Mid-Year Review – are you making the most of your VA?

We’re nearly halfway through this year, so let me ask you – how’s business? Are you going in the right direction? Are you making headway on your business goals? Have you started implementing all those goals you set yourself at the beginning of the year – and by the way, are you making the most of your VA?

I thought I’d throw that last question in there, as your VA is an essential part of your business success. You’ve invested in a VA, so are you making the most of them?

We’re now past the May bank holiday and still have a little time before the kids are off for the summer holidays, or your clients start taking their summer holidays. This means now is the perfect time, to carry out a mid-year review on your business and to make sure you’re utilising every means at your disposal, in order to help you reach your business goals.

If you are a parent of school age children, you’ll want to spend some quality time with your kids during their summer break. Maybe you’ve even planned a summer break away with them, so prior to that, get your hustle on to ensure that it can happen and you can take some guilt-free time away.

Take the time now, to review what you’ve already achieved, start finishing off those projects that are on the home stretch and to begin planning for the rest of this year. The work you put in now can set you up for the rest of this year – and it can make sure you’re utilising your VA to the full.

Apart from the usual task you hand over to your VA, there are various other tasks you can hand over to them, in order to free up your time now and to ensure you can switch off and recharge whilst you’re away during the summer – and ensure you hit the ground running, when you get back. These include:

  • Researching and compiling product material, presentations etc.
  • Planning your launch schedules and sequences
  • Researching and creating batches of content (such as blog posts and social media postings) for the months ahead
  • Updating your social media accounts and profiles
  • Clearing and archiving files and emails on your computer

So why not take the time now, to review your progress so far this year, reassess where you’re headed and work out how best your VA can help you achieve those goals?

Have you carried out your mid-year review yet? What tasks, above and beyond the usual ones you outsource to them, have you decided to assign to your VA? Why not share your opinions and task ideas in the comments box below!

The art of good listening

Communication is the keystone of any successful business. You need to be able to effectively listen and understand the differing needs of your clients and potential clients, in order to accurately and effectively help them.

This is especially important when you’re in a service-based business, such as that of a Virtual Assistant, as you need to not only hear and understand what your clients are asking you to do, you also need to ascertain what they’re not saying AND find ways to implement those requests. Continue reading “The art of good listening”

7 Tips to creating successful auto-responder emails

Auto-responder emails are something small business owners know about, have heard about and know they should have some in place, but often they struggle with actually implementing them. They worry they’ll annoy their mailing list by bombarding them with unnecessary salesy emails or lose subscribers from their lists if they bug them too much.

So how can you set up and maintain a successful auto-responder email sequence? Here are some tips to get you started. Continue reading “7 Tips to creating successful auto-responder emails”

How can I make money from webinars?

Webinars give you the perfect medium to easily get in front of your target audience. You have the opportunity to connect with a large number of them, restricted only by the amount of people that can get on your line and the software you’re using. They’re also great for helping you build your expertise, as you’re putting yourself and your knowledge ‘out there’… so why do small business owners shy away from them? Continue reading “How can I make money from webinars?”

7 Great apps for productivity

When it comes to productivity, we’ve never had it so good! With the advent of smart phones and tablets, we can keep working whilst on the move – with our mobile smart phone becoming both our indispensable personal assistant and virtual workspace.

Being permanently on the move can also eat into our working day though, as we juggle both work and personal life, often on a daily basis. Here’s my list of my top 7 great apps, to ensure your productivity is kept high whilst you’re on the go! Continue reading “7 Great apps for productivity”

Questions to ask a Virtual Assistant BEFORE you hire them

Hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) is going to be a really important step in your business growth. Therefore, you need to make sure you’re hiring someone that understands you, your business AND what you want to achieve… and that’s before you’ve even got started on what you want them to do for you! Continue reading “Questions to ask a Virtual Assistant BEFORE you hire them”

Creating a newsletter

A monthly newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with your subscribers. It helps you to build on your authority status, whilst (hopefully!) raising your likeability with them.

Building a monthly newsletter doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. If you have a free opt-in for your website and are currently using an autoresponder/email marketing platform to build your list, then you have all the tools you need. Continue reading “Creating a newsletter”

How to construct a blog – top tips!

When you’ve made a decision to start a blog it can seem like a daunting task. There’s the worry about what to write about, as well as keeping it interesting AND committing to actually write content on a regular basis… and that before you’ve even started to think about how to actually construct a blog! Continue reading “How to construct a blog – top tips!”

Become a VA: Step 7 – Social Media and Your VA Business

For the past 6 weeks, I have shared 6 tips that I hope are helping you to launch, grow and boost your VA business.

Are you putting them into action?  Which has been your favourite?  Which have you found the easiest or the hardest to apply?

This week I want to talk about ‘How to use social media to boost interest in your VA services’.

Regularly when I ask VAs or Business Owners in general why they are on social media, they tell me its because someone else told them to be on it.  A lot of them think Social Media is a waste of time, or they say “I don’t have time to get round to doing it”. But are just doing it for the sake of it.

Well the reality is, if you think about how many people you could get exposed to, online, it’s actually far greater than what you would be able to achieve in terms of the number of people you would meet if you were going to your local networking meeting.  As an example, when I look at my 576 LinkedIn connections, I could be connected to over 11,411,482 business connections world wide and that doesn’t take into consideration Twitter or Facebook.  The potential is far reaching.

Although I say, you rule social media and social media doesn’t rule you.  It is imperative that you are consistent in your approach and have a strategy of what you are trying to achieve with your interaction.  I always recommend having a social media strategy and a social media plan, so that you know what you are writing about every week.

There are literally hundreds of social media platforms available but you don’t need a presence on all of them.  Think about where your ideal client is and the platforms they are using and then use those platforms. 

1580-businessFacebook

Facebook is an ideal platform for Business to Consumer type businesses – it’s a great way to showcase your expertise, link to helpful articles and build relationships with potential clients.  Your posts have great longitivtiy and visual content works well on Facebook.  However, it can be a slow process to build your likes and gain traction, so remember this is part of the long game and not a short term social media platform.

social-network_110002685-012814-intTwitter

Twitter is great for Business to Business interactions and Business to Consumer.  It can be fast, fun and addictive and a great tool for signposting individuals to your other platforms.  You can ask advice, give advice and share articles.  Business colleagues of mine, recently described Twitter as “going to the pub and being able to ask the silly questions”.

linkedinLinkedIn

Someone new joins LinkedIn every second.  It is seen as the number one  social media tool for Business.  Often regarded as the more formal social media networks, it is used by professionals in all fields. It encompasses the ability to give and receive recommendations. LinkedIn works really well for relationship building.  I recently wrote a guest blog for the Virtual Assistant Coaching and Training Company on the subject of 15 steps to creating a professional LinkedIn profile. I also posted a post about why you need a company LinkedIn page which I thoroughly recommend.

So feel free to connect with me on the Social Media Platforms mentioned by clicking on the name of the platform below (it turns into a hyperlink) and if you connect after reading this blog please do tell me:

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn


Have you enjoyed the Blog series?  Has it left you thinking that you need more information about setting up as a Virtual Assistant before you make the transition?

Learn the Key Strategies of What You Need to Know When Becoming a VA &

Learn if this industry is for you..
…in our half-day taster sessions priced at only £37!
Nothing ventured nothing gained!

iStock_000010234265Small

Is this you?…

  • Are you a PA who’s a mother, soon to retire or being made redundant and now interested in becoming a Virtual Assistant and yet you are not quite ready to go ahead?
  • Have you conducted lots of research yet still not sure if becoming a VA is for you, perhaps you are a little scared of setting up your own VA business or are nervous about taking a leap of faith?
  • Is this a venture you are looking to start in a few months’ time yet want to get a full understanding before you are ready to get going?
  • Do you need to know the basics first before you fully commit to any full training or business building?
  • Do you want someone who is an experienced expert to guide you towards what is essential for you to know, prior to getting started, so that you start on the right footing avoiding the costly mistakes many makes?  Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Join us in London for a Taster Session on Thu 4 Dec at 1330, Premier Inn Meeting Rooms, Euston.  To learn more or to book click here.


Become a VA: Step 6 – Become a Networking Success Story

Do you worry about Networking? Even seasoned Business Owners occasionally worry about networking, so don’t worry if you have that feeling of dread right now. But get networking right it can make a massive difference to your positioning in the business market!

Before I share some tips for getting your networking established, here are some of my favourite quotes about networking:

It isn’t just what you know, and it isn’t just who you know. It’s actually who you know, who knows you, and what you do for a living.  – Bob Burg

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  – Maya Angelou

Networking – What to Consider

Would you do business with someone you don’t know, or didn’t like or trust? NO! So in turn how can you expect people to do business with you if they don’t know you?

Building relationships with people is important because, not only do you see whether your first judgements were correct, you grow to like, trust and respect that person and want to support them as well as the fact that you want that person to get to know you – so they can support you also. It all goes hand-in-hand doesn’t it?

People do business with those they know, like and trust.

Be clear on who your want to connect with

1404-businessAs part of your networking strategy become clear about the type of contacts you want to connect with.

If you have a niche, start to investigate where your niche do their networking. There could be industry related organisations, which hold events such as exhibitions or conferences. There could be meet-ups around the country. Source them and then attend as a visitor to get a feel for them.

Not Making the Time to Network – Big Mistake!

Working for yourself, time is of the essence, however, sparing the time to go to networking meetings every month will help to put your business on the map, help you develop your presentation skills; build your confidence in presenting your business to prospective clients and in yourself.

Ring-fence the time in your diary and respect your own business – it will only continue to grow if you continue to lay the foundations and grow your connections.

Your clients should respect that you are a business and are a growing one; any client who values their business should understand this.   Have updates with your clients and plan ahead with them when you are out of the office, even better, organise your associates to support your clients when you are out for the day.

On a slightly sour note, you need to go networking as what happens if you lose a client and need to fill that space with another; if you haven’t taken the time to network – its much harder to fill that slot.

social-network_110002551-012814-intNetworking Online

Networking online should not replace networking in person, although many VAs take on clients having only ever met via social media.

However, there still has been the process of building the trust. Get clear about the outcomes you want to achieve as a result of attending networking meetings over a period of time, perhaps work over a three month period at a time and ensure that online networking forms part of your strategy.

What Do You DO? – Get Clear About What You’re Offering!

I don’t think I know a single VA who has not been stumped by this question as some point in their networking. When promoting your expertise at a networking meeting you need to be clear about the benefits of using your VA services not the features so that you are answering the question “What’s in it for me?”.

When at a networking event and someone asks you what you do, be careful that you are not going into sales mode with them and start telling them what they could need…what they want to know is, who you work with, what services you provide and how your clients benefit from all of this.

Follow Up and One to Ones

The key to any good networking is in the follow up and in getting to know each of the other person in more in-depth. If someone has shown an interest, offered you a referral or you have offered to send them a piece of information, make sure you follow up. Otherwise it doesn’t create the best impression and you could end up losing business to another VA.

You can also follow up with them by connecting and conversing via social media. The more the two of you understand about one another’s businesses, the more likely the trust builds and referrals are generated.

You might also like to read my 3 Tips for Successful Business Networking blog.

Next week, we will start to look at Social Media and how you can use it in your VA business.

VACT-Logo-Green_png-250pxAmanda Johnson of Your Executive Secretary Limited is a licensed Trainer of the VACT.  If you would like to book yourself on the next Taster Session in your area then please click here or if you would like to book a free 30 minute breakthrough call then click here