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

Networking – Is It Really Right For You?

What is Networking Really all about?

NottmVA at Global Woman's Club
Photography Credit: Jo Welch Photography

Everyone is talking about it and doing it aren’t they? Even I have succumbed to it. Me, who couldn’t even mumble a 30-second introductory video about my business when I first started. We’ve all been there, nervous, dreading being in front of the camera and afraid of looking a fool in front of, well, who? We just don’t know! Well, according to Woody Allen, 80% of Success is Showing Up. So, what are we waiting for – let’s go and do it!

Where Do you Find the Right Networking Event for You?

Now, this is the tricky part. Networking takes time and patience and you have to be prepared to put some time in. I know, I know we are all busy people, but you know – we all have the same amount of hours in the day and you have to put in what you want to get out. You may get lucky and find the one that works for you the first time. I was 3rd time lucky did you know? I have found an absolutely fabulous group called the Global Woman’s Club which is held in my local town in Nottingham and being a Virtual Assistant , the Club is Global – it is held all over the World so of course, it is the perfect group for me!

So, what are the key points to look for when joining a group?

It is important to find the right networking group for you. You want to feel comfortable in your surroundings and to feel natural when you are speaking with others. Here are a few pointers to think about:

  • You want to find a networking group that has similar or like-minded people to yourself
  • The networking group needs to be familiar with your target market or open to your mindset or law of attraction
  • Be open as to what YOU can offer or contribute to the networking group
  • Does the networking group offer additional networking outside of the event days/evenings i.e. online networking, social gatherings and so on?
  • Where is the networking group held, is it the same venue/date/time each occasion? Is it weekly/fortnightly/monthly? Would you feel comfortable in this environment?

Business Relationships NottmVA

You will need to endeavour to build the right relationships for both yourself and your business and for the other members of the networking group to ensure that it is a success for both yourself and everyone involved.

What is it about Networking that Everyone finds Valuable?

The Value – it’s so important for everyone to take some importance from their meeting or why would they take time out of their busy day or evening to spend it with you? You will be meeting and greeting new business introductions – look at all those new possibilities! People to talk to and discuss what you have been doing, learning, and chatting about your family and what people’s husbands and wives do too – it’s not just about the people in the room, there is a lot of referral business that is undertaken too.

There is a lot of value in the support that is gained from networking. Many businesses are sole traders and entrepreneurs working from home or in isolated areas and numerous business gurus thrive on meeting up and blossom in a room full of people for an hour or so. It is important to ‘walk’ the room or mingle – if you see someone on their own, introduce yourself and ask about their day – they may be feeling as nervous as you perhaps.

Many networking groups have guest speakers and with you attending it could be that you have access to new information, new learning and your value would be to gain new trusted information that has been pre-approved by the host.

What Can You Get Out of Networking for your Business?

Ultimately, you’re there for your business, aren’t you? But, don’t pitch-sell, sell, sell to your peers the minute you walk in the door – eek! You don’t want to be ‘sold’ to, do you the minute someone walks up to you with a cup of coffee in their hand? I know I don’t.

What you CAN get out of networking is a source of great support, this is something I get great value from. I have a fab collaboration of great people now to call on for a variety of information, referrals both to call upon for my clients and to send business to – it works both ways. New friendships are formed with yourself and your spouses too, it’s such a close relationship – but only if you want it to be. It’s your call. Remember, it is what YOU want it to be. It’s your business. Some networking groups are strictly business, some are extended into social gatherings – make sure you find the one that works for you. There are networking groups that will offer mentors or will have individuals that have these businesses within the group. Take the time to talk to everyone in the group. Make it work for you.

What if your chosen Networking Group hasn’t Worked for You?

Photography Credit: Jo Welch Photography

There are some occasions when some Networking groups are just not right.  I have tried a couple, and more than once, myself and just did not feel comfortable with them.  There was nothing wrong with the groups, they worked very well for many people. You will need to ask yourself the questions I raised earlier about whether they are right for you regarding timing, environment, business strategies etc.

What you need to do is work out what you DO need and find something that DOES work and what did not work, however.

Does your networking group allow selling sessions?  The Global Woman Club that I attend is a fabulous group and allows 2-minute presentations from everyone for you to speak about something regarding your business. As you can see here, my presentation  was videoed,

sometimes live-streamed and then shared to the Facebook group to the local group and the Global group too – so there is lots of scope for other businesswomen to see my business pitch on that occasion.

Are you making sure that you ‘walk’ the room and mingle and don’t ‘sell’ in that coffee area? It’s important to get to know people and like the mantra of a business coach that I’m working with at the moment… obtain that ‘Know, Like, Trust’ factor from those around you.

Perhaps the cost of joining the networking group might be an issue for you right now, but something you may wish to think about if you obtained one client from that group is – what would a few months of that client’s business be worth to you, or your membership to this group. What is the value of being a member of this group mean to you? Is it purely monetary? Is it for support? Is it collaboration too – there are many other benefits too? Have you checked out the other benefit packages that the group has to offer?

Are you attending the meetings, are you allowing people to see your face, are you speaking, letting people hear you and hear the tone, your character, your laughter, your charisma – the real you? This is where people get to know YOU!  The old saying is People buy people, isn’t it?

Business CardsThen there is the final follow-up. Are you following up your contacts? Have you been left with many business cards? Have you sent an email to say anything, or followed up with a 1:1 meeting and met with a coffee to discuss your business in further detail or asked how you can refer any other businesses if that is appropriate or asked if you can add them to your mailing list?

What are the Benefits of Networking for You?

I touched on this briefly earlier, but you need to find out from your networking group what it can offer for you. Of course, you will be receiving the support, the collaboration, the networking and so on, but some groups will offer financial reward and other benefits for you introducing guests to future meetings so it may be mutually beneficial to you and your guests to find out what those benefits are. Why don’t you join me at one of the Global Woman Club meetings or if you are a male businessperson, you could join as a guest presenter?

What Strategy Should You Undertake?

You need to have a marketing strategy that works for your business. Have you worked out what your ideal client, skills or sector is and that you are marketing to that niche business?

Here’s a quick summary of what was mentioned earlier on:

  • Have you ensured that you defined your ideal client and you are marketing to a niche audience?
  • Are you making sure that you are only selling in the required environments that allow you to do so?
  • Do not sell in the ‘coffee arena’ just network appropriately and courteously
  • Is time and money an issue for you right now – do your networking group offer instalments?
  • Are you actually turning up to meetings and offering your character and charisma?
  • Take time to nurture your fellow peers and discuss your business and referrals and show your knowledge
  • Are you following up?

Whatever networking group you choose it should be one that you are comfortable with, one you feel you can relate to and one you feel best suits your needs – at that time.  Just remember, nothing is forever. You can change, your business changes as it grows. Your ideal client niche will change as your business changes and develops. I wish you every success with your business, your networking and your personal development.

As your business does grow, it is inevitable that you will obtain an additional workload and may require the services of a Virtual Assistant to assist with your Business Administration and Social Media Marketing.

 

Nottingham Virtual Assistant

 

 

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, Networking, Social Media

Virtual Weekly – The Midweek Breather!

Virtual Weekly E:MagVirtual Weekly – Your Midweek Breather! 

It’s hard going week in, week out isn’t it when you’re trying to run your business and keep up to date with everything going on?  Have you signed up to receive your copy of Virtual Weekly?

 

What is it? 

It is a fab mid-week breather to let you know about all the biz facts about apps, news in the industry and a few fun things too that might, just might be of interest to you…

 

If you would like to receive a copy and/or contribute or even be included so that you’re distributed to a mailing list around the country, well actually worldwide, so sign up too and get this winging it’s way to your inbox too!

 

When will I get it? 

Virtual Weekly comes out mid-week on a Wednesday and is there for you to put your feet up in the afternoon with a cuppa, or when you’re travelling home in the afternoon on the bus/train/tram, so you can have a nosey about what’s going on in the world of tech/virtual/biz.

 

Don’t miss this week!

You’re not too late to get this week’s edition if you’re quick!  If you want to get hold of past editions, then message me and I can get those sent to you too.

 

Virtual Weekly Sign UP

Thank you

Angela

 

 

 

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.

 

 


 

Facebook Marketing, VA

FACEBOOK: DO’s & DON’Ts

FACEBOOK DO’S AND DON’TS

It’s always difficult to know what to post and what not to post, isn’t it?  Well, that depends on your audience, your target market, so to speak and of course your work ethic as well.  Are you going to always be ‘businessy’? Are you going to be work-related, chatty, are you a B2B, B2C, are you a trader, a Mum VIP business, or something quite different that can be quite laid-back?  That’s where you have to think about how you want to gauge how your posting is going to be written and how you want to be heard.

This Facebook ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ infographic just gives a few little guidelines as to what the usual etiquette is and should be to get your posts seen and heard for the common sense approach across the broad range of industries and target markets, but of course, only you know your sector and should refine that to your audience.

FACEBOOK DOs AND DON'Ts

If you would like to have your Facebook marketing undertaken a little more frequently than you have the time for, then let me do that for you, just find me on Facebook, Insta, Twitter, LinkedIn or email me for an enquiry for one of my packages to cater to your needs.

 

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?