I have been busy. Real busy.
Just a few days ago I decided that maybe it was finally time to take the next step and look into hiring a person or even a group of people, that I could outsource some of my work to so that I could spend more focused time on the things I actually love to do and what I am best at.
A few months back, I was getting ready to hire an assistant to help me with some of the general kinds of admin tasks, however, after thinking it over for a bit, I realized that what I actually needed was someone who already knew how to do the things I do so they could "hit the ground running."
Pretty much everything I do is specialized and I just didn't have time to teach someone how to do what took me YEARS and YEARS to learn.
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That's when I realized that the person I end up hiring has to basically be a duplicate of me.
Someone who knows how to code, do SEO, work on WordPress, do graphic or website design work, do social media marketing, write well, blog, etc.
Since I have a hard time asking for help in the first place, plus I have pretty high standards when it comes to the little details, I really need to find someone who is experienced and knows their shit.
I AM WILLING TO PAY MORE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS REALLY GOOD AT WHAT THEY DO, CAN GET ME THE RESULTS I'M LOOKING FOR AND WHO IS A GREAT FIT, MEANING THEY VIBE WELL WITH MY PERSONALITY AS WELL AS MY AMBITION LEVEL.
And that's when the floodgates opened and all kinds of messages started pouring in. I suddenly found myself feeling even more overwhelmed than I did before.
The cool thing was that there were so many ladies out there willing and able to help me out, and they were easily accessible through my phone and laptop. Seriously, how awesome is that, that we can access anyone in the world at pretty much at any time?! Everyone really is online nowadays.
In just a few hours, I realized finding someone wasn't exactly going to be the challenge here. The challenge was that there were almost too many options... how the hell was I going to choose?!
I started by writing back to each and everyone one of them, because that's the polite thing to do and what I would have wanted. I let them know I had a lot of interest and so I'd be combing through everyone's emails over the weekend when I had some more time. I also told them that I'd try my very best to get back to each of them early the following week.
After that, I decided to make a list in Evernote (my go-to for creating and organizing my bajillion notes!)
The list had 3 categories:
- "Hell Yeah!"
I started going through all the emails they sent me, checked out their websites (if they had one) and started separating them into the three different categories of my list. Then I wrote down their names, their info and some notes about them.
This basically took me a good part of my weekend to do, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't just hiring anyone! The time investment to find the right fit was worth it to me for the long run, as I'm always strategizing and thinking about the long game!
As I was wading through all of this information, trying to decide between all the candidates, I started to notice a pattern in who I was considering and who I wasn't.
That's when an idea popped into my head and I thought, "This would make a great blog post!"
And the blog post you're reading right now is my idea coming to fruition. 😉
As a professional in branding, website design, and online marketing, I know a thing or two about making a great first impression and getting the word out there about you and your business. So I thought it might be helpful to give my readers some tips and advice on what to do (and what not to do!) if you want to STAND OUT against the competition.
The things I go over in this post are the things you might want to consider changing if you want to be able to:
- Build up your portfolio
- Build up your testimonials
- Gain more experience (so you can learn how to provide a better experience overall)
- Raise your rates
- Hustle less
- Stress less
- Attract more of the clients you've been dreaming of
- Work with better clients who respect you and your time
Not only all of that, but keep those high-end clients coming back for more, which means recurring revenue for you without the worry of how you'll be able to pay your bills next month! 😉
Your goal should prove to your dream client that you are the obvious solution to their problem in the quickest way possible.
To make the choice easy for them, you should have all of the things listed below prepared ahead of time, that way your dream client doesn't have to question anything, there's more trust right from the beginning and there will be less time and money wasted trying to figure out if you're actually worth it.
Are you ready to elevate to that next level!?
Here are 10 things I personally look for when hiring someone for high-end work...
1. Do you have a website?
If you don't have a website at all or you only use your free social media account to promote yourself, I am going to assume you are either:
1) Just starting out
2) You are just doing whatever it is you're doing as a side gig until you gain more experience
3) You don't take your business serious enough to invest in a website
Let me ask you a question, would you want to invest in someone who is just starting out and only doing this on the side?
Maybe you would if you were also just starting out, only had a small budget to work with and didn't yet understand the value of a professional brand identity and website.
But as a high-end client, I just don't have the time in my budget to fix the mistakes of someone less experienced, so I'd rather not even take the risk. My subconscious makes the choice for me here before I even get to know you.
What I do want?
- I want someone who does understand the value of having a professional-looking brand and website (ahem, after all, there's a damn good reason why I do what I do!)
- I want someone who has taken the time to create something that helps me not only learn more about them and what they do but also reflects their professionalism.
- I want someone who seems trustworthy, makes me feel special and is able to meet deadlines. I'm not interested in working with someone who is trying to juggle a million things, like another job(s), school, or a stressful family life.
Bottom line, if you don't have any kind of website whatsoever, I honestly just can't take you seriously.
And I'm going to put your name in the "Meh" category.
Sorry, I'm not sorry.
Related: Why Your Business Needs a Website
Which brings me to my next topic...
2. Do you have a real domain name for your website?
Ok, so you have a website, but did you actually purchase your own domain name and hosting? Or did you create your site on a free platform and have a domain name that looks kind of like this:
By having a real domain name (aka custom domain name) you're going to boost your credibility and professionalism instantly.
For example; yoursitename.com looks more straightforward and professional than yoursitename.wordpress.com, right?
If you have a free domain name, you're going seem less trustworthy and most people, including myself, are just not going to take you seriously.
A custom domain name is one of the smaller things you should be investing in, as it can speak volumes about you before people even land on your site.
Tip: If you are a new business and money is a bit tight, you could get a free custom domain name for your first year through GoDaddy.
3. Does your website function the way it should?
Ok, so you have a website at a custom domain name you purchased, but does your website function the way it should?
In other words, is it providing a good user experience?
Having a functional website with a good user experience means:
- It's easy to use
- It's easy to find things
- It provides value and serves a need
- People feel happy and not frustrated using it
- It feels trustworthy
If I can't view your website properly on my phone, if there are broken links that lead to nowhere, if your site loads slowly, if your forms don't work, etc. I'm probably going to bounce and move onto the next candidate.
4. Do you use correct grammar or have a lot of spelling errors?
If you don't take the time to pay attention to the details on your website (the thing that is available to everyone in the world 24/7!) how can I trust that you are going to pay attention to the details when I give you work?
I personally try to always spend a little extra time proofreading my stuff because I want to strive for excellence! If I'm going to hire you to do things I do, but I have to go back and fix stuff because you are a rusher/didn't pay attention to the small details, then frankly, you are wasting my time and money.
First impressions matter and if you have lots of spelling and grammatical areas on your site (ESPECIALLY on the home page/your storefront), I'm going to move on to someone who takes the time to create a more professional image of who they are and what they do.
Make sure you are communicating YOUR VALUE at every touch point as this will leave your audience with a more positive image of your brand!
Tip: Grammarly is a great tool to help you with spell checking!
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur."
5. Are the services you offer what I'm actually looking for?
You should be very clear on what services you offer, as this will not only make it easier for me to make a decision, but it will also mean less risk for me down the line in the event that you said you could do something, but then I come to find out you can't.
So for example, if I'm looking for someone who does SEO but your site says you are a virtual assistant with lots of customer service experience, that is not going to make me want to work with you. I'm not going to "give you a chance," especially because I already know how to do this and I know just how much goes into it. Plus, I just don't have the time to teach you.
Make sure you list out the services you actually provide and maybe only focus on the ones you are SUPER SUPER good at, instead of offering a million different things.
I personally used to list a million different services, which became quite overwhelming trying to keep track of them all. Once I got rid of them all and created just one signature package, I was able to get booked out 6 months in advance and increase my package price by almost triple!
Tip: If you have packages, list out exactly what's included in each and give a price! I'm less likely to contact you if I have no idea what you are going to be charging... I don't have time to waste and I want to know what to expect up front. I'm all about efficiency, after all!
6. Do your prices reflect your value?
Low prices reflect that you are either:
- New and therefore not exactly trustworthy yet
- Good but you just don't know how to price yourself yet
- Good but you don't feel confident about it yet
All of these things add up to someone I can't really trust to bring me the results I want so I'll probably choose someone else who has higher prices and seems much more confident.
Now, I say these things because this was me not too long ago. I knew I was good, however, I just didn't know how to price my services for what seemed like the longest time! Once I was able to gain some traction and get some experience, I learned how long things took, as well as how valuable I actually was (talent-wise, experience-wise and overall knowledge-wise).
Within 2-3 weeks of doubling my prices, I found myself magically booked out for the next 4 months!
Tip: Raise your prices and you'll be taken more seriously! Plus, you won't have to work as hard!
7. Do you have testimonials?
I want to hear from others how great you are!
You could tell me all day how awesome you or your products/services are, but that's not really going to sell me on you. Chances are, you're probably just going to sounds a bit "sales-y."
If you have positive testimonials on your site, or a link to testimonials on Yelp, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc. this is going to give me some extra reassurance that you're worth spending the time to check out.
If you don't have testimonials anywhere, this is going to tell me that you're:
- A new business which means I'd have to be a guinea pig to take a chance on you
- People care so little about you that you're not even on their radar, which means you probably not valuable to anyone and probably a waste of my time
Stories of results from others speak VOLUMES and can work for you instead of against you. Make sure you're using your testimonials strategically to do some of your marketing for you.
Tip: Inject testimonials anywhere you talk about the things you're trying to get people to take action on. This includes sharing them on social media, on your sales page, near your packages, near your "Book Now" buttons, ANYWHERE that will help others think HELL YES! instead of UMM NO.
8. Do you have a portfolio or examples of what you're capable of?
I want to see your style and what you have done for others!
If you've got nothing to show, I've got nothing to offer you.
Tip: Create a portfolio page or even different blog posts that feature the various projects or case studies you've worked on with each of your clients. I personally feature all my clients (well, I'm working on it!) in a category on my blog called Featured Unicorns, and I walk my readers through the project from start to finish.
9. Do you have updated information on your site?
I want to work with someone who keeps their site up to date!
If you have really old info on your site, or you haven't written a blog post in forever, I'm going to assume that you don't care about your website visitors.
You should care, because those are the people who could be bringing you more business, helping you build up your portfolio and testimonials, and help you gain experience so that you can RAISE YOUR PRICES and start attracting higher paying, long-term clients... like myself. 😉
Related: The Value Behind Website Maintenance
10. Does your overall brand make me feel good?
When I go to your website and check out your social media accounts I want everything to feel good.
There should be a great sense of positivity, organization, professionalism, and trust. I want to feel like you know what you're talking about and that you will be able to bring me the results that I'm looking for.
On the flip side, if your brand feels like it's all over the place, it's going to make you seem like you are a frazzled mess, and I seriously do not want to deal with a frazzled mess. 😐
If everything looks cohesive, professional and intentional, gives me the information I'm looking for and makes me feel like "HELL YEAH!! This is the unicorn I've been searching for!" Then the choice is much easier for me to make and I'm much more likely to CHOOSE YOU.
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SO THERE YOU HAVE IT!
The 10 things I look for when hiring someone for high-end work.
To create less hustle and more abundance in your business, your brand and website should be absolutely stunning at every touch point so that you make the kind of fabulous first impression that others truly can't resist!
Are you done with the DIY and ready to work with a professional?
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