Veronica Kirin named an inaugural Forbes NEXT 1000 entrepreneur

16 February 2021

I am deeply honored to be named one of the first 250 honorees of the 2021 Forbes NEXT 1000 entrepreneurs. I work every day to leave a positive echo through my work with fellow entrepreneurs, to scale their impact and income, to empower and enhance their entrepreneurial journey. I firmly believe that with more business leaders comes greater equality and equity around the world. Business creates freedom and gives one the power to enact positive change.

I see this positive change every day through the work of my clients. One is using his business to hire smart, savvy creatives from countries with little economic opportunity. Another has seen tremendous growth in the last year in her non-toxic and environmentally safe cleaning products and is driving her competitors to also create ecologically-conscious goods. Yet another is collaborating with businesses and governments around the world to create safer, more beautiful public spaces for all. Entrepreneurship is the tool through which we can bring about positive change; it offers freedom, voice, and influence.

I am also proud to utilize the tenets of entrepreneurship — innovation, connection, and constant growth — to amplify my research as an anthropologist studying paradigm shifts. Not only does anthropological thinking provide an exceptional foundation for entrepreneurship — entrepreneurship has, in turn, helped create the “Stories of” book and research series. Stories of COVID™, my ongoing worldwide research on the COVID-19 pandemic, would not be possible without the toolkit that comes with entrepreneurship.

Thank you to the Forbes judges for the recognition of this work.

The Anthropological Consultant

Anthropology is one of the most versatile fields one can enter. Unfortunately, it has been repeatedly called one of the worst degrees to invest in due to a lack of understanding of its strengths. In this article, I’m going to explain how anthropological consultants could be helping today’s COVID-19 businesses manage their work from home transition like never before.

First, let’s step back and look at what anthropologists are good at.

anthropology and culture

Anthropology is the study of human cultures. Cultural anthropology studies living human cultures, while archaeology studies past human cultures.

How could this benefit a COVID-19 world? And how could it benefit business owners?

Today, our culture is shifting, not just individually from mask wearing and standing in line to go into a grocery store, but also from a vast change in the work-from-home cultural norms.

Suddenly, businesses that have traditionally offered only in-person employment have been forced to allow their employees to work from home in order to stay safe during the pandemic. And, overwhelmingly, their employees are loving it.

Many companies work hard at creating a company culture that is welcoming, engaging, and unique. How does a company maintain a culture when their employees are scattered across the city, across the region, and across the world?

enter the anthropological consultant

Anthropologists are experts at understanding the fabric of culture. They don’t just study and document culture. They understand how culture works, whether it be their own or others. Anthropologists are trained to remove their own biases in order to become a tabula rasa, the ability to see, hear, and understand without the influence of one’s own assumptions.

Anthropological consultants have been used for years in companies like Zappos and General Motors in order to support sales in different markets (read: different cultures) around the world.

But to believe that anthropologists would only be useful in selling to other markets would be missing out on their true potential in a COVID-19 world.

Many entrepreneurs and business owners are in a panic because they suddenly lack the daily in person contact with their employees that put them in the driver’s seat of reinforcing company culture. They feel out of control of their company culture. This is where an anthropological consultant could shine.

Anthropologists are trained to understand culture. An anthropological consultant can enter a company, study its messaging, its employees, its methods of communication, the very fabric of that culture, and understand it immediately. An anthropological consultant can then formalize and translate it, even when many of the company traditions were built in person and its staff is now primarily working from home.

building a work from home culture

So what are some solutions that an anthropological consultant might provide to an entrepreneur or business owner who is feeling like their company culture is suddenly out of their hands?

This is something that I did with one of my own entrepreneur clients at the beginning of COVID-19. They are an event company, and wanted to continue to engage with their target market — couples — by offering virtual events.

How could we bring a dinner and a show to the customer even though we couldn’t do it in person? As an anthropologist, I understood that what was lost between an in person and virtual event wasn’t the food and music, but an experience, and a physical one at that. And so myself and my client bridged that gap by creating a physical kit that was sent to every customer who signed up for tickets to the show. Higher paying customers also received an additional pre-show session with a chef in order to make a special meal.

Inside the kits were things like candles, snacks, and other things that would make the night feel that much more special, replicating in a small way the change of scenery of leaving our homes in order to change our physical states and feel like we can focus on our partners.

An anthropologist understands the moving parts that help form a culture, and how to replicate them in a work-from-home environment. In addition to a physical kit for employees, an anthropological consultant might also suggest regular company meetings, employee contests, and other forms of engagement in order to continue to weave a fabric of culture and support into the foundation of the company, even through working remote.

Finally, there are tools available to small business owners and entrepreneurs that can help facilitate an in person in office environments. Despite not being in the office, tools like Moot or Visual Office offer the feeling of understanding where and when your coworkers are working, which help replace that loss of the in person office flow.

If you are a business owner and you feel unsure about the future of your company culture, I highly suggest hiring an anthropological consultant to support your work from home transition, so you can confidently move forward even after the pandemic has passed.

If you are an anthropologist and an entrepreneur, it may be time to reach out to fellow business owners in order to support them using the superpowers you gained in your training.

Anthropreneurship Explained

I take a lot of pride in being an Anthropologist.  My studies primed my mind to think of others with openness and curiosity.  It taught me to see into other cultures and understand them as best I could without my own biases getting in the way.  And I use these valuable lessons every day as an entrepreneur.

What is Anthropreneurship

Whether or not you’re as big a fan of portmanteau’s as I am, Anthropology and Entrepreneurship go together like peas and carrots.  They are a perfect fit for audacious growth, impact driven business, and social enterprise.

Yet, most Anthropologists don’t realize the value of their degree.  I want to change that.

Entrepreneurship requires several key traits in a person. One must be willing to think outside the box.  Entrepreneurs tend to be a little weird, as they see the world as it could be, not just as it is.  And entrepreneurs tend to be risk takers.

Juxtapose that upon an Anthropologist.  Anthropologists tend to be quite weird — they are attracted to the  field of study because they already think outside their birth culture. They are willing to view disparate groups of people as valid and without judgement, and can see into their core values with ease (think: target markets).  And anthropologists aren’t afraid of risk.  We are trained to be contrarian, willing to push the status quo, and work toward validating others.  We also are taught a “do no harm” policy due to anthro’s earlier mistakes in working with governments that would leverage our insight and knowledge to harm others.

These two careers to hand in hand.  At one point I had a marketing director tell me he’d rather hire an anthropologist rather than a marketer.  He understood that, due to our training, anthropologists can see into target markets and groups in a way that most other professions cannot.  It’s kind of our super power.

How Anthropreneurship and Applied Anthropology Differ

In Applied Anthropology: Domains of Application, Kedia and Van Willigen define the process as a “complex of related, research-based, instrumental methods which produce change or stability in specific cultural systems through the provision of data, initiation of direct action, and/or the formulation of policy”. That is, Applied Anthropology is the field within Anthropology that utilizes its best practices to provide expertise to organizations and real-world problems.

One of the best known applied anthropologists is Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health, which brings medicine to non-western groups in a manner that fits their cultural expectations.  That is, rather than pressing western goals and methods on non-western cultures, Partners in Health innovate new methods of delivery and management.  In doing so, the organization has achieved success where others failed.

Applied anthropologists tend to continue their ties to a university and academia.  Anthropreneurs do not.  Anthropreneurs leverage their training to create and innovate in business without answering to a research body.

This can be a sticky area for the field of anthropology.  Some bad actors in the early days of the study of anthropology left a bad taste for the field as a whole.  As a result, anthropologists tend to steer away from work in the mainstream market.  Sadly, this shoots the field in the foot, since anthropologists have both the insight and the worldview to solve problems, connect peoples, and innovate.

Why Anthropreneurship matters to a COVID-19 Society

As we push through this current paradigm shift (one that I am currently studying as an anthropologist), people feel afraid, unsure, and like they are living on quicksand.  This is due to the hallmarks of a paradigm shift, which are the dissolution of habits and systems.

Again, anthropreneurs can rise to the challenge and create organizations that support this shift, help others navigate, and guide us to a new paradigm. We innovate, see into the future, and are able to pivot at a moment’s notice.  Anthropreneurs understand that systems, cultures, and societies change over time.  In fact, they must change as new people are born, new beliefs created, and new paradigms emerge.  The pandemic is a global shift, but anthropreneurs know it is not without precedence and can use the past to shift in business to support the future.

The Future of Anthropology + Anthropreneurship

Anthropologists have a wonderful advantage in any field.  We have been trained to see past our own biases and into the truth, as much as one human can.  We use ethnography, the voices of many, to point the way to preserving history, culture, and painting what is possible.

Anthropreneurship takes these distinct advantages and applies them to business.  Anthropreneurs grow businesses that are more equitable, flexible, and sustainable.  What if the world had more anthropreneurs like that?

The Problem of Amazon Counterfeit Products

What You Need To Know As You Grow

Amazon is a megalith, and COVID-19 has only added to its enormous market share and wealth.  Most entrepreneurs with product offerings will consider Amazon as a potential distributer at one time or another.  But there is a pretty big problem with their ‘well-oiled machine’ that you should know about before taking next steps.

PS — this article is for both entrepreneurs and conscientious buyers

The Counterfeit Product Problem

If a product gets popular enough, companies (likely in China) will try to copy it.  While this is ostensibly flattering, it is problematic from an intellectual property and market share standpoint (read my article on what to do if someone is copy catting you here).

While copy-catting is nothing new, there is a massive issue with consumers receiving counterfeit products caused by the way Amazon processes products.  The system is called Comingling.  What Amazon is doing is using the same SKU for a given product, whether or not the seller is the originator.  So when you think you’re buying directly from the creator, you may very well not be.

What this Means for a Consumer

This is a huge problem for both entrepreneurs and consumers, but let’s focus on consumers first, since they are the ones that support our businesses.  Today’s Amazon offers products across an enormous spectrum, including medical and household items.  At times, it is critical that the potency and ingredients are what they say they will be, else adverse reaction (to put it lightly) may occur.

The knowledge of a counterfeit problem at Amazon casts doubt in the minds of consumers, making them hesitant to buy.  For me, this is a bump in the butt to go straight to the source if possible.  I know that if I’m buying from a seller’s own website, I’m getting a guarantee that what I paid for is what it is, or it will be fixed.  Heck, I’ve seen small businesses go way above and beyond when addressing any small issue for their customers.

Buying directly from the seller also means you’re giving a far larger chunk of your money to the small business, rather than to Amazon.  The cut Amazon takes from small businesses can get quite sizable.  Wouldn’t you rather know that you’re getting the right product AND all of your money went straight to the creator?

But what if I’m an Entrepreneur Using Amazon?

If you’re already using Amazon to distribute your products, never fear.  There are some things you can do to protect your brand and goods.

The first is to join Amazon Project Zero.  This program is for Amazon sellers who are learning about counterfeit products being sold under the same name.  Unfortunately, there is a waitlist to join.

You can also opt to use Amazon barcodes instead of manufacturer barcodes.  This will help ensure your product is being differentiated from any other.  It’s not foolproof, though, so you’ll want to stay on high alert for counterfeits.

Finally, you can report counterfeits and intellectual property infringement directly to Amazon.  The process is lengthy and there are no guarantees, but this guide offers a solid step-by-step approach.

Have you experienced counterfeits on Amazon? What was your reaction?

How to Elevate Your Conversion Rate

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Every entrepreneur wants to increase their conversion rates.  But what is a conversion rate?  Conversions are when a prospect turns from a lead to a client.  Conversion rate is the metric by which we track how many leads turn into paying clients.

By knowing your conversion rate, it becomes clear how much time you are spending on each lead to convert them to a paying client.  Spending a lot of time on leads directly impacts your hourly rate — lots of monthly leads but only one conversion means more work for less dollars.

So how do we fix this so you make more money with less effort?  Below are three easy steps for you to implement TODAY that will increase your conversion rate and boost your confidence.

Stay in Control

One of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs make (especially new-preneurs) is expecting the client or customer to drive the sale.  This is extremely rare!  More often than not, the client or customer won’t know exactly what they need, they just know they are in need, and are looking to you, the expert, to build their confidence and tell them what to do next.

Many new-preneurs don’t stay in control, however, because they feel shy, scared, or are dealing with Imposter Syndrome (watch this video I created to help you with Imposter Syndrome).  I’ve been there!  But by not stepping up and guiding the client through the process, it is more likely that you will lose the sale, further damaging your confidence.

It is critical that you stay in control of the relationship with a potential client or customer.  This will not only amplify your chances of success, it also instill a sense of confidence and trust in the client.  If you know what you’re talking about, and you can guide the next steps, the client will trust you.

How do you stay in control?

Systemize Your Lead Process

The best thing about systems is that they can be studied.  Each stage is a separate step in the process, meaning you can test individual stages and find weak points. No more guesswork!

What are the basic steps you should include in your lead process?

  1. Immediately set up a meeting (use Calendly or some other app to let the client choose what time works best for them) when you receive an inquiry
  2. Ask clarifying questions (either during the meeting or via a discovery form sent in the meeting confirmation email) and make no assumptions
  3. Explain your process and next steps
  4. Schedule follow ups BEFORE they leave each meeting (people tend to get distracted outside of meetings and scheduling the follow up won’t seem important compared to other business)

This leads us to the final tool that will help you stay in control and increase your conversion rates for more (and larger) sales.

Use a CRM

A CRM is a Client Relationship Manager. A CRM helps keep contacts organized as well as helps the follow up process.

Have you ever had a lead ghost you?  This is the worst feeling for entrepreneurs who are building their confidence.  When this would happen early in my business, my mind would spiral and I would question myself.  What did I do wrong?  Why didn’t they want to work with me?

Sadly, allowing these negative thoughts to take over your mentality reduces the likelihood of going after the missing lead.  90% of the time, a lead ghosted simply because they got busy or weren’t clear on the next step.  Had I reached out when a lead ghosted, I might have saved the sale, instilled greater confidence in the client, and learned something to improve my process!

There are several CRM software options out there, but here are the features that absolutely must be included:

  1. Categorizing across pipelines (ie. what kind of lead is it?)
  2. Tagging and note taking for individual contacts and deals
  3. Automatic reminders to follow up based on last contact date (and control over each individual pipeline’s reminder frequency)
  4. The ability to set a reminder on an email you’re sending so, if there’s no reply, the system alerts you so you can follow up
  5. Integration with your email

My favorite CRM is Cloze.  It not only does all the above, it also helps set an agenda for you each day, and integrates with your phone and social media so every touchpoint with a contact is documented.  It’s a game changer!

Regardless, know that your address book in Gmail or Apple Contacts isn’t going to cut it.  Your CRM will help you stay in control, follow up with leads, and save a sale before it goes cold.

What will you implement today to expand your conversion rate?

How to Build a Fiverr Empire

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Fiverr, an international freelancing website, is a platform on which one can build an entire career and six figure income.  Yet, as with many platforms, I see entrepreneurs make the classic mistake of assuming that the website will do all the work for you.  While this may be true once you’ve built momentum, the critical early stages of your Fiverr career are up to you.

What we’ll cover in this guide:

  • Why use Fiverr
  • Getting started / setting up shop
  • How to promote your new profile & gigs
  • Using your early work to rank high on Fiverr
  • When to raise your prices

So let’s go!

Why Use Fiverr?

Fiverr is an internationally recognized platform for hiring freelancers, serving 160 countries in 2019.  When business owners and companies need an expert outside their network, they typically go to Fiverr.  In fact, Fiverr boasts 2.4 million active buyers and 500 million tractions monthly.  In 2019, the average project cost was $170, and that number has grown year over year since Fiverr’s inception in 2010.  That’s a whole lot of opportunity!

But what if you want to be an entrepreneur, not a feelancer?

Fiverr is still an incredible source of lead generation and reputation building, especially when starting out.  A great example is my former eBlast Writer.   He was highly recommended on Fiverr, and we worked together on a few projects over the course of six months.  During that time, he slowly raised his prices, and soon was able to leave Fiverr to launch his own firm with many loyal clients in tow.

Starting your Fiverr Empire

Getting yourself launched on Fiverr is relatively simple.  First, go to their website, and click “Join” in the top right corner.  Follow the steps to create your login credentials and start populating your profile.  As you do, open another tab in your browser and search Fiverr for similar professionals in your field.  If you are interested in content marketing, search for fellow content marketers.  If you are interested in consulting, look for consultants in your area of expertise.  Select in the search filter to view top rated sellers first so you can see just how they describe themselves and put together their gigs.  My guide on Marketing will help you with this stage.

Fiverr has a great FAQ about becoming a seller, and I suggest you also check that out before diving deep.

After your profile is created, it’s time to create your Gigs.  Gigs are the work that you’ll be doing on Fiverr.  You can offer different levels and depth to your customers.  Again, I suggest looking at your competitors to see how they’ve structured their Gigs.

Here are a few considerations as you are planning your Gigs:

  1. Start low.  Your profile is brand new, and you don’t have any recommendations, yet.  Price yourself low so you can compete on price (for now) until you are a rated seller.
  2. Be mindful when setting the time frame for each Gig.  Can you accomplish one blog post in a day if someone selects your lowest level?  Sure.  But the goal here is to build an empire!  So let’s plan for that.  If you’re flooded with work, how much time do you want to complete each Gig?
  3. Take the time to create a beautiful cover for each Gig.  Gigs that have a photo that is creative, relevant, and includes the image of the seller (you) sell better because they feel personal and cared for.  If you care for your Gig, buyers will know you’ll care for their work, too.

If this feels overwhelming, start with just one Gig for now.  Buyers can’t purchase from you if you don’t have any Gigs on offer, so this step is critical, but not to be overthought.

Time to Promote Yourself

Self promotion feels pretty scary to a lot of people.  Put another way, you’re selling yourself and your skills, which can feel a bit odd.  Don’t worry!  We’re going to make this easy.

Once your profile is polished and your Gig live, it’s time to promote your profile.  Luckily, we all have loving, supportive, creative networks that want to see us succeed.  Oftentimes we know that our friends are talented, but have no way to buy from or support them.  I’m personally happy to support my friend’s careers wherever possible!  So think of this step as an invitation.  My Marketing Guide in the Academy will help with this step, too.

Do not overthink this!  Start with where you have the most people in one place.  Is that on Facebook, LinkedIn, or on an email list?

Here is what you need to include in your invitation:

  • What it is you’re doing
  • Why you’re asking for their support and help (a specific goal like seller ranking helps your friends focus on a cause, rather than feel like you’re begging for money)
  • How they can help
  • The benefits to them
  • Your Seller link
  • A request to share if they don’t need your services

My friend and fellow entrepreneur Kristin Lajeunesse created the PERFECT post to her social media asking for said support and engagement to launch her Fiverr empire.  She made mid-four figures in the first month alone from this ask!  Here is that early Facebook post:

Dear friends, I have recently joined Fiverr, as a seller, and am looking to reach the platform’s required 50 “gigs”/services WITHIN 60 days, in order to get their “badge of approval.” This will rank my profile higher in organic search AND allow me to charge more reasonably priced services. As such, if you know anyone looking for SUPER affordable copywriting work (we’re talking $10-$25 per gig) I’m currently offering 3 different options: (1) website auditing, copywriting/editing and content/article writing, (2) LinkedIn profile rewriting- includes cover photo design, and (3) done for you Facebook content/posts. Thank you in advance for any referrals! 🙏💜
➡️ ⬅️

Not only was this worded well, explaining exactly why her pricing was low and what she hoped to achieve in a short period of time (getting ranked on Fiverr), she also asked for shares and referrals.  And boy did she get them!

What Happens Next?

After you’ve shared your audacious post to your network, you’ll start receiving orders.  This does two things (aside form bring in the bucks).  One, it tells Fiverr’s algorithm that you are a desired Seller, and it will start promoting you higher in its own search engine for your industry.  Second, it gets you the stats you need to get to Level One as a seller.  Once you’ve been ranked, you will find that Fiverr sends you a lot more work organically, so you won’t be hustling your network forever.

It is critical that you fulfill your orders on time and at the level of expertise you would put in if they were paying you $150 instead of $15.  Your network will be impressed and share your Fiverr profile with other contacts.  You also need positive reviews and on time deliveries, as well as prompt replies to messages, in order to receive the coveted Level One rank.  The ranking cycle is monthly, so if you miss it your first month, don’t worry.  You’re not disqualified.  Keep hustling!

A quick expert note:  Include both text and a file in your delivery, even if it’s the same information.  Fiverr sometimes pulls your replies into your Gig photos to help promote you.

When Can I Raise My Prices?

We all need to raise our prices, eventually.  You’ll know it’s time when two things happen:

  1. You’ve been ranked as a Level One Seller
  2. You are receiving more work than you can realistically deliver within the set timeframe (even though you followed my advice above and thoughtfully set your delivery time to scale 😉 )

As you raise your prices, do so incrementally.  Don’t shock the market.  If you start your lowest Gig at $5, raise to $10, and raise the medium and top level offers in that Gig accordingly.  Rise your prices again as you level up and continue to grow your client base on Fiverr, so the time spent on each Gig is matched by a reasonable hourly rate.  This will take you a few months, so be patient.

Now, go get ’em, tiger!


Landing Clients and Growing Your Business During COVID-19

Yes it can be done!

COVID-19 has threatened many people’s livelihoods, and it continues to do so, even as restrictions are lifted. Though many say finding new business at this time is next to impossible, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are ways to generate new leads at this time, as well as continue to nurture your present clients and customers. Let’s take a look at some tried and true methods.

Adapt to the New Normal

Overnight, COVID-19 changed the economic and business landscape, and it looks like these changes are here to stay.  Many businesses have moved online for the first time, while others are focusing heavily on e-commerce until their physical storefront reopens.

Land Business in New Markets

There are new opportunities opening up across markets, and they’re deserving of attention.  Just make sure you don’t pivot so hard that your current clients don’t recognize you.

Finding Support for an Online Pivot

Many entrepreneurs are finding themselves spending much more time attached to their computers for meetings and fulfillment that once took place in person.  Here are some of the lessons entrepreneurs learned from running an online business.

  • Understand the challenges of remote work so you’re better prepared to address them.
  • A dedicated home office space is a great investment to keep you focused and creative.
  • Add the right apps to your remote work toolkit to enhance your quality of work.
  • Don’t forget a killer morning routine helps you get things done throughout your day.

Ultimately, some creative thinking and leveraging of resources can open doors in this era of fast paced change. The new normal may demand adjustments from you, but it’s nothing you’re not already prepared to handle.

Why I’m worried about SBA Loans

If you are considering an SBA loan, consider this:

Business owners may get a loan and then realize they’ve “student loaned” themselves — by that I mean they will have thought they were signing up for something that was going to help them push through the pandemic but ultimately prevents future growth due to debt.  While forgiveness is a possibility, the rules to date are extremely murky, as stated in this New York Times article.

I do not recommend either the PPP or EIDL loan to my clients unless they were not only cashflow positive pre-pandemic, but were at minimum 2x profitable above expenses.  Put another way, if you did not have the extra cashflow to pay off a loan BEFORE the pandemic, it’s unlikely you will have the funds in time as lockdowns ease and businesses begin to open again.

Is choosing layoffs over the PPP or EIDL loan a heartless thing to do to your employees?  No.  The unemployment program across America has been expanded and extended, covering many more people and paying out greater dividends.  Both you and your employees paid into the program — it is a valid way for your employees to receive income while laid off while you keep the business alive so they have a job to return to when the pandemic eases.  This awesome article by the Harvard Business Review has great tips for laying off with compassion and communication — especially remote.

No one knows for sure how long this will go on.  Will we be able to return to life as ‘normal’ without a vaccine?  What will life look like in the meantime?  I suggest conservative financial planning at this time, while supporting your employees to the best of your ability so everyone comes out of this with opportunity.

Entrepreneurial Authorship Case Study

What happens when a client’s publisher doesn’t uphold their end of the bargain?

Sarah [not her real name] came to me for coaching to develop her consulting business, speaking career, and strategically use her new book to launch into both containers. Throughout our coaching period together, there was one problem after another with her publisher, and we were constantly working to pivot around the mistakes or misleading information that the publisher had provided.

The Moment of Panic

This came to a head as launch day neared.  The agreed upon plan was to print advanced reader copies on the 1st of December in order to give the sales team time to market the book to stores to receive orders before the holidays.  It would also give Sarah time to send advanced reader copies to reviewers and press.  We would then hit the ground running in early January with a book launch date in early February.

The print date came and went.  The distributor had not bought into that plan.  We’re not sure if the publisher did not communicate well with the distributor, or if the distributor was a bad choice and went rogue.  However, there were no books to begin the sales process at this critical juncture.

When my client contacted the distributor, they simply stated they had chosen to wait to print the advanced copies in mid January — only weeks before launch and not enough time for stores to make their orders.

This left a massive gap in the marketing plan for the book, especially due to the looming holiday season.  The book would launch to crickets if we didn’t do something fast.

Time to get Disruptive

We had to make a plan that would fill the marketing gap but not create excessive cost outside the original budget.  It also had to be something we could launch fast because we were a week into December and already behind.

What I created for this client was a postcard campaign.  The postcards would contain the book cover, a synopsis, and the contact info for the sales team.  This gave the sales team a physical showcase item to replace the physical books.

However, that created another problem.  If the postcards were used in different regions, that meant different a sales person’s information needed to be provided for each region.  We didn’t have time or the budget to develop small runs of postcards with unique contact information.

The solution was to create a universal postcard that forwarded interested parties to a sales team page on the book’s website.

Finally, my client was concerned the sales team either would not know about the book in time, or wouldn’t care about the postcard solution to make up for the lost time.  Each salesperson has several books that they are promoting at one time. We needed the sales team on our side and we needed them to be ready to help us when the advanced reader copies came out.

We decided to send them all holiday presents of bourbon-filled chocolate. Not only was the team happy to receive a gift, it also made my client memorable, so when they finally had the book in hand in January, they were invested in its success.

So what happened?

Not only did the postcard idea help bridge the gap in the marketing plan, it created an entirely new marketing plan. The distributor, the sales team, the publicist, and even the publisher were so enthused about the postcard idea that they all requested a batch of their own.  We bought a larger run of postcards, saving some money on the individual cost, and garnering the book greater attention than originally planned.

This client is both an author and consultant. We were building a marketing plan for both, and so the success of this book was critical. Knowing that I helped her to pivot as fast as possible and bring the book to success is exactly the work that I love to do.

If you have a book in the works and you’re not sure how to fit it into your business plan, or you need support to pivot a marketing plan fast, I’d be happy to talk to you.  Let’s schedule an intro call.


The Audacious List of Remote Work Job Boards

Hello Disrupters.

In this hectic time, many of us are at risk of losing income because in-person interactions are discouraged and our stores must close their doors.  I’ve created this list to offer you the option of making money online, and perhaps even create passive income for the future, while you are quarantining and social distancing.  I will be updating this list often with more details, categories, and sites.  I hope this helps you.

Feel free to share what you learn in our Facebook group, The Disruptive Entrepreneur Society.

General Job Boards | Digital Nomad Sites | Remote Tech Jobs | Freelancing Sites | Creatives | Writing & Editing | Marketing | Tutoring | Passive Income | Aggregate Boards | Newsletters

General Job Boards


  1. FlexJobs — freelance, part-time, and full-time opportunities.
  2. RemoteCo — remote positions in many industries.
  3. JustRemote — multi-discliplinary job board.
  4. Virtual Vocations — telecommuting opportunities.
  5. Pangian — international remote work opportunities.
  6. We Work Remotely — work-from-home and tech jobs.
  7. Remote Ok  — job board with tech and non-tech opportunities.
  8. Jobspresso — jobs in tech and customer support.
  9. Outsourcely — Freelance work.
  10. HubStaff — short and long term gigs
  11. The Muse — remote opportunities paired with personal career coaching for you
  12. Workew — general remote work board with great filters to find just what you want
  13. 100 Telecommute Jobs — true work from home opportunities
  14. Remotees — search for a specific company you’d like to work remotely for
  15. Werk — pre-negotiated jobs board
  16. GlassDoor — thousands of opportunities all over the world (make sure you select “remote” in your search filter)
  17. Business Talent Group — for consultants
  18. Global Career – jobs ranging in different markets
  19. Dynamite Jobs — general job board with intensive screening
  20. Werkington — a diverse job board that also connects remote workers to community

For Digital Nomads


  1. NoDesk — for digital nomads
  2. Skip the Drive — jobs catering to digital nomads.
  3. EuropeRemotely — Work remotely in European time zones
  4. The Remote Work Summit — an online conference each April for remote workers
  5. Working Nomads — freelance opportunities in your inbox
  6. Remote Year — travel abroad while doing what you love

Remote Tech Opportunities


  1. Power To Fly  — for women in tech
  2. Authentic Jobs — for web professionals
  3. Dribble — remote creative and web opportunities
  4. AngelList — tech startup opportunities
  5. StackOverflow — for tech and web professionals
  6. GitHub Jobs — remote tech in all areas
  7. Ruby Now — work specifically for Ruby engineers
  8. Dice — remote back end work
  9. HitMarker — positions in gaming or esports
  10. — higher paid positions for experienced tech roles
  11. TechLadies — a tech job board oriented toward women in tech and women owned businesses



  1. Fiverr — small gigs that can lead to big gigs
  2. Upwork — bid on gigs with companies
  3. Freelancer — similar to Upwork
  4. Coworks — remote work for creatives
  5. — freelance website development
  6. Cloud Peeps — freelance online marketing (have a portfolio ready)
  7. Guru — direct connect with companies looking for you
  8. PeoplePerHour — direct company gigs
  9. SolidGigs — gig type jobs (paid membership)
  10. Fancy Hands — a Virtual Assistant network

Remote work for Creatives


  1. 99Designs — Web and Graphic Design

Writing and Editing


  1. Contena — copywriting, writing, and editing
  2. TextBroker — we used to use this at my former role as Director of Content Marketing
  3. Freelance Writing — write anything from PRs to content
  4. ProBlogger — copywriting at an advanced level
  5. TranslationCafe — outdated website but very current job postings
  6. VIPKId — teach English online

Marketing and Media


  1. MediaBistro — work for the big names from home

Sills Trade / Tutor / Training


  1. Wyzant — sign up to be a tutor on myriad topics
  2. Udemy — develop your own courses
  3. Thumbtack — work in areas you know

Passive Income


  1. iStock — sell stock photography
  2. Adobe Stock — sell stock photography
  3. YouTube — develop videos and receive revenue from ad placement
  4. Google AdSense — if you have a website you can place ads on it (but beware making your website look junky)
  5. Amazon Authors — write and sell your eBook
  6. Amazon — resell products on Amazon
  7. Prosper — offer a microloan
  8. High Yield Banking — make sure your bank pays you for the privilege of holding your money
  9. Turo — rent out your car
  10. Affiliate Marketing — sign up as an affiliate at websites you already recommend
  11. RedBubble — sell your art and photography for print on demand products
  12. Fine Art America — sell your photography for print on demand products
  13. HubPages — write blogs and receive income from them

Aggregate Job Boards


  1. Remotely Awesome Jobs — pulls from approx. 20 sites
  2. Rmeote4Me — tech job aggregate site

Remote Jobs Newsletters


  1. Remotive — a bi-monthly newsletter with remote job opportunities
  2. Remote Jobs Club — a bi-weekly newsletter

Overwhelmed?  Not sure what to do next?  Maybe you want to keep your current work alive but want to add passive income or other income streams that fit your dream?  Let’s hop on a no-strings call.