Do you have the right perspective? Want to know what keeps a lot of service providers and coaches from charging what they’re really worth?
It’s that all-too-common belief that “I am not a salesperson.” Combine that with a healthy dose of “It’s rude to discuss money,” and you can see why it’s just easier to keep your rates low.
It’s time to think of your services from a different perspective!
Not only will you see things in a clearer light, but selling suddenly won’t feel so…salesy.
Here’s how traditional pricing discussions go which is soooo boring!
You talk to a potential client, and you explain what you can offer, how your coaching or service works, what he or she can expect (how many calls/emails, phases of work, length of contract), etc. And then you say, “My rate is $XXX.00.” OMG – simple right?
Your client either says yes, no or (the kiss of death) maybe. LOL…
So now…Let’s turn that around and rather than focus on what he or she will get from YOU, take a look at what she will achieve when she hires you.
For a business coach, this is easy. Talk money!
How much more profit will your client make when she hires you?
If your coaching fee is $1,000 per month, but you can show her how to increase her sales by $3,000 per month, then your price is inconsequential. She’ll earn it back three times over, not only while you’re actively coaching her, but for the rest of her business life.
Now, who wouldn’t jump on that with both feet? I know I would if I was looking for a coach!
What you’re doing here is not talking about the cost of your coaching, but rather the cost of not hiring you. Because if she doesn’t work with you, she’s losing $3,000 per month. See how that works?
What about other kinds of coaches or service providers though?
The same applies, you just have to find a way to show your clients the cost of their inaction.
If you’re a life coach, inaction (to your potential client) might mean years of feeling unhappy and unfulfilled
Imagine what it might be worth to your client to lift that depressing burden forever?
The same goes for health and wellness coaches.
Can you add 10 years to the life of an unhealthy, overweight man? That’s priceless.
What about dating coaches?
For someone who’s been unlucky in love, in and out of one bad relationship after another, the promise of a man (or woman) who will love and cherish them is worth nearly any price.
You just have to paint the picture…ahaa…I know, right? You didn’t realize painting was in your future, did you?
What will life/business/love look like without your coaching services, and what can it look like with you? Same goes for Virtual Assistants and any type of Virtual Service Provider.
Once they see the difference, pricing becomes nearly irrelevant.
So, you see…it’s all about perspective! How do you feel about this? Let me know in the comments below.
And, if you’re looking for someone to help you with your perspective, I can help you with that too. Contact me and let’s set-up a call to chat.
Pricing strategies are something you need to learn in your business. This might just be the most stressful decision(s) you ever have to make: what to charge?
You’ve got the competition to consider…yikes!
Your own skill set, and what you perceive to be your skills (yes, this is different from the former for most of us)
What your market will pay, your location, and a host of other variables.
Working it out can feel like a hurdle you can’t quite get past.
Of course, there are some strategies you can employ. One popular method is to use a plain ol’ calculator (if you still use one of those). Here’s an interesting article on rates used in 2017. Please understand…this is only a guide, so don’t think you need to use this information explicitly or your business will go down the tubes!
Having a general guideline will quickly tell you what you need to be charging to reach your income goals, and it’s a great place to start.
But what about all those other questions? Creating a solid pricing structure requires you to do a little more digging. Clams anyone? Yeah, in all seriousness with your starting number in line, take a look at the following:
This might take a little detective work since a lot of coaches and service providers don’t publish rates. But if you pay attention to their websites and social media, ask a few discreet questions, and get on their mailing list, you can figure it out. I show my rates as “Starting At” prices because every job is usually different.
Be realistic about who exactly your competition is though. Don’t undervalue or over-sell yourself. In other words, make sure you’re comparing yourself to another provider who shares the same skills, market, and tracking record, rather than simply looking at who you strive to become. Kinda important…you can’t charge say $100.00 an hour if you’re just starting out…duh!!
In some fields, this is easy. There are certifications and educational programs that allow you—by virtue of having achieved them—to charge a certain rate. If you’ve followed this path, then pricing will be easy for you. If not, take a solid look at what you can legitimately claim as a skill. Just remember, this is your business so don’t think that you have to settle for charging less than your worth.
Look, too, at your track record. Have you proven yourself by helping former clients (and do you have the testimonials and case studies to show for it)? Have your former clients moved on to bigger and better Service Providers after working with you? These are all reasons to consider a higher price range than you might have first thought about.
rate1 rāt/Submit noun plural noun: rates 1. a measure, quantity, or frequency, typically one measured against some other quantity or measure. “the crime rate rose by 26 percent” 2. a fixed price paid or charged for something, especially goods or services. “the basic rate of pay” synonyms: charge, price, cost, tariff, fare, levy, toll; fee, remuneration, payment, wage, allowance “an hourly rate of $30” verb 3rd person present: rates 1. assign a standard or value to (something) according to a particular scale. “they were asked to rate their ability at different driving maneuvers” synonyms: assess, evaluate, appraise, judge, estimate, calculate, gauge, measure, adjudge; grade, rank, classify, categorize “they rated his driving ability” 2. consider to be of a certain quality, standard, or rank. “he rates the company’s stock a “buy.”” synonyms: consider, judge, reckon, think, hold, deem, find; regard as, look on as, count as “the scheme was rated effective”
In the game of setting rates, it’s your market that has the final say. As any first-year economy student can tell you, the price of anything lies where what the buyer is willing to pay meets what the seller is willing to accept. This is an interesting fact, just ask any other Service Provider on the market today.
If your goal is to give newbies a helping hand and lead them down the path to success, that unfortunately means you can look forward to low paying gigs. That’s not a bad thing—everyone has to begin somewhere—but it does need to be acknowledged.
If, on the other hand, you’re target market is more established and economically stable, then a higher fee isn’t just warranted—it’s a must. They will expect a higher price, and will not find value in the lowest-cost provider of anything, whether it’s coffee beans or business coaching. LOL!
Finally, don’t forget that pricing is never set in stone. It’s flexible. If you find you’re attracting the wrong market (or no market at all) you can always change your rates. Working too hard for not enough return? Raise your rates.
It’s your business. You get to call the shots. If you are allowing your clients or other Service Providers to decide what your rates are going to be, you are only doing yourself a disservice. This is such a HOT TOPIC right now. Do your research, but DO charge what you’re worth!
If you ARE looking for a Service Provider please contact me HERE. I would love to help you with your business.
Please comment your thought below. I would love to hear what you think!
In every entrepreneur’s life, there comes a time when you simply have to raise your rates. Yes…it’s true! I know..it’s hard to discuss your rates.
Maybe you’ve been in business for years without a pay increase. Or, maybe your skills have recently improved through a new training course or certification.
Or you just want to attract a higher caliber of client. Yup…I just confessed to this the other day. (Hanging my head…but unashamed!)
rate [rāt] NOUN rates (plural noun) a measure, quantity, or frequency, typically one measured against some other quantity or measure: “the crime rate rose by 26 percent” a fixed price paid or charged for something, especially goods or services: “the basic rate of pay” · [more] synonyms: charge · price · cost · tariff · fare · levy · toll · fee · remuneration · payment · wage
Whatever the reason, it pays to have a plan in place before you make your big announcement. So, here’s the plan…you do have a plan right? If not…
Here’s where to start.
Take a look at your current clients. Will you raise their rates as well? ummm… If the answer is no, then you have to consider if keeping them will be worth your time. Or, if you’ll feel resentful at the amount of (lower paid) time you are spending with them.
Resentment can build up, so be wary of this. It’s better to raise their rates than providing substandard services due to hidden anger. YES, you can actually get angry over this situation.
If the answer is yes, then you have to prepare yourself for potential fallout. And this is a reality you need to face, right? Simply put, there are some clients (you likely know who they are) who will balk at a price hike. What??? How dare they right? I’m just sayin’ it could happen!
They’ll threaten to leave. They may actually leave. OMGoodness! Are you prepared for the hit your wallet will take should that happen? Now…what do you have to say about that?
Consider when your rate increase will go into effect. Today…tomorrow…next week? This might be different for each client, depending on when/how they’re paying you.
A client who is on a package plan might not see an increase for 3 months or more, while a monthly client might be shocked to find his or her rate is going up in a week. Please don’t do this to them, or the word might get out and you will lose all your clients. Especially if they’re from referrals! OH NO!!!
Please – give your clients at least a 30-day notice of the increase. They will need to budget for a higher expense and just might shop around for a new virtual assistant if they choose to. Remember…they can do this…so don’t be surprised if they do.
If you’re a little flexible and want to gain a few new clients, you might think about creating a last-minute offer. What a great idea huh?
Announce that your rates are going up on [whatever date], then offer to let X number of new clients lock in your current rate if they sign a contract right now.
Sure, you’ll still be working at your old rate, but with a few new clients on the roster, your cash flow will definitely improve. This is SMART thinking if I do say myself.
The most important thing to remember about rate increases is this:
You have to feel good about the prices you charge. If you think your rates are too low, chances are good that they are.
Raising them will not only make you feel better, but it might just let your current and prospective clients know the value of your services as well.
So…what do you really think about raising your rates? Let me know in the comments below won’t you?
Hope you enjoyed reading…
Let me ask you this…do you need a Virtual Assistant? If so…you can contact me here. I’d be more than happy to chat about what type of services I provide. Just need to fill out a little ol’ form. Thanks…I appreciate that!
Does the topic of money make your mouth dry and your hands sweat? Mmmm…Do you dread that point in a conversation when someone says, “So what do you charge?” Oh, how I hate this and I’m sure you do too! Just what ARE your RATES anyway?
So, you are not alone in this situation. Because most of us have difficulty talking about money—especially when it comes to quoting rates for our own work. Honestly…just what are you worth?
If you’re going to be successful in business, you have to get over it. Yup, you heard me right! GET OVER IT!
So, here are a few of my suggestions:
The first rule for declaring your rates with confidence is simply to practice. Talk to yourself in the shower. Tell your dog what your rates are. Stand in front of your mirror and say, “I charge $XXX.00 per hour.” Or…”I have 3 different packages you may select from.”
The more you say your rates out loud (not in your head) the more natural it will be for you.
Even if you’re on the phone or writing an email, smile when you say your rates. Your tone of voice changes when you smile (as does the “tone” of your typing) and that tone can convey confidence and authority, not to mention professionalism.
3) Avoid Being Indecisive
Listen to yourself as you speak to potential clients. Do you say things like, “Well, normally I charge…” or “Actually, my rates are…” or “Do you think that $XX.00 will work for you?” REALLY???
These (and others like them) are all indecisive ways of talking that do not instill confidence in your client, and worse, they make you sound like you don’t believe in yourself. This is true, and you should except that fact my friend.
Rather than squeaking out a timid, “Um, I charge, like $1,000 per month,” straighten your back, smile, and say, “My rate for VA Services is $1,000 per month. Where should I send your invoice?” And then…
4) Be Silent
When we’re nervous or feeling intimidated, we tend to talk. We want to fill the silence with something, anything, just to avoid having to sit there uncomfortably and wonder what the other person is thinking.
But guess what? He or she is just as uncomfortable with the silence, and psychologically, the one who speaks first is at a disadvantage. So when you’re talking pricing or rates, please avoid the urge to fill the silence (especially because you’re most likely to try to justify them) and let your potential client take the time to respond.
Will speaking with confidence always land you a new client? Nope! But being able to share your rates in a clear voice will help potential clients know that you’re confident in your skills, and consequently, that you are the right virtual assistant for them.
Speaking of…I know the perfect VA for you…ME! You can contact me HERE! I would love to help you with your business. And yes, we will be discussing my Rates and you can see what services I offer HERE!
So, I’ve been thinking a lot about two things in my business, foundations & recurring revenue.
I believe that to build a sustainable and profitable business, you need only to focus on creating a great foundation. And you need to find ways to bring in predictable recurring revenue.
Doing this helps you to build stability that gives you the freedom to build on what you have and to create a lifestyle business that fits you and what you believe.
What are the foundations?
It’s going back to the basics of building a business and doing this works for any business whether it’s online or a brick and mortar store.
Take a look at what your key foundations for your business are. For me, it’s sharing what I know with you. And you could listen to a ton of business owners out there but…you’ve taken the time to sign up and share your email address with me. And this gives me the opportunity to connect with you personally in your inbox. I appreciate you so much for that too, so thank you. This is the beginning of “relationship building” that we’ll discuss in another blog post. But for today, let’s discuss what else is included in building your foundation.
foun·da·tion founˈdāSH(ə)n/Submit noun 1. the lowest load-bearing part of a building, typically below ground level. synonyms: footing, foot, base, substructure, infrastructure, underpinning; More 2. an underlying basis or principle for something. “this idea is the foundation of all modern economics” synonyms: basis, starting point, base, point of departure, beginning, premise;
Another foundation piece should be revenue and profit. Running a business that isn’t profitable is a business that isn’t sustainable. Are you understanding the message here? I sure hope so…because if you’re not making a profit…why are you doing what you’re doing?
Your foundation is what will keep your business moving forward. Its purpose is to keep you focused on your reason for being in business in the first place. For many business owners, this is called the “WHY“. So why are you doing what you’re doing?
It’s that foundation piece to help keep you moving forward when you’re ready to just let it all go. What? Let it go…did I hear you right? No way…I just got started! (I can hear you saying that right now!)
Another important foundation is staying focused.To do this keep your big goal / idea somewhere you can see it. Yes…write it down and put it on your bulletin board or whatever method you use so you see it EVERY DAY!
Remove all your distractions and focus on what you want to get done to lay the foundation for your business. It will really make a difference for you. Honest!!
Next up is…
Recurring Business Revenue
As a business owner, creating income that is predictable and consistent is important, REALLY important in fact. Having a service, program or membership that offers the opportunity to bring in consistent cash flow month after month is one of the best ways to bring in consistent income.
Look at alternative ways to create recurring revenue. Whether it’s creating small e-books to sell on your website, checklists or having a membership site, it will help to create a positive cash flow, kind of like set it and forget it plan.
rev·e·nue ˈrevəˌn(y)o͞o/Submit noun income, especially when of a company or organization and of a substantial nature. synonyms: income, takings, receipts, proceeds, earnings, sales; profit(s) “this month’s revenue is up 5 percent from last month” a state’s annual income from which public expenses are met. items or amounts constituting a state’s income. “the government’s tax revenues”
You can also do affiliate marketing which is a great way to earn some additional income. I’ll discuss this more in a future blog post, so you’ll want to make sure you stay tuned for that.
I’m not quite ready to share what I have planned, but I can tell you that it’s going to be a money maker for me for the future.
So, what kinds of things do you have in place for your business? Please let me know in the comments below…I’d love to hear about them.
In the meantime, I would love to help you with your business so please let me know by contacting me here.
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As in any business, you’ll spend a certain amount of time on clients who will never pay you. Really? Gasp!! Not in my business ever! What you say? You mean clients always pay you? Yup, that’s what I’m saying. So, here’s the situation.
Do you realize that…
Website designers quote jobs that never come to fruition? Yes, it happens every day!
Car dealers spend hours chatting up customers who will never buy? Yup, I’ve seen it happen!
Book agents read countless manuscripts they will never be able to sell? Can you imagine this?
And coaches spend time giving out free advice to clients who cannot or will not hire them. Oh, my!
Truthfully, it can be frustrating when you’re in this situation. And it’s definitely a drain on your time and energy, right? But there are some things you can do to eliminate those who will never become clients without having to spend time with them first.
1) Someone that trusts you 2) They receive value from you 3) A person who will pay you
OK…here are my magical ideas!
Post Your Prices
One of the most hotly debated topics among coaches and service providers is whether or not you should post your prices on your website. There are pros and cons on both sides of the fence, but the biggest advantage to posting your prices is that it immediately eliminates those who cannot afford you. Yes, this is true! If you are not comfortable doing this, then put “starts at”.
Of course, you don’t have to list prices for everything to achieve the same effect. If you offer private coaching and self-directed training packages, having a price tag of $1000 on your “entry level” course makes things pretty clear. Your private coaching is going to be at the high end. And that will eliminate all the clients that are looking for a less expensive option.
And that will eliminate all the clients that are looking for a less expensive option.
If you prefer to quote packages individually, a line that states, “Coaching packages start at $XXX” is a simple way to state your prices while still giving you some flexibility. Right? I mean if you’re going to provide this as a service you need to market it correctly.
Before you get on the phone with anyone, require that they do a little groundwork first. A client intake form should tell you everything you need to know about a potential client. So long before you pick up the phone, do a little digging. What it tells you the most, is how much work they’re willing to do. Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required. They won’t even answer a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.
So long before you pick up the phone, do a little digging. What it tells you the most, is how much work they’re willing to do. Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required. They won’t even answer a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.
Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required. They won’t even answer a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.
Not only that, but you can include in your form a question about pricing. Such as “What’s your budget for coaching?” Use a pre-defined list of answers that start with “$1,000 and up” rather than letting your potential client fill in her own amount.
And, I guarantee you that those with smaller budgets won’t bother to complete it.
Change Your Language
You know that words have power! If the words you use on your website and other marketing material are speaking to newbies or those just getting started in business, you’ll never attract the audience you’re seeking. Instead of using words like “step by step plan,” say, “advanced techniques.” Rather than talking about “easy systems,” mention high-end, complex software by name. Simple changes can help you to automatically attract the right audience.
Rather than talking about “easy systems,” mention high-end, complex software by name. Simple changes can help you to automatically attract the right audience.
You’ll still spend some time and energy on those who ultimately won’t hire you. But by making these simple edits to your website, marketing materials, and other business systems, you’ll begin to see more high-end clients.
So try it, maybe see if this method works for you. And, as a result, you may just save yourself some time.
I bet fewer of those types of clients you no longer wish to work with will disappear, just like magic! It’s as simple as that! Try it and see if this method works for you.
Remember, if you need help with your business, I’m always available for a FREE 15-minute chat. Just contact me here…I know…it’s a form! What did you expect?? Yes, you are finally finished reading this post. BUT…
When you think about the highest earning business coaches, people like Ali Brown, Carrie Wilkerson, and Marie Forleo, what comes to mind? Charisma, experience, and expertise are often at the top of the list. Do you think they have the proper mindset?
Would it surprise you to know that those are not the most important characteristics? In fact, while those things do help attract and keep an audience, there’s one thing that is absolutely critical to their success, and you can’t even see it. It’s their MINDSET!
It’s true. In everything you do, whether in business or in life, your mindset is the determining factor when it comes to your success.
Your business plans are no different. Without the right mindset, you will forever be attracting and working with clients who are:
deserving and lovely
are less than your ideal client
and might have problems when it comes to their ability to pay
So before you can realize your dreams of four- or five-figure clients, you have to do some internal work. You have to make some changes to your own mindset. To be more in line with what the top earners in your industry already do and feel.
mindset ˈmīn(d)set/Submit noun the established set of attitudes held by someone. “the region seems stuck in a medieval mindset”
Changing Your Attitude
One thing charismatic and personable people have in common is a good attitude. Think about it; you’ll never see Carrie Wilkerson or Paul Evans complaining about how the kids are sick, “again!”! Or that the cable repair guy is 40 minutes late, or even that the car blew a tire.
Instead, you see their expressions of gratitude in everything. If the kids are sick, they’re grateful to have a business that allows them to stay home and play nurse.
If the cable guy is late, they’re grateful to have 40 extra minutes. They will just read a book instead of watch television.
And if the car died in the middle of running a week’s worth of errands, oh well! They’re happy to have found a mechanic who does great work at a reasonable price.
If you find yourself complaining—even in your head—turn your attitude around. There’s nearly always something to be grateful for, even in the worst situations.
And when you can rethink and revise your attitude for the better, you’ll not only be happier, but you’ll attract a better audience, too.
at·ti·tude ˈadəˌt(y)o͞od/Submit noun a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior. “she took a tough attitude toward other people’s indulgences” synonyms: view, viewpoint, outlook, perspective, stance, standpoint, position, inclination, temper, orientation, approach, reaction; More a position of the body proper to or implying an action or mental state. “the boy was standing in an attitude of despair, his chin sunk on his chest” synonyms: position, posture, pose, stance, bearing “an attitude of prayer” NORTH AMERICANinformal truculent or uncooperative behavior; a resentful or antagonistic manner. “I asked the waiter for a clean fork, and all I got was attitude”
Growing Your Confidence
Here’s something else top-end coaches have in common: confidence. Yes, they believe in what they do. They believe in their own ability to help others achieve the same thing. So they walk on stage or join a webinar filled with the knowledge that what they are about to say will change the lives of those who are listening.
It’s not cocky or arrogant, it’s just confidence. And if you don’t have it yet, you can take steps to increase it.
Start by asking yourself, in any new or uncomfortable situation, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Of those worst-case scenarios, resolve what you have control over, and let the rest go.
So if you’ve agreed to speak in front of a small group of business owners, and your fear is that you’ll flub your speech, practicing beforehand will greatly improve your confidence.
Next, get inside the head of someone who is confident in what you’re about to do. Walk onto that stage as if you’ve been doing it for years, and not only will you feel more confident, but you’ll be more confident.
You can use the “as if” attitude in everything from creating a new product to closing a sale. Whenever you feel your confidence failing, just remember to act as if you’ve done this successfully hundreds of times.
con·fi·dence ˈkänfədəns/Submit noun the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust. “we had every confidence in the staff” synonyms: trust, belief, faith, credence, conviction “I have little confidence in these figures” the state of feeling certain about the truth of something. “it is not possible to say with confidence how much of the increase in sea levels is due to melting glaciers” a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. “she’s brimming with confidence” synonyms: self-assurance, self-confidence, self-possession, assertiveness;
Just like how the person you’re talking to on the phone can hear a smile in your voice. Your potential clients can sense your mindset also.
And, if it’s not up to the standards of the top earners in your niche, you’ll struggle to make the sale. Just work on your attitude and confidence levels. Then watch your income soar.
I certainly hope you enjoyed reading this article on “Creating Your Mindset For Business“.
If you need help with your business contact me HERE. I would love to help create your successful business.
“To get new results you must take new actions and all actions are fathered by a decision.” – Anthony Robbins
The Importance of Making a Committed Decision
The first step in building a successful business is making the decision to do it!
I want you to think about that for a moment. The first step in achieving a successful business is to plan to do so. I bring this up because so many business owners jump into the profession and immediately focus on how to get clients. Then, how to make money, then how to market and how to close sales. All this before they have fully committed to having a successful business, to begin with. Is this you?
A committed decision is a foundational pillar upon which your successful business is built.
That’s powerful! Isn’t it? That’s the kind of committed decision you must make about your business.
For example, you could decide to do whatever it takes. You could decide to build a successful business or to make a meaningful impact in the world. One of my favorites is beautifully simple: Commit to being a business owner. Decide to be a business owner!
Unfortunately, a lot of business owners who are “trying” to grow their business haven’t made a committed decision to succeed as a business owner. They are feeling things out, waiting to see what happens, hoping to get clients. There is no real commitment or determination. Don’t let this happen to you! The first step to go from “trying” to “succeeding” is a decision.
Benefits of Making a Decision
Building a business is not easy. If you don’t fully commit to doing what it takes, you won’t succeed. It’s that simple.
When you make and connect with your committed decision, you will have more focus, clarity, and purpose. You will have more inspiration and more motivation. Let’s face it, obstacles will arise! If it was easy to build a successful and profitable business, everyone would be a business owner.
Your decision will remind you of the reasons why you became a business owner and why you want to succeed in this business. Right? When you deeply connect with your decision and your reasons, you will be inspired to take the action necessary to succeed.
This may sound contradictory, but the decision, in and of itself, means nothing. It is the inspired action that results from you making a decision and connecting with it every day that really matters.
What a Decision is, it’s Not a Goal
I think goal setting is great, but the power to achieve them comes from the DECISION. The first step is to make a committed decision. THEN you set goals that are congruent with your decision. But the decision comes first.
Decision: Declaration, commitment, general, comes before the goal. Example: To have a successful business
Goal: Where you want to be, specific, measurable. Example: To have 10 new clients in 6 months.
A Decision is Not a Mission Statement
I don’t want you to turn your decision into a long, flowery, descriptive mission statement. There is nothing wrong with having a mission statement for your business or life, it’s just not what I recommend right now!
I’d like you to make a decision that stirs up your emotions. Your decision should connect you with your passion for business. Your decision should strengthen your commitment, inspiring you to act even when it isn’t easy.
Decision: Clear, Concise, Memorable, Inspiring. Example: My life purpose is to business owners. It is who I am.
Mission Statement: A narrative description of a purpose or aim Example: I endeavor to manifest my destiny by enabling single women to achieve greater fulfillment while contributing to the peace and joy of humanity.
Below is a short lesson in making decisions.
Assignment 1 – Make Your Decision
Make a conscious decision, a real declaration, about your commitment and desire to build a successful business.
Ask Yourself: “What decision can I make right now that will spur me into action and help me stay committed to being a successful business owner?”
Examples: “I commit to building a successful business.” “I’m doing this and not giving up!” “I’m an amazing business owner with a huge practice and great life.” “I commit to being a masterful business owner, having a thriving practice and living the life of my dreams.”
Elements of a Powerful Decision
Clear: It should be easily understood by a 12-year-old.
Concise/Memorable: You should be able to easily recite your decision from memory. Evokes Feeling The actual sentence isn’t as important as the feeling behind it.
Inspires Action: The best decision you can make is one that inspires you to take action, even when you don’t feel like it.
Are You Ready? Take time RIGHT NOW and make a powerful decision that inspires and motivates you. This is a critical piece of the foundation upon which your successful business is built.
Now that you have made a decision, the next step is to get fully committed. The key is desire! Identify WHY you want to make it as
Identify WHY you want to make it as a business owner. You need to be fully committed to your decision, because if you’re not, you may falter when challenges arise. And there will be challenges.
It’s not always easy to build a successful business! The key is having strong, compelling reasons so you commit to your decision, take action and never give up. Below, write down all the reasons WHY you just made a committed decision.
This is a critical step, so set aside some time and think deeply. Why is this important to you? Is this the reason you were put on the earth? Will it enable you to be the best you can be? Will it give you the freedom you desire? How happy and fulfilled will you feel? How will this impact others?
Ok, let’s get real on this how OUTSOURCING can help your business.
There’s so much to do when you have a business. Especially when you have an online presence, which most businesses do these days. From content creation, list building, a launch strategy, this is SO MUCH WORK! I can hear you saying that right now. And then you have to actually manage your business to boot. The list of tasks can seem unmanageable.
If you’re feeling the stress of it all, don’t worry—you’re not alone. And you don’t have to do this alone. Even if you’re a first-time business owner, OUTSOURCE part of the workload to a VIRTUAL ASSISTANT. They can/will make a task that feels insurmountable totally doable.
What Is the Idea of OUTSOURCING?
The idea of OUTSOURCING or working with a VA can be intimidating at first. But, YOU can build your business around having a Virtual Assistant that works with you, NOT for you. I can show you how to get it right. And I think that learning how to delegate is one of the best things an entrepreneur can do. Don’t you agree with that?
BUT it can be difficult to know what to delegate and when. Can you relate to that? Yes, you say in your best “I can relate” voice!
In this post, I’m going to give you the down-low on all things OUTSOURCING. I’ll teach you what to outsource, how to outsource, and even give specific ideas and lists of what to delegate.
What is OUTSOURCING?
Before I jump into how to outsource, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what outsourcing is and why it’s important to run a successful online business.
Outsourcing is the process of hiring (either domestically or internationally) another team or individual to complete various activities for you.
Specifically, entrepreneurs will often hire a Virtual Assistant to offload tasks so they can get more done in their business.
The tasks you pass along may be monotonous or laborious, so you can be freed up to focus on what really matters. The tasks may also be those that you aren’t naturally skilled at (such as copywriting, proofreading, graphics, etc.), so you outsource OUTSOURCE that task to someone who is more skilled in that area.
I’ll get into the specifics of the types of tasks you can outsource to a Virtual Assistant a little later in this post. Deal?
But first, let’s answer the big “why”.
Why Should I Hire a Virtual Assistant?
I’ve talked with hundreds of course creators and I see the same thing happening time and time again.
We are all spending too much time on the small stuff!
If we were honest with ourselves, most of us are spending 80–90% of our time doing the maintenance tasks for our courses and only 10–20% of our time marketing and selling them. This means that we are spending MORE time on things that don’t make us MONEY. That is the reason WHY we are in business in the first place right?
However, if we could OUTSOURCE the majority of our maintenance tasks, then we would have more time to spend on the things that will actually sell our course and bring in income. YES!!!
The bottom line is this—your personal productivity is limited by time. Whether you have 10hours or 80 hours a week to work on your online course, there is a limit.
When you start OUTSOURCING, that time gets multiplied. When a course creator OR any entrepreneur masters the art of outsourcing, there is literally no limit to what can get done.
By OUTSOURCING the tasks that aren’t core functions of your business, like customer care, editing, proofreading, billing, etc., you’re able to focus on the aspects of your online business that add value to the customer and will allow you to market and expand your business. Good thinking, right?
Before you go out and hire your first (or next) virtual assistant, there are a couple of investments you need to consider.
The financial investment
The time investment
The Financial Investment
You need to go into your outsourcing arrangement with a firm idea of your budget.
A virtual assistant’s rates can range dramatically, depending on who you plan to hire.
Hire internationally: I’m writing this post from the U.S., so when I say “international,” I mean outside of the States. Many international Virtual Assistants advertise their services for as little as $3–$5 per hour, so if you have a limited budget, this is a good option for you. Keep in mind, however, that if you need to work with someone who has personal experience with your local market, you may want to reserve the work you do with VA services in this category to simpler, rote tasks that are easy to communicate virtually. You can find international virtual assistants using freelancer hiring platforms like Upwork.
Hire domestically: If you do have a need to work with someone closer to home, you may want to hire a VA domestically. You’ll often pay more for a Virtual Assistant that is based in the U.S. (and also the U.K. and Canada). If you are English-speaking only and you need help with tasks that require detailed communication, or if your work requires familiarity with local market trends, you may find that the increased investment is worth it to your business.
The average rates for Virtual Assistants in the U.S., the U.K., or Canada can range from $18–$40+ per hour. The best place I have found for domestic Virtual Assistants is to search entrepreneurial Facebook groups like Linda Henslee Enterprises. This is my Facebook group and from here you can check out what services I offer to the general public.
Hire a specialist: Lastly, you may want to hire an expert for a certain task for your business. Maybe you know your business needs an expert copywriter. Maybe you want to pay for a custom sales page or for a Facebook Ad to be created for your business. Know that you’ll pay more for these services, but it can be a worthwhile investment if the individual has proven results.
You should expect to pay anywhere from $50 per hour to thousands of dollars per project, depending on the scope of work. I suggest looking for personal recommendations other businesses provide when it comes to finding a Virtual Assistant. Try logging into The Teachable Tribe and asking who others have hired to get results.
The Time Investment
It’s important to note that there will likely be a time investment on your part to train your new Virtual Assistant.
This individual will be brand new to your business and your processes. I’ve found that it usually takes 1–2 weeks for a new VirtualAssistant to really get accustomed to a client.
During this time, communication is key. Have weekly meetings via phone, Skype, or Zoom to talk about the work that needs to be done for that week. If there is a complex task you need help with, shoot an on-screen video using a tool like Screencastify to show your Virtual Assistant exactly what needs to be done.
Yes, it takes time to train someone, but if you are willing to put in the time investment, you’ll end up saving yourself time in the long run! But, most Virtual Assistants are already trained in all the common software people use to do business so some training is not necessary! Just an FYI.
Where Do You Need Help?
If you have gotten to this point and you’re thinking, “This is the next right step for me”, then read on. I’ve created a step-by-step process to help you choose, hire, and train your new Virtual Assistant.
You physically only have a certain number of hours in a week to complete all the work that needs to be done to run your online business. Right?
So, it’s up to you to decide what your Most Profitable Tasks (MPTs) are in any given week. What is it that you do that will ultimately generate the most income?
Anything else that is taking up your time and energy is really distracting you from your MPTs.
Before you go on the hunt to find the perfect Virtual Assistant, you’ll need to know what tasks you are looking to outsource to your new VA.
What are you delegating so you can focus on your MPTs?
Again, you may end up hiring a generalist (a Virtual Assistant that can handle a variety of tasks) or a specialist (a Virtual Assistant who specializes in one specific area like bookkeeping, graphic design, proofreading,
Here is a list of 25 most common services offered by Virtual Assistants:
Content Creation (blog posts or your course content)
Sales Funnels and/or Facebook Ads
Customer Service and/or Email Management
Custom Sales Page Creation
Social Media Management
Webinar Setup and Assistance
Transcription and/or Data Entry
Billing and/or Processes
Responding to Blog Comments
Maintaining an Editorial Calendar
Social Media Graphics
Ebook Content and Design
Accounting and/or Bookkeeping
PR / Press Releases
Your tasks for today…
#1 Make a list of all the tasks that you do on a regular basis. Look back at your past week or even your current to-do list. From this list, circle all of the things that you could potentially hire someone else to take off your plate.
#2 Based on the items you circled, decide if you want to hire a generalist or a specialist. From there, decide if you want to hire a domestic or international Virtual Assistant.
#3 Create a job description for your Virtual Assistant, based on the above information. You can use these questions to help create that job description:
Your Blog / Website / Teachable Site
What tasks are you looking for a VA to assist you with?
How many hours per week or month will you need assistance?
What is your budget?
Is there anything else that a VA should know about you or your company?
Where to find your VA?
Once you have your job description written up, it’s time to start the hunt for the perfect Virtual Assistant.
Here are some of my top recommendations for where you can begin your search:
Personal Referrals: Ask other business owners that you know and trust if they have someone who helps them with their tasks. Personal referrals are a great way to find quality help for your business.
Email your list: If you have an existing email list, this is a great place to start to find the newest addition to your team. These are the people that already know, trust, and follow you. Someone who already believes in the vision of your business could be a perfect fit for you.
Facebook Groups: A great place to turn for finding help in your business are entrepreneurial Facebook groups. Try jumping into groups like The Teachable Tribe that have other business owners and course creators. Ask who has worked with quality subcontractors and Virtual Assistants to help grow their online business.
Marketplaces: Upwork is a great resource for finding quality freelancers and Virtual Assistants. You have the ability to create a personal profile and post specific jobs. You can interview candidates, read reviews of their work, and hire and pay through the site.
How to hire the right Virtual Assistant?
You’ve started the search for a Virtual Assistant and the proposals are coming in—congrats! Yay…this is what we are looking for!
The interview process. As you interview, here are a few questions to ask yourself when searching for that perfect fit:
Are they self-starters?
When viewing the proposals, is there anyone that went above and beyond? Maybe they sent you a very personalized proposal instead of something that was obviously a template. Maybe they did some research into your company before applying. If you can find an individual who exceeds what you asked of them, you can be sure that they will continue to be a self-starter once you are working together full time.
Are they reliable?
It’s difficult to tell how reliable a Virtual Assistant is going to be just from the interview and onboarding process. I normally recommend starting out with a trial month to assess how you work together. Once that’s complete, get together and decide if the working relationship is something you want to continue with.
Also remember, the Virtual Assistant won’t be perfect at his or her job within those 30 days. However, you should be able to assess after one month if this individual is generally reliable and competent to do the job.
Do they have the skills?
Natural skill is an important factor when choosing your Virtual Assistant. Hiring someone to do graphics, you want to make sure that their design work is high-quality. Hiring a copywriter, their work needs to be grammatically correct and easy to read. If you can’t assess the applicant’s skill from the proposal they sent you, perhaps ask them to send over an example of their work or send them a quick trial project.
Onboarding your new VA
Once you have decided who you are going to hire to assist you with your business, it’s time to onboard that new Virtual Assistant.
Here’s the process that I personally work through every time I onboard a new person, and this is just a fancy way of saying “Getting them introduced to my business”.
The onboarding checklist:
Set Up an Initial Meeting: Have an initial meeting to outline the job description and your expectations
Have Clearly Defined Pay and Time Expectations: Make sure you have an understanding of how much you will pay your new VA, what their invoicing process looks like, and how / if they will keep track of their time spent on projects for you.
Sign a Contract: Sign a contract! Even if you will only be working together for a trial of 30 days, it is still important to have a contract in place to protect you and your business.
Define a Meeting Schedule: What will your meeting rhythm look like? I recommend meeting via Skype or Zoom once a week to discuss projects, make goals, and review progress.
Set Communication Expectations: How will you communicate throughout the week? Are you available by phone? Can your VA expect to reach you via email? You may want to consider using a tool like Slack or Trello for specific project communication.
Train your VA: Any time a training or explanation is needed for a specific project, I suggest using video. Film an on-screen video to explain what you want to happen in a project. Get your VA on a video call and walk through a specific process with them, so they can see what is expected and answer questions along the way. If your VA sends a long email with detailed questions, consider picking up the phone and talking with them or sending a video with your spoken response.
Remember, effective communication is the key to a healthy Virtual Assistant/Client relationship!
Reminder: You are ready to get started, right?
Here are your Next Steps
If you are ready to take your business to the next level, hiring a Virtual Assistant may be the next best step for you. Let’s get to it NOW!
Throughout this blog on the “How-Tos” to OUTSOURCING, I covered what it will take to hire your first or next Virtual Assistant to support your business.
Here are the tasks that you’ll need to complete in order to successfully bring on the support you need (so your business can grow!):
Understand the Financial Investment.
Understand the Time Investment.
Make a list of your MPTs (what you should be focusing on).
Make a list of the tasks that are not your MPTs (what you should delegate to someone else).
Decide if you want to hire a generalist or a specialist, domestic or international. Decide your budget at this time, as well.
Write out a detailed job description for the type of assistance you are looking for.
Use personal referrals, your email list, Facebook groups, or freelancing sites like Upwork to post your job.
Interview potential virtual assistants.
Choose which VA to hire, and onboard them to help you with your tasks.
Now it’s time to take action! Yes, my friend, you are going to grow your business through OUTSOURCING? Right?
Comment below with the next step you plan to take.