Sylvie Fortin – The Work At Home Genius

Sylvie Fortin

Work-at-Home Done Right: You Need a Website! 

By: Sylvie Fortin

Does this sound familiar? You’ve set up your home office and you’re ready to start telecommuting. You’ve gone through your checklist: you have fancy business cards, a good computer, sharpened #2 pencils, but it feels like you’re forgetting something. Do you have your website up and running?

“My website?! I’m supposed to have a website? Uh oh.”

For many telecommuters, having a website is the difference between feast and famine, projects galore and idly twiddling your thumbs in front of game of computer solitaire. If you want to be a success, it is vitally important to have a professional website—a good-looking, informative site that represents your skills, talents, and showcases your service offerings.

If the idea of creating a website makes you break out into a cold sweat, don’t worry. The truth of the matter is, whether you make it yourself or have a professional take charge, creating your website can be a fun and satisfying experience. Before you start stressing about it, let’s take a look at how easy a website can be by reviewing the basic elements your site will need to catapult your home-business into the black.

The first step you’ll need to take is to either design your site layout or purchase a professional template at a very low cost. The Web is filled with reasonably priced templates and services. Let your fingers do the walking and you’ll quickly find that a template or web designer is much more affordable than you might have feared. With template or designer in hand, you’ll like want to include the following pages on your site:

Home: This is your home page or the main leading page of your site. You should include a couple of brief paragraphs about you and focus on making this an introduction of who you are and what you do.

Services:This page will be another doorway page that links to each of your service offerings. On this page, you will briefly describe and link to each of your service offerings. For many in the telecommuting world, your Services page is the heart of your website. For that reason, you’ll want to think about including answers to the following types of questions on your Services page:

  • What benefit will this service provide to your customer?

  • Why would they need this service?

  • Why hire you to do it instead of getting someone who is already on staff to do it?

  • Do you have client testimonials to make your service more appealing to your prospective customers?

  • Do you have a price list for your services displayed? No one likes to hunt for prices, so be clear about how much you charge for your services.

Resume:This page will feature your resumein web format. You should also upload your resume in plain ASCII text format and Word format so your prospective employer can download it.

Contact: This page will provide your contact information. If you are uncomfortable about giving out your address online, no problem! Listing just your city, state, telephone number, and email address will do the trick.

Products: This section is optional and only applies if you sell products. If you do, then use a Products section to feature whatever products you sell. Use the doorway page method for best results.

Congratulations! You’ve just finished creating your first website. You have just also just guaranteed yourself a greater chance for telecommuting success! However, simply having a website is not enough to assure yourself of success. In addition to your hard work and dedication to the client, you’ll now need to start promoting your site to the world. Take it one step at a time and you’ll find your dot com success in time at all!

 


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This article is excerpted from “You Can Work in Your PJs”, a real world guide to telecommuting. Sylvie Fortin works from home full time and wrote this book to share her unique techniques with others. You can download your copy of “You Can Work in Your PJs” by visiting http://www.inyourpjs.com =================================================

Marketing Your Work-at-Home Website in 4 Simple Steps

By: Sylvie Fortin

Attention fellow telecommuters: If you thought just having a professional website was enough to land you more business than you could handle, think again. Just having a website is pointless if you don’t let people know you exist. That’s right: you need to market your site. But, don’t worry; you won’t have to spend your hard earned of dollars on advertising. Believe it or not, there are simple, little-known, and—best of all—free techniques you can start using today to effectively market your website to your target audience. See instant results in your home-based business and discover how easy advertising can be with these top 4 ideas for marketing your work-at-home website.

  1. Market your site using search engines

    Everyone wants to be at the top of the search engine rankings, right? And, everyone wants to know the tricks that will get them there. The down side is that no one seems to agree with what works for every search engine. It can be downright confusing! To give yourself and your site a fighting chance, you’ll need to design for success.

    Make It Relevant! Start by designing your site correctly. Use your most important keywords—the ones that best describe your products and services—repeatedly throughout your site. This helps search engines determine the relevancy of your site when someone is searching.

    Meta Tag It! Use proper meta tags within your code. Meta tags are snippets of HTML code that “talk” to search engines and tell them what kind of content you have on your site. The better you can talk to the search engines with your meta tags, the better chance of a higher listing you’ll have.
    Submit It! Submit your site URL to the top search engines on the Web. Don’t get fooled into paying for a service to submit for you. Manually submit your site to the most used search engines (e.g., Yahoo, Google, Excite, and Lycos). Be patient. Search engines can take up to 4 months to list your site. If you want immediate results, keep reading…

    Pay Per Click It! While not free, Pay Per Click advertising is the most effective way to get your site to the top of the search engine list in a matter of minutes. With Pay Per Click companies, such as Overture and Google Ads, your site’s ad shows up whenever someone searches on the keywords you’ve chosen. If they click on your ad, you pay the company a few cents per click and you’re all set. Instant top listings in the search engines! You can’t beat it!
     

  2. Market your site using discussion boards

    Discussion boards are online groups where people who enjoy the same things get together and talk about them. Topics are unlimited! To market your site on discussion boards, start by visiting boards that relate to your business. Take a front seat as you learn about your colleagues and customers. And, when you’re ready to jump into the conversation, share your thoughts with the board.

    How does this help promote your site? By simply adding a “Signature Line” (or “Sig”) at the end of your postings, you will be able to advertise your site and what you do. A Sig is simply your name plus a little tagline about who you are and how you can be contacted (e.g., via your website).

    Discussions boards and Sigs are the perfect place to get the word out about what you do without spending a dime.
     

  3. Market your site using reciprocal link exchanges

    Reciprocal link exchanges are a wonderful way to generate a lot of traffic for your site, but most importantly, increase your rankings in major search engines.

    Reciprocal linking is the internet’s version of “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.” The idea behind it is that you have a website about a specific topic and on your website you provide a list of complementary or similar sites that you enjoy. In return for driving traffic to their sites, you ask those sites to display your link. The more websites show your links, the more likely that search engines will place your listing towards the top because your site is popular. Win-win!
     

  4. Market your site using articles

    This technique can place your name and website in places all around the web for years to come. And, it couldn’t be simpler to get started. All you have to do is write short informational articles, between 500-750 words, on relevant topics to your business. Articles should be helpful to your readers and not blatant advertisements for your business. Submit the articles to the many free article posting sites (like www.goarticles.com) and give the right for anybody to post your article anywhere they please as long as they keep your byline (or Sig) in tact. Then watch your articles spread across the internet like wildfire. Interested parties (read “prospective buyers”) will see your articles and expertise and will flock to your website to learn more about you and the services you offer.
     

No matter how you go about it, marketing your website does not need to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, with just these simple 4 techniques you can begin marketing your products and services like a pro and watch your sales increase with every passing day!

 


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This article is excerpted from “You Can Work in Your PJs”, a real world guide to telecommuting. Sylvie Fortin works from home full time and wrote this book to share her unique techniques with others. You can download your copy of “You Can Work in Your PJs” by visiting http://www.inyourpjs.com =================================================

Breaking the 9 Most Common Work-at-Home Myths

By: Sylvie Fortin

So, you want to work at home, do you? You think it’s going to mean less hours, more time with your family, and big income, right? To best answer this question, let’s get real about this whole “working from home” thing. Let’s take a look at the Facts versus the Myths of telecommuting:

Myth 1: I will be able to spend more time with my family

Yes, you’ll be home more, but you will spend every spare moment working. Your family will be eating the dinner that you cooked, but you will be in your office, working, hoping they leave you some crumbs that you can eat cold at your desk. You will become that odd person that sits at the desk in the corner that your family waves at while they go on with their lives.

Myth 2: I’ll work while the baby is sleeping.

Everyone else’s baby sleeps—yours won’t.

Myth 3: I won’t have to spend money on childcare.

Spend a day working with your toddler in your office, then decide whether you need childcare or not. After a day of “work for 5 minutes, take the stapler away; work for 5 minutes, remove pen from child’s nose; work for 5 minutes, then spend 2 hrs cleaning up,” you’ll not only want childcare, you’ll need it!

Myth 4: I will be able to run all my errands and do all my housework…and still handle all my work.

The laundry will become mini-mountains in front of the washing machine. The dishes will pile up until you need to use the cat bowl for your breakfast cereal. The banking will get done once a month. Your grocery shopping will become a mad dash as you grab random items off the shelves. All of this will be because your client calls you up on Friday night on his way to the cottage, and he needs to have a week’s worth of work done “over the weekend.”

Myth 5: I’ll be my own boss, and work when I want to, and take time off whenever I want to.

Actually, this is true. Being your own boss means you can choose your own hours! Yep! You get to choose which 20 hours out of every day that you want to work, and which 4 hours of every day that you can have all to yourself. You will be a slave to your contracts—you will work nights, weekends, and holidays—anything to meet your deadlines.

Myth 6: People won’t take advantage of the fact that I am home. They will respect my designated work hours.

Working from home is an excuse for everybody and anybody to procrastinate from their own lives; to bring the kids by, to have a cup of coffee, to stop by while running errands, to call to gossip in the middle of the day, and on and on. You’ll quickly realize that people do not respect your home office and working hours.

Myth 7: I will treat my work just like a real job onsite.

Wrong. If you treat your work at home career like most people treat their onsite career, you will definitely fail. Working from home is nothing like an onsite job. You will have to be more dedicated, more responsible, more obsessed about perfection than you ever were onsite. After all, you are competing against millions out there who all want the same job you do! You have to be better, smarter, more efficient, and more capable that others in your field or you won’t stand a chance!

Myth 8: I will dress up every day to start my workday with an attitude of professionalism.

Yes, you will…for the first week. After that, you will find it easier to just keep your pajamas on all day….and then you will start to wear the same pajamas for days on end. When you bathe, you will change from one set of pajamas into another set of pajamas because it’s easier than changing into “real clothes.”

Myth 9: I will make the same wages as I did when I worked onsite.

Actually, no. You can make a lot more money than you did onsite, but you will have to work twice the number of hours to do it, because you will have to constantly improve upon your skills and learn more than your peers to stay competitive.

You’re starting to get the picture, right? Telecommuting is hugely different from what you may have imagined it to be! It is hard work and long hours with no social life at all. So, right about now, you’re either thinking that you would rather not do this or you’re thinking that this is EXACTLY what you want to do with your life! If the latter, welcome to the world of the work-at-homes and best of luck to you!


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This article is excerpted from “You Can Work in Your PJs”, a real world guide to telecommuting. Sylvie Fortin works from home full time and wrote this book to share her unique techniques with others. You can download your copy of “You Can Work in Your PJs” by visiting http://www.inyourpjs.com =================================================

 

3 Steps to a Better Career: Finding Your True Talents to Work from Home for Life

By: Sylvie Fortin

Did you know that you have an untapped source of revenue at your very fingertips? It’s true, but there’s no need to look too far for it because that source of revenue is you! If you’re ready to uncover the hidden skills inside you and leave the rat race of work-at-home job boards behind, then you’re definitely in the right place.

The key to your success as a telecommuteris that you need to understand how very easy it can be to become full-time employed from home without having to fight the masses of other work-at-home wannabes. The key is in coming to the right employers with a pre-packaged set of very specific services to offer based upon your core strengths and skills. Instead of waiting for jobsto pop up on the internet, where you’ll have to compete with thousands of other jobseekers just to get the job, you need to understand that to become a truly professional contractor, you can bring your set of skills to the hiring table to create your own jobs! When you know what to say to employers and how to offer your defined services in answer to their needs, you can begin writing your own ticket.

When thinking about your core strengths and skills. Additionally, you need to think about very specific applications for the skills you already have and not the vague and generalized lists of skills that are so often placed on resumes. Your goal is threefold:

  1. Create a list of your most specific skills.Assess your core strengths. What do you do really well? In previous jobs, what do employers count on you for time and time again? What kind of jobs really inspire you and get you motivated to give your best? Be sure to think through all of your abilities and list them all no matter whether you think it relevant or not at this point.
  2. Connect your specific skills to pre-planned services. To begin writing your own ticket, you will need to create an inventory of services that you can provide to customers. Rather than responding to their job ads, you can go to a business and present your specific services. Soon enough, businesses will be coming to you rather than the other way around. Believe it or not, when you tie your core strengths to specialized services, you become an incredibly hot commodity. No longer are you competing with the countless masses scurrying around for the work-at-home scraps, you’ve become a legitimate business in yourself.
  3. Locate the right customers who want your services. This step is definitely the key that brings it all together: you must find clients who need your services (whether they know they need them at this point or not). If you’re wondering how to go about doing this, the answer is simple: Research and trial-and-error!

Once you’ve created your specific set of services, it’s time to research any and all of the potential clients within your field of expertise and/or who might need your service. Once you’ve found your demographic, it’s time to convince these businesses how working with you can benefit them.

For example, if you have a strong skill set as a desktop publisher and you’ve designed a host of services that help small businesses create a more professional image (e.g., through letterhead, fliers, signage, advertisements), then you can begin by simply targeting small businesses in your community. If you have a pre-packaged proposal that lays out the benefits of improved marketing and presentation materials to small businesses, samples of your work, a pricing plan, and an implementation strategy, you can quickly convince many small business owners right in your own community that they need you and your services.

It takes hard work, preparation, and courage, but—if you really apply your strengths with what you love to do—you can create a business for yourself that allows you to serve others while helping yourself build your own dreams. What are you waiting for? Your success begins today!

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This article is excerpted from “You Can Work in Your PJs”, a real world guide to telecommuting. Sylvie Fortin works from home full time and wrote this book to share her unique techniques with others. You can download your copy of “You Can Work in Your PJs” by visiting http://www.inyourpjs.com =================================================

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