Alicia Lyttle | Interview With Nationwide News 90FM| Earn Online From Home During COVID-19
Click Play Below To Listen
Radio Interview Transcript
Patria-Kaye: 2:37 right here on Nationwide 90FM. Let us be real folks there are lots of people who already are losing their jobs, not just in Jamaica but around the world because of COVID-19 and it’s something that’s hit home in a very real way here in Jamaica. Why? Because so many people are employed in the tourism sector especially and they’re not going to be able to work. The cruise ships aren’t coming and that’s the majority of your business. If passenger arrivals not happening, what’s happening with tourism? There are lots of, I’m just seeing one after the other all of these messages about attractions closing, about hotels closing and you think about the ripple effect from that and that’s one industry.
You also have small businesses who are going to say, “I can’t afford to keep everybody on staff,” or “I can’t afford to pay everybody 100% of their salaries because if nobody’s coming through my doors and I don’t have any customers, I’m not generating any revenue to be able to pay the staff bill, pay my wage bill.” So, how can you earn some money for yourself from home, on the internet? That’s what we’re talking about. CEO of Internet Income Jamaica, Alicia Lyttle is my guest and man is she going to be a popular person for the next couple of weeks. How are you doing Alicia?
Alicia: I’m doing good. How are you? It’s good to hear your voice again.
Patria-Kaye: Thank you so much. I’m so happy to have you here because once you know, others need to know.
Alicia: Yes, especially in the times that we’re in right now and as I heard your introduction, I just want to say two things. One is that, you know, I’m excited to talk about the income opportunity for individuals, but two, there’s a way that, us as local business owners can also get creative during this time and during this crisis and I believe that this innovation and creativity that we see our businesses doing here in Jamaica is also going to change the way that business is done. So, I’m excited to talk about some of the examples of the different ways individuals can also earn money working online and being global.
Patria-Kaye: Well, even before we get to the individuals, you run a small business yourself in your mind, how have you had to change, you know, just how nimble you are and your ways of working to accommodate all of this?
Alicia: Right, so I own two businesses with offices, and we’ve closed our offices and sent all of our people home. So, we’re a completely remote work staff. Even before the announcements to be remote we became remote and what we’ve done is we are really used technology to the extreme. So, every morning from 9:00 to 10:30 in the morning, we have a Zoom meeting with all of our team members on it. So, we do a quick team check-in and that’s for business number one and then for business number two, I do the same thing with the team in that business and luckily we haven’t had to lay off anyone, we haven’t had to do any pay cuts. For us, it’s just making sure that our remote team is operating as efficiently as possible and still providing great service. In fact, our service level has definitely gone up for our clients.
So, we use a tool called Zoom for our meetings and I know it’s gotten a lot of publicity recently and it really is a good tool. So, we use Zoom for our meetings and then WhatsApp has been our second favorite tool. So, we set up different communication groups through WhatsApp and we’re using WhatsApp Web or WhatsApp for desktop so that on the laptop that everybody took home, they can communicate in groups and on their phone, they can communicate in groups. So, technology really has allowed us to be an amazing workforce and although it’s been very difficult and we’ve been pulling long shifts, seven days a week, which feels like 24 hours a day in working, our team is really able to communicate well because of technology. So, we’ve really taken advantage. It was hard to shut our doors and it was hard, it definitely is a difficult time, but it’s about being innovative and adapting and moving as quickly as possible with technology to keep your business going.
Patria-Kaye: So, let’s shift from the business to the individual because there are some who are saying, “working online isn’t even a solution right now because people don’t even have money to buy what I might be selling online, is that true?
Alicia: That is not true. In fact, I have been interviewing our students every night on Facebook Live on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/alicialyttlejamaica and in all of those interviews, you’ll see, they either say it’s orders as normal, they’re getting the same amount of orders today as they were, you know, months ago or they’ll say it has even increased. So, and here are my thoughts about why it’s the same as usual. So, there’s a lot of businesses that were hiring, that were looking for people and have now stopped hiring, that are now going online to fill those needs/positions. For example, my sister does graphic design on Fiverr and she put up a special, so she put up a special gig or service on Fiverr, it’s just a website, Fiverr.com, that say she will do images for your social media page and turn them over within 24-hours if you have updates for your customers during this COVID-19 time and she’s swamped with work, more work than she’s ever had before in the years that she’s had this service available.
So, it’s also about being creative in the services that you’re putting out there. Our transcribers are so busy because podcasters are podcasting like crazy and they need transcriptions to be done and different entrepreneurs and business owners are using this time to ramp up or to build their business or at least sustain it and they’re going online looking for freelancers. So, people who are signing up today to start an online business, they’re doing well and just as well as people that sign up this time last year. So, I’m really hopeful that freelancers and working online and this freelance economy is now going to be a great solution for a lot of people who are laid off, unemployed, you know, and fear of being laid off or need some extra money.
Patria-Kaye: I’m thinking about some of those as I hear you speak, I may not have the skill to be a graphic designer and fill some of those gaps, but certainly I could be a transcriber if I was coming out of a very specific kind of industry where I had owned my skillset over a long period of time as say a bartender or somebody who worked in the hotel and tourism business, I could transcribe with very little training required. What other kinds of jobs can I perhaps go on Fiverr and I’m equipped and able to do it right now without doing an additional course somewhere?
Alicia: Absolutely and let me just go back to the transcription because you were so right on that point and the thing is to add to that is that there are tools and technology out there that allow you to do that job. So, you know there’s a tool out there called oTranscribe that you put the audio file in, and it slows it down or even if you upload a video to YouTube, it has a free transcription tool. So again, just using technology helps us a lot, but then it’s just doing a little bit of research to see what you can do. So, people are doing, if you have a smartphone, you can make phone calls and do appointment setting. I know you’re talking to somebody from the BPO industry earlier and some people in that industry have been laid off. So, what they’re doing is that they’re going home and setting up a service where they can do phone calls for businesses from home and a lot of businesses are having them call their customers to check on them or to let them know that a shipment came or what’s back in stock and that they can now order online and restaurants are hiring us to make phone calls to tell our customers that we’re still open and we have delivery.
So, whatever sector you’re in and whatever you’re passionate about, there’s a service that you can offer online. Even graphic design, my sister can’t open Photoshop to save her life. She’s never opened it, but she’s using a free tool online called, Canva, Canva.com
Patria-Kaye: It’s awesome.
Alicia: To do graphic design and they have their own training on how to do it. She just watched some videos and now she’s doing graphic design and social media posts for all types of businesses from right at home in Jamaica to all over the world. So, you know, Google, YouTube, learn how to do something because today with technology, there’s so many free tools and there’s so much that you can learn that you could really start an online business quickly.
What’s in demand right now? Transcription, graphic design, voiceover. That’s one thing that you definitely should be doing with your voice, you know, voiceover. Writing an article, if you can write, you’re in high demand right now. Everybody needs, you know, articles written, news media, they’re looking for more article writers, journalists. So, that’s a big one as well but really the sky’s the limit for those types of skills and even, you know, Shawnee Graham Shirley, she’s the owner of Chai studios and what she did to adapt is that, you know, people usually come into her gym for her fitness classes but obviously we’re not going into her gym now. So, what she did was she set up her classes on Zoom and she got a hundred people in her first class and I looked at her posts on Instagram and she’s just charging a $1000 or $10 US dollars, she says, or $5,000 – $50 US dollars for a week’s package.
So, if you just want one class, it’s $1,000. If you want a week, it’s $5,000 and she gives you instructions on how to sign up for her class and then she even puts her whole schedule out there. So, you know, I’ve never been to one of her classes before but now I signed up for it online so that I can stay fit while I’m, you know, confined to my home. So, those of us who also innovate and get creative with it, our businesses will also thrive. She’s never had a hundred people in a class before and now look how she’s doing.
Patria-Kaye: I absolutely love that.
Alicia: Yeah. Innovation and creativity, it’s so important. We had a summit that we scheduled at the Knutsford Court Hotel; we’re expecting 800 people. So, what we’ve done, it’s just on how to make money on the internet but what we’ve done is we changed that into an online virtual summit and we’re going to [Cross-talking 11:05].
Patria-Kaye: That totally makes sense and maybe you can have people from the Caribbean come now and watch it because it doesn’t really matter where you are. [Cross-talking 11:11]. We’re gonna take a quick break, it’s every woman, folks when we come back, we’ll talk about this some more. I know you need to earn from home, let me give you the tools to do it. Soon come.
Patria-Kaye: I’m gonna allow you, folks, if you have any quick questions for Alicia, you can reach out either on WhatsApp, it’s (876) 285-5693. If you have questions about where to go to pick up some online, extra bucks or if you want to reach out to her and get some additional information on some training about how to earn online, you could do so. You can call me as well. The numbers to call, (876) 630-9371, it goes up to (876) 618-8255. Alicia let’s talk about the logistics of how you get paid because there’s going to be mistrust between somebody who first logs onto this platform, who gives their services and they don’t understand. All right, so how am I going to get my money? How does that part work?
Alicia: Sure. Well, my favourite platform, to start working online is called Fiverr. So, Fiverr.com, and when you sign up on that platform, it gives you the option to do a bank deposit. You have to get an account at a place called Payoneer, but it’s all pretty straightforward and when you earn money online, there’s a 14-day clearance period. So, you earn money, you do the work and you earn the money, there’s a 14-day clearance period and then you can move it to your Jamaican bank account, your NCB, your Scotia. Once your bank account is in the drop-down menu. You pick your bank account and the money gets deposited. So, it wasn’t like that when I first started teaching 10 years ago, we had to, it was crazy, the way that you had to get your payments, but now it just connects with your bank account. It’s easy to get paid. So, you also get a debit card in the mail and you can take that to any ATM machine. But right now, I’m just saying connect it to your bank account and then do your online banking to pay your bills and all that sort of thing. Still order the debit card. But for now, do your online bank transfer.
Patria-Kaye: And let me ask about the practicality because even with small businesses that get paid from abroad, there’s always the issue of the cost of money. So, even if you’re going to put it in this bank account for me, by the time I have it transferred to my bank account, I earn so little from it that it didn’t make sense. How does that part work with say Fiverr?
Alicia: Here’s the good part about it. You’re earning US dollars. The currency of the internet is USD. So, you’re, when you get paid in US dollars and you’re bringing it into your bank account, with the conversion rate, and you can even set up a US dollar bank account. For example, I have both a Scotia and NCB US dollar bank account. So, you can move your money into those US dollar bank accounts and keep it in US or convert it and put it into your Jamaican dollar bank account.
Patria-Kaye: Absolutely. Makes sense. Alicia let’s talk about some more of those particular jobs or how people go about because it’s the internet and people are having these challenges in Jamaica, in Trinidad, in India, in China. How do I stand out from all of the other millions of people who are registered on these social media, not social media, on these online sites that I can give my services to? How do I stand out?
Alicia: Right. So, the best way to stand out is always to have what you’re offering be clear and concise. Make sure that it’s typo-free. I use the free tool called Grammarly to make sure that my grammar and punctuation is always on point or ask somebody to make sure that, that everything looks good for you and then once you get an order, the best thing to do is to get reviews. So, you want to make sure that that first 10 bucks you earn, you treat it like, and I’m saying in US dollars because you earn in US dollars, treat it like a thousand us dollars. So, when you over-deliver to a client, they give you a review and a review is how people, when they look at you, when they look at the service that you’re offering online, that’s how people say, okay, this person is going to be good to do my work because they thought some really good reviews. Now in our community, we build up a system where a lot of our students hire new students and this is all, you know, within our community and within Jamaica. To help them get reviews. But if you need that sort of help and you’re not in our community, you would, you know, ask a friend, Hey, buy my service from me. I’ll deliver the work to you and leave me a great review. So, it’s just about over-delivering. But here’s a tip that a lot of people don’t know is that on Fiverr, there’s a section called buyer request. Just write it down guys and you can look it up later, but this is where people who don’t want to search for someone, they put in a request and say, I want someone to do a voiceover for me, you can go and see that request and then give them a price that you would do that work for.
Now those people are ready to buy, so when you go into that section, this is where a lot of people get their, you know, first work from is also by looking for people who want to buy from them and then I’ll say share it across social media. Even if you don’t have a lot of friends on Facebook, you never know who will help you, who will share the services that you’re doing and now it’s your new business that you have or the new service that you offer. Especially in these times, people are willing to share and to help and to spread the word. Also, the way the site works, the more sharing you do, the better it is for social, the better it is. It’s called link love. Basically, you rank higher in this site by the more shares you’re getting across social, so share it and ask people. The nicer you ask people to do something for you say, please, this is my new business. Please share it for me and you’ll find that, you know people will help you. So, over-deliver, stand out, focus on getting reviews. Go into the buyer request section and share, share, share, share, share, share.
Patria-Kaye: Your positioning of it a while ago is very interesting to me. You said, tell your friends and family members, this is my new business. I should look at it that way. Not a side hustle. Not a little stopgap. This is my new business.
Alicia: It is. It is your new business. The people who succeed as online entrepreneurs are those that say, this is my business. I don’t want you to say that I’m a transcriber. I want you to say that I have a transcription business. I don’t want you to say that you do voiceover. I want you to say that you have a voice-over agency, so.
Alicia: Your online work is like a business. You’re a business owner when you do this work, I’m not coming after you to say, did you deliver that transcription to a client? That’s your sole responsibility. Building your business is your responsibility. Delivering to clients is your responsibility. So, what does that make you? It makes you a business owner. Treat it like that and you’ll see that your business will grow in ways that you never thought possible.
Patria-Kaye: Absolutely loving that. I just wanted; people are asking for your contact information. How do they reach you?
Alicia: Sure. I’ll give you a few. Our website is internetincomejamaica.com, so just write down internetincomejamaica.com, you can reach us on WhatsApp. Our WhatsApp number is (876) 374-7044, so just send me a WhatsApp voice note and we’ll reply. So, either the website, internetincomejamaica.com. Go to contact us. We also have a blog post up about these types of ideas. Exactly what I’m talking about today and links to some of the resources, but website, contact us or WhatsApp us at (876) 374-7044.
Patria-Kaye: All right and for the folks who are asking the spelling of the Fiverr site.
Alicia: Sure. Fiverr, Five, like the number five and then two R’s. www.joinfiverr.com