Lessons from a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant who actually does the work:
If you’re already in my free Facebook group for digital media virtual assistants, I hope you caught my recent Facebook live interview with Chantelle Zakariasen from Chanti Zak. If not, no worries, because there was so much good info that I’m going to dive into it right here, too. Chanti is now doing freelance work for 7-figure entrepreneurs and I was dying to know how she got started, how she niched down and where she’s going with her talent. If you’re a unicorn (or wanna-be) VA, this is the inspiration you need to set your sights on your long-term goals.
(Quick note – I’m editing this post to add that Chanti is opening up her quiz funnel webinar again right now. So if you’re interested in her story and figuring out how to make her success story work for you, I’m dropping the link here into this post. And teachable moment – it’s my affiliate link. Like I’ve mentioned before, if you work with a brand or mentor that you love, ask if you they can set you up with an affiliate link!)
This was never what Chanti had originally planned.
Chanti started out her career as a chef and professional foodie. When she was on maternity leave, she realized she needed to shift her career path into something new would give her the flexibility and family time that she needed as a new mom. Her first foray in the digital space was as a food blogger. But she quickly realized that wasn’t going to pay the bills.
So her next plan was to work as a content writer, selling blog articles and content pieces to other bloggers and business owners. This “ghost blogging” is a popular option for VAs and digital media business owners who like creating content but don’t want to jump into running a blog or website of their own.
Chanti shared that she found a lot of work on sites like Upwork and Facebook groups. She was researching and writing about everything from foot fungus for a podiatrist to intermittent fasting for a wellness blogger. But she was still putting in a lot of hours for relatively little financial gain.
Enter the world of freelance copywriting…
Once Chanti ventured into freelance work – specifically copywriting – there was a whole new world of opportunities. She learned that copywriting is more valued than content writing. It’s designed to make people take action. Instead of huge articles, she started writing sales pages.
Of course, it wasn’t an immediate transition. Like I’ve said before, you don’t have to have the experience, but you do have to do the work. Which is why I always believe in taking the courses and building the toolkits you need. So Chanti immersed herself in learning. She studied everything she found online, took courses, and eventually took a full time job with one company. She even signed up for a program with The Copywriter Club (where I also attended their TCC IRL conference!)
Chanti revealed that one of her first clients cried when she submitted her work (and not because she was happy!). But she powered through, kept going after her dreams, and pursued success.
Soon she began to niche down into quiz funnels, starting with small clients and working her way up as her reputation grew. Quizzes are such a small but important component of digital media marketing that even big teams usually contract that work out to niche experts, like Chanti. She had the amazing opportunity to create a quiz funnel for Amy Porterfield and B-School, and hit it out of the park. Her leads exploded and now she’s on the radar of many of the big, seven-figure teams.
And now clients are paying her as much as five-figures for her freelance work.
In fact, she quickly realized that there was more work than she could do herself. So she scaled her business to begin teaching and mentoring other digital media marketing unicorns to use quiz funnels as part of their email marketing segmentation. She’s diversifying her income streams and even helping her students find micro-niches within the world of quiz funnels.
She also learned that working at a higher level with top clients has made her work easier in some ways. If you’re established and have demonstrated your authority, your work is more valued. 7-figure entrepreneurs are much more likely to trust you and let you work your magic on your terms. They have the confidence and the experience to know that if they fill their team with top-notch unicorns, they don’t have to micro-manage anyone. And not only will they value you, but they are willing to pay you what you’re actually worth.
The Takeaway: Chanti shared info that is GOLD for freelancers and digital media VAs who are ready to work with 7-figure entrepreneurs!
Don’t miss these great tips that Chanti dropped during the interview. A lot of these are the same tips I give my unicorn VA students and they deserve to be repeated.
Whether you’re just getting started in the digital media space, or you want to level up from your small clients to working on six- and seven-figure teams like Chanti, here’s what you should know:
- It’s all about the networking. Get your name out there. Ask to be a guest on a podcast, facebook live, or blog post of someone you admire in the field. Get active in related Facebook groups and post genuine advice to others.
- “Accept the love you think you deserve!” Don’t undervalue yourself. Be confident, be a leader. Get over rejection and bad feedback and move on. Your client can choose to value you and trust you, or they can undermine and question you. Don’t lose your confidence and focus. Just make sure you’re putting in the time and you’re proud of the work you’re putting out there.
- Show up and be a problem solver. Whether you have an existing client or you’re sending cold email pitches to new potential clients, show what you know. Be a leader and don’t wait for marching orders. Research their brand and pages. Figure out what they need, and tell them exactly how you would do it for them specifically. Then make it happen. Don’t wait for work to fall into your lap – go after it and grab it.
Go watch the full video to get all of the inspiration for moving up to 6- and 7-figure teams!
Make sure you’re a member of my free facebook group for digital media marketing and virtual assistants. Then go here and watch the whole video interview I did with Chanti. Her enthusiasm and motivation is contagious. You’ll be totally inspired to own what you’re good at and make it your freelance business!
Speaking of quiz funnels – are you using them?
Like most areas of working online, there is a lot of thought and background information that goes into developing quizzes to use as lead magnets. These aren’t just the fun basic Facebook quizzes that you can take online to share with your friends. These are thoughtfully created and implemented to build your email lists with targeted leads into your funnel.
I jumped into Chanti’s quiz course last fall and it was an intense introduction to using quiz funnels and building email marketing. After a lot of work, she helped me develop my own quiz for people who want to discover their online dream jobs. If you haven’t taken it, head over and let me know what you think! I had a lot of fun creating it but there is a lot of intentionality that goes into, too.
Here’s to your next big client!
-Emily, Digital Marketing Consultant and Implementer
“I help smart women learn the in-demand digital marketing strategies and profitable tech skills to get hired as a unicorn digital marketing assistant.“
3 ways we can work together:
1. Do you need to acquire digital marketing implementation skills and build your workflows so you can solidly put yourself out there for work? Check out the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School. (It opens twice a year so jump on the waitlist now!… I also share job leads with my students so it’s a gateway for anyone who wants to build a freelance business that gives them flexibility and meaningful work).
2. Already doing the work and have clients? But need more clients and a better referral network? Apply for my Digital Marketing Workgroup. This is a tight-knit community of freelancers like you, supporting each other. Plus I’ve shared 1,500+ job opportunities with this community.
3. Need to hire a Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant? Submit your job opportunity here. I’ll share with my workgroups totally free.
Want to start on your own path to freelance on a 7-figure entrepreneur’s team? You need my Virtual Crash Course!
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Yes, you really can work online.
Feeling overwhelmed and not sure how you can work from home and build your own online digital marketing business? Take a deep breath – you can do this. Start here with my list of 10 popular tasks that online businesses need help with the most!
These are the tasks that new clients are constantly asking for help with, and skills that they really need to find in a virtual assistant. Get access to this free download right now. Then make sure your own VA toolkit is up-to-date and relevant, and decide where you might need to invest in new growth and development for your biz.