Lessons from a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant who actually does the work:
I just got back from the TCC IRL Conference in San Diego and am so excited to digest all of the amazing things from the last few days. Even though I’m back to real mom life now, with a kitchen full of dirty dishes and an empty refrigerator, I wanted to take a second to inspire you with five of my biggest takeaways from the conference.
Working as a VA from home has its benefits, but it can also be hard. Sometimes you feel like an island, out on your own. That’s why I think it is so worth it to take the time and money to invest in yourself and attend a professional conference.
There’s nothing like that feeling when you walk away from a conference – inspired, connected, and on fire with new ideas. There’s an automatic connection that happens because you’re among your own people – bonding and commiserating with other people who just get it. It’s one of the biggest things I love about my group of VA crash course students. You just can’t replace that feeling of community.
The 5 things I learned at the TCC IRL conference aren’t all about copywriting
Obviously, when you go to a conference hosted by The Copywriter Club, you’re going to learn some great stuff about copywriting. But there’s so much more big picture stuff, too. And the main things I want to share with you today are going to be useful to any unicorn VA or digital media assistant, no matter your niche:
1. Ask for More
I know it sounds crazy especially if you’re just starting out. But it’s the same story I hear over and over again when I talk to success stories. You aren’t charging enough. Your first price is usually too low.
So sleep on the first price. Add 20-30% more in time and money. Pad it. Give yourself extra time. Because it’s easier to deliver your project earlier than to ask for more time. It can be a process so extra time is must! And once you’ve proven yourself to your clients as an essential unicorn on their team, they won’t bat an eye.
2. Get Over Imposter Syndrome
I’m never more aware of my own imposter syndrome than when I’m at a conference. I spend a lot of the time undervaluing myself and feeling like there’s no way that I belong in this group of fantastic business people.
Until I realize that everyone there is scared. And that everyone has been on the same journey at some point in their business. I’d be admiring everyone else because of their 50k contracts and bigwig connections, only to realize that they were admiring me because I’ve launched my own course.
Don’t live in self-doubt. There’s no place for it in your success.
3. The Power of a Good Network
I can’t say it enough – there’s a lot of power in building your community. Not only is it a great way to share your experiences and learn from each other, but it’s also the best way to build your business.
When I was first starting out, so many new clients came my way because of networking. And at the TCC IRL conference, I witnessed so many highly successful people sharing job leads with newer people who were still growing their businesses. It’s a win-win – the clients that they can’t serve get a personal connection to an up-and-coming go-getter who really wants their contract.
And I realized that it’s a lot like what I do here in my own Emily VA world! Since I’ve been scaling my business and trying to reach more new and wanna-be VAs, I’ve been slammed with job leads from clients that I just can’t take on myself. But I’ve learned that by building my own network of up-and-coming digital media unicorns with my course, I can put the potential clients in good hands by passing them along to my course graduates. Never underestimate the power of your network.
4. Grow Smart and Grow Strong
One of the most popular topics, with the most engaged panels, was about growing teams. People really wanted to learn more about how successful business owners have scaled their business and outsourced their work.
I’ve talked about the Pareto Principle before – the so-called 80/20 rule. If you want to get to the level where the bigwigs are, with the 50k contracts, you can’t do it all. You have to focus your energy on the 20% that builds your vision, and delegate the other 80% to your team. That’s why a unicorn VA is such an indispensable part of any successful business.
5. Compare Your Prices
Sure some people are hush-hush about what they charge, but most of the actual successful people I’ve met are not. They know they have nothing to fear. So don’t be afraid to ask.
And I need to say it again – you probably aren’t charging enough. Especially if you’ve added a new service here and there without thinking about how much time it actually takes you to do it. (Hint: Try out one of these time-trackers and figure out exactly how much time you’re spending on a service for a client. Bet you’ll be surprised…)
Chances are you have a lot of potential for growth just by focusing on what you’re already doing. Or you might realize that there’s a potential gold mine in a new niche that you just haven’t tapped into yet.
The Takeaway: The conferences are worth it
I know it can feel hard to commit to a conference. Between the cost and the time, it’s daunting. I get it – I’m a busy mom of four, and a military wife who is often single-momming it. It’s not an easy decision.
But I have to tell you that it is so worth it. At the risk of sounding like a Hallmark channel commercial, you’re worth the investment. Go to the conference where you can network. Invest in the courses you need to grow. Your business is going to expand a whole lot more when you put more into it.
Of course, you don’t have to jump in right away with a conference like TCC IRL in San Diego. Start now just by joining a free facebook group like mine for VAs and digital media assistants. Begin building your network, asking questions, and sharing your experiences.
And if you’re ready for the next step, see where you can invest and grow for the future. I’ve been doing this work a long time and I know the potential that there is out there.
Ready to take the next step?
Hope to see you in my network!
-Emily, Digital Media Consultant (and Virtual Assistant …)
“I WILL MAKE AN ARMY OF VAS WHO CAN HELP THESE TRIBE PEOPLE!!!”
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