virtual assistant

Emily Woodruff/

MOXIE ASSIST

Virtual Assistant Services

for Female Photographers Like You

The Importance of Establishing Your Brand

I’ve learned many lessons throughout my time as a female entrepreneur, but one thing that I have learned as my business has shifted, is that each shift is different– *but* no matter the difference, each shift was made easier with effective branding. As people, we do not just stay the same. We evolve, we grow, we change. Because businesses are run by these ever-changing people, it stands to reason that businesses might evolve as well. Join me as I talk about the importance of establishing your brand and knowing when to rebrand, especially when it comes to a timely PIVOT!

Pivot! Pivot! Pivot!

If you are picturing Ross from Friends, then we can be friends. This word has almost become a cliché in business, but cliché or not, something that will always be true in owning your own business is knowing when to pivot and how to do so successfully.

Emily, what do you mean, “pivot in business?” Thanks for asking!

business branding

You remember the little pandemic that halted everyone in their tracks in 2020? Yeah, in this episode I walk you through the changes that my business has gone through the years. A prime example of pivoting, or shifting focus in business, was when the pandemic hit. Was it fun? No. Does it have to be painful? Also, no.
I’ve learned many lessons throughout my time as a female entrepreneur, but one thing that I have learned as my business has shifted, is that each shift is different– *but* no matter the difference, each shift was made easier with effective branding. As people, we do not just stay the same. We evolve, we grow, we change. Because businesses are run by these ever-changing people, it stands to reason that businesses might evolve as well. Join me as I talk about the importance of establishing your brand and knowing when to rebrand, especially when it comes to a timely PIVOT!

business podcast

The Importance of Establishing Your Brand No Mercy Business Podcast with Emily A Woodruff

Transcript

 0:00  
If you're a female entrepreneur and you're looking for community, encouragement and empowerment in your journey as a small business owner, this is the podcast for you. Tune in with me as we interview women from all over the world on different walks in their business journey. We'll hear about their highs and their lows, their struggles and successes. They'll share tips and tricks and tutorials on how to grow your business. So pull up a chair and turn the volume up as we share the nitty gritty of female entrepreneurship, with no filters, no scripts, no judgment, on the no mercy business podcast.

 0:49  
Hello, hello, I am so excited to be with you today. And I just want to thank you so much for sticking with me through this entire journey. So far, I have had such great opportunities to meet with new women all over the world and all over this country.

1:09  
More than I ever imagined, would come to my doorstep have have reached out to me and have wanted to connect. And honestly, I was really overwhelmed with it. Initially,

1:21  
I did a couple dumb things with my schedule that I will never do again. And I will probably do an episode about in in the future. But for now, I just want to take a minute to first of all, just say thank you so much for being here. And for your likes and your comments and your

1:42  
subscribes and everything that you do. Thank you so much for reading me on

1:48  
Apple podcasts. If you haven't done it, it literally takes one minute if you go on your Apple device, I think that's the only way to do it. If you go on your Apple device and look up the No Mercy business podcast.

2:01  
And then scroll to the bottom where there's reviews, you can just scroll you know, hit however many stars, you want to rate me five, five.

2:13  
Or you can leave a comment and give me stars, whatever you want to do. If you do that, it literally takes like less than a minute, it's super simple. It is so incredibly helpful for me, and my podcast to be

2:29  
ranked a little bit higher, and shown to a couple more people every week when you do this. So I appreciate it in advance. And thank you so so much. Um, there's a couple of topics that I wanted to talk about. If you are on my email list, you've heard a little bit about this. But I would like to dig into it a little bit more.

2:48  
If you listen to this podcast frequently, you might have started to see a little bit of a change in the graphics. If you follow me on Instagram or on Facebook, you definitely have noticed that my name has changed. And my branding has changed. So that's a big deal for me as somebody who is a logo and branding designer. And I can't just sweep it under the rug and pretend like it hasn't happened. So the first thing I want to talk to you guys about is my brand change. And then I want to talk to you a little bit later about when it's time for you as a small business owner as an entrepreneur, to hire a virtual assistant.

3:34  
So let's dig into the first topic. So if you are an OG follower, if you have been here from day one

3:43  
of my business of my photography journey, first of all, thank you, I appreciate you. And I know that some of you were just here as support. Because when I started in the beginning,

3:57  
I some sometimes it was hard to believe that people were giving me money. You know, but I've learned a lot over the years and I've grown and I think that my work definitely shows that showcases that. I actually shared a post a couple of weeks ago when I got back from a wedding in Chicago. In showed. It's my dear dear friend Heather. She's one of my best friends and she's basically my sister.

4:21  
I've known her since seventh grade. Her daughter is my god daughter.

4:26  
We've just been through everything together. Everything you can possibly imagine. We have encountered so anyway, I showed a picture from I believe it was only six years ago, but showed a photo from six years ago where I took pictures of her and her daughter. And then I showed a picture from this year of her at her wedding. Maybe her and her daughter I don't remember.

4:53  
It just showed how different things are and how much I as a photographer have grown and how much I

5:00  
You can see it and I hope that you can see it. Um, so anyway, just thank you so much for being here. That's, that's a little rabbit trail that we are not going down today because time is of the essence.

5:15  
So what I'm getting at is that I, initially I started my business, and I'm going to take you through my branding journey, and tell you about how things have migrated throughout the years. And I think that this is super important, because everybody always asks, that is the number one question that I get when I'm interviewed on other podcasts or other shows, when is the right time to brand. And I tell people all the time, the right time to brand it the right time to brand and rebrand is now

5:49  
if you are thinking that your business is making a shift, if your business no longer serves the client base that it used to, if your business is doing something that it never used to do before, the time is now. And if you are new, and you don't have a real brand, then the time is now to get one established. So back in the OG days, my business was called Emily Herkner, photography, partners my maiden name, I was very creative, I spent a lot of time coming up with my business name, as you can probably guess, I'm just kidding. And it was just something really simple. I was really stuck in the in the idea that I didn't even know if I really truly even wanted to pursue photography as a second revenue for myself. I was just coming out of I gave myself three years, this is how I decided to become a business. I gave myself three years of making a certain amount of money.

6:59  
And if I could do that consecutive consecutively for three years, and it wasn't just like my friends coming to me. It had to be coming from other people that I didn't know. And from referrals and things like that, then I was gonna invest in making my happy a business. Well, it happened.

7:19  
And when it happened, I was like, Okay, well, I made this kind of like, vowed to myself that if this happens, like I want to do things by the book, I like rules. If you know me personally, you know that I like rule. I mean, I like to follow rules.

7:37  
Depending on how well you know me,

7:42  
you will learn that like I like rules, but I don't like people to give me

7:48  
if that makes sense, like so whatever. That's yet another story for another day. But so I like rules. I like to I like to follow the law. I like to follow what I'm supposed to do. I like to do what I'm told and check the boxes and do things the right way. You know,

8:04  
I don't like to slip under the radar or do things that are not, right. Not ethically right. Not morally right. So to me, if I were to continue to accept people's money for photography, then I needed to be a real business and I wasn't gonna do photography for not money. You know, I wasn't going to just do it for free. And at the time in my life where I was at, that was the only thing that I needed. I didn't need to swap for an accountant and I didn't need to swap for somebody to like, pay me in plants and landscaping or clothes or what you know, other things that I've done over the years to make up for making a regular payment, you know,

8:51  
I needed the cash. So it became a second revenue for me.

8:57  
I went through I established my LLC, I got an EIN I got a separate bank account. I you know, got on Vistaprint and ordered some cards and I picked up my favorite color and made it a logo. And that was Emily Woodruff. Emily, sorry, sorry, Emily Herkner photography, it's so hard to even say that name anymore. Um,

9:18  
I've I've only been married for like seven years, seven and a half years. But it feels like Herkner was so so long ago.

9:26  
I'm sorry.

9:28  
So that leads me to my next name change. When I got married. I could no longer be Emily Herkner photography. I was very adamant about taking my husband's name when we got married and changing it on all platforms and doing all those things. I actually, when I was an administrator for my church denomination. I had somebody who was on this board with me I was, gosh, what was I? The second

10:00  
or Terry, or I don't even know what my role was I had so many stinking roles. But oh, no, she was the secretary. So she was taking the notes for our meeting. And she would write my name as Emily Herkner Woodruff. And I told her several times, that is not my name, that person does not exist. Don't write my name this way. And she would say, Well, I think it's easier for everyone else, to see the transition for a couple months, and then I'll change it to Woodruff. And my responses. I don't care about everyone else. name is Emily Woodruff. So she changed it and never made that mistake again.

10:46  
So with that being said,

10:49  
Sorry, I'm sitting in a horrible way,

10:52  
recording my podcast, recording my podcast, in the dumbest place possible. But that's okay. I'm home alone today. And I have an empty house. So I'm really taking advantage of being cozy and snuggling with my dogs while I do this.

11:14  
That's where we're at today, we're not holed up in a closet, anywhere sitting on a hard chair.

11:23  
Forgive me while I take a sip.

11:27  
So getting back on track,that train derailed.

11:36  
So when we got married, I took my husband's last name. So obviously, my business changed to Emily Woodruff photography. But it didn't like how simple that change was. So I made it Ew, P, which is also incredibly crafty.

11:56  
I'm really good at coming up with names if you can't tell. Um,

12:01  
but no, I, I kept it basically the same. Because I was offering the same services, I was doing the same thing. I didn't need a totally different brand. It just was a different name.

12:12  
When I did determine that I needed a new brand was after COVID hit

12:18  
when COVID hit.
12:21  
Most of you have probably heard the story at this point. Or some of you if you haven't, welcome to The Club. It's a great story. So when COVID hid. First of all, I'm from Michigan. So we had several rules.

12:37  
We were put on one of the strictest lockdowns in the United States, if not the entire world.

12:45  
There were services suspended. Like we couldn't get haircuts, we couldn't buy gardening supplies, in the same stores that you could buy groceries from.

12:58  
You couldn't

13:00  
go to fast food restaurants anymore, but they could deliver to you. And you couldn't. I don't know, I don't want to go down the COVID train. But

13:10  
one of the other things that we couldn't do was photography, and totally understand.

13:18  
Because at that point, we we didn't know everything about it that we do now. Um,

13:25  
there was a lot of fear of being very close to people, obviously.

13:30  
Most of what I did was outdoors anyway, so it seemed really extreme to me, because if I'm out, if I'm outdoors doing photography, I'm more than six feet away from you 99% of the time.

13:44  
And if I was going to be close, it wasn't going to be for 15 minutes or longer, you know. So it was it was really extreme for a service like mine didn't really apply. I could totally understand if I was doing newborn photography. If I'm physically in your face like having to touch you and move you and shape you like you do a newborn but that's just not my jam. I actually did one under the radar kind of secret. We opened both garage doors and like it was really really early on when when this happened. So we were a little bit scared at scaredy cat about it, but we made it work.

14:29  
Anyway, this is a really difficult podcast, I guess. So thanks for having me. Um,

14:38  
so

14:40  
when COVID hit it basically depleted my entire business because because Michigan was no longer allowed to offer photography services. This went on for a couple of months. I really can't give you the dates. I don't remember what it was.

15:00  
I launched a couple like, just really small, I say launched, I offered a couple of really small photography tutorials to like, kids who were stuck at home or stay at home moms who were trying to just get through their day and do something fun. And, you know, I kind of taught them how to use like a point and shoot camera and make the most of it. And I charged like $6 for the course. I had, like, you know, just a handful of people signed up for it wasn't like some big moneymaker, I was just trying to do something to stay relevant. And to stay, you know, connected with my clients. And then remember when everybody started, like painting their windows rainbows, or cutting out shapes and making different crazy cool looking rainbows on their houses? Well, I live in the middle of nowhere. Like, if you've looked on the bottom of your emails from me, you'll see that I live in D Ford.

15:56  
Literally people that live in D Ford are like why do I live here because there's nothing here. Um,

16:05  
it's fine. It's a great town. But so for us to participate in the rainbow thing and like try to spread some joy and spread some love and spread some excitement with people, it seemed really

16:19  
wasteful of my time and resources.

16:23  
Because we live at the, at the end of a debt on road.

16:28  
And our other neighbor, like our neighbor is us, we own two properties at the end of the day.

16:34  
So it seemed like it would just never be seen. So I turned my Facebook feed into a rainbow. And I started just featuring, you know, one day or one week, I don't remember how exactly, I think it was once a one week was red week. So any photos that I'd taken in the theme was red. I posted those everyday for a week.

16:58  
And then the next week was obviously orange and then yellow, and then went through the whole rainbow. So that now like if you scroll through my photos, you'll pick up on the rainbow feel, then it was just a fun way to try to connect. And that was really cool. But then after I did that, it was like everything was gone.

17:16  
There was no hope for my business, like I couldn't take anybody new on, I couldn't do anything. I was starting to fall into my own little COVID depression, I was back to work at my regular job.

17:31  
The kids were still homeschooled, then it was summertime. And it just was like, thing after thing after thing. And week after week, it was like I was buried further and further and further in the algorithms. I used to get, you know,

17:49  
10 or

17:51  
12 or 20, or, I don't know a good amount of likes, like for my posts. Every single time I would post something when COVID hit it went down to zero. Like if there was a negative button, I feel like I would have gotten that many people to respond negative people.

18:10  
So I knew that something had to change. And I didn't know what it was. And I was really devastated. Because I've really fallen in love with my business, and really fallen in love with the things that it provides for me and my family. We've taken trips that are totally funded by my business. I've paid off debt solely from my business. I have bought, I've paid for Christmas for our family, solely from my business.

18:38  
You know, not to say that our regular income has no impact. But it feels really cool, something that I'm doing 100% on my own.

18:47  
Being able to provide those things sometimes.

Unknown Speaker  18:51  
And I know that I'm not like a world renowned photographer, anything like that I'm not the best of the best. I'm definitely not the worst of the worst, but it's something that I love. And it's something I've really enjoyed doing. And to have it taken from me was really, really difficult. So

19:09  
last fall,

19:12  
I started dabbling in the world of printables. And I got really excited because there was a handful of clients who also also were very excited about them. And were paying me money to make them for them. And I was like, here it is, this is my retirement plan. This is what I'm going to do.

19:35  
Well, it didn't quite work like that. But it made a good transition from

19:42  
Emily Woodruff photography to Emily a Woodruff, which was my next brand. And this was intended to be a short term thing.

19:53  
And it

19:55  
it was really designed to be

19:59  
something done

20:00  
different than what I done before.

20:03  
I wanted people to know that there was a change, but obviously still be able to look at it and see that it was me.

20:14  
So my colors stayed the same. My theme sort of stayed the same. But I started limiting who I would even do photos of how many weddings I would take on

20:29  
how far I was willing to drive, what kinds of things I was really willing to invest my time into, in that really drove the change from Emily Woodruff photography to Emily Woodruff. I know it's confusing,

20:42  
because it's all my name, and it's all the same person. But those were my brands. And, and to me, there's a very significant change in each of these.

20:54  
So I was doing the digital thing, the digital downloads, the printables, excuse me.

21:04  
And

21:07  
it just felt like it wasn't

21:10  
enough, or it wasn't right.

21:14  
And I started,

21:18  
I started praying about it a little bit.

21:22  
In trying to understand like, what is this thing like, God, I can't believe that this business is over.

21:31  
Hearing him,

21:33  
you know, more than 10 years into it feels like I should really be thriving in this business now not not getting ready to pull the plug on it. What, what do I do? And I started,

21:47  
really, I started really like thinking about my skills and abilities. And I was like, Man,

21:55  
I just, I just don't know what it is like, I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing. I feel like I'm offering the best that I can. I'm doing the best that I can. Why is it not working? So I stopped, I stopped trying to convince myself that I needed to be doing something and I kind of just let it happen. And as people had requests, I started fulfilling them. And it turns out that

22:25  
I, you know, I was helping somebody here with their website, I was helping helping somebody over there with some processes for their business. I was helping somebody else make some organizational tools, you know, all these little things started piling up. And

22:43  
then then it felt like that was God finally responding to me. Or me, finally hearing God, I'll say it that way.

22:54  
I will be the first to admit that God could probably write me a letter and send it directly to Emily Woodruff attention, Emily Woodruff, for Emily Woodruff eyes only.

23:09  
And say what he wants to say like in plain letters, and I would probably

23:15  
just glaze it over and not think it was real or not, not processed at the way that he wants me to. I

23:25  
I will definitely be the first one to say that about myself. I tried so hard to figure things out. And

23:35  
sometimes I just miss it, man, it just miss it. Especially when it's something that is so obvious to me. So anyway, it felt like things were just really starting to line up. And when I considered this more, and I started praying about it again, and more, I realized that

23:57  
so

24:00  
in the church,

24:02  
there's a thing called spiritual gifts. And I'm not going to go super into this because I don't want to put you off more than you're probably put off by this very, very scatterbrained episode. But I think it's still really important so we're still gonna air it

24:20  
it's really important for my business, but this gets out there.

24:24  
So spiritual gifts are something that God

24:30  
gives you. It's, it's like your superpower.

24:36  
It's something that is supernatural. There's, there's no explanation for why you are so good at the things that you do. Or there's things that only you can do like

24:48  
there's some some things are things that you know, they just kind of click like, some people their spiritual gift is prayer, and it's because they are prayer.

25:00  
warriors, they will stop in their tracks. And if they see somebody who's struggling or having a rough day, they will say, girl, can we just step aside and pray together right now. And then they'll do it right then and there. And you know that they mean it. And you know that they want it. And they know that they are seeking God on a daily basis, and they are really warring for you in that moment, and probably after

25:24  
that makes sense, as a spiritual gift. There's other things that are like mercy and compassion. And those are things that I don't have, which I think we've talked about already, but if not, then we can talk about some more.

25:41  
And then there's things like teaching and

25:45  
pastoring as part of teaching. But I think that pastoring is kind of its own gift.

25:54  
There's hospitality, there's, there's all sorts of them. There's like 26, or 28, depending on what tests you take. It's basically like another kind of personality tests that you take. But it's, it's based around.

26:10  
Hey,

26:14  
yes.

26:18  
Around spiritual principles, or spiritual things. So it's something that corresponds with the Christian faith. So anyway, was my number one, my number one on every single test I've ever taken. And I took this, I've taken this test at 123, at least four different churches. I took it when I was 17. And I had just become a Christian. I took it when I was,

26:50  
like, 2122, and I was becoming a new member of a different church. I did it for our district, and I did it at the church that I belong to now. I'm certain that I've done it more, more times. But those are the most significant times. And probably the times that I took it the most serious.

27:09  
But anyway, every time I take those tests, my number one spiritual gift is administration. And I have never thought about it. For me, like I've always taken it and just been like, Well, yeah, I know, I'm good at that stuff. But I've never thought about the spiritual aspect of it. So when I started thinking about it, kind of, you know, this last fall,

27:34  
I started really thinking about how many times people truly come up to me and say, I can't believe

27:43  
I can't believe that you do all of this. How do you do this all? How do you know how to do this? Where did you get the training for this? Where did you learn how to do this? How long did it take you to learn how to do this sort of thing. And on and on and on. And I'm not saying that to brag on myself. I'm saying it because it truly is something that people will stop me people that I don't know, in, like when I say that I worked for for my district, I worked for our district. And then I also went to national conferences, and I have international friends, I have international colleagues that I've worked with, and those people know me, because of the way that I was able to work in that district. I made a name for myself within our denomination, which sounds interesting and funny. And it also feels like it was a lifetime ago.

28:37  
But people knew me

28:41  
by my gift of administration,

28:44  
and I had never looked at that as something that was God breathed.

28:50  
I looked at it as something that was like, Hey, you're really good at this. And it sounds like you could do something cool for the kingdom of God with it. Like, hey, you should just keep being the church administrator. Or you should be the one to print the Sunday bulletins or something like that. Like I didn't think that there could be something deeper to it. So this is all a giant mind.

29:17  
Explosion

29:19  
trying to keep profanities off here.

29:23  
You can swear but I don't want to. I'm

29:27  
trying to

29:30  
process this because here I am. I have a bachelor's degree in business administration.
29:38  
I have five degrees. All of them are related to business and management, office professionalism, things along those lines, like things that I've literally studied and things that I've gone to school for, and things that I've paid good money to private universities for. And here I am finally realizing that God has gift

30:00  
did me with these abilities. And I think that I would have been fine. To do the things that I'm doing now without the mounds of debt that I have without the schooling that I, I did, I think that God would have blessed me in them. In this arena, if I were to continue to pursue it

30:21  
in a godly fashion, if I would have tapped into it a little sooner and realize that it was something that he had called me to and design me for.

30:30  
So
30:32  
long, super long story short,

30:36  
this is where my new brand was, was built from.

30:45  
I wanted to

30:47  
I wanted to truly change my brand, my website, I wanted to change what people thought of when they thought of my business and what I do.

31:01  
I wanted to be able to make a shift in my wedding photography, and my, you know, just the different avenues that I have pursued as a photographer.

31:16  
And I wanted wanted to make it different.

31:23  
So

31:27  
I'm sorry, I'm doing too many things right now.

31:33  
So, in this transition,

31:37  
I started to really think about what words

31:41  
define me.

31:44  
And really also started listening to marketing, podcasts and joining marketing, Facebook groups and reading all the journals in the Pinterest pins in the, you know, I joined probably 85 different email newsletter lists to try to understand where I wanted to go with my brand. And so I incorporated the word assist, because I,

32:12  
I am slowly becoming a virtual assistant. I was slowly becoming a virtual assistant, I am one now, I would definitely call myself that now.

32:22  
And the other word in my my new name is Moxie. And Moxie is a word that I actually used to really dislike.

32:32  
It's an uncommon word.

32:35  
And I like it a lot now. So Moxie, defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is a force of character, determination, or nerve in the,

32:47  
to use it in a sentence that says, when you've got Moxie, you need the clothes to match. So what it really means is somebody who is energetic, who is happy, who's, who's courageous, who's determined, somebody who is

33:05  
not going to let something small, set you back and stop you from trying again, you're determined and you don't give up easily. You are somebody who has a fighting spirit. And the first time I really read the definition of it, in this pursuit of my new business name, man, it's like all of the lights went off. I felt like I hit the jackpot.

33:27  
And thus, Moxie assist was born.

33:32  
So Moxie Assist is my new brand.

33:37  
And you've noticed that most likely in my emails, on my Instagram, on my Facebook, anywhere that I can be found online on my Pinterest, anywhere that I can be found online. You've probably seen the change. I'm thrilled for this change because I really feel like it.

33:56  
It resembles me and it's in a way that I

34:01  
I love how much it speaks to me in the things that I do in in the type of person I am. The

34:11  
the passion and care that I put into my projects. Moxie is that word. Moxie is my word.

34:22  
I feel like it is more Emily Woodruff than the brand Emily Woodruff ever was. And I'm thrilled about that.

34:32  
So this episode is long.

34:38  
Why don't you go and refill your drink real quick and come back with me after this short little break.

34:49  
Real quickly, I just wanted to make sure that you have gotten your hands on the client password tracker. This is a totally free download for you to grab right from my way

35:00  
website, if you are starting your journey as a VA, if you are somebody who has your own business, and you need to keep track of all sorts of different logins and passwords and ways to get into your websites, absolutely, you should download this and utilize it today. Check it out at Emily a woodruff.com.

35:22  
Now, I realized,
35:25  
I realized that you can see the length of episodes when you sign up to listen to them. So if you didn't go refill your drink that's on you. We are shifting into the second part of this episode. And I promise it will be a little quicker because

35:42  
it just will.

35:45  
And I like to follow the rules again. So it definitely will be. So now that I've introduced Moxie assists to you, I want to talk to you, a small business owner and entrepreneur, a female

35:58  
boss, you know, girl, boss, whatever you want to call yourself, a woman in business, a girl in business, when is the right time for you to hire a virtual assistant? This is the number one number one question that I received. When I'm interviewed elsewhere, or when people are trying to understand my job or what it is that I do, or why I do it. They'll say Emily, when is the time to hire a virtual assistant.

36:26  
So I have talked about this on my Instagram. I have talked about it in my girls and business group. So now it's time that we talked about it here

36:36  
with my girls. So the very first thing that I recommend for you to audit your businesses for

36:45  
our there's there's three things The first one is when you are financially ready for consistent VA work.

36:54  
When that when that presents itself, you'll know because having a few good months isn't the right time. It's not the right time for you to hire VA, it's once you know that your finances are solid, you're booked out, you have plans for the future that are bound by contract in future clients. Knowing that your finances are steady, and will not fluctuate is the best time to add a person to your team, even as a freelancer.

37:21  
Now, if you are looking for a short term contract, this is a different scenario, one time or short term contracts are looked at more like expenses than an added Payroll Expense. So if you are having a good couple of months, and you are backlogged, I just did this actually the virtual assistant hired an assistant.

37:43  
If you are backlogged, it's the perfect time for you to say, hey, I need some help, I need to get pulled out of this hole of work that I have to do. I can hire you for two months or for four tasks or for you to edit X, Y and Z. And that's the that's the end. That's it. That's the beauty of virtual assistants is that you can hire somebody as a freelance long term position. Or you can do it for onesie twosie jobs.
38:12  
So number two,

38:16  
something to to audit your business for or to assess is when you have or you need processes, procedures and checklists for routine operations. So knowing the way that you run your business just isn't cutting it anymore, and that there has to be a better way to implement it is super important.

38:38  
A virtual assistant can help you to streamline your contract management, your invoicing, your email management, and so much more. They can help you manage your day to day interactions and documents to help you, the business owner just stay on top of your business instead of instead of continuing to drown. So when I talk about processes and procedures and checklists, I also mean for when you are hiring somebody new, even if it's not that VA, even if it's for somebody who is coming on as a full time employee, or if if you are a creative and you have a workflow for the person that you outsource your editing to, if you have a process that you want them to follow, which most creatives do, like if you're a photographer and you have somebody who's doing your editing for you, you want things to look a certain way. writing this down in a process makes everything so much smoother, not only for you, but for the person you're hiring. And for the end result because you won't have to explain yourself over and over and over and over again. If things don't work out with this editor, you can use that exact same process

39:52  
structure and share it with the next person and you don't have to exert any more energy other than typing up a new email to say hey,

40:00  
Take a look at my processes and procedures. And let me know what you think.

40:05  
It streamlines everything for you, you don't have to reinvent the wheel every single time you come across it, you don't have to worry if you've missed a step, or if you have included everything that you're supposed to. It's all done. And all you have to do is hit send. And the third thing that I would tell you to assess in your business, if you are thinking about hiring a VA is when you have too much of your creative work to process,

40:35  
a full administrative backlog

40:39  
when you have too much creative work to process and a full administrative backlog. So again, I'll just keep with the photography theme, because as we were talking about earlier, and that's what we were just talking about now. So if you are a photographer and it is the fall, or Christmas, or wedding season or whatever buku time of year, it is for you, whatever your busiest season is.

41:03  
I know those days where you are literally booked out, you have 20 people standing 20 Different families staying standing in front of you for many sessions.

41:15  
And you do this every Saturday of every month. Or if you're somebody who does this full time, you're doing this every day, for three months solid.

41:26  
Where in the world are you supposed to find the time to

41:31  
send out your invoices, send out your contracts, send out the actual client galleries once they're finalized, send out the follow up emails to make sure that people are seeing what great deals you have in your shop. When are you supposed to have the time to reach out and ask them for a referral or for testimony? Or to follow up and see if they want to turn their photos into a photo book.

41:58  
You know, a month and a half after their, their visit or right before Christmas? When are you going to find that time. If you are literally booked solid from nine to five every single day. And you're a mom. So you've got little kids running around or bratty teenagers running around?

42:18  
What are you supposed to find that time, if you if you have too much creative work in front of you to process your full administrative backlog, it's absolutely the time

42:32  
to hire a VA if your to do list is too full with the tasks that you hate doing, or you struggle with. And it's starting to impact the fun part of your job because you're so distracted and so caught up in Okay, I will send an email when I get back next Tuesday. You know, like you say I'll send an email right away, but you have six more clients in front of you. In real reality, it's going to be next Tuesday. And that's really far away.

43:03  
But, you know, like doing these things during the fun part of your job, is the reason that you left your nine to five and do this on your own. That's a really good time, that's a really good reason to hire a VA. So these are my top three checks, I would recommend that you look into your personal business audit

43:23  
before you bring on a VA. And I'm curious where you rank right now curious where you as a female entrepreneur would rank. If you were to do this audit for yourself today. I thank you so much for bearing with me through this super long episode. It's really important to me to share my journey as a branding

43:47  
designer to show you how my brand has developed and changed over the years. And what it means to me

43:54  
how important it is to me when I am branding a new companies.

44:02  
When I'm when I'm branding a new company, when I'm working with a new client who wants to change things, I want you to hear my passion behind my own work. And that's how I tackle every single job that I'm on. So thank you so much for being a part of this journey. And thank you for your time. Just one more quick little reminder to please please head over to my apple podcast page and give me a quick little review. I would love it so much and appreciate your time and energy there. So I hope you have an awesome day. And I hope that this was helpful. And if there are any other things that you are interested in hearing about please just shoot me an email. I would love to talk to you or talk about those topics sometime soon. Have a great day guys talk soon. Before we go I just wanted to reach out real quick. A lot of you have talked about starting your own podcast and you're just not sure where to start.

45:00  
I wanted to let you know that Libsyn is an awesome platform. And right now they have a great deal for you to join. If you use the code Woodruff WOD Are you FF, you can get in at a great rate and get started today. Feel free to shoot me an email or send me a message. If you have any questions I would love to walk you through starting on your own.

45:24  
Thanks for listening to the No Mercy business coaching and consulting podcast with Emily Woodruff. We specialize in branding and design for women, by women

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Don’t Stop Here

More To Explore

Honor Your Journey by Writing Your Story – Interview with Lanette Pottle

Did you know that reading more books is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions? Of the individuals who make that resolution, did you further know that most would prefer non-fiction? Move over Brene Brown , but the point I’m trying to make is– what if it was your name on the cover of that book? In today’s episode, Emily is talking to Lanette Pottle, an author and book coach for female entrepreneurs. “It’s like magic,” Lanette says, “writing your book boosts your authority.”