Start, Streamline & Scale your “Done-for-You” business

by Erin Kelly September 10, 2019

Join me and Sara Wiles for a great nutshell roadmap on starting, streamlining and scaling a done-for-you business without super complex plans, processes or strategies.

See Sara’s awesome free resource center for service providers at: bit.ly/SWresourcecenter and if you’re NOT a service provider but are looking for a great one, check out her free matchmaking service at sarawiles.co. 

And if you want to steal the Daily Hive Mind podcast system AND get signed up for weekly (or daily) episodes in your inbox, go to membervault.co/dailyhivemind!

The episode, if you’d prefer to read.

ERIN ASKS:

I have a very special place in my heart for done for you service providers. You know what? My background when I first got into online business was as an online business manager. And so I’m very familiar with the struggles of, you know, you do everything for your clients and your own business is kind of struggling in the sense that, you know, you may not have a website or your website’s really out of date, you aren’t really focusing on growing your email list.

You just don’t have a lot of those audience building practices built into your business yet because you probably doing it for your clients, but you’re not doing it for yourself cause you don’t have time. And you are, is, you’re good at what you do. You are swamped in referrals and so you don’t even really need to have those things to be able to book yourself solid with one-to-one clients.

But that can lead to burnout. It can be just incredibly heavy on your shoulders. And either you are booked out at this point and you’re looking at like, you know, how do I, how do I scale my time? How do I scale up my revenue so that I can step away from my computer and phone and hang out with my family or, you know, do something that I want to do and not feel like I am tied 24, seven to my clients’ businesses. And you know, you know, either you’re, you’re really wanting to do that or you’re just getting kind of burned out with, with always doing done for you. And so you’re looking at ways to scale your business. But without having a large audience, it can feel like crap before the quarter. It’s like, what do I do? Like, you know, I really want to have a course or something like that.

So that I can have scalable [inaudible] coming in. But I don’t have anyone on my email list. I’m not even really sure like how to structure it. And so let me just keep working on my client’s work because they’re the squeaky wheels. So I’ve been there. I have worked with a lot of other service providers that are in that place where it’s like they have really great ideas but they just don’t, they don’t know where to start. And or like the squeaky wheel thing, it’s really hard. It’s hard to fight against that when people are constantly like bombarding your inbox with things that you need to do in their businesses. It can really be hard to create the space and boundaries too, actually create something scalable in your own business and to get really refined. And so Aye love Sarah wiles. I love you Farrah because you are helping service providers, you know, scale and streamlined cause I think that it’s like both things.

It’s not just about like creating the course or you know, low caste offers or things that aren’t requiring hands on. It’s also about streamlining what you’re doing and just like optimizing everything. And so I love that you’re helping people do that because it’s so needed and you are so at it. And so I would love for you to [inaudible] share something of your knowledge around like the best things to start get started in terms of scaling and streamlining a service based business and also share some of your story and like how you have about Your Business and what you’ve learned. Along the way.

And obviously these are going to just be highlights because we otherwise we could talk for like six hours about this topic, but just the highlights of your own journey and then some really key elements that you think are important when someone is trying to scale beyond just purely done for you in their service based business.

SARA ANSWERS:

Hello, beautiful woman. Oh my goodness. First of all, I love you more than croissants, which is really saying a lot. I just think that you are a marketing genius. Aye. I don’t think that I actually know that with all of my being.

I respect you and the way that you run your business in such a deep way because even though we have completely different businesses, I know that one of your pillars and core values is to over deliver and treat your people and your clients just at a really high level. And it’s something that I was trained to do in my background. It’s something I do in my business and it’s something that I teach my clients to do too. And the reason that my business has grown so much, my client’s businesses grow so much and yours does as well. So I’ve loved that.

And I also just love, love, love the fact that you have figured out how to make an online business work for motherhood. It’s the exact reason I started my online business. And just love that you have done the same thing and that you’re continuing to evolve that into memorable. Cool. Okay. So first thing I will share my story. My background is in corporate event planning. So I did that for eight years. How to baby no longer wanted to travel for 10 days at a time, you know, on four hours of sleep a night running 5,000 person conventions and trade shows. And so left that space, worked at a startup for a year and then really just figured out that the way that corporate America was set up was not in support of the way that I wanted to show up for myself and my son. So I left and started a VA business because I felt like surely I was resourceful enough to be able to Google my way out of anything and youtube platforms and tools and things like that.

And I have dabbled here and there and a couple of businesses that didn’t actually, you know, fully come to fruition. So I had enough experience with things like wordpress and blogging to know enough to show up. So I did that. Grew my business very quickly through essentially word of mouth. I really marketed my business very little when I was doing VA work and OBM work, which I later grew into. And the business grew so much because I did great work for people I have done for you. Service providers come to me all the time and they say to me, oh my goodness, the marketplace is so flooded. How am I ever going to stand out? And while the marketplace might be flooded, I’m actually not sure that that’s true at all. But let’s just go ahead and assume that that’s true. It’s most definitely not flooded with high quality service providers.

So when you’re someone who shows up in the online space, you actually care about your clients and you do good work. Word travels fast. That is how 99% of my clients become booked out is through referrals and through just showing up and serving people at a really high level. So I started that VA business, grew into an OBM and online business manager because I really started tackling more strategy, more big picture pieces, and grew that business to have a team of eight all mama VA’s that worked for me. So we served up to 15 clients at a time, built that business to attend to 15 k months. And then decided that the next evolution of that business was going to be mentoring women who were starting or scaling done for you businesses. Exactly the way that I had. I showed up to the online space, did the thing that most women do, which is go under person all in burnt myself out and created success, but really did it the hard way.

And I wanted to not only help women figure out how to create success, but how to create success in a way that was supportive of the lives that they wanted to live. Right. So I think a different factor about the work that I do with my DA’s, my obms, my social media managers, my done for you service providers is, but I don’t Jeff Care about your business. I care about your personal life too. So you only want to work with someone and you only want to build a business and you don’t also want to create a business that works for your life. I’m not the person for you. I am the person, I’m for the woman who’s looking for balance and looking for a way to bring on clients and build a business and grow that business. But still honoring the person that she is outside of the business.

So transition to 100% to mentoring in 2019 and here I am in Oh actually in 2018 and in 2019 I’m doing that 100% of the time and it’s been fun and awesome. Primarily I offer one to one mentoring for in a six month container. I also do monthly masterclasses, which are my, is my low cost offer that are geared towards one specific tool, platform, system thing specific to dem for you, service based businesses. And it’s really been a blast. Okay. So I want to answer your question. Of course. I made notes because I’m not like that. So the best way to get started. So I think I actually differ from most people in the online space. And what I’m gonna say here, W I believe to be true is that the best way to grow a business is to serve clients, right?

And like obviously people are calling desk era, right? I think what happens so often is that women come to the online space and they think, especially in the done for you space, that they have to have this big business plan built out and they need to know their niche and they need to have all of this information before they can go out and start serving the client. And I actually think the opposite is true. And I actually really think that doing that as a hindrance and halts people’s growth. So option so often, right? So what I believe to be true and what I help my clients to do is just serve someone, right? If you are confident in your abilities to be resourceful, you can figure anything out. We live in an era and an age where Google and youtube are at your fingertips.

So no matter what a client comes to you asking, as long as it is not coding, because that is a very specific you know, thing that I don’t expect people to be able to, you know, Google in a short period of time, you should be able to figure it out, right? And so as long as you feel confident in that resourceful piece, you can show up and start serving people. Because what happens is that when you start serving people, you learn so much about the work that you like to do and the work that you don’t like the do to do the people that you like to serve and the people that you don’t like to serve. But if you spent all this time building out this business plan, leaning into your niche marketing specifically to them only to find out three clients down there, look down the line two months down the road that you actually don’t like serving them, well then we’ve wasted all this time, right?

So that’s why I say serving people will give you all the data and information that you need to actually grow your business. So the best way to get started is just to serve people. I find that most of my clients book out their, their first set of clients, assuming that they don’t come with some sort of other business backgrounds. Sometimes women will come to me and they’ve been business coaches or health coaches or things like that. And it just hasn’t jive well with what they wanted to do. And so, so, you know, they lean back into virtual assisting worker or online business management work. So assuming that you don’t already have an audience built out, which sometimes I deal with, the best thing to do is use the network that you already have. So if you come from the corporate space, go to linkedin where you have all of these folks that are already connections of yours, people that already have that know, like, and trust this trust factor with you and reach out to them.

Same thing with your personal networks or reach out to people on Facebook. And you know, there’s a specific way that I teach people to do this, but reach out and essentially say, Hey, I’m open for business. Here’s what I’m doing and here’s how I can help you and serve you. So that’s really the best way to get started, is to just get started as to not be so intense about building anything out and just serve people so that you get the information and data that you can grow off of from there and make better business decisions than you would today without any of that data and information. I think that’s actually one of the beautiful parts of the done for you space, is that you have the ability to do that, right? If you were a coach, you’d have to have your offerings built out and you’d have to really figure out what the result is that you’re going to want to help people get right.

And the truth is you’re going to help your different clients get different results because they’re going to come to you for a different type of support. And that’s really the beauty of the done for you space. So assuming somebody has already started their business, they’ve got a client load how, what’s the best way to streamline the business? Well, I always tell people is take it one step at a time, one system at a time, right? So what’s the thing that you’re probably doing the most often? So probably onboarding clients very often, right? So that’s the place that most people start as, hey, let’s figure out a great system for you to onboard clients and push clients through a process to get them on board, right? Then you go to the next a system, right? Do you have a task management system set up? Great, let’s figure that one out.

Then you have an offboarding system set up. Great, let’s figure that out, right? But my thing for people is always take it one thing at a time. It’s so easy to look at the big picture and look at what other people are doing in the online space, and it becomes very daunting and overwhelming if you just figure out, hey, where am I spending the most time in my business right now? Great. If I just scheduled in one hour a week to work on this in one month’s time, could I be done with this? Right? Most systems don’t take that long to set up. So that’s what I say about the streamlining piece. I think the last question that you asked, Erin was scaling past, done for you, right? So if somebody has been doing, done for you work for a while, hopefully they’ve been doing done for you work for awhile, and they’re ready to have a passive product, they’re ready to have a course, the right to have a membership, they’re ready to do something else other than the one for one or the one to one work.

So the first thing that’s really important is that you’ve done the work. You’ve served the clients. What I see so often is that people come to the done for you space and they want to skip that step and just get to the passive step, right? But they don’t have enough information and data to really know what people need. And the only way for you to get that is to serve people. So make sure that you have served people, that you have a really good understanding of what people need and want, and then lean back into your superpowers, right? If you’ve been serving the done for you space, you’ve been serving online entrepreneurs for long enough, you know, what makes you different than everybody else and what makes your clients will love you and keep referring people to you. So really lean into that.

I have a, a past client that I just sent an intensive with last week because that’s exactly what she was trying to figure out is, hey, you know, you know me, you know my business. You know, my evolution over the last year. I want to create something passive. What do I do? Right? And so we really figured out what her superpowers are in the business and then we put together a plan to do exactly that. So there’s 9 million different things that you can do. It could be a course, it could be something beautifully built in member vault. Of course, it could be a membership, a member vault. It could be any of those things. But the important thing is that you are really delivering your superpower and that you’ve done the work. You’ve served enough people to know what the marketplace will actually pay for. And also that you do it in a way that still is supportive of the balance that you’re seeking in life.

Right? So if you know, as an example you know, you’ve got a bunch of kids at home, right, and you’re doing a bunch of done for you work and you don’t want to let go of a bunch of that done for you work because you’re really counting on that income coming into your business every month in helping you in your household. Okay. Then what you don’t wanna do probably is to launch a really robust membership site that is going to take a ton of your time right now. Right? So that is yeah, that’s my best advice for scaling past done for you leaned back into those superpowers and really figure out how to do that in a way that’s still supportive of your life. I hope that this was helpful. If you are done for service provider and you are listening right now with love to get you inside of my free resource center, it is specifically geared towards virtual assistants online with this managers and social media managers of it’s housed in the beautiful member vault.

And what I’m giving you inside of the free resource center is the exact steps that I took to grow my OBM business to 10 k plus months consistently. And it will help you to build and scale your business with ease. So whether you’re at the starting phase of Your Business or the scaling phase of Your Business, there is something in there for you. If you don’t know me already, what you will figure out really quickly is that I am super high value and I’m all about providing lots of information to people because I want to help you avoid all the pitfalls that I had to pick myself up out of.

If you are not identity service provider and you’re a coach or of course creator or consultant or something like that, I offer a free matchmaking service to help you find a virtual assistant and online business manager or a social media manager fit for your business. So if you had over to Sarah wiles.ceo, you will see in the work with me, drop down, there is a little button there that says matchmaking and it is a completely 100% free service. If you’re looking to find an amazing done for you service provider, fill in that form. It’ll take you about five minutes and it’ll give me everything that I need to respond back and find a great match for you.

Thanks y’all for having me.