5 months being an entrepreneur, LOG 19.01.2021

Transcription:

Hi, I’m Mark
and this is the first update for 2021. this is a documentation of me starting
my business here in Finland and on this video, I’m going to talk about the
first five months as an entrepreneur my experiences and lessons I’ve learned.

 

So, to
start off with, I’m running a marketing agency, an advertising agency.

What I’m
offering clients is doing building websites optimizing, websites, building
funnels, doing search engine optimization, running campaigns, graphics, video editing,
audio.

So, it’s a
large palette of stuff that I can do.

 

When I
first started in September, I had to write my business plan for applying for
this governmental subsidy and for that document I had to come up with
projections how much I’m going to earn during the fourth quarter of 2020 and this
year.

 

I think I exaggerated
a bit the numbers. I guessed that I’m going to make 10 000 euros in the last
four months of 2020.

10 000
euros.

 

Uh, what I
actually got into my account directly from working with clients was less than
100 euros. So, that’s 100 times less than the projection.

 

I had one
big client that I worked with for about 70 hours, on a discount and I only send
the invoice end of December, because it was a long project.

 

Tip 1: Bill monthly

And there’s
one lesson. If you have a business or you’re doing graphic design or whatever; Bill
monthly. Agree with the client that you’re going to bill monthly because you
have running costs, you have to live, you have to pay bills.

 

Bill
monthly or be very clear how often you’re going to invoice the client, because in
my case I had three, four clients last year and I only got money from one of
them. So that was my mistake not being clear when I’m going to invoice them and
on what schedule.

 

So that’s
one lesson. The sum total of my earnings was actually a bit higher because I was
awarded the Finnish startup subsidy money which is about 650 euros per month.

 

That has
helped a lot because my biggest expense has been the pension that entrepreneur
has to pay for his own retirement and those bills have totaled already over 1000
euros. It’s quite a lot.

 

Tip 2: Don’t work for free

Another tip
if you’re working with the client, you should not do free work. If you’re
spending hours with doing something for your client like solving a technical
problem, planning advertising campaign, sketching storyboard for a video and basically,
any customer support, like how you spend your day, your hours.

 

You have
limited hours of your day and if you spend them doing something for a client, you
have to bill for those hours because you’re not running a charity.

 

This is
something I need to learn myself. I cannot live on 100 euros every five months,
it’s ridiculous.

I should … I
don’t …

 

Tip 3: Build a funnel

Third tip;
make sure you have a funnel in place. If you’re in advertising or marketing,
online marketing, or even closely related, you should know what a funnel is. Funnel
is like this marketing term of this overarching tunnel or funnel, that attracts
clients and leads them to your website, basically to your email list, whatever
it is.

 

There are few
different ways how to build a funnel, but make sure that you have a functional funnel
in place. It doesn’t need to be perfect,

nothing’s perfect
ever, so just have a funnel in there.

 

For my case
that means to have a clear website where I have all my services or my skills showcased
in a portfolio and have a cv, resume available for potential clients to
understand what I’m offering. Also have a general pricing if it’s hourly fee if
it’s per project have some sort of a ballpark estimates there, just to give all
the necessary information for the potential clients.

 

So that has
been my mistake not to have a very good funnel in place. Now I’m going to improve
it in the next month because, to build your website properly, you cannot do it
in a day or two.

 

Especially
if you need to have a portfolio and testimonials and everything neatly designed
and have a good responsive website that works on the mobile, as well on desktop.
There are many things, many small things that you need to work on.

 

Tip 4: Stay Focused!

Fourth tip;
stay focused. I’m terrible at focusing at times. Or well, I can focus, but to
keep the focus on the same thing for successive days seems to be very difficult
for me.

 

So, keep
your priorities straight, otherwise you waste days and weeks chasing your tail and
have little to show for. Have a list of priorities on a piece of paper or
something and stick to your plans.

 

Plans
without execution amount to nothing. Do one step at a time.

Two more
tips!

 

Tip 5: Believe in yourself

 Fifth tip; you have to believe in yourself. When
you’re doing something by yourself, it’s a rare, valuable resource if you have
someone on a daily basis encouraging you, mentoring you, supporting you.

 

You have to
be your own supporter, just like, give yourself the best affirmations and the uplifting
quotes, whatever you have to do. Listen to uplifting music get your spirits up
to have a good mood, have a positive growth mindset.

Super
important, because for yourself, it’s the easiest thing to lose motivation.

 

Especially
when you’re living at your parents and it’s January and you feel totally stuck
and the walls are caving in.

Okay it’s
not that bad! But I think many people understand what I’m talking about.

 

Tip 6: Have a sense of
humor

Okay, the
last tip is also to have a sense of humor. You have to take your business
seriously, but you don’t have to take it too seriously or take yourself too
seriously.

 

There are
some parts that are harder than others that’s not so enjoyable. There’s going
to be problems and challenges and just the ability to laugh at them when needed,
is crucial for your mental well-being.

 

Just take a
step back, take a deep breath, have a laugh and have a positive affirmation,
like, Okay, we’re going to figure this out somehow – it’s going to be fine.

It’s all
right, yeah.

 

That’s all
the tips I have for this video. Let’s move on to another topic.

 

Last few
days I’ve been busy working on our music.  We are releasing an album in a few weeks. First,
we’re going to release a single. It’s my old band, we are doing hip hop.

 

It has been
therapeutic, so though it’s a hobby, it’s not going to pay the bills, it has
been very necessary to have something else and the social aspect of doing something
with others.

 

So, it has
been very good for like balancing my life, because I’m a complete hermit at the
moment, I’m turning into a vampire, I don’t think the sun exists anymore. The
sky is gray every day. It’s just snowing and it’s …

 

This is how
it looks outside.

I’m
beginning to think that sun doesn’t exist.

 

I’ve also
opened a RedBubble store, which is one of these print-on-demand services or
platforms. One of the easiest ones because they do everything in-house.

 

If you’re a
designer, you just create your design, place it on different products, put it there
on your store, and if someone wants it; a sticker or t-shirt or a mug; RedBubble
will handle the order, actually, print the item, finish it and post it.

 

Everything
is done and you’re just collecting royalties, your commission, your margin. At
this point I have like nine or ten designs there. They still suck, but at least
I have some followers. Not any sales yet, but success on these platforms is not
overnight and I’m improving my design skills.

 

I have a
lot of experience from me previous jobs and I’ve and I always enjoyed doing
graphics.

But … Well
at least I’m improving my graphic design skills and learning the ropes.

 

The overall
quality of designs on RedBubble seems to be quite high so for the moment my
designs are not even close to the best quality they have on the site, but my strategy
is just to come up with funny ideas and have an illustration to go with the
text.

 

My approach
is not to compete with the best graphical artists but just to be witty about it
and come up with funny lines funny, word play

and stuff.  

 

So, once I
get my first sale on RedBubble, I will do documentation-type of video how to
open the store, how to come up with designs, what tools I’m using, how to
upload the artwork, how to place them on the products, and other things like
tags and descriptions so that might be useful for someone who wants to start a RedBubble
store.

 

Today I’m
only focusing on making this one video because it has been already a month since
my last update and if you’re serious about creating any traction on YouTube,
you have to upload more than once a month.

 

On the same
note, I did upload a video about rendering a video in HitFilm express for
TikTok, and that has proven to be quite a popular video because being a very niche
topic. I think that video has the highest views by now.

 

So, if
you’re starting your own YouTube channel, it’s good idea to have videos about
different topics. That’s one of the reasons I don’t want to make updates for
example every week because that would be very one-dimensional.

 

Of course, I’m
covering a lot of topics here but at the same time people are using YouTube for
utility.

Like
searching a very clear solution for a very specific problem.

 

So, a good
tip is to make a tutorial or how to or some kind of a guide video where you
show how something is done that might not be

obvious for
a beginner.

 

Because of
course, I’m not an expert in HitFilm Express but because I had to figure out
how this works, because I was exporting videos to TikTok, so when I figured it
out, I just filmed a two-minute tutorial about it and I was able to show others
who are looking from YouTube or Google.

 

And that
video is getting mainly views from the search.

And on the
other hand, this video is more of a social video that will be shared on my
social platforms, and no one will find this video from

from Google
search for sure.

 

Anyway,
it’s good idea to spread out your topics on YouTube to find out what works, what
people are, interested in and keep trying different

things.

 

Just for
fun, I filmed 20 minutes of logs burning because I was warming this cabin a few
days ago because it was freezing cold and if someone wants to watch 20 minutes
of logs burning it’s there.

 

And once
it’s up there, it’s going to be there, basically, for years to come. That’s one
beautiful thing about YouTube; you create a video once, upload it, if it’s
according to the community guidelines, it will stay there for a long time.

 

And when
you compare that to Instagram for example, or Twitter or other platforms,
TikTok, that has like this constant feed of new stuff, and people are not
generally using the other social medias to find old content. They want to see
the new content, whereas stuff on YouTube is more evergreen.

 

Extra tip: Have your
studio setup ready

One more
tip regarding YouTube videos. Have your setup ready.

Like for me,
I have this greenscreen here, my microphone, my camera, my lighting.

 

And if I
don’t have this in place, it’s another hurdle to actually build the rig. If I
have something else to do I might put it off for a day, and another week.

 

So,
whenever the inspiration hits you, have everything ready to go and you just jump
in front of the camera and shoot,

Edit,
upload; voilà! Make it as easy as possible.

 

Okay the
last part of the video is what I’m going to do next.

A couple of
weeks ago I was talking with a mentor and he gave me this idea of making like a
resume, cv on my website to communicate more clearly what I’m actually offering,
what are my skills, what is my work history.

 

So, now I’m
going to do a bit of a rebranding for my business which basically means building
a portfolio, sort of a showcase, and for that I need to create a lot of content,
just to demonstrate my current skills.

 

I mentioned
this previously, but that is going to be a project for me for the next month,
at least, because it takes time.

 

So that was
all I had scripted, if you like the content, please give a like, subscribe if
you find the channel interesting.

I
appreciate it greatly.

 

Okay thanks
for watching [or reading!] if you survived this far, my camera died just before
I was able to finish up my sentence. So

thank you
for watching, my camera does have a very old battery. Unfortunately, I’m ending
this scene with my camera on my smartphone.

 

Anyway, if
you like the content, stay tuned for new videos. Hopefully more often than once
a month, and

see you
next time! Take care!