This week I am pleased to introduce you to Linda of Clever Pins. I love how Linda has created a niche around something that she enjoys and loves. Over the years I have worked with a number of Virtual Assistants who are not permanently based in the UK and travel with their partners (generally for work reasons). It often means that things feel as if they take a little longer because we know that Virtual Assistants do well when they do face to face networking. Niching in this way though is a great way of showcasing services and supporting clients on an international basis.
Hi, my name is Linda Semeins-Allen and I am the owner of Clever Pins. Clever Pins was set up to help busy entrepreneurs and creatives showcase their products and services leveraging the power of Pinterest. As you know Pinterest is a VISUAL search engine and as such very well suited to market products and services. It is a fast-growing platform and if you are not part of it yet, you want to be! Pinterest statistics show that people spend more money via Pinterest than ALL other social media platforms together. The Pinterest Marketing Services Clever Pins offers are either one-off projects or are part of a longer-term partnership. I can help with Account set up/clean up, Monthly Maintenance packages or A la Carte, which includes services like pin template design, creation of branded board covers, SEO optimisation to name a few. Pinterest is not an easy platform to navigate and implementing a Marketing Strategy takes time. As such business owners struggle with it: they are unsure what to pin, when to pin, how to create pins and how to build a strong presence on the platform. This is where I come in!
What or who inspired you to become a Virtual Assistant?
My husband’s job funnily enough. We have moved around the world for his job and so I was always dependent on where we were to see if there was a job for me. That together with changing family circumstances let me set up Clever Pins.
How did you go about establishing your business?
I started doing research first and was going to set up as a traditional VA, however, a Pinterest course caught my eye. I absolutely love the platform as I had used it extensively during my teaching career, so when I saw a course which meant you could set yourself up as a Pinterest VA it was a no brainer really.
Did you have any savings or financial support in order to start your business?
I had savings, which was great because setting up a business is not easy and takes time.
Was there ever a point when you thought it wouldn’t work out?
Many times, but I have never felt a drive like this in my life before so I keep going.
What support did you have around you to set up your VA business (family and friends, Coach or Mentor)?
I signed up for the Luminary 1:2:1 with Amanda Johnson, which includes the Mastery course, so I have a coach. And my husband is my biggest cheerleader! He loves what I have done and am doing. He went out and bought me a big whiteboard with markers to make flow charts and mind maps! He helps me stay focused and to not doubt myself. I am very lucky!
If you could go back and change one thing that you did when starting out, what would that be?
I wish I had been braver advertising and blowing my own trumpet from an earlier start.
What is your best advice for someone who is just starting out or someone who is considering becoming a Virtual Assistant?
Make sure you have the time and money to invest in it.
How would you describe the good, the bad and ugly of being a Virtual Assistant?
The good: working in my PJs (just kidding…or maybe not?!)
The bad: less interaction than when you are working in an office.
The ugly: I can work for hours and hours and hours on my business. Knowing when to stop and take time to look after yourself.
What is the best business book you’ve read and how did it impact you and your business?
Tara Mohr: Playing big! I think if I hadn’t read that book when I started setting up Clever Pins, I would never have persevered and gotten as far as I have now. It is a brilliant book, which helps you visualise yourself in 10 years time and to listen to this inner mentor instead of your inner critic.
How do you stay on top of your own professional development?
When I am not working for clients, I am constantly signing up for challenges online, whether this being work-related or self-improvement. I am about to start another Pinterest course to really nail the analytics.
What do you love to do when you’re not working?
Go to the gym, go for walks, have a coffee with my friends. Skiing.
What does the future hold for your business?
I hope great things! If I stick to my business plan, it will!!
Learn more and connect with Linda
Website URL: www.cleverpins.co.uk
Facebook URL: facebook.com/cleverpins.co.uk
LinkedIn URL: linkedin.com/in/linda-cleverpins
Pinterest URL: pinterest.co.uk/LindaCleverPins