Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Diana Schneidman
Publisher: Stand Up 8 Times
“My approach helps you put in place the basic tools you need to start marketing yourself and your services immediately. Yes, right now, as soon as you finish reading this book,” Diana Schneidman touts in her manual, Real Skills, Real Income: A Proven Marketing System to Land Well-Paid Freelance and Consulting Work in 30 Days or Less.
At two hundred and thirty pages, this paperback targets those looking for ways to work at home, mainly by marketing their consulting or freelancing expertise and skills. Written more for writers, advisors, or virtual assistants, the book is geared toward those who have computer skills, marketing knowledge, or writing capabilities. It is not for all types of work-at-home jobs.
After an introduction with the author’s personal story of losing job after job, she promotes thirteen reasons why to go “solopro” by starting one’s own business as a freelancer or consultant. With eight chapters of steps that each end with bullet point notes, the book concludes with two appendixes about emailing and virtual assistants, acknowledgments, index, the author’s biography, and other contacting information.
Promoting to start a business involving something already known, the author suggests ways to find the right niche. With having self-confidence and self-knowledge, one learns marketing is the key to obtain and keep clients.
Schneidman offers suggestions of what to say when cold calling or emailing, where to find prospect lists, and not to write handwritten notes. It is suggested making fifty phone calls per day, totaling a goal of one thousand calls a month to glean clients. Her three ways to bill an account cover charging by the hour, by project, or by value yet never accepting a fee under twenty-five dollars per hour. In addition to determining rates for services, how to discuss the topic with prospective clients is noted.
By including a fifteen step checklist of starting a business in one day, her encouragement and advice are often provided, reminding not be overwhelmed and learn to say no to unwanted, unnecessary, or low paying projects. The final chapter lists seventeen marketing tools to avoid such as no business plan, marketing research, networking meetings, or newsletters.
Although the book does not involve complete start-up concepts such as obtaining a business license (some states have this requirement), opening a business checking account, or setting up a home office, the author is spot on for any virtual assistant who wants to start a business or increase their workload.
Thanks to the author for furnishing this book for free in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.