Lessons from a Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant who actually does the work:
Whether you’re a brand new virtual assistant (VA), digital service provider, or a veteran in the world of digital marketing & freelancing, I know you need to hear this info about one day rates that will blow your mind!
I recently chatted with Sarah Masci of Bracken House Branding about how she started offering her freelance clients the option of booking her for a one-day intensive work plan. And now, she only offers day rate options and is booked out!
If you’re already in my Facebook group for virtual assistants and digital marketing specialists, you might have caught the live video interview I did with Sarah. Here are some of the highlights you might have missed. And if not, definitely keep reading to hear about this amazing opportunity she found to boost her income and business revenue, while working fewer hours each week!
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Sarah’s story starts a lot like so many of ours – she was struggling to build her own freelancer website/design business without taking too much time from her family.
Sarah left her regular 9-5 office job when her first son was born. She wanted flexibility and the option to make time for her family.
But she soon found that moving to her own business wasn’t an easy solution. She found herself working days, nights, and weekends, and her paychecks never seemed to match up with the effort she was making. Even after she discovered she had a natural gift for graphic design and her business leads exploded, she was overwhelmed. Managing so many long term projects for so many clients felt stressful and never-ending.
And like so many of us and our clients, Sarah never had enough time or creative energy to focus on building her own business path. To create the passive income and recurring revenue opportunities that would grow her own income without taking so many hours out of each day.
She did finally manage to create a course of her own by doing it in little steps at a time. And meanwhile she also noticed a trend with a lot of her graphic design clients. They were frequently sending her punch lists with lots of little tasks to be completed. It would take her hours each time just to prepare her proposal for each one. She would try to time each task and come up with an individual price, then summarize them in a proposal. Then she would go back and forth with each client until they had finally settled on a plan.
It all felt tedious and time-consuming. And she often felt like she was nickel-and-diming her clients for each small task, even though she knew that the value of her services was legit.
Enter the world of 1-day intensives and VIP day rates…
Sarah knew she could work fast and focus. She knew how to be efficient. So she had the idea to offer something new to one of her clients. Instead of a full proposal for a lot of little tasks, she suggested that the client hire her for a single full day of intensive work. That client took her up on it, and Sarah only charged $500 for a day rate.
And it worked. She knocked everything off her client’s to-do list. And then at the end of the day, she was done. Nothing hanging over her head. No waiting for revisions, no back and forth and stretching out time on the calendar for days over little details.
So she advertised it in a bigger way on her FB page. She told her clients that if they had specific task lists, they needed to try her 1-day intensive offer. And the clients loved it – she started booking almost immediately. First she was filling in extra days between her ongoing clients’ projects. But about a year and a half ago, she closed out most of her ongoing projects and announced that she was only going to do one-day intensives. She started charging a lot more for her day rates. And she hasn’t taken on another long term project since! She hated to turn down clients who might need more long-term support than she offers.
⚡️Podcast Alert: Sarah Masci talks VIP Day Rates
Sarah was on my podcast Unicorns Unite sharing her story. Add it to your playlist and que it up to learn all you can about VIP Day Rates!
Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or search your fave podcast app.
Here’s why day rates work so well for VAs and freelance digital marketers….
So many clients love hiring Sarah for a 1-day intensive. They don’t have to wait. There’s no scope creep or timelines that drag on and on.
And now Sarah has had time to develop her day rate framework and iron out the wrinkles. For some clients, in one day she can do branding – logo, colors, fonts, icons, templates. For others she can create a 4-5 page website in a single day. She’s open and customizes to what they need, but doesn’t do any more project proposals. Instead she has her clients give her a prioritized task list. And she makes sure that she sets realistic expectations for what she can do in one day.
Even better, she usually only schedules one or two intensive work days for clients each week. That gives her the other days to focus on her own biz. Now she has time to build and develop her own coaching program, passive income products, mastermind, course work, etc. And her nights and weekends are almost always free to spend with her family or to focus on non-work activities.
It’s been a game changer for her work-life balance and her financial security.
It has also given her the opportunity to define how she wants her business to work. She’s not a slave to the needs of her clients. And she doesn’t hesitate to turn down clients who might need more long-term support than she offers.
When I first heard of day rates and one day intensives, I instantly started offering them. I think it’s the perfect solution for digital media unicorns who work on ALL THE THINGS for their clients. So many of my students from the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School are getting there FAST. They’re booked out and ready to level up their income earning. If that sounds familiar, this might be exactly what you need right now.
3 Self-Serving Reasons to Offer VIP Day Rates
- Give yourself time to recharge and prevent burnout. Lump your client working hours into doable periods f time where you actually get stuff done and make a difference. And then have a day off!
- Take your career back as a freelancer – it can be an odd balance trying to please clients and get paid what your skill-level deserves.
- Free up more time to grow your business. You can use the non-client working days to actually work on your business and not be stressing about billable hours and projects coming first!
You can make day rates work for you, too.
Sarah found that she worked best when she niched down her 1-day intensive options. She found that if you focus on a niche, you get to build your reputation, become proficient, and grow your efficiency in that area.
Sign up for Sarah’s free masterclass to learn more: The Life Changing Magic of Day Rates.
Sarah is running a free training all about VIP Days. This is a recorded webinar that will teach you how to get booked by the day. Sign up here.
It’s not just about the niches, though.
If you’re a unicorn VA, you could also offer many services to your clients under the umbrella of a single day rate. Think about those clients that have never used a VA before and might be hesitant to jump into a long-term contract. Single 1-day intensives are a way to show off your skills, knock out the small tasks on their to-do list, and build their confidence in you.
Or maybe there’s a client that has already done a lot of the work and is rolling steadily through their own biz. But sometimes they have a lot of little questions or small jobs that you could help them knock off their list. Instead of nickel-and-diming them, offer to tackle their list under a day rate plan that they can book when they need it.
The Takeaway: Using day rates helped Sarah double her revenue while actually working less.
Because she learned how to work smarter, not harder.
Of course, it’s hard to figure out how to start with day rates if you’re brand new to digital media marketing. But this is an option that I wish was on my radar a lot earlier in my own career, so I wanted to make sure it’s on yours right now.
In my UDMA School, I lay out suggested timelines and give you some ideas of how to plan your time. These are things to be thinking about as you consider building your own day rates and one-day intensive packages. If you’re brand new to the online space, this is the foundation you need to get your head around the options and workflows.
And don’t be afraid to take the specialized courses:
Right now, Sarah is offering a free masterclass for day rates. Her training plan can help you figure out what you’re going to offer, and on what timeline. She also helps you decide how to price it, because it’s not really the same as your hourly rate times your work hours. Plus, she shares how she first got her day rate clients and gives you some suggested template ideas for client contacts.
And if you’re eager to to develop a premium niche to help focus your day rates plan, I definitely recommend gaining experience and building your reputation in a profitable marketing niche first. Listen to this podcast for ideas like, web design, funnels, copywriting, design, and project management/online business management services.
Are VIP Day Rates going to be your thing?
Of course, day rate plans aren’t for everyone. Some people enjoy building relationships with clients over time. They prefer immersing themselves within a client’s brand, and sharing their long-term successes. And they like being part of a team and nurturing the KLT factor with the client’s audience. If this sounds more up your alley, then you might prefer looking at an in-depth long term VA position like a Facebook Community Manager.
But if you’re the kind of person that enjoys the challenge of doing an intensive deep dive into a project for a few hours, and then moving onto something brand new, then day rates are just your thing!
Ready to start offering VIP Day Rates?
If you’re the kind who can see and then do, and take action QUICKLY, Sarah has a $37 course called Day Rate QuickStart to help you take the fast track with offering one-day intensives with clients. There’s a lot that goes into this service, mainly it’s all in the automation on the front end to set yourself up to do the client-facing work. So check out her quick start $37 course here.
Maybe you’re not quite ready to offer day rates? I can help you get your foot in the door, gain the clients so you can start offering VIP Day Rates! It’s a good thing to have a goal for this type of high-end client service.
Can I help you build your toolbox of services to offer on a day rate plan? You will to learn in-demand digital marketing implementation skills inside my my Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School. Get on the waitlist here.
Make sure you’re a member of my facebook group for digital marketing specialists and virtual assistants. I interview freelancers and service pros like Sarah regularly! You can catch the next Facebook live. You’ll be inspired to find a whole new way to offer your services to clients, and to be smart about it!
What do you think about day rates? Are they something you’re inspired to offer? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Hope to see you working in the online space!
4 Ways we can work together
1. Do you need to acquire digital marketing implementation skills? Check out the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School. (It opens twice a year so jump on the waitlist)
2. Already doing the work and have clients? But need more clients and a better a referral network? Apply for my Digital Marketing Workgroup.
3. Maybe you don’t need to learn the hard skills but need help setting up your independent contractor business? Don’t spend $1300 on a “typical start-your-VA business-course.” Learn the quick steps in my Freelance Biz Kickstarter only $297. Inside you’ll get a contract to use with your social media clients and services. 4. Need to hire a Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant? Submit your job opportunity here. I’ll share with my workgroups totally free.