I’m Back from Self-Imposed Exile!

I’m back from self-imposed exile!

It’s been a long time since I’ve written here. Truthfully, it’s because of lack of time in many ways. As you all know, I work a regular 9-5 job and that means it takes time from being able to consistently blog here. I have been able to keep up with my new blog, which I will be launching very soon. Okay, enough babbling on. Let me share with you what I’ve been up to as of late!

First, I have been furthering my freelance education. To me, education is very important even when you own your own business. I have signed up for a course on transcription, retaken a couple of classes on being a great virtual assistant and also retaken a class on freelance writing. This has all been in preparation for taking on new clients in the coming year. When I look back at this year, which has been lean on clients, to say the least, I find myself realizing that it’s my own fault. There are things I can do to up my clientele list so it’s time to get cracking!

I’m also working on a new website. I’ve put it together and started posting. I’m hoping it will launch in January of 2018. Right now, I’m focusing on good content. I’ll give you all a hint though. It’s about working from home! I’m excited to launch it and share it with you all and my future clients.

Finally, during my exile, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do when it comes to freelance writing and VA work. I have always loved the field of alternative medicine and have discovered I still have that passion. In addition, I’ve also realized I love blogging about working from home and learning all I can about this amazing opportunity. Right now, I’m looking for clients in these two niche markets. I’ve even tweaked my hire me page to show my services and rates. I encourage you to take a look and then head over to my contact page to reach out!

So, in short, I’m back from self-imposed exile! I look forward to more entries to come and launching my new site even sooner! Until then, in case you need a refresher from the last entry all the way back in August click here!

I’m Scared to Fail

I’m scared to fail.

There, I said it! I’ve been in business for over two years now and I’m still scared. Does this stop me? Nope! I know that I’ve got the drive and ability to be successful. This is not just a hobby for me. This is my passion! I’m just not cut out for what I’ve called the cubicle life. I get too antsy too quickly.

I thought about what my passion truly is over the last week. What I realized pretty quickly is that my passion is to work from home as a business owner and blogger. First, I thought about why I felt this way. I came up with the fact that I want to be my own boss. Next, I thought about why I want to be my own boss. For that, I came up with the reason that I’ve always answered to myself and no one else. I want to keep it that way. Lastly, my passion for writing, freelancing and blogging have grown over the last two years.

First, there are always going to be doubters. Second, people will tell me/you that it’s not possible to be successful as an entrepreneur. I respectfully disagree! I see some of my favorite people doing this and being so great at it. In fact, check out Horkey Handbook or Believe In a Budget for proof that people like me (and you) can do this! The keys to success (many of them) are below and they work! Another thing you may be told is that you’re not talented enough to succeed. Believing that is believing in BS! We are all talented in our own amazing ways!

The keys to success (many of them) are below and they work! Another thing you may be told is that you’re not talented enough to succeed. Believing that is believing in BS! We are all talented in our own amazing ways! A big reason I have been able to continue when clients don’t come to me so quickly is that I believe in myself and have the passion for what I’m doing. First thing’s first, what are the keys to success? These are my top four but it’s not an exhaustive list.

Keys to Success

  1. Passion
  2. Drive
  3. Love of yourself
  4. Love of your Brand

Failure is bound to happen from time to time. Success usually follows. Fight for your business, fight for your brand, fight for yourself! When people get you down, pull yourself up and continue on. I’m scared to fail. You’re probably saying to yourself “Rob, how can you still say that after all this?” Easy, I’m still human!

Until next time!

Transcription is AMAZING!

Transcription is amazing!

I just found out about this amazing freelance opportunity while puttering around Pinterest. I was pinning one day and had been looking for additional things I could offer as a freelancer. Transcription was at the top of the list!

But Rob, what do you mean by transcription? What does a transcriptionist do? I’ve gotten these questions and much more since I told my Facebook friends and others about this amazing work from home option. I will break it down for you!

 

Transcription at a Glance

  1. So, what do I do as a transcriptionist?
    • I basically transcribe (duh) audio and video files for clients so they can use them in the future.
  2. What is the pay?
    • That’s a tricky one because it depends on what company you decide to work with as well as the client. Some clients pay more than others. You can expect to make from .05 cents per audio minute (not the same as a working minute) up to .65 cents per audio minute. I am currently working with Rev.com and make about .40 per audio minute.
  3. How do they pay you?
    • Most companies pay either on a weekly or biweekly basis via Paypal. It is easiest for them and they have no need for your bank information. It is the securest way to get paid and many companies like it.
  4. Can  I really make a living at this?
    • The honest answer is yes. There is a caveat here. If you can get enough work and have other freelance work to back you up, you can add this to your income stream. Most files do not take long and depending on how quickly you type, you can make some great extra cash.
  5. How do I start?
    • The best place to start is Google. Just type in Transcription jobs or something like it. Here’s a link to an article on where to find jobs.
    • I do suggest Rev.com because you get paid each week and can pick your projects. You do have to apply and pass a transcription test. If you don’t pass the first time, you can retake it in 45 days. Full disclosure, I didn’t pass the first time but did the second time. I even got my first payment last week. Granted it was only a few bucks because I did two short files but they paid me!

Well, time to end this post. I highly suggest transcription because it’s fun, you can pick your projects 99% of the time and expand your skills all at once! Take a look around the web and find out if it works for you! Good luck 🙂

 

 

I’m Back!

I’m back!

I cannot believe it’s been two months since my last post. Things have been very busy with a job change and some life changes but it’s finally calmed down.

I’ve been working on doing some other home based things and was thinking today at the gym that I hadn’t posted in a while. When I logged on to see when my last post was, I was shocked! Okay, enough babbling. I’m starting to look for new clients again and reaching out to former ones as well. I said in a previous post that I wanted to be out of the 9-5 by the end of this summer. That sadly isn’t going to happen.

I said I took a new job. Well, I did as a Mortgage Assistant closer to home. It will allow me to not only have a sustainable income but will also allow me to hopefully work more on my freelancing at a reasonable pace. I’ve been looking at different work at home opportunities for freelancers and recently applied again to rev.com. I’m awaiting their response. In the meantime, I’m continuing to try and grow my client base.

I was thinking about something while working out today. It’s great to work your body and your mind, but as freelancers, we need to work out our business too. That is something I have been sadly lacking in lately. No wonder I am looking again for clients! Time to beef things up….A LOT!

Here is my plan of attack:

  1. Start posting at least once a week
  2. Finish automating my e-mail newsletters for once a week delivery
  3. Put an e-mail sign up window here on the website
  4. Get clients

These are SMART goals which I know I can achieve! Time to get started and grow my business yet again. I’m back and ready to kick some serious butt!

Beginning the Transition

 

Beginning the transition to full-time freelance work has been on my mind for a long time. Today at my office job I had an epiphany! When I looked at what I was dealing with each day at my current job, I realized I wasn’t as happy as I am when I’m freelancing.

I’ve made mistakes in the past as a freelancer, we all have but I learned from those mistakes (which were all on me) and am striving to work harder than ever. The best thing about starting the transition now is that I have a small list of current and former clients that I can reach out to thanks to my networking skills. I also just took a new class and will be offering a new service to my clients very soon. It was after taking this class that I found a renewed passion for what I do and I decided to begin pushing myself even more.

To start the transition, I’ve decided to start this weekend by reaching out to new and prospective clients. It’s imperative to get my name back out in the community, begin working again so I can bring in the income needed to sustain myself and pay my bills. It goes beyond that for me, though. I feel truly happy when I’m freelancing and working for myself. There is something freeing about making your own hours, being able to work wherever you’d like, and taking control of your career!

Beginning the transition will be a fun and scary process but I’m ready for it. I know deep down that it will be the best thing for me and those I care about. I want to end my day on a high note as often as possible so my partner and I can just enjoy each other’s company without the added stress. Here is to working hard and succeeding with my transition to freelancing full-time!

Rebranding

Rebranding is something that all small business owners do from time to time. Well, today was my turn. I decided to change up some pictures online and create a new twitter handle just for my business. I want to tackle a few more platforms before the day is out.

Why am I doing this a year in? The answer is simple. I’ve got to create a better presence to grow my business! My next stops are going to be Pinterest & Instagram! The key to rebranding is to think outside the box. I had an epiphany the other day that I was not doing enough to put myself out there. As a result, my client base was not as it had been a year ago. It was time for a change!

Things to do when rebranding:

  1. Think about why
  2. Have a plan
  3. Start the process
  4. Realize that it’s never totally finished

Here’s a link to questions you should ask yourself when you rebrand. I found it to be very helpful!

That’s right….rebranding is NEVER finished. You have to keep growing with your brand. If you don’t the likelihood of success is slim. When I thought about my rebranding (picture changes, new twitter handle), I wanted to showcase what I can do and get away from my personal accounts for my business. To me, it was more professional and showed me in a better light to potential clients. It is important that your clients take you seriously from day one or you many not be able to retain them. It’s a sobering thought, but it’s true.

IF you decide to rebrand, or at least reposition yourself in the freelance world, know that it will take work but it will be worth it in the end. I encourage you to click the link above and then see if even a minor rebranding is worth it for you & your business. Good luck!

Rejection

Rejection.

Freelancers never want to hear the word no. It sucks! I had an experience this week when I pitched to a new client. I had a great opportunity that came into my inbox. When I pitched, I did so because I figured why not? I got myself in too deep with the project starting with the pitch. A valuable lesson was learned. I want to share that lesson with you all.

I did my best to avoid rejection, however, it happened. We all do our best to avoid rejection, but sometimes it’s inevitable. The potential client was amazing. I was excited to work with her. I always operate under the guise of “I have nothing to lose” and this was the case here. The rejection came pretty quickly but I was strangely okay with it. The content was way above my head and I knew that going into the project.

So how do you handle rejection? Let me share a few nuggets of wisdom:

  1. It’s not your fault
  2. Sometimes it’s just not a good fit
  3. You’re still a great freelancer!

I know this all sounds trite, but it’s true! When my email dinged with the rejection, I knew what it was. It takes a thick skin in the freelance business. I learned that again this week. You can do one of two things when this happens, cry about it or grow from it and move to the next client possibility. I chose the later. This does not mean I didn’t respond to the email. I did. I sent a thank you email and asked them to keep me in mind for other projects which they said they would do! The point is, I made a new contact.

When a freelancer gets a rejection, it is okay. In fact, it is to be expected from time to time. The key is to look at the rejection as another opportunity to grow.

In short, take the rejections you get as a freelancer with a grain of salt. Learn from them. Most of all, remember that you’re still a great writer or freelance VA. Dust yourself off and move to the next opportunity!

To conclude I’m going to give you a call to action. Next time you get a rejection, thank the potential client for the opportunity and ask for them to keep you in mind for other things. It can help grow your business!

Patience

Patience. It is not a word many freelancers want to hear but it is something we should all have.

I have had to learn the value of patience as of late. There were some times recently that I was not sure my business was going to survive. Things with clients started to change which happens from time to time. That is not what concerned me. What did was that I was having a hard time rebuilding what I thought I was losing. Well, patience has paid off.

It was because of my tenacious nature along with the patience I have developed that I have not one but TWO opportunities coming my way! I saw one opportunity on Facebook yesterday and a former client contacted me yesterday with another possible project. I feel bad but I did not get back to the former client until 24 hours later but I hope that is not going to be an issue because I enjoy working with her.

Needless to say, I have a new way of looking at things right now. I am excited again about what is next for my business! I have learned the value of not just patience, but also the value of keeping your network alive and well. For more on that, check out my last entry on the subject of networking.

Call to Action:

I am leaving this entry with a call to action. When you think your business may be floundering, just remember to have patience and network like crazy. You never know what will happen!

Networking

I’m starting to re-learn that networking is a great skill to have, especially when you’re trying to revitalize your business like I’m trying to do. The question I asked myself before I wrote this post was, “how do you network?” I realized I had a few clients and other people I could go right to in my email box!

What if you don’t have anyone quite yet, though? This question is one that the newest of freelancers (writing, VA, etc) will have to grapple with. Well, start networking on social media. Use Facebook, Twitter, heck even Instagram to get yourself going. Talk to your friends and family. Talk to co-workers at the office. One of the best ways to network is to look around at your current job.

When you look at the plethora of people around you as a freelancer, you realize quickly you’re going to have a lot of people. I think it’s time for a quick story:

A few months back, my business started to dry up. I had not done anything about it until a few moments ago when I remembered I had a great network of past clients and social media contacts to draw from!  I looked at my Gmail inbox and said, “let me reach out” which is when my fingers started doing the talking.

Networking can be tough at times but it is a skill I am glad I am remembering how to use. Something may come from it, something may not.The point is that I’m remembering some of the basics again.

Steps to Networking:

  1. Look at your contacts
  2. Figure out why you want to reach out
  3. Look at what you can offer perspective clients
  4. Reach out!

For other great ideas go to one of my favorite websites Horkey Handbook! Gina has some wonderful things on her website from basics to networking!

Enough reading about networking, get out there, send those emails and you WILL start to get some work for your business! Good luck 🙂

 

Slow Downs-How to Handle Them

Slow downs are bound to happen for any freelancer. It is in these times that we need to remember how to go back to the basics of what made us want to do this great work, to begin with. For me, slow-downs mean looking at what my business can do to grow and improve. With the new year approaching, it will be a goal of mine to grow my business in 2017.

This past year has been full of ups and downs for me and my business. I started the year with a couple of clients, unfortunately, throughout the year, things happened that were not entirely in my control. Experiencing personal setbacks that made keeping my business afloat was also a theme for this year. I did not once consider abandoning my business but I did decide to take a break for a while. Giving up on something I feel strongly that I am good at was simply not an option. It takes a special person to look at slow downs and how to work with them.

I often speak of my roommate who is also a freelancer. He gives me great advice and is an inspiration. He kept me from giving up on something I still feel passionate about. Clients came and clients went this year and sometimes I think that made things more difficult for me. As my good friend says, “the wheel turns”. This is true of freelancing as well. The new year will be one of great change and growth. So for the new year, my goals are below:

Goals:

  1. To pitch at least 5 times a week
  2. Work on gaining one new client a quarter
  3. Continue to balance my work and freelance life with everything else
  4. Remember I started this journey for a reason
  5. Above all, take each slow down or setback as a way to grow

Keep this in mind, my freelance friends, when you get slow downs in your business, use them to your advantage. Grow and learn from them the best way you know how and don’t give up!