improve my physical situation here at home, with a revamp of the bedroom where I do my work I had the room re-carpeted, a wrap-around console built and installed, and my son built six acoustic panels for the walls which have made the room sound even better for recording (no, you don't necessarily need to closet yourself in a tiny isolation booth).. And I added in a couple wonderful retro gear reminders of my years in radio, a reel-to-reel deck and a turntable.
Also in 2020, I got myself started on another freelancing platform, Upwork, and made about $2000 there between October and the end of the year. A goal for me in 2021 is to try and bring that up considerably, and hopefully rival the income I make on Fiverr, if that's possible. Who knows, maybe I'll eventually have some HeadSlappers about that platform too!
And, I walked. About 750 miles, I think. Mostly woodland trails, which I think is more pleasant than roads and sidewalks, It meant going out in the Wisconsin cold a lot, but even that is probably good for a person's constitution. This morning, after I write this, I'm going to strike out into 5 degree weather for a morning hike...gonna need to bundle up for this one!!
Why am I troubling you with all this? Just to set a little ground work before we start talking about good goals for the new year. While your goals may not be precisely the same as mine, we will have enough in common that I think I might be able to provide some helpful ideas for you for 2021. I encourage you to follow along, If you haven't subscribed to this "Fit Gig Blog" yet, this would be a good time to do it.
By the way, the "Staying Sane on Fiverr" series will be back in February, with more ideas on how you can keep your equilibrium while freelancing on the Fiverr platform.
And "one more thing," as Columbo says, since we're on the subject of sanity: I'm on vacation! I'm taking the first full week off I've taken in years. Since my work is my fun, and my fun is my work,, vacations are generally not all that big of a deal to me, but just toward the end of the year, I started to feel a little war-weary and thought the break might do me good (and it has!). So what am I doing, writing a business blog today? This doesn't count. :-) It's just a little early morning fun for me before my walk.
See you next year. Watch for the resolutions ideas in my first post in January.
There's so much you and I can do together to improve your gig's performance. Schedule your Gig Doctor appointment by hitting the Gig Checkup link at the top of this page for an inexpensive personalized checkup and consultation!
For those of you who do voiceovers, or who are interested in entering that fun profession, I can help there too. Check out my voiceover coaching services.