There are many ways to market your business successfully.
Some people find that mass promotion works for them. And that’s great. The more people you can reach with your message, the better.
Others prefer the personal touch. Making a genuine connection with a potential client can lead to a mutually beneficial business relationship and lots of repeat business.
Danielle found that her secret to success is making personal connections with potential clients. And with sixty clients under her belt, this strategy seems to be working for her!
Find out more about Danielle’s story below.
Q: Welcome to the blog, Danielle! Tell us a little about your background. What did your life look like before you crossed paths with PA?
I worked as a medical assistant in ophthalmology for over five years before coming across PA. I really enjoyed working in patient care because I felt like I could help people (particularly elderly people) who were experiencing a stressful and often scary situation. As much as I loved that aspect of my work, it was very challenging. Every day was extremely high paced. As a perfectionist, I wore myself thin trying to make everything just right for the demanding physicians and administrator. I felt like I had no control over my life or my decisions; everything was controlled by tedious procedures and protocols that made it difficult to help people the way I felt I could. Since my attention and care could only go so far within that environment, I decided to take control of my life and start something new.
Q: Cutting out the middle man and getting to help people solve their problems in the best way you can is awesome! When did you start proofreading, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread?
I began the Transcript Proofreading course in late 2017. It took me nearly a year to finish the course because I had very limited time to work on it. I was looking for a job I was already somewhat skilled in that would allow me to work from home. My husband and I were thinking about having children, and it is very important to me to be able to raise them while also making some extra income. Proofreading seemed like a perfect fit.
Q: What was the most challenging part of getting started?
The hardest part about starting is committing the time to one more activity. Like most people, I am constantly juggling work, hobbies, home duties, friends, and my relationship. It can be overwhelming to imagine taking away more hours from the “fun” in place of extra “work,” but it’s definitely worth the time.
Q: So true! Sometimes it feels impossible to fit something else into your already crammed schedule, but when you know it’ll lead to bigger and better things, it’s totally worth it. What was the most valuable thing you learned during the course?
The thing that has stuck with me the most from Caitlin’s course was in the last section that talks about marketing and how to get clients. Basically, Caitlin talks about how you have to make personal connections for clients to really stick. And she’s absolutely right; I’ve had very little success with marketing strategies that don’t include some personal connection to the client. On the other hand, the clients that I’ve had face-to-face or genuine encounters with are the ones who I have lasting relationships with.
Q: I LOVE this! Making personal connections is super important for creating working relationships that last. How long did it take you to find your first client? And how many clients do you have now?
I had my first client within the first week of starting to proofread. I used a freelance website to help me get started, which I found very helpful. It’s not the most profitable method out there, but it’s great for getting your feet wet. I still use various freelance sites and have worked with at least sixty different clients. About ten of them are repeat clients at this point.
Here’s what some of Danielle’s happy clients have to say!
Q: How long did it take you to recoup the cost of the course?
As I was only proofreading a few hours a week, it took me about two months to recoup the cost of the program. Now that I’m proofreading and transcribing full-time, the cost of the course is paid over twice a month!
Q: Congrats on your success! What advice would you give anyone thinking about enrolling in the course to learn how to proofread? Is it worth the money?
To all you future proofreaders: make sure you dedicate the time to doing the course properly. Caitlin and her team have invested many years into making this course comprehensive and relevant to “real-life” proofreading. If you just go through the motions, the lessons don’t really stick. But taking the time to complete the worksheets and research concepts that you don’t quite grasp makes all the difference.
Q: Great advice! We don’t advise that anyone rushes through the course to get to the money-making stage. Making sure you understand the material will mean that you do an excellent job and keep your clients happy. What does your life look like now as a working freelance proofreader?
Since proofreading and transcribing are now my full-time job, my life is much less stressful. I take on the clients I have time for and am honest about my commitments. If my husband and I have planned a weekend getaway, I politely decline jobs immediately so the client can find someone else. I will admit to spending some weekends and evenings working (which I didn’t have to do before), but that’s the price of running your own business! I do have to seriously motivate myself to put on clothes other than pajamas, but since I basically lived in scrubs at my old job, I think it’s an improvement!
Q: Anything else you’d like to share with the PA community?
Keeping a positive attitude is key! It may seem like everyone and their mom has some super successful work-from-home job where they travel the world and make a million dollars a year, and that you’re the only one busting your butt to make ends meet… but it’s not true! Success is completely personal and means different things for everyone. Be proud of the small accomplishments and realize that it takes time to learn and to grow, but don’t let that stop you from taking the first steps to controlling your own life.
Danielle’s attitude = perfection! Proofreading is not a get-rich-quick-without-doing-any-work scheme. It does take time to learn your craft and grow your business, but the hustle will be worth it when you’re the one in control.
If you want to escape the tedious protocols of your day job and take back control of your life, check out our free 7-day email course. Starting a proofreading business could be your first step to freedom!
Caitlyn – I have no legal background but would like to be a proofreader for a court reporter but don’t know if I should take the beginning course first and then your proofreader for court reporters or jump into the latter course. What do you recommend?
Hi, Connie! Check out this post that Caitlin wrote. It talks about the differences in the two courses and will hopefully help you make a decision.