online visibility

Why you need online visibility

Apparently we are all spending, on average, around three plus hours online every day. Over eighty percent of people are using the internet  to find something, often a product or service.

Combine this with the fact that everyday there is a new start up, a new business and a new freelancer. They all have the perfect solution to help other businesses. However, how do these parties connect and collaborate? This is why marketing, and specifically digital marketing is so valuable.

The power of online marketing and advertising has risen over the past few years. Making sure your potential client can find you is vital.

Content can be King

I had a boss who regularly chanted “content is king, content is king”. This mantra has always stuck with me and its so true. Especially now in the online world. You can write the most interesting article or blog but the way it’s presented, the way its shared can make the difference between a post that goes viral or is never seen by anyone. We need to share our views are shared in a number of places, Medium, LinkedIn as well as our own websites. We can embed videos that provide greater insight, quotes and images that engage our readers and we need to constantly remind clients what we are writing about. Content is king but only if it is seen, discussed and shared. Content can change as well. Successful bloggers revisit their archive and update their content as appropriate.

I love this as an idea it feels as though our content has a lifespan that we can revisit and change. I suspect biographers won’t have letters to dissect when they write their books, but they will have blogs, tweets and vlogs to understand their subjects.

Understanding behaviour

Understanding your customers behaviour is the foundation to any marketing campaign. You need to understand their needs & wants to help build a strategic relationship. Having an authentic online conversation with your client can enhance the effect of your digital presence. Monitoring your clients needs helps you present your services so that your clients can engage with you. It also helps you understand the products your clients are looking for plus improve the service you provide.

Asking for feedback, and more importantly listening to what your customers are saying and action it all contribute to the trust between you and your customer. Watch what your clients are doing, do they understand how you can help them? What can you learn from them and their behaviour?

Marketing it right

SEO or search engine optimisation has changed a lot.  This is a term used a lot within the digital marketing sector but many business ignore its impact. We know that Google changes the criteria regularly when searching online and the majority of results we see now are ads. But it’s still important that your SEO or at least your meta data reflects what you do. Think of this as data behind your website or your content. Each page or post has data that helps the internet search. Try searching for your organisation or yourself without using your name. What are the keywords for your industry? Where do you appear? What’s your location? This is where SEO can help, think of it as online signposting. So the more information you provide behind the content, the more likely customers can find you.

the trends

I receive a lot of emails and newsletters. Everyday my inbox is full of useful information which I need to read, share, file or delete. Sometimes I unsubscribe if the information is not useful or you send me too many emails (3 in one day your overdoing it!). Why do I do this, its one of the ways I make sure I am monitoring trends. Keeping on top of everything that is going on in my sector, what’s new, what’s fading, how products are adapting. It’s all part of being aware of what’s happening.

Now I can’t stay up to date on everything, snapchat is definitely a weak area for me, but keeping my eye on most social platforms helps me do my job better, keeps me learning and makes sure I help my clients. Yes, its massively time-consuming, but essential so make it a priority to monitor what is happening elsewhere.

We have to provide more visibility, more certainty to the investors and reduce the cost of failure. Emmanuel Macron

Next time you talk to someone who doesn’t appreciate the value of an online presence remind them that the online visibility of their business can make sure they are part of the conversation and help them stand out from the crowd of competition. Alternatively you can talk to me for some advice, just buy me a nice cup of coffee – what have you got to lose?

 

 

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 definitely here to stay

Too many of us dismiss social channels 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, it’s too technical to master.

Digital 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 an 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 take this 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. They are managing your online reputation.

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 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. 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. Your manager will make sure that your channels, platforms are both engaging and promote 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. You also need to stand out in a crowded environment. Their role 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 we find what we are looking for.  This is where the online gurus can really make a difference. With an essential understanding of marketing they can ensure you are targeting your potential customers. They will know where to find them and how to connect with them.

Influence

We talked about voice. We also emphasised the need for authenticity, trust and authority. Once you have these key elements then you are positioning yourself as a brand influencer. This is the next big trend. 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:

  • stay abreast of what’s happening now and what’s coming down the road
  • monitor your competitor’s presence
  • identify the keywords, hashtags for your sector
  • Lastly they 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 manager know which route to travel. They will know how to get you there quickly with the best mode of transport for you. Its all about staying ahead of the trends as the change and develop. Still not convinced take a look at my social media packages  designed to help the experienced and the novice.

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

Working with a freelancer can make a big difference to your work week, saving you time and money. Working virtually can be a new concept for some knowing which tasks to delegate can be tricky. Most  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 freelance, consultant sector is growing. Expertise varies dramatically from diary management, transcription writing, business development and social media management. Today, it’s much easier to find someone who fits in with your organisation or your personal needs. My services focus on engagement this includes event development, content marketing (your blog, website copy etc) plus social media management.

Not sure what tasks you can outsource?

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 support is it’s important to build trust. Building a working relationship means your assistant becomes part of your team without the responsibility of a permanent employee. Here are several tasks that can help:

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, then follow up on tasks organising expenses, chasing outstanding invoices.

Email

Suffering from Email inbox overload?  This is a simple task for an assistant 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 they can also set up automatic email organisation so that your inbox can be less stressful. Response handling like this for email, phone calls and other enquiries is a major time issue.

Research

Online research is one of key ways freelancers 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 outsource to identify trends in their sector, find blog topics and prepare client briefing papers.

Data

If you are networker collecting business cards managing a subscriber list or need to monitor all your contacts. Database management is another task that can be outsourced. They will make sure that contact information is current and updated correctly.  Be specific about the type of information you want to record and how you plan to use this information in the future. Email subscribers, landing pages and other internet marketing methods can be outsourced this way.

Diary & Travel

Freelancers are a great resource for finding hotels, booking airfares and mapping out trip itineraries both for business and pleasure. This type of activity can simply take too long a good assistant can research your options. Deal with the hassle of navigating time zones when booking or researching international travel options by phone. In addition, they 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.

Social Media

packages

management and engagement can be handled by your dedicated freelancer. 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. I also provide a popular audit package so if you are not sure your social media is working for you I can quickly give you a full picture with recommendations for improvements.

These are just a few ideas how a 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.

 

Make a difference

So, how exactly can a Administrative Assistant make a difference for 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 Assistant can tailor their knowledge to save you time and money. Having help 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 Assistant can step in. Outsourcing your freelancer to develop your digital marketing can make all the difference ensuring your brand profile remains high and your reputation remains strong.
A social media manager 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 Freelance 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 an administrator 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 assistant will experience exactly the level of professionalism you want them to receive.
Having this type of help 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. This alone can make a massive difference to how you appear to your clients and the level of customer service you provide.

If you are busy, a freelancer 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 Assistant can help you manage your client support function well, leaving you to focus on the tasks that help grow your business. They will make sure there are no gaps in customer service, no missed opportunities, no missed calls or emails. Also they will make sure you are where you need to be and you have everything you need.
Having a flexible freelancer 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.

virtual services and virtual assistant

Why should you hire freelance support

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 administrator  to provide you with support.

  • 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
  • don’t 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.
  • 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. freelance services offer greater flexibility.
  • receive concentrated, dedicated assistance, a productive working relationship with your assistant.
  • Good-quality assistants are trained; therefore, you will not need to train them yourself.

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

Reliability…a personal quality we all need

What are the qualities you need to be good at your work, your job, your business? Whether you’re a consultant 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.

reliability

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. When your working as a freelancer the need to be reliable is essential, its the price we pay for flexibility.

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. Often looking 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. Consequently it leads to good word of mouth and reputation for the freelancer.

communication

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.

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