Five Things I’ve Learned in Five Years of Six String Communications
It’s been five years since I started Six String Communications. Time sure flies when you’re running your own writing business.
From the beginning, I looked at Six String Communications as an editorial adventure. I didn’t know what that journey would look like or where it would lead me, but I can say now, after five years, it’s been quite a ride. I’ve encountered grammatical twists and turns, syntactical ups and downs, and a few hairpin typos along the way. Through it all I’ve learned a lot about running a small business.
To commemorate my anniversary, I’d like to share five key takeaways from being at the helm of Six String Communications.
1. Work Outside Your Comfort Zone. Before starting Six String Communications, I spent many years writing for a large videogame company, so it’s not surprising that many of my clients are in the gaming space. What has surprised me, however, has been the variety of my non-gaming clients.
Looking at the numbers, I’ve completed more than 300 projects for 40 different clients. About half of my clients are gaming companies. The rest come from industries such as heavy construction, home electronics, financial services, and automotive lubricants, to name a few. That’s right, lubricants!
Working for so many different clients has helped me to broaden the scope of my skills and increase my value to my current and prospective clients in any industry.
2. Be a Good Juggler. I’m an organized person, which is fortunate, because running a small business involves a tremendous amount of juggling to meet deadlines while staying on top of the many administrative duties that come with working for yourself.
This includes everything from tracking time on projects, to managing invoices and expenses, to purchasing and maintaining equipment, to promoting the business, and so on. You run the risk of sinking fast if you fall behind on any of these day-to-day tasks.
3. Be Available and Responsive. Running my own business means that I don’t always know when my services will be needed. That said, I take pride in being available and responsive to my clients at any time and no matter where I am (even when I’m on vacation).
Working while on vacation might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I look at it as a fair trade-off for having the flexibility to travel when and where I want.
For my business, there’s no great mystery to working successfully on the road. All I need is my trusty laptop, a fully charged phone, and stable connectivity.
4. Stay Connected. LinkedIn has been a great tool for me.
Referrals from those who know me best and know the quality of my work have been one of the biggest keys to my success. In fact, more than 90% of my business has come via former co-workers. Thank you!
5. Be a Secret Weapon. A long-time client likes to refer to me as his “secret weapon.” I can’t think of a greater compliment.
As a professional writer, I typically work behind the scenes as a ghostwriter to make my clients look good. Whether a project starts with a client’s rough draft or simply as a short phone conversation, I scrub, polish, and elevate the material into a well-crafted piece of writing—that’s what being a secret weapon is all about.
So, as I blow out the candles on my five-year anniversary cake, I want to thank everyone who’s supported me along the way, either by hiring me, by connecting me with prospective clients, or by simply sending along best wishes for my ongoing success. It’s greatly appreciated.
Looking ahead, I’m eager to see where my editorial adventure takes me next. If you or anyone you know is looking for writing and editing assistance, send me an email or give me a call. Six String Communications is standing by and ready to take on all your editorial needs.