My Review of New Kajabi (and Can I Help?)

One thing I really enjoy doing as a virtual assistant and consultant is helping clients strategize what tech solutions will work best for their business. Considerations can be things like: ease of use, cost, features, aesthetic, and growth. I come by this knowledge not only because I investigate and learn about the available options for my clients, but also to utilize them in my own business.

For instance, my latest discovery is what I call a “business in a box” solution named New Kajabi. I think it’s a fantastic way to consolidate your website and all of your offerings into one place for one cost, and then enjoy the ease and simplicity that brings. I wanted to share New Kajabi with you and offer my services if you’d ever like assistance with it, so here’s my review and how I can help. Enjoy!

What is New Kajabi?

Nothing explains a product better than its own website so I’ll just pull some text from the the New Kajabi* (“Kajabi”) website. *This is my referral link and I want to share it right up front because if you sign up through me, you get 15% off for as long as your account remains active! (Further disclosure: All links below are my referral links).

 

New Kajabi: Overview

All the tools you need under one roof:

Online courses and membership sites

Kajabi makes it easy to turn your knowledge and content into products you can sell.

Landing pages

Create beautiful high-converting landing pages in minutes.
Pick from our library of beautiful templates
Email opt-in pages, video value pages, webinar registration pages, launch pages, sales pages, thank you pages, and more…

Marketing e-mails

Send emails to your prospects and customers from right inside Kajabi

Your entire website

Choose from a variety of gorgeous website templates to showcase your brand and products.

Sell more with a store

Built-in blog

Collect payments

Powerful analytics

Always know how your business is doing with powerful analytics and reporting.

Customize Everything

Point-and-click simple or go under the hood
We realize no two people or businesses are the same. Your site and products should reflect your brand and you shouldn’t be limited by a set of cookie cutter looks.

Endless integrations

Zapier
Mailchimp
ConvertKit
Facebook
Google Analytics
Active Campaign
AWeber
Segment
Drip
ClickFunnels

As you can see, Kajabi is an “all-in-one” solution to running an online business, selling courses or a product, and more. You may be wondering how it differs from other solutions out there, so I’ll break it down a bit.

Because it’s a one-stop-shop, it costs more than other choices you may see as similar – like Teachable, Thinkific, etc. The difference here is that Kajabi includes everything you need under one roof so, while the cost may appear high on the surface, you’ll see the value when you realize you can use Kajabi and get rid of almost ALL your other paid services.

Here’s a list of examples of the services – and COSTS – you can ditch if you use New Kajabi:

  • Teachable, Thinkific, Udemy
  • LeadPages, ThriveLeads
  • Mailchimp, AWeber, ConvertKit
  • WordPress themes, builders, paid plugins and popups
  • Tech person or developer
  • Website hosting and security

Yep, if you take advantage of using a custom domain through Kajabi, they’ll even host your site for you, saving you the hosting fees you currently pay (you do still need to pay for your domain and you’ll utilize a free CloudFlare account). Note: A custom domain means your site would be http://(URL).com instead of http://(kajabi site name).mykajabi.com.

New Kajabi: My Review

I’m a recent Kajabi convert (Kajabi Konvert?) since I discovered it in December 2016. I’d been avoiding checking out any other all-in-one systems because I was very happy with Simplero (and still love Simplero!). But after hearing Kajabi mentioned yet again by B-Schoolers, I decided to check it out. I got a free trial account and starting playing around with it, to see what the possibilities were. Um, pretty much EVERYTHING! It truly does it all.

Like anything else, New Kajabi has a learning curve. So I sat down one day and went through all the videos in Kajabi University (free/included with account). I had the videos open in one window and my trial Kajabi account open in another, then I just replicated or poked around in whatever topic Kenny (one of the owners) was demonstrating in the video. By the end of that process, I had a pretty good understanding of how it all works.

After that, for anything else I’ve wanted to do in Kajabi, I’ve either:

  • Re-watched just that video
  • Looked it up in the help files
  • Searched the topic in the Kajabi Facebook Group
  • Asked my fellow Kajabians in the group (and Support is always there if I need them too!)

I was so impressed with Kajabi that I decided to become a paid member and am slowly transitioning (between doing VA client work) everything from this site and another new site I was starting in WordPress …. over to my new Kajabi site! I’m so excited at the possibilities with Kajabi for selling my virtual assistant services along with the courses I’ll be offering soon (!).

Setting up my new site, products and offers, shopping cart, blog, and more has been so easy. Kajabi is intuitive and fun to use. I honestly have no complaints. They’re constantly making improvements and upgrades. Kajabi customer service is very responsive and helpful. Their Facebook group has grown into one of my favorites (and I’m in a LOT of them!). Everyone there is super supportive of each other and truly want you to succeed, to be a “Kajabi Hero” which is my goal for 2017! Other members share what’s worked for them, special coding hacks to make Kajabi do some trick things, and general motivation and support. I love it.

Bonus: Samples of Kajabi Sites

Whenever I come across a site built partially or in whole with Kajabi, I’ve been pinning it to this Pinterest board. So take a look if you like to see what’s possible! I’m putting everything on Kajabi but some people put just their products, services, and/or courses on Kajabi and link to it from their existing WordPress site. This might be a great option for you, especially if you have a very established site that would be a huge project to move over.

New Kajabi: My Services

I love Kajabi so much, I’ve decided to make Kajabi set-up and maintenance a signature service! At this point, I’m very up front in saying that I am new to Kajabi and still learning about it. So if you want super-advanced crazy stuff done with NK, I may not be your girl (yet!). But if you need assistance with the everyday average stuff in New Kajabi, I can help.

As I say about all my VA services, I can’t possibly know everything about everything; mainly because software and systems are constantly being updated and improved. But what I DO know is that I love to learn, I’m a fabulous researcher, I have lots of techy friends to help me, and I always find the answer :) I don’t charge clients for my “learning” time, just my “doing” time. In other words, if I don’t know how to do what you need in New Kajabi, I can figure it out (on my own time) or possibly refer you to someone else if it’s an advanced task.

So if you’re using or want to implement Kajabi for your online business but you don’t have the time or inclination to learn and DIY, please let me help.

Kajabians sometimes ask what exactly I can do to assist them with Kajabi so here are some examples of tasks I’ve already done:

Website

  • You pick a theme or overall look for your site and I’ll get it started
  • We can collaborate to make it look the way you want
  • Set up your custom domain with your domain provider + CloudFlare
  • Connect your social media accounts and place icons on your site

Blog

  • Set up info for SEO and social media sharing
  • Implement Disqus or Facebook comments on blog posts
  • Narrow down key words and set up your Categories
  • Move your best blog posts over from your old site to Kajabi

Courses / Products / Offers

  • Help choose the best theme to offer your course content
  • Set up free and paid courses, products, e-books, and configure offers (i.e., bundles, discounts, packages, etc.)
  • Set up coupon codes

Canva for Work

  • Help you create opt-ins or update/utilize the ones you already have
  • Choose images for your Kajabi site and resize as needed (Kajabi has suggested image sizes to maximize appearance on your site)
  • Create a branding sheet including your colors (hex codes), fonts, logos, headers, etc. to keep a consistent look on your site and within all your products, courses, opt-ins, etc.

Facebook

  • Set up your pixel in Facebook, then set up FB pixel tracking in Kajabi
  • Implement Facebook Comments within your Kajabi site and blog

Funnels

  • Create forms and set up opt-ins around your website to gather subscribers/members
  • Implement free and paid products and upsells
  • Set up freebies
  • Create an affiliate program including a payout set up

Pages

  • Convert or create pages: About, Contact, T&Cs, Disclosure
  • Set up a Resources page for all your freebies, latest news/updates, affiliate links, etc.
  • Personalize menu and navigation

Strategy

  • Strategize with you about what current services can be moved over to Kajabi so you can cancel them and save money!

So those are just some ideas; it’s not an all-inclusive list of course.

Pricing

For now, my usual virtual assistant pricing will apply for any Kajabi services. All the information is on my Rates and Services page. I also offer the option of doing a Virtual VIP Day which I would highly suggest if you’re starting from scratch with New Kajabi or need a lot of work done with it and maybe some adjacent services.

Here’s why I say that. Sure, you can purchase my 10-hour retainer for $450 ($225 to get started, $225 due on completion of 10 hours). But the realities of how this turns out, with both of us running businesses and being busy women, is it can take 2-3 weeks or more to get your goals accomplished. There’s the back-and-forth communication that inevitably leads to delays that neither of us like :)

With a Virtual VIP Day, we’d block off a 6-hour day to work together and just zip through your set-up and get it all done so you can move forward … and start making money! So I guess when you think of it that way, the VIP Day is the better value overall :) {And if a 6-hour block is not possible with your schedule, we can break it down into two 3-hour days or whatever works for you}.

Once I get to an expert level with Kajabi, I’ll have higher prices for these services – so now is a good time to get in, if cost is a concern :) The Virtual VIP Day price will remain the same, even as my Kajabi expertise improves.

Need a Consultation / Have Questions?

Not sure if Kajabi* is for you? Want to see if we’re a good fit to work together or if I can help with any other tasks you need assistance with? Please reach out via e-mail or schedule a free 30-minute discovery call via my Contact Page. I look forward to speaking with you and discussing how I can help your business!

*Save 15% on Kajabi if you use this referral link! Just another way I will save you money, LOL :D

Exciting! Virtual VIP Days for Creative Online Entrepreneurs

It’s time for a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! I have an exciting new offering for creative entrepreneurs called a Virtual VIP Day. Wondering what the heck that is? It’s all laid out HERE on my Virtual VIP Day page!

Is There a Problem?

In my 10 years as a virtual assistant to creative entrepreneurs, I’ve noticed a clear pattern of good intentions getting sidetracked :) We start working together, assignments and questions are traded back and forth via messaging or calls, and sometimes a week or a month can go by before we complete a project that would’ve been so helpful for your business, like, yesterday!

palaugustfreebie

The Solution: A Virtual VIP Day

This is a full day where we’re connected via video or phone, we follow an agenda, and we Get Stuff Done! After the VIP Day, I include 1 extra hour of VA work to tie everything up. I also provide a summary of our work and some suggested next steps.

A Video to Explain More

There’s a lot of information to digest on the Virtual VIP Day page so I recorded a screencast video which you can view here:

VA Creatively Virtual VIP Day from Erika Friday on Vimeo.

It’s an 11-minute walkthrough that I hope addresses some of the questions and concerns you might have and explain things in a bit more detail. {I’m happy to do a longer video as well if you express interest in that}.

Interested or Have Questions?

  • Check out my exciting new offering – Virtual VIP Days – and let me know what you think at erika@vacreatively.com.
  • Schedule a free Virtual VIP Day Discovery Call via Acuity right here.
  • Thank you & I hope we get to work together!

Super Soul Sessions 2: Oprah, Marie Forleo, Cheryl Strayed, and More … Amazing Day!

On Saturday, April 9, 2016, I was lucky enough to attend Oprah’s “Super Soul Sessions 2” at Royce Hall, UCLA. Here’s my diary of the event, to share with you and because I never want to forget it :) Please grab your favorite beverage and get comfortable – this is a long one!

Speak to Me

To start, here’s a list of the amazing speakers, with links to their websites:
Shaka Senghor, author of Writing My Wrongs, prisoner activist, speaker
Marie Forleo, entrepreneur, star of MarieTV, and owner of Marie Forleo’s B-School
Cheryl Strayed, author of “Wild”, made into a movie with Reese Witherspoon
Caroline Myss, author, speaker, and medical intuitive
Amandla Stenberg, Hunger Games actress, activist, “New Progressive”
Kris Carr, “Crazy, Sexy, Healthy”, author, wellness advocate, cancer thriver
India.Arie, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/producer
Dr. Shefali Tsabary, clinical psychologist and author of The Conscious Parent
Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher, author of New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
Kerry Washington, ABC’s Scandal lead actress, activist

Sign-Up, Arrival, and Photos (or lack thereof)

As I’ve talked about before, I attended Marie Forleo’s B-School and that’s how I heard about this event. Marie e-mailed subscribers when she found out she’d be part of the event, and then again when pre-sale tickets went live. I knew they’d go fast so I jumped on and got my ticket before I had time to talk myself out of it. If I recall correctly, tickets ranged from $175-250 for the all-day event.

I live 3 1/2 hours from Los Angeles so the day of the event – after not much sleep because I was excited – I got up at 4am, left the house at 5am, and arrived at 8:30 for the 9am event. Phew!  I went alone and didn’t know anyone there but you could tell it was a good vibe, with everyone smiling and anxious to see what the day would bring. Here’s a Facebook Live recording of Oprah’s welcome to us. It was wonderful and really set the tone for the day. {You can see more video from SSS2 on the OWN Facebook Page}.

I was very disappointed that we weren’t allowed to bring in cameras. In fact, in e-mail instructions before the event, we were told to downsize our purses; no totes/larger purses and no cameras. Cell phones were allowed but, even with the decent camera on my iPhone 6+, it was impossible to get good photos due to lighting and distance. My pics are down at the bottom and you can find lots more online; use #SuperSoulSessions on the social media of your choice.

I’m gonna’ share my observations, some quotes, what I learned, etc. from my favorite speakers.

Oprah – Introduction

You saw part of it in the link above but she basically welcomed us, did a meditation, and then introduced the first guest. In telling about Shaka Senghour, she told a funny story about having his book for quite a while before she actually read it. She said she finds it so hard to get rid of hard copy books and that she needs a book rehab program. LOL, can totally relate.

Shaka Senghour

Shaka grew up in a very rough situation and, while living the gang lifestyle, committed murder. He served 19 years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement. He had a lot of time to think and many experiences that changed him into the man he is today, which he talks about in his book, Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison {all book links in this post are Amazon affiliate links; if you make a purchase after clicking on one, I receive a small commission}.

After receiving letters of forgiveness from his victim’s family members, Shaka learned “what forgiveness looks like in action” and that “humans by nature are capable of redemption.” To forgive himself, he had to break down everything he thought was his identity and he began that through his writing. He discovered that he was a man on the outside but really just a broken little boy with years of hurt and abandonment.

He asked us, “When was the last time you were completely honest and raw with yourself?” We don’t do this often enough. He said that “transformation comes when we can see the broken child in every person, their true self,” and he gave us permission to see the child in ourselves. He talked about how there are no better innovators than prisoners – making things out of nothing – but that in prison, innovation = breaking the rules. He encouraged us to use our raw materials to create our life’s vision.

Marie Forleo

Marie was the reason I went to Super Soul Sessions 2 and one of my favorites to hear. She was very fun and funny, more dramatic than we usually see her in B-School and on Marie.tv.  She used two personal stories to weave in her famous idea that “everything is figureoutable.” The saying came from her mother, who sounds like a hoot, with her Tropicana orange radio playing all over the house, even on the roof while making some repairs by herself :)

Marie told a hilarious story about her and her honey Josh racing through the airport carrying a huge duffle bag past “soccer playing Smurfs” to make a flight to Spain. At the airline counter, the woman clicked and clacked her computer, frowned, looked Marie in the eye, and said, “You’re never going to make it.”

For some crazy reason, my eyes filled instantly with tears. I don’t know if that was supposed to be our reaction and I didn’t understand why it WAS my reaction, given the frenzied tone Marie was using to share the funny story. After digesting it, I think it just hit that chord in me (I know you have it too) of all the years and all the naysayers, the lack of support even from friends and family (usually because they don’t understand, not because they don’t love us), and that deep fierceness we have that brings tears. “Yes, I AM gonna’ make it. I don’t care what you think.”

Marie’s message was that we are unstoppable, what we say in our minds matters, and that we are “divinely blessed and infinitely capable.” Amen.

Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl was the other main reason I’d gone to the event. Of all her books, I’ve only read Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail but I thought it was fascinating and I identified with several things she’s been through (single parent upbringing, loss of a parent as a young adult, etc). Oprah said she’s been giving copies  of Cheryl’s new book, Brave Enough, to a lot of people. This is her favorite quote from the book:

“You let time pass. That’s the cure. You survive the days. You float like a rabid ghost through the weeks. You cry and wallow and lament and scratch your way back up through the months. And then one day you find yourself alone on a bench in the sun and you close your eyes and lean your head back and you realize you’re okay.” Yep, sounds like a book I need to buy.

Cheryl had a surprising message but one that I really liked, about having big but maybe unattainable dreams vs being happy where you are. She said that at yoga class, her poses never look like the instructor’s, who told her, “The goal is not to attain the perfect pose. The goal is to attempt it.” Cheryl’s goal now with her writing is not to be a famous author but to “make beauty and sorrow in other people’s hearts.”

When she was young, she was “arrogantly ambitious.” Then when she was a senior in college, her mom died at age 45 and Cheryl suddenly had no one who believed in her. She had to “propel her own engine.” She talked of attaining an MFA which these days can = waitress, and of being pregnant for the first time determined to work on her book and being distracted by her inaugural cable TV. This brought all kinds of doubt whether she was capable of attaining her huge goal of being a New York Times bestselling author; it just seemed “too big to hold” and that she was “too much of a failure to follow through.”

After these and other experiences, she decided that you have to “reckon with who you actually turned out to be,” despite these great plans you had as a young woman. She decided, “If I’m going to fall short of greatness, I need to redefine greatness.” That allowed her the belief, “I just had to write a book. That’s all.” Cheryl joked, “If you’re perfect, we don’t want to know you” and that her idea for a bumper sticker is “Surrender to Your Own Mediocrity.” Just make good on your intentions and it’s okay to hold two opposing truths in one hand.

I don’t think this message resonates with everyone but it did with me. I didn’t say as a child, “When I grow up, I want to be a virtual assistant!” LOL I had other dreams and plans, ranging from criminal psychologist to a writer living in Italy. I graduated from college and worked my way up to an impressive career position. Awesome. Then I had kids and everything shifted. My goal changed from “being successful at work” to “being more present in my children’s lives.” Like Cheryl said, I redefined greatness. Now I’m an amazing mom, which is my goal every day and my proudest achievement. So, needless to say, I LOVED Cheryl Strayed at Super Soul Sessions :) “Surrender to your own mediocrity!”

India.Arie

I arrived as someone who’d just “heard of” India.Arie and left as a huge fan! She was open, nervous, truthful, talented, beautiful, and had the voice of an angel. India told her story through a “SongVersation” which combined her speaking with her music. She included our voices as well while she told the story of her hugely successful career, feelings of overwhelm and loneliness, a breakdown, isolation, learning, and finally rebirth. She spoke so poetically about these difficult themes in a way you could see into her while applying them to yourself as well. On my Facebook profile, I shared the video from SSS2 where she sang “I Am Light” but it might not be visible to you. So HERE’s a link to watch her sing the same song on YouTube (song starts at 2:10). I think it gives a great view into who she is and I know you’ll love India.Arie as much as I now do.

Kerry Washington

I didn’t take notes while listening to Kerry but she was another favorite. Oprah interviewed her, asking her signature “deep” questions to elicit heartfelt answers. Kerry talked about her new movie “Confirmation” where she plays Anita Hill, how Anita was quite underwhelmed by Kerry when they first met, etc. Kerry remembers the case from her childhood because it was the first time her parents sort of disagreed at the dinner table discussion, because they came at it from different perspectives, as did Anita and Clarence Thomas. Kerry talked about wanting to be an actress but not “famous” because she values her private life and family. She decided early on that she’d be more of a character actor, have union insurance, hopefully steady work, but stay in the background. Well, oops, that didn’t exactly work out :) She was lovely and I like her even more than I already did.

Wrap Up

Overall, what an amazing day! Oprah was WAY funnier than I thought. She made me laugh a lot, like when she commented on all “the tinklers” heading up the aisle between speakers to use the restroom. The event felt relaxed and spiritual. I met such interesting people at lunch time, where we compared our perceptions of what we’d heard so far, learned about each other’s passions, and more.

The meal was a box lunch but healthy and delicious (a choice of turkey or chicken sandwich, handmade chips, salad, protein bar, desert, and drinks). At lunchtime, it absolutely poured rain but that didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits. We just dealt with looking like drowned rats :) Afterward, I saw on social media that Danielle Laporte and Christiane Northrup were in the audience but I didn’t see them :(

The only downer about the day was that it took 40 minutes to get out of the parking garage afterward – but that’s not Oprah’s fault :P I thoroughly enjoyed Super Soul Sessions 2 and highly recommend you go the next time they have one.

iPhone Photo Gallery

 

 

2016 Planner Round-Up: 50+ Planners for Creatives and Entrepreneurs

This post has been updated for 2017, increased in size up to 80+ planners (!), and is now hosted on my other site ErikaFriday.com. You can see it HERE.

Are you looking for a paper day planner? I’ve scoured the interwebs and found over 50 planners for you to check out.

Each planner name is a link to see more about that planner. Each photo shows just one of the options or views but the sites have a lot more information ranging from photos, videos, more versions and sizes, free printable pages, etc.

In other words, don’t just go by the photo shown; click the link and see all the other options and views :) There are blog, yoga, and business planners, mom planners, motivational planners, even a planner just for photographers. So many options for creatives, entrepreneurs, and more!

I hope this is a great resource that helps you to choose your perfect planner. Happy browsing!

Arc

arc planner

Ashley Shelly

ashley shelly planner

BanDo

The BASICS Notebook

the basics notebook planner

A Beautiful Mess

a beautiful mess planner

Blog + Life

blog and life planner

Bloom Daily Planners

bloom daily planner

Blue Sky

blue sky planner

Brilliant Business Planner

brilliant business planner

Bullet Journal

bullet journal

The Choices Notebook

choices notebook planner

Commit 30 Planner

commit 30 planner

Daily Greatness

daily greatness business planner

Daily Dream Creator

daily dream creator

Day Designer

day designer planner

Danielle Laporte

danielle laporte desire map planner

DaySpring

dayspring planner

Design Love

design love planner

Dream Planner

dream planner

Edited Year

edited year planners

Erin Condren

erin condren planner

Freedom Planner

freedom planner

Get to Work Book

get to work book planner

Goal Digger

goal digger planner

Holistic Day Design

holistic day design planner

I Am

i am planner

iBloom

ibloom planner

I Heart Planners

i heart planners

inkWELL Press

inkwell press planner

The Inner Guide

The Inner Guide planner

It’s That Kinda’ Day

it's that kinda day planner

Kate Spade

kate spade planner

Kikki-K
kikki k planner

Lara Casey

lara casey planner

Life is Messy Bootcamp

life is messy planner

Live Life Creative

live life creative planner

Making Ish Happen

making ish happen planner

Mama CEO

mama ceo planner

My Creative Year

my creative year planner

My Life Planners

my life planner

Paper and Prosper

paper and prosper briefcase planner

Paper Source

paper source planner

Passion Planner

passion planner

Photographer’s Planner

photographers planner colorvale

Planner Pad

planner pad

Plum Paper Designs

plum paper planner etsy

Posy Paper Co

posy paper co planner

Print & Go Planner

(no shareable image)

Purposeful Planner

purposeful planner

Rebel’s Agenda

rebels agenda planner

Recipes for Joy

recipes for joy planner

Refresh Planner

refresh planner

Rifle Paper Company

rifle paper co planner

Rituals for Living Dreambook and Planner

rituals for living dream book and planner

Savor the Success

savor the success planner

Scattered Squirrel

scattered squirrel planner

SELF Journal

self journal

She Plans

she plans planner

The Simplified Planner

emily ley simplified planner

Small Paper Things

The Spark Planner

spark planner

Start Planner

Sugar Paper

sugar paper planner

Text Agenda

text agenda quo vadis planner

Tools for Wisdom

tools for wisdom planner

Ultimate Business Planner

ultimate business planner

Uncalendar

uncalendar

Visionary Journal

visionary journal planner

Week Date

week date planner

Week Dominator

week dominator planner

Write It Designs

write it designs planner

The 7-Minute Life

the 7 minute life planner

If you’re also a scrapbooker or crafty type, try these:

Simple Stories, Webster’s PagesMAMBI, Dokibook, and Heidi Swapp. Then check out The Reset Girl for lots of fun accessories. I’m using an aqua Simple Stories “Carpe Diem” planner to track 2 of my niche blogs in 2016. Can’t wait to get crafty and organized at the same time!

If you know of any planners I’ve missed, please let me know in Comments and I’ll add them!

Virtual Assistants and Creative Entrepreneurs: Making Time and Space for Real-Life Magic

I’m like you. I work solo from home. I’m often connected to my iMac or iPhone and feel very “in touch” with my clients and online business friends. I’m not lonely when I work and I have lots of conversations every day. “I love the computer. All my friends live in there.” However, while e-mails and Skype and WhatsApp are great for connecting, they’re not real.

Photo by: Aleksi Tappura

Last week, I had a lovely lunch with two mamapreneur clients / dear friends / mentors. These are wise women who are where I want to be in the cosmic scheme of work and life. I thought I was merely escaping a Friday afternoon at my desk and getting a meal with friends. Little did I know . . .

Not only did I receive free guidance and, essentially, coaching by two of the best, but I was affirmed in so many ways. They said I’m proactive, smart, and make things happen, that what I do is MORE than a virtual assistant typically does – oh, so much more. (Blushing ensued).

They teased about how, when the 3 of us meeting up “sometime” was mentioned, I had this lunch calendered so fast, they LOL’d. And how when one needed some press exposure, I had her booked on the local news pronto :) How I’ve helped them not just with essential tasks but with strategy and big picture conceptualizing. I like to think of myself as my clients’ right hand so that made me feel really good, like I’m on the right track.

They encouraged me and gave me ideas (including napkin notes!) for ways I can up-level my business by adding in a whole new direction!

We spoke about resistance, how where I am is comfortable and engrained in things from way back in my life and even those before me.

We talked about hermit crabs moving to larger shells – “the naked crawl” – and how change is scary but it’s already happening so go with it. Ride the wave; be accepting and joyful.

We shared the belief that we’re blessed by our husbands and children and asked, “How lucky are we that they chose us, and that they were chosen for us?” Each teaching us what we need to learn most, enveloped in unconditional love.

We talked about scarcity mindset vs. abundance, how to change patterns, how to bring loved ones along for the ride, and (for me) how to shift retirement dreams away from “the sensible place” and back to the beach, where my soul is fed and rested.

We ate well, drank bubbly, and toasted love & friendship. We saw signs like a lovely waiter named Jesus, and a delivery truck outside the window whose side read, “Oh, oh my, we are blessed.” Indeed.

We exchanged gifts that will continue to feed us, smiled and laughed, and hugged goodbye when it had to end. Three hours wasn’t enough; the words were still bubbling, the connections still firing.

Photo by: Morgan Sessions

Now it’s your turn, my love. Make the time and space to meet your online “true blues” in person. You simply must. Because this is the magic that happens.

*Photos courtesy of Unsplash

Virtual Assistant: Working with Authors

It’s funny. When you start out as a virtual assistant (VA), you think of all the services you’re capable of and offer them all up, kind of in a non-specific way because, well, you need clients! I talked about it a little bit HERE.

As time goes on and you start booking clients, you might start to see a pattern. I did and it surprised me. To date, the large majority of my clients have been authors. I couldn’t have asked for a better match, actually. You can tell by my business name that I was planning to work with creatives but, honestly, I was thinking more of crafters since I’m a crafter myself.

But I’m also a writer, I’m a voracious reader, and I was an English major in college with an emphasis on Creative Writing. Yes, I’ll someday write the Great American Novel – like all you other writers ;)

Photo by:  Florian Klauer

So I don’t know how it happened but I seem to have transitioned into largely being “a writer’s VA”. Who knows? Maybe I used the principles of The Secret and put it out to the universe that I’d really love to work with writers – but it was so secret that even I didn’t know about it :)

Maybe writers tend to be readers and researchers so they’re more apt to come across my site, interact with me on TWITTER, or ask other authors, “Hey, how do you get everything done and still find time to write?” Ohhh, you have a VA . . .

Either way, I’m very grateful for how things have worked out in my virtual assistant business. I love authors. I “get” them. I truly enjoy being even a tiny part of helping them succeed and helping them to spread the word about their writing.

If you’re an author and you’d like to talk about how I can be of help, please drop me a line HERE or say “hi” on Twitter (@VACreatively). Apparently, we’re meant to work together ;) Here are just a few ideas:

– You tell me what you write about, what you like to share, what’s important to you and I can load some posts onto your social media (while you’re writing). Selfies are still on you, sorry.

– I can transcribe the audio from your book reading so you can share it for free on your website.

– Let’s take some content you already have, make it fresh, and sell it as an e-book on Amazon.

– Making travel plans or arranging a book tour can be a pain for an author but I don’t mind doing it.

– I’m just gonna’ guess that JODI PICOULT had a little help researching elephants. What topic can I research for your next book?

– I hate to say it but most author websites I’ve seen could use some freshening up. Yep, I’ve got you covered!

Now, off you go. Get back to writing. I’m waiting to read your next piece!

Creative Live Class Review: “Embrace the Ugly; How to Break Through What’s Holding You Back in Business”

I had this class playing online today while I was transcribing and doing virtual assistant (VA) work.  It was taught by Kim Werker and was free for the initial broadcast; it’s $29 to purchase which you can do HERE and then watch it anytime you want.  If you buy the class, you also get Kim’s “Year of Making” e-book for free which is a $12 value.  After today, the permanent price becomes $39 but if you hurry, you can still catch it for free.

 

Kim is “a writer, editor, maker, podcaster, and speaker.”  She also does a project called Mighty Ugly, which is about embracing the dark parts of creativity.  She’s the author of “Make It Mighty Ugly: Exercises & Advice for Getting Creative Even When It Ain’t Pretty”:

make it mighty ugly

 

Here are some notes & things I learned from “Embrace the Ugly: How to Break Through What’s Holding You Back in Business” by Kim Werker:

She participates in and invites others to try #yearofmaking.  It’s about embracing imperfection, trying new things, being creative, sharing your imperfect results, and making creativity a habit.

Make a list of your super powers – what are you really good at?  Add to it all the time.

Your ugly voice talks to you all the time.  “I don’t know what you were thinking.”  “Who do you think you are?” “Why do you think YOU have the authority to be talking to others about this?” etc.  In the chat room, people shared what their ugly voice was saying to them and I identified with one who said, “My ugly voice told me not to take this class today, although I blocked out time to do it, because I’m not a creative business owner so who am I to think I belong here?”  

Yep, that’s exactly what mine said.  I love creative people, I work with a lot of them, and I have a successful blog about a creative craft but I’m ONLY a writer and blogger and assistant to creatives.  I’m not A CREATIVE so I often feel the need to justify taking Creative Live classes.  (Hmm, to whom?  Other attendees?  Creative Live? Myself?)

Attendees gathered craft supplies and made an “ugly” object, the point being to listen to their ugly voice as they went along.  The outcome was interesting, as they all shared their thought processes throughout the project.

I was only able to listen off and on for the rest of the day, then caught a little bit more on the replay (Creative Live runs free replays a time or two immediately following their live classes).  The overall point seemed to be about fighting perfectionism, embracing the “ugly” parts of ourselves and our creative process, and fighting (and winning) against the negative self-talk and even outside criticism that can hold us back.

I really enjoyed this class.  Kim Werker is a fast-talking, empathetic, intuitive, kind instructor who was able to draw quite personal insights from not only her students in the classroom but also from those in the CreativeLive chat room.  People were talking down the ugly voices, creating comebacks to them, and setting some major goals.

To paraphrase Kim, it’s a Photoshop world where everything can seem “perfect” and who are we to insert our creativity into that?  But perfection is an illusion and we all deserve a space in the creative world :)  Embrace your ugly!

So I Went to a Kindle Publishing Seminar and . . .

. . . I learned that there is A LOT involved in book sales on Amazon. But of course it’s all completely do-able and it’s something I’d love to help you with – and do for myself!

The seminar was part of a writer’s conference and it was called “12 Steps to Becoming an Amazon Bestselling Author”. The instructor was Brian Schwartz from ePubConversions.com, whose tagline is “Digital Publishing, Consulting, and Top Quality eBook Conversions. Fast & Affordable”. If you hire him, you retain all rights to your book (VERY important!) and, for a very reasonable price, he helps you convert it to a Kindle-friendly format (also ePub etc), and can also you guide you in making your book a bestseller.

Brian has been in e-book publishing since the beginning and he clearly knew what he was talking about. I took 13 pages of notes. {What can I say, I’m a compulsive note-taker . . .}. But I didn’t want to miss a beat of anything he was explaining, with excellent detail and great examples of how to make your KINDLE book a bestseller.

Brian’s company has launched many bestsellers on Amazon and he graciously shared all the steps they routinely follow to accomplish this. The seminar was directed (obviously) toward writers and, as a virtual assistant who works with authors, I felt like it was directed right at me, too. One of the things I love to do in my VA business is help authors succeed.

I love to read. I love to write. I have a huge admiration for writers, especially those who publish. What’s so great about today’s publishing world, as Brian explained, is that ANYONE can publish a book. If you do it via Amazon, you have access to a massive audience right off the bat and that’s so awesome. Did you know there are currently almost 3 MILLION Kindle books on Amazon?!

The challenge is doing all of this well and getting a bestseller in as short a time as possible. Brian said the smart self-publishers are doing it the way the big publishers do. The Kindle publishing seminar taught me how to do just that. The 12 steps were laid out, we just have to follow them. For example, he broke the steps down into 3 main phases:

Phase 1: ARC Campaign
Phase 2: KDP Campaign
Phase 3: Countdown Campaign

I’m a HUGE reader of Kindle e-books and walking through the steps felt like home to me. It’s all the things I’ve watched unfold via Amazon, book review sites, and free/cheap e-book advertisers. You can’t just write your book, list it on Amazon, and expect it to sell. There is a lot of groundwork to lay down first and I’m so happy I learned how to do that. Brian also taught us how to take the next step: Publishing and selling a hardcover and/or paperback version of your book. It was all so exciting!

If you have a book (or books?!?) that you want to publish or re-publish on Amazon, I highly recommend Brian and ePubConversions.com. If I can assist in any way, I’d love to – just Contact Me or find me here on Twitter :)

Weekly Roundup by VA Creatively.com 09-07-14

Here’s a round-up of some finds from around the web this week. Just some things for creative entrepreneurs / solopreneurs about social media, working at home, living a creative life, and other things you might find helpful or interesting.

– OMG, there are some EXCITING NEW CAREERS for Creatives!

– Check this “TRENDY” THING out! Uber cool social media tool.

– Here are some great ideas to organize your office.

– Need some eye candy to read? The “Beautiful Mess” girls have a NEW BOOK out!

– And this, from NatashaLester.com.au:

Have a great week!

Free Online Summit for VA’s and Other Online Service Providers

There’s a cool event going on from August 4-15, 2014 called the “Virtually Successful Video Summit”.

You can find the entire schedule HERE if you’d like to join in.  It’s all free.  Of course, each presenter has products they recommend or sell but you’re not required to buy anything and, so far, it hasn’t been a “hard sell.”

On Day 1, I listened to organizer TINA FORSYTH‘s presentation on how to “Create a Business Around Your Brilliance & Get Paid What You Are Worth.”  It felt good to be validated as what she calls an “online service provider” – whether that be a Virtual Assistant, Online Business Manager, Copywriter, etc.

One takeaway:  We are Implementers.  We get things done.  We self-educate.  We want to help and we excel at being “behind-the-scenes” but are oh-so-important to businesses.

On Day 2, I enjoyed hearing from  BOB THE TEACHER on “Secrets to Becoming an Indispensable (and Well-Paid) Virtual Assistant”.

One take-away:  Don’t get so busy with clients that you have no time to learn new things – the hot new program LEADPAGES, for example.  It’s a service many businesses are looking for.  Use it in your own business to demonstrate to potential clients your expertise.  {Check out how Bob uses Leadpages himself at the link above}.

Also, I listened to MICHELE PW about “3 Keys to Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires, and Invites Your Ideal Prospects to Become Ideal Clients.”  She has a new book coming out as we speak and it’s free right now for Kindle, only $2.99 regular price.  You can find it here: Love-Based Copywriting: How to Write Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites Your Ideal Prospects to Become Ideal Clients.  I downloaded it for free and look forward to reading to see what other copywriting tips I can put into my rotation!


*Her cute doggie Nick tried to get in on the video class :)

One take-away:  A lot of today’s direct response copywriting targets people’s fear but she contends we should use love-based copywriting to instead instill respect and hope.

I have a lot of transcribing and online work to do tonight (I multi-task!) so I’m hoping to get all caught up and also listen to Day 3 – KIM DEYOUNG talking about “The Top 5 Product Launches You Should Know How to Leverage for Your Business.”

What I find so great about participating in these kinds of events is that they’re cutting-edge classes and a pep talk all rolled into one.  For FREE :)

I always learn so much, have current knowledge reinforced, and enjoy hearing directly from those who are rockin’ the online business world. I also appreciate the free gifts that tend to be included, like a copywriting template, etc.

Thanks Tina and “Virtually Successful Video Summit”!!