I have been gone for quite some time. 6 months to be exact. I feel as though I am starting over at the very beginning of my business journey and speaking to an entirely new audience. It makes me a tad nervous. It makes me wonder if I should continue to break or if the time has finally come to jump back into the game. But I feel as though I’m ready.
I haven’t left the social media world entirely during my break. I did have about 3-4 months where I did nothing. However, my love for social media and blogging, as well as, my passion to help others kicked in.
I’ve been working behind the scenes with a dear friend of mine. Her offer couldn’t have come at a better time. I needed it and she needed assistance. I’ve been doing a variety of Virtual Assisting tasks ranging from creating Facebook promotional content for brand pages, a bit of ghostwriting, and of course my beloved blog management.
Let me tell you, I’ve really missed it!
One thing that has really helped me through my sabbatical was keeping in touch via Twitter and Facebook. My former clients continue to pass referrals to me for blog assistance and web design.
I am forever thankful!
As I slowly come back into the scene and rebuild my business, I’d like to share a few tips with you for not totally isolating yourself from your audience and your clients.
Announce your sabbatical
Don’t be shy about it. Your clients want to know the real you. They have ups and downs in their lives just like you do.
I announced my sabbatical on Facebook, Twitter, and my blog. I felt my audience and friends needed to know what was happening in my life and that I may not be readily available to assist them.
However, we all know that these social media channels won’t reach everyone so when I was contacted via email or other various ways, I kindly let them know I was not accepting new work due to health issues.
Keep in touch
If at all possible, keep in touch with your online world. Utilize your social media channels as much as you can during your departure. If you can, hire a Virtual Assistant to help you keep your brand in the limelight.
I know it’s not always feasible, but maybe even a good friend can assist you so you’re not left in the dark.
Believe it or not, your friends, clients, and audience do care.
Take all the time you need
I started to get stir crazy around month four. Trust me, I was a hot mess and could not focus on anything. Thanks to my beloved furchild for the therapy and I managed to get through.
Don’t feel pressured to come back before you’re ready because you are bound to fail. Regroup your thoughts. Meditate. Destress yourself. Come back when you are passionate about getting started.
I know quite a few bloggers that have left the online world entirely. Whether it was for personal reasons or to tackle a new journey, it was something they had to do for them.
Too often we worry about others and not taking time for self-care. It is imperative to take as much time as you need and if you don’t return, don’t beat yourself up over it.
Life is a journey. Seize the opportunities.
Returning to your business
After your sabbatical, hopefully, you had time to think about what your mission is and how you would like to reach your goals. If you don’t have a plan, you’re not ready to return.
I’ve thought about my business and what I want to do. Quite frankly, I keep getting pulled back to web design because there are so many bloggers out there that need affordable services. Web Design wasn’t my first choice in coming back but thanks to a few former clients who needed assistance, I decided I can’t possibly not help. However, streamlining the web design service is what I wanted to do. I want to keep it basic and not elaborate.
Continuing to make WordPress theme alterations is a plus. I find there is a huge need for bloggers wanting to change-up minor things in their blog and not having the know-how or being timid in trying on their own. Believe me, I’ve hosed many of my blogs back in the beginning. I understand the fear.
I enjoy the social media work I’m doing for one of my clients. I believe this may be a service I will offer in the very near future.
And of course, blog management, which can come in a variety of shapes and forms for those in need.
Ultimately my goal is to keep it simple and stress-free. I’m only taking on so many clients and projects in order to allow for the new lifestyle I’ve created. I’m in a very happy place right now and plan on staying here.
However, I can’t be totally happy unless I’m helping others.
It feels good to be back but enough about me. I would love to know if you’ve taken a long sabbatical from your business and how, if at all, you managed to come back. Share your thoughts below and hopefully help others that may be shying away from their return. 😉