Guest Post by Estelle Townshend
Are you working a normal job AND planning a retreat? Finding that it is almost impossible to promote and market your retreat all by yourself? Sometimes we don’t have the extra money to hire a local to help us with our marketing, but there are other affordable options!
When I decided to build my website, www.stronginathong.com there was so much to do. I had to design the website, deal with SEO, create lots of engaging content, interview women, and so much more. I needed someone to do my coding for me and help me with other technical things that I didn’t’ have time to learn. When I learned about some great outsourcing tools, I saved so much of my valuable time and was able to concentrate on the things that I am best at. When that worked so well for my website and I decided to partner on a retreat, I used the same outside resources and have found them to be extremely helpful.
Some people don’t like the idea of outsourcing because they are afraid of giving out their information or they feel like they are underpaying people. For security purposes, there are ways to track your VA (virtual assistant). When working with oDESK for example, their software will take screenshots periodically of your VA working so you can keep track of their use of time and your money). There is also the option through your website to give your VA limited access to certain accounts. It is completely safe, so leave those worries at the door. I have built great working relationships with both of my virtual assistants and always make sure that I take care of them. Here is a summary of two tools that have saved me hundreds of hours.
oDesk is a market place where you can find your perfect virtual assistant. These are skilled assistants from all over the globe. They specialize in everything under the sun. If you need someone who is a ninja at creating FaceBook advertisements, there is someone who specializes in just that. If you need someone who can make phone calls for you, there is someone for that as well. Hire as much and as little help as you need.
How does it work?
You create a job description for what you need, the price range you are a looking for, the time frame you need it completed in, requirements for the job and any other extra details you need. You can choose a “fixed” price, which is when you pay an assistant per project or you can choose to pay them by the hour. Personally, I pay them per project because it is much easier to manage that way. No one is wondering if it really took seven hours to write that report.
What do I use it for?
I use Willy (my Indonesian virtual assistant) for everything. He has designed business cards for me, done coding for my website, helped me with flyers, he completed all my SEO (search engine optimization) and has done lots and lots of market research for me. Why waste time trying to figure out what other people are charging for their retreats? Let your virtual assistant do that. He was able to create a spreadsheet of almost fifty other people doing similar retreats as mine, and I was able to see what they were offering and how much they were charging. Market research can take up a lot of time. Why focus your energy on that, when you could be spending more time talking to people about your retreat!
Fiverr is a one stop shop for any quick service you need done for only five dollars. These are usually one time “gigs” when you need someone to do something very specific for you. Need a flyer designed? Someone will do it for five bucks. That’s right, nothing is more than five dollars on this great website.
How does it work?
If you are looking for someone to create an amazing flyer for your retreat, type in “flyer” in the search box, and anyone who provides that service will pop up. They have examples of their work, add ons that they provide for their services (such as front and back business cards, instead of just one sided) and how long it will take. The site also shows you how many other people are ahead of you and will give you an approximate time frame for what you want done. Once you have picked someone, you ask to hire them for a “gig” and they will send you an email with what information they need. Many people will even give you the option of “unlimited” modifications for a product. That literally means that someone will re-do your business card until you are satisfied – for five dollars
What do I use it for?
I use Fiverr for any quick service that I need done. Business cards, flyers, video editing, logo design for my retreat bags and even some copy writing. Quite often, you find someone who designs your business cards and find out that they also design logos or flyers. Finding someone who fits your style and understands your vision, is key to a successful relationship.
If you find yourself staying up till one in the morning tryng to figure out how to use Photoshop to edit your flyer – please just try this. Five dollars on Fiverr or a few bucks on oDesk are not going to break your bank. Give yourself the flexibility to be working on the things that you are best at, and leave the rest to your new VA.
About the Author:
Estelle is the creator of website, stronginathong.com – A Women’s Health and Fitness blog. She is a certified CrossFit instructor and a previous collegiate rower. Her passion lies in finding, sharing and learning about women’s health and motivating others to make life changes. She has partnered with a Houston Yoga teacher, to put on a Women’s Fitness Retreat in Bali, Indonesia this April and May. A 7 day fitness retreat that includes HITT workouts, sunset/sunrise yoga sessions, full healthy meals, day trips, massages and spa days! Being half Indonesian, Estelle hopes to show visitors the true magic that Bali has to offer.