Business, Scaling Your Business

Building Close Client Relationships as a Nomadic Business with Sarah Laurence of Sarah Evelyn Edits

Episode 033: Show Notes

Oh my gosh! We are so excited to have Sarah on the podcast today. Sarah was our first hire here at TCC and has been with us the longest. We still remember her first email to us, asking to be part of the team — she was definitely heaven sent! Sarah is awesome, we love her, she is amazing, and she plays a big role in this team. You may not know this, but we are not the greatest spellers and grammar is for sure not our forte, so thank goodness for Sarah. She is our editor for the blog, and makes everything super wonderful and polished.

We are so excited to have Sarah on the podcast today. Sarah was our first hire here at TCC and has been with us the longest. We still remember her first email to us, asking to be part of the team — she was definitely heaven sent! Sarah is awesome, we love her, she is amazing, and she plays a big role in this team. You may not know this, but we are not the greatest spellers and grammar is for sure not our forte, so thank goodness for Sarah. She is our editor for the blog, and makes everything super wonderful and polished.  |  The Strategy Hour  |  Think Creative Collective

Now you might think that when hiring an editor, all you are getting is some spelling fixes and maybe a couple of extra commas. We are here to tell you that you most definitely get a whole lot more than that! Here’s what an editor brings to your blog — they polish the content and keep your voice intact, while also acting as an accountability partner to help you keep on a consistent publishing schedule. Sarah also helps to improve SEO by making sure that not only are links working and things spelled correctly, but that various industry standard SEO steps have been implemented for each post, including older ones. All of this consistency ensures that our readers know exactly what to expect and that the content is delivered as promised.

Fixing Up Old Content 

One of the main reasons that we hired Sarah in the beginning was because our blog was a hot mess! Our old posts were definitely not up to snuff and sounded a lot less professional and polished than the new content that we were putting out. We let Sarah go through literally every post and every detail, which took months, but was so worth it in the end. A lot of small business owners feel like they have to go back and delete a lot of that old content because it just does not match the content that they are able to produce today. Having someone like Sarah come in and bring it up to the standards of the new content is super helpful in making everything on the blog more consistent.

Your Editor is Your External Eye

When it comes to getting new perspectives on your content, the best thing to have is an editor who can come with with a fresh pair of eyes and read your posts before they go out to your many readers. If you write a post and something does not sound right or make sense, it is much easier to have your editor point it out first than to have a mass of questions from your audience after you’ve already hit publish. Having an editor is also a great way to ensure that all of the facts and stats referenced in any post are relevant and accurate. This is especially true for old content, to make sure that any research or stats mentioned are kept up to date.

Quick and Easy DIY Editor Hacks

If you do not yet have an editor for your blog, one of the first easy DIY steps is to ask a third party to read your blog. Whether that is your business partner, your friend, or even your mom, getting another set of eyes on your content is key. If you have no one to go over your posts, another great tip is to give yourself a few days between writing your blog post and editing it. Once a few days, or even a week has gone by, it will be a lot like having a fresh pair of eyes reading the post. Another helpful DIY tactic is reading your post out loud. When you read anything out loud it brings out all the errors, making them much easier to spot. If you prefer writing straight into the backend of your blog, Grammarly is a great free Chrome plugin to use for checking spelling and grammar. And finally, when you are working on a short post, read the sentences backwards and you will be amazed at how quickly any mistakes will pop out at you.

Finding the Balance of Living a Nomadic Lifestyle

Sarah and her husband have really been bitten by the travel bug, and it does not seem to want to go away. Originally from South Africa, they lived in Canada for a while, traveled the world, and have now found settled in New Zealand for a period of time. As they went from place to place they both just adapted to their new surroundings. After a few months of traveling, either being on the road, or on the sea, for Sarah it feels great to have their own place now, which they can use as somewhat of a base from which to travel. The nomadic lifestyle is kind of all about balance. Living in different times zones can be tricky. Sarah lives by the belief that you just have to do what you can wherever you are in the world, and focus on what is most important and spend your precious time and energy just on that.

Adding People Within Your Business To Help You Scale and Grow

In the beginning, when Sarah first started her editing business, she was working a full-time job as well. Initially, she was handling all the editing herself and working on client edits as well as answering inquiries and emails on the client management side of things. Eventually, with all of the traveling, Sarah had to make the decision to bring additional editors onto her team to help with the workload. This gave her the freedom to focus more on growing the business, selling her services, and handling any potential problems that might arise. Her business has grown steadily and authentically, with the added freedom that she initially set out to find.

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I really truly believe that it doesn’t matter what you do so much as how you do it.
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Getting Clients and a Unique Business Mode

Within Sarah’s editing business, they edit a certain number of posts or pieces of writing per month for a monthly retainer fee. This majorly simplifies a lot of the internal business processes, from raw content to final edits. New clients find Sarah’s business via social media or their website, and she also sends out a ton of emails to reach out to potential clients and offer them a free trial, all the way continuing to build the relationship. Seeing how the actual workflow progresses during the trial really helps new clients see exactly how much time they will gain back by handing the editing off to someone else.

Running An International Business, Across Different Currencies

One of the first things to note from running a business internationally is that “money doesn’t translate accurately to make sense in all currencies”. Since Sarah is originally from South Africa, when she started her business the value she was able to provide her clients for the price she charged was unmatched in the industry. The US Dollar to South African Rand exchange allows Sarah to charge her clients less than others in the industry, while still being able to pay her South African-based contractors competitive rates. Sarah has definitely leveraged her unique situation to be able to provide high quality, valuable work to her clients while still running fair business practices and building an incredible, talented, and reliable team within her business.

Starting Your Business With Growth In Mind

When Sarah first started her business, she sent out personalized “cold-call” emails to potential clients, and continues to do this today. Along with that, Sarah had a personal blog with a page for editing on it. She believes in the Lean Startup method, and knew that all she needed was a minimum viable product to get her business started. What differentiated Sarah’s business from others in the industry was number one, the quality of their work, and number two, the way they dealt with their clients. In the beginning, it was truly all about doing great work to get good testimonials and a build up a trustworthy, presentable portfolio.

Highlights

  • Understand how to leverage old content by fixing it up, and polishing it for your readers. [0:04:22.1]
  • Find out why your editor can act as an external eye, clarifying content before it goes out into the world. [0:07:12.1]
  • Discover quick and easy DIY editing hacks for your blog without hiring an editor. [0:09:00.7]
  • Hear Sarah’s story and how she found the balance of living a nomadic lifestyle. [0:12:46.9]
  • Understand how adding people within your own business can help you to scale and grow. [0:17:38.4]
  • Learn about Sarah’s unique business model and how she gets new clients on board. [0:20:22.1]
  • Find out how Sarah first started her business, and what strategies she used to grow. [0:32:57.7]

#TalkStrategyToMe [0:45:10.6]

  1. To live a nomadic life and work online, you need a web presence and a portfolio.

  2. Create a routine that is flexible so you can enjoy what you are doing and where you are.

  3. Treat your nomadic life like a dance, with some slow times and some really quick times.  


Today’sGuest

Sarah Laurence

Sarah Evelyn Edits

Website | Instagram | Facebook

Sarah is a writer, educator, and Learning and Development Manager from Cape Town, South Africa. She travels the world with her husband and has lived all over the place. Sarah created Sarah Evelyn Edits for busy bloggers who need each post checked and edited – fast. Tired of grappling with Yoast? Want to punch the Oxford comma in the face? Getting too many rude comments about spelling and grammar mistakes? Sarah Evelyn Edits takes it all off your shoulders for an easy monthly retainer — so that when you hit "publish", it's perfect!

KeyTopics

  • Repurposes and polishing old content.
  • Getting an objective perspective of your content.
  • DIY editing hacks for your blog.
  • The balance of living a nomadic lifestyle.
  • Scaling and growing your business with contractors.
  • A unique retainer business model.
  • Beginning business growth strategies.

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