Archive for November, 2017

Dear Danielle: Do I Need to Move If I Want Clients in Another City?

Dear Danielle: Do I Need to Move If I Want Clients in Another City?

Dear Danielle:

Thank you so much for the Pricing calculator you sent me to download. I have been travelling a bit between Cape Town and Johannesburg. Herein lies my dilemma. My entire family apart from my eldest son lives in Johannesburg. So do I set up in Cape Town or in Johannesburg. I do believe that business prospects are better in Johannesburg but don’t like Jo’burg very much! I have already lined up two clients in Cape Town (the plot thickens). What to do…what to do….? I absolutely love your blog and find it incredibly useful and informative. Thank you so much for all the effort you put in to educate. Kind regards. —L. W.

Hi L.W. 🙂

Thanks for letting me know how useful the ACA resources are to you. I’m very glad to hear it.

Even though we live in two different countries (I’m in the U.S. and you’re in South Africa), the great thing about our kind of business is that a) the principles of business are pretty universal no matter what country you’re in, and b) business laws in developed countries around the world are quite similar.

This is of great benefit to us because it makes speaking the same business language pretty easy.

And, since the administrative support business is an online business, that means you don’t work with clients or even have to meet them in person.

Not that you can’t get clients from meeting them locally. It’s just that due to the nature of the business being online, you aren’t restricted to your geographic or local physical location when it comes to finding and getting clients.

The world is literally your oyster as far as clients go, if that’s your preference.

Although, I will say, my clients and I find a lot more ease in understanding, communication and working together by being in the same country or state. As far as business goes, I personally don’t have any desire or need to work with international clients.

But different strokes for different folks. If you aren’t able to find all the clients you need in your general vicinity, you have the entire rest of the world to prospect at your fingertips.

All that is to say, you don’t have to live in Johannesburg to get clients from there.

As far as what city you are legally allowed to claim as your business’s official operating address, that is something you will definitely want to research as there may be legalities and business/registration rules and requirements involved particular to your local area.

Some relevant questions might be:

  • What city do you reside in officially/most of the time? What address do you currently use on tax returns?
  • Are you a sole proprietor/operator or is your business incorporated?
  • If your business is incorporated, are you allowed to register it in any city you like?
  • What are your preferred city’s business registration/taxing requirements? Must you actually reside there to register/incorporate/operate there?
  • What are the (federal/state/county/local) laws/rules about where you must reside for your business to be registered there?
  • If you legally have the option to choose one city or another, are there benefits to registering in one over the other?
  • What are the business registration fees/requirements in each?
  • What are the taxing requirements in each?
  • What kind of reporting does each require?

Getting answers to these questions from the proper governing agencies in your area will help you decide where your business is to be based/registered.

Beyond that, as far as getting clients from Johannesburg or anywhere without having to resort to the time and energy-consuming analog ways of meeting them (i.e., in person), what is going to be of tremendous help to you is to narrow things down to a target market.

A target market is simply an industry/profession that you cater your administrative support to.

Once you decide who to focus on, you can then figure out all the online ways and places to begin connecting and interacting with people in that field, getting to know them, and allowing them to get to know you through your active presence and participation.

If you haven’t yet, be sure to download my guide on How to Choose Your Target Market. It elaborates more on this topic and has some exercises that will help you immediately begin to start connecting with potential clients.

Let me know if this helps you or if you have any further questions. I’m happy to shed more light on this topic.

It’s a Traditional Thanksgiving this Year for My Family

It's a Traditional Thanksgiving this Year for My Family

Welp, it’s Turkey Day, otherwise known as Thanksgiving, this Thursday for those of us in the U.S. The big turkey debate in our family has finally been settled (smoked or traditional). This year anyway…

Personally, I’m not that excited about turkey. I wanted a Thanksgiving salmon, but that got shot down immediately. I’m just thankful we don’t have any vegans or all hell would break loose, lol.
(I remember now why I don’t host this holiday more often at my house.)

Just kidding. It’s going to be terrific fun! I don’t know how many more holidays we’ll have with my dad so we’re going all out with the traditional stuff which is what he loves, and he’s really looking forward to it.

I did make sure, though, to get myself a growler of my favorite locally-brewed beer, just in case, lol. And we’ll be playing Cards Against Humanity after dinner which is always a hoot.

Today, I did a dry run of my table setting (that’s it in the photo). I’m not a fan of the usual orange and gold fall color theme. I went with rich jewel tones instead: purple and plum, shiny copper, avocado green diamond-cut crystal, smokey blue glass.

I’ve got chafing dishes set up on the buffet so we can keep the serving bowls on the table to a minimum and keep things warmed at the same time. I also figured out the perfect use for all the bright-colored little pompoms I love to make: glass tags! I tied a different color on each glass so everyone knows which one is theirs.

In all honesty, other than being the hostess with the mostest, I don’t have to do a whole lot this year except make the mashed potatoes and eat. Ha! My daughter’s boyfriend is making the turkey (he’s a fantastic cook) and everyone else is bringing the rest of the trimmings, sides and desserts. Cheers to that!

I wish you and your family a lovely and yummy day filled with tons of love and laughs. And I want to thank you so much for being a part of the Administrative Consultants Association and allowing me to play some positive role in your business journey. I hope I’ve been helpful to you.

If you are using the holiday down-time to put some focused attention on your business skills and foundations, please enjoy this discount code for 10% off anything in the ACA Success Store: THANKS10

And if you already have a few pieces and would like to upgrade to The Full Shebang (Set-03), shoot me an email and I’ll send you a credit code in the amount of all your past product purchases so you can deduct that amount from your purchase. (You can even apply the THANKS10 code on top of it.)

Please note: Codes expire Nov. 26 so you’ll just want to be sure to use them by then.

If you are celebrating, have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

If You Do Nothing Else, These Are Words to Live By

I was reading Brit Marling’s article about Harvey Weinstein yesterday morning. In the first paragraph, she relates some powerful wisdom her mother imparted to her when she was a little girl:

“To be a free woman, you have to be a financially independent woman.”

It’s akin to something Suze Orman always reminds women of: “A man is not a financial plan.”

This is one of the most important reasons I work to help other women in this business earn better, to better understand the economics of business and how the business-to-business relationship with clients works, and teach them the important business skills that are integral to being able to ask for and get professional fees and how to navigate those business conversations: the consultation, pricing, your marketing message, chief among them.

Even if you are not your family’s primary breadwinner, life can change in an instant.

Divorce, illness, death, accidents, acts of nature… there are any number of unforeseeable events that can befall any of us at any moment and put us in the position of having to be the sole provider. Being a single mom is perhaps one of the most important reasons.

This is why my goal is to always show other women how to build a business that can take care of itself, to show them how to create the kind of income they can actually live on whether they are or need to be or should become the primary breadwinner; to establish a business that runs like a business and can scale at any point in time, even if right now you only want to work with one or two clients.

Being financially independent and creating a business that can take care of you and your family if need be is one of the best things you can do for yourself and those you love.

Educating Prospective Clients Has Nothing to Do with Convincing

Educating Prospective Clients Has Nothing to Do with Convincing

You never want to play the “convincing” game in trying to get clients.

“Convincing” is when you waste your time and energy pleading, wheedling, hyping, and otherwise trying to beg and bribe people into working with you.

Talking about how cheap and “affordable” you are and discounting this and giving free that is a form of bribing.

It’s also the way you devalue and debase yourself and reduce the perception of value of the solution you offer in the eyes of clients.

If this is what you have to do to get people to work with you, you’re talking to (and attracting) the wrong audience.

BUT for someone to tell you that you don’t need to educate your prospects about what you do is the height of arrogance and marketing stupidity.

Talk is cheap coming from those who haven’t run an administrative support business in over 20 years. They don’t know the first thing about marketing (much less working with actual clients in the 21st century).

It absolutely IS always your job as a professional service provider to educate your would-be clients.

Educating prospects isn’t about “convincing” anyone to work with you or trying to “sell” them on your solution. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The only people who think that are those who confuse “educating” with “convincing.” That’s because they are marketing illiterate.

Educational marketing or education-based marketing, as this is known in marketing circles, operates on the premise that your clients are intelligent enough to know what they want and make their own decisions. What they need from you isn’t a sales pitch (i.e., “convincing”), it’s information with which they can make an informed, intelligent decision.

Educational marketing isn’t about being invested in the outcome (i.e., getting the client, by any means necessary).

It’s having the healthy professional self-esteem to know that not every prospective client is for you, that you aren’t for everyone, and through an intelligent informational dialogue via your website, you and your right clients will be better equipped to determine fit and choose each other.

Educating your would-be clients and site visitors is about demonstrating an understanding of your target market’s business and industry and the challenges and obstacles they face.

It’s about shedding light on the solutions you offer and the ways you can help them and solve their problems.

It’s about helping them see and understand your solutions in the context of their business, what your support and work together might look like, and how their circumstances can be improved.

None of that is about “convincing” anyone or devaluing yourself and what you offer.

Yes, be a client snob. You only want to work with and invest your time in those who want to work with you.

Those who have a problem you can solve don’t need convincing; they just need to know you understand, how you are unique from anyone else, and why you might be the best choice for them.

This is how educating them in the way I speak of helps them. They crave this information from you, especially in a sea of websites all mindlessly reciting the same, boring thing.

But anyone telling you that you don’t need to educate your market about your solutions knows nothing about marketing.

In fact, educating your market in the right way — educating, not convincing — will help you get more ideal clients and consultation requests.