From VA to a $5k MRR working just 10 hours /week – the perfect lifestyle business?
Hi. I’m Eugen 🙂 I’m a digital marketer, specializing in Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
I help business owners grow their business through digital advertising, primarily via paid traffic channels.
Before stumbling upon freelancing, my long-term plan was…playing poker professionally for a living. Fortunately, I found Lewis on UpWork, and that’s how my marketing career started 🙂
I’ve started on UpWork as a virtual assistant for Lewis, I didn’t know anything related to marketing. I just had an unlimited supply of ambition for learning and patience.
I’ve started with SEO, but then I’ve started getting into other subsets of digital marketing (e-mail, content, social media, copywriting) and I’ve finally settled with advertising – Google Ads and Facebook Ads
I love this business for multiple reasons:
Most businesses need this: Unlike other areas, such as content marketing, where mostly bigger businesses need this, you can really approach everyone, no matter how small the business with such services.
Nothing fancy. In fact, it was and still is rather simple.
Finding clients on UpWork – Finding the RIGHT clients – closing the rights ones, and delivering results.
I didn’t have to invest anything besides my time, so the entry-level is pretty low.
Finding the right clients is really important. Nothing worse than a toxic client who only tells you when things are bad and never tells you when you’re doing a good job.
Well, I personally hate micromanagement, so I use a “red flags” system. For example, if the client is writing to me on Sunday and expects me to reply then, that is considered a red flag. Is he checking the ad obsessively every day? Red flag. And the biggest one, does he understand Customer Lifetime Value and expected Target Cost per Acquisition?
This is important, lest you want a client who is expecting 50 sales/day from a miniscule budget, like $100/day – happened to me in a way.
So I try to explain to them – this is the average cost per click (let’s say it’s $3) and the average conversion rate for cold traffic is around 2-5%. Out of that, we extrapolate a figure and target cost per acquisition results.
If that my client understands this and is okay with it, that’s a huge green sign/GO for me. If he says “I trust my intuition/emotions, I believe we can get 50 orders for $100/day” then this is a huge red flag and no amount of flawless reasoning will change this person’s mind.
Third: Are they willing to wait 1-2 months for results? If they’re expecting results from the first week, that’s another red flag. What is their patience like?
Fourth: Expecting free work – Even for trials, I’ve never had a good client expecting me to work for free. Never. Good clients always tell me “I’m willing to pay for your work and time – I don’t expect anything for free”
Guaranteeing results: You can never really guarantee 100% results, so if you have a client who is saying “ I need you to guarantee this to me 100%” or “I will only pay you when you bring me x leads” then no, no thanks.
This is how I close clients.
In the end, I ask them what’s the minimum results, leads, etc, they’d like to see per month so they’re happy with the contract.
Once we’ve come to an agreement, we’re good to go! This is very important because this will help you avoid clients who have unrealistic expectations. IT IS CRUCIAL.
I’m making around $2,000-$5,000/month, and while this may not seem a lot, if you take into consideration the amount of work that I do weekly – around 10 hours – then I’d say it’s a pretty sweet deal.
I don’t take clients under $1,000/mo – my average fee being around $1,500/mo. For this, I’m selecting clients with a high customer lifetime value, such as physical therapists.
A physical therapist’s CLV is around $1,500 and that’s how I’m positioning my services: If I’m bringing you ONLY 1 client per month, then you’ve already paid for my services.
I would only work with clients whose CLV is high – PTs, Chiropractors, Dentists, basically high-end services.
If you choose clients whose CLV is, say, $100, you’re going to have a tough time with Google Ads – If the average CPC is $2-3, then you can see how tight it’s going to be if that client is only worth $100. However, for $1,500, you can easily spend $200 to acquire a client and still be very very profitable.
The total opposite here would be doing ads for dropshipping, in my opinion. Really low margins – tough shipping rates, etc. I personally, 99% of the time, would decline dropshipping clients.
I treat every client like we’re in a relationship. This may sound odd, but besides my work, when I have calls with my clients, they’re looking for a professional.
Think when you’re going to a doctor – You want the doctor to be confident, competent, and to help you. You don’t want someone who is too insecure and ask “oh maybe we should do this or that or x or y – what do you think? Do you think X is better than Y?
You get the point. I always ask my clients to tell me ASAP when they’re unhappy about something, and I always check in with them every now and then, having a call at least every few weeks.
I’ve learned that if I let too much time pass without talking with my clients, without motivating them, then they’re far more likely to either find someone else to do the job or just stopping the services altogether.
By Motivating them, I show them what’s going on – progress. For example, with an e-comm client I could tell him “This week, you made 20k from sales”, etc.
It’s important for them to actually see the progress.
Only one. My brain 🙂
Joking aside, martech is nice and all, but for advertising, I don’t use that many, if any really.
I do keyword research with Google’s autocomplete and their tool. Graphic design is usually outsourced to their graphic designers.
Google Tag Manager is really helpful and having a good grasp of WordPress and Ecomm platforms (OpenCart, Shopify, etc) helps a lot.
I communicate with my clients through WhatsApp, Hangouts, Gmail and Slack.
However, I would advise you to try to move away from live chat and move towards e-mails. It’s rather annoying to wake up with 30 messages from different clients in live chat apps. E-mails are much better.
Google Analytics is a must for tracking performance and being data-driven. Trello or Asana for task management and my favorite one, Evernote – where I add my goals, notes on courses, etc.
This has been tremendous for my initial growth.
I would have to say personal development speakers helped me a lot – Jim Rohn words still reign true:
“Don’t think how much you earn; think what you’re becoming”
I could have chosen back then maybe a customer support job that would’ve paid double than my marketing VA? Sure. But where would I be in 5 years?
Then, I would say the EOFire podcast has really inspired me. Just listening to other business owners talking about their experiences, learning from them, really made me see reality in a different way.
Then there were people like Gary Vaynerchuk, books such as The Millionaire Fastlane and forums.