Tips for Becoming an Online Entrepreneur: Working at Home as a Parent Coach for Selling Online
Today's "I Want to Be" Series features Jessica , a work-at-home guru and owner of Artistic Creative Mommy, a resource for parents who want to succeed in an online sales business. She has 2 little girls, a 4yr old and a 1yr old, and she is also expecting her third child sometime next year. Find out how to connect with Jessica at the end of this article.
How long have you had your business?
I have been working from home since 2008. I started out doing different freelance jobs on oDesk and selling on eBay, helping with a friend’s Etsy shop, and selling on eCrater. I have an internet marketing certificate and always stay up to date on what works along the lines of white hat techniques and what doesn’t; this helped me in all aspects that I am doing. I got into my own main business, Artistic Creative Mommy in August of 2011 with the goal to help other work at home parents.
What led you to pursue this business?
In August of this year (2011) I was in a rut and almost decided to go look for a job outside of the home which isn’t really what I wanted to do, but I just wasn’t doing something I was passionate about online for work and I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. Then I gained a client that also became my mentor, I still work for them doing writing and editing stuff, from there is where I came up with my Artistic Creative Mommy business. The business is based on me paying it forward and being that selling online coach/mentor for outlets like eBay, Etsy, and eCrater to help other work at home parents help their family out by generating that second income that is in the economy now so much needed. For the first time in my life I am passionate about what I am doing and it has helped me to gain my creativity back to start doing my self-published works and homemade items that I will start selling on Etsy. It has really been a blessing in disguise, and I hope to help many parents and even other individuals that want to be successful at selling online.
Are you full time or part time? If part-time, do you anticipate switching to full time?
I am what I would like to classify "full time", as I work freelance work still for the main client that became my mentor and also my own business -- with the combination of the two, it equals out to full time. I work Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm, but it is flexible times, unless I have scheduled things with individuals.
How do you market your business?
I use social sites that everyone knows, mom social sites, blogging on my website, article submissions, classified ads, Facebook ads off and on, and your basic SEO.
What is your favorite part of the business?
My favorite part would have to be two things: One being the creativity part that I have by being passionate about it and helping others. The second would be the fact that I am able to be home with my kids, which gives me the same situations that most of the people I help through my coaching/mentoring that are in. Both things help me to be what I like to call more personally close and connect with those individuals. (Which to me is better than being money driven in your business.)
What one question do you get most from people about your business?
There are some aspects of my coaching/mentoring that I have base fees for, and a lot of the time I will get emails asking if I can work along their budget since they can’t afford those base fees.
What one myth or misconception do you want to dispel about your work?
I really like this question because it allows me to answer the question that I get asked a lot about my business. I know there are a lot of coaches out there in different niches within the work-at-home parent field and even outside that field, that are all in it for the money more so then what they are saying that they can provide you with. I am the total opposite; yes, I do have base fees for my services. But if an individual contacts me asking if I can work with the budget that they have if they can’t afford my base fees, my answer is always "yes". (I ask them what their budget is, along with a few other questions, and I take a day or two to look at what I can do with their budget to help them and then send them a no-obligation quote for that budget.
A lot of the time I give them a few extra bonuses at no cost, because I believe that they could really be beneficial from it. To me it means more if I am helping them then what I am making off of them. Some may think that I am losing out on money or cutting myself short in what I am worth, but, to me, I really am not -- it brings in more business through word of mouth or more returning clients (whom I would rather call "partners" as it seems more personal, but do not want people getting confused with what they are getting involved with when they are working with me) than most other coaches out there just in it for the high dollar turn around.
What advice do you have for others who want to get into a similar opportunity?
My main advice is just to pick something that you can continually stay passionate about from day one until no end. If you do not do that, business will be short-lived as you will lose interest and the drive to continue it.
What is the first step?
First and foremost make sure that you are doing what your passion is or it will be a waste of time. I wrote up a free ebook for anyone that signups for my newsletter that gets into more detail on finding out what your passion is. Than the next step is to do your research. Find out what the market is like for the niche you want to get into, competition, and read up on how the well known expects in that field are doing it as you can learn from them both good and bad.
What websites or books do you recommend for tips?
There are no specific websites that I would recommend as each niche you may want to get into will be different, but looking at the well-known people of the niche you want to get and see what they are doing on their website and talking about. I learned from what I stated a bit ago, and I found a mentor that really made a difference. I did do a search for an ebook that explained in some way how to be an online coach/mentor, and I just couldn’t find anything. So I decided to work on one, which I am doing now, and hope to have it done by January so I can help more people out.
What is your website? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?
My website is www.artisticreativemommy.com