16-Year Legal Assistant Builds Thriving OBM Business
By Craig Cannings
Carolyn Boyce has been a member of Freelance University since 2020. With 16 years of experience in the paralegal/legal assistant profession, she embarked on a zigzagged educational journey that led her to launch the freelance business she has today. Her story takes her from a heavy workload and long hours to a whole new lifestyle.
After receiving a Bachelor’s degree, she took the first paralegal position offered to her. Unfortunately, the workload was extreme, and she discovered her intended career path was not a reality. In addition, her attempts to do freelance work were unsuccessful because she lacked the connections she has now.
Then, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic happened. While considering her options, she joined an online community called Location Indie, and through them, she discovered Freelance University. When she started taking classes at FreeU, she discovered the Online Business Manager and Systems Strategist roles. Her title is now OBM Systems Strategist.
With a passion for nonprofits doing progressive social justice work, she serves a target market composed of coaches, nonprofits, and any virtual entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who need systems, strategies, workflows, and automation set up. Fortunately, the OBM space is growing quickly as many entrepreneurs recognize that it has been their missing link for many years. Consequently, cool opportunities are emerging for FreeU students like Carolyn.
To build her client base, Carolyn is doing special marketing on Instagram and offering a freebie to build her mailing list. Essentially, it’s a lead magnet that’s given away in exchange for an email address. It allows her to lead potential clients toward booking a call or eventually accessing her services.
Carolyn says her experience with FreeU has been great, especially the Facebook community. She can pop in there anytime and get help and answers from the mentors. She’s also used the mentors’ services off Facebook, hiring Barb Henry to design her website and Tammy Durden to coach her through one-to-one mentoring when she had some discovery calls lined up.
In addition, Carolyn likes being able to go into the FreeU website and take a course whenever she needs it. It’s not time-specific, and she can go through it at her own pace. So far, she’s taken the Online Business Manager, Virtual Bookkeeping, and Project Management Specialist certifications.
Because of this new life path, Carolyn now enjoys benefits like being able to create her own day, work out in the morning, take care of her pets, and spend time with her mom. The freedom aspect is particularly valuable to her, especially being able to make travel plans without worrying about how much vacation time she’s using. This is the primary reason why she became an entrepreneur.
Along the way, she’s discovered you don’t have to do freelance business alone even if you’re a solopreneur. You can walk alongside others who offer related services and understand the challenges you face. For example, as a member of Location Indie, she’s involved in coworking, accountability calls, and a wonderful mastermind group. She says it’s been valuable getting connected with other people who are freelancing for the same reason. A big advantage was having one of the members introduce her to Freelance University, where she has found another supportive community, training, and resources.
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