62 - Finding a Need and Creating an Incredible Business With Jessica Rhodes

starting a business | Dec 01, 2017

It's all too often that people see opportunities, but never really do anything about them.  I love Jessica Rhode's story because as she started down a path of becoming a VA (so she could work while staying at home with her new baby), she saw a need for connecting interviewees with podcast hosts.  Instead of wishing someone would do something about it, Jessica decided she would create her own business.  

Since you now have two businesses, how do you manage the time between them?  Most of her time, probably 80%, is with Interview Connections because that's the business that has taken off.  Plus that's the business she can easily scale.   The Virtual Assistant business is great, however, she's limited to the number of people she can help.  

Even though it makes sense to possibly let her original business go, Jessica has a great business sense in understanding that hanging onto both businesses is a great way to create multiple streams of income.

What has been your marketing strategy for getting clients?  There are two different ways that Jessica has marketed Interview Connections.  The first one is going to live events and building relationships.  She makes sure that once a quarter, she's out at a conference to meet people.  

I also loved Jessica's tip about always making a point to ask questions in the sessions.  It's a way for her to get the microphone and then announce her name and her business.  It has been a great marketing tool for her because often she'll know the speaker, and they'll say something nice about her.  

Outside of conferences she built a relationship with John Lee Dumas.  When he was launching Podcasters' Paradise, she got on the phone with him and asked how they could connect.  She's utilized that relationship to get a lot of clients.

Being a stay at home mom, how are you doing the juggle?  For the first 8 months, Jessica did the majority of her work during her son's nap time. Slowly she brought in an income.  She's wasn't growing the business too rapidly, but was doing enough to get the business off the ground.  She got to a point when her son was about eight or nine months old and realized she needed more time to work.  She tried getting up earlier, but decided to hire a nanny to fill in a few hours of the day.  

Even though she wants to be doing more, she does check herself that being a stay at home was her priority in all of this.  She keeps her events at one a quarter, so she's not always away from her baby.  

What's been the biggest obstacle in your business?  She was really excited about her business, and was getting great feedback from potential clients.  However, when she launched the business there were crickets.  She had asked questions to her ideal clients, and everyone was completely on board.  However, when she put up the website, no one paid for it.  

It was that moment when she realized she really needed to start connecting with a lot of people.  

She started getting people signed up at the lower rates.  Once she had three or four people sign up at the rates, and they didn't flinch at the price, she upped her rate.  It wasn't until she got to the point of her current price point, where she felt she hit her sweet spot.  It was raising her rates that actually got her more momentum.  

What's the one tool that you can't live without your business?  The first one is RoboForm.  It saves all of your user names and passwords, and just logs you into them.

Basecamp, a project management software program, is another one she loves.  She uses it for all of her clients, and is a huge reason why she can juggle her business and her clients.  

You can find Jessica at www.interviewconnections.com.

You can also find her on Twitter @JessRhodesESS.

Her podcast is also Rhodes to Success. 

More About Jessica:   Jessica Rhodes is the founder and President of Entrepreneur Support Services Inc., a virtual assistant firm providing a variety of services to busy and time strapped entrepreneurs and small business owners. Entrepreneur Support Services Inc. is the parent company to Interview Connections, the premier source for booking outstanding guests for your podcast.

Jessica earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Temple University and has trained extensively in interpersonal communication while studying Strategic Communication at.

Jessica spent six years working for a nonprofit where she managed a large staff of door-to-door fundraisers, earning her a reputation as a passionate and skilled saleswoman.  In fact, she’s been told that she could “sell ice to an Eskimo!”

With her most important job now being a mom to her son, Nathan, Jessica left the busy nonprofit world to start Entrepreneur Support Services Inc. so she could bring her exceptional skills in sales, marketing, and administrative support to growth-oriented entrepreneurs and small business owners who need part time support to help in a number of areas so they can stay focused on their most urgent, high revenue-generating priorities.

Jessica lives in Rhode Island with her husband Jamie, their beautiful son, Nathan, and their cat, Maize.

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