Small Business Showcase: John Espirian!

First to be featured in my ‘Small Business Showcase’ is relentlessly helpful technical copywriter John Espirian!
“Freelance life isn’t all caramel macchiatos and working from the beach. It’s hard and people need to know that.”
John responded to my request for small business owners to showcase themselves and their businesses on my blog to provide insight, advice and inspiration for others who are starting up/thinking of starting up their own small businesses – including me!
The idea originally formed because I was fascinated by people’s stories and reasons for setting up their own businesses and I wanted to learn as much as I could in order to educate myself for the benefit of my own business.
I wanted to find a way to ask the questions I wanted the answers to but I realised that if I was interested surely others were interested in the answers too! In addition, I wanted the businesses willing to share their stories to get something in return so I devised the ‘Small Business Showcase’ blog series which will give each small business featured promotion across social media. Win-win for everyone!
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The same 10 questions were posed to all small businesses (myself included!) via questionnaire – here are John’s replies:
1) How would you summarise the service(s)/product(s) your business offers?
I write website and blog content to help business owners explain how their products, services and processes work.
2) How long have you been a small business owner?
Since 2009.
3) What inspired you to set up your business?
When I finished my software testing and quality assurance position at an internet service provider, I knew I wanted to help people raise the standards of their written communication.
4) What platforms/strategies do you use to promote your business?
Aside from personal referrals, all my business comes from my website and LinkedIn, so it’s a combination of blog content that helps my site get found on Google and (hopefully) helpful updates on social media that draw in new work.
5) What do you consider your greatest business achievement so far?
Being #1 ranked on Google for my chosen keyword (‘technical writing services’) was pretty cool, as was my business appearing as a 4-page case study in Mark Schaefer’s 2017 book KNOWN.
Thank you to Heidi Media for the creation of this image & giving permission for its use in this post!
6) What do you consider your greatest business challenges?
Fitting it all in! Solo business owners have to wear so many hats, and outsourcing tasks takes a lot of trust – so most of us end up taking on everything ourselves. Freelance life isn’t all caramel macchiatos and working from the beach. It’s hard and people need to know that.
7) What resources/training have been most beneficial to your business so far?
Being a member of two marketing communities, ATOMIC and the Content Marketing Academy, has taught me a lot over the past 18 months.
8) What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting their own business?
Find your niche and prepare for a lot of work! If you’re creating web and social content to promote yourself, be consistent and don’t expect overnight results. Often, even a good plan can take many months to start showing results. Too many people give up too soon.
9) What are your future plans for your business?
Ultimately, it would be a book based on my concept of ‘relentlessly helpful marketing’.
10) Are there any other small businesses you would like to give a shout out to who have been an inspiration/support to you?
Too many to list them all! I love the web design advice that Martin and Lyndsay share on the Jammy Digital website.
Any other comments?
It’s great to see a platform for small business owners to share their experiences of the working world. Thanks for having me! If you’d like to keep in touch, wave hello on LinkedIn.
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My ‘Small Business Showcase’ blog series will be published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you would like to feature your small business too, please email me at penningandplanning@gmail.com.
Claire
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