Books, Books and more Books. Will I ever stop reading books?

Will I ever stop reading books, buying books? The short answer to the above question is, “No.”
If you want the full answer and a longer explanation, read on….
I’ve just ordered a new book on social media marketing. It’s the second book  I’ve ordered in the last 10 days, and they’re all on the same subject – social media skills and working  on-line. The book I ordered last week was on SEO and was fascinating.
Poor people have big TV’s. Rich People have big libraries. Jim Rohn
I’ve been working from home now for several months and learning lots of new skills. It’s funny that I was expecting to work in the area of being a PA, administrator but more and more I am moving towards social media and using digital content. It’s something I’ve got a lot of experience of and know a lot about. If that’s the case why do I keep spending money on more books that tell me what I already know?
Well I think that Jim Rohn made a very valid point when he said, “Poor people have big TV’s. Rich People have big libraries.”  (They also have big houses, big pools, big cars and big bank balances).
Throughout my life I’ve always been a keen reader and collector of books. Whenever as subject has interested me (food, well-being, biographies and now on-line businesses), I’ve always found that the best way to learn is to get reading. This might be buying a book or on Kindle but I love books.
The more books I read on a subject, the more that knowledge gets ingrained in my brain. Event the tech stuff which can become out of date very quickly. I find that the same ideas get repeated over and over again, but each book and each author has something new to add. Even if 99% of a book holds nothing new, that doesn’t matter. Just one small insight or additional piece of information could show me how to  save  money or bring in more sales. So I consider a few pounds spent on each book is money well spent. Think of it as investing in yourself.
We probably forget around 90% of what we’ve read by the time we get to the end of the book. That’s another reason why I read lots of book and reread the best ones over and over again. Every reading reveals something that I missed the first time around.
If you want to get the most from a book, take a tip from Les Brown and try reading it out aloud with power and conviction. I wouldn’t recommend trying that in your local library, but if you can find a private place and overcome your inhibitions, you’ll be surprised how much more you take in and remember.

Social Media is here to stay or why you need to work with a social media manager

Too many of us dismiss social media and overlook the need for a social media manager. Often, we don’t appreciate the impact of online brand and engagement opportunities with our audience. Or we feel we don’t have the time, or it’s too technical to master.

Social media management tasks are often spread thinly across others within an organisation. This is not an effective approach leading to low impact due to lack of time, interest and reduced productivity. These are mistakes. I am not advocating using every social media channel open to you but talk to a social media advisor or manager and find one or two that can help you and your brand. Below are a few reasons to think about your social media strategy and why you should work with a social media manager seriously:

Representation
Your social media manager manages your businesses online presence, that means managing your online shop window, think of it as shop front dressing for the internet. They will engage with your customers through conversations, comments, messages and interactions. Your digital manager can manage your online reputation – this reason alone means you should hire or outsource your social media response to one person rather than spread across a team.

I love social media because it is exists at the intersection of human and technology. Steve Jobs

Growth
Whether you need more followers or are looking for increased subscriptions, your social media manager can grow your audience and online influence. These techniques plus SEO (search engine optimisation) methods can contribute to the increased awareness of your enterprise. Your fans, followers and subscribers are more likely to engage with your brand when they can see what you do, your stories and the difference your business makes. A social media manager will make sure that your social media channels have both engaging content as well as tools that promote social media participation.

Voice
The tone and style of your business make you unique, it’s what your customers are familiar with. Clients are looking for authenticity, trust and expertise, your online voice needs to display these qualities plus ensure you are heard in a crowded environment. One of the key tasks for your social media manager is to make sure your voice is heard and remains consistent, relevant to your current audience needs.

Customers
Whether you call them clients, customers, audience or stakeholders the internet is where many of us find the products we are looking for. Social media managers with an essential understanding of marketing can make a real difference, they can make sure that you are targeting your potential customers, know where to find them and how to connect with them.

Influence
We talked about voice the need for authenticity, trust and authority. Once you have these key elements then you are positioning yourself as a brand influencers. Your customers will look to you for latest news, ideas and products in your sector. Your ability to influence the market helps define you as  an expert in your field and also increases brand loyalty when utilised correctly.

daily social media posts guidelines

Daily Social Media Posts

Trends
A good social media manager understands the internet and technology behind it. They stay abreast of what’s happening now and what’s coming down the road. They can monitor your competitor’s presence and identify the keywords, hashtags for your sector. They will know instinctively the best time to be active on your social media channels, how often you should be active and measure the evidence to see what’s working.

Not only will a social media manager know which route to travel, how quickly you can get there they will also be able to tell you the best form of transport to use. Its all about staying ahead of the trends as the change and develop.

So don’t dismiss social media just yet. It’s here to stay, will continue to evolve and you should make sure you are part of the conversation.

 

tasks for VA

Tasks you can outsource to your Virtual Assistant

Working with a freelance Assistant can make a big difference to your work week, saving you time and money. As working with virtually can be a new concept for some knowing which tasks to delegate can be tricky. Most VAs are contract or freelance workers who work from home, or remotely. They role is to focus on administrative  and organisational  tasks that are like those of an executive assistant or personal assistant. There are also lots of websites where you can find project support on an ad hoc basis like freelancer.com. Here you will find thousands of listings from people who work remotely.

The Virtual Assistant sector is growing, and expertise varies dramatically from diary management, transcription writing, business development and social media. Today, it’s much easier to find someone who fits in with your organisation or your personal needs.

Not sure what tasks you can outsource to your Virtual Assistant?

Consultants, start-ups and entrepreneurs are the ones who can really benefit from working with an assistant to manage their day to day administration needs. The vital element and the main reason you should work with dedicated VA is it’s important to build trust. Building a working relationship with professional support means your assistant becomes part of your team without the responsibility of a permanent employee. Here are several ways a Virtual Executive Assistant can improve your business:Tasks for a VA

Finances: Keeping tabs on invoices, payments can be one of the easiest things to assign to a virtual assistant. Small businesses may choose to share their financial systems with their VA who can then follow up on tasks organising expenses, chasing outstanding invoices.

Email: Suffering from Email inbox overload?  This is a simple task for VAs to manage for you on a regular basis and one of the key ways they can save you time. They can filter and organise your email, what needs an immediate response or action, save emails for reading. This task is easy to handle remotely (you will need to share passwords etc) but also VAs can also set up automatic email organisation so that your inbox can be less stressful.

Research: Online research is one of key ways Vas can excel. Requests can vary from find in information on your clients, researching new products or simply comparing your online presence with your competitors.  Many clients use VAS to research trends in their sector, find blog topics and prepare briefing papers before you meet with a future client.

Database: If you are major networker collecting business cards managing a subscriber list or need to monitor all your contacts. Database management is another task that a VA can handle for you. They will make sure that contact information is current and updated correctly.  Be specific about the type of information you want to record, and make you’re your VA understands how you plan to use this information in the future.

Diary & Travel: Virtual assistants are a great resource for finding hotels, booking airfares and mapping out trip itineraries both for business and pleasure. VAs can spend time researching your options – they can also deal with the hassle of navigating time zones when booking or researching international travel options by phone. In addition, VAs can manage your diary and organise your appointments. You need to trust the person who is helping with your calendar, be comfortable that they have access to your information but this will maximise your time.

Lastly, Social Media management and engagement can be handled by your dedicated VA. This is one of the areas I focus on for clients, both organisations and individuals. Services I provide include researching competitor’s approaches, keywords for social media (and SEO) plus researching, managing your chosen social media channels and platforms. VAs can handle engagement making sure you don’t miss an opportunity to talk to your clients.

These are just a few ideas how a Virtual Executive Assistant can help you. One way to approach working with a freelance assistant is think about what tasks do you dislike doing, what are the duties that take up too much of your time or you leave at the end of your to-do list. This is where a VA can help and where I can help you.

Vivs

@vivslf

vivslf@outlook.com

Make a difference. How a Virtual Executive Assistant can help you.

So, how exactly can a Virtual Executive Assistant help you? They can make a massive difference with your business and personal life, doing everything an Executive Assistant would do and so much more.

Whether you need help with administration or specific skills, an experienced VA can tailor their knowledge to save you time and money. Having a VA means you have more time to focus on developing your business.

One person can make a difference, and everyone should try
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Engagement is essential
One of the most time-consuming activities in a small business is setting up and running marketing and advertising campaigns. This often involves drawing help from various sources and project managing this to conclusion. If you’re using digital media to achieve this you need to allow lots of time and technical knowledge to move quickly.
Too often marketing is the most important part of your business but how can you do this and still have time to work with clients. This is where a Virtual Executive Assistant can step in. Outsourcing your VA to develop your digital marketing can make all the difference ensuring your brand profile remains high and your reputation remains strong.
A VA can take care of your blog, acknowledge the retweet, like Facebook share or love that latest pin on Pinterest. How do I know? Because this is exactly the service provided for our clients as well as increasing their online presence through social media posting on their behalf.

Respect the Process
Trying to stay on top of everything without support can sometimes be chaotic and seriously detrimental to your productivity and your brand. It can lead to lack of focus, stress and anxiety.
A Virtual Executive Assistant can assess your needs and develop process that work for you to ensure you and your business are working more effectively. This is not process for process sake but making sure you have systems that support your consistency. This means you will have a better result for your clients. Processes can be used for creating text, proposals, emails, organising your paperwork, your finances and expenses. For social media, it can be setting up automatic processes or ensuring your digital presence is duplicated across multiple platforms.

Take control
Having a VA available to respond to simple questions, organise meetings and monitor your diary takes away pressure from you and frees up your valuable time. It also demonstrates to clients that you are professional, you have a team supporting you and your business. Clients who receive calls from your virtual PA will experience exactly the level of professionalism you want them to receive.
Having a VA means you are always available to your clients. Although this may appear to make the business seem less personable, it also positions you ahead of any conversation or meeting, you are in control of your valuable time and you’re not driven by client’s priorities or conflicting demands.
If you are busy, a Virtual Executive Assistant can relieve pressure by monitoring your leads, your clients and queries to ensure you capture all your potential clients.Make a Difference
You can’t help but be professional and reliable always.

Relationship matters
Getting clients is one thing, keeping them is whole other skill. When you’re on your own or your team is small, you often find yourself struggling to stay in touch. Working on developing new business whilst maintaining effective client support can lead to burnout as you try to juggle too demands at once.
A professional Virtual Executive Assistant can help you manage your client support function well, leaving you to focus on the tasks that help grow your business. A VA will make sure there are no gaps in customer service, no missed opportunities, no missed calls or emails. A VA will make sure you are where you need to be and you have everything you need.
Having a flexible freelance VA means you have the benefits of a strong consistent reliable working relationship for you and your clients but at the fraction of the cost of hiring staff.
Make a difference, find one person to help you achieve more. Get in touch today.

Vivs

@vivslf

vivslf@outlook.com

virtual services and virtual assistant

Why should you hire a virtual assistant?

Why hire a Virtual Assistant? Many small business owners and freelancers need assistance to help manage their workload and so, they think about employing a personal assistant. However, have you considered virtual services?  Here are a few reasons why you should consider hiring a flexible VA to provide you with support.

  • Engaging with a virtual assistant can offer flexibility to suit peaks and troughs in your business’ performance
  • You know you require assistance but you cannot afford to employ someone. The cost of recruitment and on-going wages is prohibitive
  • You do not have the time or resources to recruit, hire and train a personal assistant.
  • Your company does not have the physical space to accommodate an assistant.
  • You need only pay for the work you actually require.Your business saves money by only paying for productive time
  • You may need a greater selection of skills than just one PA will be able to offer you. Virtual services offer greater flexibility.
  • You will receive concentrated, dedicated assistance, a productive working relationship with your virtual assistant.
  • Good-quality virtual assistants are trained; therefore, you will not need to train them yourself.

Are you ready to discover the benefits of using a virtual assistant for yourself? You can road test the service by contact today for a free consultation.

Reliability…a personal quality we all need

Reliability.

What are the qualities you need to be good at your work, your job, your business? Whether you’re a virtual assistant, a manager or freelancing which personal attributes should you develop.  I have been reflecting on this for quite a few weeks and will share some personal thoughts over a series of posts.

First essential ingredient is definitely reliability

This is one of the most important qualities that people need and sadly seems to be a personality trait that is disappearing.  Too many people have shared they have been let down by others who’ve messed them about, haven’t fed back on their progress, or simply haven’t delivered at all.

Sometimes they’d have a chat, given the individual the brief – and then nothing. No response. Similarly working with agencies and suppliers the same experience.  No response for a quote didn’t answer  calls or emails and generally messed them about until they stopped chasing them and went off to find another supplier or assistant who did want their business.

This is totally inexcusable and not only gives a perception that people don’t care but is extremely rude, disrespectful – reliability is now more valued than ever.

Professionalism is paramount in all industries whether in employment or working as a freelancer.  If your boss or client calls you, then reply, acknowledge the communication. It doesn’t have to be immediately but does please respond within 24 hours.

The same is if you are part of a team. A great team player is a constantly reliable day in and day out, not just some of the time. You can be counted on them to get the job done, meet their deadlines, keep their word and provide consistent quality work.  With excellent performance, organisation and follow-through on objectives this approach develops positive, constructive work relationships and adds value to the whole team. tasks they develop

So make sure you are always reliable, make it part of your key values.

 

What is internet marketing and what is it for?

Internet marketing simply entails promotion using the web. Any marketing activity that is carried out online is considered ‘internet marketing’ and this can includes:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • PPC advertising
  • Influencer marketing
  • Press releases
  • Email marketing
  • And more…

These are various strands of internet marketing that can each help you to bring more visitors to a website or a blog and that in turn then gives you the opportunity to promote your business and hopefully drive ‘conversions’ (i.e. turning visitors into customers). You are basically raising profile.

master internet marketing cover pin

What makes internet marketing so effective is that it doesn’t have to cost a huge amount to be successful. You can spend an awful lot on SEO and content marketing and thereby try to get your site to the top of Google, but sometimes it just takes one smartly placed link to drive huge amounts of traffic to your site. Lots of bloggers talk about going viral through Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter.

If you’re willing to put in consistent time and effort, then anyone can build a massive, loyal audience thereby become a big influencer in their niche. Thus, internet marketing is the ‘great equalizer’. Marketing no longer requires a huge advertising budget: it is now something that you can do just as well as the largest organizations – as long as you’re smart with it and have time.

Internet marketing has other advantages too: it allows you to actually engage with your audience. For instance using social media or running contests means that you’re able to interact with the very customers you’re trying to obtain and get feedback from them. Then there’s the simple fact that the web is capable of reaching such a huge audience – including people from all around the world. If you’re selling something with international shipping, then this is by far the best way to reach a global audience.

For all these reasons, internet marketing is an option for all. No matter what type of business you are running, you should be able to benefit from internet marketing and find that it can help you to increase your brand visibility, to grow your audience and to make bigger profits.

Some businesses are only able to exist thanks to internet marketing. These are the entirely online businesses, such as people who sell eBooks. eBooks are digital products with no overheads and by marketing them correctly, it’s possible to make huge amounts of sales that will earn you almost entirely profit. eBooks can be something of a hard sell, but the fact that you can reach such a massive audience and engage with them directly means that you can get enough turnover to earn big profits. Look on twitter and you will find many active authors who have self-published and are self-promoting.

Other businesses also rely very heavily on internet marketing. If you sell a service online, such as web design or copywriting, then using internet marketing will allow you to ensure that the maximum number of potential clients sees your website and considers hiring your services. Knowing how to reach that audience online is the difference between long dry spells where you aren’t bringing in any cash and a steady flow of orders and income. Of course, the same is also true for an e-commerce business which exists to turn visitors to a website into paying customers in a similar way.

Both big business and small business will spend time on internet marketing, using this unique word of mouth approach to promote and market their products. If you would like to know more download How to master internet marketing, a beginners guide.