“Mental Health at Work”, a summary

“You don’t need to rush. You’re doing a lot just being here with me.”

– Dad, poorly and 71

I’ve tried not to be overly personal with any of these posts because I’m here as a professional –

But “mental health at work” is a thing, and it could be deemed appropriate or acceptable for me to discuss some of the human challenges which influence my journey as a start up (and low budget) business owner.

I have once shared that long-term unemployment can leave you very isolated. Without the cash to go out and enjoy good times with friends, nor pay for presents or holidays, let alone contribute fairly to normal things like food and fuel, connections quickly begin to breakdown.

I’ve met a couple of women I’ve cared about very much, and been unable to develop healthy or equal relationships with them. The second woman I actually warned in advance that I didn’t know when I would be back in employment (and so was unsuitable for a relationship), and we had a bad relationship for a long while before mutually agreeing we were no good.

I remember my nan always told me, “Make sure you have your own money”, and I did manage that for some years before illness and mild disability struck.

And now I can choose to look at myself and see “Failure”, or I can see “Survivor”.

Either way, I’m broke. My CV is shot, my connections are mostly dead and I’m introducing my unemployed but self-employed self much like a girl shouting down a dark corridor hoping that somebody at the end might be listening.

And all of that can make you despondent, or determined –

And I’m determined. My determination is tempered (or interfered with) by such as “imposter syndrome”, but any self-appraising individual can be guilty of accusing themselves of occasionally not being up to the task at hand.

But nothing ventured, nothing gained:

None of us has the time to tell ourselves, “I’ll never be able to do this”. If we only live once, then why not put our all into our one go at life?

I can find a pit and shrivel up and die in it, or I can say, “Sod everything – I’m alive and healthy enough, and I’m going to keep fighting.”

And that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll just have to keep jabbering into the ether and trust that if I cast a wide enough net, healthy leads will follow.

I hope that whoever reads this post will not think less of me for sharing what I have labelled as “human challenges”.

Nobody has a straight path through life or maybe not even through their career, and I only have sought to share a piece of mine –

My business exists to strengthen the work of entrepreneurs similar to me: Those who are striving and who could benefit from accessible, skilled support in order to help their business be as successful as it can be.

I’m Ruth and I do digital marketing through copywriting –

Feel free to get in touch and introduce yourself and your business!

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Business tools and a need for Resourcefulness

An IMPOSTER in the world of copywriting without a degree, but I do have a few significant things in my favour…

Although it is my dearest wish to be able to produce videos with subtitles – especially for my business English section – I will have to wait until I can purchase the app subscription… *sigh* Gosh, there are a few apps which would be useful for content creation but with payment barriers I cannot commit to yet. I’ll have to wing it –

Pottermore sorted me into house Slytherin and that means I’m supposed to be resourceful, right? Well, I am! And I won’t be discouraged by limited app choices…

I remember being at university in 2012/13 and the professors were still using ye olde overhead projectors and felt tips, but we still learnt! So, I’ll just have to adapt around limited tools – but I’ve been doing that from the beginning, so it’ll be fine. 😉

I mention this because it is obvious to anyone with seeing eyes that my visual social media content is not professionally done – and I would love to outsource these tasks but that is not an option yet either. SO, it’s “make do” and “do your best” until my seedlings bloom! And isn’t it that way for so many business owners… I’m a writer, not a graphic designer or a videographer…

I know I’ve discussed this before – but I have felt the pangs of not-unlimited funds today, and the shadow of imposter syndrome had lurked close-by, but I turned from it. I’m much too stubborn to engage regularly in that kind of worry – I’m also much too creative and optimistic to be restrained by a half-full purse.

For my planned Business English Instagram, I wish to provide subtitled videos especially, but if I can’t, well I’m just going to have to do something clever –

Maybe, I’ll post a video, closely followed by some slides containing vocabulary etc relating to that video. 

I’m thinking I should get a mini whiteboard but maybe that’s too maths class 2005. But I have to do something – I recognise the importance of being able to watch a video without the sound on, I do it most the time on social media.

Also, in all honesty, I don’t have time for lengthy video editing etc, I’ve got copywriting introductions to make and clients to gain – I have recently seen a very interesting video on creating personalised video introductions to potential clients though. One was made for me and I was taken aback for a moment before realising that it was certainly an effective personal touch.

Needless to say, I have only scratched the surface of social media and content creation techniques and I will be spending many more hours upskilling and creating further, better, content. My progress will of course be limited due to other tasks, but I hope that all visitors to my social media channels and website will soon benefit from a greater variety of improved visual content.

I’m also painfully aware of my need for greater storytelling, and I will share that I am cautious how to approach this –

I have not hidden the challenges I have faced nor the reality which is these 6 years of unemployment. And as an individual, my greatest success has simply being surviving this difficult period. That really is the strongest story I have so far relating to this business, but for a while now I have been unsure if my story is either appropriate or if it can be used to promote the legitimacy and value of my business, and myself as a person and professional.

I suppose these concerns haven’t filtered through into my blog content, which is full of personal history and thoughts and feelings –

But to use them in my startup marketing strategy, it seems a risk. But can’t I afford to take a risk at the beginning? 

As I have noted, my services are for those who are striving.  Those who’ve overcome many obstacles in order to build their small business – 

I am one of these small business owners. An IMPOSTER in the world of copywriting without a degree, but I do have a few significant things in my favour – direct marketing experience, voluntary copywriting experience, a diploma in copywriting itself, resilience and determination.

I can’t re-write history, and I wouldn’t try to. But a clearer way forward would be good, though I know that’s as likely as  hoping to alter the past.

In reception (1994-95) we had a teacher who would add adjectives before our names during the register, and I was always “Ravishing Ruth”! I loved this description of my 5-y-o self, I never forgot it, but now I would like to proffer the name, “Relentless Ruth” –

I’ll get to Victory Road. It may take a lot more patience and wrangling, but in the illustrious words of 50 Cent, I will:

“Get rich or die tryin’”

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Reflections – Small Business Excellence

Who is this ‘Ruth Klempner’, and what does she want?

I feel I have certainly been asking too much of successful small business owners to share some of their story on my website – as I acknowledged in a previous post, “Ruth Klempner Copywriting” is as yet a relative unknown…

But this just means the soil is ripe for me to start making my mark, and there are a thousand avenues to follow.

Yes, I will look for individuals and creatives who are striving, and I will begin to create marketing around this theme –

I recently uploaded a video to Instagram in which I described the short story of how flogging broadband led me to copywriting – it was an honest and authentic little bit about local copywriter me!

Needless to say, video and presenting are not my forte, but I know I need to show my face –

“Who is this ‘Ruth Klempner’, and what does she want?”

I hear unsuspecting small business owners across Sheffield already ask, and I reckon that thus far, that’s as much of an introduction as I could hope for.

No, many don’t have time to contribute to this random copywriters website, but now at least: They know my NAME, and know I’m some sort of business writer. It’s like handing out a business card (I need to get some of those done too…)

How else may I share my name and my area of business? Well, how indeed… They’ll be some ‘thinking outside the box’ which need occurring…

I can think of a few experimental things.

I should certainly make some more videos, maybe I’ll even add subtitles like a proper social vlogger – videos are great opportunities anyway for potential customers to judge your face and your manner…

Very importantly, videos allow others to “meet you” without actually requiring an input from them. It is TRUST BUILDING (or image demolishing – depending upon how questionable your videos are…)

But let us be OPTIMISTIC!

NO, my video is not professionally done and I am not in some posh office somewhere

YES, THIS IS ME. I’m living at home with my dad, I’ve hijacked my sister’s old room and have turned it into my office –

I’m NOT SEXY, I’m a copywriter introducing her thus far modest self.

I can’t pretend to be anything other than what I am and so I haven’t tried to, nor do I need to.

It bruised my ego for a lot of years to be the only person e.g. in my family without a degree, let alone the multiple degrees my immediate family members all have –

I can let the super experienced copywriters and Instagrammers quake my ego and restrict my introductions or activity, or I can do my best with the skills and influence I have…

SO – it’s time for me to be more creative and open-minded than I’ve ever been. I need to INSPIRE others to give my business a go – so I will muse upon that, and meanwhile, I will continue to make my introductions…

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Law of Averages

The first lesson we learnt in flogging broadband, Speak to as many people as you can.

Today I’ve been firing out messaging inviting small business owners to contribute to Small Business Excellence –

I’m very optimistic! Despite the concerns I mentioned in my previous post about not quite having sussed my target audience, I realised that I didn’t need to second guess any local business, I just need to offer the opportunity.

I do need to find the individuals starting out or without much help, those striving creatives with so much to share –

And if some well established local businesses can show some interest, then wonderful! I can see it all in my mind’s eye –

It’s going to be great. I just need to apply the Law of Averages:

The first lesson we learnt in flogging broadband, Speak to as many people as you can.

Obvious? Yes. But we all have a need to be EFFICIENT in order to be EFFECTIVE –

My efficiency will be determined by how accurately I identify potential contributors, AND how well I can tailor my messages to them. There is still the same basic (shortened) message:

Hi guys, I’m a fellow local business owner and member of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry –

I’m inviting all small local businesses to receive a free (no strings) single or multiple page feature on my digital marketing and copywriting website, www.ruthklempner.com.

Visit the website and you’ll find the menu link:

Small Business Excellence (SBE)

I’m a copywriter, and in SBE I intend to publish single and multiple page features (including social media and backlinks) on successful small and/ or independent businesses around South Yorkshire.

I offer these as a courtesy and as a way to introduce my self and my local copywriting business 🙂

Explore the website and DM if you fancy a free feature with backlinks!

Thanks for your time 👍

Ruth Klempner

Which I hope is friendly and informative without being too wordy…

I have also sought advice from the business advisors at Business Sheffield/ Welcome to Sheffield, since some prodding in the right direction would be a great help – in the meantime, I’ll continue to be driven by initiative and deliberation.

To be driven accurately by RESEARCH would be great, but I haven’t seen any other copywriter attempt to do what I’m doing –

But I’m a freak, I’m a weirdo…

Radiohead

And I was always interested in (my own definition of) “representative journalism” – the stories, feelings and happenings of normal, everyday people, or in this case, everyday small business owners.

Those individuals who have made their own path, and whose stories are therefore unpredictable.

Lets see if we can discover any of those stories in the coming weeks 🙂

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“Ruthless” Mode Enabled

I have to offer value, benefits and if I can, I need to build trust…

After much planning and assessing, re-making and re-planning, I am now again at the stage of throwing caution to the wind and pushing forward –

What happened last time? Well, you may remember from some of my previous posts:

My target audience was right but my message was wrong. 

Now, my task is to engage directly with small and independent businesses particularly across South Yorkshire:

  • I want to communicate the value of my Small Business Excellence section and the absolutely free/ no strings promotion it offers 
  • I need to introduce myself and my businesses as widely and effectively as possible 

I can keep planning the “right way” to do that or I can steam ahead with the best plan I have right now –

  • Sort my website
  • Find successful and inspiring small businesses 
  • Say hi and introduce the free promo!

It would be great to be able to connect via video call, and ideally I’d love to meet small business owners and visit their premises –

But one step at a time… I do have to think about the trial and error aspect of even the best laid plans…

Just because something’s free, doesn’t mean people are going to be interested in it. I have to offer value, benefits and if I can, I need to build trust…

I hope value and benefits can be seen in the free, locally-focussed internet space and backlinks which I am offering, and I hope to build trust through the relevant, informative and diverse content which already makes up my website, and through my offer to discuss business owners’ free features further via video call…

I hope the Pacific will be as blue as it has been in my dreams

Red

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…

John Lennon

Got a zoom in the afternoon

Saweetie

Ok, enough quotes –

But you understand my eager and anxious anticipation…

As a kind copywriter friend said to me, “You have to break into the orbit…”

My first attempt ended abruptly with the wrong messaging as no one realised what copywriting was – as I said previously myself, several years ago, I didn’t even know what it was …

This was my error – I had not anticipated this problem with my messaging.

My current attempt, I HOPE, will be a bit more successful –

And I am EXCITED to be able to build my free feature pages as I will learn so much about different businesses, their stories and their needs – and so will all other VISITORS and business owners who are eager to learn more about the goings on in local, South Yorkshire, small business!

But enough talk – I need to make the Small Business Excellence page look a bit more inviting, I’ll get Canva onto it…

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