Monthly ArchiveJuly 2010
Creating compelling marketing materials is an exercise you cannot afford to skip or rush through.Â Your marketing materials are critical to your overall marketing strategy and brand.Â One of the important components in your marketing materials is "your story".
Your story, of how you decided to become a Virtual Assistant is a great way to educate your target audience about you, your expertise and your passion.Â Your "why" is just as important as your expertise because it makes you relatable.Â Marketing your business should be authentic and real.Â You don’t want to come across as sales-y or pushy.Â No one likes the used car salesman approach.Â So make your marketing materials stand out with your story.
How do you include your story in your marketing materials?
Writing a heartfelt message to your website visitors on your "About Me" page is one way to convey your story.Â Many people look at the "About" tab first to see who they are visiting.Â Who does this website belong to?Â Why did they start their business? What is their passion?Â And most importantly, they are looking for a connection with you.Â Why should they hire you?Â
While you want to be honest about your story and your journey to becoming a Virtual Assistant, you don’t want to share private information.Â No one really wants to hear the sordid details of your divorce.Â As much of a hardship as this is, that’s a little too real for a first time visitor.Â
Instead, focus on your main "why", really drill down as to what motivated you to start your own business and work so hard.Â While divorce is an unfortunate event in your life, the real motivator was that you had to find a flexible career that allowed you to take care of your children.Â Almost anyone can relate to you wanting to provide for your children and raise them on your own.Â Â By giving your website visitors a compelling "About Me" page, you are giving them a reason to find out more about you, your services and your expertise.Â
Another way to use your story in your marketing materials is to relate to your target audience based on the solutions you provide.Â For example, you could add something like this to your services page:
"Taking care of your family, your house and a successful business isn’t easy.Â There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to take care of everything and everyone else…let alone yourself.Â I know exactly how you feel, and I want to help you.Â I can help you get back some precious time in your day by taking care of tasks like…"
By using an example like the one above, you are speaking directly to their problems, identifying with them as someone who knows what it feels like to be overwhelmed, and then offering them a solution.Â
These are just a few ways you can incorporate your story into your marketing materials.Â But, including them is part of the key to your success by identifying with your target audience.Â What other ways have you used your story in your marketing materials?Â Share your thoughts with me by posting a comment!
Networking Sydni Craig-Hart on 15 Jul 2010
Social media is everywhere – it cannot be ignored. The most popular networks for small business owners are: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Chances are that you have a profile in each of these and strive to be pretty active. But is your activity leading to productivity?
Being active in the social networks is much like networking in person – if you’re doing it correctly. You should be making personal connections with people, having real conversations with them and above all, adding value to their lives and businesses. Those in your network will appreciate your efforts to be truly and genuinely helpful. Online or offline, this spirit is absolutely client attractive.
At first, it may start out with the little things like responding to a group question, or leaving your feedback on a blog post you saw in your Twitter stream. But if you’re genuinely helping people, being friendly and conversing with others, people notice. Then, you’ll be known as the “expert” in the group, the go-to person that everyone waits to hear from. And sometimes, you’ll be exactly the person a potential client is looking for to help them solve a challenge they’re facing.
Let’s face it – we live in uncertain times.Â Â Â On any given day you may have a power outage, your Internet connection may be down, your child could wake up sick or you may be faced with some type of natural disaster.Â Hiccups and disruptions in your work flow COULD be detrimental to your business. However, that doesn’t have to be the case.
Taking a proactive approach to preparing yourself for the unexpected you can minimize the effect on your business.Â By having a contingency plan, you are establishing yourself as a business professional just like any large corporation.Â If done correctly, your clients won’t even know you had an issue unless you decide to tell them.
So what exactly is a contingency plan?
A contingency plan is a process you have for your business to protect yourself and your data from being lost during an emergency.Â Losing data would be detrimental to your business not only for the information that you would have to recreate, but also the violation of your clients’ private affairs.