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Mar 14, 2017

Kathryn Moorhouse is a Pinterest Expert and Social Media Strategist based in South Africa who helps high-performing female entrepreneurs grow their audience and income. As an entrepreneur herself, she understands the ins and outs of marketing an online business, and her passion for Pinterest has led to an expertise in that niche.

With degrees in Investment Management and Marketing, Kathryn began her career in the corporate world but soon realized the corner office might not be for her. Then she became an au pair and discovered a need for kids’ clothing compatible with outdoor activity, so she founded the handmade brand, Zoey and Logan. She sought strategies for growing that business through Facebook groups, and connections she made there led to VA work managing social media accounts for other businesses. Kathryn soon found that Pinterest was her forte, and she has narrowed her focus to a single platform.

She is an obsessive planner and organizer with a deep love for good coffee, doughnuts and going on adventures around the world. On this episode of the podcast, Kathryn communicates strategies for landing clients and the value of choosing a niche!


Key Takeaways

The secret to a successful business

  • Identify a need and provide the solution
  • Kathryn’s work as an au pair led her to build a children’s clothing line


Kathryn’s advice for landing clients

  • Reach out to current clients and encourage them to share your availability with others
  • Join Facebook groups and other communities in your area of expertise
  • Look for posts related to what you do and provide free value by answering questions


Kathryn’s parameters for niching down

  • Is this specialty something that really appeals to you?
  • Is there a market for this service?
  • Will the service provide results for your clients?


The beneficial features of Pinterest

  • High-performing lead generator
  • Acts as a search engine (like Google, but pretty!)
  • Untapped market


The value of focusing on a specific niche

  • As an expert, you gain confidence in your abilities
  • Your desire to dig deeper provides better results for your clients


Kathryn’s best tips for budding entrepreneurs

  • Give yourself a bit of grace
  • Put yourself in a position to connect with potential clients
  • Be open to growth and refine your skills
  • Make the decision to go for it
  • Progress is better than perfection



Wake to Make Facebook Group


Connect with Kathryn Moorhouse





Mar 9, 2017


Athena Santora writes copy that (actually) sells for startups and small shops. She is the founder of Bevy, a courageous digital agency that builds websites for clients in the US, EU and Australia. Over the course of the last year, the company has grown to span five countries and to craft digital marketing assets of all kinds.

Born in the States, Athena now splits time between her hometown of New York City and her new town of Barcelona because she can’t bear to give up residency in either one. An Ivy League graduate and lifetime learner, she is driven by the idea that intentional design and savvy sales copy can meaningfully connect people, even through a screen.

On this episode of the podcast, Athena shares her approach to identifying ideal clients and pricing based on the value she provides. Learn to trust your intuition and get paid what you’re worth!


Key Takeaways

The pros and cons of platforms like Upwork

  • Competing in a world economy means you may have to charge less to land projects
  • Unless you learn a new way to present your services, you may not make enough to keep the lights on
  • Bidding teaches you what clients are looking for and what they need to hear to buy in
  • Writing proposals helps you understand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to pitching clients
  • Searching open jobs allows freelancers to do market research (demand, pricing, etc.)


The value-based pricing model

  • Explore what the client is trying to accomplish
  • Determine what reaching that goal will mean for their bottom line
  • Charge accordingly


The advantages of a value-based pricing model

  • The freelancer has a better chance of charging appropriately
  • It builds a relationship with the client rather than focusing on an endpoint to the project


The common pricing mistakes freelancers make

  • Getting stuck at a rate based on what other freelancers are charging
  • Failing to realize their own value


Athena’s principles of negotiating price

  • Start from an uncomfortable place
  • Hold strong unless you are working to land an ideal client
  • Consider the value the client can offer you (exposure, contract length, etc.)
  • Offer incentives to guarantee additional work


Characteristics of an ideal client

  • Like any relationship, the ideal client brings out the best in you and allows you to do your best work
  • Ideal clients don’t take more than they give back


Athena’s best advice for new freelancers

  • If you can be proud of the work you’ve done because you trusted yourself, that will guide you in the right direction




Laura’s Ideal Client Blog Post & Workbook


Connect with Athena Santora


Bevy Digital




Mar 7, 2017


Jim Palmer is a marketing expert, business coach, entrepreneur, author and speaker. Founder of both the Dream Business Academy and Dream Business Coaching and Mastermind Program, he works to provide Smart Marketing and Business Building Strategies for growth-oriented entrepreneurs and small business owners. This mission extends to Jim’s hosting enterprises on Dream Business Coach TV, the hit weekly web TV show with an audience of thousands, and Stick Like Glue Radio, a weekly podcast that helps entrepreneurs take their business to the next level. Jim is best known internationally as ‘The Dream Business Coach’ and creator of No Hassle Newsletters, the ultimate ‘done-for-you’ newsletter marketing program used by hundreds of clients in nine countries.

The first step in Jim’s path to successful entrepreneurship began when, at age 41, his lucrative position as VP of Marketing was eliminated. With four teenagers and a mortgage, he sought another traditional job, but long-term unemployment and a cancer diagnosis inspired him to launch his own small marketing business in October 2000. Eventually, Jim learned about internet marketing and direct response, which led to the creation of his wildly successful coaching business.

On this episode of the podcast, Jim offers a mini-master class in time management and the real grit of being an entrepreneur. Listen in and develop the confidence to say ‘yes’ and grow your own Dream Business!


Key Takeaways

Jim’s definition of a Dream Business

  • Multiple revenue streams
  • Fun to operate
  • Firing on all cylinders
  • Provides the lifestyle you want to live
  • Asset for worry-free retirement
  • Allows you to give back and make a difference in the lives of others

The ‘bookend schedule’

  • Jim’s official working days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • Downtime is essential to cultivating creativity

The difference between an employee and an entrepreneur

  • Entrepreneurs are wired differently and do not make the same distinction between work and personal
  • Entrepreneurs are willing to work long hours because they are building something bigger than a paycheck

 Jim’s guidance regarding when to start building your business

  • Stop waiting for it to get easier
  • “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”

 Jim’s advice to entrepreneurs just getting started

  1. Do whatever it takes, even if that means stocking shelves part-time at Target while you are building your business
  2. Control your environment to achieve extreme focus by eliminating distractions

 The necessary mindset for fostering adventure

  • What if you say yes?
  • Rather than framing what if’s that might prevent you from pursuing something new, explore the possibilities of what could be if you problem-solve and persevere


Stop Waiting For it to Get Easier: Create Your Dream Business Now by Jim Palmer 

Jim Palmer Books 


Connect with Jim Palmer


Boating Blog 




Mar 2, 2017

Laura is back to help you deal with losing a freelance client. On this episode of the podcast, she talks you through the necessary process of self-reflection and offers strategies for replacing lost revenue when a contract ends.

Learn from Laura’s experience as she shares mistakes she made early in her freelancing career. She was able to leverage those missteps into learning opportunities and develop a knack for replacing lost revenue quickly through a savvy hustle that includes capitalizing on established client relationships and expanding service offerings.

Laura also offers advice on how to recover from the loss of a client, emotionally and financially. Listen in and learn her practical three-step approach to rebounding when a client chooses to end a business relationship! 

Key Takeaways

The reasons why a contract might end

  • Often, the end of a contract happens due to circumstances outside of your control, i.e.: the client can no longer afford your services or they are hiring a full-time writer in-house
  • If it was your fault (i.e.: missed deadline, poor work quality), it’s time to recalibrate

Laura’s advice about learning from your mistakes

  • Take ownership and briefly grieve the loss
  • Consider what went wrong and how you might apply that insight moving forward
  • Revise your pitch and writing samples

The need for clear, specific feedback from clients

  • Clients who say your work “just wasn’t what they were looking for” may be trying to get free content
  • Consider adding a clause to your contract in which the client acknowledges having read your writing samples and agrees to the expectation that the tone, quality and general writing ability will be similar

 Laura’s tips for replacing lost revenue

  • Keep a monetary goal in mind as you hustle
  • Reach out to clients you’ve worked with before
  • Think about expanding service offerings in your current niche and upselling existing clients
  • Even when fully booked, continue marketing your business to cultivate future opportunities 


Laura’s Full List of Courses

Connect with Laura Pennington







Leave a Review on iTunes 

Leave a Review on Stitcher  



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









Jan 31, 2017

Laura returns with another solo podcast to share her business secrets with beginning freelancers. She offers advice in several areas of business basics, including marketing, dealing with difficult clients, developing a support system and establishing your schedule.

Learn from the best as Laura shares her own stories about getting started in the freelance writing business. Find out how she deals with negative comments from friends and colleagues who don’t acknowledge freelancing as a ‘real’ career and the strategies she employs to sever ties with difficult clients.

Laura also explains how conversion rate shifts as you become more established and why setting official business hours is necessary to maintain work-life balance. If you’re just getting started in the freelance writing business, this podcast is a must-listen!


Key Takeaways

The breakdown of marketing vs. delivering work to clients

  • When you’re getting started, it is appropriate to dedicate as much as 80% of your time to writing samples, pitches, etc.
  • Eventually, you will hit a sweet spot and commit the majority of your time to ‘billable hours’


The power to say ‘no’

  • Release your attachment to difficult clients
  • Simply explain that your circumstances/business model have changed and you will no longer accept work after a particular date


Laura’s advice about finding a support system

  • Friends and family may not understand what you do
  • Find people who do get it (i.e.: Facebook group, business coach, etc.) to keep you inspired


The benefits of establishing official working hours

  • You are not beholden to traditional business hours, but it is important to set aside dedicated time to work on your freelance business
  • Set aside time to do the things that keep you sane



Overcast App 

Laura’s Full List of Courses 


Connect with Laura Pennington






Jan 24, 2017

Kim Garnett is the founder of Brainy Girl Virtual Assistant. She and her team help online course creators with the technology and marketing of their online courses. They assist with the strategy and implementation of sales funnels, landing pages, webinars, email marketing and social media marketing for clients. Kim has created several successful online courses, and she is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs create passive income streams.

Kim was working a regular job and hating it when the idea for Brainy Girl was born. Wanting to get back to her first love of helping business owners and entrepreneurs, Kim placed an online ad and landed her first client. She worked nights and weekends and got very busy very quickly. Soon Kim was able to leave her j-o-b and freelance as a generalist. In the four years since, she found her niche – helping online course creators –  and her team has grown to seven.

On this episode of the podcast, Kim explains how to utilize email marketing, drive traffic to your website and build a results-oriented lead magnet. She also opens up about the current challenges she faces in growing a virtual team and mistakes she made along the way to building Brainy Girl. 

Key Takeaways

Kim’s secrets to finding freelance work

  • Just because we exist in a digital landscape doesn’t mean you can’t work locally; Kim landed her first clients through an online local classified ad
  • Look through available jobs for work a freelancer could do and approach those clients

Email marketing is an important component of your overall marketing strategy

  • When you have an email subscriber base, you can be in front of those people when you want to be
  • Only 3-5% of followers will see a post on a Facebook page versus a 20, 30 or even 50% open rate for an email

Kim’s advice for luring potential clients to sign up for your email list

  • Stay away from words like “newsletter” and “subscribe”
  • Build a lead magnet (white paper, ebook, video training, PDF, etc.) that offers value to site visitors

Kim’s suggestions for attracting customers to your website

  • Make sure that your lead magnet has a high conversion rate (Based on the # of visitors to the site, what percentage have opted in?)
  • Then employ Google, Facebook and YouTube ads
  • Use social media channels to drive traffic to your lead magnet via integration or a link

Steps to launching your email marketing list

  1. Find the right email marketing service provider (ESP), i.e.: MailChimp or ConvertKit
  2. Create your lead magnet
  3. Get your lead magnet on your website (embedded box, pop-up opt-in, or landing page)

Common stumbling blocks to creating an online course

  • Analysis paralysis (being so overwhelmed by choices that you don’t take any action at all)
  • Most of Kim’s clients get stuck on the technology and marketing piece; they are not familiar with how to link their systems (learning management, email marketing, webinar platform) together

 Kim’s tips for using marketplaces like Udemy and Upwork

  • Don’t put your signature course on a marketplace
  • Consider posting a mini-course on a marketplace to get your name out there and drive traffic to your personal LMS
  • Because you don’t “own” your students in a marketplace, give them a call-to-action that takes them to your lead page 

Kim’s best advice for people who are just getting started

  1. Be prepared for your first client by putting the building blocks in place (contracts, client onboarding processes, etc.)
  2. Take one small action step each day to move you toward becoming a full-time freelancer







Connect with Kim Garnett






Jan 17, 2017


Getting noticed online is a challenge, but Erin Montgomery has the secret sauce. She is the founder of Piper Media, a boutique communications agency that offers social media packages and à la carte services developed through Erin’s ten years of media and public relations experience. She works with both brick and mortar businesses local to her native Toronto and savvy online creatives across the globe.

On this podcast, Erin addresses the value of social media in marketing your business, maintaining self-discipline when you’re self-employed, and establishing clear boundaries with clients.


Key Takeaways

Erin’s smart strategy for landing new clients

  • Utilize targeted email cold calling to approach potential clients
  • Be specific in explaining where the client is now, and where they could be in six months – with your help


The secret weapon for staying disciplined when you work for yourself

  • Establish dedicated, routine work time
  • Go to a coffee shop or library to eliminate distractions

Set boundaries to establish work-life balance

  • Erin’s contracts outline her availability
  • She doesn’t work after 10pm or on Sundays (unless there is a serious issue)

Erin’s advice regarding how to package your work

  • Whether you do hourly or packages, script a detailed contract with explicit expectations
  • Piper Media creates custom monthly packages with a four-month minimum contract

Leverage Facebook to reach potential clients

  • Erin launched an Etsy shop for one-off social media services (i.e.: blog posts, newsletters), and she uses Facebook ads to advertise to small business owners, corporations and entrepreneurs
  • Facebook groups provide a forum where you can meet and chat with potential clients instantly

 Erin’s keys to getting the most value out of your social media content

  • Be consistent – post on a regular basis
  • Include a call-to-action in your posts – tell the reader what to do next (i.e.: answer a question, read your blog post, sign up for your newsletter)

 Make use of a scheduling tool to plan your posts

  • Erin recommends Hootsuite or the free scheduling feature on Facebook

 You don’t need a fancy degree to land a job in social media marketing, but you do need to understand the channels and be willing to do the work 



Hootsuite Academy


Connect with Erin Montgomery






Jan 10, 2017

Mella Barnes is a session singer, songwriter and producer living in Nashville, Tennessee. An animal lover, she has three dogs, a rabbit and any number of foster animals in various shapes and sizes. Mella is the author of Way Less Cowbell, a book on communicating with session musicians. She specializes in helping others complete their musical projects, working with corporate clients, songwriters and individuals with no musical background who want to compose songs for their loved ones as gifts.

On this episode, Mella offers advice for creatives seeking to use their talents in entrepreneurial ventures, discussing marketing strategy, organization and work-life balance.


Key Takeaways

Mella’s advice for people who are considering starting an online business

  • Don’t quit your day job, but lay the groundwork in your spare time


While many advise that you stick to one marketing platform, Mella argues that a diversified approach makes you “as findable as you can be”


Mella’s tips for staying organized and meeting deadlines

  • Record due dates in your planner
  • Stay in constant contact with your clients to discuss your progress


As you strive to achieve work-life balance, practice daily self-care

  • Mella hikes alone every day
  • If you don’t put yourself first, you won’t have any energy reserve to devote to your family or business


Mella’s guidance for creatives who believe they can’t get paid to do what they love

  • Make a mental shift by asking, “How can I be of service?”


Mella’s advice for dealing with difficult clients:

  • Create an avatar of your ideal client to determine who will be a good fit
  • Pay attention to how they treat you in your initial correspondence


Music playlists can help you focus and get motivated to work


Start where you are and celebrate progress, even if it’s only 15 minutes



Mella’s Book Way Less Cowbell: How to Communicate Your Musical Ideas 

Focus at Will Playlists 


Connect with Mella Barnes






Jan 3, 2017

 Laura is back with a solo podcast to discuss the benefits of taking on freelance projects that are outside your comfort zone. Although her core business is SEO blog writing supplemented by a handful of project management and coaching jobs, Laura recently had the opportunity to assist a client in the development of an advertising budget.  Inspired by this experience in print and digital marketing, she outlines the beauty of accepting opportunities that are not on-brand, the advantages of developing new skills and the ways freelancers can leverage newly discovered abilities to expand and transform their businesses.

Although you might hesitate to accept a project that seems unglamorous or outside your niche, listen and learn how to change your mindset, expand your skill set and uncover your hidden talents!


Key Takeaways

Every project you take on as a freelancer will not be on-brand

  • This is especially true for beginners who may not know what they’re good at
  • Rather than feeling ‘meh’ about a project that is not ideal, see it as an opportunity


Reasons a freelancer might take on projects outside their comfort zone

  • Financial considerations
  • Change of pace
  • They have the bandwidth and interest


Laura’s guidance about focusing on a niche

  • You should concentrate your freelance business on a handful of select offerings
  • But don’t close yourself off to other opportunities that come along


The benefits of taking on (and even pitching) opportunities that aren’t a perfect fit

  • Develop new skills
  • Incorporate new services into your business
  • Realize increased marketability


Laura’s advice about choosing projects that aren’t spot on

  • Don’t accept a project just because you need the money
  • Do assess each opportunity to see if it might be a good fit for your skill set


Complementary offerings allow you to pitch additional services to existing clients

  • Developing an expertise in press release composition allows Laura to offer an additional service to clients she already has a relationship with as an SEO blog writer



Laura’s Full List of Courses 


Connect with Laura Pennington






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