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What it means to front load the hard work early on in your business

What it means to front load the hard work early on in your business

 

Let’s define what it means to front-load the hard work early on in your business. Front loading is simply researching and planning your business from the beginning so you can ensure that you have a profitable business.

You need a business that is thoughtfully planned out, so you need to know where to expand your financial resources and your energy.

 

A business that is properly planned out will be kilometers or miles ahead of its competitors.

When we decide to want to create a virtual assistant business, most of us:

  • Come up with the idea to become a VA
  • Write out a list of services
  • Determine the prices of services
  • Build social media profiles
  • Create a website
  • Start promotion.

The right way to start your virtual assistant business is these 3 key steps:

  1. do the service planning,
  2. the target market research and then
  3. the business front loading planning.

Let we see what you’ve learned so far and need to work on:

  • Constricting down your core services
  • Interview/research your target audience

The next step is to create a business plan.

Your target market research will take you weeks. If it takes you a short amount of time, you’re not dedicating enough time to this critical phase of your business building.

You need lots of information from online research to interviews and a notebook full of information so you can analyze the data. The information and data that will come out of your target market research will be a powerful resource for you.

You will be able to see with ease that you need to create services (and later packages) based on your core services to help them with those problems.

Once you’ve done all that front-loading, you’re ready to compile it into your business game plan.

Here’s what is also important to write you down:

Who is your target market?

What are your core services?

Where is your target audience hanging out online/offline?

What marketing strategies will you employ to get in front of your target audience?

How much will you charge for your services?

Will you offer packages, retainer plans, or pay-by-the-hour services?

What are your standard business operation policies?

What you will do, what you will not do, and the costs?

How do you bill for work completed?

How you track your time?

Bonus information for you are:

  • that the most successful places to network and market are on Facebook and LinkedIn
  • if you outsource part of the work to someone else, like another virtual assistant – describe how that works.

Write down your plan for all of the above and add more.

Write everything down in your business plan and this way if you get distracted, you’ll always know what you need to come back to because you’ve done the research, you’ve laid out the plan and you’re able to easily come back to it.

Trust your instincts and your hard work.

You put in a lot of hours of research to get this information so trust the system and trust yourself.

More importantly, don’t over-complicate things. We sometimes tend to make things harder than they need to be.

This business game plan is just a plan between you and no one else. This isn’t a document for clients and the content will and should change over time and that’s perfectly okay.

You need to update your on-going plan because nothing is set in stone. Everything needs modulation as you move forward.

What potential customers see when they click on your Instagram account

What potential customers see when they click on your Instagram account

Do you already have your Instagram account? If you don’t, maybe you should have them because it is one of most popular social media channel and if you are VA or web designer or you making jewelry this is the best way to present your work.

You should know that the first thing that potential customers or clients see when they click on your account, is your bio.

BIO – From this short intro, they need to find out who you are, what you do, and what’s in it for them.

For your first good impression on Instagram, I would like to mention 3 rules for perfect Instagram bio. Let we see.

Rule #1

Pick the picture that clearly describes you and your services or products.

The very first line of your Instagram bio, listed under “Name” in the editor, is the only searchable line in your bio, other than your @username.

You don’t need to repeat your username or any personal details that people simply aren’t searching for. Use this 30 character line with keywords about your product or service.

Think about what is your ideal audience searching for? 

Make sure that everything describes your product or service as much as possible!

Rule # 2

List your bio in single line bullet points. I suggest you to start each line with an emoticon to break up the text.

People don’t have time to read through-hole info, even if it is only 150 characters long.

Then in the last line write down your contact information or put the link to your website, last blog post, lead page for signing up to your podcast, or webinar.

You can as well use a little hand emoticon pointing to your link.

People need to be told explicitly what to do and why, so don’t be shy. Let them know which is the next step they need to take to find out more.

Rule #3

Use your bio to qualify your audience. This means that in a few seconds you will show people that aren’t your audience that you and they don’t need to waste your own time. But those that are your potential clients will easily realize instantly that you are what they’ve been looking for.

For example, if you’re a business coach you might ask: “Looking for a more successful business?” or “Would you like to make more money?”

Once you’ve asked your qualifying question, then you should list the key benefits, unique selling points, and highlight stuff about you, your service or products.

And one more thing that I think is important is trying not to focus too much on you, but more what your services or products can do for them.

The importance of home and about page

The importance of home and about page

The main point of having a website for your VA business is to convert visitors into clients.

If you want someone to do something for you, they have to see what’s in it for them.

 What cares about our website visitors?

None of your website visitors cares about you, they care about themselves.

They care about their current problems.

They care about the fact that they don’t have time to spend with their family and friends.

They care that they aren’t making enough money.

They care that things are falling through the cracks on a personal and professional level.

They care about the reason why their work is starting to suffer.

People care about the issues they are facing and you have to be effective at persuading them to do what you want them to do and that is to hire you to make their lives easier. It sometimes looks like they just don’t believe it’s a possibility that some of your suggestions could be a solution to their problems.

How can I persuade anyone? I’m not versed in sales. The truth is that you already know more about persuasion and sales than you think you do.

If you’re not persuasive enough on your home and about page, your website visitor will click off in 3 seconds or less.

So, how do you create a persuasive copy to make sure they don’t bounce?

Let’s go back to your prospect interviews and research. We have here 2 key things:

  1. using the words from the interviews, surveys, data that you’ve collected,
  2. write down the actual language that your target audience is using.

Take the information from your research and create a table in a spreadsheet that contains rows for 3 important points:

Memorable Phrases

What People Want

What People are in Pain With About

Now take those pain points and create content for your website and social media profiles using the exact words and phrases that your target audience is using.

The best way to grab the attention of your website visitor is to include a hero image at the top of your page and include some hero text in that picture that clearly states your value proposition along with a strong call-to-action.

What is a call to action?

A call to action is a line of text that tells the visitor exactly what they should do next.

Notice how the image is the main attraction and there is very little text. It’s just enough text to awaken curiosity and stay on the website to learn more.

I suggest you to not lade your home page up with a ton of content and to not put a hero text inside of the hero image.

Just focus on the value proposition and persuasive headline that sum up what you do and whom you do it for.

Everyone’s goals are different in business but for virtual assistants, you’re selling services. You should set up a prominent button on your homepage that has a strong call to action that gets visitors to click on “my services” button or a “work with me” button.

We should write persuasive copy on your homepage.

Some of my go-to resources are:

Too many businesses use the about page as a place to talk about themselves but about page is where you go into detail about how you can help others.

The answer to those 3 questions:

What do you do?

How do you do it?

What are the problems you are solving?

Don’t forget that you have 3 seconds to convince them that you can solve their most burning problems.

Tell your visitors what you do and how that special thing you do, explain to them how you can make them happier, richer and more productive and add some personality to the copy.

You must add personality because at the end of the day if you have two virtual assistants offering the exact same services at the same price point, the difference between the two of them is their unique selling proposition. 

People love doing business with other people, humans they can relate to, so show them who you are and how you can help.

Write like you’re having a one-on-one conversation with a friend. It should be personal and in your own voice.

Be yourself, use the words that you use in your day-to-day conversation and you will see that your clients are right in front of you.

How to create VA services that clients will pay you for

How to create VA services that clients will pay you for

Let’s talk about how to create services that clients will actually pay you for, time and time again. From experience, I have seen that most new virtual assistants create a laundry long list of services.

Services like customer service, project management, calendar management, spreadsheet creation, social media management, website management, and I can go on and on. It’s good to list everything you know how to do, but our goal is to constrict that list to the things you are an expert at.

Why is it important?

When I was working as an administrative assistant I did a lot of things during my work week. Some things I was an expert at and some things that I wasn’t quite good, but I was required to do them part of my job description.

What I think is important is to write down the skills on a piece of paper. Don’t leave anything out. If you’re amazing at cooking, you should write that down. Trust me, I’m going somewhere with this.

The idea here is to offload all of these skills from your head onto paper so you can see in black and white the skills you’ve acquired over the years.

Once you have written out all the skills you have, you should write down all of the knowledge you have acquired over your lifetime. Think about college degrees, languages you speak, workshops, and courses you have taken.

Next, I suggest you write down the things that you’re known for in your circle of friends and colleagues.

What do people who know you think you’re amazing for?

For me, my friends think I am a wizard in WordPress support and time management. Perhaps, your friends think you’re one of the best event organizers they have ever met. Whatever it is, write it down.

Let’s go back to your skills. Let’s say you wrote down cooking. I suggest you to get everything out of your head and onto paper because once you have everything there you can start thrashing that list.

Take a fat red marker (it can be blue, pink, or yellow) and cross out every single thing you hate doing. Go ahead. Do it, it will feel good.

The last thing you want to do as a virtual assistant is to do work you don’t enjoy.

Even if you’re an expert at these things – get rid of it. Once you’ve crossed out everything that you hate doing, you should to circle with a blue marker everything you love doing. Now, take a separate piece of paper and write at the very top “core services”. From the list of skills, pick your top five.

Out of those five services, do some research. Will people pay you for these services? Just because you love doing something and think it’s useful doesn’t mean the market will and it’s better for you to do the work figuring this out now. Because if you don’t do this now, you will have a hard go of things.

The services you offer should be services that people really need right now and will pay you for.

You need to have at least three to five core services that you can actually make money from. Don’t freak out about narrowing down your services to just a few core services. This is a smart strategy, because the more you offer, the more confused your prospect is. When a client is confused about how they can use your services, you have lost them.

Remember, they are looking for someone to solve some of their burning problems. If they are confused with trying to figure out how you can help them because you have so much to offer, will not cooperate with you. That means you’re not making money and that’s not an option.

You should have three to five profitable core services on your list.

But what is a profitable service? Well, that depends on some factors. Let’s talk about that more because, without a profitable service to offer, you’ve got yourself a hobby, not a business.

These are the services that you will market on your list. Even better if you can narrow down the services to just two services.

Why? Because you want to become known for something and you can’t become known for something if you offer everything.

Once you have someone as a client you can open up the curtain and show them all the services that you’re amazing at, but for now, keep it simple and focus on just a few services:

  • Document creation
  • Customer service
  • Calendar management
  • Event planning
  • Email marketing
  • WordPress website management
  • Social media marketing
  • Project management
  • Graphic Design

Don’t be down in if you don’t feel that you can do any of the above. All we were beginners once.

If you’re not willing to invest in yourself and learn more skills and add to your knowledge base, you’re not going to be successful.

The most successful VAs stay up-to-date on the latest software and technology to help them run their business and their client’s business and it’s no different in other fields. Doctors have to go to continuing education courses each year. So do VAs.

Now that you have figured out what your marketable core services are let’s start figuring out who you will market these services too. It’s going to be fun, but it will require a lot of work on your part.

5 Social Media Trends for 2017

5 Social Media Trends for 2017

3 Key Challenges:

  1. Organic reach will continue to decline for brend
  2. Pat-to-play will increase as brands in organic reach
  3. With increased investment in social, marketers need to shift away from vanity metrics such es “likes” and “comments”.

2 of the top 3 most-used sources of news and informations are peer-influenced media.

Trends for 2017:

How to get started1

#1 Social usage isn’t slowing.

 

It’s accelerating, especially as discovery and research tools to find and buy from brands.

Global adoption grows each year.

98% of digital consumers are using social networks.

98% of online consumers (age 16 to 64) globally say they visited or used a social network within the last month.
Digital consumers have an average of almost 8 accounts. This number has more than doubled since 2012.
Facebook remains the top service globally for membership 84% but YouTube maintains a lead for visitors or users 87%..

We were seeing the decline of traditional websites. 1 of 4 people use Mobile App for product research with the highest of growth in APAC.

 

 

#2 Social commerce has been hyped before. How to get started2

But recent developments offer new ways to drive revenue from social.

Growth in social commerce:

106% YoY ( year of year) growth in users who have made purchase from WeChat.
42% of North American marketers list social commerce as a key strategic priority.
35% of European marketers marketers list social commerce as a key strategic priority.

New Tactic: Pinterest – FB messenger – Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3 Dark Social Rising.How to_dark social

Dark social is challenging traditional ways of measuring social ROI. But there are ways to combat it.

82% of content shared on mobile is done through dark social. (Source: RadiumOne)

Growth of Dark Social:

  • 92% of millennials will only share information on Snapchat with close friends
  • 84% of consumers outbound sharing from publishers and marketers websites know takes place via dark social channels such as email and instant messages
  • 70% of all global sharing estimated to be dark social
    (Source: RadiumOne)

 

How brend are solving dark social?

Adidas explores micro communities on WhatsApp
Time Inc. find a simple way to track social media shares
Burger King embraces dark social activity

 

#4 Video ignites social advertisingHow to get started2

In 2017 social video advertising will be a key strategic focus.

65% of marketers prioritize social video platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter over traditional web video (Vevo and Youtube)

Source: “The Future of Digital Video”,Trusted Media Brands Inc.

Marketers focus on social video ads:

70% of marketers plan to use social video advertising in the next 12 months (Source: Animato)

65% of marketers will focus on Facebook video advertising in 2017 follow by YouTube at 39% and Instagram at 21,7% (Source:Animato)

41% of marketers say that optimizing paid social ads is a key priority for them (Source: Altimeter).

89% of marketer are considering using live-stream video advertising in the next year. (Source: “The Future of Digital Video”,Trusted Media Brands Inc.)

 

 

#5 Organizations turn to connectes workforces

3 workplace trends are converting:

  1. Employee advocacy
  2. Social selling
  3. Training at scale

These trends reflect the changing customer journey.

21% of consumers reports “liking” employee posts – far higher than the average brand post or social ad.

67% of consumers trust recommendations from families and friends.

90% of brands have plans to pursue employee advocacy strategies in 2017

72.6% of salespeople who incorporated social media into their process outperformed their colleagues.
(Source:Altimeter)

Believe in yourself every day

Believe in yourself every day

More and more people complain of a sense of meaninglessness in their lives. Also, often they don’t know how to explain that in a few words because it is accompanied by a deep sigh, abstracted views, and incomplete sentences that don’t explain what is going on. Often I notice that this nonsense comes from the fact that people no longer believe that we should try to live better because all is meaningless and doomed to failure. No one expects the desired results and effects.

What are the desired results and effects?

Often the answer is: “To be happy.”

What is happiness to you? No replies.

People often don’t know what actually makes them happy, and even less what should be done in order to experience happiness.

Our emotions are our essence

It’s a mistake when we think that happiness in life is constant and that happy people are always happy and have no problems. Often I notice euphoria and excitement in people, but it looks like these emotions just flashed and quickly extinguished, leaving no trace in them a positive nor sense of true happiness that such flashy moments exist in life and they are privileged to feel them.

Everything is somehow going superficially and no true essence. Perhaps this is due to the aforementioned sense of meaninglessness or it is something else.

Too many people dealing with logic and tactics, and the lack of emotional part of your and other people’s personalities. My opinion is that emotions are our essence, our driver.

When we learn to recognize our emotions, we will know how to react and behave in accordance with them.

No one can live our lives

When we lose someone who has been part of our lives and with us almost every day, that is sensed sadness, fear, suffering, disappointment.

Against such emotions cannot be fought, they are an integral part of our lives and without them, we would not know what we’re truly happy moments. It takes the time to come up with the sad facts and it should not be to suppress.

It‘ll come a time when we all let go and actually feel the blessing that we were lucky that one person as the one we lost is part of our lives. Did I mention the word luck? Sure. From the greatest sorrow and pain, cognition is true joy and happiness.

To be emotionally mature need to accept yourself and to love ourselves. Only the love of self and introduce itself can make us emotionally mature. When we start to love and accept ourselves, we will not heed to others’ opinions and comments, and criticism of others we accepted as something we should think instead, although it will certainly our final judgment and our decision will be exclusively and in line with us.

No one can live our lives, nor make decisions for us, nor make it more meaningful and beautiful but only we. We should get our life as a gift from their parents. When we know that we were lucky at the very beginning of our lives and it is up to us to make it a nice trip that will be assembled from the ups and downs, but it will bring a lot of happiness and joy to us and to those who around us.

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