Thursday, January 31, 2019

5 Things NEVER to do on LinkedIn | Entrepreneur

What is it with LinkedIn, that non of the other social media has been able to do?

It is that blue side of people.

(No, not the sad blue, but the professional blue.)

Other platforms are actually really good to reach consumers, but LinkedIn is a little different.

Yes, of course you can reach consumers too, but the main thing there is ...
That it is an amazing tool to reach out to bigger fish (companies).

It is especially relevant, if your company’s activities are on the Business-to-Business market.

Or if you are looking for a new job, new opportunities or just want to expand your network.

In this post, I will tell you things you should NEVER do on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a little tricky and therefore it is very hard for new people on the platform to figure out what to do and whatnot.

This is for you!

The power of using LinkedIn right.
Picture by Geralt

1. Sending invitations without messages

Everyone one has done this!
It is only okay in the situation, when you have meet the person and you know that he/she knows about you and you guys are going to be meeting many times to come.

Otherwise, do not do it!

Just add a small personal message.

It is not that hard!
And you give the person a much better presentation of yourself, then just letting your profile to speak for itself.

And trust me, it is not everyone, who has profiles that actually show their talent.

Wouldn't you rather just use a couple of minutes to write a short message then risk being ignored?

It might be your next big opportunity.

Maybe the person knows a person, who can get you that job you are interested in.

2. Sending sales messages, as soon as accepted

This is just like being shot by a bazooka!
I mean ... I am sitting here like, "Oh cool, an interesting person!"
HOWEVER as soon as I accept.
I receive a message, something like this ...
'Hi Hafsa, 

Are you interested in buying bla bla bla ...'

Just stop doing that.

I don't want this kind of person to be in my network.

I don't want to be sold something.

I want to connect to interesting people!

If you have to sell me something, then do it in a proper manner!

I want you do make me like you, your product and believe that the price is actually right and you are not just trying to rip me off!

3. Just posting stuff and not interacting with others

You just want to post and not interact with others.
You just want people to click on your links, like your post and comment.

Yeah ... just remember if you really want to have people like you, you need to make them notice you, with kindness, be helpful and a little witty.

You will become top of mind.

Think about it.

Why would you remember a person?

He/she is noticeable by ...

  • popping up in the comments you see.
  • him/her sharing relevant posts/articles.
  • seeing the person help others.
  • remembering he/she helped you, when you needed help.
  • getting recommended by others you trust.
  • seeing that person as an expert - this one is hard to reach but worth it!
  • and properly something else.

But you have gotten my point right?
You need to become this person!

It will open so many opportunities for you!

4. Expecting something in return

This actually goes for everything you do.
Never ever expect anything in return for what good you do for others.

If you do ... you won't be able to do it for very long.

You will simply loose the motivation and drive for doing it.

Make this a life-rule!

You will find yourself feeling satisfied with yourself and won't need anything from others.

If someone does do something good for you be happy about it.

See it as a nice gesture.
And don't expect that person to do it again.

If he/she does it again.

Just enjoy it.

5. Have a poor picture

This one is very common.
Please just think about your image.

Do you want to look like someone who just woke up or a party-person?

Or someone who is professional, presentable and approachable?

The latter, right?

Just get one taken by a professional or just have someone at home take it.

It is easy now.
You just need a one-color-background and a smartphone.


   Hafsa Farooq
   Freelance Copywriter
   Digital Marketer

P.S. Want to connect with me on LinkedIn? 

Yes, that sounds interesting!

P.P.S. If you are already connected with me, cool! 

I have over the past years deleted all the spammers and profiles who are only about selling me stuff!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Never start anything, without doing this budget first | Entrepreneur

Money can go so fast, you might not even realize you have used it all up. Therefore, budget!
Picture by Stevepb

I am dead serious!

When you are going to startup, you will need a startup budget. There are many templates out there but the one I use is these budgettemplates, which I have modified myself. 

This is a version I used for my first online store. The numbers are fictional but I tried to make them a little realistic. 

This budget is not only for when you startup a company. This is also, for when you need to start a new project, even in your private life.
  • For example when remodeling your old house or when buying a new one. 
This ways you will get a good overview of the money going out of the company or your pocket. It is very easy to use, you just have to plot in your numbers, and it will total it all for you.

If you do add a new line, make sure to add it in the calculation otherwise, you will get a wrong total.

Importance of budgeting

It is very important to use a budget. If you don’t you, will probably go over budget and not have any idea of how you used all that money at once.

It is also a guideline for you, to make sure that you have the money, before you start using them on other things.

Never ever

Never use money you don’t have. Unpredictable things happen all the time, like ...
  • You didn’t sell enough
  • You had to buy something expensive
  • You bought too much on credit and don’t have money to pay
  • You might have a break-in
  • Or something else unpredictable 

Bonus tip

Maybe you have heard many entrepreneurs say that you should always multiply your budget with a number of times. Some say three, others five, some even ten.

I think this is a very hard thing to specify since it depends on the type, size, etc. of your company and how cost effective you are.

I think multiplying first year’s budget with five to seven and then later years with two to three gives a good overview.

Again, it does depend on how many expenses are connected to your type of company.
After doing a startup budget, you should do an operating budget for the first three years. It will give you a goal and an overview of the company. Read more about it why and how on X2Writers blog.

   Hafsa Farooq
   Freelance Copywriter
   Digital Marketer

P.S. Want to get to know me personally? Follow me on Instagram @HafsaFarooqX2

P.P.S. Here is the link to my budget templates. Get to it, now!

No strings attached!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

7 Pros and cons for keeping your bedtime routine | Entrepreneur

First of all, I apologize for not writing as much as I used to. I will try to be more constant from now on.

Even if I am just writing mumbo jumbo.
Kidding ... of course.
Do you really think I would waste your time?
Do you?!

Ok, I got that out of my system.
Now to the serious part.

I have earlier written about how to better your sleep quality. This is the one, I am blabbing about: 

I concentrated the post on how to get the right sleep. Now I will tell you about the pros and cons about when you keep to your routine.

This is not only for you but a reminder for myself too. Lately, I have started a messed up routine. - I do not plan to continue this way. 

Let us start with the pros. 

When to wake up and when to sleep.
Picture by Geralt


1. Your internal clock starts working right

After two weeks’ time and you keeping to your sleeping routine, your body should be used to it. That will make you wake up at you own most likely, before you alarm clock goes off. 

Which not only gives you an amazing feeling, but also it will not make you so cranky, since your sleep was not disturbed. 

2. More time to do be effective

You feel like you finally have time to get things done. When you feel like it, you will actually get more things done. 

3. You get extra time 

Finally, you will start to have extra time to do the things you want, whether it is to read, write, film, draw, reflect, spend more time with your loved ones or whatever you like to do. 

4. Feeling more driven and motivated

Yes, amazingly, you will start to feel like you are actually doing something positive and using your time wisely. 

This will also make you believe more in yourself and before you know it, you will be looking back and thinking, 'Huh? Have I really become so far, already?' 

5. More willing

You will have more energy and you will suddenly be able to help others or finally do things, you have been putting off.


6. You can't break your routine

If you break your sleeping routine, it is hard to get back at it again. You need to be consistent and sometimes you will have to be the mood killer, but it is for your best. 

If it is necessary, you can only be one hour late for bed. That is it. It will happen that you break your routine. When it happens, you have to get back on it as soon as possible. 

No late parties! Yes, it means no late parties or a night out. It might sound boring, but having fun, does not equal staying up all night. 

7. Get up, even if you slept bad

It will happen that you cannot fall asleep, especially in the beginning. 

When you get up at the same time every morning you will start to be able to sleep at the same time, every night. 

Remember: It takes about two weeks for at person to get used to a permanent routine. It takes patience and sacrifice.

This is how you get most out of the day

We all have the same 24 hours every day. What we do with them, is what counts. 
Getting better sleep and be fresh every day, makes you work wonders.  

   Hafsa Farooq
   Freelance copywriter
   Digital Marketer

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Backstage part 2: Unhealthy entrepreneur life, reflection | Entrepreneur

Reflection on unhealthy entrepreneur living.
Picture by 5688709
You might wonder, why I wrote those two scenarios.

If you do not know what I mean, you should read my post:

On both scenarios

You might be single or with someone. It makes a difference.

If you are lucky enough to be with someone who understands you and you are able to talk to, but you are still going down the wrong path, you need to take a step back and figure out, if you keep want to hurt yourself and your loved one.

If you are single, you need someone in your life to tell you to take that step back; otherwise, you are going on hurting yourself.

I will be that person, at this moment.
For both of you.

Breakdown, stress, heart attack and worse

There are many examples that living can be stressful.

Some people, need a job, but cannot get one.
Some people, struggle all their life with money.
Some people have deadly diseases.
Some people, are under so much stress, that they breakdown.
Some people get mental issues.
Some people work so hard, that it becomes the end of them.

We all react differently to different kind of pressure.
And we all have different issues.

That is why it is important to know yourself and your body.
Know your limits.
And don't cross them.

I do not remember the name, but he is a very successful Danish entrepreneur. My guess is he is in his forties.

He has a pacemaker.
I do not think that needs a comment. You know why one gets a pacemaker.

Cherish life

Life is a fragile thing and it is our job to make sure we make the best of it.

Enjoy yourself.
Enjoy the small wins.
Enjoy your surroundings.
Enjoy the things to come.

Do not run so hard for a while, that you collapse right before reaching your goal.

Lift your foot from the gas pedal and put on the cruise control.

Taking care of your loved once, starts by taking care of yourself.

   Hafsa Farooq
   Freelance copywriter
   Digital Marketing Consultant

P.S. Signup to my private newsletter, and get what is going on with me, first!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Always think of Him | Muslimpreneur

Remembering Allah. Dhikr and a dasbhi.
GIF by Hafsa Farooq (me)
It is not a secret that I am a Muslim entrepreneur. So sometimes, my understanding of a situation or reaction is different than you would normal think.

As an entrepreneur is it hard to always keep the same motivation, even when you are winning.

For me, it is important to stay humble and stay focused, so this is something that helps me.

Instead of writing a long post, I decided just to sum it all up in a small poem.

By 'Him' I mean Allah  (The most High), God that is.

Think of Him

When in doubt, think of Him.
When in pain, think of Him.
When successful, think of Him.
When in bankruptcy, think of Him.
When happy, think of Him.
When sad, think of Him.
When scared, think of Him.
When in peace, think of Him.
When full of life, think of Him.
When lost, think of Him.
When in love, think of Him.
Always, think of Him.

- Hafsa

P.S. Get updated by me, by signing-up to my newsletter.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

I know, you will never like me | Humanity

Not as lonely as you think - I know, you don't like me.
Picture by Harunmovsisyan
Since I was little, you didn't like me. 
I don't know why. 

You would always say something to hurt me and my parents. 

Many times did my family leave crying, from your house. 

At one point my sister didn't want to visit you anymore.
She didn't like it. 
You would always say something to hurt us.
She is the oldest, so she understood more than I. 

My parents had to pay her to visit your house. 

It's just me you don't like. 
Everyone else you are fine with. 

You don't like the way I speak or the sound of my voice. 

The way I walk. 
The way I dress. 
The way I think. 
The way I breathe. 

I remember once. 

It was some time after I had finally finished high school after such a hard battle with many school changes and many teachers who were just like you. 

My parents were so proud. 

So were my siblings. 

The whole family was together at your house. - 
This was sometime after my celebration. We were talking and you said "That's not a real high school." My cousin asked why and you said "It's just not real high school in my eyes." - Even when it is. 

My older sister heard it all but she was scared to say anything, so there wouldn't be a new fight. 
Why so much hate? 
Why so much hurt?

You did a lot of hurtful stuff to us. 

But now, before anyone can do it to your children, you stop.  

You spread false rumors about my siblings and I. 

Fill our ears against each others. 
Say you will help if needed. 

When my sister asked you for help. 

You didn't. 

I know what you are. 

We know what you are. 

I know you hate me.

I know you will always hate me. 

Just remember. 

The only reason I see you is because we are family. 

It is supposed to mean something. 

Something you haven't shown me. 

I am sorry. 

Sorry for not being perfect. 
Sorry for you too. 

- A letter

P.S. My life is not as lonely as you would think. 

Thursday, February 09, 2017

How to write your best blog post - Step-by-Step guide | Entrepreneur

Step-by-Step guide - How to write your best blog post.
Picture by Kaboompics
Do you want to know how to make your blog post?

The answer is probably yes, since you are here.

Many entrepreneurs out there either do not know how to write a blog post or do not think it is important.

I will not go into how and why it is important. - You probably know.

This one is for you!

I will go through each step, one by one for writing this post.

This is how I do it.

1. Step: Getting the idea
This can happen everywhere. For example:
  • On the toilet
  • While you are eating
  • About to sleep
  • Socializing
  • Reading 
  • Or anywhere else.

Make sure to write it down as soon as possible, since you probably do not have the time to write right away.

2. Step: Research 
If you do not have any knowledge about the subject then do some research by Googling it. Use Googles settings and search tools, this way you will get the best and most accurate results.

The key here is being critical, since everyone has access to write practically anything on the internet.

Even if you know almost everything about the subject, it is still a good thing to do some research first.

3. Step: Brainstorm 
For beginners this is an important step, even if it sounds boring. - You need to know what is important and filter the unimportant part out.

If you do not know how to do a brainstorm, here is how you do it:
  • Take a piece of A4 paper and a pen.
  • Write the subject in the middle.
  • Write every word, which comes into your mind down and draw a line from the subject. 
  • If you can, then make sure to connect the connected words. 

As you get more used to writing, this step will automatically happen inside your head and you will not have the need to do a brainstorm.

4. Step: Make notes
Now it is time to find out what is important and to only choose the most necessary information, which you want to give your reader.

Put them as bullet points and then put them in order. Under each bullet point, you can add points; you might need it to go into extra detail.

For this post, my notes looked like this: 
  • brainstorm/notes
  • Find a picture
  • intro
  • write the post/ what is on your mind
  • break
  • read trough - does it make sense at all? 
    • cut back - remove unnecessary words
  • Sections and headlines 
    • Shift places if needed
  • Make important things pop
  • Leave
  • Proofread L
  • publish 
  • Proofread again
  • Proofread after one day
    • Share on social media etc.
And yes, they probably do not make sense for anyone else. - The thing is, that only you need to know what they mean.

Yes, it does not matter if there are spelling mistakes.

5. Step: Find your picture
Now you have enough information to find or take the perfect picture. I usually use Pixabay to find royalty free pictures, even though there are many other sites. Here are 73 different sites.

6. Step: Write your post
It is finally time to write. For me, this is the best part. I can in an hour or two write a thoroughly worked post, like this one.

Take each bullet point and write everything important about it. Try to get your message across to the reader as much as possible. It is all right if it does not make sense.

7. Step: Take a break
Time to take a break. Take five minutes making tea, coffee or do something else.

Personally, I like to take a break to do a prayer, make a cup of tea or go check my social media. The last one takes too much time.

8. Step: Read it critically
Come back to your work and read it as critically as possible. Ask questions like:
  • Does it help?
  • Would I understand this, if I did not know anything about it? 
  • Try to include the reader by asking questions.
  • Use the word "you" to target the reader. 
If something does not help, simply delete it. This is also when you are supposed to remove extra words like: really, very, actually, already etc.

Your reader is not dumb and can understand you, even if you use fewer words.  

9. Step: Sections and subheads
If you remember what is where, you can just make sections and subheads. If not, just read it again and while reading, make the sections and subheads.

Having sections and subheads gives your reader a better overview of the post and gives them the illusion that they are not reading as much as they are.

If you have a text without sections and subheads, few are going to read it. - It simply looks too overwhelming.

  • Sometimes it gives more sense that one section is first, so now is the time to move the sections around, if needed. 

10. Step: Bold, underline and italic
Make important things catch the readers eyes by making it bold, italic, underline or mixed. It draws attention to it and the reader will most likely read it twice. - It will sink in.

But do not overuse it.
Your post will look too overworked.

11. Step: Another break
Yes, time for another break. Take a minimum of 15 minutes. Now social media is a good idea. - You need to think of something completely different.

12. Step: Proofread loudly
Time to proofread your post. This is very boring for me and even if I do it more than once, sometimes basic words gets misspelled because I already know what is supposed to be there.

By doing it loudly, you can hear the mistakes. - I usually read to any person next to me. They can also tell me if something is unclear.

13. Step: Publish
Yep, it is time. Just press it. Even if you think, there are mistakes in the post.

14. Step: Proofread it again 
Yes, again. In addition, make sure someone is listening to you this time. Now it is available for everyone on the internet!

15. Step: Proofread next day

This is the last time. Just repeat step 12 or 14. When done, you are now ready to share it on your social media.

That is it!

- Hafsa

P.S. I would love to read your post after you have read this step-by-step guide. Send me a link on my Facebook page @HafsafarooqX2 and I will read it.