It all started at the 2013 B2B Intensive in Chicago. On the last day, Steve Slaunwhite asked us what our goals were for the next 90 days. He then encouraged us to find someone at the Intensive who would help us be accountable.
I teamed up with three other copywriters. I was skeptical at first, but determined to give it a try. I’m glad I did because it has turned out to be one of the best things I’ve done for my B2B copywriting career.
As a group, we were committed to taking ourselves and each other seriously. The newbies committed to taking the leap to freelancing. The more experienced writers committed to taking their freelance business to a higher level.
To reinforce the accountability, we set up a few logistics. First, we decided on how frequently we wanted to meet. The options we considered were weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Everyone agreed that meeting weekly would help kick things off and get momentum going. The other options seemed too long of a wait between accountability calls for us.
We then decided on whether to meet via Skype, Google+, or conference call. Since some in the group had 9-to-5 jobs, we agreed on doing conference calls. We tried a service that Ed Gandia recommended during the case studies part of the Intensive. It has worked great for our needs so far.
We also set up a private Facebook page. This comes in handy when we need help between calls. (More on that later.)
Setting a vision
With all the logistics in place, we set goals for the following 90 days. We started with setting realistic visions — what we each wanted to accomplish in our freelancing business.
We had one goal in common right away. One of the rewards of going to the B2B Intensive was getting paid $1,000 when we did B2B work for a new client. And there was a deadline: 90 days.
So, we had a starting point.
Plus, my personal vision was to have a professional freelance website up. Before the Intensive, I had only thought about putting a website up. Actually, I thought about it a lot. This was my opportunity to punch fear in the face, stop just thinking, and start doing. Having an accountability group for encouragement and support would make that vision easier to complete.
From there, we set smaller weekly goals that would help us achieve our visions. This helped me break down my vision into one step at a time. (Much easier to handle.)
During the weekly accountability calls, we go over our successes.
The calls are a great motivator to getting our goals accomplished. I know for me, it has helped give me the push I need. I no longer sabotage myself by using the “I’ll do it tomorrow” excuse.
We also use this time to help each other solve problems.
For example, I was looking for a designer to design a logo. One of the other members suggested a company they used and were pleased with. I ended up using the designer to design my logo, business card, and a writing sample page. This made my website look professional.
We frequently share valuable and relevant resources that help with our freelance copywriting careers. One resource we all became members of is AWAI’s B2B Writing Success. This resource is rich with content on everything about how to start a B2B business to how to get your current business to the next level. That’s important for all of us as we keep our momentum going.
I look forward to these calls. They are always productive. For me, hearing the other copywriter’s successes inspires me to keep moving ahead.
Leveraging social media
As I mentioned, we set up a private Facebook page. We use it to post the weekly goals we said we want to achieve during our accountability calls. We also use it for encouragement and support between calls. Someone may have a question that pertains to one of her goals.
One week, a goal I had was to send an email to pitch an article idea. I got stuck because I couldn’t find the contact person’s email address. I posted my dilemma on Facebook, got help, and was able to meet my goal by the next call.
We also upload documents of anything pertaining to our freelancing career that we may need help with. The document could be copy we want reviewed or it could include designs we want an opinion on.
This support system has helped everyone in my accountability group stay motivated and encouraged. It can be hard at times to motivate yourself. Surrounding myself with other copywriters has been an invaluable asset.
Knowing that my accountability group was there to support me with resources and encouragement made a big difference in achieving my primary vision: launching my website. Before the B2B Intensive, it was only a thought. The accountability group motivated me to take action on that goal and now my website is up — and I’m really moving forward in my business.