Restarting my Business

restart

I am restarting my business!

The word restart…It’s not something many people, especially small business owners want to hear let alone say. The fact still remains, sometimes you have to take a break and come back with fresh eyes. That’s right, not only am I back (see my last post) but I am feeling more ready to tackle new and exciting projects from now through the new year and beyond.

When I look at the past 8 months, I realize I needed to step back and take care of the personal things that were going on in my life before I could tackle the business part of my life. I want to be the most successful virtual assistant and writer that I can be. It is never easy when you’re running your own business. I know this…the key is to persevere and NEVER give up! I have taken some hard knocks this past year both personally and professionally, the second was at my office job. The problem with that was that despite my best efforts it bled into my freelance business. This is precisely why I am restarting my business.

Thankfully, I have had some wonderful changes in my life and I am ready to start anew. All that being said, I am starting my pitch process again. In fact, I just sent a video pitch to a potential new client! I am waiting to hear back but I am sure I can tackle anything this new client can send my way!

With this new inspiration, I am ready to take on a new client (or two)! I have to thank a bunch of people that have supported me, from my roommate Jason and my parents to my amazing boyfriend, Mike who believes in me and pushes me to be my best! Thank you!

Onward and upward!

I’m Back!

Hello, everyone! I’m back!

I have been gone since around May of this year. There is a very good reason for this. I was going through a lot of personal things for quite a while and my business needed to take priority. When I look at the last 6 months, I am reminded that even having a job that I enjoy and gain a lot of joy from, it does not mean that I am not prone to bouts of depression.

I am unsure what brought it all on, but there were many things happening around that time and I needed a break. To be honest with you all, I was depressed and in one of the darkest places I have ever been in.

All that being said, I am ready to return and share my journey back to freelancing with you all. Thank you for your support and I am thrilled to be back!

Moving on from a Client

Moving on from a client. It’s never easy especially when that client is the one that started your entire freelance career/journey. Well, that’s what happened to me this week. My first client and I decided to part ways. This was not done lightly nor was it for negative reasons. In fact, it was for a very good reason. She felt that I had grown beyond what she could pay me. She told me that I deserved to be paid what I am worth and with the experience I’ve gained. I am beyond grateful for the amazing gift she gave me as my first client. She helped me set up my career and get it going. I count her as a colleague and friend.

Some of the best things to do when you and a client part ways are to remember that there are other potential clients out there. That’s not to say that the relationship you built with this client is not valuable. On the contrary, it’s more valuable than you may ever know. However, when it comes to the next steps after parting ways I want to offer some advice.

Moving on From a Client? Do These Things:

  • Thank the client for their business (do this right away. it shows professionalism and integrity)
  • Mourn the loss for a bit then move on
  • Start pitching to new clients! That’s right, get your name out there again if you haven’t already been searching to add to your business.
  • Evaluate what went well with the client and what you can do to make your new and other clients happier. Even if the parting was on good terms as mine was, we can all learn from the end of client relationships. Take stock and make changes if you can.

When you move on from a client, no matter the reason, it’s important to remember that it is usually for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s just not a good fit, other times it’s because you as the freelancer have grown or the needs of the client have changed. There are so many different reasons but don’t always go to the worst case scenario. Most of the time it’s because of some kind of growth or change on your part or theirs. It’s always wonderful if you, like me are able to count your former client as a friend as well as the client. Who knows, you may even work together again some day.

As always, to our continued success!

 

Creativity Strikes

They say when you least expect it, creativity strikes. Well, in this case, I think they got it right. Let me explain.

A few days ago I signed up for a course on how to create a course of my own. What I’m developing is a course for people who have no idea what freelancing is about and how to get started. I’ve been working hard on my business and in the last six months I’ve learned so much about this crazy business. Now I want to share that with other new freelancers.

I know this will take a ton of work and I’m prepared to do it. I want to not just share the info with others. I want to give newbies support along the way. I will be developing the course to be easy to understand by breaking it out into about 25 lessons from where to start to how to gain and keep clients. There are so many options for an intro to freelancing course I didn’t know where to start. The course I’m taking should help me with that.

Some of you are probably wondering why I would pay for a course on how to set one up on my own, right? Well, let me tell you why I did it this way. I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to this. There, I said it. There’s no shame in saying you have no clue as a freelancer. In fact, it makes you an honest freelancer and if you play it right you can learn as you work. With my course, I want to show even the newest freelancer that it CAN be done. Encouragement is key for any newbie in this crazy and fun field. What I want to do is give that encouragement to as many people as possible.

There are pieces of the puzzle that I need to get going such as an email list and setting up the right delivery system for the course. That will come later. Right now I’m going to focus on the content for the course and make sure it’s the best it can be. That will give my students a great course at a great value.

If you’re interested in learning more I’ll be sending out feelers soon. Keep your eyes open!

I’m a successful freelancer!

I’m a successful freelancer!

That’s right. I am a successful freelance writer and virtual assistant. I’m working my business every single day. It’s not just a business for me. I love what I do. I get to do something amazing each day by just opening my laptop and working on a client request. That’s right, I get paid to do what I love to do, write and help people be as successful as I have been as of late.

Why can say that I’m a successful freelancer?

This week one of my clients asked me to do a bit more for them. She wants me to potentially set up her social media accounts and manage them so she can get more traffic to her amazing blog and website. I was very surprised and again, humbled that another client likes what I’ve been doing for her and wants me to do more. To me, this is the definition of success.

What do you see as success?
  • Getting paid?
  • Getting a new  client?
  • Recommendations from a client?
  • Is someone telling you that you’re successful? (Hint: you need to believe in yourself to be successful.)

See, there are a ton of different ways to see yourself as a success. For this freelancer, it’s all about running my business all the time. I’m always looking for new clients, writing, doing blog comments, and anything that will keep me on my path to success. I just invoiced a client this week for a pretty darn good sum. I’m thrilled that they already like my work one week into the position. There is even potential for more growth in the position in a virtual assistant role! This has made me look at what has been happening and realize that yes, I’m a successful freelancer!

Have a great week, everyone 🙂

Hard Work Pays Off

Hard work pays off. That’s right. When you work hard, put yourself out there and you follow up, you can get clients!

My story for this week follows this formula. What formula is that you may be asking? Let me share it.

My Formula

  1. Get a referral from a network colleague
  2. Reach out to the potential client
  3. Set up a meeting with the client
  4. Ace the meeting
  5. Make a great impression
  6. Follow up if need be
  7. Let them get back to you and say they want to hire you!

Yup, it’s not exactly easy or simple but it works. I am speaking from experience this past week. I had an interview with a potential client about a week ago. It went really well and I waited patiently for the client to get back to me. It was not easy, trust me. I wanted to know if I could count this new company as a client. I was excited to get going and do something new and fun. It’s a combo job of both writing and VA work. Well, this week I received an email that my rates were reasonable and that they want to bring me on board. I have another call with the owner this weekend and I am supposed to start on Monday. In short:

Hard work pays off!

When I think about how my business takes some of my time each day, it makes me smile. That means I’m doing something right. There are companies and people out there interested in the work I produce. That is not to say I’m going to abandon those who gave me my first chances. Just the opposite. I want to show not just loyalty to those who gave me my first shots in both VA and writing for pay, but also remember where I started my business, which was from nothing. That’s right. I put up the money for my website, thought of my business name, and worked my butt off to get new clients. I push myself every day to succeed and that is how hard work is paying off for me!

If you want to learn more about my experience as a writer and VA, please look at the website, or check me out on LinkedIn.

 

Growth It’s a great thing!

Growth. It’s not always a word you hear a freelancer use. Thankfully for me, I’m experiencing this in spades.

In the last month, I’ve been able to secure a VA position after a very successful trial run, and I’m on the cusp of securing another brand new, more lucrative client in the next few days! When I set out on this journey, I knew I wanted to be successful. I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.

When I think about all that has transpired and is continuing to happen, I’m encouraged by what my work brings. Being dedicated, professional, and willing to push yourself is a key to success. It’s not the only key, mind you. There are different paths to success but it’s not always going to be easy.

I expect that I will hit some struggles along the way. I’m not thinking that everything will be roses and candy. What I do know is that I will continue to work hard and see my business grow because I have the drive to do it.

Steps to Growth

  • Figure out what pace you want to grow at (be realistic)
  • Chart out a plan for how you want to grow your business. Put this on paper and keep it tangible. That’s the only way you will succeed and not give up on it.
  • Surround yourself with like-minded people that want to see your business grow just like you do!
  • Give yourself permission to take a break if the growth happens too quickly. This does happen sometimes and getting overwhelmed will not help you to continue growing without burning out.
  • Find what works for you. If you find that your growth rate is higher than you expected and you’re not comfortable with that, it’s okay. Remember, this is your business & you’re in control.

Finally, when you are looking to contain or monitor the growth of your business, remember to look at all aspects. What I mean is to look at your client base, how much time you’re really putting in and finally, where you can concentrate best. If you have a niche like I do, it may be easier. Good luck and continue to succeed!

Freelance Fatigue

Freelance Fatigue. I bet that’s a term no one has heard of before. Well, I would make the argument that it is a real thing.

I’m not talking about normal tiredness that comes with doing the job you normally do. I’m talking about a special kind of fatigue that sometimes plagues us, freelancers. We’re working a lot and putting our heart and soul into our business, that’s true, but the problem is that we do not often take the time to realize we need to take care of ourselves. It’s a sad truth that I’m talking about here and I know we have all had it happen many times.

I’m still new to freelancing so I have not really experienced this freelance fatigue yet. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while now and while I know it’s kind of funny to think about, it doesn’t make it any less of a legit topic to bring up. So how can freelancers fight this evil condition? Here are a few tips.

Tips to fight Freelance Fatigue:

  • Step away from the computer
    • Yup, take the time to step away from your project and refresh your brain. Go for a walk, talk to the cat (or dog) sitting next to you. Anything that will get you away from the computer for a few minutes.
  • Talk about how you’re feeling
    • If you have someone in your life that you can talk to about how you’re feeling, do it. It’s never good to bottle things up, especially if you’re running your own business. So speak up!
  • Be honest with clients
    • Tell your client(s) if you’re starting to get fatigued. As for an extension if it’s possible. Clients understand that we’re human and things just get to be too much. Take the time to let them know what’s going on. In that same vein, let them know you might need a break. Any good client will understand.
  • Use your freelance support network
    • If you don’t already have a support network of other freelancers, get one! Facebook and LinkedIn all have tons of them. Just a quick search on both sites should net some great results. Once you find a good group/network, pick their brains (after introducing yourself of course) and see if anyone else feels the same way you do.
  • Give yourself permission to get tired
    • This final tip is something that many freelancers are not comfortable with. They feel as though their clients are more important than themselves. This is not true. You’re just as important (I would say more so) and you need to give yourself permission to get fatigued. Don’t let expectations weigh you down.

These are just a few of the tips when dealing with freelance fatigue. Remember to honor yourself as you honor your business and relationships with clients. After all, a fatigued freelancer is often an unproductive one.

Have a great week!

 

 

VA Trial Week 2/New Clients?

Happy Friday, everyone! Welcome to the weekly recap.

VA Trial Week 2:

My VA trial week 2 is done. I think it went even better than last week. Once I got my head around everything I was inspired to just put my best work forward. I hope my client likes it. I’m waiting to hear back from her with some feedback over the last couple weeks. I would say it went well considering she recommended me to someone who reached out to her first. I was blessed with such a high compliment and reached out to the other client right away. Now, I play the waiting game.  I am glad my VA trial went well. It was a great new experience for me. I hope we can continue working together.

New Clients:

That’s right. I said, new clients. In addition to the referral I was blessed with, I was contacted this morning by an airline who publishes and in-flight magazine and they want me to potentially write for them in my health niche. It’s so exciting to see what’s happening only 3 weeks into the new year! I have also submitted myself to another site this week to write on a more sensitive topic which I do not wish to go into on the blog. Suffice to say, I’m waiting to hear back from her as well.

I want to take on new clients in 2016 but I’m also trying to be mindful of taking on too much. Currently, I still work at my office job so I tend to build my client base at night, on lunch breaks, and on weekends. It works for me but eventually I want this to become my full-time job so I need to make sure I can handle the workload. I think I’ve mentioned it before but my roommate is also a freelancer and is VERY supportive. That helps me out so much.

I am happy to share that you can be successful as a freelance writer and virtual assistant. I’m living proof of that. Have a fantastic weekend!

VA Trial Week 1

Typing

Hi, everyone!

Want to hear about my VA trial week 1? Good, because I want to share!

I’m happy to say I’ve made it through the first week of my VA trial. It was a good week despite some bumps along the way and a couple of communication lapses on my part. I really enjoy my client and how responsive and patient she was with me this first week. I was able to use that to get my footing and do my best for her.

I think that because it was my first week, I had more stumbling blocks than I thought. This was mainly because there were a few pieces of technology like MS OneNote that I have never used so there was a learning curve to that. Thankfully, I have figured it out and going forward I should be okay.

Another great thing about finally being a VA is that I have started to build up a more robust portfolio of work. If my client is happy at the end of next week and we continue, I will be able to call myself a full-fledged, paid virtual assistant. That is a great feeling, let me tell you. When I look back at how I started and where I am now, I’m amazed. I have always been good at side hustling when I really want to succeed. I don’t remember if I wrote about how this all came about so let me tell you.

There was a Facebook post on a group I am part of. I responded to the post as it indicated (with my website). A few moments later, I got an email newsletter from the client that I had just pitched. I must have signed up for it while getting myself started and plum forgot. Anyway, I digress. I took that opportunity to pitch myself in a reply email to that newsletter, not knowing if it was going to just be an auto reply or not. The next morning I received and email saying that the client was impressed that I took the time to email her and pitch as well. Needless to say, the rest is history. It just goes to show that being proactive and responsive when the situation warrants it is a great way to be.

Well, that about does it for this week. Look for an update next week at the end of the trial to see how it went and if I’ll be continuing my duties as a VA for this client. Until next time!