The 5 Biggest Mistakes New Freelancers Make

The 5 Biggest Mistakes New Freelancers Make

An awesome post from a by a fellow freelancer Alexis Chateau.

Alexis Chateau

A lot of people think of freelancing as the low-risk alternative to getting a day job. Who doesn’t want to set their own hours, be their own boss, and blog in bed with a cup of coffee on the side? With no day job to tie us down, we can travel the world; and make money from our blog, while we sleep. Right?

But for most freelance workers around the world, that’s not the life we lead – okay, maybe some of it. But there’s a lot of hard work involved; and clients are often very much like employers, but without the health benefits and paid vacation time.

Thus, many workers realise too late that being an entrepreneur in any form, is not the walk in the park they thought it would be. Here are the five biggest mistakes that usually land them in trouble.

1. Failing to Ask for a Fair…

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Re- branding your company?

Re- branding your company?

“A brand is not so much about rational arguments but the way that the company resonates with people emotionally.  Marketing is about values!”  – Steve Jobs

How do your consumers feel about your company? Do they have an emotional connection with you and your business? The above quote by Steve Jobs is not only thought provoking and as a business owner I can relate to it as well. That is why I chose it!

Are customers noticing qualities in your company that does not line up with your brand? Maybe the growth of your business in not what you expected. Adverse business reflections would be a good reason to consider re-branding. “Re-branding is the act of changing the corporate image of a company or organization.” Keep in mind, changing the company brand is more in depth than just changing your logo.

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Re-branding? How will this affect my business?

 This is a question I had to mull over when deciding to re-brand. Most companies consider re-branding when they notice a decrease in sales; they lose their competitive edge, or when they feel the current brand is inconsistent with the direction in which the company is moving. Time to call a meeting. Before you jump into the deep end, think long and hard. Re-branding can breathe new life into a disintegrating business. Although, re-branding without a clear strategy can have an adverse effect. Weigh your options, be sure your company will benefit from the changes.

Out with the old, in with the new.

 Now that you have decided to make some changes to your brand there are a few questions you should ask yourself.

  • What are the intentions of my new identity?
  • What do you hope to spark in the mind of your consumers and competitors?
  • Are you authentically building value?

The last question is the most important. Only make changes that would help in the growth of the enterprise. After all, you are laying a new foundation. Authenticity and consistency are valuable traits for any business.

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Surviving the blunders of re-branding.

 Most CEO’s think of company’s like Airbnb, Accenture, and AOL, their re-branding strategy failed miserably. You are not them! Your fate will be different. Customers love honesty and transparency, answer their questions. Connect with your consumers and audience, communicate how the new brand will be better for everyone. Follow through on your promises.

Successful re-branding.

At the end of the day, your brand strategy is what is important. Be true to yourself, don’t be blinded by the current logo, new product image, or beefed-up website. Stay in tune with the businesses values, products, and services. You are an entrepreneur, and the success of your business is important to you. Always be true to yourself and your customers.

http://www.businessinsider.com/aol-considering-brand-change-2016-1

Goal image courtesy of geralt via pixabay.com

Business Plan image by Tumisu on Pixabay.com

Success image by geralt on pixabay.com

New Year. Time for a Change.

New Year. Time for a Change.

Chronicles Administrative Support Service is the name of my virtual assisting business. I have been successfully operating for some time. I created my business in 2012 when virtual assisting was a relatively new service although I was quite satisfied with my level of clientele. Servicing repeat clients and a few small contracts kept me busy with work. Although, regular customers do not necessarily indicate a growing brand. My goal is and always was to grow my brand.

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Supply and demand.

Two years ago the number of virtual assistants online were like weeds in an unkempt garden. The need for remote administrative assistance grew due to businesses needing to cut costs. This new line of work created jobs for stay at home moms, the disabled and for those who just enjoyed the idea of working from home. When the demand for a product or service increases so does the supply. As suppliers, we are then forced to do what we can to stay relevant. Content with my client base I felt no need to change.

Listen to your customers.

 My clients have always been happy with my level of service. A couple has been with me from day one and a few repeats. There was an instance when I was hired to create a series of spreadsheets. I love spreadsheets!!! The client called and said that they were not what he was expecting. We discussed the request further, but we could not come to a resolution. I did not charge him for the work done, and I found him another assistant that spoke his language. Well, a month later he contacted me thankful for attempting to assist him, but the new administrative assistant failed to see his vision as well. In fact, I later discovered that what he wanted was his spreadsheets in a PowerPoint presentation. He also wanted the ability to click the spreadsheet links in the presentation, and they open up a graph or a web page in that presentation. Needless to say, I made that happen for him. That is not the only reason I say… listen to your customers.

From the mouths of those who pay.

 As a virtual assistant, you tend to work in close collaboration with your clients. I usually build close relationships. My approach to business is through the art of building relationships. Trust and open communication are the foundations of these relationships. This level of transparency allows customers to communicate what they think and feel about you and your brand. My clients expressed my need for a change frequently.

An inflated ego can block growth.

Entrepreneurs are overly protective parents. We are closed minded when it comes to any and all advice. Our ego hinders us from taking heed of useful advice or constructive criticism. I definitely can relate to allowing my ego to block growth. My feedback was never negative. It was more of an observance that my brand did not fit me or my services. I have a vigorous work ethic, but my brand was weak. Chronicles Administrative Support Services is forgettable and is not a clear representation of what you offer. Sometimes it is hard to face the truth! If I wish to grow, I must slay my ego.

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Time for a change.

It is a new year and what better time than now to re-brand. Many entrepreneurs are afraid to re-brand; they think of the loss of money, loyal customers, and influence. Change is good. I think of re-branding as the ability to rebuild and to improve. I decided to change Chronicles Administrative Support Services to The Militant Virtual Assistant. Stay tuned to learn more about The Militant Virtual Assistant Services and what it offers.

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Images Courtesy of Pixabay.com

https://pixabay.com/en/door-change-new-beginning-board-672999/

https://pixabay.com/en/heartbeat-ekg-ecg-pulse-heart-rate-304130/

 

 

 

 

Women Entrepreneurs Our Drive for Success🏢

Women Entrepreneurs Our Drive for Success🏢

I read an article about Barbara Corcoran, a businesswoman who started “The Corcoran Group” from a $1000 loan that is now a $5 billion dollar business. She is a consultant, speaker, investor and now a TV personality on Shark Tank. I learned about Barbara Corcoran 2 years ago and literally adopted her as a perfect model of what I wanted to be as an entrepreneur.

The article “Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran: Real Winners Say ‘Hit Me Again’ was a fascinating and enlightening read. The report provides encouragement to other women who are in the pool of entrepreneurship or just starting to get their feet wet. To learn about the obstacles that she encountered along the way is an encouragement to all women. Barbara Corcoran has a degree in education and also waited tables at one time in her life. She is now a business mogul.

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As women, we tend to allow life, and it’s occurrences to hold us back and others to discourage us. Corcoran also fought through some obstacles that most women can relate to. Domestic issues and suffering from dyslexia, a fear of failure. How many of us have similar circumstances that make us feel unable to accomplish great things? I will be the first one to say that as a twice divorced woman who watched her virtual assisting business that was striving, go lacking due to a second divorce. I can definitely understand and feel what she went through. My drive is stronger than my circumstances, and so are yours!

What business venture or vision do you have that constantly burns deep within? It does not matter if one person or a million others have that same passion. What is important is how you do it differently. Barbara started from an idea the drive and ambition to strive for success allowed her to accomplish great things. We have the ability to tell the world and all of its naysayers “Hit Me Again.” We must wake up every day with the thought of what we will do to get closer to our goals. Rejection should be fuel for the fire within as it was for Barbara Corcoran. I challenge you and myself to get started or even to go to the next level in your business ventures.

 

http://www.famous-entrepreneurs.com/barbara-corcoran

Image Women Lead courtesy of geralt via pixabay.com

Image 100% Success courtesy of geralt via pixabay.com

 

Helping Children in Need.

No long drawn out article to post or story of how what we should be doing as a community. Just me taking time to ask others to assist me in giving children less fortunate than our own. I’m not asking for us to start college funds or even buy new wardrobes. Sometimes it is the small things that matter the most and in this instance I feel like school supplies for children of families who cannot afford these things is a small action that will mean the world to these children. Help by funding me at <a href="http://www.gofundme.com/bj2bi8&quot; title="Children in Need.". Thanks in advance for all of your support.

Qualities of an Awesome Virtual Assistant

In was asked by an aspiring virtual assistant… What makes me an awesome virtual assistant?  I will start by saying it is my ability to provide professional and creative administrative assistance. Skills that include but are not limited to data entry tasks such as updating documents and editing forms or spreadsheets. Desktop publishing, creating newsletters, brochures and invoices.

Great communication skills are a top priority as a VA. I take pride in my ability to efficiently communicate both in verbal and written form. Excellent writing skills are needed to fulfill clients’ requests for articles, email management and business letters. In most cases you are not required to have an IT background, computer knowledge and the ability to run programs and maintenance. These are skills I own and I advise future virtual assistants to possess.

You will find other seasoned virtual assistants like myself to be very well organized. Organizational skills are a major requirement in this profession. You may find yourself working for many clients or owning many responsibilities. My stellar organizational skills is helps me to ensure all my projects are completed accurately and efficiently. These skills has given me the ability to secure contracts assisting with the following tasks. Image

  • Bookkeeping
  • Public Relations
  • Travel Coordination
  • Internet Marketing
  • Social Media Management
  • Blogging
  • Research

Virtual Assisting rates are based on the value each VA has created in their skill and in their clients. This is not to say the more time in the business the more expensive the virtual assistant. Most VA’s are competitively priced to compete in this growing industry. I advise business owners to hire virtual assistants that build value by doing the following.

  • Guaranteeing 100% productive work times.
  • Ability to work with all size businesses, busy executives including non- profit and religious organizations.
  • Flexibility in work schedule/ hours to support domestic and international time zones.

Happy and loyal clients is what keeps a VA in business. A revolving door of clients is sometimes rare in the virtual assisting world. Quality work in a timely manner is how I achieve client retention. I never take on a project I feel I may not be able to deliver when promised. Allow yourself to be open to any and all feedback. If at all a client is not satisfied with a service, I do everything to rectify that situation. In this business your word is definitely your bond.Image

I like to stay in contact with all clients. Short and long term clients, small and large projects. Periodic emails including informative articles, project ideas and new software. Information such as this may spark a need for further assistance. Take care not to overdo it as not to annoy the client.  My consistent practice of relationship building skills allows my clients to view me as a business partner. Show initiative by offering ideas and methods that will make their work life better. This makes me indispensable to my clients and their business. A true love and dedication to service is important in order to become a successful virtual assistant.