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About The Guest
Alexandra is a Florida-based full-time digital nomad, Fiverr PRO freelance writer, and Fiverr millionaire. Gaining international attention in June 2018 for her feature on CNBC “How to Make 6-Figures on Fiverr,” everything changed that day for Alexandra.
She was then featured on the likes of MSN, AOL, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance, with dozens of people writing in every single day to learn about how they can earn a 6-figure income working from home.
- 10:42 — How did you grow your freelancing business?
- 12:24 — How to start freelancing.
- 15:57 — Some things to be aware of when starting your own business.
- 17:50 — Should you jump into a side hustle full time?
- 21:15 — How do you price your services as a freelancer?
- 24:28 — How to scale yourself as a freelancer.
- 29:45 — How to deal with online haters.
- 45:09 — How to manage your social presence.
- 48:21 — How do you excel in a remote/digital nomad environment?
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What is the Success Story Podcast?
On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups and entrepreneurship.
The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.
Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.
He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.
Machine Generated Transcript
people, fiverr, freelancing, side hustle, podcast, uprising, started, canva, hate, person, business, cnbc, copywriting, create, hubspot, building, post, copywriter, content, life
Alexandra Fasulo, Scott D Clary
Scott D Clary 00:00
Welcome to success story the most useful podcast in the world. I’m your host Scott D. Clary. This success story podcast is part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. That was why Podcast Network has great podcasts for business leaders like the mahr tech podcast hosted by Benjamin Shapiro. Each week on the MAR tech podcast. Benjamin tells stories of world class marketers who use technology to create lasting success for their business and for their careers. These are some of the topics that T speaks about on the show. If you find these interesting, you’ll like the podcast so how science is changing advertising, how to set up a CRM, so you actually use it. private equities take on digital transformation, why big social is focused on newsletters. If these topics sound interesting to you, you will like the mahr tech podcast if you want to listen, you can listen to the mahr tech podcast wherever you get your podcasts or of course, you can listen to it on the HubSpot Podcast Network, go to hubspot.com/podcast network. today. My guest is Alexandra Fasulo. Alex is a Florida based full time digital nomad. She is a Fiverr pro freelance writer and a fiver millionaire she offers a ton of content services so website content development, biography, writing, press release, writing, distribution, blog writing, ebook writing, and editing. She is also the host of the freelance fairy tales podcast. Of course, if if you want to start your own thing, definitely check out her show. It’s a weekly series that provides individuals with insight and support getting started freelancing. She gained national international rather attention in 2018, when she was featured on CNBC, how to make six figures on Fiverr. Everything changed for her. She was featured in the likes of MSN, AOL, Business Insider Yahoo Finance. Now dozens of people write her every single day to learn how they can make a six figure income working from home. So we speak about her story. So how she started and freelancing, how she started making good money and freelancing, what her origin story was all about. Then we speak about some of the fame, some of the notoriety that she got when CNBC ran her story, and some of the positives and negatives came of that. And then we go into some very tactical things that hopefully people can learn from. So for example, should you go full time into a side hustle or part time? How do you turn a side hustle into a business? How do you get started on Fiverr? How do you be successful on Fiverr? How do you set pricing on Fiverr? How do you basically build yourself into a business and negotiate with clients for the first time some of the things that she’s learned, as she’s, of course, built her business, which now has many people that she hires, and just some other general great freelancing and entrepreneurial tips, so I hope you enjoy. She’s an incredible individual. She’s obviously built an incredible career for herself, again, coming from making $36,000 from not mistaken just working in a job to making hundreds of 1000s and then millions of dollars, freelancing copywriting and then building a business around that. So let’s jump right into it. This is Alexandra Fasulo full time digital nomad.
Alexandra Fasulo 03:03
Yeah, so my, my origins story started on a farm in upstate New York, in the country. That’s where I grew up. You know, for 18 years, I had a very creative upbringing, I was outside all the time riding horses, you know, in the woods. Probably played somewhat into being a creative person today, I think being so like immersed in nature every day. My mom is an artist. So I was like around that a lot. And funny enough, though, I went to college for political science, because I for some reason, still thought I was going to be some type of like an aura Raider or a politician or something like that piqued my interest. And who knows, you know, maybe later in life, it will again, but I went to school for political science, because I always liked writing and history and geography and everything. I liked my major, you know, I did it for three years. I graduated a year early. So I wanted to get to work. I was born, that’s the theme of my life. And I took a job in Albany and politics that involved writing a lot and working with politicians. And it was okay, like, I love my bosses and my co workers, but it just didn’t, I didn’t feel like fulfilled at it. And a year later, I moved to New York City, two and a half hours away from where I wasn’t Albany to take a PR job. So I was like, oh, maybe I’ll feel more challenged. Maybe I know, for some reason filling a poll to move to New York City. And then I had like my big breakdown, you know, I was I hated that job so much. I quit it after four weeks how to, you know how to situation on my hands. And that’s kind of where this all began. I started I tried 15 different side hustles very quickly and months, she was desperate to make rent. I knew I hated offices. At that point. I was sure of that. And fiber just happened to be what took off. And you know, it’s been a wild ride. I never in a million years imagined when I got on Fiverr in 2015 that I would be talking about it still in 2021. So that’s always like I’m a big you know, my stuffs are like mine. Saturday, I will say to people, you got to try stuff because you actually may have no idea, you know about something that’s gonna feel very fulfilling to you.
Scott D Clary 05:09
So walk me through for people who don’t know who you are, who didn’t see the special that I saw and millions of other people saw. So I want to understand that because that blew up your name. But then I also want to double down on what actually happened with Fiverr. So just tee that up for everyone as well.
Alexandra Fasulo 05:27
Yeah, so Well, CNBC first covered my story, actually, in 2018. They just did an article and that was like my first taste of like crazy PR and hate as well. And article said, like how this 25 year old made 150k In six months, which is like a shocking title in a way. And that that meant like mini viral. I felt spill out from it with people close to me in my life that didn’t like it very much. And I was my first wake up call to like the real world and people and how much people can sock. But then it wasn’t until March 2021 of this year, CNBC wanted to do follow up. So they did a like 12 minute feature video on me that was very not invasive. I agree to it, you know, but it was very detailed and my finances and personal information. And that video went more viral than CNBC ever imagined and I ever imagined I was not prepared for how viral it went. I’m still not prepared for it, right? Because it’s like, I’m still feeling the spillover from it. I go on trips. Sometimes I’ll be random places in the country, and people will recognize me and I’m not used to that yet. This probably doesn’t help. Sometimes I’m like, should I tie it back to Brown? Maybe I don’t
Scott D Clary 06:41
I like it. I think it’s I think it’s a vibe. I love it. Yeah, it’s good.
Alexandra Fasulo 06:45
The thing is, it’s very, like notice me, but um, yeah, I mean, my Google reputations absolutely trashed from it. There’s not much I can do to fix it. I don’t know why Reddit threads rank higher than Forbes articles. But here we are. So yeah, the CNBC thing went super viral in March. And it’s been a really crazy six months since I’m not gonna lie.
Scott D Clary 07:09
Yeah, I, you know, it’s, I want to I want to let’s, let’s touch on that stuff in a bit. Let’s touch on some of this on some of this stuff that you’ve been that you’ve been working through. And you know, even before I say, like, do you want to lean into it? You want to not, but there’s, I think there’s a lot of lessons there for people that do end up getting, getting a measure of success. But let’s go through your first iteration of entrepreneurship. So you went through a whole bunch of side hustles because that’s when I want to finish your story before we start teaching people stuff. So we have a whole bunch of side hustles Fiverr hit obviously, in a big way. What are you doing on Fiverr?
Alexandra Fasulo 07:45
copywriting so everything from writing blogs, press releases, website content, product descriptions, app descriptions, you know, crowdfunding campaigns, editing, all business copywriting, it’s called so it’s writing that out a buyer buys, then they use it to sell their product or service. That’s essentially what I do. And people will pay a lot for it because it saves them invaluable time that they can now you know, go run their business with i A lot of what I do involves research. So if someone will say to me, Hey, I need a blog on the five benefits of CBD oil. You know, I’m the one that looks up the studies for it and links it in the blog for them. And people are more than happy to pay one to $300 for a nice blog on their website that can help with their SEO to help them rank on Google. So you know, I know so many copywriters who make a lot of money because it’s not easy work though. It’s tedious and that’s why people are willing to pay for it.
Scott D Clary 08:43
I actually do you’re not wrong about copywriting. I know I know. copywriters that do much more than just two 300 I know copywriters that charge a percentage of like marketing copywriters they charge a percentage of like, the sales yeah, like I know people that make like hundreds of 1000s Like millions plus in just copyright and and I guess the copywriting was because you had background NPR you knew you could write everybody thinks they can write but you you knew you could write and and how do you think you were so successful in that? What what differentiated you from all the noise on Fiverr?
Alexandra Fasulo 09:18
Um, I think it’s just I kept my head down. I studied what every single other person was doing on there, how they were working their gigs, how they were pricing their gigs, I stopped the crap out of everyone. And I kept my head down with it. I spent hours on Google reading over people’s blogs doing free you know, practice work, I just obsessed over it. I didn’t allow the option for me not to succeed at it if that makes sense. I was like an animal with it.
Scott D Clary 09:46
Because you because you weren’t. So a lot of the stuff that I preach is Don’t quit your job. And start a side hustle. And then once that’s comfortable, then you can do the full switch but you were all in day one. You had everything to lose because you had no nothing else going at the point when you started. Okay. So you’re starting to you’re doing you’re doing very well on Fiverr. Of course now, you know, fast forward a little bit, you have a little bit of notoriety because of CNBC, some good, some bad, but what have you built your business into? So as an entrepreneur, that obviously, first time, you know, first time is everything you’re doing, you’ve never done this before you actually joined Fiverr, and you started putting out content and selling to clients. So how do you decide how to grow your business? How did you decide to? And how did you grow the freelancing portion of copywriting? And then how did you decide what other products and services to add into your portfolio as you grew?
Alexandra Fasulo 10:42
Um, well, so I mean, the business just kind of grew naturally on its own, because the more reviews you get on Fiverr, the more momentum your profile gets. But how I decided on like new services to offer is I would just listen to my clients, because people I think, they’ll get so in their heads before they even do it. They’re like, Well, how do I know what to offer? How to know whatever I’m like, you guys, just start doing it and listen to what the clients tell you get their feedback. So a lot of my clients were like, Hey, if you wrote our blog, and website content, do you think you could write our product descriptions too? And I’d say, Well, I don’t really have any experience with that. And they go, that’s okay. We like how you write. And I would in that would be an amazing opportunity to teach myself product descriptions with a buyer who’s going to be very understanding already, because they’re, you know, they know I’m new at it. And that’s how I learned every service I offer up to ebooks. I didn’t like come up with that. I had clients saying to me, Hey, you know, we really like your blogs, you could definitely write like short form ebooks, would you write one for us? And it was always, you know, that’s how I got to I think my profile is like, 13 Open Services on it. Now, I would just let the clients dictate it, you know, where’s the demand at instead of guessing where it is? Why don’t you just they’ll just tell you
Scott D Clary 11:49
just listen. Just straight up. Listen. Yeah. That’s it’s so simple when you when you frame it like that, but so many people overcomplicate what entrepreneurship is, what? And when you decided to do this, like this is something that somebody could totally side hustle and not just go all in on. But when you’re starting to sell a service or a product, do you think that it makes more sense to use a marketplace like a fiver or even like an Upwork? Or any top towel or any other? Or is it more it makes more sense to figure out a website market yourself.
Alexandra Fasulo 12:24
So I think in the beginning of freelancing platform, like a fiver is definitely the best way to go. Because they handle so much of it for you, right, like you don’t need to set up a website, you don’t need to do your own marketing. You don’t need to worry about client disputes, they’ll you know, they’ll they’ll handle all of it. I think starting out if you try and just be your own independent freelancer, with your own website, everything right out of the gates, you’re gonna be so overwhelmed. I think it’s going to be too much. So I think a freelancing platforms ideal and people’s first few years, because you get to learn you know, time management, you have to start to understand discipline, not procrastinating, you know, customer service, that’s a lot to learn. You got to give yourself couple years for that. Once you feel like you totally got that unlock. You know how to sell people and all that stuff, then I think taking it off of there, where you own 100% of your business is obviously the end goal. You know, that’s how you get the agency going. That’s how you hire help you start growing it into something huge. You can make give seven figures if you want. But I think a freelancing platform is perfectly fine in the meantime, because you can make six figures on a freelancing platform, which is like crazy, and you can do it by yourself.
Scott D Clary 13:31
And how much time did you actually have to put in to to hit that to hit any significant amount of revenue that would replace your your PR job? Was it months? 80 hours a week? Yeah. Oh, I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode, HubSpot. HubSpot is the CRM that you have to have for your business and whatever your business is up to your CRM platform should be ready. Why? Because believe it or not, CRM platforms are no longer just a selling tool. They’re the heart of building and scaling your business with tools for marketing, sales, customer service, content management and operations. The HubSpot CRM platform is fully customizable for whatever your business needs use HubSpot to meet customer demand align your teams work smarter, not harder scale up without having the need to slow down with total control and over 650 integrations. HubSpot enables your team to succeed no matter how big or how small, whether you’re just getting started or looking for a robust system. HubSpot is the number one CRM for scaling businesses learn more about how you can customize your CRM email@example.com
Alexandra Fasulo 14:46
Yeah, so like in only two months, I knew it was gonna work. Yeah, I mean, I was working a lot in the beginning like I was working 5060 hour weeks never 80 hour weeks. I’ve never been someone who’s like not going to sleep at night for I’ve always thought That’s like stupid in college. And people are like pulling an all nighter. And I’m like, well, that’s dumb because you’re going to be exhausted tomorrow. Like, I’ve never like gotten that. But I would hover around the, like 5060 hour mark, no days off. And I say to people, you don’t have to do it that way. Like, I’m just being honest about what I did. I’m not saying you have to do it that way. But I think yeah, did working 60 hours a week in the beginning, get me to six figures faster? Probably. If six figures is not your goal, then don’t work 60 hours a week, don’t worry about it.
Scott D Clary 15:30
Okay, and then just I’m curious as to because you mentioned a few other things like when you jump into entrepreneurship as other stuff that crops up, there’s customer success? There’s, you mentioned a few things actually, I I’m blanking on some of the other stuff. But what are some of those? What are some of those things that you don’t think about when you’re starting? Because you have you have your skill that you want to sell to the world? What are the other things that you have to be aware of? That you generally don’t realize? Until you’re in it?
Alexandra Fasulo 15:57
Yeah. Oh, man, so many things. Market and not marketing sales, right? Like when you’re messaging customers, how do you get them to book more with you, customer service, like customer satisfaction, they need to leave you five star reviews, you have to offer revisions, you have to be professional in your communication with them, if they lash out at you, you have to still be professional, back to them. Time management, if somebody places eight orders with you one day, you cannot procrastinate. That’s the you know, because if you were already procrastinating another huge order due tomorrow, you now have a situation so you know, very, like what does that soft skills are like real world. Common sense stuff is a huge part of this, that you know, you didn’t need to have to do well in college or anything, or you sometimes don’t even really need to do well in a nine to five because your boss your managers taking care of it for you. So it’s like all those things, you got to give yourself time to learn those things. But those things once you learn them, I think you’re infallible. I think once you you know, conquer procrastination, you know how to sell things to people, you know how to take criticism, and not take it personally, I think you can go do anything, then. It doesn’t have to be freelancing. Like I think you’re set for life when you like, get through that
Scott D Clary 17:09
100%. Now this, this is something I’m curious about. Do you think that because I, I always preach that you shouldn’t jump right in. But I think there could be a benefit. Because when you jump right into entrepreneurship, you force yourself to ramp like, there’s like no looking back, like you, you could have a little bit of a nest egg. But I mean, chances are you have to, you have to make rent in a couple months. And that’s going to be an issue if you don’t make money. So do you think that by maybe not jumping into if you jump into a side hustle just part time, do you think maybe the drive isn’t there, and that may give a false a false response to whether or not you could be successful versus if you jump right in, and you’re like, forced, like sink or swim?
Alexandra Fasulo 17:50
Yeah, um, I think being forced into it ensures success more, and that you’re gonna make it work. But I have seen a lot of people segue into it half and half, where they started part time while they’re out their nine to five. And if they hate their nine to five, on enough, they make it work part time. So it’s almost I just see, it always works. If you are so miserable at whatever it is you’re doing. Like that’s when it works. Because if you like kinda like your nine to five, still, I don’t think you’re gonna make it work. So it takes a lot of work. But for the people I know who are just like, make it stop. I hate this with every fiber of my being. I cannot go on another day. I see them make it work. So it’s really like a will thing. Yeah.
Scott D Clary 18:38
And, okay, so now so now you’re in it, you’re doing it. And and the one thing that I always was curious about with someone who offers a service, in a freelancing environment where the customers are always different industries, different niches, how do you stay? How do you be effective across so many different niches? Because of course, copywriting is, you definitely have to. But I think there’s other things like if you are doing any sort of product specific work, you have to find a way to execute whatever service it is that you offer against that product in like record time at a very high caliber. So what’s the is it just research? Is it mindset? Is it Is there a strategy to find the best information in a short period of time even though you’ve never learned about that thing before in your life?
Alexandra Fasulo 19:29
Yeah, that’s, that’s why the questionnaires are so important and freelancing, because if you have a proper questionnaire set up, the client will essentially give you everything you already need. So you’ll say you know what pages do you want done? What’s the topic? Do you have a title in mind? Do you have a blog that you really like that you want this to sound like and by the time they’re done with your questionnaire they’ve kind of given you like everything you needed, then just write it for them.
Scott D Clary 19:54
Okay, so this is like this is like the customer onboarding piece. Like this is like what this is when you’re first bringing them on like That is like integral to being successful. Basically, yes.
Alexandra Fasulo 20:04
And the questionnaire is everything. It also minimizes miscommunications because like, in the beginning, my questionnaires would have like two questions in them. And the client would, I wouldn’t know what the client wanted, then the client would get pissed at me and I get pissed the client, you know, all this stuff, that when you have the 10 questions, by the end, when they answer all 10 questions, like, they can’t get mad at you, because you literally follow like everything they told you. So it’s like, they don’t have a case against you at that point. Because you Yeah, cuz like, I mean, occasionally, you get a crazy person who you will follow everything they ask of you, and they’re like, bipolar or something. And they’ll say, like, that’s not what I want. And I’m like,
Scott D Clary 20:41
okay, or they could or they could be they could be, they could be, you know, doing that on purpose because they want or they think they know the game, right? They think if they, if they complain, it’s like the person who, like got after they ate the meal at the restaurant. They’re like, this was shit. Like, they think like, they’re gonna get a free, free something out of you if they just complained enough.
Alexandra Fasulo 21:02
Exactly. And if you you know, have your questionnaire set up like that fiber will see that and be like, Okay, we see the spires an asshole. person is trying to get free work, basically.
Scott D Clary 21:15
All right. Okay, cool. All right. So, you so now you are growing your business on Fiverr. The next, the next step in entrepreneurship, or solopreneur? Ship? Is pricing and making your business more viable, of course. So what are some of the because this is something that I’ve been in consulting before, not copywriting, but it’s something that I struggled with personally, I know a lot of people struggle with pricing their stuff, how do you price your stuff? And how do you know when to increase the price on on your stuff.
Alexandra Fasulo 21:46
So on a fiber, it’s really easy, because everyone’s prices are public. So you just go find your competitors and just copy it. That’s what I did. Two times, I raised my prices on Fiverr. When you advance a level, raise your prices, when you have more work than you can humanly do in a 10 hour workday, raise your prices. It’s all very like, you know, just fluid, like just pay attention type of stuff. Could you raise your prices, even more than those two triggers? Probably I always tend to operate on the lower end of the pricing spectrum. That’s a me problem. But I say to people, you know, those are the two instances. Don’t be shy.
Scott D Clary 22:22
Okay, very good. So walk me through the like the current version of your business. So obviously started on fiber, you grew some additional products, I just want to get like a holistic and maybe I’ll think of some questions to go into or some strengths to go into. And then I want to just keep going down your story in CNBC, and some of the things that have come out of that as well. So what’s the current iteration of your business, all the product services that you’re doing right now?
Alexandra Fasulo 22:48
Yeah, so my business has now officially made the jump from just being on Fiverr to being its own agency, essentially. So I have a person below me, my best friend who’s actually the manager now have three different writers. So I am no longer the girl alone on Fiverr writing every day, I’ve always been transparent about that, which all the trolls are like, she isn’t telling the truth. I’m like, you guys. I’m always I don’t understand why my business can’t grow. Like how is that a sin? Like?
Scott D Clary 23:16
I’ve done? They’ll talk about some of that stuff in a second.
Alexandra Fasulo 23:19
Well, so I’ve done this for seven years, I would be an idiot at this point, if I didn’t have people helping me like, why would I just keep doing this alone. So I have my best friend for the last two months now it’s very it’s very new, is building out an agency essentially below me so I’m helping with the hiring of people looking over their work before it’s delivered, making sure it’s up to par. And she’s basically doing the rest because I’m looking to now you know, move more into almost a coaching like informational realm with this. My my season of my podcast is starting next week, I want to get more into almost freelance reporting. No one else is doing that I want to feature different people’s stories, talk to other people in freelancing really, like create this community of it that is just so lacking online today. That’s where I’m heading with it right now. So I am the most removed from it I have ever been. But I think I deserve that. It’s been seven years like
Scott D Clary 24:17
I was gonna say congratulations, because the only goal of a business owners to make themselves redundant. If you aren’t, then you’re not you don’t have a business. You just have a job that you’ve created for yourself.
Alexandra Fasulo 24:28
Exactly. So I’m like, I’m like patting myself on the back for that. I don’t know why other people hate on me for it. I don’t know. Why, right.
Scott D Clary 24:37
Well, I don’t I don’t know. I don’t know. I actually don’t know why it doesn’t really make much sense to me because so this this rabbit hole that I went down, was basically listening to podcasts to prep for this podcast. And then I heard you speaking to someone else about like the hate you get online and I’m like, Oh, that’s interesting. Like, let’s let’s look into that. And the hate really is she’s hired people to grow her business. So she doesn’t do all copyrighting herself. And I’m like bruh, do you know how a business works, because most businesses, the CEO doesn’t do all the things themselves. And I don’t get what I don’t understand. Because there’s a lot of a lot of very successful people that have huge t actually, to be honest, anybody who you know their name, unless they’re your best friend, if you know their name in the public sphere, most likely the interaction that you’ve seen them have in the world, if it’s like a social media post, there’s a good chance that it’s actually not that like, I hate to break it to you like maybe like, Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the few people that’s actually still posting on his own social feeds. But outside of that, most public figures have teams supporting them. Most people that are high level, or have any sort of measure of success in a business, have teams that do the work for them. And they’re evangelizing they’ve made themselves redundant in the business, which is actually the goal. To be honest, if you’re a CEO, still working in the business after 10 years, you should probably rethink how you build your business. Because your goal is to make yourself redundant, remove yourself, and to hire people. That’s the only goal and especially in an agency environment, like you have the blessing of, you know, getting some coverage. And that’s great. And you can use that to drive your business. But like, you don’t want to just be a copywriter for like, an individual copywriter for the rest of your life that limits the amount of impact you can have. If you can hire great people, you have a great name, you have a great brand, you have a great agency, and you can hire people to scale yourself out. That really should be the goal. But that’s the thing that you’re getting hate for, like just building a business. So do you think it’s do you think it’s, you know, is it? Is it successful woman? Is that the issue? Is it the coverage you got like it CNBC do like I have no idea why? Because it doesn’t like I think you’re doing it right. So it’s hard to see through the lens of people that are assholes on Reddit, when you’re just like your argument is stupid. So I’m just curious why you think that’s ever come about. I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode, uprising food. If you want to take advantage of a special offer they’ve put together for all success story podcast listeners, go to uprising food.com/success story. That’s uprising food.com/su CC, ESS s t o r y. So what is uprising food? Well, essentially, uprising is a vision to liberate all of us from a fundamentally broken food system that is stealing our health. There are so many bad foods out there that just destroy our health and the snowball effect is silent inflammation with many of these fast foods that we eat but the issue is usually that healthy food is either too expensive, or doesn’t taste good, or both. Uprising is solving that they have cracked the code on healthy bread. 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Alexandra Fasulo 29:45
You know, it’s like I’m never that person that wants to think things like this, but I’ve been on Tik Tok for a year and a half now and I just see the way like women are treated with this compared to men is night and day. Every woman I see come on to Talk and post some type of financial success that is flooded with the comments of, well, she didn’t do it alone, I bet her boyfriend’s Rich, I bet her husband’s Rich, I bet daddy gave her the money. It’s like, people are so uncomfortable with the idea that a woman especially I think it’s a young woman to a young woman can go achieve financial success on her own. It’s like, people just hate that concept. I don’t know why. I think that’s a huge part of the hate that I get. I think another part of it is that I am in a traditionally very creative field. And because I have people write to me and call me a sellout all the time. And I think it’s because I sell writing, like, much like if I sold paintings or something, I think artists can be the meanest of all when it comes to this stuff, because you’re supposed to be a starving artist, you’re
Scott D Clary 30:49
supposed to struggle, everyone, a lot of people struggle.
Alexandra Fasulo 30:53
You know, all this stuff. So I think that’s a current of it. And then I think the other current of it is people who have been freelance writers for the last 30 years who haven’t figured out how to make this much money from it are pissed that whoops, that they didn’t realize that they you know, instead of making 30k a year could have been making 300k per year. And I think they hate that I have publicized that you can because maybe the people in their life are like, What the hell are you doing wrong then or something? You know? Yeah.
Scott D Clary 31:21
It’s very sad, actually, you know, just to think about just to think about successful women. It’s just obviously, I don’t experience that I’m, I’m not in that position. I don’t experience that. So when I see it, it’s like, holy shit, like, How is this even a thing, but actually, I read so I, I interview a lot of people on my show. And just as an aside, there’s a really successful woman, Aubrey Strobel. She is CMO at lolly. It’s a crypto company that’s really doing well. She’s done very, very well in her career. And I just posted a clip of her on Tik Tok. And I got one comment. And then one comment was don’t go to women for financial advice. Yeah, like, I don’t get how that’s like a theme in 2021. Like, that blows my mind that that’s the one thing that somebody was like, I gotta take time out of my day. And I want to write this and post it publicly. Like, it’s it, it honestly doesn’t really make sense to me at all. And it’s very sad. And it’s really fucked up, to be honest. But
Alexandra Fasulo 32:19
it’s just it’s, it’s insecure men, I think, feel even feel emasculated by a woman coming online and having more sound financial advice than they do, because society has told them you know, they’re the ones that should be the, you know, down with the money. So I think when a woman goes up here, and is more down with the money than they are, I think it challenges their entire masculine fabric of
Scott D Clary 32:44
weird, masculine paradigm when really, like, the goal should be like, holy shit, she’s making $300,000 Plus on Fiverr. Maybe I should just listen to two things she says, because I don’t want to be making 30k anymore. And this sounds like
Alexandra Fasulo 33:00
I’m like, you guys, I come in peace. Like I’m a pretty peaceful person. Like, I just get on there. And I give people free tips to change their life with. That’s what I do. I know. I know, other people, other women who are in this financial freedom space with me, I’m friends with a lot of them that go on social media and choose a more controversial approach to grow their accounts. That’s fine. I have zero judgment on what you want to do. But it’s like, I get on there. And I’m just like, hey, guys, here’s three things to do to make more money on Fiverr today, like what? I’m like, what is so controversial? You
Scott D Clary 33:36
know what? The second, okay, so I was I was this this whole Reddit thing that I was looking into yesterday. I was I was doing it last night. And like, I actually, the one post that made me like, close my computer and be like, This is the most it’s the dumbest group of people I’ve ever met, was one person said, and obviously everyone’s anonymous on Reddit, right? I’m sure you can figure out a few to try and really figure it out. But they’re all anonymous profiles. And one person said something along the lines of she takes pictures on our Instagram by the pool, and like, how can she be a serious writer if she takes pictures by the pool? Or something? Like I’m sure that, like, that was the that was basically the theme of the argument. Like it was like, you can probably go find it. Like it was insane. And it’s not like trying to like make it seem like more like retarded, like stupid than that than it actually is. That was it. That was really the theme of the argument. And I just thought you know what this is, this is sad because, you know, in, in, in my circle, like that’s, those are not the kind of people that I associate with. So I just, I guess I’m blind to the fact that there’s people like that out there.
Alexandra Fasulo 34:45
Oh, meanwhile, my thing is like, Okay, I post a picture by the pool. Any guy gets on there post pictures of him throwing $100 bills off the back of a Lamborghini. You’re comfortable with that? And you know, I’m not hating on that. I think that’s awesome. Like when I see someone throwing 100 Like off a Lamborghini alright like frickin get it like that like, yeah, you’re either 32 That these these men now this is not all men. It’s just these horrible people hate seeing women have fun. I think it’s a thing so I always noticed whenever there’s women, comedians on Tik Tok, or women buy one, one girl I know handily, she bought herself a Lamborghini with all the money that she makes. And she has fun with her Lamborghini and she deserves it. She’s worked her ass off. And no, like, the guys are like, hate watching women, like have fun or make jokes or, like, I think they only want to think that we’re like making sandwiches and like cleaning bedsheets and if we’re like outside having fun, they’re like, we can’t have this. Like, something is awry here. Like get in the kitchen. I don’t know.
Scott D Clary 35:49
It’s horrible. I will i There must be something there because those comments aren’t normal. Another one said another one said, Oh, I still eat you know, I I’m an I’m an actual copywriter. This is what the thing said that the posts that I’m an actual copywriter because all I eat is tuna because I can’t afford anything else. And I’m in my basement trying to finish something. I’m like, bro, you should get a job that sounds like something that sounds like it. Like go work for somebody like I don’t like first of all all that like lead in the tuner Mercury mercury in the tuna sir, from eating it every single damn day is probably not good for your health. But like bro, you got to get a real job because that does not sound like a way to live life. Like you can’t figure out a way to like, get out of that situation that you so proudly represented online as to this is who I am as a copywriter and I can’t even afford like a decent meal. Like don’t flex that that’s not a flex, it’s just like and I and that’s the thing about the internet is like it, it democratizes every end like anyone can be successful if you know how to leverage yourself, if you know how to leverage right. And leverage can be multiple things. Leverage can be your own personal brand. It can be leveraging talent like other talent and building an agency if you have a really good way of building a brand a profile and driving leads and then of course you hire out a team. There’s leverage can be different platforms. Leverage can be a side hustle. Like there’s so many ways to leverage with internet there’s zero reason why a creative should be starving, even artists like like like not like copywriters, like NF T’s like I don’t even know much about NF T’s but I know there’s people making bank on those just because they’re trying to figure out a way to stay relevant with the times they’re transitioning their words they’re already doing which is incredible work into a space of taught like, leverage yourself take advantage of that stuff. Just it’s
Alexandra Fasulo 37:39
it is I don’t even like I don’t even know what to say about these people. They’re just yeah, we’re just talking how do you
Scott D Clary 37:45
do okay, how do you so this is so how do you deal with how do you deal with this? You because this is not something that you signed up for? No one does.
Alexandra Fasulo 37:55
Um, I mean, the first line of defense is trying to separate myself from reading it. So my whole family you know has barred me from going on Reddit. They’re like do not go on Reddit Alex just never go on it. So I haven’t checked it since May. Because I don’t actually gain anything from seeing people like bond over hating me I don’t think as human beings we were meant to like be able to read something like that. I think it’s a very toxic thing today like to be able to read people shitting on you in public is like cool. So that’s my first line is trying to minimize my interaction with it. Um, you know, my next line was hiring more help this past spring. Bree you know reads all of my emails before I do so when people send really after emails you know, she’ll just delete them doesn’t even tell me that they were saying I mean, I’ve grown thicker skin I’ve learned to laugh at it you know I mean my I think my faith helps me with it. I’m reading the Bible praying and stuff just understanding like humans suck. It was told that we would all suck it is to be expected that we suck so is what it is.
Scott D Clary 39:05
It is what it is. Yeah, that’s what it is. Because I think that’s the hardest part about like there’s there’s always like a blessing and a curse when you put yourself out into the world and you put yourself out in a way that you probably didn’t even if you didn’t expect it. Expect CNBC didn’t expect all this fame overnight. So I think that a lot of people again, I always advocate for building out a personal brand and putting yourself out there and posting as much as you can and turning yourself into a media company I think that’s the way that you anyone it could be in a job could be outside of jobs gonna benefit you no matter what. But I think that a lot of this stuff comes in that territory and I don’t think people ramp as quick as you because most people don’t have CNBC. Gov them and get that immediate, but you probably overnight you your life was.
Alexandra Fasulo 39:49
Yeah, I knew there’d be some notoriety from it, but the virality of it. Neither I nor CNBC predicted it. mean huge YouTubers recovering the story. You know, I flew out to meet Graham Stephens. He was like come on my show. I mean, it was just absolutely insane that how viral at one I was just like, I was sitting here one day with my mom’s I was flipping out and my mom was like we should we ask them to take like, Should we make a stop because it was hacked? It was like snowballing.
Scott D Clary 40:23
And, and to to create, so I’m curious for entrepreneurs that are, are looking for this, what are things that entrepreneurs should be wary of? As they put themselves out there? What are things that they should, potentially because you listed off a few steps as we were just chatting, but I’m just I want to lay it out, like very succinctly. So the things that you’ve done to not not manage your online reputation, but manage how it impacts you. So I want to lay out the things that you’ve done, just so that when somebody on the come up, like eventually hits it big, which hopefully they will that’s the goal. They don’t get sidelined by this stuff. And I think you handled it like what I don’t know you that well, but you seem to have handled it. Okay, like I’m sure there was some nights where not so great. But I think that it can be a very dangerous, it can be a really powerful thing. Very dangerous thing. So what were some what would be some suggestions?
Alexandra Fasulo 41:19
Um, so you’re saying like some suggestions for people’s like
Scott D Clary 41:22
so what you did, like you mentioned, you like breeze like screening your emails, you said, like, for example, I just want to take a second and thank the sponsor of today’s episode Canva, they put together a special offer for all success story podcast, listeners go to canva.me/success or if you want to take advantage. But what is Canva? Well, making content is an essential part of what I do to keep this show going. But it hasn’t always been easy. Canva Pro allows me to design anything like a pro on any device. And I’ve been using Canva Pro for a while now for all content for all social that I create for success story. So Canva Pro is a design platform that empowers you to create stunning content with just a few clicks. Designing with Canva Pro is fast and fun you choose from 1000s of templates for any type of creative any type of device, or you can start from scratch as well. Canva Pro has endless premium fonts, photos, videos, so much more to add personality and edge to whatever it is you’re creating. You don’t have to go out and purchase any licenses or extra tools, or extra photo rights, everything’s included. And if you work in a team, you can use Canva pro with your team as well to keep everybody organized, all focused on top of all the team projects all in one spot. And most recently, they’ve added on a content planner. So you’ll save time planning, creating and posting social media content as well. You can schedule posts, you can pause schedule posts, you can edit them at any time, they are truly a content creators dream. So if you want to design like a pro and use Canva pro right now you get an extended 45 day trial, you cannot get this just by going to Canva you have to go through the link they set up for success story podcast listeners canva.me/success story, you get a free 45 Day extended trial. So you can try Canva pro all the features, they give you everything canva.me/success story,
Alexandra Fasulo 43:19
I would say if you are anticipating a blow up of your story in some capacity online, to have at least one person in place with you for when it happens so that you can completely remove yourself from the internet for like two weeks and somebody else can take care of your businesses for you. I think that’s like Paramount like that you just get off of the internet for like weeks while the storm you know, blows through. It’s smart, it’s very good. Just get off. There’s no point in reading it, you don’t gain anything from it.
Scott D Clary 43:53
Do you still see value in in managing your own social? Or do you think that that can get toxic as well.
Alexandra Fasulo 44:00
Um, I like managing my own social media, like I don’t mind doing all of the content that I do. I like to create content, I like to be creative. I like to help people I like to be an educator, these are all things that are made. So you know I I like getting on there and creating but yeah, I mean, I think at some point there is value and having somebody else in your accounts with you who are managing the reputation side of it. I don’t think you should be the one doing that. Because there’s a vulnerability to putting your story and your content out there and it is you so when people are ripping it to shreds it’s never gonna feel good. I don’t care how famous you are. I don’t think it ever feels good. Like I still think a Paris Hilton. You know if she like puts a lot of effort into a video I still think if she ever looks at those Instagram comments, I like that must still hurt her feelings. You know? Of course like she’s like these are humans. So it’s like I still think there’s no harm in being a creator. Get on and create an Get off, but don’t be the consumer side of it create get off if you try and do both you will sink because people are frickin horrible online.
Scott D Clary 45:10
Good advice. Yeah. That that, that, that that false sense of security and not not putting your and being anonymous is it brings out the worst in people.
Alexandra Fasulo 45:20
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the anonymity is horrible. I don’t think like, it’s good for people to be able to be anonymous. I don’t think that’s the point of being alive.
Scott D Clary 45:31
No, I agree. I think you should, I think you should stand behind the stuff that you said. I think that you should I think that you should own up to it. Yes. And if you haven’t, this is Listen, no one’s against you having an opinion. But tie that opinion to yourself and stand behind it. And then and also, like, there’s, there’s still no excuse. There’s never an excuse for ripping into somebody. For no reason other than just being malicious. It’s very sad. I don’t think it’s something that we can ever get away from. I think that social media, and media like social media mediums can do a better job of maybe removing some of that, actually, they’re trying to because some social platforms are super, super negative. But you know, I think
Alexandra Fasulo 46:13
I know there’s always the fine line, because then are you censoring people, but I think like a Reddit that’s built entirely upon being anonymous is like, I just think like Reddit should be like, wiped off the map?
Scott D Clary 46:25
Well, it’s because it’s because it’s focused on being anonymous. So just I think it just like, it fosters really bad behavior. Yeah, that fosters really bad. Okay. Well, I hope that, you know, I appreciate you going into that. I’m sure that’s not easy. But I think that there’s some lessons in there that, and I know not everybody’s ever going to achieve, like, massive, massive notoriety and fame. But I think that it’s, I think that there’s lessons that even at a micro level, you can take away for dealing with an online community. Because even you know, you’ve got millions of people I’m, I’m like small peanuts compared to you. And there’s still stuff that I get. I’ve had I’ve had hate before I’ve had, you know, I had my first death threat like this past couple months, like, you get some really messed up people. Actually, somebody who writes a lot on this is Tim Ferriss. He. So he speaks a lot about like, the the issues that come with fame and notoriety. But anyways, we can move on, we can move off that I wanted to, I just wanted to dive into it. And I appreciate your perspective on a lot. Thank you. Okay, so the last thing that I wanted to go into, and and then I’ll also, I’ll ask you, if there’s anything else that you wanted to chat about this top of mind, but I just wanted to understand some advice from you. Because you work, you’ve always worked everywhere. And you’ve always worked. You’re not in an office right now. Correct. You’re just know, your whole team, you’re all remote. So how do you manage a team because you’ve built this team remote, you manage them, and they’re all doing well and you know, exceeding all those KPIs remotely? So what are some tips for people that? It could be? Honestly, it could be a manager within a company or it could be a freelancer that wants to scale their team? And then build an agency? How do you hire people remote? How do you work remote? You’ve been doing it a lot longer than most of us.
Alexandra Fasulo 48:21
Slack is just Slack. Slack. I’ve been through a lot of writers, I’m not going to sit here and say that. I’ve found them miraculously. And here they are. I’ve been through like, probably, I mean, 1000s of people have applied I’ve tried hundreds of people I’ve been through probably 20 hasn’t been easy, but Slack. So like right now, while I’m on this, I can see breeze in Slack with all of my writers right now. And individual threads working with them. That’s the answer.
Scott D Clary 48:58
Is there any? Because I think it’s easier to get a sense of somebody’s personality when you’re sitting across the table from them. But obviously, is there any common themes in what you look for? When you hire somebody remotely without ever being able to see them? Except like via zoom?
Alexandra Fasulo 49:15
Um, no, I just look for hardworking people who don’t make excuses. So if somebody you know, on their first day, or in the first test I give them has an excuse for why they haven’t done it yet, or whatever they’re done, like, because there’s timers on Fiverr. So there is no excuses. So if I give you an order, and you take it, and it’s due in two days, you have to do it. Because if you don’t do it, that we have a problem, you know, I’ve done up doing it or whatever. So I really just look for people who are hard workers, who are excuse makers, who just keep their head down. That’s it, you know, people without pride who just do their thing?
Scott D Clary 49:50
Yeah. And do you feel like when you work remotely, you’ve obviously had experience in it, but do you feel like there’s any things that you do too to stay focused, stay accountable. And I’m sure it’s a personality thing as well. But are there any other tips and tricks for somebody who is very diligent? And they just find that being at home in this environment is a little bit less conducive to work then when they were going into an office,
Alexandra Fasulo 50:16
what are you saying? Like how do I get them motivated?
Scott D Clary 50:18
No, not well, them. But also you like, how do you like even you, how do you avoid distractions when you’re working?
Alexandra Fasulo 50:28
I like I never really have a problem with it. Because I know
Scott D Clary 50:31
that’s it. You just put your head down and you just get shit done.
Alexandra Fasulo 50:35
Yeah, it’s like, I’m so happy to not be in an office every day that like, I make a work. Like right now here. If I turn this around, I’m sitting at my mom’s like, there’s a pool.
Scott D Clary 50:45
Oh, beautiful, nice pool.
Alexandra Fasulo 50:48
It’s like, that’s enough. That’s enough for me. I mean, I’m pumped like that. I’m not confined to an office. I’m like, you
Scott D Clary 50:55
know, I think, you know, I was gonna say, You know what I think it is? I think it’s because Okay, so I think the secret answer is like, love what you do. That’s it, you’re not gonna Yeah,
Alexandra Fasulo 51:07
then everything goes away.
Scott D Clary 51:10
Yeah, no, I think that’s smart. And you know, when I’ve actually I’ve had this conversation with people whose workforces have, like, migrated from office to home. And the recommendation always is, okay, well, if they went home, and they just started slacking off or not doing work, well, it’s not the home, that was the issue. It’s the fact that they didn’t give two shits about the company before they went home. So I’m not saying everybody has to, like love, love, love their job. But they should, at least to a point like the the the leaders goal in a company is to make the person’s make the person’s job tie into their own personal goals in their life. And if the leaders and get two shits about the employees, and doesn’t care about what those person’s goals are, could be financial, it could be upscaling, it could be promotion, it could be side hustle, whatever it is, if you can make that person love their job, because that job helps them achieve whatever they want to achieve in their life, then they’re going to, it doesn’t matter if they’re in office at home, it doesn’t doesn’t really matter. But it’s because too many, too many really shitty bosses didn’t actually care about their employees. And then when employees went home, they just thought they could just screw off and not do anything anymore. So I think that you actually nailed it. Like, it’s just about making sure that if you if you are working in any environment, love what you’re doing, or find something that you love doing, that’s find a way to get even, even if it’s like taking a step. Like even if it’s you know, Fiverr freelancing side, hustle, make some money on the side, validate the business concept. And then you can jump in full time, that’s cool. But just like take a step. And just don’t stay in an environment where you literally hate every single second of every single day. And all you want to do is clock out. Because that is hell. So how it has to be. Okay, let’s, I want to do a couple rapid fire career questions, just insights from from your career before I pivot. Anything else that was top of mind for you that we didn’t go into that I wasn’t smart enough to ask you that, that you wanted to go into?
Alexandra Fasulo 53:07
No, I think it’s it’s been a good combo. Cool.
Scott D Clary 53:10
I appreciate it. Thank you. And then also, if people want to connect with you, website social, where should they go?
Alexandra Fasulo 53:19
Website, Alex was smilo.com has links to all my stuff. Look up Alex fasulo on any social media site, hello. My podcast, the freelance fairy tales goes over everything you would ever need to get started freelancing. And it’s free.
Scott D Clary 53:36
You got to link that by the way, because that’s, that’s huge. I have a lot of I have a lot of people that come on here that have business podcasts, but I don’t think I’ve anyone that’s just done a pure freelancing podcast. So when it obviously, let me know, but I mean, link it and I’ll drop it in the show notes. So people go check it out. I think that’s very valuable. Sure. Okay, so let’s go through some rapid fire questions. Biggest challenge you can take can take as much time or as little time as you like, biggest challenge you had in your career personal or professional? What was that? And how did you overcome it?
Alexandra Fasulo 54:13
Think I’m probably the loneliness aspect of freelancing when I was first doing it. Have me second guessing it and questioning it for a while because it’s very lonely. But I overcame it by making in person and virtual business friends and realizing I’m not alone.
Scott D Clary 54:35
Good, smart. Okay. So just networking, networking, networking, and how did you when you’re when you’re networking in a freelancing role, because a lot of people are used to networking like going to trade shows or conferences or whatever? How did you do that?
Alexandra Fasulo 54:50
meetup.com and Instagram is a great place to and tick tock. I’ve made a lot of friends on tick tock. No, but I use meetup.com
Scott D Clary 55:00
Cool. Yeah. If you have to choose one person I know there’s probably been many, but pick one person in your life has been incredibly impactful. Who was that person? And what did they teach you?
Alexandra Fasulo 55:11
My mom. My mom taught me that doesn’t matter if you’re a woman, forget, forget about that you can do and be anything you want to be in your life. You can support a family by yourself, you can do, you can do it all and no excuses. That’s the choice.
Scott D Clary 55:31
What would be one unpopular belief about freelancing that you called?
Alexandra Fasulo 55:41
an unpopular belief about it
Scott D Clary 55:43
like unpopular, an uncommon unpopular belief, something that not everybody agree with you on
Alexandra Fasulo 55:49
any personality type, introvert extrovert can do it. It’s not the same thing as being an entrepreneur. It’s easier in a way anybody can do it. I know that for you.
Scott D Clary 56:01
Very good. A book or podcast any any sort of source that you’d recommend people go check out.
Alexandra Fasulo 56:08
Can I recommend my own?
Scott D Clary 56:10
You can I mean, it’ll go in the show notes no matter what. But if you got I could do your own until you have your own podcast. Of course. You don’t have a book do
Alexandra Fasulo 56:17
you? Not yet. Wink wink. Yeah, I’m
Scott D Clary 56:21
gonna say like, you need to have a book like you did a CNBC you’re a copywriter. It’s like,
Alexandra Fasulo 56:27
coming soon. Alright, cool. Ah, let’s see. I mean, a book I recently read that I thought was amazing was Big Magic. by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s all about being a creative and making money off of your creativity. I think anyone who’s a creative should read that book. A podcast I’ve been vibing with lately. This guy gets a lot of hate Joel Olsteen whether you’re Christian or not a great mindset podcast, amazing. Victory over victimhood type of if you’re trying to pump yourself up, I think his stuffs Great.
Scott D Clary 56:58
Very good. Very good. And if you could tell your 20 year old self one thing what would it be?
Alexandra Fasulo 57:05
Post your story to social media sooner because prolonging people hating on you like they’re gonna hate on you no matter what. So just freakin posts it.
Scott D Clary 57:14
It’s good. You’re gonna hate it in law school. You’re gonna hate anyway. Every like, there’s people. If people that hate everyone, that’s that’s the thing. That’s the takeaway. Yeah. So just just don’t take it personally. Just do it. Just do it. Do it, do it. Okay. And then if, Okay, last question. So, what does success mean to you?
Alexandra Fasulo 57:38
Success means to me being totally financially spiritually and physically free. So, not having to actually worry about making money today because it’s already taken care of being able to go wherever you want. Being able to worry about your health because you have being free is successful to me.
Scott D Clary 57:58
Amazing. Okay, that’s all I got Alex. That was great. That was perfect