Podcast artwork for How to start a podcast

Are you struggling to show up in your business? 

You're feeling the pressure but you just can't seem to get there.

You're definitely not alone. Being a business owner means having to show up in your business, in ways you never thought of before. All of a sudden you're very public and very visible. You have to put work into your marketing strategy as well as wearing all the hats of the different roles. Sometimes things get in the way and you drop the ball. The longer the ball is dropped, the harder it is to get back on it.

In this episode I walk you through how to show up in your business, even when you really don't feel like it.

Are you ready to get back on it? 

Episode Transcript

I’m Holly Christie, your host. I’m a website designer and mentor for small businesses. I have 2 website companies - this Demanding Life for people who are looking for custom build websites to show off the uniqueness of their business, and Simply Sites, for micro businesses and start-ups who are are looking for a stellar website and experience. I’ve created this podcast to support you with actionable tips, industry knowledge and how to identify when you’re getting in your own way, so you can move forward.

As I record this in June of 2024 people are well aware that the market for small, service led businesses is tough and it has been for about a year now. That’s a long time to be a part of the daily grind but not really feel that you’re getting much back from it. I want you to know that it’s not just you who’s feeling it and today’s podcast topic is: ‘How to show up when you really don’t feel like it’.

Ready? Let’s get started.

If you’ve been in business for a while you’ll know that it can be tough out there. Really tough. It might be that you’re in a recession or it’s a time of year when people aren’t spending money or you’re craving a really juicy project but they’re just not coming. If you’re an entrepreneur you’re going to hit times where you don’t feel like showing up.

In these times mindset can only get you so far. Of course we can all do mindset work where we manifest abundance, we turn negative situations into positive ones (not enough work? No problem, more time to sort the house) and all sorts. Eventually, you’re going to feel like you’re running out of rope.

I’ve been running my own business for almost a decade and I’ve fallen into the ‘really not feeling like it’ mindset on more than one occasion. If you’ve been in business for a while, the chances are you’ve felt this at some point, too. Here are some ways to still show up for your business and yourself:

Identify what’s causing it

We’re all wired for negative self-talk but a quick scroll through LinkedIn, Facebook business groups and business podcasts will usually tell you that it’s not you, it’s how the market is at the time.

Is it something within your control?

If the market’s slow and no-one’s buying your type of services then it’s not necessarily in your control. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep working and promoting your services, it just means that whatever’s happening isn’t personal, it’s market-wide.

Can you use the time to improve your skillset?

If you’re having some downtime in your business it could be a great time to offer your services for free to a charity or not-for-profit venture of your choice. For example, each year I complete a website or marketing project for not-for-profit establishments. This gives me the opportunity to continue working on my skillset, as well as have touch points for my ideal clients to see what I’m working on.

You could also look at completing further training - this could be directly in your field, or it could be in marketing your business or customer relations. Many courses are free or you can do your own research across the internet. You can keep your ideal audience updated of what you’re doing, through your Social Media posts.

Can you make your work appealing for when people are ready to buy?

When the market’s tough it means that often people aren’t ready to buy right now. It doesn’t mean they’re never going to buy, it just means they’re not in a position to right now. Your role is to put your brand and your services front and centre so that when they are ready to buy, the only person they want to buy from is you.

Ok, how does that feel? You still with me?

Good. Because this is where it gets interesting. This is the opportunity you have to really show that you’re an expert in your field and the right person for the job. There are a few ways you can do this:

Blogs

These are my favourite because blogs never stop performing on your behalf. Unlike Social Media posts or podcast episodes, a blog will rank on Google, be picked up for search terms and if it’s on a timeless, rather than trending topic, it will perform for years following your writing it.

There are many places you can go to look at what subjects to write about to attract your audience:

Keyword research

Use a website like Answer The Public to find out which search terms people are using. This will allow you to create content which answers the most asked questions in your field.

Ask your audience

Try to narrow it down from ‘what would you like to know?’ To ‘what would you like to know about X?’ For example, as a website designer I may ask ‘what would you like to know about WordPress themes?’ Or ‘what would you like to know about shop websites?’

Competitor research

You can also look at what your competitors are writing about and offer your knowledge, experience and your own take on a similar topic. Do not do this on their social media posts, unless they specifically ask you to. Instead look at creating blogs around these topics. Just to be clear - I’m not suggesting your copy or plagiarise your competitors work. If you’re connected to a few experts in the same industry as you, it could be inspiring to see the different takes you all have on similar subjects in your field.

My favourite book for content ideas is Content Fortress by Lindsay Cambridge and Martin Huntbach. There’s also a great book called ‘They ask, you answer’ by Marcus Sheridan.

Social Media posts

I will always advocate for you to have your own website over your Social Media channels. There are loads of reasons for this and you can read about it in my post: Why I don't put social links in headers.

Once you have your website up and running, having social media accounts to run alongside this is the ideal situation. Social Media helps you to reach an audience who wouldn’t necessarily be looking for your website, it also reaches people who may then refer you to others. For example, as a website designer I work with many copywriters, so it’s not unusual for them to recommend me when they have a client who wants a website.

Posting on Social Media allows you to showcase your expertise, answer your clients questions and position yourself as a great person for others’ to refer for your services, as well as reaching your ideal customers.

Podcasts

Ok, there is so much more that goes into making a podcast successful, than just recording and releasing an audio file. But it can be really useful for creating a bank of information which showcases your expertise, doesn’t date and sits alongside better known experts in your field.

Planning and carrying out a podcast can be just the thing you need to get you through a slump and back to feeling great about your business. You can also schedule in time to listen to podcasts for research, to update your knowledge and learn something new. My last episode, Season 2, Episode 6 called ‘How to start a podcast’, gives you all the information to get going with one.

Get your admin in order

Are your T&Cs up to date? Is your website privacy policy still relevant? Are your processes simple to follow, rather than convoluted? Use the quiet periods in your business to know that you’ve got absolutely everything up to date and ready to go, for when things do get busier. You can even engage your audience in this process asking on Social Media things like ‘what do you think should be in a privacy policy?’ Or ‘do you know what sections make a contract legal?’ Most people don’t know what the legal hooks are in a contract so it’s an excellent place to share value and show you’re brilliant at running your business because you’re paying attention to these things.

There will always be ups and downs in business

As small business owners, it’s easy to feel affected by changes in the market. Try not to take it personally, it’s not a reflection of you or how good you are, it’s just how it is at that moment. Using your time constructively and showing up anyway is a great for your own morale, as well as reminding people that you’re still there, providing brilliant services and when they’re ready to buy, the chances are they’ll buy from you.

If you’d like to chat about how I can help you to stay positive and position yourself as an industry expert. Or you’d like to talk about strengthening your website so it reflects the value you bring to your clients, you can book a free, no-obligation call with me through my website. As a reminder, you can find me at thisdemandinglife.com.

That’s all from me for this week. If you relate to this episode and would like to connect then do look me up on LinkedIn. You can find me on there as Holly C Christie. Before you go, please can I ask a favour - I’d really appreciate it if you could leave a rating and review for this podcast. It helps Apple and the other podcast platforms to show the podcast to in peoples’ ‘podcasts you may be interested in’ list and I’d love to get this free resource in front of as many people as possible.

Thank you so much and see you next week!

Really Refreshing

Looking forward to the next episode, I’m hooked already. Really easy to listen to and definitely strikes a chord with me. 

MrsH68

Feeling inspired

Would definitely recommend this podcast. Aimed at those small business owners, but for someone who has recently started a new role in my company, this definitely motivated me on this cold wet Monday morning to not be afraid of being vulnerable in the workplace and putting myself out there!

Can’t wait for the next episode

izagoo9067

Small Business Growth

I love listening to each new episode of Holly’s podcast. It feels like she has read my mind and understands the challenges I find myself up against when running my business. Her advice and insights are fantastic and I’m looking forward to hearing her future episodes. This is a great resource for any small business owner trying to establish a successful business in the online (and/or offline) world.

Fay Wallis

It’s a great podcast Holly, you’ve covered some really useful topics and had fantastic guests. It’s like your topics were written with me in mind…

Natalie Trembecki

Brilliant first episode!!

The first episode of “Your Business, Your Way” is a refreshing take on the entrepreneurial journey I needed to hear this morning . I felt reassured hearing Holly emphasise a crucial point: you don’t need to know everything to get started. This approach is a game-changer, especially for those new to the business world, breaking down the barriers of perfection and complete readiness that often hold us back.

What I loved about this first episode of the podcast is its blend of practical advice with an undercurrent of motivation. It reassured me that starting with what I know and learning as I go is not just okay, but a smart way to grow. The podcast feels like a supportive friend, nudging you to take those first steps while keeping the mood light and approachable.

For anyone at the crossroads of starting or scaling a business, this podcast could be the push you need. It’s a promising mix of insights, stories, and encouragement. I’m eager for the next episodes and recommend it to anyone looking to embark on a business venture in a way that’s true to them. It’s an exciting start, and I’m genuinely looking forward to where this podcast will take its listeners next.

wmbaggs

Just listened to your first podcast episode and it’s absolutely brilliant! Good work Holly!

Mike Cottam

Small Business Growth

I’m so excited to have your podcast alongside me as I grow my business. Looking forward to taking action on your steps and learn from someone who knows what they are talking about. Thanks Holly – you’re a star!

LisaJaneYork