For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a big fan of yea-in-review type content. I used to buy magazines that would remind me of all the major events that happened throughout the year – from celebrity weddings to natural disasters. This year, apart from Lily Allen and David Harbour getting married by an Elvis impersonator, any and all weddings were cancelled or postponed. And disasters, both natural and manmade, caught our attention like never before.
My own career, which I was in the midst of restoring when COVID-19 reached our shores, took a new course. For years, I told myself I wasn’t gutsy enough to work for myself full-time. That I didn’t have the entrepreneurial spirit that such a bold move requires. Sometimes tough circumstances force us to try something new and scary.
Thanks to wonderful mentors, friends, family and former colleagues, AllisonWebster.ca became a reality. I wanted an office with a view, and I got a dining room table near a window and that was good enough! Actually, it’s perfect.
While I had been freelancing as a side hustle since I graduated university in 2007, this year was the first time I ventured to make it my fulltime gig. The gig economy is tough – you rely on clients for steady work. So, I knew that the only way to grow was to gain more clients.
There were of course setbacks. I wasn’t the only one who’s career was rocked by the pandemic. This meant clients required less work from me, and some ended the partnership altogether. But I won’t let these losses define me or my goals. There were plenty of wins, too.
I gained new and exciting clients who recognized that digital content was the way to triumph over this new set of business challenges. Connecting to your audience online became more important than ever in 2020.
While many of us have grown to dislike the word “pivot,” it does perfectly encapsulate what many leaders had to do to stay relevant in a changing economy. You have to meet your people where they are, and in 2020, the people were online.
The Gift of Time
Many of my clients, old and new, decided to do great things with their time during the periods of shutdown. Some realized their websites weren’t serving them well and it was time for a revamp. Others knew that they would have to promote more online services and would need content to showcase that. And since many small business owners aren’t digital content professionals, they had to turn to someone who is – me!
I took on the burden of improving digital communication for many of my clients this year. I helped them stand out and highlight their talents, skills and accomplishments. I helped usher them into the new normal while I navigated it myself.
They helped me as much as I helped them. I am not just a contracted service provider – I’m a trusted partner. I am your collaborator. I’m your writer, editor, voice and brand in many cases. And this is what I’ve come to love about this job that I’ve made for myself. I like working with exciting businesses run by bright minds. I take pride in helping them succeed.
- The Stylo Hair Salon & Barbershop social media platforms went from roughly 100 followers each to over 400 in less than a year. This included two lockdowns where the business was closed.
- Created, maintained and wrote for the Terry Fox Run Burlington blog, Terry Fox Lives in Burlington. I interviewed dozens of Terry Foxers from the area.
- Gained several new clients, such as Staff Shop, who put their trust in me to transform their blog and/or website.
- Expanded my knowledge of design to create eye-catching social media images to pair with captions for clients.
- Worked hard and never gave up – even when the going got very tough!
Thank you for your support in 2020. Hopefully the coming year brings on fresh challenges that I will take on with confidence and humility.
Happy New Year!