My Current SituationFollowing on from my last blog for Training Matchmaker with regards to what I wanted to focus my learning goals around, I am pleased to report plenty of success: I officially launched my Freelance Writing and Social Media service – “Written by Jillian Henning” after following guidance from Trainingmatchmaker.com on the many learning resources available to me online through portals such as makeitclick.com in addition to the government help and support available for individuals in Northern Ireland wishing to start a business – The Go For It programme, managed in my local area by Banbridge District Enterprise Agency.
WordPress WebsiteMy first learning and business objective was to master the art of a WordPress Business blog and I followed the Make It Click signpost to the wordpress home page. WordPress has a number of their own great resources and blogs related to setting up and maintaining a website, so I made good use of those learning opportunities in the support section as well as the sections titled expert tips and tutorials. TrainingMatchmaker.com Learning Facilitator Christine Watson also signposted me to a free online course by Hubspot ‘How to build a wordpress website using elementor‘. I really wanted to create a WordPress site for my freelance business but wanted to launch it when I figured out how to do it properly – with some official training and guidance. My lifestyle blog Henn at Home does not take much looking after in terms of updating etc. but I feel that a business blog is ever evolving and I wanted to know the basic ins and outs of what all could be done when choosing to use WordPress. I was able to add in media buttons and links to my socials with ease. I was also able to embed the graphics that I designed using canva into my wordpress website pages and posts.
Once I clicked the ‘Publish’ button I was extremely proud of myself.
Branding for BusinessMake it Click had a great link to Mastering Social Media via Canva which I watched. I found these several short videos useful in helping me decide what branding I wanted to develop for my freelance business. It made me consider what colours merge well together, what is pleasing on the eye and what colours typically signify for some people and this is something I had not thought of before.
I was able to create my business logo and social media graphics on Canva all for free. Its such a great tool to get started on.
Content CreationWhen it comes to creating social media graphics I definitely think Canva is hard to beat. Whilst I have had the opportunity to create some socials for my lifestyle blog, they have been quite basic. I wanted my brand visuals for Written by Jillian Henning to stand out, look clean and sharp and flow well together. Canva was able to do all this for me as it has a drag and drop function that worked so easily. After creating my logo, I was then able to merge this onto my social media posts at the click of a button. I was also able to save my brand colours which has made it so easy for me to change the background on templates I want to use or to assist creating brand new ones, consistent with my brand look and feel, on a blank canvas. One of the best features of Canva when designing your graphics is that the templates are already there for all the platforms so you don’t even have to think about what size an Instagram post should be or if the email footer you like will fit the space as its all measured and ready to go. It saves so much time and hassle.
Google Digital GarageGoogle Digital Garage is a platform in which 136 courses are offered plus webinars all for free based around social media, business strategy, concepts, and goal setting both in a business and personal sense. There is also the opportunity to do a certified accredited course in the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing which looks excellent. I have already completed a digital marketing short course via York St John University during furlough but I have dipped in and out of topics again on the Google Garage course to refresh my memory of some important topics to me whilst launching my freelance venture. I have completed several courses through Google Digital Garage from how to get my business online, to working out who my customer is, through to the power of networking and SEO optimisation. The make it click platform signposts aspiring learners to the ‘Speaking in Public’ course but the list of courses seems endless and I personally found them quite addictive as the information provided was to me invaluable, especially at this infancy stage of my business.
Digital ChampionsI have recently become a Digital Champion of TrainingMatchmaker. This means I have made a commitment to helping people learn new digital skills – be they beginners or indeed individuals who do have basic digital knowledge but wish to progress that on. As part of this programme of community support I completed a ‘How to be a Digital Champion’ course via the Learn My Way platform. Learn my way is a website of free online courses for beginners, helping people develop digital skills to make the most of the online world. After taking the Digital Champion course through Learn My Way my intention is to do some research and potentially launch a learning club for those that may want to progress their skills in social media.
NI Business Start Up Programme (NIBSUP) – ‘Go For It’NIBSUP provides a range of guidance, support, training and business clinics and ongoing support to help entrepreneurs develop and grow their business. I contacted my local Enterprise Centre and spoke with a business advisor who was able, via the Go For It programme, to help me start to piece together a business plan. I was able to access step by step advice and mentoring. A business plan is crucial to me at this stage of infancy as it covers objectives, strategies, sales, marketing, and financial forecasts that I need to move forward.
How I found learning with the guidance of TrainingMatchmaker.com on the makeitclick.com programme
From being furloughed at home with my two daughters to launching my dream freelance business, who would have thought these last few months could have been so positive for me. This dream only became a reality with the help provided from Make it Click and Training Matchmaker. Without the resources and knowledge pointing me in the right direction I don’t think I would have taken the leap so quickly. The love of learning worked in my favour and the more and more research I did and resources I utilised, l quickly realised it was now or never when my confidence was at an all time high. I do truly believe in not telling people what you are going to do but show them you can get on with it, take the chance in front of you and live the life you want for yourself. All it took was a world wide pandemic for me to take that chance.If you wish to continue to follow along with my Written by Jillian Henning Freelance Business development or have any questions about the services I provide please pop on over and connect with me on my Instagram. I have found networking to be so insightful and people really are willing to support you and cheer you along – a behaviour which I have found truly motivational.
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Hello there and Welcome! This is the first post on my new freelance page so in true form it has to be spectacular right? To stay true to myself I’ll just speak from the heart. Let me introduce myself. I’m Jillian Henning, a mum to two with an ice cream addiction and I can normally be found hanging around on @hennathome my Lifestyle blog. After many opportunities to guest blog and ghost write for other clients I have taken the leap to open my books to freelance work. I specialise in blogging for business and content creation for other blogs primarily but that’s not where my talents end. Why did I pick today for the big reveal? It’s #nationalfreelancersday of course so no better time. I can’t wait for you to join me as I take this creative leap and be sure to DM me for more information on opportunities I can provide for you or your business.