Networking, New Business, Virtual Assistant

How Do I Get New Business?

NottmVA New BusinessHow Do I Get New Business? – It’s something I’m often asked as a Virtual Assistant.

As a small business or sole trader, it’s hard to make yourself heard isn’t it, or to get your face seen above the heads bobbing up and down in that sea that is competing for business that is out there.

But there is a way to be heard, there is a way to be seen, you just have to work at it. You have to be determined. You have to have that fire in your belly! You have to have that passion and that desire. You have to want to succeed. Well, you have to pay the bills, don’t you?

How do you do it?

What you do NOT want to do, is offer free trials.  Why?  Well, it lowers your business-worth.  You may offer a free initial 1-hour telephone consultation to obtain the brief from your client to obtain information to enable you to do the job in the first place – this is good practice.  You are a business, a freelancer and are offering a good service/product that is in demand.  If a trial is required, then it should be a paid trial with a contract and terms of business provided.

You need to show your presence.  Have you got yourself a logo or brand to identify yourself? Has this been replicated in business cards to leave with people at networking meetings? When you network with others, you will want to leave them with something to remember you by.

Whether this is a business card, a pack of mints or some other form of promotional material, or you simply develop a document detailing your services whilst you get yourself up and running, it is a start.

Ensure that you have a website.  This is the first place your clients are going to look once you have given out your business card and the place they will go and check you out!  You need to have some credibility.  Even if you at least have a simple landing page with your contact details on – it is somewhere for someone to go and look at what you say you can offer them to reinforce your message.  Do not make your website homepage all about you, make sure you tell the reader what you can offer them.  The reader needs to know how you can make things easier for them and how you can help them.

Are you Networking?

Another way of showing your presence is to network to meet your peers, colleagues and guess, what? Potential new clients.  It’s something that we all ‘gulp’ at the first time around – but it DOES WORK.  There are different options such as the BNI and 4N Networking.  These are only a couple of options on offer, there are many, many networking groups on offer and you will need to find what works for you.  They will offer different styles of meetings and payment plans too giving variations of a formal referring-style option and relaxed friendly alternatives.

Are you Good At What You Do?

When online or offline, can you show others that you speak authoritatively?  Do you write about your endeavours such as blogs, articles, newsletters or written in groups or comment on other’s posts or articles on websites for example?  Are you known in your industry for your product or service or have you created something that is renowned for what you do, are you certificated for it, these are all things that you need to be talking to people about or getting known for?

Have you undertaken any industry training that makes you a specialist at what you do? This is something that again, can make you an authoritative speaker in groups or blogs and you can make an impact on this through communication with others and helping beginners in your field.

What’s next?

The next thing is to get yourself across all of the social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for example. Your clients will be on some of these, not all but they will be browsing some of them and you will not know which ones, so it is a good idea to be on them at some point.  If you can post on them at some point, preferably consistently, then you will reach them at some point or other.  If you would like to know the best times to post then you can read about it on this blog.

 

Should I respond to advertised job postings on Social Media?

There are, occasionally, job adverts posted on social media groups that can prove quite lucrative, but you need to know how to choose them and where to find them and how to source them.  This comes from knowing your niche and your target audience.  If you do not know how to start to help a potential client, you can read about that here.

If a position has been advertised publicly on a Facebook group, for example, you can believe that the ‘world and his wife’ (or husband), will have seen it and there will be hundreds of applications for it with plenty of skills and expertise going.

Not to say, that you don’t have the skill and expertise to fly to the moon.  So, apply for it anyway!  So, if you feel you have Nasa experience then go for it, by all means but, it is better for you to develop your own way of ‘job-sourcing’ by searching for your ideal client by either looking in your Twitter lists, your LinkedIn Client groups or by your own targeted sales network links from your own networking. Or, contact your colleagues, tell everyone you are looking for new clients, contact your own list, your ex-employees.  Be proactive!

So, having undertaken the tasks of finding your niche and your target market or audience, you should be in a better position of knowing where to locate your search for who is your ideal client. Yes – your IDEAL CLIENT. What a fab position to now be in!

If you need a Virtual Assistant for your New Business to undertake your administration now that you have too many clients,

email NottmVA.

NottmVA
Be Structured, Not Stressed
Facebook Marketing, Networking, Social Media, VA, Virtual Assistant

How Can I Help You, When You Have No Idea What You Want?

NottmVA Help and SupportHow Can I Help You, When You Have No Idea What You Want?

This is a regular topic that is mentioned to me.  I know I need help, but I don’t know what I need!  I approached someone only last week, to be told I’m so busy, I need your help, but how can you help me?  Does this sound like someone that has contacted you?  Oh yes!

I need to address this pretty darn quick otherwise I will have lost my lead that I have worked so hard to find and engage with.  Of course, I don’t yet know their business, or do I?  If they are in my niche and my target-market – and perhaps they should be – if I’m doing my marketing correctly, then I should know something about their industry, well maybe a little, then I will have a vague idea about something that they will need.  So, we have a beginning to work from.

 

Where does my Client begin?

To work out what you need to start doing, there are three ways of doing this.  What you need to do is look at which option you prefer – but essentially, they all work out the same to bring you to the same result.  Then you will have ‘your beginning’.

So, let’s start: Firstly, you would need to undertake the following:

 

Option 1
• Write down everything you would do for approximately 3 days
• Highlight in yellow only everything that you would do and only you can do
• Highlight in green only things that you would do and can keep doing but ‘could’ hand over to a VA later
• Then write down everything else that can be delegated and outsourced to your VA

or

Option 2
• Take the time to put down everything that you would undertake that takes you more than half an hour.
• With your highlighter, mark-up things that you do not like doing or do not need to do yourself.
• When you are ready – you can then put down the things you do not ‘want’ to do or do not really have the time to get round to.

or

Option 3

Let me know the following:

• Advise me what tasks are on your ‘long-term’ To-Do list. This is your shuffle list, your ‘I don’t get around To Do’ing’ list as other work gets in the way list (ha ha)
• What would you do immediately if you had more time?
• How many emails do you have in your inbox?
• Do you follow-up with your clients?
• Have you any testimonials or references from your clients
• How often do you connect with your clients/potential clients on social media or reinforce those relationships?
• How do you market your clients, and do you have enough of them?
• Do you manage your time effectively and do you apply your time to your clients appropriately giving them the best service and after-care they need?
• Can you delegate/outsource any of your tasks to your VA to allow you to undertake any of these tasks or to undertake any of these tasks?

 

Why do I need my Virtual Assistant?

As a potential client of a Virtual Assistant (VA), you need to return to your core business ethics. What it is you went into business for.

What is your passion?

What is it that you really love about your business.

What do you love doing?

As this is what you need to convey to your VA. You need your VA to share that passion and ethic and take it on board for you and treat your company as if it were their own.

You are working with a Virtual Assistant because you want to save time, reduce costs and possibly save your sanity, I think?!

It’s well-known that Virtual Assistants are time-served time-management ‘geeky’ organised people that just love to do all things ‘Virtual’ and are happy to help and get stuck in and organise, so what better to do this at a more cost-effective rate, freeing up your time allowing you to just get on with the matters at hand!

What are you waiting for?  Block some time out in your calendar to undertake one of the options above, and contact me via email or Linkedin so that we can arrange a mutually convenient time to discuss what it is that YOU need help with.  After all, you now know, don’t you?

 

Blogging, Email Marketing, Facebook Marketing, GDPR, Networking, Social Media, VA, Virtual Assistant

Building Your Email List

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Building Your Email List

Building Your Email List

It’s common knowledge that as a small business everyone is striving to find that elusive client and you need to always be on the lookout for new ways to market your business. In the depths of Facebook and Twitter et al you can get lost in the algorithms whatever they are at any given time and who knows, they change with the wind, don’t they?  Social Media sites also belong to someone else as well too. The only things that belong to you are your website and your mailing list.

 

Do you have a Niche?

Once you have determined who your target audience is for your business and you have defined your niche then you are on a roll!

 

What does your Client want/need?

This is when it becomes a little easier to target what your audience or your client wants or needs.  How can you solve their problems?  How can you ease their pain?  What is it that makes their day so much more difficult to get through without you assisting them to glide through much more easily.

 

Lead Magnet

Now you can create your prize jewel – your Lead Magnet. This is marketing terminology for a free service or product that is given away for the purpose of gathering contact details.

 

Promote, Promote, Promote! 

Yay – you’ve got your lead magnet – that’s it! You can now promote it. You can advertise it in your blog posts, social media, link it in your emails – get it out there!

 

Automate or Manual?

As you’re promoting your Lead Magnet you will now be gaining interest. If you use one of the programs to do this for you it can automate the process. This can be Aweber, Mailchimp, CampaignMonitor are just a few to choose from.

 

Be Appropriate

Of course, you need to ensure you gain appropriate permission-based email lists and use the correct opt-ins. If you use one of the automated email programs, then this is all done for you. Better still, use a double opt-in.

 

Be Consistent

Have you got offers or discounts to advocate from time to time, this is a great way to promote your posts regularly and keep your traction.

 

CTA

Finally, do not forget your Call To Action. Ensure you ask your readers to subscribe to your email list.

Virtual Weekly Sign UP

 

If you like what you’ve read – go on, jump in and take a look at my Virtual Weekly E:Mag! It’s full of business tips and ways to reduce your time.

If you would like this blog post as a PDF just email us and we’ll get it right out to you!

 

 

 

Email Marketing, Facebook Marketing, Networking, Social Media, VA, Virtual Assistant

Virtual Weekly: The E-Mag

NottmVA Virtual Weekly

Virtual Weekly – The E-Magazine

It’s great writing about blogs and it’s fab that everyone is liking and subscribing.  So much so that we have now decided to send out all of the fab info via the Virtual Weekly E-Mag for you all to read and get involved in (if you wish).

 

What is it? 

Virtual Weekly is our great new E-Mag that is going to be distributed regularly with biz tips and information on quick fixes on ways of how to reduce your workload and how to work smarter. What more could you ask for?

 

Who is it for?

If you are a sole trader, a small business or someone wanting to start in business, then this is for you!

If you haven’t previously signed up to my mailing list then click on the link below to ensure that you receive your copy of the Virtual Weekly

 

 

Click the link now:  http://eepurl.com/dCrKxD                                       Virtual Weekly Sign UP

 

 

Blogging, Email Marketing, Facebook Marketing, Mobile, Networking, VA, Virtual Assistant

The Need To Be Mobile

The need to be mobile comes in many forms these days.

 

Flexibility

As a Virtual Assistant, there is a requirement to be flexible: there are many clients, different industry sectors, all with differing requirements too, so it’s quite a  skill to get the balance right.

Having numerous years of experience with event management companies, the NHS, brand agencies, blue-chip companies, the legal sector etc, I have a broad knowledge to draw upon.

 

Versatile

You’re also needed to catch up with clients via the mobile telephone, meetings, networking of course – to maintain those all important connections and then you have to knuckle up and actually get your work done!  Oh, it’s a hard life huh?

 

Who is it For?

A Virtual Assistant is for businesses that probably cannot afford or do not need a full-time employee at the moment and a self-employed VA can offer a flexible alternative.  A Virtual Assistant can be hired for your administration duties, sales calls or social media management when needed but not necessarily when business is slow.

NottmVA Mobile Office

 

Workspace

I do have a desk for my ‘work stuff’, I do like to sit and work quietly, as I can concentrate on what I’m doing: but I can just as easily work in a coffee shop, a co-working office space, by the pool, on a train, well, anywhere really – that’s the beauty and flexibility of being a VA.

 

Technology

The technology is available to allow you to work in a mobile arena these days now and its great that I can encrypt my hardware and software that I know I am safe and secure with mine and my clients’ data, to be able to work in such a way that work can be undertaken around both the client’s and my commitments – a win/win!

If you would like to know more about the need to be mobile and would like us to manage your admin and social media by hiring a Virtual Assistant, or want to work with me as an Associate VA then contact me or by using the contact form on the website.

If if you would like to keep in touch regularly then please sign up for my Virtual Weekly E-Magazine.

 

 


 

Blogging, GDPR, VA, Virtual Assistant

Calendars: iPhone or Google?

Calendar nottmvaCALENDARS: iPhone or Google? 

The comparison against IOS or Windows – ooh!

What to write in a blog – well, I was scrolling through my LinkedIn account, as you do when I came across an article which was comparing Google calendar against the iPhone calendar and I thought this was an appropriate ‘thing’ to share with my fellow ‘bloggees’.

It’s an interesting topic, I use both calendars, both for myself and my clients and like both for different reasons: for the functionality and the different operating platforms that they perform on.

I will post a copy of the link at the bottom so you can read it for yourself and I look forward to your comments as to which you prefer.

As an avid iPhone user, I read this with interest until my stomach sank when I saw that it stated it ‘undoubtedly collect and store your personal data”. Well, didn’t the panic set in? Whoah! Off I went to my friendly KoffeeKlatch GDPR group to convene and discuss.  But no sooner, did I raise the conversation and the article, as I put in my little place and was indeed told that companies have always been collating personal data, it is just that now under the new revised laws of GDPR they are required to tell you about it. Phew, panic over.

Let me know what you think of the report by commenting below, or emailing me – do you prefer the GSuite Calendar or the iPhone Calendar?

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6426571311677476864

Email Marketing, GDPR, VA, Virtual Assistant

Connecting on LinkedIn? Can you add to your list?

It’s a big question, isn’t it?  Who can you add to your mailing lists?

Post-GDPR – 25th May 2018 – what can you do, what can’t you do… Hmm, it’s all a bit twinkle tippy toes..

Well, keeping in touch with the right people who’re in the know is important.  I like to think I do, that’s for sure..  If I’m not, please do give me a nudge and signpost me on my way! But here’s a great infographic from KoffeeKlatch that gives you a quick read at-a-glance giving you the do’s and don’ts about your mailing lists.

 

Can-I-add-this-email-address-to-my-list_infographic-1
Make sure you keep your lists in tippy-top order and that you have the right consent.
If you would like me to email you and let me know about the services I offer you can contact me directly.

Would you like to subscribe to my email list and receive a copy of Virtual Weekly, a mid-week E: Magazine?

Blogging, Email Marketing, Facebook Marketing, Networking, Social Media, VA, Virtual Assistant

Too Busy for Social Media?

Too Busy for Social Media – Then let me do it for you…

Sometimes the constraints of your job are just too much.  The meetings, the business reports, the presentations, the surgery, the consultations, discussions then the dictations that have to be done – when do you have the time to post your social media?  The relevant stuff as well.  It can all get a bit much, can’t it.

It can be quite time-consuming, you have to put in the effort to get it right, you have to be consistent, know when Twitter is the right time to reach its audience, is it the same time for Facebook? Maybe not, Instagram isn’t the same either it can get tricky to schedule it all when you have more important things to do.

social media image

That’s where a Virtual Assistant comes in, well me – in fact!  Social Media scheduling is one of the services I can take off your hands.  With some careful briefing about your industry, product and just a weekly or monthly update I can organise your media to be posted on to 1, 2 or more platforms daily, weekly or twice weekly to keep you or your business in the forefront.

With a simple outsourcing of your social media, you can concentrate on what you do best.  Let me know your thoughts and comments below.

If you wish to receive the Virtual Weekly E-Mag which will give you biz tips, information, quick fixes and Smart tips on how to help you through your week – what more could you ask for! Get this here.

 

Networking, Social Media, Uncategorized, VA, Virtual Assistant

What is a Virtual Assistant?

 

Small Logo

What is a Virtual Assistant – The Basics

So, what is a Virtual Assistant, as people often look at me quizzically, so I thought I would try to explain it a little.

 

The Definition

I’m not ‘almost’ or ‘nearly’ there, as the Oxford dictionary describes ‘Virtual’, but an online self-employed version of the traditional PA who provides business support to SMEs and sole traders.

 A Virtual Assistant or VA generally works from a home office or remotely and the services provided vary from VA to VA depending on the skill-set but are usually social-media led, administration or technological based. 

 

How Many Clients does a VA have? 

A Virtual Assistant would only hold a small number of business clients so as to ensure that the number of hours provided to each are provided professionally, with clear set boundaries and delivered on time.

 

What Skills does a VA require? 
The skill-set that each business would use would depend on their need at any one time.  The business may have a secretary in the office, but may have sickness, annual leave and/or surplus work at the time – that’s where a VA comes into play.  Or indeed, you may just utilise a VA permanently and only outsource your work for the set hours you need.  Skills such as audio transcription, social media management, event planning, website monitoring, document creation, presentations, mail merge etc. Which VA you decide to work with will depend on the skill-set you choose.

 

How Do You Keep In Touch?
How do you keep in touch?  Well, technology is great these days, isn’t it?  Each client has their own preferences, so it is entirely up to you. You can choose; email, telephone, Skype, a Zoom call or even face-to-face if you prefer to work with a VA in your local area – however, face-to -ace meetings will be at a higher rate for onsite help, of course.

There are other services such as proof-reading available, along with the face-to-face meetings which do demand a premium rate along with the standard rate skills mentioned above.

 

Summary

I hope this has made things a little more clearer and you now understand the workings of a Virtual Assistant.  So in essence, you have a remote online freelancer for a VA who is technically skilled to work on your tasks that you have outsourced to allow you to focus on more cost-effective matters in hand. 

As you're a business colleague, you may wish to receive the Virtual Weekly E-Mag!  It will give you biz tips, information, quick fixes and Smart Tips on how to help you through your week - what more could you ask for!  Get this here.