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Monthly ArchiveOctober 2011



Achieving Goals Sydni Craig-Hart on 28 Oct 2011

How to Position Yourself as a Partner, NOT an Employee

partner vs employeeYou have decided to start your own business as a Virtual Assistant. Awesome! 🙂 So, you set up shop, started marketing your solutions and enroll your first few clients. Excellent!

As you start working with clients, you may find that some of them think that a Virtual Assistant is tantamount to “employee”. How did they come to feel that way? How do you feel about being an employee even though you are a business owner? What do you need to do in order to correct such thinking?

This thinking promotes dis-ease. If you are uncomfortable because of feeling this way, rest assured that there is a cure. The cure however, must be targeted toward the root cause – YOU! Your clients will view your business the way that you view it. If you have not stepped away from the employee mentality, it will show up in every aspect of your business. And that mindset will permeate your client relationships and thus, how they treat you.

YOU – The Entrepreneur

YOU are a fabulous Assistant! You know it and I know it. When you were in the corporate world, you likely did not receive the full credit that you deserved. The compensation that the company thought suited you well was a pittance to say the least. You added value in the corporate world and you most certainly add value to your clients today.

When you start working with a new client, you should set the tone so that you both are clear on how you will work together. Expectations must be set as defined by you and the boundaries you have established for your company. (Of course, your client will have their own set of expectations. Making sure your work styles and expectations fit is part of the interview process.)  There are many aspects to consider but five key areas to outline are :

  1. Your hours of operation
  2. Payment terms
  3. Expected deliverables
  4. How the two of you will communicate
  5. Expected turnaround times

In most situations, if a client relationship begins to crumble it is because there was a lack of clarity, miscommunication or mistake made in one of these areas.

If you set clear boundaries and expectations at the VERY beginning of your client relationships, you will avoid feelings of stress and frustration in your business. Also important to remember is that once clear boundaries are established you MUST honor them. If you don’t, your clients won’t either, which will ultimately undermine your relationship with them.

By implementing the simple tips shared in this article, you will be respected as a business owner and thus acknowledged as a true partner with your clients. “Be” the entrepreneur that you desire. After all, that is why you started your own company.

This is the cure for the dis-ease of being viewed and treated like an employee. You are wonderful. You are strong. You are the entrepreneur with whom others want to partner. Don’t ever let anyone (including yourself!) tell you differently.

Skill Development Sydni Craig-Hart on 14 Oct 2011

Educate Your Way to Success

adult learningAt EA to VA, we constantly encourage you as a Virtual Assistant to define what success means to you. When you have a clear vision it is much easier to shoot for the target and hit the bulls-eye.

One thing is for sure when it comes to reaching your definition of success. Education is a key factor that will get you there.

Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘the more you know the more you grow’? How true for a Virtual Assistant who has left her corporate career and has decided to use her knowledge and skill to create her own business.

Always remember that what got you here, won’t get you there. The knowledge that helped you to reach this point in your business will not necessarily take you to the place of success for which you are aiming. What will help you to get there?

New knowledge will certainly bridge the gap between where you are now and the goal that you are seeking to attain. What are the best ways to educate yourself as an entrepreneur? Consider first, what your learning style might be.

How do you best learn, retain and apply information? Your learning style may be one of the following:

  • Visual – learn from seeing techniques and images
  • Auditory – learn through listening
  • Reading/Writing – learn from books
  • Kinesthetic or tactile – learn by doing

If you understand the best way for you to take in and apply knowledge, you can equip yourself with the right tools that will help you to build your business. For instance, if your learning style is through reading, there are hundreds of books that detail how to be successful as an entrepreneur. With video being so popular these days, you can certainly satisfy your visual and auditory learning styles.

I encourage you to be clear and specific about your business goals. Remember, there are only a few things that you need to bridge the gap between where you stand and where you want to be or what you want to accomplish.

Knowledge is a major factor in that process. Figure out what you need to learn to grow your business. Decide the best method to learn that information so that you can retain what you learn. Do whatever you need to do to invest in yourself and gain access to the training you need. Then apply that newfound knowledge and enjoy the success that you seek!

Achieving Goals &Mindset &Networking Sydni Craig-Hart on 13 Oct 2011

Getting Clients When Working Full-Time

We received this question on the LinkedIn group recently:

When a VA is working full-time and starting her business at the same time, what is the best way to follow-up and/or get leads (clients)? Also, how do you convince future clients that you can still do the work, just at a different time in the day?

Excellent question and if you are facing a similar challenge, here’s is the first part of my answer:      Continue Reading »

Skill Development &Target Market Sydni Craig-Hart on 07 Oct 2011

How to NOT Become Obsolete

Your knowledge, skill set and the tools you use can make you a force to be reckoned with OR make you obsolete.

How so?

Because your clients are looking for solutions. They are not looking for a Virtual Assistant. They seek your assistance because they are struggling with a particular problem and no longer want to handle it on their own. By increasing your knowledge, skills and tools to solve their problems, you will stake your claim in your marketplace.

On the other hand a lack of knowledge, skills and tools can make your business OBSOLETE!

Where do you stand? Are you a ‘go-to’ Virtual Assistant? Do clients and other Virtual Assistants look to you when a particular skill is needed? If you learn about the popular technologies and skills that are needed in your marketplace, you can quickly build your business.

Supply and demand is still the order of the day. Are your knowledge, skills and tools needed in your market? If you find that you need to make improvements in this area. Don’t fret about it. Do something about it! 🙂 Start by doing your research to see what your target market is looking for in a Virtual Assistant.

Here are a few skills that many entrepreneurs need help with today:

  • Client management
  • Customer service
  • Shopping cart management
  • Video editing
  • Email marketing management
  • Social media management
  • Copywriting and proofreading
  • Product and program launches
  • … much more!

Your service offerings must meet the needs of your marketplace. Every type of business has to have some market share. Be sure to get your share by enhancing your knowledge, skills and tools.

Protect your business from becoming obsolete by investing in yourself and presenting solutions that your target market is looking for.

Achieving Goals &Marketing Wil Hart on 06 Oct 2011

CURE FEAR!

Has anyone ever told you, “fear is only in your mind“? That is not true. Especially when you are a Virtual Assistant who is trying to build a successful business but haven’t quite reached your goals.

Fear comes when you are working hard and still thirsting for new clients and income. Fear comes when you are looking at your bills and trying to make your income meet those needs.

Fear is a real feeling. BUT, there is a cure for fear. Sometimes, this feeling is all in the mind, but when it is a reality it needs to be dealt with. For instance, having a fear of flying because you think that the plane will crash is all in your mind. There is more chance of you dying in a car crash than in a plane crash. That is an example of F.E.A.R (False Evidence Appearing Real).

What I’m am talking about is the real fear from real matters that you have experienced before, like NOT having enough income to satisfy creditors and vendors.

The Cure? ACTION!

When you take action, you overcome and annihilate fear.

If however, you prefer to fertilize fear simply procrastinate, hesitate and practice indecision. Your fears as a business owner will grow.

To cure fear do not hide from it. Acknowledge your fear with a laser beam focus and start looking for answer to defeat it. As you learn of possible answers and resolutions, get your feet moving and take massive action. Watch the fear dissipate and retreat into it’s dark room. So, if you are worried about wear your next client will come from, look for the marketing strategies that will get you clients the quickest.

Fear is success enemy number one. Action will dominate fear 100% of the time!

Act now.

Marketing Wil Hart on 04 Oct 2011

Marketing Strategy

Do you have a marketing strategy? How can you systematically market your business so that you never become thirsty for clients. Do you need clients right now? If you are struggling at all to enroll new clients into your business follow the advice in this blog post.

Analyze your previous marketing

Take a look at the marketing strategies that you have implemented in the past. Which of these strategies yielded the most fruitage for your efforts. It is a good thing to look at your past to see what direction you should take in the future. By analyzing what strategies have been a success or a failure will give you a gauge as to how you can move forward. In other words, keep doing what works.

Schedule time for marketing

After deciding which strategies have been successful, you will want to repeat that same process to get even better results. The key, however, is to be consistent with your marketing. Therefore, you will want to look at your calendar for the month of October. Schedule a block of time for each of your marketing strategies.

Think of it this way, the less time you spend with clients the more time you need to spend marketing. So, if there are hours of free time during your week, that needs to be your marketing time.

Take the strategies that you plan to use, put them on your calendar and implement the work that needs to be done. I suggest that you treat your business as your #1 client. Give it the marketing attention that it needs in order for it to thrive.

If you have three strategies that you are going to focus on decide which day of the week you will have time to work on that