Rafe Gomez is the owner of VC Inc. Marketing. He provides strategic messaging and sales support content creation to businesses across the U.S. His articles on P.R., sales, and marketing topics have appeared in a variety of top media outlets – including CMO, PR Daily, Under 30 CEO, Marketing Profs, Adweek, Entrepreneur, Direct Marketing News, Forbes, and many more.
1) How did you get started working from home?
I had been a nationally syndication radio mix show DJ for almost ten years. When that career ended because of changes in the radio industry in ’08, I needed to come up with a new way to earn a living and support my family. I had always done my own marketing and P.R., so I decided to make my expertise available to the market. I converted the production studio in my home into an office, and I was ready to rock.
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
While in radio, I found that I had a knack for generating media coverage about my work. I also found that I was a very effective in sales. Once the radio gig was done, I shifted my efforts from focusing on selling and promoting what I was doing to helping clients develop sales tools and media coverage that would benefit their organizations’ efforts.
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
I spent a lot of time researching companies to see which ones might be open to the services and solutions that I offered. I’d scour the NY Times Sunday Business, the Wall Street Journal, Inc., Entrepreneur, and others to track down prospects, and I’d then look on LinkedIn to find out who the decision makers were. There was a lot of cold pitching, but little by little, I began to find and lock in clients.
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
I bumped into a former colleague of mine from the radio business at a Starbucks in Manhattan. He had left the radio business and became the CEO of a new education services company. He told me that that his company needed to formulate a strategic approach for their media relations, messaging, and sales support initiatives. I told him about what I was up to and how I could be a valuable solution for him and his organization. That chance encounter became my first gig, and things took off from there.
5) How do you market your business?
I contribute articles to a variety of prominent media outlets in which I present my unique POV about trending topics. I’ve written fun stories about the business aspects of “The Walking Dead”, Twisted Sister, One Direction, Louis C.K., and others. This content has gotten widely read and shared, and has led to incoming inquiries from prospective clients who were intrigued by my ideas and wanted more info about how my work could benefit their companies. These inquiries keep coming in, long after the content has posted. It’s been a great way to build my business that has cost me nothing!
6) What does your usual day look like?
Up at 5:40 am, work until 3 pm (with meal, stretching, and reading breaks), take care of household stuff or hit the gym for 1.5 hours, then spend an hour or so to wrap things up and prep for the next day.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
If you’re married or have a family, it’s crucial to leave your work in your home office, and not bring it into the rest of the house. If you’re still thinking about work-related stuff when trying to take care of family or household-related stuff, you’ll be distracted, you’ll make mistakes, and you’ll REALLY annoy/frustrate your spouse, your kids, and/or both!
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
Keep your expenses low. Focus on delivering fantastic services, not on overspending on things like the development of an ornate logo or website. Be careful of how much you spend on advertising: if your ads aren’t getting clicked, stop them – don’t let them continue to run in the mistaken belief that they’ll eventually deliver results.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she’s been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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