3 Things You Need to Know to Use Upwork as a Freelancer

Raise your hand if you like getting scammed. Yeah, we know, it’s not easy being an Upwork freelancer. You know you need to be conscious of the scammers. But you also need to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success. The three points I address in the post and the video below focus on ways you can avoid self sabotage.

You have a few minutes to turn your Upwork game around right? Great, I thought so.

1. An Optimized Profile Will Attract Great Upwork Clients

If you’re a freelancer on Upwork, the first thing you need to focus on is setting up a great profile. The primary things that you want to focus on are your title, your overview, and your hourly rate.

Your title is extremely valuable real estate. When I search for something like “B2B content writer”, a list of freelancers shows up with their first name and last initial, their photo, and their title. You don’t want to get too crazy using what I like to call a unicorn title, which pretty much says that you do all the things.

“I’m a content writer, graphic designer, and social media manager. I do ALL THE THINGS!”

Says the Unicorn Freelancer

Most of the time what this means is that you don’t do all of those things well. You might do one of them well, but you don’t want to misrepresent your skills because the only thing that does is lead to unhappy clients, and unhappy clients leave bad reviews.

Pick a Professional Photo. Smile!

When it comes to your photo, make sure it’s nice and professional. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a professional headshot, but you want to have a nice plain background. You want your face to be very clear – a smile shows that you’re pleasant. 

Be in professional clothing, even if you just have a nice shirt on and pajama bottoms, they’re not going to know! Just make sure you look nice and professional and you look the way that you want your client to think of you. No Snapchat filter photos.

Onto Your Profile Summary: The Overview

Next up is your overview. You need to write it for the client that you’re trying to attract. Too many overviews are just a list of random skills or they say “my degree is in whatever.” They don’t really care what your degree is in unless it’s supremely relevant to what it is that you’re doing. 

You can always mention your degree in your proposal. Let’s say you have a degree in supply chain management and you’re going to be working with a client that focuses on supply chain management services, then your degree suddenly becomes relevant. 

But wasting space in your overview when further down on your profile you can put your education… It’s just not a good idea.

Even if You Don’t Work Hourly, Update That Rate!

Your hourly rate is also really important. It can help fend off the people looking for cheap work. If you put that your hourly rate is $15 an hour, because you never updated it and you don’t use an hourly rate, that’s a mistake. 

Hourly rates are still a common way that we communicate a service exchange. So even if you never charge by the hour, telling someone that your rate is $70 sets expectations versus telling someone that your hourly rate is $15 an hour.

When clients go through the Upwork system, the platform allows them to filter so they can choose if they want a freelancer that’s $10 or under, one that’s $10 to $30, or even $30 and up, so you want to make sure that your hourly rate fits in the category that you want to represent. 

If your hourly rate is $15, and then you quote $400 for a blog post, that’s going to be extremely confusing to the prospective client that you’re speaking to. You’ll also waste a lot of time on that. If they want somebody who writes for $15 an hour, let them find that person – it’s not you.

If you want more tips on how to create a stellar Upwork profile, you may want to check out the Upwork for Writers Bundle, as it includes an eBook with step-by-step instructions (and videos) on the different parts of your profile! 

2. Develop a Critical Eye: Properly Assess Upwork Job Posts

Another thing to work on is evaluating job posts. This is something we work on a lot in the Content Coffee Break. All you have to do is look for the “Would You Apply To This Job?” posts or the acronym WWATTJ?. We get some really good discussions surrounding those job posts. 

It’s interesting to see that I’ll apply to certain jobs that other people won’t apply to and people ask a lot of really good questions. It’s a really good exercise, and great for inexperienced writers. It brings us all together, no matter what our level of experience is, because we all have something to offer.

3. Make Your Connects Worth It

Writing proposals that get responses is a huge thing on Upwork, especially now that you have to pay for your connects. The higher your response rate, the less time (and money) you’ve wasted.

Copy-paste proposals are pretty much a waste of time. Not to say that you shouldn’t work from a template. You can still have a standard format that you use, but you want to make sure that you tailor your proposal or your pitch to the person that you’re talking to. 

If they put their name, you can search for them on Linkedin, or you can search for their company and look at their website. Just make sure that your proposal is tailored without using up too much time. You can do that by working from a base template, like the one included in the Upwork for Writers Bundle.

Bonus Upwork Tips

Don’t take payment off of the platform. Once you do that, you have absolutely no recourse as far as getting Upwork to help you get paid by this person. They have their payment guarantee system in place for a reason, and if you follow the rules, you will get paid. 

If you take it off of the platform and the client ghosts you, takes your content and doesn’t pay you, then there is absolutely nothing you can do, at least in terms of Upwork. And most of the time for our writing projects, it’s not enough to sue somebody. 

If you did work that would have amounted to $500, how much are you going to pay an attorney to sue that person? And the clients know this. Oftentimes they will keep the projects at a certain amount to make it so it’s not worth it to actually sue them.

You can bad mouth them all you want, but you’re the person who’s out those hours and money.

Only Work with a Funded Milestone

You should never work unless the milestone is funded – it’ll say “funded” next to it. Also, always submit work using Upwork functions until you build trust. Let’s say you have an ongoing content blog arrangement. I normally give my clients access to the blog posts via Google Docs so we can collaborate. However, I also submit it through Upwork’s functions. 

The reason why? If it’s a fixed-price contract, you have two weeks that you would have to wait until the funds are automatically released to you. If you only do it through Google Docs, the client may forget, because they get busy. You want to make sure that you submit using Upwork’s functions. 

In a way, it can even make it easier because if you can afford to wait those two weeks, then you don’t even have to bring it up to the client. The client’s happy with your work and then the funds get automatically released.

Are you trying to use Upwork to land freelance clients? Let me know in the comments!

How Much Should I Pay Freelancers?

If you’re outsourcing any work, how much you should pay freelancers probably enters your mind a lot. As someone who takes on outsourced work (I’m a content marketer and writer), and someone who outsources, I have a perspective many small business owners don’t. 

Here’s the podcast episode:

Or if you’d rather watch the video:

I came across an interesting question on Quora and in addition to answering it, I decided to take it as a topic for the podcast today. The question was how much a freelance writer should charge for blog posts. This question comes up in a lot of different forms depending on who’s asking it: the client or the writer. 

The Short Answer…

To be honest with you, it depends. I know that that’s not the answer that people want to hear, but it’s a fact. There’s no standard rate list and writers have come up with rates based on a variety of factors. What are the variables when considering how much to pay freelancers?r

How You Can Better Ask This Question

When clients ask, it’s typically because they’ve never hired a freelance writer before. This covers freelancers in general. If you’re working with service professionals, their rates vary. I’m speaking from a writer’s perspective because I’m a writer, but this also applies to graphic and web designers. 

When a freelancer asks that question, it’s because they probably don’t know, which is a sign of inexperience. This doesn’t necessarily mean the writer themselves is inexperienced. It could be a new type of project. 

Whenever I take on a new project, I don’t ask how much freelancers charge. Typically, when I’m scoping for answers,I say “Can you share…?” For example, if I go on a Facebook group, I might say, “Can you share what your typical rate is for this?” By doing this, I get an idea of the market.  This is because the general rate may not be good for you, as a freelancer. 

Freelance services of almost any kind are not like picking from a menu. You can’t just say, “I’d like a blog post with the side of SEO. Thanks.” That’s not how it works. If it did, there are too many factors for that to be fair for the variety of freelancers that exist out there. 

The Deciding Factors

I mentioned that there are various factors that you have to consider when calculating a project rate. We’re going to go into some of those factors. 

I think knowing this is really important for clients because they can understand that freelancers can’t tell you exactly what it will be without any project details. 

So just saying, “I want a blog post,”, “I want a logo,” or “I want my website redesigned,” isn’t going to be able to let the freelancer quote you an accurate rate. 

For example, with a web design project, maybe the freelancer would want to know how many pages you want. Designing a 5-page website vs. a 20-page website includes different levels of effort, so the pay would be different. 

The Topic

In terms of writing, if the freelancer specializes in an industry, the first factor I have listed is the topic

So if you want a designer who also writes, then the topic becomes pretty relevant. The industry can be relevant depending on what the standard is. 

As you know from my business name, Defy The Status Quo, I like to know what the standard is and then flip it, but never to the detriment of anything. Flipping the standard can be a way of standing out. 

Still, if you want a good website, you want a good website, but you may flip the expectations of what your website will look like. 

Sorting by Difficulty

As it pertains to the topic, a blog post on gardening and a blog post on technology blockchain shouldn’t cost the same amount. So if I’m a writer and a client says, “How much is a blog post on gardening?” I can reply with, “That’ll be $75.” 

Then, the client may ask me “What about a blog post on the blockchain?” In that case, it wouldn’t make sense if I still quote them $75. I’m either going to have to do a lot more work for a blog post on technology, or I’ve got a lot of technology experience. The value doesn’t decrease either way.

There’s so much information on gardening out there, so it’s low-hanging fruit if you will. In my case, I also happen to garden, so I already know about the topic. But in terms of technology, even though there is a lot of information out there, it’s also more complex. 

Take Experience into Account

Moreover, if you want a writer who has experience in those industries, the rates may go up. A writer who specializes in technology is likely to have a higher rate because there’s just fewer people who specialize in something, especially a particular facet of technology. 

The Length of the Project 

Whether it’s writing or design, the length of a project also matters. If you asked me, “Ruthie, how much do you charge for blog posts?” I would ask you to specify how long you want it to be. 

If you don’t know, say so. Now I know that you don’t know, but don’t just pick a number out of thin air. 

For example, I haven’t written a 500-word blog post in a long time because they’re not particularly valuable for SEO and they’re not always long enough to cover an entire topic. 

Additional Time and Services 

Are topics such that the writer needs to interview your subject-matter experts? Does the website designer need to speak with other shareholders for this project? That’s additional time and so additional services. 

Are there any ancillary services that are going to be included? When I do blogging, I’ll find pictures and upload them onto their website, if the client wants me to. We take that off their hands. It’s not something they have to worry about, but it is an additional service. 

On the other hand, you always have to consider your freelancers’ experience levels. A new freelancer is going to be less expensive, but they’re probably going to make more mistakes. They may not know SEO writing very well, and there are other things they just won’t know. 

Consequently, their final project may not be as good as the more experienced, expensive writer’s. 

Why Experience Counts

I think something that’s key is that a less experienced freelancer typically reverts to order-taking. You tell me, “I want a blog post on this and I want it to be this long.” I say, “Alright,” and I do it exactly what you tell me to. I listened to you. 

But, an experienced writer might say, “First of all, that length isn’t good for SEO. Second of all, I did a little keyword research and that topic isn’t something your customers care about. So if we do this, you’re wasting resources.” 

You could choose to push it if you want, but now that I’ve given you this information, it’s pretty likely that you wouldn’t. My clients typically listen to me because I’m more experienced than them. 

Your Freelancer’s Location

Where your freelancer lives may come into play. You may need programming of some kind, and the freelancer may live in a country where the exchange rate is such that you can pay them a lot less, but it’s still a good rate for them. That’s always the key. 

I’m taking advantage of currency differences, but if the rate is still good for them, then it’s okay. 

Obviously, depending on these factors, a 500-word blog post could be anywhere from $10-$500, so just keep that in mind when you put out what you’re looking for. 

All right. This has been an episode of The Defiant Business Podcast, and I’m Ruthie, your host. I’ll see you next time. 

Your Business Needs Your Belief

It seems a bit woowoo, but your business will not succeed if you don’t believe in it. In this podcast episode, I reference how Think and Grow Rich altered my perception of my successes and failures. 

Sometimes, I didn’t believe enough in a goal for it to succeed. 

Read today’s shownotes, and try to push that doubt aside. You’ve got this!

Here’s the podcast episode:

Or if you’d rather watch the video:

If you’re a small-business owner who’s having a tough time, or you know someone else who is, this is one of those episodes you might want to listen to. In this one, we’re talking about how your business needs your belief. 

Believe in Your Business

I know that if you didn’t believe in it, you wouldn’t have started it. I get it. But your business needs your belief the most when it’s hardest to believe in. 

So how do we typically start? Entrepreneurs typically start pretty high on hopes and dreams. You’ve got all these great ideas and you have a very set way of how you think things will go. 

And when they don’t go that way, it can be pretty rough. 

How do we normally start super happy, motivated, and excited, only to end up quitting? A lot of entrepreneurs do end up quitting, or putting their business on an indefinite pause. 

Low Points Are Tests of Your Determination

How do we typically quit? Well, usually it’s at a low point, which I’ll be talking about today. That’s the point where your business needs your belief. 

You have high points and low points, but when you quit, it kind of shows that you weren’t completely invested in the first place. I take that as not being completely invested in yourself. You’re not completely invested in your dream, excluding things like rent, kids, groceries, etc.

Most of the time, we don’t have to completely quit our businesses when things get rough. You may have to take side jobs or whatever, but that doesn’t mean you should quit all the way. 

Don’t Let Self-Doubt Prematurely Kill Your Dreams 

I was thinking about this while I was reading Think And Grow Rich, which is a fantastic book by Napoleon Hill. What made me think about it was how people can manifest their hopes and dreams. The problem is that we often let self-doubt cycle in our minds, and it impacts what we’re able to accomplish. 

In the book, there’s a story about a guy who was trying to mine a vein of gold. He was trying and trying for a long time. In the end, he said, “You know what? Forget it.” And then another set of entrepreneurs took it over, and it turned out that that guy had stopped 3 feet from the gold. 

So he was struggling, he was at a low point, and he gave up. 

He also continues that man’s story throughout the book to show that he learned his lesson. He didn’t quit the next time he had an endeavor. 

My Entrepreneurial Struggles

Your belief in your entrepreneurial dream is the first step, and you have to believe in it so much that it doesn’t leave room for the doubts that get in and poison your dream. The more you focus on the negative, the more you attract it to yourself. I can say that I would honestly not be here without that sort of fervent, fierce belief. 

I had a few people that I talked to about my plans and endeavors all the time. I would say “I’m going to do this. I’m going to do that. I just need to make this much by the time my maternity leave runs out, and if I can increase it, that would be even better. This is what I’m going for.” And that was how I did it. I talked about it a lot, and I was vocalizing my ideas. 

How am  I going to keep this from happening? How am I going to make enough? Who am I going to talk to? How am I going to start networking? I was so focused on it that I didn’t leave any room for doubts. 

Don’t get me wrong, the doubts came later on. And once I started reading Think And Grow Rich,  I realized why some of the things I had tried didn’t pan out. I wasn’t fully committed to them. When they didn’t initially work out, I knew that was it. 

When I was looking at how some of the other projects that I’ve tried to get off the ground since I started freelance writing, I realized that I didn’t focus and believe in them. I didn’t push past the possible failures and doubts. And that’s why those things didn’t work out. I’m not going to make the same mistake with future projects, and I advise you not to do it either. 

I started working as a part-time writer in July of 2017, and in January of 2018, I was able to do it full-time. January was my first monthly $1,000 from my business. In the next 4-5 months, I was able to double my income. So I’ve been a consistent four-figure writer on my way to five figures a month, which is going to happen before the end of the year. That’s what I’m manifesting. 

Belief, Focus, and a Strong Mindset

That’s, that’s where I started, here’s where I am now, and I’ve got my eyes on where I’m going. So don’t forget that your business needs your belief. You have to focus on that. While doubts are important because they help us with self-preservation, don’t focus on them to the exclusion of everything else. Your dream deserves your hope, and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

I know it was a bit more motivational than the last couple, but it was just something I felt moved to speak on. So if you enjoyed this, if you know somebody who needs it, if you’re in a group of businesspeople who need it, go ahead and share it on Facebook. I feel like this is a message that people need. Your business needs and deserves your belief. 

Why Conscious Consumerism Matters to Your Business

Conscious consumerism is the growing trend of consumers purchasing from companies who express ideas and beliefs that align with their own. When I asked my network whether or not they had ever purchased or stopped purchasing from companies based on that companies stances, I got a ton of responses: 

About Hobby Lobby:

Regarding the Israel/Palestinian conflict: 

About Volkswagen:

About Victoria’s Secret: 

“The main business I stopped purchasing from was Victoria Secret. Not only are their sizes not very inclusive, but neither are their beliefs. The CEO recently came out and explained why he will never hire or advertise plus size or transgender women. He says they are not ” sexy” and therefore will not be able to sell the sex appeal that his brand thrives off of.

Bras and underwear are worn by nearly all women so it’s disgusting to me that he thinks to limit his representation in marketing to only those who are fit the unattainable societal beauty. I guess that helps to continue selling products. You can never look like a VS angel but if you buy the products then at least you dress like them.”

Jessica Harrison (my cousin, whoot whoot!)

When you Google “conscious consumerism”, the first posts that pop up are titled “Conscious consumerism is a lie.” But after reading those posts, I’ve determined that they’re limiting the scope of what conscious consumerism has grown to be. Many businesses still don’t get it though: 

Post not coming up? View it by clicking here.

I couldn’t resist responding to this LinkedIn video post, so this is what I said:

No way. Paying attention to what matters to your customer can help engender brand loyalty, and, AHEM, sales.

I don’t consider the two mutually exclusive. More consumers care about whether or not businesses positively impact the community, global and local.

Competition is so fierce, you can’t ignore trends like this.

Ruthie Bowles, Owner, Defy The Status Quo

The conscious consumer trend is picking up steam with Millennials and GenZ consumers. It’s important to remember that the oldest Millennials are about 40. And if you want to plan for the future, you have to understand what your customer or client base will evolve into as younger generations gain more purchasing power. 

Way Beyond the Environment

Consumers are conscious of more than just environmental causes. Many people associate the phrase conscious consumerism with concern over companies’ supply chains. Don’t get me wrong, green supply chains are incredibly important to the health of our planet, but it’s not the end-all-be-all of conscious consumerism.

What Type of Conscious Consumer Do You Have? 

Conscious consumers come in many flavors. A person can be socially conscious, politically conscious, and value conscious. In her Medium article on defining conscious consumerism, Jaya Ramchandani came up with a succinct definition: 

“A conscious consumer is an agent of change who considers the social, environmental, ecological, and political impact of their buycott and boycott actions.”

Jaya Ramchandani, What is Conscious Consumerism?

She also noted that you should qualify what type of conscious consumers you have. When you’re looking at your buyer persona data, do you have: 

  • Environmentally conscious consumers
  • Socially conscious consumers
  • Politically conscious consumers
  • Value-conscious consumers

Noting this difference will strongly impact your brand messaging. 

The Meaning Economy

In his book The Marketing Rebellion, author and marketing expert Mark Schaefer explores the concept of “The Meaning Economy”. He notes that: 

“Today, 9 out of 10 Americans would take a lower-paying job if it meant they could do meaningful work that contributes to society. Meaning is the new money. Meaning is the new marketing.”

Mark Schaefer, The Marketing Rebellion

How are you infusing your target market’s beliefs into your brand? In this hyper-connected world, meaning is how you will attract customers who turn into brand ambassadors. 

5 Important Stats Related to Conscious Consumerism

Here are some of the numbers behind the conscious consumerism trend. We also explore why they’re relevant to your business, no matter its size. That’s key right there. It doesn’t matter what size your business is, your beliefs and conscious actions may be why consumers purchase from you.

I recorded an episode on these stats for The Defiant Business Podcast, which you can listen to below.

1. 70% of Americans believe that companies have the obligation to improve issues that aren’t relevant to their business.

There’s a big concern around the green supply chain. Most savvy consumers realize that when companies put effort into making their supply chain green, doing things like using renewable energy resources and things like that, in the end, they end up saving money. And consumers also recognize that when companies make these sorts of moves, they are catering to their consumer.

But your customers and clients want to know what you’re doing to handle issues that aren’t related to your business. You’ll have to look beyond just improving your business footprint and look at the community you’re in. 

2. 78% of Americans believe that it’s important for companies to stand up for social justice issues. 90% of black Americans feel this way.

When you’re wondering whether or not you should take a stance when something happens in America, understand that it depends on your customer. If your customer expects you to say something, then the answer is yes. 

Because not saying something actually has the opposite effect. You don’t have to come out on one side or another for a particular issue. Your customers will make up their minds about your lack of opinion.

“Yes, I stopped buying multiple brands due to their lack of values (Nike, Zara, GAP, I’m sure more but those come to mind)”

Jessica Lathrop, Owner of Smoochies, custom wine glass maker

In each situation, you have the protagonist and the antagonist. You may feel that, as a business, your best option is to take the third option, which is not to say anything. 

But actually, when you do this, customers are lumping you in with the antagonist. So you need to stand up.

3. 65% of Americans will research to see if a company authentically supports an issue.

You can’t say that you care about something and then fail to back it up in any other way. A perfect example of this is pride month. It felt like a lot of companies changed their logo on social media to show support. 

However, if you go back through their social media or their website content, there’s nothing mentioned about them supporting any sort of issue related to that. So a customer to whom that cause is very important might consider you changing your logo or adding the filter over it as inauthentic, which would turn them off.

This is actually true for 76% of Millennials. These consumers are conscious of the fact that where they spend their money as one person may not be a big deal. As a group, however, they know that money talks and if they can spend their money with conscious companies, then they feel like they’re making an impact.

One company did a great job of showing their consistent commitment to the LGBTQ+ cause, and that was Booz Allen Hamilton. Here are just a few examples of how BAH shows how they support this cause on social media. 

They hit the streets and marched with their employees: 

Having trouble viewing the post? Click here to see it on Instagram.

BAH featured employee stories:

Having trouble viewing the post? Click here to see it on Instagram.

Even moving beyond social media, BAH even featured this cause on their website’s homepage and multiple employee feature articles. 

While individual instances of discrimination may still occur among individual employees, it’s very clear that Booz Allen Hamilton supports the LGBTQ+ community. 

This is the sort of transparency and commitment your customers and clients are expecting to see from you. 

4. 87% of consumers would support a product or a company because that company supports an issue that they care about. 89% of consumers are willing to switch to a brand associated with a good cause, all things being equal.

What does “all things being equal mean?” A really easy industry for all things to be equal would be something like banking. You’ve got Bank A and Bank B, and you hear that Bank A runs community programs for children. If you have children, this will touch you. I have children, so something like this would impact my judgment of a company significantly.

If they run community programs to help children increase their financial literacy, all things being equal – interest rates and incentives about the same – as a millennial parent I’m more likely to work with Bank A. 

Even if that bank charges a little bit more for certain things, I know that by supporting them, in a very indirect way, I’m supporting the programs that they run to help kids. All things being equal and maybe all things being a little bit more, you can still draw consumers to you because of the good work that you’re doing.

Financial literacy in kids is something that anybody can get behind. But so is pets, right?

Maybe every first Friday you and your office go to your local SPCA walk the dogs and pet the cats. You need to post about it. Why? Because… 

5. 74% of consumers don’t believe that companies are trying to be responsible and give back to the community unless they see it.

It’s not bragging if you are telling the customer what they need to hear to make a decision that’s going to make them the happiest. Let’s show our consumers that we’re giving back because 74% won’t believe that you are doing these things if you don’t prove it. 

You have a responsibility to show them that you are in fact doing these things so they can make the most informed choice.

What do you think of the growing conscious consumer trend? Is there a company you buycott or boycott because of its official position on issues you care about? Let us know in the comments. 

Try Consistency Instead of Quitting

When you quit something, what has been the usual reason? 

Lack of ROI?

Need to spend your time elsewhere? 

….. what other reason? 

In this episode, I talk about what consistency instead of quitting can do for you. 

Consistency instead of quitting for blogging, social media, or any other business endeavor can be a huge difference between your glorious success and someone else taking the opportunity. 

Here’s the podcast episode:

Or if you’d rather watch the video:

Today, we’re going to talk about trying consistency instead of quitting. 

So why do I even have to bring this up to a group of entrepreneurs? It might seem counter-intuitive, but we’re all susceptible to it, without even realizing. I’m sure that after you read this you’re going to agree with me that you’ve done it at least once. Let me know! 

The Effort You Don’t See

Last night my family and I were watching an episode of America’s Got Talent. We watched a noise mimicker guy get to the next round. His name was Greg Morton. 

He got four yeses, which was pretty cool. It was a dream he had been working towards his entire life. 

The big thing I took away from his story is that he was 60 years old. I said to my husband, “Honey, isn’t that amazing? How many people would have quit by now ? I mean, pretty much everyone else”. 

When he finally got that big break, he seemed to become an overnight success, but his story tells you that that’s not the case. 

He didn’t wake up a few weeks ago and start doing it. He had been working as a DJ and had held numerous jobs that were related to what he did. 

He had been working towards this dream of being able to do it full time, and have his own show for a long time. He was the opposite of an overnight success. 

It’s like when you plant a seed in the ground and you can’t see what’s going on, but after a few weeks we see something break through the surface. 

We see the leaves. but that doesn’t mean that little seed wasn’t working hard the whole time. There’s so much happening that you don’t see. 

Winning the lottery is a big overnight break. Almost everything else requires effort. The seed is constantly working underneath the ground, creating the root system, and doing everything it needs to in order to succeed. 

If You’re Quitting, Who Else Is?

We quit many business endeavors that we attempt. Usually, we’ll try tackling a task from different angles, and when none of them work…well, you only have so much time. 

I get it. You can’t spend time doing everything. You have to determine what’s going to give you the best ROI. But the question that I have for you is, if you’re quitting, who else is? If you’re quitting, the majority of everyone else is quitting too. 

Blogging as a Commitment

For example, blogging is something I see many companies start, and then they quit after a few weeks. You can tell this is the case because if you happen to check out that blog for any particular reason, you’ll see that nothing new has been posted for the last 2 years. 

You say, “Well, that’s a shame” And then, as a customer, you move on. 

But as the business, how many customers have you lost because of that lackluster blog that you’ve neglected? How are you supposed to get good if you quit? 

If you’re thinking, “Oh, we started a blog, but it just hasn’t given us a good return on investment. That’s why we haven’t maintained it”. Well, I hate to break it to you, but blogging is definitely a long-term commitment. 

If you’re going to commit to writing once a month, your term of testing should be at least a year and a half, and two years for optimal results. 

If you’re going to post every week, I’d say your testing phase could be a year.

However, blogging is one of those things that you just have to do consistently. You have to try consistency instead of quitting. 

You aren’t going to get serious, visible results in the first few months, but you’re building your search engine optimized footprint through your blog. That takes time to do. 

Success comes by faster for some topics than others, but you have to do it consistently for quite some time to build your audience.

Is This Endeavor Worth It?

You have to decide whether this is a poor use of your time, or would commitment and consistency turn this into a success. You have to think about the business struggles that you’ve had. 

The Time I Got Scammed…

I got my start on Upwork, and there were stumbles, trips, and falls. I talk about many of them in my book, which I’m currently writing. 

One that immediately comes to mind is the time I got scammed. I was looking for a job to apply to, and one person said that he was writing a military, adventure, action book. 

I was like, “Cool. I’ve got military experience. I could totally edit this and make it better! No problem”. 

He wanted me to edit 500 words as a test project. I was fine with that, so he gave me the piece that he wanted me to edit. I did a really good job with it. I fixed his tone, edited some things that we wouldn’t say as army people, and straightened it up. 

I sent it back, and I eagerly awaited his response. What ended up happening was that I didn’t get a response at all. 

Turns out that’s a very common way for client scammers to get free work done. So he likely doled out 500-word segments to almost every single desperate writer who responded. 

That’s obviously not going to turn out into a good book, but he’s a scammer who’s trying to get free work. What does he care? 

I could’ve easily quit at that point. I could have decided that all online clients were like that. I could’ve decided that the only way to succeed as a freelance writer was by knowing people and working in industries that I knew, which wasn’t the way that I was going about it. 

Instead, I took it as a learning experience and I moved on. I decided that consistency and commitment would turn it into a success. 

I didn’t quit. And that’s what I’m telling you today. 

There’s Less Competition at the Top

The next time you’re thinking about social media, blogging, business opportunities or endeavors, I need you to consider that when you’ve decided it’s too hard, the vast majority of people have decided that too, which means that there is less competition. 

When they say there’s less competition at the top, it’s not necessarily because the top is such a great place to be. It’s because you had to hike to get up there when so many people quit and turned around. So if you don’t, then you make it to the top. But it can be grueling and it can be tough. 

So please, the next time you run into an obstacle in your path, ask yourself, “Is this a poor use of my time, or would consistency and commitment turn it into a success?” 

The Employee Mindset is Bringing Down Your Business

We were discussing the “employee mindset” during one of the networking meetings I go to, and it struck me as something many of us struggle with at various points in our entrepreneur development. It’s a real struggle for service professionals. 

Here’s the podcast episode:

Or if you’d rather watch the video:

Today’s topic is how the “employee mindset” is bringing down your business. I know you’re probably thinking, “Ruthie, wait. I’m not an employee. I’m an entrepreneur. What are you talking about?” 

Well, I was meeting with a group of creatives the other day for a meeting we call world domination. We ended up talking about the employee mindset, and how it impacts us even as entrepreneurs.

What Is the Employee Mindset?

Most entrepreneurs have spent at least some time as an employee, and many of us don’t have entrepreneurship in our families. Some people are the first business owners in generations. 

That being said, your time and your experiences as an employee impact the way you conduct business. 

This is particularly serious for businesses that have variable rates, typically service professionals. As a content writer, I make an assessment of a project based on what the client tells me they want, and then I give them a project fee. 

When you sell a product, as opposed to a service, it’s different. For example, this cup is $5. It doesn’t matter whether you buy it. It’s a $5 cup and we have to decide whether or not we’re going to pay $5 for that cup. When you’re shopping online, you don’t send a message to the seller and say, “Hey, I’ll give you $3 for it.” You buy the $5 cup, or you go find a $3 cup. 

However, with service professionals, there’s often a lot of negotiation. People may also negotiate on products, depending on your country and culture, but with eCommerce and online, you’re not sending messages to negotiate on price. 

So a service professional could be a professional content marketer or writer, a web designer, graphic designer, a digital marketer, a consultant of any kind, a business/lifestyle coach, a Google ad professional, etc. These are all people who provide services, not tangible products. 

The Bad Manifestations of the Employee Mindset. 

Settling for Much Less Than We’re Worth

The biggest bad manifestation I see, especially among writers, is that we let clients dictate rates. I’m not saying you shouldn’t work with people to come to a happy medium. 

However, what typically happens is that you give them a rate, and then they tell you they can’t afford it. And then you ask them, “Okay, well what can you afford?” They tell you a very unsatisfactory number, and you spend a lot of time trying to make things work for your client. 

This is something a lot of new consultants and freelancers puzzle over; How do I make this work for them

But you’re forgetting a key part of the equation here. How do you also make it work for you? 

Sometimes the gap is just too big. If you’re a writer or any service professional, and you charge $500 for a blog post, and the client says they can only pay you $100, the gap is definitely too big. 

If they come back and say, “Hey, we could do $400 for that.” Maybe I could puzzle over it, but even then, I’m not just going to give them $100 off for nothing. You have to make it work for yourself too. 

If they can afford $400, maybe you can lower the length of the blog post. That way, you’re making it work for both of you. You’re not supposed to lower your rate for anything. You should get something for lowering it, even if it’s not something monetary.

Oftentimes, we don’t do that. We just take what’s given to us. You might do that the first time, but you’re not going to continue to enjoy doing it for such a low rate. 

 That’s the employee mindset. When you interview for a job as an employee, you have already told them what your ideal pay is, and they tell you if they can match it. 

 Most of the time we end up accepting it because we feel compelled to take jobs because we’re scared we might not get another opportunity. As an entrepreneur, you have the power to say no and walk away. 

 Obviously, you have to make your own assessments. Sometimes, with a difference of $100, you may be less inclined to walk away because you’ve got bills. Though, a huge difference in rates is just not worth it for you. You’re better off taking that time and finding clients who will pay you the rates that you’re asking for. 

I spend somewhere between $300 -$400 every two weeks on groceries because we’ve got 4 kids. For me, that’s the difference of a grocery shopping trip. 

 But you can say no and walk away. That’s your powers and entrepreneur. A lot of entrepreneurs give up their power. Just because a client has engaged with you, doesn’t mean you have to continue engaging with them if the business relationship is not beneficial to you both. 

 Not Taking Any Risks

Another thing is that you might not take risks, especially on your business goals or dreams. Many companies’ cultures are about maintaining the status quo. 

You don’t rock the boat. You don’t do anything crazy. You don’t take risks. 

Now that we’re entrepreneurs, we carry that over into our businesses. So we consider things and we’re like, “Oh, that’s too risky. That’s never going to work.” 

 Arguably, I’m sure many of you had naysayers when you first started your business. Your business wasn’t supposed to work. So what do you have to lose? You have to get into the habit of taking risks. 

Prioritizing Pleasing Your Client Above All Else

Sometimes, you feel pressured to do what a client tells you to do, versus what needs to be done.

I actually broke off my relationship with a client last year because they wanted things to be done in a certain way. I tried to tell them that it shouldn’t be done that way, and they initially agreed. I did things my way, and they made me revert it back to the way that they wanted it done. I told them, “Hey, that’s not gonna work and Google isn’t going to like you for that.” And they said, “Well, this is the way we want it done. “ After that, I told them I didn’t think we were a good fit, and that I wasn’t going to do any more writing for them. 

 That was how the relationship ended. It was within my power because I was going to be unhappy doing that work. So I walked away. 

Remember Who You Are

You have to understand that you shouldn’t give up your power when you engage with clients. It’s really important that you hold onto that power and understand your position. 

You are not an order taker. You are not an employee. They can tell you what they want, but you always have to factor in what you want.

Nobody else is factoring in what you want, so if you don’t do it, no one will.

Why You Should Read Profit First

The book Profit First is by Michael Michalowicz is a great book that I used to transform my business money management at the start of the year. I recommend it to everyone. 

It will change the way you view your business finances, and it will help you keep your business healthy. Listen to this episode to hear about why this book is the key to transforming your business “from a cash-eating monster to a money-making machine!”

Here’s the podcast episode:

Or if you’d rather watch the video:

Today, we’re going to talk about why you should read the book Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. 

I have to imagine that sounds pretty good. Anything with the word profit in it sounds good to most entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial-minded people. 

I don’t feel like I’m taking away from your reading experience by sharing this, because there’s nothing I can say in 10 minutes that’s going to be as accurate as just reading the book. So I definitely recommend you read it! You can get it on Amazon. I’m not an Amazon affiliate or anything, but I know a lot of people get books from there. 

Transform Your Business

The tagline is probably one of my favorite parts about the book. It highlights exactly what you’re going to get when you crack open the cover. It says “Profit First”, and then it says “transform your business from a cash-eating monster to a money-making machine.” 

How Profit First Helped Me

Before I implemented Profit First in my own business, that’s exactly how I felt about my business. I felt like it was a cash-eating monster. It felt like I could keep giving it money and it would never be enough. You may be able to relate to that. 

The very first day I set it up, I immediately felt better about my business. I was able to see what amount of money needed to go where. 

The Profit First System

Set up a Series of Bank Accounts

Before I talk about that, I’ll go ahead and talk about what the Profit First system looks like. 

Personally, I was already doing this because I knew I needed to pay my quarterly taxes. I knew it would be easier for me to keep track of quarterly taxes if they weren’t just sitting in my main account because then I would think that I could spend that money. 

So I had my main account and I had a taxes account for my business. However, I still didn’t have a very good idea of where all my money needed to be and when.

Mike has you set up a series of bank accounts. This includes things like:

  • Income (your main account where all your money comes in)
  • Profit
  • Taxes

You also have a couple of other accounts related to operational expenses and things like that. 

Plan for Profit

One of the things I really love about this book is that they plan for profit. 

One of the things I learned in the army is that if you don’t plan, you’re planning to fail. You have to plan for success. 

That little inclusion was just amazing to me, because what’s our inclination to do with the so-called extra money? We don’t use it as profit. We typically reinvest it back into the business, which causes the business to become that swelled-up, cash-eating monster. 

Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t allocate any funds at all in investment and things that your business needs. But, he says you can even start very low.

I have about 20% that goes into my tax account. You need to make sure because every time you do your allocations you’re putting away profit money. 

For me, it lines up really well, even though I’m paying my estimated taxes. I’m also getting a quarterly profit distribution from my own business. 

So that’s what he has you do. Once per quarter, you get to take half of what’s in that account and spend it however you want to, just not on the business. The beauty of this is that because you take half, you don’t take the entire thing. That other half stays in there. 

So let’s say your first quarter is $500. You take $250, even if you earn the same amount for the following quarter. Even if you earn the same amount the following quarter, there is $250 already in there. 

Since you get another $50 later on, now you have $750, half of which is $375. 

At this point, you get to take that $375 out and leave the other $375. 

The number goes up for the next quarter, and you always take half.

It’s Beneficial to Your Family Life

Eventually, your quarterly profit distribution is going to be very sizable. You’d be able to afford a vacation or buy tickets for an awesome experience for you and your family.

I think that that’s what makes it so awesome; you get to take out that money and do something with it. 

If you have a family, they would see the benefits of your business as well. 

Don’t Let Your Business Deplete Your Resources

As entrepreneurs, oftentimes we go into business thinking we have more control over our time than we really do. But if we’re not careful with our money and time, our business will eat all of it. 

There’s never a moment where your business is like, “Okay, I’ve had enough. I don’t need any more of your time or money”. There are always things that need to be done. 

I think the allocation of the profit helps so much because it’s easier not to touch your account which is specifically made for profit. You’re stealing from yourself if you touch it. 

Assess Your Business’s Health

One of my favorite chapters in the book is Chapter 4, which assesses the health of your business. 

If you’ve listened to any of the other episodes of the podcast up until now, you know I’m all about healthy, consistent, and scalable business growth. 

In the chapter, there’s a formula and a chart for you to fill out. Once you’re done, it can be a bit of a shock how unhealthy your business is. 

My case wasn’t that bad, but the author also describes some scenarios that were pretty bad. That’s okay, you’re going to start fixing it instead of continuing on like you have been. 

Once you’re done with the assessment, you’ll see where your business is hemorrhaging money. Your business is a bucket with holes in it, which you didn’t realize were there. So the money is just coming out. 

Take Action!

That’s the whole point of Profit First; the creation of a healthy business. You don’t want to have to stress out over funds if you don’t have to, so that is why you should go read Profit First. It’s not a super long book, and you’ll be able to implement things as you go. 

He actually gives you that direction. Stop reading right now and go do this. 

Let me know if you read or implement the book. Go ahead and leave a comment, or contact me on any of the social media channels in which you find this episode. 

Top Reason Small Businesses Struggle

What’s the top reason small businesses struggle? It has a lot to do with inconsistency in the functions you need to perform to develop your business: marketing, sales, and business development. 

When we fail as business owners to be consistent in those tasks, we open ourselves to “feast or famine” cycles that prevent us from enjoying consistent income from our entrepreneurial endeavors. 

Here’s the podcast episode:

Or if you’d rather watch the video:

Today, we’re talking about the top reason why small businesses struggle.

If you are a small business owner, you can probably empathize with what I’m about to say. A couple of days ago, I talked about some reasons why small businesses fail. 

I think those numbers might be a little different if the US Bureau of Labor Statistics was able to include numbers on freelance businesses, and other types of businesses that are sole proprietorships, don’t necessarily require registration, office space, and other indicators of a  thriving business. 

Why Small Businesses Struggle

So for a business like mine, I can work with my team remotely to keep overhead down, and the government didn’t really have a way to track me as a small business (With the exception of the fact that I recently filed as an LLC). So, as quickly as I came into existence, I could go out of existence. Would they count me? No. 

Feast or Famine Cycles

The top reason why small businesses struggle is they set themselves up for feast or famine cycles. I’ve been talking about this a lot with my small business friends in the context of the business planner that I’m designing. 

What does that mean? It means that when business is coming in, it’s great. You’re feasting. Revenue is high and profits are up. But eventually, you hit a schlump and it starts to go down. That’s your famine cycle. There are no clients to be found anywhere. 

Inconsistency is the Main Culprit 

This typically comes from not handling your non-billable tasks. Non-billable means you can’t get paid for them. The tasks I’m talking about are your sales, marketing, and business development tasks. We tend to let these fall off when we get busy with client work. 

This is the difference between working in your business (Working on client work), and working on your business (Doing admin tasks). 

Let’s say you’re really good in person, and you can work those networking events like nobody’s business. Good for you, but that only works if you attend the events. 

So if you attend the events at a time when you don’t have client work, you’ll get clients and stop going to the events. 

Once that client work is done, you don’t have any more incoming clients because you didn’t consistently go out and market your business. You didn’t consistently go out and create partnerships. Now you’re going to hit a famine cycle. 

Another great example, usually more linked to companies, is when you post to your company blog and social media when the workload is right. 

You post, you show up every day, you talk to people on Linkedin, you comment on Instagram, you’re posting once a week to your company blog, you’re consistent. You’ve got good engagement on the social media channels you choose to be on. 

By doing that sort of marketing, you’re setting your company up for inbound leads, which are leads that you don’t necessarily go out, identify, and pick. I wrote a blog post, you found it via Google or through a social share, and now you’re engaging with me. You’re coming to me, as opposed to me going to you. 

Your company’s blog is really healthy and consistent when the client workload is light, but when it’s not light, you fall off. You might go a month or two without posting. 

That inconsistency is bad for you. So when the workload gets light again, you’re back to posting and you get more inbound leads. When you convert those leads to customers, you stop posting. 

When entrepreneurs and small-business owners don’t do these sorts of tasks, you’ll see a revenue dip sometime after. It’s normally a pretty easy pattern. I know the freelancers and solopreneurs listening to this are thinking, “Oh man, now that I think about it, there is a pattern”. 

Too Many Hats, Not Enough Heads

This typically happens when there are too many hats. We talk about entrepreneurs wearing hats. This is my sales hat. This is my marketing hat. This is my Biz Dev hat. 

There are too many hats, not enough heads because typically it’s your head. 

Even if you do have a few employees, they’re likely junior employees, who can’t really help you with these sorts of tasks. Or maybe the senior people are constantly on client work, so you can’t pull them off to do this stuff. It’s all on you. 

Let’s do a quick recap of what some of these tasks are. 

Marketing

Marketing is the action of promoting your products or services, including market research. 

In the first podcast episode, we talked about how 42% of small businesses fail because they didn’t determine whether there was actually a need for their product/service. 

Even if there is a need, if you don’t market, it means you’re not going to have sales. 

Sales

This includes activities leading to the sale of goods/services. Where we typically fail is in the follow-up. We fail to follow up because we get busy. 

When you’re no longer busy and you try to go back to those leads, they’ve gone cold. Maybe they found somebody else to solve their problem because you didn’t follow up with them. You lost a sale. 

Sometimes, we even have to follow up multiple times. John Asher’s premier sales training says we might have to follow up somewhere between 5-12 times. So if you’re someone who stops after the first 3 times, and I’m not saying you have to be irritating, what are you going to accomplish?

We’re hitting the era of what they call smarketing, because sales and marketing are starting to blend together. It’s easier for you as an entrepreneur to blend those two together. 

Business development 

Business development is not like sales. Rather, it’s the strategic development of partnerships to promote your product/service. 

You’re partnering with other businesses in order to get customers. These are always great because you typically deal with a few partners, but you could end up with a lot more sales. This is because they’re the ones engaging with their customers. 

In my case, a strategic partnership for Defy The Status Quo might be a digital marketing company that doesn’t do content but wants to offer it with their services. They either want a referral partner, somebody they can refer a business to, or they want to bring us under as a subcontractor. Those are business development opportunities for Defy The Status Quo. 

There are almost always other types of opportunities that you can take, whether you have a service or a product. That’s your business development. 

It helps when you find people who are in similar fields. What about when you find someone in the exact same field as you? In my case, as a B2B writer, my company does B2B content for consulting and service firms. 

What that means is that, if somebody comes to me about healthcare writing, that’s not my company’s area of brilliance, so I’d think of healthcare writers I know that I could refer to. 

That’s another business development task that doesn’t necessarily bring you revenue, but if you do that for your peers, it’s very likely that they’ll do it for you in return. Also, you’ve avoided giving a potential client who reached out to you a firm no

Make the Best of Outsourcing

So in order to solve this problem, outsourcing or bringing in employees who can do these functions is key. 

Outsourcing is typically what you do first, because you may not have enough for a full-time or part-time employee. 

You can read my blog post (or watch the video) on how Outsourcing With a Virtual Assistant Can Generate More Revenue here.

3 Things You Need to Know to Use Upwork as a Client

Thinking of scaling up your business and hiring a freelancer on Upwork to outsource some of your tasks? Here are the top 3 things you need to know about being a client in Upwork.

1. Your Job Post Will Define Who Applies

The first thing you need to know is how to write a great job post that attracts highly skilled freelancers. A lot of times, highly skilled freelancers will pick apart low-quality job posts. You don’t want to be one of those.

So as a client, if you don’t write a good job post, you’re not going to attract the sort of skill that you want.

You also want to make sure that you set clear expectations. If you don’t know what you should charge, be clear about that. Sometimes, skilled freelancers will respond and let you know “if you’re looking for someone with these many years of experience, or that attains these sorts of results, this is what you can expect to pay.”

Either way, you can research the general rates before posting your job. You want to be able to communicate that you’re willing to pay for value or if your budget is low. With a low budget you need to be willing to work with someone who’s just getting started. Don’t be a terrible client and demand $100/hour quality work from somebody to whom you’re only able to pay $20/hour.

2. Test The Waters Before You Make a Decision

After you have a couple of proposals on your job post, you should conduct a thorough interview, including a phone call. I think hearing someone’s voice, letting them hear yours, and getting a feel for how they act, lets you know that they’re a “real person.”

Remember, you can interview as many people as you want to.

I also recommend having a test project – a paid test project, because you can’t ask for free work on Upwork. Just don’t do it – they’ll report you. You can choose something small, a week or even less if you’re paying by the hour. You could do three hours in the first week, to see if you like working with that person.

Even if you don’t get on well together, you probably had a positive experience. Thankfully, you haven’t committed to a long term involvement with the freelancer you tested.

Some people try to get away with tricking freelancers to do free work. If they want a tagline, they’ll say “send me five taglines and whoever writes the best one, I’ll pay them.” That’s still an unpaid test project because it takes a lot of effort, research, and creativity in order to produce a great tagline.

Instead, I would say “describe your morning cup of coffee in three sentences or less.” I feel like most people would be comfortable with that. Not to mention, it’s something completely random.

3. Keep It on Upwork

Another thing to keep in mind as an Upwork client is to never offer to pay outside of the platform. The freelancer can also report you for this and your account will be shut down. If this is something that you do as a scammer, then no big deal. Obviously, scammers don’t care – they’ll just make a new account. If you’re a legitimate client who doesn’t know better, Upwork will still shut down your account. That’s obviously going to cause some trouble for you.

Make sure you read the Terms of Service because that’s what you agreed to when you signed up. You won’t be able to tell Upwork that you didn’t know because they’ll just say “Well, you agreed to our Terms of Service.”

Fixed-Price Projects

Something to note if you decide to go with a fixed-price project: once you set up a milestone for that project, Upwork will take that money and hold it in escrow. This means it won’t be paid to the freelancer right away. You will only release that payment once they submit their work and you approve of it.

You have two weeks to release payment or ask for changes. If you don’t do anything, Upwork will release it automatically. If you see they submitted their work and you’re not happy with it, hit the “request changes” button. That stops the two-week timer and keeps your funds from being automatically released.

This is a way for you to feel confident in working with a freelance web designer in Italy. You don’t know that person, you only met them on Upwork. That money in escrow is their assurance that you’re going to pay them for their work. However, you can also rest assured that they won’t be paid unless they provide the quality of work that you both agreed upon.

Ready to Use Upwork as a Client?

This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive guide. Following these top 3 points will help you avoid most of the issues clients experience on Upwork. Upwork isn’t (just) for bargain basement contractor deals. You get what you pay for after all. Upwork can be a great connector for you to freelancers around the world. Learn how to use the platform, and knock those projects off of your to-do list.

Looking to outsource your blogging to a freelancer? Make sure you arm them with our Blogging for Business Toolkit to see the most return on your investment!

Outsourcing With a Virtual Assistant Can Generate More Revenue

You’ll need to outsource long before you have any employees. At least that’s what you need to do if you want to avoid 80-hour weeks. 80-hour weeks working on anything besides your areas of brilliance isn’t the best use of your time.

That’s where outsourcing comes in. In this video, I talk about the first level of outsourcing many business owners explore: the virtual assistant.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

virtual assistant (VA) is a person who provides support services to other businesses from a remote location.

Randy Duermyer, The Balance Small Business

The right virtual assistant can become your right hand. When the relationship is right, you’ll wonder how you ever worked without one.

Make Your Business Outsourcing Profitable

One of the best tips I present in this video is about how you can use outsourcing to make your business more profitable. No, I’m not going to tell you to take your client work and “farm” it out.

When work is farmed out, it means you’re using a subcontractor to complete contracted work agreed upon by you and your client. I’m not a fan of the phrase as an all encompassing descriptor. It has a connotation of cheap work associated with it. There is nothing wrong with building long term relationships with contractors to satisfy your contracts. You just need to be up front about it.

Anyway, how do you take spending money on a contractor like a virtual assistant and turn around and make more money? By ensuring that all of the tasks that person finishes are your nonbillable work.

Can you charge your clients your social media marketing?

What about the time you spend writing blog posts?

If you want to write all of your marketing content, do you have to be the one who drafts it?

What about all of the images you create for social media and your website?

What Can a Virtual Assistant Do?

Virtual assistance can do….. well pretty much anything. It depends on what they have experience with. This is why you need to decide what you want BEFORE you start looking for an assistant. Every virtual assistant has different things that they specialize in. Which means some may specifically work with online businesses, and some assist with admin work like you’d see in an office.

Here are some of the things a virtual assistant can do for your business:

  • Respond to client emails
  • Schedule appointments
  • Plan, write, and schedule social media posts
  • Write blog posts
  • Do research for client work or your content
  • Edit video and audio
  • Manage online communities
  • Enter data into your client relationship management (CRM) system
  • Design and create images for your social media and website
  • Answer customer calls
  • Get creative!

If you decide what you’d like to outsource to a virtual assistant, then you can take the next step and find one that suits your needs.

Do You Have to Be the One Who Does ALL of the Work?

Do you see where I’m going with this? Your top question should be “Do I have to be the one who does this?” If someone else is taking care of nonbillable work for you, and you turn around and do more billable work, you will make more money in the first week.

Watch the video, you can learn more about my thoughts on bringing in a virtual assistant (and other contractors) onto your team.

If you’re considering bringing on a virtual assistant or someone like a social media manager, but haven’t, tell me why in the comments. We’ll hash it out. Outsourcing with a virtual assistant could be just what you need to free up time and generate more revenue.

If you want to outsource your content marketing to a virtual assistant, make sure you give them these tools!