Monthly ArchiveDecember 2008
Uncategorized Sydni Craig-Hart on 29 Dec 2008
â€œI didnâ€™t get to where I am by thinking about it and dreaming about it. I got there by doing it.â€
~ Estee Lauder
Uncategorized Sydni Craig-Hart on 24 Dec 2008
Starting a new business is truly an exciting venture!Â Your head is dancing with ideas, expectations and visions of your success.Â You are extremely motivated and committed to ensuring your success.
It’s great to keep your momentum up and that will certainly contribute to your success, but it’s also important to maintain realistic view of what it will take for you to achieve your goals.
So, I wanted to share an article written by my colleague Sheri McConnell on this very topic.Â I would love to know your thoughts on this topic and hear about your experiences, so please leave your comments below:
Honey, I Am Having A Business
By Sheri McConnell Continue Reading »
Uncategorized Sydni Craig-Hart on 22 Dec 2008
Goals help focus you on areas in both your personal and professional life that are important and meaningful, rather than being guided by what other people want you to be, do, or accomplish.
~ Catherine Pulsifer
Uncategorized Sydni Craig-Hart on 19 Dec 2008
Who of us doesnâ€™t want to make the most of our time each day?Â Who of us doesnâ€™t want to be efficient and productive in achieving our goals?
All of us of course!
As we are wrapping up 2008 and thinking about how to make 2009 the best year yet, Iâ€™m sure thinking about how to increase your productivity will cross your mind.Â I know itâ€™s crossed mind and Iâ€™ve been doing a lot of brainstorming about how I can run my virtual assistant business and my personal life more efficiently.
My friend Mary Motz, of VA NewsDay has put together an awesome list of resources to put us on the right track.
Iâ€™d love to know your thoughts about how you plan to increase your productivity in 2009, so please leave a comment for me and the other community members below!
Uncategorized Sydni Craig-Hart on 17 Dec 2008
What do you say when people ask you, “What do you do?”
The answer to that question is really important.Â I remember back when I used to sell health insurance. When hanging out at networking events, i would await that dreaded question.Â Really, that seems to be the most important question in the average American’s limited arsenal of things to say to another human being.Â “So, what do YOU do?”
Before I became a skilled marketing coach, I always answered that question incorrectly.Â I would reply, “I am an insurance agent.” WRONG!Â That was not, “what I did”. What I actually ‘did’, was help entrepreneurs secure their assests and financesÂ by providing themÂ affordable health and lifeÂ insurance.Â We had fantastic insurance plans which I have been using for more than three years.
My point is this: what you do is not a Virtual Assistant. You relieve entrepreneurs of administrative stress.Â Whatever your skill level isÂ or whatever benefits you provide your clients is actually, “What You Do”.Â Â We are so much bigger and betterÂ than the label which we tendÂ give ourselves.Â When it comes to talking about your business, please remember to highlight the benefits your clients gain from working with you AND the problems that you solve.Â These are the things you actually do!Â
When someone asks you, what is your work title, then you can say, “I’m a Virtual Assistant”.Â But since 10 out of 10 people will ask you, “What do you do”, remember to highlight the benefits and solutions that people gain from working with you.
So, what will you say whenÂ the next a person asks you, “What do you do?”Â
Please post your reply to this question.Â We’d love to hear your answers.
Uncategorized Sydni Craig-Hart on 15 Dec 2008
If you have a goal in life that takes a lot of energy, that requires a lot of work, that incurs a great deal of interest and that is a challenge to you, you will always look forward to waking up to see what the new day brings.
~ Susan Polis Schultz
Uncategorized Sydni Craig-Hart on 11 Dec 2008
Know Your Ideal Client
What is an ideal client?Â It is exactly what it says â€“ ideal.Â This is the client that you cannot believe that you get paid to work with.Â Itâ€™s like having a partnership with a great friend instead of work.Â The ideal client is the person that will energize and inspire you.Â Â Ideal clients allow you to perform at your peak because you enjoy working with them so much.
It doesnâ€™t matter if you are just starting out or have been in business for years, you should only work with ideal clients.Â But how can you work with them if you donâ€™t know who they are?Â You and ONLY you can identify your ideal client.Â This special client is identified by the qualities that you enjoy being around.Â This cannot be confused with circumstances.Â Circumstances would be their situation in life.Â One circumstance could be: client is willing and able to pay your fees.Â
Qualities are light years ahead of circumstances when it comes to importance.Â Do you want to work with people who are funny, serious, punctual or compassionate?Â Decide which qualities resonate with you and make sure that the clients you choose to work with fit into your ideal client profile.Â
I promise you, if you work with ideal clients you will have more fun, experience greater joy and accomplish greater results in your work!
Uncategorized Sydni Craig-Hart on 08 Dec 2008
You can’t hit a home run unless you step up to the plate. You can’t catch a fish unless you put your line in the water. You can’t reach your goals if you don’t try.
~ Kathy Seligman
Uncategorized Sydni Craig-Hart on 04 Dec 2008
Know Your Target Market
One of the most popular questions that new virtual assistants ask is, “How do I get new clients?”Â Here is the question that I like to ask, “What industry is your ideal client working in?”Â Both questions are huge because you have a right to hand pick your clients.
When it comes to choosing a target market think about what industries you are passionate about.Â Would it excite you to work with individuals in the health and wellness industry?Â Is the financial industry exciting to you?Â Perhaps working with realtors floats your boat.Â In which industry do you have the most experience and knowledge?Â In which industry do you have a circle of contacts?Â
All of these questions are important for you to ask yourself.Â Why?Â It is because you have the right to hand pick your clients.Â Your clients should be related to an industry that you are passionate about.
Look for Marketing Tip #2 for the Business Savvy VA â€“ Know Your Ideal Client.
Uncategorized Sydni Craig-Hart on 01 Dec 2008
Publication: Black Enterprise
Date: Monday, December 1 2008
WHEN SYDNI CRAIG-HART decided to leave her “perfect job” three years ago, she had no idea what was in store. As an executive assistant at the Washington, D.C.-based private equity firm Carlyle Group, she had worked for a boss who traveled constantly, which meant she had to be avail able whenever he needed her. And while she loved her job, she didn’t like her schedule or the commute to D.C. from Arlington, Virginia.
“One day, I just asked myself, ‘Why am I dragging into the office at these ungodly hours to work?'” says Craig-Hart, 31. She asked her boss if she could work from home, and surprisingly, he said yes. So, outfitted with a BlackBerry and a laptop, she went virtual.
After two years, she decided to launch Craig Hart Consulting L.L.C., a small-business consultancy and Internet marketing strategy firm based in Emeryville, California. She has seven retainer clients in addition to project work. And now Craig-Hart has her own virtual assistant.
In 2001, when BE (Black Enterprise) first reported on an emerging work phenomenon known as virtual assistance, there were questions-in addition to the requisite jokes about pajamas and bunny slippers. What, after all, was a virtual assistant? And those looking for an alternative to the 9-to 5-plus grind of administrative work found the prospect shaky, at best. Flash forward another four years, when BE revisited a more mature industry and outlined the necessary steps needed to enter the exploding field (“Small Office/Home Office,” November 2005).
So what’s changed since then? Lots, says Craig-Hart. The industry has grown tremendously in the last three years because of high-speed connections, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, mobile technology, Web-based applications, and handheld devices. But more important, admins now have solid resources that can provide training and advice as they head out on their own.
Since leaving the corporate world, Craig-Hart’s income has outpaced her corporate salary: “In my first year, I hit $75,000 gross,” she says. “Second year, $155,000, and this year will be close to $200,000.”