Social media is about building the relationship and it also requires patience. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
When you work with clients for a while, you develop a relationship and a connection. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
It’s against Upwork policy to do free work as part of the interview process. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
This is episode number 93. Okay, let’s just hop right into what today’s topic is going to be about.
Two interesting things happened this week and I think it would be fun to share. It actually didn’t happen until later on this week. One, is a lesson is social media and building relationships, and the other one is regarding Upwork and what to do when you aren’t sure about how to give a timeframe for hours when it’s something that you haven’t timed yourself on and it’s not something that you could test out really quick without getting involved in the project.
During this episode, I’m actually recording myself in Zoom. I’m on the fence about recording the podcast on video and providing an audio. I don’t know how much value that will be. I’ve been watching YouTube videos and you see radio DJs and, you know, they’re recording their radio show. I’m thinking part of that might be just because it’s live, you know, radio is live in the moment, and having the video recording is cool because you see the studio and then you get to see them, because it’s radio and you never see their face.
I’m thinking maybe the same for the podcast. I don’t know. Let me know if that would be of value to you to have the option to watch a video of me doing this podcast, or if you just listen to audio anyway, meaning even when there is a video, you just listen to the video itself and don’t watch the video. So let me know. I’m just curious about that, thinking of different ways to do things.
When I tried to do our podcast on Facebook Live, it made me so nervous. But I’m thinking maybe a prerecorded video will work and put it on YouTube or something like that. But, you know, let me know if that would be of value to you. I’m not sure.
All right, into the topic: social media and building relationships.
A couple of episodes back. I’m not remembering exactly what episode it was where I talked about pretty much finding your voice on social media and not posting business, business, business, but really the relational aspect of social media. That was episode 90. It was called Being Good Enough for Social Media. I have been working really hard at that.
I’ve started doing Facebook Live every single day, and I had to figure out a topic that was interesting to me, something that I talk about with friends, and something that I think would bring value to my audience, that had absolutely nothing to do with being a virtual assistant, nothing to do with technical stuff, and I think so far so good. I have a list of different things I want to share on that Facebook Live, and I text myself so I’ll have those notes and remember what to talk about.
If you haven’t listened to episode 90, be sure and go back to that. We’ll be sure to link up to that episode in the show notes so you can go directly to it.
But this is where it started. Instagram – I actually have three different Instagrams. One is TiffanyDParson, which is what I consider my main Instagram. That is where I post images from the podcast, motivational quotes, encouragement, different things like that, and every now and again I’ll post a picture of me behind the scenes.
Then, there is another Instagram that is TiffanyParsonBeauty. If you’ve listened to the podcast for a while, you know I also do direct sales, and that is for one of the direct sales companies, my nail business. I created a second Instagram for that because I wanted a place where I could just talk all nails.
In doing some research, I noticed that nail salons and beauty bloggers, well, not beauty bloggers, but nail – I guess they would be nail beauty bloggers. But they post all nails and, you know, I wanted an outlet to just be able to just post all nails and not feel like, oh, I have, you know, this is where I want motivation, all this stuff. But just straight nails and just, you know, overloaded with nail stuff like a nail magazine.
Then, there’s TiffanyParsonJewelry, which I’ve been doing that for a while, and that one is accessories. I think I post on that one maybe three times a week. The other two, I post every single day, so there’s something every single day on the other two.
Anyway, posting about the nail stuff, I did, on my main Instagram, share that I was doing this 30-day manicure challenge where you change out your nails every single day. I used to be a nail biter, so it’s a big deal that I even have nails to polish, that I’m not hiding my fingers anymore because I bit all of that off too. If you’re curious to know what all that looks like, just go to my Facebook page. I’ve got pinned to the top a video and a picture of that whole before and after story.
One of my old clients from way back when – we had worked together a while ago. It’s been at least five or six years since I’ve talked to her. But she saw the nail challenge and she started following my TiffanyParsonBeauty, and reached out to me to ask me questions about that. We were able to connect in Zoom, which is a webinar tool where you can see people and where you can both be on the webcam or not. I’ve done my webinars in there. Both be on webcam or not, but we were able to catch up.
What happens is when you work with clients for a while, you develop a relationship and sometimes a friendship where you’re able to have that connection. It was so good catching up with her and seeing what’s going on – her with me; me with her. It was all good. Now, as a result, she also got to know what’s happening with Virtual Hired Hand, because she wasn’t sure. That was cool just to be able to let her know, “Yeah, I’m still around. If you need anything, let me know,” and when she’s ready, she will.
Social media is for social. It’s about building the relationship, and it also requires patience. I did not know that sharing about my challenge and then having that separate Instagram available just for nails would reconnect me to a past client, which I just, again, I was so excited to hear from her and be able to see her and reconnect. That is the beauty of social media. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, that can be done.
Don’t feel so pressured that everything you post is business related. Make it 80% personal, 20% about your business. Have fun with that.
Let’s shift gears a bit and talk about Upwork and determining timeframe, like how long something will take for hourly projects.
I am in the middle of the interview process with a client on Upwork, a potential client on Upwork. It started, I think, Friday night, and I’m interested in doing her project. The task that she wants, it’s an easy task, but it’s tedious and it’s a lot, and I’m not sure how long it’s going to take.
It’s not something that I can go and do a quick example because it’s specific to her and how she has things set up. If it were updating, you know, like a data entry, a transcription – and I’m thinking about things that may have an hourly rate. Those things you can do a test on your own to see how long it takes you and then gauge from there.
But this is very specific to her and what her needs are. I have done it before, many, many times before. But it’s not something that I’ve timed myself on, and it requires me looking in several different places to find the information. I let her know that it’s going to depend on how many things there are, and so she gave me an idea. It’s over 700 [00:09:45] things that require update.
I sat there yesterday trying to figure out like how long would that take. I don’t even know. This is me talking to myself. I was like, you know, I don’t even know where to start on that in regards to how much it would be, I mean, timeframe. I already know my hourly rate, but as far as, you know, how many hours will it take. She sent me all the instructions and even her login. Now, at this point, she has not awarded the project to me, so I am not going to login to her website or anything like that until she’s awarded me the project. I read through the more detailed instructions that she provided.
What do you do in that situation when you have no idea? Like I don’t even know how to determine how long that would take. I have a specific day in mind that I’d like to have it done by, because I don’t want it to drag on and on and on. I have a specific day. I’m thinking, you know, it would take a week based on my current schedule, availability, and how much, you know, how many things that need to be done.
What I did – and this is where we’re kind of left hanging. Like I said, you may find yourself in this same predicament, which is why I want to share it with you is be honest with the other person. What I did was I let her know I can’t give a rough estimate in regards to how long it will take. I won’t know until I’ve done at least 50 and have the flow down.
Most things that you do, you know, you start out kind of maybe fumbling until you get your nice flow, and then you’ve got your flow and you’re on a roll. You know how things will go. I figure if I get 50 done, then I can use that as my projection and calculate based on that. So I let know her know that, and I said, “But, you know, even with that, I won’t officially know until the project is accepted and we start.”
That’s where it’s left. I did let her know that I ideally would like to have it completed by – and I think I told her whatever the week was from the time we were talking, and so I’m waiting to hear back. Now, I’m wondering and I’m hoping that she’s not thinking that I am doing 50 and going to come back and give her a timeframe. Because if I do 50, I am working for free. There’s no guarantee at this point that she’s going to award me the project, so I’m doing it for free.
Since it is within the confines of Upwork, it’s against policy to do free work. The only time I would say, “Yeah, it’s okay to do free work,” is if that is your intention to start with. You are testing out a new service and maybe you reach out to your email list of current clients or previous clients and let them know that you have five free slots available for something that you’re testing out.
That’s totally different from Upwork and doing free work up front as a part of the interview process. No [laughs]. Not acceptable, and if that’s what someone is looking for, then they are not the right client for you. I don’t do free work.
Anyway, that’s where our conversation is. I will let you know what happened after that. Obviously, I do want the project and want to get it done for her, but we will see. It’s been a day, I guess, you know, a full day. I knew she wanted to go ahead and get started and all that stuff, but I haven’t heard anything.
But in that situation, just be honest. It’s better to do it that way than to say, “Oh, it’s going to take about 10 hours,” and then 5 hours in, you realize it’s going to take twice as long as what you had initially projected. Now, you’ve got to go back and let them know, “Oh, I said 10 hours. It’s going to take 20.” Now, there’s a conversation back and forth about, “Why did you say 10 if now it’s going to be 20?”
Be honest up front about timeframe if you aren’t sure. If, you know, there’s no way to project it, just be honest. Let them know that and it’s up to them whether they want to work with you or not. Don’t take it personal and keep moving forward.
As always, thank you so much for listening. I hope you have a wonderful and prosperous week. We will chat again on next week’s episode.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you like what you heard, stay tuned. We’ll be back. Tell me what’s going on with you. Come on over the Facebook page: facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz, or if you prefer a little shorter message, come on over to Twitter: @tiffanydparson.
See you next time!