We’ve got another Student Success Story to share with you here at Horkey HandBook!
Why share student stories you ask? Great question!
We love featuring folks who took Gina’s 30 Days or Less courses and actually got serious about working on their freelance career. Every story in the series is a little bit different because they’re real journeys, and everyone is on a unique path.
This week we’re featuring Elizabeth Neumann, a Canadian virtual assistant, who also happens to be the author of one of our most popular guest posts so far about growing an online business while dealing with health issues.
Elizabeth shared some really exciting news about her business in a recent update. Read on the check it out!
Name: Elizabeth Neumann
30 DOL VA Course enrollment date: November 2015
Business Launch Date: Spring 2016
Hired by first client: Fall 2016
Hours worked per week: Client work 45+ hours, marketing, training, connecting 15-25 hours
Top niches: Digital Marketing Strategy and Implementation, general VA tasks.
Hi, Elizabeth! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Canada, and one of my biggest passions is traveling.
When I travel, I enjoy taking in as much of the culture as possible, trying new things and exploring. I find it pushes all of us out of our comfort zone. I’ve always been a lifelong learner and curious to always explore more.
Since 2010, I’ve experienced health issues (low ferritin = fatigue, weakness, etc.) which eventually led me to find out about online business and how it was a solution in taking better care of my health. So my learning started to focus on everything to do with starting my own business online which brought me to leave my job in Spring 2016.
I ended up creating two separate businesses. The first one involves teaching Beginner Spanish online and the second one is offering social media strategy/management and virtual assistant services.
Nowadays, my focus is on growing my businesses, feeling better and looking at more travel opportunities.
Having my own businesses online helped bring me back to being able to live my life fully again and work towards my lifelong goals!
What’s your business about?
I started by offering Virtual Assistant services but have expanded to also offer social media strategy/management. I create personalized packages for each of my clients depending on what they need.
Since I am continuously upgrading my skills, I’ve expanded to offer Facebook ads and funnel building to entrepreneurs and business owners.
If you’re still not sure what virtual assistant services you can offer, we’ve put together a list of over 150 services that webpreneurs need help with.
How did you decide to start freelancing as a virtual assistant?
As I was learning about online business, I started to see people mention the term “VA” and I found out it meant Virtual Assistant. As I understood more about it, I saw that I could become one based on my work background.
When I found Gina’s 30 Days or Less to VA Success course, I knew right away that I wanted to take it. I knew that it would help tremendously by giving me the path to learn and action steps to implement.
There are also so many other reasons why I started freelancing, apart from my health concerns.
Other reasons concentrate on having the freedom to live my life as I want to, including working when I want, how much I want and from wherever I want. I saw that freelancing gave me the chance to get income quickly, keep learning, work with great clients and help others grow their business while having the chance for unlimited income potential.
It also gave me control over my time and to work towards my never-ending goals.
How quickly did you get your course investment back?
I made back the money in about five months.
What was your biggest fear before you started your business?
My main fear was that it would take a long time to have sufficient income coming in.
I had taken business training in the past for creating a location-based business, so I knew that in those cases it can take years to be profitable.
As I learned about creating an online business, I started to understand how different it was since the starting expenses are much, much lower. You can also use free and low paying options to start and upgrade as income comes in.
It also helped that I read many blogs and listened to a lot of podcasts when I was first learning about the online business world. I became familiar with examples of monthly income breakdowns and the need for virtual assistants.
I saw that it was completely possible to get clients quickly to start and be able to grow from that point.
What was the most challenging part about starting your business?
Getting a website done was a challenge since I had no knowledge of how to create one myself. I had heard of expensive pricing, so at first I didn’t consider hiring someone and thought I needed to know coding to do one myself.
How did you overcome this challenge?
At the start of learning about online business, I had joined an online business group coaching program. I was also beginning to network with other entrepreneurs.
One day, one of them offered to do my Spanish language lessons website for a price that I found reasonable. She even explained and recorded short videos on how to publish my blog posts on WordPress and make small changes.
When I decided to start offering VA services as a separate business, I wanted to learn how to do my own website, so I found an Udemy course, searched for answers online and in Facebook groups and looked at my Spanish language lessons site as an example.
YouTube videos helped a lot. So did Gina’s 7 Days or Less to Branded Website Success free tutorial.
I ended up creating my current social media strategy/management and VA site myself and continue learning whenever I want to make changes. As a bonus, it’s been helpful to be familiar with WordPress since I’ve been able to do WordPress tasks for clients.
What has been your biggest success so far?
My biggest success has been to leave my full-time job in 2016 and know that I can continue to grow my business to significantly outgrow my previous income.
What was your highest paying project?
So far, the best paying have been my social media management monthly retainer packages.
What are you looking forward to in your business?
This year, I’ve been working on becoming more focused, growing at a faster rate and seeing how close I get to starting to work on future goals.
What are you working on right now?
I’m focusing on obtaining clients who are looking for someone to do the creation, targeting and managing of their Facebook ads and/or build their funnels using Clickfunnels.
[Update September 2019]
What is Elizabeth up to these days?
She’s been making things happen with her business and is getting ready to scale from her solopreneur business to an agency model! 👏
As she’s embarking on this next leg of her journey we had a few follow-up questions for her…
What’s going well with your business?
I’m working with amazing clients who have businesses that create life-changing results for their clients! And, I’m continuously increasing my skills through both training and client work, so I’ve been able to focus more on what I really like to do.
Any challenges these days?
It’s definitely a challenge balancing out my time since there’s so much to do! I still have yet to build up my own marketing, but it’s on the list.
What are you working on next in your business?
I’m creating a small agency to expand my service offerings for new clients. I’m putting time aside over the next few months to make that happen, so stay tuned!
Elizabeth Neumann thrives on being challenged by working on different projects and constantly expanding her skills. She offers Social Media Strategy/Management and Virtual Assistant Services to online entrepreneurs to assist them with their ever-growing to-do lists as they expand their business.