How to get the writing mindset

How to get the writing mindset

Do you sometimes struggle with getting words for your next blog post? How often do you absolutely don’t know what to write staring at your screen?

If you want to improve your own performance, whether you’re a self-employed or not, don’t measure your achievements just by how much money you make. Instead, consider how happy you when you’re working on your next post. (више…)

How to find the clients without fishing in the middle of the lake

How to find the clients without fishing in the middle of the lake

The first thing then I would like to mention here is that you should never wait for anything, especially for clients. That most virtual assistants are doing. They think that they are fishermen, who just going out in the middle of a lake of potential clients, bait the hook, and hoping someone will bite.

The main problem with this is if you don’t understand who is your target market and where they are hanging out. You might spend an entire day wasting your time and energy only to come home empty-handed.

So, how can you find your clients successfully?

#1 Go where they really are.

You can only go where you know exactly who those clients are and where they are. That’s why figuring out your target market is so important. Once you know all these things, you have direction. You know where you need to be.

Where you need to go to find clients?

  1. Social media groups
  2. Networking events
  3. Training courses
  4. Workshops
  5. Online forums

Run a simple Google search for certified training, workshops and networking events in your town, city or somewhere nearby. Also, you can search for relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups, leave comments and start a conversation. Then make a list of prospects and reach out to them either via messenger or email.

#2 Keep the conversation alive.

Find successful authors and entrepreneurs and them to a list of prospects so you can add them follow them on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram and keep the conversation alive. These tactics are for VA industry for any specific niche but the networking tactics above could be replaced by any industry.

#3 Tell everyone you know what you’re doing.

Tell everyone to put you in touch with anyone that may need your services and get them your business cards. Also, go out and talk to people and see how you can help them to grow their businesses. Do detailed research about every potential client that you talked, write up a proposal that talks about the problem and your solution and send to them.

The smart way to do this would be to form a relationship with a business owner that has the clientele in your target market. But, if you live in a small town, It’s time to use the benefits of the internet.

#4 Start writing about ways to solve potential clients struggles.

If you have a business website, open a blog page and start writing. If you have a blog, check out the date of your last published post. Write about your unique system of keeping an email inbox organized. Or about your best practices of calendar management or about using DropBox for better document organization. If you offer email marketing services, write about benefits of sending the newsletters to subscribers. Write about all the amazing services out there that solve problems that your target audience doesn’t know about.

And finally…

When the day of the call comes make sure you don’t have noise in the background. Take the call in a quiet place so you can give your full attention.

I suggest you to not spend 15 minutes talking about nonsense. It’s better to spend 3- 5 minutes getting to know them.

The more you let someone else talk, the more you listen and give them space to talk about themselves, the more they will feel connected to you.

When client tell you what he or she need help with right now you pull out your research and tell them that you’ve taken the liberty of reviewing their online presence. Politely and professionally tell them about your findings and this is important – tell them exactly how you are going to fix it for them.

Give your client a starter plan. This is the best way to show you’re willing to help and explain to them that you will start off with one small project. Then the both of you can get a feeling of working together to see if it’s a good fit. Based on how that goes, you can move forward to something else.

I prefer to charging up front and a to starter plan would be approximately 4-5 hours. That’s not a lot of time but it’s just enough for you to prove yourself to your clients and for them, it’s not a huge financial investment.

Be honest, be positive, be yourself

Building trust is the secret sauce in this relationship. If you can persuade your prospect to put their faith in you for just a few hours and see how things work out, you can get them to hire you for more and more work so long as you do great work.

What you should know about Instagram Hashtags

What you should know about Instagram Hashtags

I am absolutely sure that you are familiar with this fact that Instagram is all about Hashtags.

This is the main way that your audience will find your Instagram posts, and for that reason, they are very important to use them right.

I see people making the same mistakes over and over again, but let us see what are the 3 main tricks for correctly using hashtags for your Insta posts.

Trick #1

The max number of hashtags that Instagram allows you to use on each post is more than 30, do you think that is actually necessary to take all that number of hashtags? I know that is important to use them but approximately 10 relevant hashtags are totally satisfactorily to potential clients can find you.

Trick #2

Steering clear of any tags that have been used over 500k times, and any that have been used less than a few thousand times. Avoid hashtags that are very popular, because your posts will be lost in a sea of others. Likewise, pay attention to unpopular hashtags that no one will be searching for them.

Trick #3

Hashtags are a great way of spreading your content, so when posting, always add your caption first and then add your hashtags. This still tags your posts but keeps them hidden from view. It’s a good content and marketing tactics that you can use. Also, You can also use them as parts of sentences that will attract more attention to your text below the image.

Take a look at your last 5 Instagram posts and what are you of the following tactics to use when next time you posted.

System Recommendations – Building Your Website

System Recommendations – Building Your Website

I check the leading website creators and store builders available on the market for their overall performance.

Below you can find my list of service providers and platforms to create a beautiful website.

# 1 WordPress

WordPress is an online, open-source, website creation tool which I use for about 4 years. It’s a most popular website creation platform with a bigger learning curve but once you know it, you’ll love it. Also, it’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today. Most of the WordPress themes are compatible with mobile devices and some of them are free but some of them you should pay for.

# 2 Squarespace

Squarespace is another one website creation platform with beautiful templates. Building beautiful websites shouldn’t have to be hard with this popular platform.

It offers a diverse range of website designs for different businesses and industries. All the templates are compatible with mobile devices as well and contain high-resolution images and graphics to add further color to your website. Squarespace is a paid application but you can also use its free trial with limited options.

# 3 Wix

Wix is primarily a paid website creation tool but does offer a limited number of features in its free version as well. It’s simple and unique template designs, making it a great way to create eye-catching websites with simple website navigation.

# 4 Weebly

This website platform is also very popular because every template and website design created using Weebly is compatible with mobile devices. You can create websites with Weebly using either your own domain name or a Weebly subdomain.

# 5 SITE123

SITE123 is a perfect solution for a private or a corporate Internet user, offering tools that would spare you of any prior design and coding experience and let you handle it without hiring a professional, also you can start with the free or paid version.

The advanced website platform is ready-made styles and layouts. You should only upload your content, while SITE123 taking care of all the rest, helping you come up with a totally responsive, website SEO, fully adapted to all kinds of devices and screen resolutions.

# 6 Web.com

Web.com has a bigger learning curve. With web.com you can easily create your blog or website getting a free domain name with numerous design templates.

#7 BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a great platform for creating beautiful eCommerce websites with off-the-shelf responsive templates featuring plenty of selling options. BigCommerce has a free trial. Its storefront editor enables you to change your site’s look without coding, while you can also go completely custom using HTML, CSS and other code libraries.

# 8 Shopify

If the website you need to build is an online store, Shopify is a good choice for you. It powers over 325,000 online shops and the pricing plans and features.

There are lots of templates and themes but if you think you might need something more advanced in the future, it’s easy to find an expert to help you. Start with a free trial or find the most convenient monthly package.

# 9 Silex

Silex is the free and open-source, which can be used entirely within the browser and works with you, whatever your skill level. There’s a friendly WYSWIG editor drag and drop interface that you can use to put everything together, with all your changes visible immediately. It’s perfect for building Landing pages and static websites.

With plenty of templates and widgets, both free and paid, to choose for and built-in SEO it’s perfect for small businesses. You should know that Silex won’t host your site.

# 10 Jimdo

If you want to create a website for free with basic options, try with Jimdo. All of its plans offer everything you need to create a good-looking HTML5-powered website, including templates, photo galleries, Google Maps integration, video galleries, social media links and much more… it’s easy to put everything together.

# 11 Webflow

Webflow is a truly simple website creation platform that gives everyone the power to build their perfect website, suited to small businesses, designers, creative professionals, and entrepreneurs. It’s a web design tool, CMS and hosting platform – all in one. You can try with a free trial package.

# 12 BuilderEngine

BuilderEngine is an innovative and flexible platform capable of creating any type of website, giving you the ability to create complex websites very fast with using mobile responsive themes and free updates. it’s perfect for eCommerce websites.

Users can get started with a free trial package, complete with template themes and hosting, then choose add-ons from their constantly updating collections of apps. If you ever get stuck you can also find one-to-one support by using their forums and Ticket Support Systems.

# 13 IM Creator

IM Creator hosts a huge library of stunning website templates. It’s a responsive and friendly website builder, perfect for blogging and eCommerce websites.

You can start using the IM Creator immediately after registering for free.

# 14 Dunked

Dunked provides responsive designs that are Retina-ready and allow you to create a perfect online portfolio and showcase without any coding difficulties. Also, you can choose from a growing collection of professionally designed templates, customizable and easy to use.

# 15 PrestaShop

French startup PrestaShop has an open-source eCommerce website builder with a revamped front end experience plus a backend overhaul that focuses on the business intelligence side of things. The back office is no less well-presented despite the huge depth of analytics that it contains, and both are fully responsive.

# 16 Strikingly

This website builder you can use to create beautiful websites with templates is not only eye-catching but are also completely responsive and compatible with major mobile platforms. They are also visibly optimized for SEO. You can choose free and paid packages.

 

With the right website builder, you can create a functional website in very little time to suit your exact purpose, so create your website in 4 easy steps using this guide.

4 simple steps for creating a profitable VA service packages

4 simple steps for creating a profitable VA service packages

If you have VA business and you are not satisfied with your incomes, ask yourself:

  • Do you want to come up with a pricing strategy that works better for you?
  • Do you want to charge what you are worth?
  • Do you want to work with ideal clients?
  • Do you want to work less and have more freedom and flexibility?

If you answer to any of these questions with “YES,” maybe you should continue to read this post and learn something about pricing strategy so that you can simplify your VA business and set it up for success.

In reality, there are real frustration and fears about raising rates and believe me, I know that. In this situation, you probably think that client will leave you.

Where to start?

I know that nobody feels confident in charging more and maybe you are not ready jet. Maybe you think that you aren’t an expert or that you aren’t good enough.

If you ask yourself how can I bring more value, you should know that you are the value.

You probably know that VA charge on three different ways based on:

  1. hourly rate
  2. retainer packages (which are built on the block of time, for example, “5-hour package”, “10-hour package”, “20-hour package”)
  3. packages (which are based on value).

If you had a bad experience with the first two strategies like I was, maybe you should try with 3rd strategy or if you already use, if you should try to make it more profitable.

No more tracking time, no more rolling over hours

The changes come when my talking to the client hours doesn’t even come to the conversation. My packages are based only on value, and this is based on approximately 25 hours per week.

This is the difference between what we were working on and what we bill, but since package pricing isn’t based on hours but rather on the value, this doesn’t the end of the conversation with the clients. They are not buying your “5-hour package” or “20-hour package, account, ” an account every little hour you spending rolling over staff, because that all goes away.

They are not buying your “5-hour package” or “20-hour package”, and you don’t need to account every little hour you spending rolling over staff, because that all goes away.

Packages do not work if you continue to sell your time instead of selling your value.

Take a look at these four simple steps to creating packages that sell:

  1. Awake your value
  2. Create your packages
  3. Price your packages
  4. Transition your clients.

STEP #1  Awake your value

You need to have a cristal clear idea about your value. It isn’t that easy to know what your value is, so ask your clients. It is also a good way for making better marketing materials. Some great thinks that your clients said about you and sent to you via email and put it in a testimonial page on your website.

Always ask your client to write down something about you and your work and ask to send you a picture.

Ask your client something like: “Can you share with me the value that you get in working with me?”

If you are new, here are some tips:

#1 You have to believe in yourself (you sell value, and your client will have a benefit even it’s just one email or creating one Facebook post)

#2 Have a clear and unique selling point (USP) and a unique value proposition (UVP). You should be specialized in the niche that you work in. Don’t be a generalist VA.

#3 Sell value, not money! Your clients are making a business decision, and as a result, they don’t care about the money they are spending, but about the value, they getting by spending that money.

STEP #2  Creating your packages by bundling up your services

I think that you should know that clients don’t know how long it takes to get things done. They do not!

When a client looks at your package offerings, all they see is one – price.

For example, if you offer a Social Media Services you can offer three packages:

  • Setup Package
  • Maintenance Package
  • Consultation Package.

The Setup package is consist of:

  • 1-hour assessment, social media analysis, marketing plan
  • Custom Twitter background and set up the Facebook business page
  • Optimize LinkedIn page and research best groups, setup Hootsuite account.

All for $559.

The Maintenance Package is consist of:

  • Up to 30 social media updates
  • Answering direct messages and customer services
  • Statistics report

All for $325.

The Consultation Package is consist of:

  • Up to 1-hour consulting call
  • Social media assessment
  • Social media plan.

All for $299.

The point is that clients can see the right package and the price and exactly what they pay for and what will get.

You should never only show the features and not benefits.

For the previous example for social media services the benefits can be:

  • Optimized social media plan = saved effort
  • More targeted followers = more money
  • Automated social media marketing system = saved time and money.

Put the benefits next to your services on your website.

SUPPORT vs SERVICES packages – BIG DIFFERENCE!

Service packages have number and parameters, such up to 30, X number of this or X number of that.

Support packages are based on the level of support that you are providing to that client. What does in mine? It can be based on the amount of hours that you giving them per month or quarter or per annual. It can be the level of support needed. It can be the expertise that you providing them.

Support packages are best suitable for the clients for those that you are already working with because you already have sense and some knowledge about how you are gonna be working with them.

STEP #3  Price your packages

What can you offer to your clients to pay extra?

It can be just a 1-hour consultation.

Make the “gold package” and make a transfer your best client from “silver package” to “gold package”.

Find bellow one simple pricing formula that I use for making the prices for my packages.

Number -> choose a dollar amount for one month (for example $3,000)

Billing -> choose realistic number of billing hours (for example 100)

Number / Billing hours 

$ 3,000 / 100 = $ 30

$ 30 (hr) x 10 (clients) = $ 300 package price

STEP #4  Transitioning clients to packages

Packages don’t have to be all or nothing. If you are perfectly happy working with a particular client hourly or with a retainer package and that arrangement works for both, it’s absolutely no need to change anything.

The key word here is that your arrangement has to work for both of you. Not just for the client.

It’s time to move your clients to the packages arrangement so:

  • give clients as much notice as possible (at least 2 or 3 months)
  • explain how you’re providing to them a solution and how they will have benefit by moving to packages
  • tell them that you’ll be happy continuing to do the work without stopping.

You will lose some clients, but that is normal. Nothing wrong with that. You’ll find the new clients for sure.

How to be happier at work

How to be happier at work

Many of us were familiar with the symptoms of being overworked and filling that work is related to stress and anxiety.

Is it important for us to be happy and satisfied at work?

Why some of us don’t take steps to reduce the damage it can induce?

How often do we clean our minds and be patient with our fillings?

How important is to take care of our physical health?

Being busy often relate to success, especially when our business is booming. Then we are ready to jump very high with a million colorful balloons. 

But, we’ve wrongly come to accept that overload is OK because being busy indicates stress. Stress can be helpful and motivate but too much and too prolonged stress can be a downward spiral. But chronic stress can be very damaging.

Stress can be motivating and helpful but no too much and no every day, because chronic stress can be extremely damaging.

Here are five tips to stop feeling busy all the time and to clean your mind:

1. Stop multitasking immediately

Multitasking may seem efficient on the surface, but actually, takes more time in the end and involve more mistakes. Some research shows that shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40% of your productive time.

It’s better to use the 80/20 rule – identify the 20% of your tasks that are really effective and do them one at a time. Another good advice is to always start with the most important task first.

2. Never dive straight into work

Many people do the same thing when they turn off morning alarm and wake up. Guess what? Check their email, missed phone calls. Take a deep breath several times, or do 15 minutes meditation. Also, you can do some Yoga before you start your working day.

Don’t procrastinate yesterday’s challenges and tasks, but throwing yourself into work immediately can harm your long-term productivity. 

3. Eliminate the word “busy” from your vocabulary

Many kinds of research on the psychological aspects of language use explained that the words you use have more power than you think.

What we say “busy” we don’t recognize the good things and we don’t fill motivation. When we stop describing our lives as “busy”, we can feel less stress.

4. Timely stress management

It’s very important to have “my time” to:

  • get a good night’s rest,
  • meditate,
  • go to the gym or
  • take a vacation.

All of the above are the parts of your job and your life and put it on your agenda as well as your job tasks. We are more productive when we work from a happy state of mind.

5. If you’re the manager or boss redundant business isn’t a good business model.

The perception that hard work is the only way to rise in a company keeps employees working themselves into illness. Set priorities for all work so your employees can schedule tasks over a reasonable period of time.

We live in a world where we have more and more to do with less time. We’re less able to stand back and think.

When you don’t allow them time to slow down, you not only risk your health but also your business.

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