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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: February, 2017
Feb 28, 2017

Sarah Foster quit her 9 to 5 job two years ago and now works full-time from her home studio as a jewelry designer as well as a design, branding and marketing consultant to female entrepreneurs and host of the FIT & FIERCE Podcast. As founder, creator and Chief Foul Mouth of Bad Bad Jewelry, Sarah’s mission is to inspire and empower women to go after what they want.

Sarah began her career working in the call center for Amazon, then taking a job in the financial industry. Seeking a creative outlet, Sarah started designing one-of-a-kind jewelry as a side gig. Eventually, she founded the company Nomadic Fashion and tried jewelry full-time. After two years of entrepreneurship, Sarah was struggling and realized that it was necessary to return to the corporate world. Landing a job as an executive assistant at a design firm, Sarah earned enough money to fund the next step of her journey and Bad Bad Jewelry was born. On this episode of the podcast, Sarah offers advice about outsourcing and inspires you to take risks and do the work you love.


Key Takeaways

Sarah’s tips for gaining confidence

  • Fake it ‘til you make it; speak with a confident tone of voice
  • Be upfront when you don’t know the answers
  • Push yourself: “I knew I wouldn’t grow unless I was uncomfortable.”

 If you’re working a job that doesn’t make you happy, use it as motivation to discover your true passion

  • Sarah was working as an executive assistant when she conceived of her new brand, the type of jewelry she wanted to make and how to manufacture it

 Sarah’s advice for struggling entrepreneurs

  • It’s okay to go back to a ‘normal’ job if you aren’t making it

Sarah’s guidelines for juggling multiple projects

  • Though it may be tough to give up control, outsource small tasks like photo editing and writing captions
  • Utilize programs (Excel, Word, PowerPoint) beyond what they may have been created for in an office environment

Sarah’s suggestions for beginning entrepreneurs

  1. Don’t be afraid to delegate; make use of freelancers on sites like Upwork
  2. Think about slowly scaling your business while you are still working a ‘normal’ job

 “It’s going to be okay”

  • Though entrepreneurship has its ups and downs, you should pursue the work you love


Feel the Fear … and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers 



Connect with Sarah Foster








Feb 23, 2017


 Laura returns with a mini-master class in duplicate content. Prepare to learn what it is and why it matters on this episode of the Better Biz Academy podcast!

As a freelance writer, it is paramount to understand that you cannot get away with copying someone else’s work. Even if it is unintentional, word-for-word phrasing already used on other sites has dire consequences for search engine rankings – not to mention the loss of credibility you will suffer as a freelancer.

Laura explains how to protect yourself and provide a guarantee that your content is 100% original! Click and listen to learn how to identify duplicate content and help your clients stay out of “Google jail.”

Key Takeaways

The definition of duplicate content

  • A situation in which a website has been copied, be it 100% or 5%
  • Google identifies duplicate content and gauges which site is original based on who posted first 

The consequences of duplicate content

  • Website is blacklisted from search engine rankings
  • No traction for your website means no new business

The benefits of using Copyscape

  • Helps businesses avoid “Google jail” by confirming that content is unique to their site
  • Allows freelancers to guarantee work is 100% original by flagging situations in which they may have inadvertently picked up on a phrase used on another site
  • Gives freelancers the opportunity to ensure that someone else is not using their content without permission

Laura’s advice for freelancers hired by clients with duplicate content

  • If they are unaware, you have a responsibility to let them know
  • Start from scratch rather than trying to fix the existing plagiarized content
  • Don’t let the client bully you into a lower rate because the previous writer was dishonest

Laura’s tips to avoid inadvertently submitting duplicate content

  • Don’t use word-for-word quotes unless absolutely necessary
  • Provide links to the original sources of data you cite
  • Safeguard yourself by providing clients with a courtesy Copyscape that guarantees original content



Laura’s Full List of Courses


Connect with Laura Pennington









Feb 21, 2017

 Ardelia Lee is a content roadmap engineer and copywriter who helps small business owners create intentional, goal-oriented content that supports long-term business growth. She earned both a BA and MA in English Language and Literature from Sam Houston State University. After moving from Texas to Detroit, Ardelia landed her first client, a small news publication called Daily Detroit, by answering an ad on Craigslist. That partnership led to referrals, and soon she had developed her niche in content strategy and copywriting for businesses. When she’s not scheming with her clients, you can find her curled up with an obnoxiously long fantasy novel and a warm cup of coffee.

On this episode of the podcast, Ardelia gets down to the nitty gritty of content strategy and reveals the common mistakes business owners make in that regard. She walks us through the steps she takes to develop working relationships with new clients and the Content Cleanse Challenge she is offering now!

 Key Takeaways

Quality leads can come from a number of sources

  • Don’t discount sites like Craigslist and Upwork when you’re looking to land those first clients 

The benefits of juggling a dozen (or more!) clients at one time

  • If you lose a client, it’s not a devastating blow to your income
  • Ardelia thrives under the pressure of having several balls in the air

Ardelia’s ‘freelancer writer challenges’

  1. Getting into a new niche
  2. Realizing that you can’t take it personally when a customer asks for revisions

 Ardelia’s advice for freelancers just getting started

  • “Just keep at it”
  • Find what you’re good at and go with it

Freelancers must devote time to both project completion and marketing the business

  • Ardelia spends three to four hours/day writing and two to three hours/week marketing

Clients don’t know or care when you do the work, as long as you meet deadlines

  • A mother with two small children, Ardelia works before her family wakes up, in the evening after her girls are asleep and on weekends when her husband is home

 Ardelia’s onboarding process for new clients

  1. Exchange email with client to determine fit
  2. Follow up with Skype/phone consultation
  3. Establish contract
  4. Complete client questionnaire to determine audience, goals, etc.


Common mistakes business owners make re: content strategy

  • Blog posts lack useful, relevant content that will help consumers solve their problems

 The advantages of pricing by writing packages

  • Freelancers can set income goals and take steps to book the appropriate # of clients
  • Clients know what to expect and can budget ahead of time

 Ardelia’s strategies for growing her business and business connections

  • Adding video content and webinars
  • Pursuing collaborations

 Ardelia’s best tip for content creators

  • Know why you’re creating the content you’re creating – be it to book clients, grow your email list or drive traffic to your website



Content Cleanse Challenge


Connect with Ardelia Lee






Feb 14, 2017

Laura returns with another solo podcast to share the strategy she uses to make the most of her writing time, the Pomodoro Technique. This approach wires your brain to focus on a single, specific writing task for a short burst of 25 minutes before allowing yourself a five minute break. While she initially resisted implementing this approach, Laura came to realize that she was less effective when multitasking and did benefit from working on a given task, free from distractions.   

Listen in to learn how the Pomodoro Technique helped Laura triple her business revenue, take on more clients and have time for herself and other projects! Then implement this valuable brain hack to increase your own productivity without sacrificing the quality of your work.

Key Takeaways

Guidelines of the Pomodoro Technique

  • Work in 25 minute bursts followed by a five minute break (or make use of a 50/10 minute cycle)
  • Eliminate all other distractions


Laura’s advice for dealing with stray thoughts that don’t apply to the task at hand

  • Keep a sheet of paper nearby to catalog ideas/to-do items that come to mind while you are working – to be dealt with later


Consider utilizing tools to help you focus

  • Laura recommends focus@will’s scientifically optimized music (and its built-in timer)
  • Applications like inbox pause for Gmail help to eliminate distractions


Laura’s tips for making breaks purposeful

  • Leave your work space
  • Do something physical, i.e.: walk on the treadmill, load the dishwasher


More time in front of the computer doesn’t necessarily result in increased productivity

  • Laura argues that you can accomplish more in a highly focused three hour period than you might in a distracted or fatigued ten hour block


Determine the time of day when you are most effective and focused to double or even triple your productivity

  • Laura works through three to four Pomodoro cycles when she’s at her best, between 5:00am and 10:00am


Laura’s Pomodoro challenge

  • Practice the Pomodoro Technique at least once a day for one week
  • Amplify the benefits by incorporating music and a timer to signal your brain that it’s time to work
  • Reflect on how much you are able to accomplish and the quality of your work



Laura’s Full List of Courses 


Gmail Inbox Pause

Boomerang for Gmail

Ed Gandia’s Focus@Will Podcast 


Connect with Laura Pennington






Feb 7, 2017

 Kali Rogers is the CEO and founder of Blush Online Life Coaching. She has her BA in Psychology from the University of Texas in Austin and her masters in counseling from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she leads a team of five who coach millennial females all over the globe through the Quarter Life Crisis.

Kali first began to develop the idea for Blush while bartending her way through graduate school. She noticed the high turnover of young female managers and pitched the idea of online counseling to the large restaurant chain where she worked. Although they didn’t bite, Kali continued to be drawn to entrepreneurship, and when she was fired from a traditional counseling job, the time was right to start Blush.

Blush’s mission is to provide affordable, convenient and professional online life coaching for any girl, anywhere. The company is dedicated to encouraging, motivating and challenging girls from all over the globe. On this episode of the podcast, Kali destroys the stigma associated with counseling (strong, successful people benefit from coaching), explains Blush’s validating coaching style and encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to take the leap.


Key Takeaways

High functioning individuals benefit from counseling and coaching services


The psychological challenges of entrepreneurship

  • Coming to terms with the fact that you don’t fit in at a ‘normal job’
  • Explaining the service you provide to others (friends and family may not understand the work you do)


Kali’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs

  • “Become friends with good enough” – perfect is not feasible
  • Check in regularly with supportive people who get what you are trying to do
  • You’re never going to be ready, so let go and go for it


Definition of Quarter Life Crisis

  • The feeling of loss and hopelessness young women feel after they leave the structure of school (where success was easy to measure) and suddenly face a freefall where there is no formula for success


Kali’s Marketing Tips:

  1. Expand your company through the power of writing – blog posts and email lists were the key to Blush’s initial growth
  2. Propagate with Pinterest – the recent use of Pinterest quadrupled Blush’s web traffic
  3. Take advantage of channels like Instagram and Google to attract clients to your site


Customize your services to maximize accessibility

  • New clients complete a profile before they are matched with an ideal coach (like the Harry Potter sorting hat!)
  • Blush offers a variety of options that range in price from $25 to $249



HARO (Help A Reporter Out)  

Connect with Kali Rogers