I call myself a veteran Virtual Assistant. And what I mean by that is simply I’ve been around for quite awhile! I started my VA business back in 2006… so, yep that’s a long time 😉
That’s a lot of time to learn, grow, and change things that weren’t working along the way. Sometimes I like to stop and think about what’s working now that I wish I would have done sooner.
If I had to do it over again, here are 5 things I would do sooner:
- Hire a coach
- Start building my list
- Start building relationship with my list on a consistent basis
- Start affiliate marketing
- Fire clients that don’t fit
Let me explain…
Hire a coach sooner
I never believed I could afford working with a coach. I couldn’t see a reason to ‘justify’ the expense especially back in the very beginning days when I charged only $8/hr! Yep, that’s right – $8/hr! The reasoning behind that was to be paid to learn so I could build my skill set up and have more skills to offer clients. It worked like a charm 🙂 These days, my rates are $50/hr!
But once I finally made the decision to step way out of my comfort zone and hire a coach I quickly saw the value in it and how I had spent several years missing out on the magic that happens when working with a coach!
And what I love about my biz coach, Kelly, is that she saw a need for people to work with one but that private one-on-one coaching wasn’t always something everyone could financially swing. So she created a very reasonably priced monthly group coaching offer to make biz coaching more accessible for everyone. I love the group atmosphere and how I get access to not only Kelly but the other participants as well. It’s a great group of peeps to use as a sounding board for ideas, roadblocks, etc.
Start building my list sooner
I signed up for Aweber pretty much right away. In fact I’ve been with them so long I’m grandfathered into a ridiculously inexpensive monthly payment.
That’s great and all but even having signed up with them so long ago I didn’t put a whole lot of effort into building my list. I’m a little bit embarrassed to tell you that my list is smaller than 100. It was larger but I just recently went through a big list cleanup as part of a challenge I was participating in during the month of January. I cleaned out all my unsubscribes, undeliverables and any that hadn’t opened an email in 6+ months. So that took it from 189 to just over 50.
On the one hand it’s embarrassing to admit how small of a list I have, but on the other hand I love that list! Those are my peeps. They interact and engage with me when I email them. I’m cultivating relationships with them while offering value, resources, tools and knowledge with them!
Of course looking back, I wish I had taken list building a lot more seriously and made it more of a priority back in the beginning and all throughout these years. It’s something I have put a priority on for this year and beyond.
Start building relationship with my list on a consistent basis sooner
This ties into the whole building my list sooner, I just talked about above, too. I won’t even tell you how long I would go in between mailing that list. Well, ok I will tell you…
I would mail on holidays and for a couple years the only email that list got was a Merry Christmas message from me!
Do you know how hard it is to build relationship with people who don’t stay in contact consistently? Yeah, I know firsthand and let’s say it’s kinda hard!
Now that I do email consistently (sometimes daily!), it’s so much easier building that relationship with my peeps. And I enjoy getting to know them and what they’re interested in, what they like, etc. 🙂
Start affiliate marketing sooner
Another one, that if I could go back and do it over again, I would start putting effort into sooner! Sure, I tried it here and there. It was one of those things like throw some spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks type of things. I made it more complicated than it is. I had excuses as to why I couldn’t do it – people on my list have already seen the things I’m mailing about from everyone else… just to name one.
I’m putting more time and effort into affiliate marketing and I am still learning. One day I can make a recommendation and it does great but another day I can make a recommendation and nobody even clicks. It’s a learning experience and I’m having fun doing it. Even though I have not made hardly any affiliate commissions… I’m enjoying the process of learning as I go.
One day, last month, I was sent $6.05 for an affiliate commission payout. I was so giddy to see that payment come through. Sure it was small but it was money I didn’t have prior to making that affiliate recommendation. It made me giggle with delight to see that PayPal notification come through 🙂 Imagine what it’ll be like when I receive a bigger commission?! I’m sure the whole world will know about it 😉
Fire clients that don’t fit sooner
I would like to say that I learned this lesson pretty quick on… alas, I haven’t. Even after all these years as a VA, there are still times that I hang onto clients when I know they are not a good fit. Usually it’s done out of fear – fear of losing that monthly income, fear of letting someone down (them being disappointed), etc. Not only does it do me no good to hang onto a client I don’t fit with, it does them no good either. I’m preventing them from working with someone they totally jive with and is the ‘perfect’ fit for them and their needs and it also keeps a door closed on me working with clients that I totally jive with and work well with.
I have made a commitment to myself that if it’s not a fit, to just be honest and upfront about it so we can both move along and find our jellies – you know the jelly to my peanut butter kind of thing 😉
They say hindsight is 20/20 and I agree. But man if I could do it all over again, I would certainly do these 5 things sooner!
What about you? If you could do it all over, what would you have done sooner? Leave a comment & let me know 🙂