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Learn more about freelancing and owning your business and your time from six-figure freelancer Laura Pennington.
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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 5, 2017

Hello fans of Better Biz Academy!

Today's episode is inspired by numerous posts I have seen in various Facebook groups and emails that I tend to get about whether or not people really need a freelance contract and how on earth you find one and what should I put in there etc.

So, today I am only going to focus on one particular aspect of the whole contract debate, which is: what happens if you don’t have one.

Nov 28, 2017

Welcome to this episode of the Better Biz Academy podcast where I talk about the tools that I use to make podcasting possible and how you can easily and quickly launch a podcast yourself.

It's becoming very popular for people to think about podcasting because a lot of people are listening to podcasts now. By the time you're hearing this episode, I've had my podcast and have been recording for over a year and there have been quite a few things that I've learned in that process. This is a quick, action-packed episode about the tools that I use to make podcasting easy.

I have tried a number of different tools in the process of having a podcast. Some of them I loved and some of them I eventually let go, but I now have a few favorites — to record my podcast, to make sure that it's edited properly, and to publish it with minimal fuss.

 

Links:

Udemy Course: How to Launch a Podcast in 30 Days or Less

Oct 10, 2017

Join Laura on this episode to learn about retainers - what they are, why many freelancers love them, and more importantly, how to make the most out of working on retainer. 

Some pros of working on retainer:

  • Better month to month income forecasting
  • Fewer clients, deeper relationships
  • Less time on marketing your freelance skills
  • More time on actual service delivery
  • Better control over your own time

Making the most of the retainer work arrangement:

  • Design your services around a recurring client need
  • Articulate in your pitch what's in it for the client - time, money, value-add services? 
  • Understand that it is OK to say "No". Be selective about who you work with. 

 

 

 

 

Links:

Better Biz Academy

New Freelance Writer Starter Pack: SEO Copywriting and the Guide to Killing it on Upwork

Oct 3, 2017

Episode number 64 is an interesting one because Laura talks about how she achieved four $20k months in a row over the summer, and what it took to get there. 

In this episode, you'll hear about how she's had to critically assess the different parts of her freelance business and focus her attention only on those projects and clients that fit the direction she was headed. She also reflects on the tough decisions that come with onboarding bigger clients, and what that means from a client portfolio management standpoint. 

Coming soon in the Better Biz space is a new Facebook group that delves into freelance marketing mastery, particularly for freelancers looking to succeed on Upwork. It's called "Make Money on Upwork - Freelance Marketing Mastery." 

 

Links:

Guide to Killing it on Upwork course

 

Sep 26, 2017

Hello fans of Better Biz Academy. I'm excited about this episode because I'm going to do something a little bit different and I'm going to talk about six ways that graduate school, in particular, has made me a better freelancer or a better freelance writer.

I decided to do this particular episode because there are a lot of people that I know in graduate school who could really benefit from thinking about developing a freelance career as an editor or writer or honestly as anything else that they are passionate about. And all too often, these opportunities are never presented to people in that scenario. In fact, in graduate school when I was doing my Master’s program, I wish I had known about becoming a freelancer. There have been times when I have reached out to local universities to offer to give a free talk to their classes in digital media or the English department or the career department and I will get rejected because they say, well freelancing is not a career. They are so focused on those graduation job placement rates that they write off a legitimate career that a lot of people just don't know about. If I had known about freelancing earlier, it would have helped me tremendously in my own graduate school journey and just in my life, it would have given me a lot better perspective

In fact, in graduate school when I was doing my Master’s program, I wish I had known about becoming a freelancer. There have been times when I have reached out to local universities to offer to give a free talk to their classes in digital media or the English department or the career department and I will get rejected because they say, well freelancing is not a career. If I had known about freelancing earlier, it would have helped me tremendously in my own graduate school journey and just in my life, it would have given me a lot better perspective

If I had known about freelancing earlier, it would have helped me tremendously. It would have given me a better perspective on the type of career opportunities that were out there. I like to say I was an accidental freelancer but that doesn't have to be the case for everyone.

Enjoy!

Sep 19, 2017

Laura is back for an episode that goes into the complementary services that you can add on to your menu of services either at the beginning of your freelance journey or as you take your company and writing skills to the next level.

There are a lot of complementary services that you can offer along with your writing services, and Laura talks specifically about editing and proofreading. These complementary services can really be crafted around your unique freelance writing goals, which makes them an ideal addition to your service offering, but they are also a great way to build your confidence and credibility in the field. 

When pitching your expertise, Laura goes into the importance of focusing on your writing background and showcasing your talent. She also shares some tips and advice on how to effectively manage your end to end process based on her own experience.

 

Links

Better Biz Academy

How to Become a Freelance Editor Udemy Course

 

Aug 29, 2017

Laura is back with a solo appearance and she is tackling the feast or famine cycle almost every freelancer is familiar with.  

It doesn’t matter what you do in the freelance world – whether you’re a virtual assistant, a designer, or a writer – it can be hard to view the slow seasons positively but in this episode, Laura talks about how these down times are the perfect opportunity to up your game and prepare for the busy season (which will come!) or even to get all the pieces of a big marketing push together so that you are ready to take advantage of the upward swing when it happens.

There are many seasons to the freelancing experience and knowing when they are and what you're going to do with them can really help you embrace the craziness that is being a freelancer.

 

Website: http://www.betterbizacademy.com/

Online Courses: http://bit.ly/2iGor8u

 

 

Aug 22, 2017

Welcome back to the Better Biz Academy Podcast!

It’s the end of August so we're getting ready to head into what I like to call the freelance busy season. Having just reviewed 212 freelance writing applications for a client project I am managing, it was shocking to see how many people were doing things in the pitching process that were costing them the opportunity to land a new client.

When you are pitching a new client, you could be the only person who's sending them an email, or one of hundreds others. Either way, you need to stand out from the crowd and avoid these freelance pitching mistakes.

I also have a YouTube video that goes into a shorter version of this, so if you don't want to listen to the full podcast episode but want to get the gist of it, go ahead and check out that video right here - https://youtu.be/xLG2CMQ9KKM.

Aug 15, 2017

Welcome back to the Better Biz Academy podcast! As we transition out of the summer and into the fall, I think now is the perfect time to talk about successfully riding the feast or famine cycle freelancers typically experience at different points in the year and which marketing strategies are still the most effective for those in the industry. One of those is Upwork. 

Aug 8, 2017

Laura returns to walk her listeners through a critical shift she made in her freelance business that had a massive impact on her ability to earn money and only work with her ideal clients. If you are new to the freelance world and are still juggling ten, or

If you are new to the freelance world and are still juggling ten, or even twenty client projects, this episode is for you! In it, Laura explains how one-off and retainer clients are different, as well as how you might start the process of converting one-off clients into retainer arrangements.

Aug 1, 2017

Laura returns with another solo podcast to share the most common mistakes made by freelance writers. She offers advice in several areas of freelance basics, including the way you position yourself and your services to potential clients, as well as managing your own expectations going into the freelancing world.

Learn from the best as Laura shares her personal experience as both a freelancer and a project manager, hiring and managing other writers. If you’re just getting started in the freelance writing business, this podcast is a must-listen!

Jul 27, 2017

85% of small business fail within the first 12 months because new entrepreneurs don’t take the time to identify and understand their ideal customer. If your new venture is struggling to get off the ground because you are hurting for clients, today’s guest is prepared to offer guidance around getting your product or service in front of the right audience and then creating an automated system of lead generation to produce consistent sales.

Oguz ‘Oz’ Konar grew up watching his father start business after business, all of which ended in bankruptcy. Motivated to understand what makes a business successful, he studied sales and marketing strategy to identify common mistakes made by aspiring entrepreneurs – and how to avoid them. With seven years of sales management and marketing experience under his belt, Oz founded Local Marketing Stars to assist small business owners in the implementation of productive marketing strategies. He has written two books about online marketing and marketing automation, and he is currently running four companies of his own.

Oz is an expert in the area of results-driven marketing strategy, and today he explains why automation is essential, the seven marketing strategies you need to know, and the function of a small business website. Listen in as Oz reveals his greatest challenge in building his consulting business and how to get your product or service in front of its target audience!

 

Key Takeaways

The importance of marketing automation

  • Too many small businesses rely on ‘random acts of marketing’
  • No systems in place to measure results
  • Automated system of generating leads, sales is essential
  • Business must run itself when you aren’t present

 

The first step toward automated lead generation

  • Look at products, services
  • Determine what has been most successful
  • Develop system to get right offer to right people

 

The greatest challenge Oz faced in building his own business

  • Difficulty focusing on single vertical
  • Felt like missing out on opportunities
  • Wanted to do lead gen for variety of small businesses
  • Realized niching down was easier to scale, produced better results for clients

 

Oz’s seven marketing strategies you need now

  • Understand your audience
  • Work on offer (solve problem for audience)
  • Find your customers (identify channels)
  • Develop core message
  • Create proven sales model
  • Establish system to retain customers
  • Develop system to generate referrals

 

Oz’s advice regarding small business websites

  • Understand their function – to generate, convert leads
  • Capture email addresses of visitors
  • Ensure that your site accommodates search engines
  • Study your analytics and optimize page by page

 

Oz’s #1 tip for aspiring entrepreneurs

  • Interview 10-15 potential buyers
  • Get their feedback re: your product/service
  • Ask them to walk you through pain points
  • Build your business based on feedback

 

Connect with Oguz Konar

10K Revenue Club Website

Jul 25, 2017

What is holding you back from pursuing the life you want? In most cases, the answer is fear. Change makes us really uncomfortable, and our brains are wired to resist anything that takes us outside our comfort zone. But today’s guest is ready to help you forge a new neural pathway and expand your comfort zone through clearly defined goals and strategic action.

Jill Ethier is a personal strategist who combines her passion for business with the power of energy to mentor aspiring entrepreneurs who want more in every aspect of their lives, from business to relationships to health and personal growth. Her online programs provide the framework to shift your mindset, reclaim your power, and fulfill your purpose.

Jill spent a number of years as the Director of Marketing for SIGA, managing four casino marketing departments. After the passing of her young daughter, she knew she wanted to live her life differently, and Jill began to study Feng Shui and other energy disciplines. In 2000, she united her love of business strategy with the study of energy to found Jill Ethier Consulting. Today she shares tactics around cultivating the right mindset, tackling resistance to change, and avoiding distractions. Listen in to understand the importance of a strong WHY and how to prioritize daily actions as you work toward a meaningful life.

 

Key Takeaways

Jill’s ideal client

  • Moms 30-48
  • Want more for selves in all areas
  • Aspire to build businesses

 

The greatest challenge Jill’s clients face

  • Developing mindset (belief they can do it)
  • Fear, discomfort is normal

 

How to cultivate appropriate mindset

  • Brains wired to stop when outside comfort zone
  • Must create new neural pathway
  • Provide structure/framework (e.g.: three actions per day)
  • Acknowledge resistance, but commit to take action regardless
  • Dig deeper into the WHY

 

How to tackle extreme resistance to change

  • Complete most significant tasks first thing in morning (highest energy, focus)
  • Sets you up for WIN
  • If get off track, get back quickly

 

How to avoid distractions like social media and email

  • Ask yourself if activity will move you forward toward goals
  • Prioritize actions that are more important

 

Jill’s energetic platform

  • Focus mental, physical and spiritual energy first thing
  • ‘Sets the table’ for your day

 

How accountability plays into success

  • Depends on person, level of change
  • Investment in coach tends to raise the stakes
  • Accountability helps shift habits

 

Jill’s advice around goal-setting

  • Establish five-year goals (global perspective)
  • Define one-year goals
  • Break into 90-day cycles and 30-day sprints
  • Determine daily actions
  • Set objectives in all areas – business, health, relationships, personal growth
  • Design goals that are realistic with a stretch, rather than idealistic
  • Avoid setting too many goals (only so much time, energy and effort)

 

Connect with Jill Ethier

Website

Podcast

Facebook

Jul 20, 2017

As new entrepreneurs, we are hungry for clients. It can be tempting to take on a project that doesn’t feel quite right because we need the money and want the experience. But today’s guest argues that a poor fit leads to immense frustration, and she is here to offer strategies that will help you determine whether a client is a good match on the front end so that both parties feel comfortable moving forward.

Liz Thompson earned her undergraduate degree in communication, then pursued master’s degrees in English and literature. She worked in editing and communication in the corporate world for 15 years before taking the leap into entrepreneurship. When Liz got married two years ago, the timing was right to start her own firm so that she would have the flexibility to stay home and raise her new blended family.

Liz is on a mission to help writers find and refine their voice and share their stories with the world. She takes on fiction and non-fiction projects, and she loves to edit cookbooks. Today Liz shares her secrets around building a clientele, online networking, and pricing her services. Listen in and learn how Liz approaches scheduling clients and the process she employs to choose clients who are a good fit.

 

Key Takeaways

How Liz built a clientele

  • Got connected with entrepreneur groups early on (primarily online)
  • Enlisted help of business coach
  • Found Facebook groups where ideal clients ‘lived’
  • Offered authentic help on platform
  • Subsequent clients through referrals

 

The value of online networking groups like Boss Mom

  • Going through similar things (parents building businesses)
  • Wide range of experience
  • Experts in different areas of need (i.e.: designing websites)

 

How Liz made the decision to invest in a business coach

  • Had already invested in several courses
  • 15-minute coaching call with Dana Malstaff led to Liz's first client
  • Made sense to invest up front on person who would help grow business

 

How Liz structures the working relationship with writers

  • Phone call to get overview of project, type of editing necessary
  • Perform sample edit to determine fit
  • Work on front-end helps avoid bad experiences

 

How Liz prices her editing services

  • Rate per word depends on experience of writer, condition of manuscript
  • Quote encompasses two rounds (developmental and copy editing)

 

Liz’s approach to scheduling clients

  • Cap out number of projects per month
  • Map out how much want to make, how many projects can take on
  • Booked two to three months in advance

 

Why Liz only accepts clients that feel like a good fit

  • Early on, took on client who requested partial edit of manuscript
  • Many mistakes in portion she hadn’t edited, but name on project
  • ‘If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it’
  • Refers science fiction, highly technical business projects to other editors (not her interest, strength)

 

Resources

Boss Moms

Course: Slaying the Enemies of Good Writing

 

Connect with Elizabeth Thompson

House Style Editing

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Jul 18, 2017

If you want to make a change in your business, but you are unsure how to go about it, you may benefit from enlisting the help of an executive leadership coach. But how do you choose the right one? Should you invest in a one-on-one program, or is a group setting right for you?

Susan Barber has 20-plus years of experience as an IT and Leadership Executive. While working a traditional job, she pursued coaching as a side hustle, earning a certification in leadership coaching. When the company was going through a merger, she took a package and a leap of faith – and Susan M. Barber Coaching & Consulting was born.

Susan is passionate about helping her clients build confidence, grow as leaders and find their authentic voice. She also seeks to bring coaches together to support each other and share resources as entrepreneurs. Today she explains the differences among one-on-one, group and mastermind programs, the advantages of a structured group coaching environment, and how to choose a program that is the right fit for you. Listen in as Susan reveals what to look for in an executive business coach!

 

Key Takeaways

How to scale a coaching business

  • Develop group coaching initiatives, masterminds
  • Generate passive income with home study programs

 

The difference between Susan’s group program vs. mastermind

  • Group program guides members to create vision, values and action plan
  • Mastermind focus on accountability, one member on hot seat

 

The advantages of a structured group coaching environment

  • All share, support other group members
  • Community and connection
  • Learn from each other

 

How to choose from among one-on-one, group coaching, and masterminds

  • One-on-one if not comfortable sharing current situation with group
  • Group settings typically less expensive
  • Masterminds provide most structured experience (same questions each week)

 

When to pursue a business coach

  • You know you want to make a change
  • Unsure how to go about it

 

What to look for in a business coach

  • Connection, chemistry
  • Referrals
  • Good fit, both feel comfortable

 

Questions to ask a prospective coach

  • How have you been successful with others?
  • What methodology do you use?
  • Do you do assessments?
  • What is your background/experience?
  • Do you have your own coach?

 

Characteristics of a quality coach

  • Allow client to drive conversation
  • Good listener, observer

 

What to do if you’re not getting what you need from a coach

  • Ask for a time out to address issues
  • Seek someone different if not getting value

 

Susan’s advice for business owners considering an investment in a coach

  • Have two or three conversations with different coaches
  • Trust your gut
  • Ask for references or choose an accredited coach through ICF

 

Resources

Susan’s Blog

International Coaching Federation

 

Connect with Susan Barber

Website

Facebook Group

Twitter

LinkedIn

Facebook

Jul 13, 2017

So you’ve launched a product or service you’re really proud of, complete with a stellar membership site, but all you hear are crickets. Today’s guest has firsthand experience with this frustrating scenario, and she is here to help you learn from her mistakes and build an audience first. 

Nathalie Doremieux and her husband, Olivier, spent ten years working as software engineers in Silicon Valley before returning to their native France and founding New Software Marketing in 2006. But they made the mistake of thinking that if they built a quality piece of software, people would find them. Because of their inexperience in the marketing realm, the business struggled.

Down to their last $2,000, Nathalie and Olivier invested in a coach who changed their perspective, pushing them to focus on skills they might leverage to monetize quickly. It was then that they niched down to web design and membership sites, and New Software Marketing took off. Five years later, the multi-six-figure business serves entrepreneurs and public figures including Kimra Luna, James

Five years later, the multi-six-figure business serves entrepreneurs and public figures including Kimra Luna, James Wedmore and Kate Northrup. Today Nathalie shares the importance of ‘the hustle’ early in your entrepreneurial journey, how she and her husband approach working together, and the biggest mistakes people make in building websites. Listen and learn how to build an audience that will make your product launch a success!

 

Key Takeaways

The mistakes Nathalie made in building her business

  • Hid behind expertise
  • Ignored marketing piece

 

How Nathalie pinpointed web pages and membership sites as niche

  • Sought help of coach
  • Determined what could monetize quickly
  • Built list of people with interest in establishing websites
  • Developed a reputation in space (via blogging, etc.)
  • Saw need for memberships sites in offline entrepreneurs seeking online presence

 

The importance of ‘the hustle’ early on in your entrepreneurial journey

  • Quit 9 to 5 for 24/7
  • Must build business first, then enjoy four-hour work week

 

The necessity of building an audience

  • Nathalie created online course, built membership site
  • Launch fell flat because she overlooked marketing component

 

How Nathalie approaches working with her husband

  • Became entrepreneur for love
  • Had to acquire entrepreneurial mindset
  • Clearly defined roles (she is face of company, he works behind-the-scenes)

 

Nathalie’s biggest accomplishment in business thus far

  • Accepting invitation to speak on stage
  • Boosted business to next level
  • To grow, you must get comfortable with being uncomfortable

 

The biggest mistakes people make in designing websites

  • Make themselves the focus, rather than the visitor
  • Must convince visitor you can do something for them in five seconds
  • Goal is to add visitor to list with free content

 

Resources

Off the Charts with Nathalie Lussier

 

Connect with Nathalie Doremieux

New Software Marketing

Jul 11, 2017

Some of us are attracted to online entrepreneurship because of the freedom it affords us to travel, living the digital nomad lifestyle. Others of us choose web-based businesses because we want to get off the hamster wheel and spend real quality time with our kids and partners. Today’s guest is combining both of those perks and embarking on an RV adventure with her husband and two small children, traveling the country to visit family while maintaining her online venture, brb Yoga.

Catherine Middlebrooks began a yoga practice in college. Ten years ago, she earned a certification to teach and began a successful corporate yoga business. After a move to Nashville, Catherine transitioned into a ‘regular job,’ using her master’s in experimental psychology to work in market research. But when her daughter was born in 2012, Catherine and her husband made the decision to be more intentional about their lives and start their own online business.

At the same time, Catherine was struggling to find time for yoga. As a new mom, she didn’t have 75 minutes to spend at a studio, but she knew she needed the mindfulness and calm a yoga practice provides. So Catherine developed a program of shorter, precisely designed classes to pull her out of the overwhelm and help her embrace her new life and body. She created brb Yoga to help other moms make time for self-care and restore their core strength. Today she discusses how she niched down to serve a very specific population of new moms, the challenge of maintaining her relationship with her husband as they build a business together, and her upcoming family RV adventure! Listen and learn how to employ Facebook ads to generate traffic and apply a project management system to make the best use of your time.

 

Key Takeaways

Why Catherine’s digital format works for new moms interested in Yoga

  • Struggle to find time to attend class
  • Looking for program that serves post-partum body

 

The value of identifying a need in the marketplace

  • Women with abdominal separation not served by traditional fitness industry
  • Catherine created Heal Your Core program for niche audience

 

Catherine’s struggle to attract ideal clients

  • Started w/ ‘quick, efficient online yoga for busy moms’
  • Realized not specific enough
  • Gained traction after designing specific products (i.e.: Beginners Bundle)
  • Landed on serving women with diastasis recti
  • Relies on Facebook ads, targeting companies that serve same population
  • Alludes to pain points of ideal client in marketing

 

Catherine’s tips for employing Facebook ads

  • Invest in course early on
  • Don’t drive traffic to sales page
  • Give value first (e.g.: blog post)

 

Catherine’s biggest challenge as entrepreneur

  • Maintain relationship with husband while building business together
  • Make sure work brings family closer together

 

Catherine’s upcoming RV adventure

  • Decided freedom and family were priority
  • Started online venture with travel in mind
  • Designing trip so both have daily time to work, spend time with family
  • Obtaining booster for RV (internet connection)
  • Will continue to blog, nurture Facebook group, email

 

Catherine’s best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

  • Create structure
  • Consider Scrum project management process
  • Establish weekly objectives
  • Ensure that time/energy driven by you, your goals

 

Resources

RV Entrepreneurs Facebook Group

Scrum Project Management

The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

 

Connect with Catherine Middlebrooks

Website

Jul 6, 2017

One of the major hurdles online entrepreneurs face is that of scaling their business. How exactly do you generate the client base necessary to take your venture to the next level? 

Susan Cabezas quit her job as a digital marketing consultant in 2010, with the hopes of building an online business. She worked as a VA through Elance while she had her first child, but struggled to make a sustainable income and eventually went back to full-time work. She was laid off in 2013 and worked for a VA company doing subcontract work when her second son was born, but again returned to a ‘regular job’ to generate consistent income. Susan has been at her current full-time digital marketing position with a large non-profit for the past three years but has built an online social media management business as a side hustle. This venture, Being More Social, seeks to help female entrepreneurs connect with their audience and grow their businesses.

Susan is also a blogger, helping busy moms live happier and be more present with their families at The Mama Resource (formerly Modern Frugal Mom). Today she shares her best tips on organization and time management as well as her vision for the future of her business. In addition, Laura offers some on-air coaching to help Susan strategize next steps as she works to position herself as a social media expert, write effective proposals, and take Being More Social to the next level.

 

Key Takeaways

Why Susan has struggled to move into full-time freelancing

  • Need for sustainable income
  • Difficulty finding clients via networking

 

How Susan finds clients now

  • Entrepreneur/blogger Facebook groups

 

Laura’s advice around scaling a social media management business

  • Offer monthly retainer packages
  • Niche down to one or two platforms
  • Position/brand self as expert

 

Laura’s tips for landing clients

  • Ask current clients for testimonials, referrals with incentives
  • Talk to prospects in a results-oriented way (i.e.: social platform growth, time saved)
  • Provide case studies of current/former clients
  • Empathize with client pain points when developing proposal

 

Susan’s advice regarding time management and productivity

 

What’s next for Susan’s business

  • Grow into full-time enterprise
  • Leverage blog to make passive income via affiliate marketing, products

 

Susan’s #1 tip for aspiring online business owners

  • Know what you want
  • Be consistent

 

Resources

Google Drive

Google Calendar

Trello

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s Affiliate Marketing Course

 

Connect with Susan Cabezas

Being More Social Website

Being More Social on Facebook

The Mama Resource Blog

Susan on Twitter

Jul 4, 2017

Even the most passionate solopreneurs among us can get to a point where our energy is depleted and we need a break from it all. Today’s guest admits to being the Queen of Burnout, working so hard for her clients that she forgets to give herself a break.

Based in beautiful Knysna, South Africa, Carol Hampshire is a brand designer and business strategist with twenty years of experience running her own studio, Red Hot Designs. She added business mentoring to her resume ten years ago, with the intention of helping female entrepreneurs who are coaches, creatives and wellness consultants work smarter and play harder.

Two years ago, Carol hit a wall. She had taken on too much, she was losing her joy, and she could no longer deliver her best work. After a week away from her desk on a sailing trip to Turkey, Carol realized that she needed to create a business around her life, not vice versa. Today she shares her best advice on avoiding burnout, connecting with clients in the onboarding process, and allocating time away from the computer. Listen to understand why Carol makes it a point to learn what drives her clients and how to shift your business model as the need arises.

 

Key Takeaways

Carol’s key to consistent success

  • Shift business model as environment, personal needs change

 

Signs of burnout

  • Up early, finish late
  • Race against clock
  • Loss of joy
  • Compromise quality of work

 

Carol’s tips to avoid burnout

  • Enlist accountability partner
  • Schedule time away from computer (e.g.: yoga class, walk dog, tea with friend)

 

Carol’s guidance around working with clients

  • Take time to get to know them as people
  • Connection eliminates confusion, brings out best work
  • ‘Take on clients you would spend the weekend with’

 

The questions Carol asks new clients in onboarding process

  • What is your core essence?
  • What is your message?
  • What motivated you to create the business?
  • What are your unique talents?
  • What makes you an authority in your field?
  • What drives you?

 

Carol’s biggest challenges as an entrepreneur

  • Allocating time to work on own business (update website, nurture Facebook group, ongoing marketing efforts)
  • Devoting time to professional development

 

Carol’s shift to working as coach/mentor

  • Came from within, passion to work with people
  • Desire to offer insight to emerging entrepreneurs

 

Resources

Trello

The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks PhD

 

Connect with Carol Hampshire

Website

Jun 29, 2017

If you want to be of service to others, the first step is seeing the world from their perspective. Today’s guest argues that the most important quality of a coach is the ability to meet your clients where they are and employ empathy as you work together. Only then can you lead your mentees to the kind of creativity and innovation that fosters success.

Yvonne Smyth is a business mentor and life coach who seeks to help people Flourish – to develop empowering mindsets, to align their businesses with their values and beliefs, and to ultimately live lives of joy and fulfillment. Her greatest strength is working with people to create a compelling vision for their future, then supporting them on the journey. She is a certified NLP Practitioner, the Entrepreneur in Residence at Catalyst Inc. HQ as well as the co-founder of The Unlimited Human.

Yvonne had a successful career as a managing director of a hotel and spa, but she didn’t feel like she was doing anything well. She felt guilty that she couldn’t spend more time with her young children, and despite having the career, family, and home she thought would make her happy, she was stressed out of her head. In 2013, she took the leap into self-employment and developed a coaching business with the intention of helping people flourish and thrive. Today, she shares her secrets to landing new clients, advice around pricing your service, and her intuitive approach to onboarding new clients. Listen to understand how empathy serves as the foundation of a strong coaching practice.

 

Key Takeaways

The most important quality for a business/life coach

  • Empathy (must be able to see the world from a client’s point of view)

 

Yvonne’s secrets to landing new clients

  • Reach out to current contacts
  • Provide quality work (leads to long-term working relationships, word-of-mouth)
  • Leverage Facebook business page, groups
  • Join networking groups
  • Look for funded programs
  • Secure license for specific curricula

 

Yvonne’s intuitive approach to working with new clients

  • Start with a conversation (what life is like, typical day)
  • Observe body language, word choice
  • Note what drains/energizes client

 

Yvonne’s advice around pricing your service

  • Start in ‘middle of the road’
  • Raise prices as you demonstrate value

 

How to adapt to clients that don’t fit your program template

  • Conduct organization culture assessment
  • If resistant to change, slow down
  • ‘Speak their language’
  • Meet students where they are

 

Resources

Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

 

Connect with Yvonne Smyth

Website

LinkedIn

Jun 27, 2017

Many aspiring entrepreneurs get overwhelmed in the face of a very long to-do list that includes designing a website, building a customer base, and establishing trust in order to draw traffic to your site. If your business involves the sale of a product, the logistics of manufacturing and distribution get thrown into the mix as well. What if there was a platform that would take care of the majority of those things for you? 

Adam Hudson is the founder of Reliable Education, a resource for entrepreneurs that teaches its clients how to establish reliable online income streams via the Amazon platform. Adam developed these strategies in the conception of his own homewares brand; its products are sold exclusively through Amazon in more than 30 countries. A serial entrepreneur who has built a number of multi-million dollar companies, Adam also leads an Amazon marketing services firm. He has been featured in countless national publications, including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek.

Adam’s interest in online entrepreneurship began when he was running an animation studio in California. He realized that selling his time was not the optimal business model, so he started looking for opportunities to generate reliable income through product development. He discovered the Amazon platform and realized its potential as the go-to site for consumers. Today he outlines the reasons why Amazon is a good fit for new entrepreneurs, how to choose a product for sale, and the process of selecting a manufacturer. Listen and learn how to make your product stand out on the site and generate reliable income!

 

Key Takeaways

Why Amazon is a good fit for new entrepreneurs

  • $1 of every $2 spent in online retail is through Amazon
  • Revenues expected to grow from $300B to $1.5T in next decade
  • Builds website for you and takes care of logistics, distribution
  • Trust already established with enormous customer base

 

How to choose a potential product

 

How to differentiate your product and avoid oversaturation

  • Consumers judge based on quality and content of picture
  • Compete based on design to stand out visually (i.e.: brightly-colored car cover)

 

Adam’s advice around choosing an industry

  • Avoid beauty, supplements
  • Consider an industry you understand, have a passion for
  • Ask yourself what’s missing
  • Look for areas with unsophisticated sellers who aren’t doing anything to stand out

 

The next steps once you’ve selected a product

  • Research demand
  • Be sure ranked in top 20,000 on Amazon
  • Make use of tools like Google AdWords and Google Trends
  • Reach out to suppliers via a Request For Quote

 

The process of packaging and shipping

  • Usually packaged and prepared completely by manufacturer
  • Entrepreneur establishes Amazon Seller Account
  • Amazon provides seller with PDF to place on box
  • Seller emails PDF to supplier
  • Freight forwarder ships boxes directly to Amazon warehouse

 

Common mistakes made by novice sellers

  • Negotiate cheaper price and receive poor quality product
  • Adam recommends spending more for product, selling at 5X what paid

 

Adam’s best advice for potential Amazon sellers

  • Don’t overthink and never start
  • Learn the fundamentals by opening free account, investing $100 in one or two AliExpress products to sell through Amazon

 

Resources

Amazon

Alibaba

ZonGuru

Google AdWords

Google Trends

“The Lazy Seller” Interview on WebRetailer

AliExpress

 

Connect with Adam Hudson

ReliableEducation

Jun 22, 2017

‘I want to help people, but I also want to be happy doing it.’

 

In a perfect world, we wake up every day motivated to do our work because it’s something we love. As online entrepreneurs, we are at an advantage: If we discover that we are no longer eager to get down to business, we have the freedom to shift our focus to something we are passionate about and make money while we’re at it! Today’s guest is on a mission to help solopreneurs generate passive income by monetizing their passion.

 

Ronisha Shead founded Bizzell Development Solutions with the intention of assisting online entrepreneurs in developing eCourses and workshops. An authority in the area of digital product creation, she has ten-plus years of experience creating online courses for companies like IBM, Dell, and United Healthcare.

 

Ronisha began her career in academics as a professor of composition and writing, developing classroom and digital courses. After seven years, she became weary of the college scene and transitioned to corporate training. Eventually, Ronisha realized that she could make more working for herself, and Bizzell was born! Her newest venture is the Moms That Hustle blog, an enterprise that seeks to help moms start a side hustle or add passive income to their business with a digital product. Today, Ronisha shares the lessons she has learned in developing her business, how she landed her first clients, and her best tips on connecting with your audience. Listen and learn to monetize your passion with a digital product!

 

Key Takeaways

How Ronisha landed her first few clients

  • Facebook groups

 

How Ronisha’s pricing model has evolved

  • Charged going hourly rate early on (clients at different stages in course creation process)
  • Now teaches people to create digital products themselves

 

Common challenges people face in creating content (i.e.: online course, ebook)

  • Doubt/fear
  • Weary of technology

 

Lessons Ronisha has learned in developing her business

  • Help clients get clear on what they want
  • Engage your audience early
  • Build a list and share free content so people are interested when you launch a product

 

Ronisha’s tips for connecting with your audience before a product launch

  • Establish a 90-day process
  • Blog on the topic
  • Offer free video training on one aspect
  • Send your list a weekly email, use feedback to develop product
  • Provide free complementary content leading up to launch

 

The benefits of being a solopreneur

  • Learn as you go what you like, dislike
  • Can make changes to fit current needs

 

The importance of self-reflection

  • Make sure your focus is your passion

 

Resources

Canva

 

Connect with Ronisha Shead

Bizzell Development Solutions

Moms That Hustle Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Jun 20, 2017

The beauty of freelancing is the freedom it affords you to set your own schedule, and for busy moms, that is a necessity. But taking care of kiddos is a full-time job in and of itself, so how do you carve out the time to write your blog, for example? And how do you make decisions about what really HAS to be done? 

Emily McGee is the founder of My Adaptable Career, an online business that advises freelancers and solopreneurs on best business practices and intentional business growth via innovative time management solutions. She works specifically with moms looking to monetize their blogs and avoid returning to a nine-to-five.

Emily began her career as an English teacher before her husband’s job took them overseas. It was then that she began freelance writing in the education sphere, finally niching down to curriculum development. In January of 2016, she founded My Adaptable Career to offer general advice to other freelancers before finding her expertise in time management. Today Emily shares her best ideas for juggling business and baby, how she handles ‘mom guilt,’ and why freelancing is a good fit for stay-at-home parents!

 

Key Takeaways

The benefits of niching down

  • Make more money
  • More offers, including repeat clients

 

Why focusing on a particular industry makes you a better prospect

  • Known as go-to writer for specific content (i.e.: standardized test questions for middle/high school language arts)

 

Why Emily made the shift to blogging

  • As freelancer, still answered to ‘boss’
  • Having own business affords complete control

 

How Emily made the transition from freelancing to blogging

  • Balanced both for a year (blog not generating income)
  • Researched entrepreneurship, chose full-time blogging as calculated risk
  • Views freelancing as safety net to return to if necessary

 

Emily’s target audience

  • Moms looking to monetize their blogs
  • Parents struggling with time management (running household and blogging)

 

Emily’s advice for juggling business and baby

  • Minimize your expectations
  • Limit your ‘stuff’
  • Prioritize (What really HAS to be done?)
  • Let go of perfection
  • Get clear on your goals
  • Say ‘no’ to anything that’s not going to get you there

 

How to handle ‘mom guilt’

  • Remember that social media is a cultivated image of other’s lives and avoid making comparisons
  • At the end of the day, you only have to answer to yourself and your family

 

Why freelancing is a good compromise for new moms

  • Allows you to maintain identity outside of being a mom
  • Doesn’t require being away from children for full-time work

 

How Emily carves out time to work

  • Three-year-old daughter attends preschool, plays by herself
  • Four-month-old son naps
  • Eliminate other hobbies (e.g.: television)

 

Emily’s greatest challenge as a business owner

  • Mindset – allowing doubt to hold back

 

Emily’s #1 tip for aspiring business owners

  • Take the plunge
  • Now is your time!

 

Resources

Free Time Management Mini Course

 

Connect with Emily McGee

My Adaptable Career

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Jun 15, 2017

As freelance writers, most of us have dreamed of seeing our picture on a book jacket. But the process of finding a publisher and securing a literary agent may seem intimidating. How do you pitch your book idea to an agent? What is involved in the submission process? What’s the difference between traditional and digital publishing? It’s time to take the ‘aspiring’ out of ‘aspiring author’ with today’s guest, who answers your questions about the publishing world.

Megan Close Zavala is a literary agent at Keller Media and the creator of Turn the Page Book Coaching and Editorial. She began her career in the film industry, working in the business and legal affairs department for companies like E! Entertainment, Comcast Media Group, and NBCUniversal. After a layoff and a year in India, Megan went on a mission to land a job in publishing that would allow her to read for a living, and she became an editorial assistant at Keller Media.

Megan was quickly promoted to literary agent, and she has been working with authors in that capacity since January of 2015. Since then, she has worked with New York Times best-selling authors and spoken at writers’ conferences across the country. Megan came to realize that many writers needed additional assistance beyond what she could offer as an agent, and Turn the Page was born to provide editorial and book coaching services to authors at various stages in the writing process. Today she takes the mystery out of publishing, explaining the role of a literary agent, how to submit a proposal or manuscript, and how to establish a working relationship with a trustworthy agent. Listen in to get Megan’s best advice for aspiring authors!

 

Key Takeaways

The pros and cons of traditional vs. self-publishing

  • Traditional route provides support to help sell/improve book
  • Self-publishing allows you to maintain total control
  • Be an informed consumer when choosing self-publisher (companies make promises re: book promotion that they don’t keep)
  • Responsibility for marketing falls on you when you opt for self-publishing

 

How to establish a relationship with a literary agent

  • Approach agents who work with your genre
  • Follow submission guidelines on publisher website
  • Understand where your book falls in marketplace and what makes it unique

 

The role of a literary agent

  • Works with author to get proposal/manuscript in order
  • Research and choose editors to pitch
  • Submit materials to interested editors
  • Negotiate best deal possible
  • Assist with marketing

 

How to choose the right publisher

  • Review titles on publisher website for similar genres, experience
  • Examine similar books for agent credit
  • Employ literary agent directories (writing reference section of local bookstore)
  • Make use of websites like PublishersMarketplace

 

Megan’s tips for choosing an agent

  • Agents work on commission; don’t agree to pay a ‘reading fee’
  • Select someone you feel comfortable with
  • Advocate for yourself rather than accepting the first offer

 

Megan’s book coaching service

  • ‘Personal trainer’ for writers
  • Works with authors at various stages in the process
  • Work together to identify problem areas, strategies to fix
  • Copyediting and proofreading services available

 

Common challenges of aspiring authors

  • Not willing to spend money to invest in process
  • Attached to work, difficulty letting go of character/subplot

 

The benefits of working with a book coach

  • Help see book in a new way
  • Act as accountability partner

 

Megan’s best advice for would-be authors

  • Dedicate a specific time each day to get something on paper (even if it’s five minutes)
  • Establish self-imposed deadlines and keep your commitment

 

Resources

PublishersMarketplace

 

Connect with Megan Close Zavala

Turn the Page Website

Turn the Page on Facebook

Turn the Page on Twitter

Turn the Page on Pinterest

Megan on Twitter

Keller Media

Jun 13, 2017

‘The waters of the internet are infested with sharks!’

 

By virtue of having a website, online solopreneurs are vulnerable to lawsuits and scammers. Many of us stick our heads in the sand and hope it will never happen to us, but there are a number of protections we can put in place to minimize the risk. Today’s guest is prepared to arm you with the information you need to navigate those shark-infested waters and understand the fundamental legal aspects of online business ownership.

 

Internet business lawyer Lin Eleoff is the founder of Cover Your Assets Online, a service that teaches solopreneurs to cover their ‘assets’ without having to spend an arm and a leg on legal fees. She offers a DIY Legal Toolkit that allows online entrepreneurs to prepare key documents themselves, as well as done-for-you services and consulting.

 

Lin never wanted to be one of those ‘billable hours’ attorneys in the corner office; she was looking for a new way to practice law. She saw a huge need in the area of internet law for entrepreneurs, so she became an entrepreneur herself and created an online coaching venture to empower business owners with crucial legal information. Today she shares the common mistakes made by online solopreneurs, the legal documents you can prepare on your own, and her best legal advice for online business owners. Listen and learn why scammers target small business owners and how to protect yourself from a lawsuit!

 

Key Takeaways

The legal fundamentals of online business ownership

  • Being sued is stressful, even if you win
  • Having a website automatically makes you vulnerable
  • Must protect yourself from liability and minimize risk

 

The common legal mistakes made by online business owners

  • Lack three key documents – privacy policy, terms, and conditions, disclaimer
  • Use of unauthorized images

 

Legal documents you can prepare yourself

  • Privacy policy, terms, and conditions, disclaimer
  • Copyright registration
  • Legwork for contracts and trademark prep (have lawyer finalize)

 

How much it might cost to put legal protections in place

  • Lin’s DIY Toolkit – $597
  • Attorney’s hourly fee between $400-$600
  • Much more expensive to secure lawyer for lawsuit

 

Why scammers target small business owners

  • Looking for people who are exposed, less informed
  • Online solopreneurs less likely to have lawyer

 

Lin’s best legal advice for online business owners

  • Establish an LLC or S corp.
  • Separate your personal and business assets

 

How to approach legal aspects of online business ownership

  • Depends on personal preference
  • If comfortable, can do much yourself
  • Procure attorney for complex issues
  • Educate yourself to work with lawyer

 

Resources

DIY Legal Toolkit

 

Connect with Lin Eleoff

Website

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