Virtual Assistants are awesome. Superheroes even. You know they can help stressed entrepreneurs and take care of all those tasks that are filling up your to do list. You need help! Of course, you need a VA! Well, think again. Because I'm going to tell you about 3 times you absolutely do NOT want to hire a VA.
Social networking sites are not new. Some of them have been around for up to 20 years. They're basically ways of electronically keeping in touch with other people, be they good friends or simply acquaintances. Sometimes you can waste an inordinate amount of time on these sites, while at other times you can be tremendously productive and profitable. To the business marketer, the question is, how do we define "productive and profitable?"
When Facebook came along to redefine social networking it ushered in an era that was to change business marketing forever. Facebook remains the ultimate social networking site, at least by today's definition, but it has also been joined by other platforms, such as the ubiquitous Twitter, which many refer to as a micro-blogging outlet.
The leading question that has been raised is how social should social networking sites be and should anything which is deemed to be commercial, in any way, be taboo? Many people could argue that the majority of conversations that take place within these platforms could be construed as having some kind of commercial intent or relationship. We simply cannot get away from the fact that we talk about issues, plans, products, services, events and all manner of "commercially relevant" topics. We are often looking for advice in relation to one of these subjects within those social platforms.
So, we begin to understand that social media marketing - even though it incorporates words from two sides of the fence into its very title - has a definite place. For the small business owner, a larger question remains. Just how do you engage, commercially speaking, in these social circles? Many companies have found out to their detriment that if you go about this the wrong way it can backfire. However, that's not to stop an organization from developing a social media marketing platform, carefully.
Strategically, as "regular" people who populate these social network sites, we are now more used to seeing a commercial presence. We may be moving away from the strict "social only" attitude toward a position whereby we accept, within reason, advice and assistance from these companies.
Many organizations are finding it highly advantageous to create a Facebook business page. Other organizations are finding definite gain associated with conducting their customer relations work out in the open, via messages back and forth on Twitter.
We always have to remember that social media marketing must be based on relationship building and engagement rather than an out and out sales approach. If you like, it's not okay to make the first move in marketing terms within any of these arenas, but you must try to establish a presence subtly and be the organization that can help, at the right time.
This is where the virtual assistant can help to formulate a social media strategy, by amongst other things helping to create a Facebook page and that Twitter account. A concerted, steady yet careful process of interaction, over time, will help to build the client organization’s stature and reputation.
Social media marketing should never be just "something that you should do." As a small business owner if you do follow trends in Internet marketing circles then you may very well have come across well-meaning advisors and experts, who tell you that you really do need to be involved in social media marketing or you're going to be on the outside looking in, in some way. While this may very well be true, it's not reason by itself for engaging.
Optimizing your iPhone: The Right Way to Save Battery Life, a Weird Trick for Freeing up Space and Other Tips
As assistants we rely heavily on our smartphones, so I wanted to pass along these iPhone tips you may not know exist:
Chances are, when you hired your first virtual assistant, you were happy to hand off low-level tasks, such as posting to your blog, researching guest posting opportunities, and maintaining a spreadsheet or two. As you gain trust in your VA – or discover how much more efficient it is to have your virtual assistant complete certain tasks – you’ll begin looking for more ways to free up your time.
In fact, those who have truly mastered working with a virtual assistant quickly discover that they can effectively vanish for days or even weeks at a time, and the business just keeps running. How much would it mean to you to be able to finally take a real vacation with your family, and not have to even check email while you’re away? That’s what a good relationship with your VA can do for you.
The key to building that kind of relationship is to start small. Obviously you don’t want to hand your brand new assistant the keys to your online kingdom. Confidential information such as your hosting, merchant account, and other login credentials should not be shared until you’ve built up a certain level of trust. Once you have that trust, though, the possibilities of work you can outsource are nearly endless.
Your virtual assistant can:
- Pay invoices via PayPal – in fact, you can set her up with her own logins to your PayPal business account and give her only the access she needs. She won’t even be able to see your balance unless you allow it.
- Reconcile referrals and pay your affiliates
- Handle customer returns and refunds
- Create and send emails to your mailing list
- Build out new products and add them to your shopping cart
- Coordinate and schedule webinars
- Act on your behalf in forums, blog commenting, and social media
As you can see, when someone else is handling the details of your business, it’s easier for you to take time off, or simply spend your working hours getting a new project off the ground.
Now that you’ve got a sense for how easy it can be to get started working with a virtual assistant, it’s time to move forward with your business plans. So take the first step today, and start listing those tasks that you want to start outsourcing. You’ll be glad you did.
No two businesses are alike, and no two people are, either, so it’s tough to say “When X happens, hire a VA.” Some people will tell you to hire one immediately even if you're just starting your business. Others will tell you to wait until you're bringing in a profit. So, basically it's more of a personal preference and what you feel is right for you. But, there are definitely some telltale signs that you need to start outsourcing.
It's nearly tax time and you may be wondering what to do about your virtual assistant and taxes. Or maybe you are considering hiring a new virtual assistant, but don't know what affect that will have on your bottom line.
Do you KNOW that your ideas can be successful if ONLY you could just work on the larger picture?
Do you KNOW that you have the initiative, ambition and drive to make your business successful, if you had more time to develop and work on those items?
Whether you've quite recently begun your coaching business or have been doing it for some time, you'll soon find that you can't do everything by yourself. What's more, you shouldn't! For you to maintain an effective coaching business and develop as a coach, it will take a group of qualified and reliable individuals to help you. One such individual you'll need in your group is a Virtual Assistant. Finding and employing a qualified VA isn't hard, however, there are a few things you have to consider before you jump in with both feet.
There is hardly any business task that cannot be outsourced to a virtual assistant. This is particularly true when it comes to marketing and promoting a business. Marketing is, of course the lifeblood of any organisation and cannot be ignored, even when times are lean. The company that is not focusing on marketing is essentially falling backward when compared to its peers and opponents.
Have you ever calculated what an hour of time is worth to you? As a small business owner can you put a value on every task that you perform on any given day? It’s surprising to learn that many entrepreneurs and successful business people still do not really understand what their time is worth. In business, time is probably the most valuable asset of all. It is fleeting, comes in an instant and goes and you can never get it back. Yet with each passing moment, an opportunity to be productive and to help you along the road to ultimate success may be squandered.
e have come a long way from the days when a web page could, theoretically, get considerable exposure and as a consequence valuable traffic just by focusing on keyword spamming. It was as if the algorithms employed by the search engines were very rudimentary and simply could not see that a “black hat” marketer could exploit the search engine business for their short-term gain.
Have you ever wished that you could make a clone of yourself – or come up with a carbon copy, an identical version of your overworked, underpaid and stressed self? If you’re an entrepreneur or operate a small business of some kind the answer to that question is a “resounding” yes. We have all been in that position and simply wish that we could “count on” somebody who could do all the work without any complications or problems.
In our information-hungry society, any business that really wants to establish itself as a market leader and a trustworthy company when it comes to the sale of products or services must also be an avid content creator. Content is King. It is very important for the business owner to ensure that a steady stream of content is being created in order to keep pace with and ahead of competitors. What type of content is crucial and how can the business owner ensure that this time-consuming task is constantly engaged?
Social Media is as important today to businesses as having a website. Having an account on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram increases your brand's awareness and allows users to interact with your company on different levels. Increasing user engagement and building up a loyal set of followers, however, takes time and energy.
If you are like most small business owners, you are being pulled and tugged in a hundred different directions. You may need to cull client information, send out that overdue newsletter, update your website and meet face to face with clients. How is the small business owner to do it all? Reduce their sleeping hours? Grow an extra hand? Hire an in-office Assistant? How do other entrepreneurs do it? For Small Business Owners 'In-the-Know', they have a special secret.
Most people today, especially business owners have heard of sites like Fiverr or Upwork to outsource their business needs. Some may have even used them to support their business needs. It seems like such a convenient way to get the support you so desperately need for just $5 or $10 dollars. However, it may cost you more to hire from these sites than it appears.
There is no doubt whatsoever that when it comes to the various different types of media online, video has become the undoubted favorite. Maybe it shouldn't come as a complete shock to us as almost everyone prefers to watch a moving image rather than read something else in order to pick up the same information. Both video and audio represent dynamic media options as they are now available and accessible to every small-business owner online. There is a lot to appreciate, technically, however, your virtual assistant knows exactly what to do.
When was the last time that you, as a small-business owner, updated your website? For many of us, the answer is quite a long time ago. We seem to be so engrossed in trying to make the business "tick" on a daily basis as we deal with clients, order fulfilment, marketing initiatives and a whole host of other distractions. A website is not simply something that sits there and hopefully garners some interest and possibly some leads. It must be a dynamic property that is a joy to visit and is often updated. Delegate this to your virtual assistant so that it is in a constant state of development.
Most small business owners are aware of outsourcing. However, they might think that it is only applicable for things such as article or blog writing or maybe some website work. These people tend to feel that they simply must keep on top of a lot of their routine, everyday work. If they don't, won't they lose control of the company? It can be difficult to let go, but in reality, your virtual assistant is the best placed to help with the many different elements of your daily schedule.