Tag Archives: support

We are thrilled to have international speaker, author, trainer, and advisor,  Alex Theis be our guest on the Assistant Match blog, and provide us with information about tapping into the power of referrals.

Whether you’re the CEO of a big company, a home-based business owner, or anything in between, referrals can be an untapped goldmine. Are you tapping into the power of referrals? Here’s five reasons why they are absolutely magical.

1. Referrals buy quicker. Word of mouth is the most trusted form of advertising in the world, so the buying decision requires less research. Referrals ask fewer questions and take less of your time.

2. Referrals negotiate less and rarely complain. That key concept – trust. Referrals have built in trust of you and your product. Their mind is already down the road of being satisfied even before they buy.

3. Referrals buy more and buy more often. People want to buy services and products from businesses they believe in. Because the trust of the referrer has been transferred to them, their average sale is higher and they buy with more frequency. Think Amazon…

4. Referrals cost you virtually nothing. Utilizing the power of your already happy customers and clients, you can compress the time it takes to buy. This means very little marketing dollars are spent and big time ROI.

5. Referrals are more likely to refer others. They were referred, so they tend to follow the same pattern. When we find a good thing, packed with value, we love to share it with others.

How can you tap into this virtual goldmine? Ask your happy customers and clients for referrals. Create a program to incentivize referrals. Reward those who have already referred business to you. Get creative and watch your business grow!

Alex Theis is a speaker, best-selling author, podcaster, and leading expert on customer and client retention. His internationally-downloaded podcast, Limitless, can be heard on iTunes, Stitcher, and PodcastLimitless.com.

No matter who you are, there are only 24 hours in a day to get things accomplished.  For a small business owner, most of those hours are spent working to keep their business running, growing, and staying competitive.  It is not an easy thing to do, and a smart business owner will usually realize that they can not (and should not) try to do everything  by themselves.

When the time comes to find help and delegate some of the daily job duties to an assistant, the first thing a business owner should consider iswhat are my expectations and are they realistic”.
Here are 4 things to consider about job duty expectations when delegating work to a new  virtual assistant.

  1. It is important that you have an idea of how long it would take you to do the same task, so you can have a reasonable expectation for the VA.
  2. If the delegated task would take you an hour to do, you should expect it to take longer for a VA to do the same task (until they understand your business and processes).
  3. An unreasonable expectation on a new VA will frustrate them (and you) and cause the initial relationship to go south even before it has a chance to develop.
  4. With some patience, time and reasonable expectations a virtual assistant can become a great asset to you and your company.

When you think about spring cleaning, you generally think about your surroundings- -your home, your car, the backyard.  As a business owner, spring cleaning should include your digital “house” too.  That could include, email inboxes, electronic documents & folders, web browers, and online bookmarks just to name a few.

Digital clutter is a reality that many of us deal with on a daily basis as we conduct much of our business electronically through computers, tablets and even on our smartphones.

Sometimes digital cleaning is about restoration. Spring may be the right time to get your online accounts back in order.  Go through your Amazon wish lists, work on organizing your social media accounts or revisit learning how to use them.

Dealing with digital clutter or digital restoration is a great task to delegate to your virtual assistant.  Feeling empowered by your digital world instead of bogged down by it can help you be more efficient, more productive and ultimately more successful.

Some tasks to delegate to your VA could include:

Sort & Delete Email Messages

  • Go through your inbox and identify the emails that you want to keep vs. discard. Keeping emails takes up storage and can also potentially be a security risk if your account is compromised.
  • Take out attachments! Attachments take up a lot of room and shouldn’t be kept in your email. Make sure you create a folder on your hard drive for important attachments. If you need online access to those attachments, consider saving them in the cloud.
  • There may be some emails that you don’t want to delete. Move the “keepers” into specific folders. Create specific folders by topic or by sender’s name.
  • Delete all the emails that you know you will never need or want to look at again, they are just taking up space.
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters, retail offers, or others industry specific emails that you don’t look at and find no value with.

Web Browser

  • Organize your bookmarks. The best way to do this is to look through all your links and determine which ones you still need. Create folders that makes sense to the links you are bookmarking.
  • Clear the history, cache, cookies, and old temp file.  Your VA should know how to do this with whatever browser you are using.

Documents (files)

  • Sort files into 3 categories…Keep , Trash and Backup.
  • Delete documents you no longer need.  That would include files that you haven’t opened up in the past year or two– chances are you won’t need it. It’s time to delete or remove those files and remember to empty the recycling bin!
  • File e-docs sitting on your computer deskop that you use all the time or are project or customer oriented.  Have your VA create folders that make sense to you, for easy access.
  • Determine if you have any irreplaceable documents or projects that you are particularly proud of.  These should be backed-up on an external hard drive, CD or other back-up system.  Photos should be included in this process.

Social Media

  • Unfollow people that do not influence or add value to you or your business.
  • Follow  social media users that add value or are influential to your business.
  • Join industry related groups on Linkedin.
  • Attend or host a TweetChat that interests you.  Learn how to use #hashtags.
  • Organize your followers/friends into lists.
  • Re-engage with social media if you stepped away from it.
  • Get suggestions on what Social Apps to load onto your smartphone for easy access to each platform.

Business events are designed and implemented in many different formats.  There are online events (webinars, & video training) and events that require a physical location, like a hotel banquet room, conference room, or restaurant space.  Executing any of these takes time, preparation and planning.

A virtual assistant is the perfect solution to helping you with the following tasks when it comes to event planning.

  1. Researching possible event locations or online tools, including catering needs room setup or technical requirements.
  2. Creating the marketing and publicity through social media, email marketing or affiliate links.
  3. Managing the registration process either through your website with 1ShoppingCart or through an online event registration page link through Eventbrite.
  4. Preparing any and all training materials, including Powerpoint presentations, marketing sheets, and take away items.
  5. Keeping you on target by creating or managing a checklist for facilities, attendee information, speaker needs, etc…

There are plenty of other details and prep work required when doing an event, but these are just a few to get you thinking about delegating some of the work to your virtual assistant,

As the event approaches it’s a fact that you can expect last-minute alterations and possible drama. You really don’t want to be dealing with those especially if you are the main speaker at the event or training.  You equally don’t want to be bogged down in trying to find a solution in terms of any event you’re planning. Most Virtual Assistants have far more dexterity and problem solving ability than you do in these situations, if you’re honest with yourself.

Virtual assistants skilled in event planning have experience in negotiations, online tools, and much more .Executing a successful event should be your goal, and working with a qualified virtual assistant can make that goal a painless reality.

 

 

It is hard to believe that December is here and we will be welcoming in the New Year very soon.  Many of you still have a list of things to do before changing the calendar to 2014 that can be outsourced to a virtual assistant.

Here are 5 things to outsource for the end of the year push.

  1. Website Review.  Make sure all the information on your website is updated with new business testimonials and photos, so that the website is refreshed and ready for visitors in the new year.
  2. Email Organization.  Many of you should start the new year with an inbox that isn’t cluttered.  With proper guidance from you, have your virtual assistant purge both your active or reference-only emails and create folders to stay organized.
  3. Follow-Up Help. The end of the year is the perfect time for you to have your VA check on any open proposals, invoices and projects that you are working on, and make sure there is a plan in place for revisiting them after the holidays.
  4. Tax Preparation.  A VA with expertise in this area, can organize receipts, research end of the year charitable donations, or just look over business expenses.
  5. Marketing.  Make sure you have a plan in place for the new year.  Have your VA create an editorial calendar for blog posts, social media and print ads to help keep you organized and accountable.

 

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“I have a small budget – how can I decide what to have a VA do for me?” I hear that question all the time. My answer is “whatever will be the biggest bang for the buck”.

For some people it could be having the VA help with things that will bring revenue into the company.

That could include:

  • Helping with marketing.
  • Finalizing an informational product that you will sell.
  • Doing customer service tasks.
  • Adding items to an online shopping cart so customers can purchase more from you.

For others it’s freeing up time so THEY can make more money for the company.

Those tasks are usually admin related and include:

  • Research
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Bookkeeping
  • Phone calls
  • Emails
  • Formatting documents
  • Data entry

Whatever it is that you decide to delegate to a VA be sure and let us know if we can help you find the right VA that will give you the best bang for your buck.

 

Keeping up with social media can get difficult, especially if you have a lot of accounts to deal with at the same time. Outsourcing your social media marketing can be the best way to keep your accounts active, engaging and relevant.

Here are 3 tasks a virtual assistant can help you with to maintain a strong social strategy:

  1. Pre-Writing and Scheduling Posts
    With the right direction and maybe a few examples, a professional virtual assistant can write posts or link to relevant articles that can be pre-scheduled using a social media management tool like Hootsuite,Tweet Deck, or Buffer.  This will ensure that your social reach stays active and your brand stays top of mind to your followers or fans.
  2. Researching Topics for Blogs
    Having someone research topics for your blogs posts can be the perfect task for a virtual assistant.  Most blogs posts can then be shared or linked through your social reach, which in turn can help drive traffic to your website.
  3. Monitoring Social Engagement, and Reputation Management
    If you are actively using social media or digital advertising to market yourself or your business, it is important to monitor your digital footprint.  A virtual assistant can take on that role, and respond to questions or comments, or let you know that a response is needed.   Having someone monitoring Yelp or other review websites can help you establish and protect your company’s reputation.

If you have reached the point where you no longer have the time to do it all and you are spending a lot of your business hours doing online marketing tasks then it’s time to work with a virtual assistant.

How would you like to reduce your daily workload and increase your annual business revenues?
I am sure the first question you are asking is , “how can I really work less and earn more”?

You need to do more productive work using less hours in your day and make more money with less effort. This can be accomplished when you…outsource…share your work load….delegate to a virtual assistant!

Here are 5 ways a VA can help reduce your daily workload which will allow YOU to do the work needed to increase your annual business revenues:

  1. Determine the core functions of your business and delegate those tasks that are less productive. Don’t get caught in the “busy-work” track.
  2.  Hire a virtual assistant to assist in tasks like organizing your travel plans or planning your events and presentations. This simplifies your efforts, giving you more time to concentrate on effective business tasks.
  3.  Instead of trying to handle the entire blogging process yourself, focus only on content creation, delegate the rest to a Virtual Assistant. Formatting, editing, tagging, SEO optimizing can all be done by a VA.
  4. By letting go of some tasks and handing them over to someone else, you’ll be doing your business a huge favor. Concentrate on the creative parts of your business. Find a VA with the right skills and attitude to get the job done.
  5. If you don’t know how to get started with marketing and promoting your business on Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and so on, get a VA who has prior experience with Social Media Marketing to help you out.

Can you think of more ways a virtual assistant could help you and your business?  I bet you can!

Is your life centered around family, work, and play (FWP), not necessarily in that order?

I am pretty sure the common denominator to ensuring a balanced life is TIME.  Spending quality time with your family, putting in enough hours at work, and having some downtime to enjoy the things in life that give you pleasure and lets you recharge your mental battery.

Many of us struggle with balancing what I will call the FWP cycle.  Work is required to earn enough money to take care of our families, and a discretionary fund is needed to pay for our “play” time, so most of us put more emphasis on the work part of our lives.   I have asked many business owners (both men and women) what an ideal day would look like to them and the universal answer seems to be having more TIME. As we get older, we realize how fast TIME goes by and there is no slowing it down.

So, how do you overcome that lack of TIME to balance FWP?  As a business owner, it is important to constantly be aware of your efforts.  Are you dedicating your time wisely or are you wasting valuable time doing things that may not be generating revenue, building business relationships, or are even within your area of expertise?  Think strategically when you are worried about managing your time.  Do not waste precious time doing the things that can be outsourced.  This quote by Jack Canfield is very relevant, “When you are able to maximize your potential by focusing on your core genius, you become more productive and effective”.

ACTION ITEM: Record every single task, project or activity you do for one week, noting which line items are income producers, core genius or something that was a time waster and should have been outsourced.
Share your list in our comments and let’s talk strategy and outcomes.

Have you ever heard the quote, “you can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk”, by Louise Smith? Those words resonate with me because I have witnessed many business owner’s frustration when they feel like their business is moving in slow motion or even worse, that it is in gear but not moving forward.

Being involved in all aspects of your business can definitely be important to you, but trying to do everything does not always allow productivity to happen on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. I usually ask the frustrated business owners that I meet to tell me how much time they spend on business development opportunities. The overwhelming response is very little, because they are too busy, marketing the business, doing the daily administrative tasks, handling the accounting and responding to customers. With only 24 hours in a day and hopefully 6-8 hours of sleep and a few hours of personal or family commitments there isn’t usually much time left over for developing the business which is critical to success.

So, how do you get out of the time-crunch of “having your hands full”?

Ask yourself these questions:
1. How many hours are you spending on activities that are not generating revenue?

2. What is your time worth?

Once you have answered those 2 questions it may be easy to justify hiring a virtual assistant to help you with some of the tasks that are swallowing up the hours in your day.