An important part of business is creating and executing your copywriting business plan. To help you plan a successful year ahead, you need to look back as well as ahead.
Here we look at some key elements of your business plan as well as some other elements of life (relationships, health, etc.) that also need to be working well for you to ensure your success.
Take some time to write down your answers to the following questions. It may take a couple sessions over a few days, but, believe me, it will be worth it.
Looking Back to Move Forward
To prep for a successful year, the first critical step is to look at the one that’s passing. One of my year-end rituals that preps me for success in the new year is to evaluate the past year. Here are some of the key questions to ask yourself.
I’d encourage you to spend some quiet time with these questions and handwrite out the answers. The more you can focus on where you’ve been, the better you’ll be able to focus on where you want to go. After all, if you don’t know where you want to go, how can you possibly expect to ever get there?
I’m going to encourage you to look at both the good and the not-so-good elements of the past year. The purpose isn’t to beat yourself up or blame anyone but instead to take a clear and objective look at how the year panned out. Rose-colored glasses won’t help you, but excessive self-criticism won’t either.
Answer honestly but be nice to yourself.
What Went Well This Past Year?
- Where were you proud that you accomplished in your career?
- Were there any goals you didn’t accomplish?
- What new (and positive) relationships did you cultivate?
- What old (and positive) relationships did you strengthen?
- What were your three biggest successes? To what can you attribute these successes? Were there any specific actions you took that led to them?
- What new skills did you add to your abilities?
- What was your most fun day?
- What was your proudest day?
- When did you feel and give the most love?
- What would you like to see more of in the new year?
- In what ways do you feel you were moving closer to your ideal life?
What’s going well in each of these areas?
What Didn’t Go Well This Past Year?
- What didn’t you accomplish that you’d wanted to? Why didn’t you?
- What could you have done differently to have seen more success?
- What setbacks or disappointments did you experience? To what can you attribute these setbacks/disappointments? Were there actions that you did or didn’t take that led to them?
- In what ways did you stay in your comfort zone instead of challenging yourself? Why?
- Was there a way that you let yourself down this past year? Why did it happen?
- Were there promises that you made to yourself that you didn’t keep? Why not?
- What do you wish you’d done differently? What do you wish you’d focused on or worked on more?
- In what ways do you feel you’re moving farther away from your ideal life?
What needs to be improved in each of these areas?
As I said, be gentle but honest as you answer these questions. They’re essential for helping you craft a crystal-clear vision for the coming year that will make you excited and motivated to hit the ground running.
Essential Questions for Your 2023 Copywriting Business Plan
Every new year feels like a fresh start, an opportunity to reflect on what worked and what didn’t in the previous year and an opportunity to build on the wins and correct the losses.
I’ve compiled a list of questions to help you get a handle on what you want to do in 2023 along with how to get you there.
I’d encourage you to really spend some time with these questions and give them some deep thought. You also don’t necessarily have to write them all out in order, but I’m going to challenge you to finish them all.
And you may discover that as you answer some questions, your answers to others may change. Be open to the process and be willing to explore all the possibilities that 2023 could hold.
You don’t have to answer every question, but here’s a little tip: If you come up against questions that you resist answering, it’s probably a sign that you need to answer them.
Overall Goals: What Do You Want More of in 2023?
Let’s start with some overall goals before we dive deeper into specifics in each area. Here’s a short list of possible words to choose from to help you frame your thinking about the more specific questions to follow. Feel free to add words; just be sure that they’re things you can be in control of! For example, “respect” might not work if it requires other people to respect you—you can’t control that—but “self-respect” absolutely works.
- What word or phrase do you want to be your theme for 2023? Why?
- What commitment(s) are you willing to make to ensure that 2023 is your best year yet?
- How will you feel if you meet the goals you set for 2023?
- How will your life change?
- Imagine yourself as someone who’s already met that goal? How do you do things differently than you do now? How do you think differently? How do you act differently?
For more specific questions below, if you really want to dive deep, ask yourself these questions:
What are five things you can do to help you meet that goal this year, and what are three tasks you need to do each week to help you meet that goal?
- What’s your greatest career goal for 2023?
- What are five to 10 steps you need to take to get there?
- What new skills will you need to acquire?
- What do you want your business/career to look like by the end of 2023?
- Is your current career/job meeting the characteristics of your ideal work?
- If not, what is the very first, smallest step you can take on that path?
- How much money do you want to make in 2023?
- Is there any ramp-up time involved? (Will you need time for learning/training, building up clientele, etc.?)
- Minus the ramp-up time, how much will you need to make per week to meet your goal? Per hour? (It is okay to estimate that ramp-up time; we’re looking for estimates here.)
- What do you need to know, be, do, or have to do to make what you want this year?
- Do you need to invest in yourself to make this happen? If so, how will you finance this (savings, a credit card with a plan to pay it off, a loan from a friend or family member, taking on part-time or short-term work, etc.)?
- How much do you want to make? How many hours do you want to work? How much does that mean you need to make per hour?
Your Health and Well-Being
- What’s your health goal for 2023? What small action(s) will you take each day to move toward your goal?
- Your daily schedule proves what you TRULY value. If necessary, what are you willing to give up to reach your goals?
- What’s your greatest fun goal for 2023?
- When can you schedule mini check-ins to evaluate your progress throughout the year?
- What will you say to yourself to keep yourself committed to meeting your goals when you feel distracted, discouraged, or demotivated?
- What’s your family goal?
- What’s your relationship goal?
- What’s your friendships goal?
- Who do you want to spend more time with and how will you accomplish this?
Copywriting Tasks to Tackle Early in 2023
After you’ve reviewed your overall goals and plans for the year, it’s time to get a bit more actionable and add a few key items to your to-do list.
These are to-dos you should schedule now and aim to tackle in Q1.
Review Your Portfolio
As time goes on as a copywriter, it’s easy to neglect your portfolio. But it’s crucial to keep your site up to date. Set aside time to ask yourself the following questions and do a thorough audit of your site. Then, schedule time to tackle any additional to-dos that come out of your audit.
- Are there any dated portfolio pieces you need to remove?
- Are there any new projects you’ve worked on you need to add?
- What kinds of pieces do you want to have more of (direct mail, email, banner ad)?
- What types of clients do you want to work more with (tech, finance, real estate, startup, Fortune 500, etc.)?
- Does your USP need updating?
Consider Your Connections
If you didn’t reach out to past clients and connections before the start of the New Year, it’s never too late to send a note and reconnect. (Of course, always consider how you can add value.)
Now is a good time to take stalk of relationships you’ve built and what new professional relationships you may want to explore.
- How many graphic designers are in your network? How many would you like to add to your network?
- What organizations for creatives and marketers/advertisers are in your area? What ones will you join?
- How many testimonials will you request from clients each month? How will you word that request?
- How many clients will you ask to refer you to their network?
Explore Professional Development Opportunities
The most successful professionals never stop learning. And, since you’re here, we’re willing to bet you’re one of them.
Consider your strengths and weaknesses as a copywriter. How can you lean into your strengths further?
How can you improve your weakness(es)? Are there trainings, conferences, or events you can attend to fill this learning gap?
If you ask me, part of what makes this time of year so exciting is the potential for positive transformation in the new year.
But guess what? True transformations don’t happen by accident. If you want an amazing 2023, you must PLAN for an amazing 2023.
What are your top three goals for a successful copywriting business plan in 2023? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on March 29, 2023
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