#Blog4Biz Day 1

Blog4Biz Day 1  Today is the day and I’m too excited for this blogging journey to begin.

Your Day 1 prompt is “My Ideal Client

Additional Prompt Description: What are the things you think a great client are made of? Prompt payment? Non demanding? Someone you can joke with? Someone who challenges you to be better? Someone who will refer a lot of other business your way?

Minimum Post Length: 250 words

 

Do You Really Need A Virtual Assistant? Five Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hiring

Do you really need a virtual assistant to help with your business needs? A virtual assistant can be many things – a subject matter expert, an administrative consultant, a researcher, the creative spark, the ghostwriter, project manager, an extra pair of hands or eyes, the beginner, the placeholder or the closer. 

I was recently contacted by an infamous blogger who wanted to retain me to help with the administration of her blog {I promised not to use her name or her blog’s name}. After consulting with her about her needs for a little over half an hour, I came to the conclusion that she doesn’t REALLY need a virtual assistant. She needs a swift kick in the butt to keep her motivated for the current task.

This lady has been blogging several years now, receives high and quality daily traffic, has guest blogged everywhere and for almost everyone but she is struggling to produce content. Why?

Because she personally has outgrown her blog’s purpose and she wants to branch out into other fields but feels like she can’t leave the income she is generating, nor the reputation she has built as an expert in her field behind.

I understand this dilemma and I’m sure many of you understand this as well.   How do I grow beyond what was once my specialty?

When I said she doesn’t really need a virtual assistant, it was true and it wasn’t.

Yes, she needs help but first she needs to assess the kind of help she wants.

Does she NEED a virtual assistant to continue the administration of her current blog while she builds her next project? Then the answer to that is YES, except she isn’t sure what her next project will be.

However, since she isn’t sure of her next project it will be a waste of money to pay me and my team to administer her blog/website/brand and she has no clue of where she is going next. It would be the equivalent of hiring a limo driver and not having a destination.

If she wanted to hire me and my team to help her transition to her new niche by researching target audiences and similar brands, creating a list of new public relations contacts, crafting a new editorial calendar and helping to write content, hiring graphic and or website designers; then the answer to that would be YES.

Here are five ways to determine if you need a virtual assistant. Before you decide to hire a virtual assistant:

  1. Ask yourself are you hiring a VA to start something, build something, keep something afloat or finish something?
  2. What will I need my virtual assistant to do? Is it a specific short term project or an ongoing list of projects that you need help with every month?
  3. After that project is complete will it need daily, weekly or monthly follow up work?
  4. Are you hiring a virtual assistant because there just are not enough hours in the day for you to finish your to do list? Are you always burning the midnight oil trying to finish this or that?
  5. Is the hire because you have an aversion to the project and spend days and weeks procrastinating about completing it?

If the answer to three or more of those questions is yes, then you need an assistant.

Once you have decided on hiring an assistant, you need to prepare your business for an assistant.

  • First, write down every project that is Outstanding.
  • Then write down all the projects that are Upcoming in the next three to nine months.
  • Do you need to assign an email to your assistant?
  • Create a package for your assistant of passwords, logos, letterheads, contacts, important numbers and client names – anything important that your assistant will need while transacting your business.
  • Tell your clients and other employees about your new assistant – so they aren’t cold calling people and creating confusion.

If you are interested in a virtual assistant consultation call me at 301-893-4199.

Why Your Virtual Assistant Skillset is Needed or Finding Your Virtual Assistant Niche

When I wrote So, You Want to be a Virtual Assistant? I didn’t mean to give the impression that ALL the skills I listed were needed in one virtual assistant!

Believe me they are not.

Let me be honest; to me HTML code looks like Algebra IV and I couldn’t design my way out of a brown paper bag.

The questions I asked were intended to prompt you into thinking of what skills to include on your list.

My questions were also intended to give you a way to structure your thinking into what you are best at, average at and which of your skills need improvement.

Recognizing your best and weakest skills will help when you are writing your business plan, your marketing plan, crafting your elevator speech and selling yourself to future clients.

Knowing that I’m no good at coding means I need to have a cadre of people who know HTML in my Rolodex. I can also offer my best skills analyzing problems, breaking down Gordian knot problems into bite sized digestible chunks and short, medium and long term planning to other virtual assistants who may be deficient in those areas.

Virtual assistants fall mainly into two categories. Generalists who are jacks and jills of all trades and Niche specific virtual assistants who specialize in working for businesses in one or two industries.

There are niche specific virtual assistants for almost every industry.

Don’t believe me?

Niche specific virtual assistants run the gamut from Author Services to Bookkeeping to Medical Billing and Coding to Legal Assisting to Real Estate to Social Media to Travel to Website Development and literally every industry in between.

How do you translate your skillset into a niche virtual assistant job?

When you are writing down your skills it is important to remember where you learned those skills and how you applied those skills to the position you were working. Did you learn the medical coding and filling system working part time in a doctor’s office? Do you have a family member who is a real estate agent and learned the jargon at the dinner table?

Knowing the industry jargon is just as important when you are attempting to be a niche specific VA. Establishing that you know an industry or even that you are familiar with an industry goes a long way to easing the minds of potential clients.

You don’t want to know how many times I have had to bring up my years of  food service both waiting tables and bartending and in hospitality and gaming to ease the minds of clients that I’m experienced in dealing with irate customers.

Finding your niche at first is like squeezing the proverbial square peg in a round hole but once you have determined your target industry and target market you’ll find that the peg is not so square nor the hole so round.

Have more questions about virtual assisting?

Leave them below in the comment section. I promise to answer.

 

Hiring Myself

Today, I did something unexpected. I hired myself.

I signed a retainer with my company to dedicate seven hours a week to just business development.

I’ve been so busy helping others grow their businesses, develop their content, administer their sites, and stretch their reach and awareness that I have neglected my own.

Today, I dedicated some time to reclaiming my role as a cutting edge content management specialist, reviewing Skill Lists for potential virtual assistants. {Who knew so many of you were interested in virtual assisting?}

I checked my website two weeks ago and realized not only had my domain expired (gasp!) but I haven’t posted anything original or new to it since May! But wait, I’ve had blog posts – completed and rearing to go, and many drafts just waiting for some tweaks.

Let me ask you – When was the last time you hired yourself?

Are you your most important client? Have you gotten sidetracked into thinking that your biggest client is your most important one? The client who pays the most bills is the most important thing to your business.

Are you focusing on you and your business or your profit margins?

I have to admit I feel very negligent. I have plans (many, many plans) for expanding this company beyond me and my current staff and current projects.

If your business is like mine…you focus on bringing in new clients and more money in. You don’t worry about improving your skills unless it pertains to retaining a client. I was so focused on getting new clients I’ve neglected the business.

What am I going to do with those seven hours I retained myself for? I plan on using those hours this week to review my business and marketing plan (two hours), taking a webinar or class to boost my skillset (two hours), finishing and posting more blog posts (one and a half hours), filing and organizing (half hour), tax preparation (one hour).

What are you doing for your business this week?

How to Spot a Fake Social Media Expert

See on Scoop.itSocial Media & Content Creation Virtual Assistant

Blog post at Social-able : The rising popularity of social media has led to growing recognition of its use to companies and the need to incorporate social media into b[..] (RT @lilachbullock: Social Media Experts – How to spot the fake ones!

See on www.stumbleupon.com

How to Tweet What You Want, Because Content Matters

See on Scoop.itSocial Media & Content Creation Virtual Assistant

With the trends that we are seeing in the search engines as they become more and more social, I think it is fair to assume that social sharing will be a major part (or at the very least, be a piece) of consideration in any future updates.

 

See on searchengineland.com