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Dawn Shuler

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About Dawn Shuler

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    Regular Member
  • Birthday 10/21/1971

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  • Location
    Myersville, Maryland, United States
  • Interests
    I adore creating and finishin projects, as well as finding my artistic side through quilting, cross-stitching, and drawing mandalas. When I can get out, I love to hike, especially in the mountains. :)

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  1. I would also suggest that you take a look at what you love to do and what jazzes you. As Lily mentioned, you may get bored if you're doing your skill set, and it's one that doesn't light you up. I do an exercise with my clients based on Gay Hendricks's book, The Big Leap. In it, he talks about how there are four zones: Zone of Genius, Zone of Excellence, Zone of Competence, and Zone of Incompetence. His contention, with which I believe wholeheartedly, is that we will be more fulfilled and successful if most of what we do is in our Zone of Genius. I would take all your work (and maybe even non-work) tasks and place them in the appropriate zone... then build your business around your Zone of Genius. Good luck! Dawn
  2. I couldn't live without Snipping tool!!! I use it all the time - from creating graphics, to doing screen shots for my Operations Manual, to sending something to my website designer to explain what the heck I'm talking about. It's an essential tool for me! Dawn
  3. I use morguefile all the time - they have decent images.
  4. And the fear never goes away. You keep growing, evolving, morphing, learning... and all that takes you out of your comfort zone (which is a GOOD thing). I just do a virtual blinders on (sometimes I actually put my hands up to the side of face like I'm blocking out anything from the side) and keep my eye on the action in front of me. The method I have found to be extremely helpful in increasing my visibility and credibility (and getting clients) is to produce valuable content, speak, and attend networking events - and then FOLLOW UP! I know it's an obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people do NOT follow up. The money is IN the follow up! I hope this helps and good luck!
  5. I like this site: http://www.123rf.com/. The last time I used it you could buy credits as you go, so hopefully that will still work for you!
  6. That's exactly what you need to be looking at - the big picture. Yes, you may be bringing in more revenue gross than any other client, but the cost to you is not worth it. You've probably heard it before, but it bears repeating often, that when you get rid of an energy drain, it opens up the way for something more positive to come in. Take care, Dawn
  7. Linda - I'm so sorry to hear about your mom, and congratulations on getting back on track. Best of luck and success to you!
  8. As others have said, Tawnya did a great job with breaking down the options. To add - or emphasize - make sure you get a deposit if you're doing anything other than retainer. Have the client put down some money (I usually base it off about 2-3 hours' at your base rate, or $250 - nothing smaller than $250). Then, the client can work off that amount. You need to get paid something first - as it solidifies trust between the two of you. My opinion, anyway. Good luck!
  9. You also need to look at your highest grossing clients, and it sounds as if your newer clients are surpassing him. I have a coaching client who only paid $550 total last year. The year before, we did much more business together. As much as I love this client and love working with her, bending over backwards (because she was grandfathered into my coaching fee from years ago) isn't worth it. If my revenues from her were higher, then I might reconsider. But at this point, if she wants to renew, she'll have to sign up for one of my coaching packages. I doubt she will, AND based on my financial review, it won't be that much of a loss. This is a long-winded example to show how looking at your highest grossing revenue streams sometimes puts decisions into perspective. And it sounds like you've already decided to move on. Good for you!
  10. I don't know how many of you do this, but I just did the most comprehensive end-of-year review of my business (after 13 years of being in business) that I've ever done. I have to tell you that it was empowering! Even if some of the numbers weren't what I would like, I could look at them objectively, and understand why they were what they were. Then, I made strategic plans based on the review, as well as put into place a weekly business review system. If you don't have something like this in your business, I highly recommend it!
  11. Tawnya, I've heard of Blab, but, believe it or not, I'm not a huge jump-on-the-newest-technology kind of gal. It's actually unusual that I have even tried Periscope. I usually like to see how things pan out and then if I think they're stable, I'll jump on. I know that means I lose out on some benefits of early adopters. All that being said, since one of my goals is to get more exposure and visibility, I will add Blab to my list of to-do's! Thank you! Dawn
  12. From more of a coaching/consulting perspective, I've been considering using Periscope from the standpoint of open office hours - come ask me a question, get feedback, etc. You show your expertise and your value.
  13. I agree wholeheartedly with Danielle and Tawnya. I would like to add that as you figure out your specialty and niche (because you do need to differentiate yourself from all the other VAs out there!), THAT is a great place to write content for your blog. How-to articles and videos, tips, top 10 lists, and just writing about that particular skill, expertise, specialty that you have - and how it benefits your clients. Plus case studies, stories, infographics... Your blog doesn't have to be full-fledged articles. Videos are a fabulous and very hot content medium! Good luck!
  14. Along with what Tawyna suggested, I would add be very clear on the top 3 services you offer (your particular value and skillset) and then create content around those (tips, how-to's, exercises, etc.). Share those freely with people so that they can see the value that you bring - and how you are different from the other VAs out there. Good luck!
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