I lost a long-time client this month – and I’m actually okay with it.
Don’t get me wrong, it hurts!
However, we are parting on good terms and I know she will be in good hands with her new editor.
It’s scary and no fun – but it had to be done
I had this client on an old pricing structure. She was a great client, always had her files to me 4 days before release, and paid her invoices timely.
But I was only making a profit of $20 per episode. That’s not good when Podcast Editing is your Full Time Job.
Earlier this week I posted about how difficult it was for me to send a client about raising her rates. Well, this was that client. It was scary, but I had to do it.
They needed a few days to look over my proposal (which still gave her a hefty discount for being such a great client). A week later, I got the message: “We will begin working with another editor”.
Fortunate for me, I know who the new editor is and it’s a perfect fit. But even if I didn’t know who the new editor would be, I knew this had to happen.
Congratulations. You are now a business owner
When Podcast Editing becomes your Full Time Job, you need to think like a business owner.
Marketing, branding, budgeting, profit & loss statements, TAXES (ugh!)… all this stuff falls in your lap.
…and as you are growing, you start to work more hours than if it were a 9-5 job.
That’s where I have been for over a year. I take advantage of the fact that I don’t have to commute and I get to be home all day (in my pajamas if I want).
The price of doing business this way is extra hours.
The 3 Things
A recent report from *RescueTime (an app on my computer that measures my activity in all sorts of ways) showed that I was on my work computer for 68 hours.
*affiliate link benefits Steve Stewart
68 hours in one week. Yikes!
And it’s not the first time I’ve logged that many hours. It’s been like this for weeks.
When you begin to work 68 hours a week, you need to make some hard decisions.
- Raise your rates on existing clients
- Fire/lose some clients
- Hire some help
Of course, all three are great ideas to still be profitable while working less.
With the client I am referencing above, I accomplished one of the 3 things you have to do when you make Podcast Editing your Full Time Job took place.
Reclaim your work-life-balance
When should you hire some help? That’s is a whole ‘nother can of worms that needs its own post!
For now, your action item is to do the following:
Step 1: Figure out how many hours you are working on your business
Use a tool like RescueTime to track your computer activity. *There is a free version which is great if you only use the computer for business activities.
Review the report to see where you are spending your time.
As you see above, I spent a lot of time communicating in email and Slack.
I also spent more than 4 hours in Facebook (Hello Podcast Editors Club friends!)
What I didn’t do enough of is Design & Composition (aka: editing!).
Use this valuable information as a game. See if you can improve your “score” by doing more editing and less playing.
Step 2: Raise rates on your least profitable clients
A study we did in the Podcast Editors Club Facebook group showed the average hourly rate editors earned was $40. You need to be making more than that if this is your full-time job.
Review how much time you spend. Another tracking program is **TimingApp. This should help you figure out how much time you spend editing each client. I haven’t used it yet but it looks powerful!
Contact clients who are the least profitable and raise your rates. Be prepared for an uncomfortable conversation or even a chance to lose them.
*affiliate link to benefit Jonathan Bailie Strong
Step 3: Become more efficient
One of the sessions we will have at the Podcast Editors Conference March 6th will be about processes and systems.
Jeni Wren Stottrup’s talk will focus on organizational systems and workflows. The piece about using DropBox Paper is what I’m most interested in!
Other resources are my Audacity Workshop (if you plan to use Audacity) or watch this 5-minute email about gmail tips that can save you tons of clicks.
Step 4: Set parameters
Turn off all notifications during times when you should be focused on editing.
There are a few apps that will keep you from accessing the internet or certain websites at times you choose, but ColdTurkey has to be the one with the most character 🙂
Another tip would be to set your own working hours. Remember that old 9-5 job you hated to start each day and tried to sneak out of 10 minutes before the end of the work day? Why aren’t you doing that now? But seriously, set hours for when you will work and when you won’t.
Work smarter, not harder
I hope all these tips are helpful. If there is something I missed or you know of an app that will help automate some stuff, leave it in the comments below.