Today I have something a bit different for you. I want to introduce you to the brand new member of my team so say hello to the fab Michelle!
Hi lovelies! My name is Michelle de la Rose and I’m a creative entrepreneur with a serious love for beautiful design and conscious living. I’m the founder of So Posy, an ethical ecommerce brand and the female entrepreneurship network, Ladyventure.
I come from a background of creatives and inevitably received an education in art. I never knew specifically what I wanted to do (and even now, there’s no one path I’m on. I’m all about living creatively), so over the years I have dabbled in fine and contemporary art, fashion, product design, writing and marketing.
I’m constantly finding myself head over heels in love with darling aesthetics and all things wedding inspired, so naturally, I leapt at the opportunity to collaborate with Heidi on her branding and PR.
Collaboration is at the heart of the online world. We can hide out in our corners but it’s when we come together and share inspirations that wonderful things happen. Heidi and I love to be productive and get the most out of our interactions , so we are always testing out new ways to create and collaborate better.
Amen to that Michelle!
How I found Michelle & how you can find someone to help you in your business
I knew that I needed some help with PR because I was getting to a point where I knew couldn’t grow faster unless I got out there more with guest posts and speaking gigs but I didn’t have the time to dedicate to it. I began by posting to the Facebook groups that I belong to about the type of person I was looking for and what I needed help with and asked for recommendations. I was actually connected to Michelle through a few groups and we had spoken briefly so when she offered her services I jumped at the chance to work with her! On top of asking for recommendations, you can also try websites like Odesk and Elance or search Google for a virtual assistant that focuses on what you want help with.
Here is how I knew Michelle was going to be a good fit:
- Michelle is an entrepreneur and I love entrepreneurial people. I firmly believe that the mindset of an entrepreneurial person is fundamentally different than that of someone who prefers to be an employee. I knew I wanted that go-getter mentality.
- We are in a lot of Facebook groups together and follow a lot of the same people so it’s safe to assume we have a shared mindset about business.
- When we spoke, we clicked and I knew that Michelle was the kind of person I would enjoy hanging out with. If I’m going to be working closely with someone, I want to make sure we’re a good fit for each other.
- Michelle is self employed so she can invoice me for her services. That means I don’t have to deal with all of the paperwork that goes along with hiring an employee.
- Last but not least, Michelle has great experience in digital marketing and she can write well so I knew I wouldn’t have to train her the way I would have to train someone who is brand new to the world of online business.
Someone once told me to hire based on traits instead of skills because skills can be taught but traits don’t change. Michelle had the skills for this role but even if she didn’t I would have wanted to hire her based on her personality traits. The fact that both of us have a similar outlook on business is far more important than anything else.
The logistics of working with someone remotely
It turns out that Michelle only lives about 30-40 minutes from me but we still work remotely. I wasn’t even looking for someone nearby because thanks for the magic of the internet, you can work with anyone, anywhere. The two main things that we require is the ability to share our work and collaborate on things and the ability to communicate effectively.
Google Drive (a.k.a. the best thing ever)
Everything that Michelle and I work on together is in Google Drive. This is our central workspace and it eliminates the need to email documents back and forth. We can work on a document at the same time, leave notes for one another or just store things so it’s there when we need it. Google Drive even has a nifty little chat feature when you’re inside of a document so that you can discuss it. Google Drive enables us to keep everything in one place and it is cloud-based so it is accessible from anywhere.
To get Michelle up to speed, I created a folder in Google Drive that had everything about the role and the processes to follow, the passwords that we would both need and the documents that I use to track my PR and marketing. If you needed to train someone or just demonstrate something, you could create short tutorial videos with a free tool like Jing to show your new team member exactly what they needed to do. Google Drive would be the best place to store these videos so that he or she could access them whenever he or she needed to.
Highrise is a CRM (customer relationship management) tool and Michelle and I use it to keep track of who we have reached out to. This tool lets us know who talked to who, what they discussed, and if there needs to be a follow up email or call. This prevents us from looking like idiots (Ever email someone to follow up and realize that they already responded with an answer and you just forgot? Me either and I want to keep it that way.) and helps us keep track of all of the business relationships in one place. You’d be surprised how many opportunities can be lost because you forgot to follow up. That doesn’t happen when you have a tool to keep track of your correspondence.
Email & Facebook
I set Michelle up with an email on my domain so that she can contact people as a member of my team and come across as some random person from a random email. We email as needed and ping each other Facebook messages throughout the day. I’m not sure how neither of us gets sucked in to Facebook but it’s just one of those browser tabs that is always open for both of us. We use Facebook messaging for those quick messages that don’t really warrant an email.
Skype is pretty great and if you don’t use it, you should sign up for a free account right now. Skype allows you to conduct text chats, audio calls and video calls and it’s 100% free if both participants have free Skype accounts. This is great for longer conversations. It’s free, you can record calls and you can share your screen so you can show the other person exactly what you’re talking about. I conduct all of my calls with clients via Skype and it prevents me from having to pay any international calling fees.
No man is an island
You only have so many hours in the day and we all need help sometimes. On top of the obvious benefit of being able to get more done, building your team can help you build your business. This entrepreneurship thing can be pretty isolating and lonely and it’s incredibly useful to have someone you can collaborate with. It’s really nice to know that I can run an idea past Michelle and because she understands the inner workings of my business, she can give me honest feedback. Michelle hit the nail on the head when she said “collaboration is at the heart of the online world”. There is only so much you can accomplish alone so why limit yourself?
Working with a team can be great but you need to know how to put the right systems in place so that you aren’t spinning your wheels. Well I have good news for you! I’ve for a free webinar coming up on November 12th on the topic of getting systems set up in your business.