The WWW of Virtual Assistance – WHATPosted by Tracy Baker on May 23, 2011 in Blog, Virtual Business | 0 comments
Part 2 “The Sequel” – What?
Continuing from my last blog post here, for your eyes only, are a further 4 ways a VA can save your day – Enjoy!
It’s all about the image !! How many times have you called someone to be greeted with an answer phone or worse the “press one for accounts, press two for sales, press three if you’re really confused and don’t know who else to speak to!!” Nine times out of ten people won’t leave a message and you won’t even know that they contacted you. We are all human and would rather speak to a real person.
It isn’t always possible for you to be available to clients but you still wish to engage with them so a call answering service enables you to do just that. Having a real person answering your calls in your business name can not only give the impression that you are a multi national company (even though you may very well be a solo entrepreneur) it gives people confidence that you are accessible even if the call answering service takes a message on your behalf and forwards it onto you.
A Virtual Assistant, once integrated into your business and the ways in which you like to get things done can often provide that all important barrier, deflecting the inevitable telemarketing calls and more importantly they will, in some cases, be able to action the request of the client on your behalf, saving you time and headaches or at the very least forward the message onto you with any supplementary information that could be of benefit.
Booking Appointments & Reminders
Our lives are so busy, we have meetings, appointments, school plays and parents evenings. It’s a struggle to remember to book the appointments in the first place let alone remember that Mr X, wants Y by Tuesday of next week or else you’ll lose out to your biggest competitor (ok so you may remember that one).
My point is that keeping it all in your head is never a good idea, you may have the memory of an elephant but by trying to remember to remember you deflect from your core business, your objectives for that day. Sure you can put it into your google calendar but whose going to remind you that its there.
I’ve worked with many clients over the years that have found this one service alone to be worth it’s weight in gold. One client of mine used to call me his “e mail fairy” because when he lost internet connection for whatever reason or his computer was not playing nicely I would be able to access his e mails on his behalf and bring the important few to his attention including his appointments and meetings.
Booking meetings and appointments into calendars is a good start but why not then follow it up with a reminder 24 hours beforehand via e mail or text. I’ve lost count of the amount of times this has saved a client’s bacon because they had completely forgot in the hive of activity that they had booked anything at all!
Why not get a Virtual Assistant to set up your Calendar, create a system and let them be the friendly nudge that you need. Beats tying knots in a hanky or writing on the back of a discarded envelope !!
You won’t come across many sites these days that don’t have a newsletter in some form or another – some good, some bad but they are a key marketing tool when used correctly. Newsletters give you a platform to showcase your expertise in your given field, they allow you to provide regular offers and discounts to subscribers as well as building that all important list and most importantly credibility.
So you’ve decided that you would like to issue a monthly newsletter that strengthens your brand, your image, your expertise and gets you noticed. There is regular content to be researched and created, a schedule to maintain and possibly video as well (these are becoming more and more popular in increasing the multi media experience). Then when you’ve put in all the blood, sweat and tears into that month’s edition you have to leverage the hell out of it by submitting it to article directories, social media and your blog. All of these are routine tasks, scheduled items that can be outsourced to a Virtual Assistant because in reality they take up chunks of time and if you take your eye off the ball, forget to do one for just one month, you’ll drop off the map and have unhappy clients/potential clients who will hit that unsubscribe button faster than you can say “I’m sorry” it’s as simple as that.
E Mail Campaigns
Talking of lists …. E mail campaigns are a fantastic way of keeping the rapport going between your business and your subscribers. The old adage of “absence makes the heart grow fonder” doesn’t hold true in the online world it’s a shame I agree but it’s true. If you do not keep in regular contact with your subscribers they will forget all about you and move on.
If you have a new product to launch tell people about it. If they subscribe to your newsletter, do your research on them and if they really float your boat as being an excellent potential client then go ahead and set up an e mail campaign that enables you to engage with them on a regular basis. Something as simple as “Hi (client) I noticed that you’d subscribed to …. I would like to invite you to trial X and am writing to see if you would like to schedule a time for me to tell you more about the benefits of this? If you would prefer I would be happy to send you further details on email, just let me know. I look forward to hearing from you” You get the picture I’m sure but having this tool can seriously impact your business and a Virtual Assistant can manage the research on that particular client for you, create the e mail campaign and keep you posted as to the ongoing correspondence and outcomes. Now that’s powerful.
Social Media Management (yeah I know ok so that’s 9 – I got carried away ..)
You would have to have been hidden under a rock not to have noticed the power of social media marketing these days. Everyone who is anyone is tweeting, posting and commenting by the millisecond.
In my own business I use Twitter, Facebook and Linked In as well as U tube as my primary focus and it is not uncommon on most days for my DM’s to completely overtake my inbox! It is hot stuff and should not be ignored as a way of networking online, helping others and seeking out potential clients.
If you have a twitter/facebook account you will know that along with regular posting and tweeting which are absolutely essential, there are direct messages to reply to as well as responding to comments on your facebook status and thanking people (very important) for mentioning you. Although some elements can be automated and there are fantastic social media management tools in the marketplace for providing a birds eye view of all of these accounts, the personal touch doesn’t go unnoticed.
You could outsource all of your social media management to a VA. Below is a list of just some of the time consuming but essential tasks they could do on your behalf:
- Schedule and complete regular follow/unfollow sessions to build your twitter followers, cherry picked to your own requirements whilst staying within the twitter rules and not getting your account shut down!!
- Respond to DM’s or set up an automated DM for you that sends the follower to your Facebook Fan Page or your Blog.
- Respond to followers DM’s thanking them for their interest and following up.
- Automate following tweeple back, follow those that follow you.
- Setting up your blog feed so that it automatically feeds into your twitter account and to your Facebook page.
- Creating a Facebook Fan Page and Welcome Tab that entices people to engage with you further.
- Commenting on Facebook even if it’s just thanking them for their comment or a link they may have sent you.
- Setting up and regularly maintaining a tweet schedule on a daily or weekly basis.
All or any one of the above will increase your visibility and credibility in your business as well as it being a pretty cool place to find potential clients personally I’ve also found it to be a wealth of information in its own right.
Well that brings us to the end of my insight into how you could potentially save yourself a bundle of time and heartache by outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant and I truly hope that you have found it informative and helpful.
I would really appreciate your thoughts and comments on this post:
Would you consider using a Virtual Assistant in YOUR business?
If you already use a Virtual Assistant, then let me know how this has made a difference to YOU?