What do you do when you are in a slump professionally? I’m finding myself in that position lately, and I need to find ways out of it. I don’t think a radical re-boot is necessary, or even advisable. Here are some things I plan to do in the near future:
1. Keep in mind that persistence is one of the most crucial elements of success. Just keep at it!
2. Assess what has worked, and what hasn’t worked. In my case, a site called Thumbtack has brought me more work than anything else I’ve done. It is sort of a “help wanted” site for services, and I’ve gotten many jobs through it. Here is a link to my page:
3. Go outside your comfort zone. This piece of advice is a work in progress for me. I’m trying a lot of things I’ve never done before, and some of it is a pretty steep learning curve. This blog is one example. I’ve never had a blog before, and I’m still trying to figure out exactly what to do with it, how to leverage it for my business. I think I’ve done a pretty good job putting together my website, but I am still learning how to bring traffic to it. Here is a link to the site:
Cold calling party planners and people like that is definitely out of my comfort zone, as it probably is for most people. It has brought me a lot of contacts, though.
4. Work from your strengths. This advice is sort of the flip side of the previous piece of advice. I’m very good at the one-on-one interaction with the customer while I’m drawing their caricature. The other day I went to a park and tried doing free caricatures to drum up business. It’s the first time I’ve gone unannounced to to something like that. It didn’t go that well, but it gave me information to use for the next time. The next time I’ll take a big sign for one thing. I’ll also find a place with a bigger variety of age groups and types of people.
5. Solicit advice from people. People love to give advice. Some of it is good, some is terrible, but listen to it all and use what you think will help. My wife has been very helpful, and I should probably act on more of her advice.
I’ll add more ideas later, but I hope I’ve given you something to chew on. Just keep at it!