They say that opportunities are everywhere, but we often don’t look for them right at home. But this wasn’t the case for Rita Vanessa Siniscalchi. She found a hidden freelance business right inside her family-run restaurant. With creativity and ingenuity, she’s been able to use her skills and passion to help women around the world build sustainable businesses, with less stress. Here’s her story.
I am a Digital Growth Consultant for multicultural female entrepreneurs who want to overcome the overwhelm of implementing a measurable strategy. What that means is, I teach you how to grow your business online - without the overwhelm.
When I am not strategizing you can find me indulging in the mountains escaping the city life with my family.
I stumbled into freelancing after running the social media for a restaurant I owned. It was around 2010 that I started to explore what I wanted to focus on as a career moving forward.
I was at home with a toddler eager to learn how social media was going to change the way we market to consumers. For me, it was essential to find work that could meet my creativity and also my family lifestyle.
I remember thinking, “I should start blogging”, so I attended a bunch of workshops for mommy bloggers. Although I am a mom, I quickly realized that it was not for me. But here I was, two years later, without an income and I was NOT ok with being a stay-at-home mom. So I dove into social media even more.
One day I was talking to my neighbor, who happened to be the SVP at EPIX channel, and she shared with me a link for the “Social Media Week NYC” summit. She told me to see if I could get a comp ticket.
At the time I was making $75 a week as a Community Manager. There was no way I was going to be able to pay for this over a thousand dollar summit. So, I scrambled up my coins and shared this event with one of the women from my retail years where I was first introduced to online sales. She ended up sponsoring me to attend the event! I remember her telling me, “I want to invest in your career as much as you invest in others” (insert tearful eyes).
After attending SMWNYC and hearing the industry experts speak. I knew I had to do something to invest in my freelancing and gain the type of work I wanted. I got on Facebook and searched for companies that were already in my network that I could potentially work with. Enter Latinas Think Big!
One story I rarely share is that I pitched myself to the founder of LTB via Facebook Messenger and email. I did both because I wanted her to know that I was eager to help. Did I mention I offered her social media marketing services for FREE99? Yup! I did this not because I didn’t know my worth but because I wanted to see my value for myself. Since then I have always offered free 15-minute consultations because there’s something about going back to customer service that always turns into a win for me. Like that code in retail that says “the customers' needs come first”. Why? Because it allows you to see what they need and whether you both are a match in the Freelance world.
My biggest failure wasn’t working for only $75 a week - it was thinking that $75 wouldn’t add up if I really put the work in. As long as “You” put in the work to continue to elevate your skill sets, you’ll earn the income you deserve as a freelancer.
Over the last seven years, I have continued to freelance because, like most freelancers, it worked for my lifestyle. From the freedom to choose clients, to the range in my day-to-day work, I've both enjoyed it very much and found it challenging.
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There have been several pivoting moments for me, but the one that stands out the most has always been the invitation I received to attend an influential event as an expert. I was a speaker and workshop facilitator at Social Media Week, as well as a client representative at the Facebook Community Summit.
You never know who and for what reason someone is consuming your content. Some admire your work so much that as in my case, it will open doors for you to speak or present as an expert in your industry at leading conferences and companies.
Get rooted in a tribe that supports and encourages your creativity and business goals. Basically, find a crew, a mastermind or, heck, form one yourself! Freelancing is lonely and having a group that is there to support, guide, and vibe with you is essential to staying on track.
My biggest service has always been community management. Most small business owners and organizations don't have the time to spend on social media and learning all there is to know about how to utilize it as a revenue stream. Enter a community manager, and they are happy owners that will pay you for your skill sets based on results. But next to it comes social media strategy, and I will always let leads know a community manager will do nothing for your goals without a clear strategy.
Freelancing to me means having the opportunity to help a business reach digital influence in a way that bigger corporations. It has allowed me to creatively receive an income for the time I have spent learning a specific skill set that brings me joy and elevates me as a professional.
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