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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: June, 2017
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

Jun 8, 2017

Perhaps you dread going to the office every day because you simply aren’t inspired by what you do. Or maybe your heart isn’t in the traditional 9 to 5 anymore because of little ones at home that you are missing. Either way, today’s guest has been in your shoes, and she knows how to launch a business as a virtual assistant that will afford you the opportunity to be the parent you want to be and develop a career that you love.

Abbey Ashley was looking for work-from-home opportunities after the birth of her first child. A friend recommended that she look into becoming a VA, so she did some research and determined that it would be a good fit. She leveraged her background in marketing to help small business owners with various administrative projects, and within four months she had to bring in subcontractors to help with the overload of work!

In March 2016, Abbey founded The Virtual Savvy to help other women launch and grow their own virtual assistant businesses. She is on a mission to empower women to enjoy the freedom and flexibility afforded by a work-from-home VA career. Today she discusses the most in-demand services a virtual assistant can offer as well as proven strategies for landing clients. Turn passion into profit and launch your VA career today!

 

Key Takeaways

The role of a VA

  • Help entrepreneurs/small business owners online
  • General tasks include marketing, admin and social media

Abbey’s guidance for ‘repackaging’ traditional job skills

  • Start with what you already know (list skills you might offer)
  • Pick one or two things you are interested in learning as you go

The most in-demand VA services in the current market

  • Social media (content creation and scheduling)
  • Blog posts
  • Web programs (back end)
  • Landing page creation
  • Email marketing

How to land your first client as a new VA

  • Look to people you already know
  • Accept one-off/short-term projects

Why it’s better for VAs to offer general services in the beginning

  • Small wins build confidence
  • Practice period helps you determine your niche, ideal client
  • Opportunity to develop processes, learn contracts and invoicing
  • Potential to get paid to learn new skills, do research

Abbey’s best strategies for landing new clients

  • Leverage online sources (i.e.: Facebook, LinkedIn, Upwork)
  • Join 20-30 entrepreneurial Facebook groups
  • Use search terms such as VA, hire/help

How to make your proposal stand out

  • Develop a value-first mindset
  • Invest the time to customize your proposal

Abbey’s number one tip for new VAs

  • Spend less time on things that aren’t going to directly land clients
  • 80% of your time should be spent on marketing

 

Resources

Canva

MailChimp

ConvertKit

Constant Contact

WordPress

Squarespace

Upwork

Connect with Abbey Ashley

Website

Free Checklist

Facebook

Facebook Group

Pinterest

Twitter

Jun 6, 2017

Traditional leadership training is difficult to implement because it’s tough to access that seven-step conflict resolution process in the middle of a team meltdown! Today’s guest is a leadership coach with a different approach. She is on a mission to develop leaders who view management as a collaborative process, who share their vision and then walk alongside their team members on the way to realizing big picture goals.

 

Judy Lair started out on the ‘other side of the couch.’ As a client, she recognized that her counselor was employing the strategic thinking skills that she considered a personal strength. She applied to graduate school and earned her Master’s from Ashland Theological Seminary in 2002. For the past 15 years, Judy has operated a successful private practice, Counselorplace Christian Counseling, in Worthington, Ohio.

 

In June 2016, Judy expanded her business to include leadership coaching. She leverages her accreditations as both a Certified Business Coach and Certified Life Coach to help clients become insightful, inspiring leaders and effective problem-solvers. She offers 1:1 personal leadership coaching as well as Masterclass Leadership Development group coaching workshops. Judy is the author of four books, and today she shares advice about writing as well as business ownership. Listen to understand why Judy chose private practice, how she determined her ideal clients, and how her business grew to include leadership coaching.

 

Key Takeaways

How Judy made the decision to start her own business

  • Avoid 60/40 or 70/30 split
  • Background as paralegal, office manager

 

Judy’s strategies for landing the first few clients

  • Networking
  • Written material
  • Seminars

 

How to approach networking

  • Don’t view as ‘sales’
  • Share your investment in what you love
  • Showcase how you can be of service

 

How Judy determined her ideal clients

  • Strength as strategic thinker
  • Ability to understand thought process, barriers
  • Counseling niche in anxiety disorder
  • Coaching niche in examining how leaders think, sharing expanded view

 

How Judy got into coaching

  • Counseling clients in leadership positions discussed work in sessions
  • Asked Judy to branch out, talk to their teams

 

The difference in marketing strategy for counseling vs. coaching

  • Counseling clients know they have a problem
  • Must identify pain points of potential coaching clients and communicate benefits based on where they’re at now

 

Judy’s ground-breaking approach to leadership development

  • Traditional framework teaches skills (i.e.: conflict resolution) that are difficult to access when needed
  • Judy seeks to develop innovative thinking and apply organically

 

The secret to team management

  • View as collaborative process
  • See team members as people rather than skill sets
  • Align team members’ individual goals with vision for group

 

Judy’s writing advice

  • Give yourself a daily word count, time parameters (e.g.: 2,000 words in two hours/day)
  • Push past limiting beliefs
  • Do not hit backspace or delete

 

Resources

Judy’s Amazon Author Page

Free Viewpoint Leadership mp3s

Free Phone Consultation

Connect with Judy Lair

Website

LinkedIn

Twitter

Facebook

Jun 1, 2017

If you’re just getting your feet wet with the whole online business thing, it is likely that you have been working as a generalist, taking on a wide variety of projects for a wide variety of clients. Perhaps you are starting to figure out which projects you really love – and which ones you hate with the fire of a thousand suns. If that’s the case, it may be time to niche down and build your expertise in the areas you truly enjoy, and make more money while you’re at it!

 

Alexandra Ramirez got her start on the platform fiverr, making just five bucks per gig! She moved up via Kimra Luna’s Freedom Hackers, meeting entrepreneurs in need of a VA in the Facebook group. After a few months performing a wide range of tasks, Alexandra discovered her love of sales funnels, email marketing, and course creation. She changed her title to reflect this role as a specialist, and Divine Business Management was born. Now Alexandra specializes in helping entrepreneurs automate their marketing through sales funnels to attract ideal clients and generate passive income.

 

Alexandra is here to explain the specifics of a sales funnel as well as the benefits of email marketing. Listen and learn how she transitioned from generalist to expert – and boosted her income in the process!

 

Key Takeaways

How to use Facebook groups to land clients

  • Don’t use the language of desperation
  • Offer value by explaining the specific service(s) you can provide

 

How Alexandra transitioned from a generalist to an expert

  • Changed title from VA to ‘sales funnel creator’
  • Positioned self as specialist

 

The advantages of email marketing

  • Unlikely to be shut down (unlike social media accounts)
  • Can be personalized to nurture potential clients
  • Better chance of opening email vs. seeing post on social

 

The vocabulary of a sales funnel creator

  • Lead magnet – a freebie (e.g.: eBook, checklist, video) that potential clients access by providing email address
  • Landing page – the web page where potential clients submit an email address to opt-in and receive a freebie
  • Tripwire – an affordable product (under $50) that is advertised to potential clients on the ‘thank you’ page; may expand on or complement the content offered in the freebie
  • Nurtured email sequence – the first five to seven emails a potential client receives right away after opting in, provides free content before promoting core offer toward the end of the series (i.e.: one-on-one services, course)

 

The nuts and bolts of a VA’s role in online course creation

  • Collaborate with client to define strategy and timeline
  • Support by holding client accountable

 

Alexandra’s key tips for entrepreneurs who are just getting started

  • Create an emotional connection to land clients
  • Niche down to define your ideal client
  • Leverage attraction marketing by making yourself an expert

 

Resources

Freedom Hackers on Facebook

Freedom Hackers Mastermind Group

Connect with Alexandra Ramirez

Divine Business Management

Free Sales Funnel Workshop

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