4 Time Consuming Tasks A Virtual Assistant Can Do

Many hire virtual assistants (VA) thinking that they are just internet-based secretaries. And that is totally NOT the case at all. I don’t think I’ve ever had a VA answering phone calls for me (well not quite yet) This is a common misconception and while they can perform most secretarial tasks, they can do so MUCH more than that!

Are you tired of being the CEO of your biz and yet you're still working inside your biz? Here are 4 tasks that you can outsource to your virtual assistant for them to do.
Nowadays, limiting your virtual assistant (VA) to traditional admin jobs like playing answering phones, setting appointments, booking cars and travel, and transcribing verbal directions or emails, you are losing out on a huge opportunity for yourself, your business, and most likely boring your VA as well

To start using your VA to their full potential, here are 4 other tasks they will likely know how to do and will be able to help with. If your VA is not trained in the below tasks, then you need to create processes and systems around each task you want them to take over and make it easy for them to know how YOU like it done.  If you leave it up to them, you both might not be on the same page, so make sure to make your instructions clear for what you want.

Content Writing

Content marketing is king, as they say in social media marketing. Content marketing is a powerful tool that will show you and your business are thought leaders in your niche, and never before have there been more places and ways to publish your content. The downside to content marketing is a VERY time consuming process. It takes talent and keeping up with the current trends in your space to write riveting blog posts that others will want to read and be willing to share.

Content can be the perfect job to give to a virtual assistant with a writing background. Professional blog writing or writing with your voice may need training, but within a couple of weeks, you will never have to think about content writing again because your VA will now have it as their task however often you decide to have them write.

They can help you create an editorial calendar and social media posts.  Something that I like to do is create posts & content and then let them use it and break it down into smaller pieces or you could even have your virtual assistant create more content from what you created it.

Proofreading & Editing

If your VA is already trained in writing and/or has a skilled eye, then they’d likely rock at this! Instead of hiring others for editing and proofreading work, have your VA look over your writing before it goes public. Whether you are writing a sales letter, a book, or just an email to clients, having an extra set of eyes to look over your writing just one more time can catch mistakes or grammatical errors that you may have missed. They may help you avoid an important and embarrassing error in your writing.

Maintaining Social Media Sites

Keeping a social media presence on a daily basis is pretty important nowadays. This increases exposure to new potential business clients and maintains relationships with your existing social media followers. While this may be of vital importance, finding the time and motivation to do it can be difficult since social media is on 24/7.  And if you’re like me, you like your sleep.

If you give your virtual assistant guidelines on content curation, how often to post/tweet/retweet, and and how to respond to questions, then they should be able to effectively take over for a majority of the social media marketing you have for your company or personal brand.
Eventually, you’ll be able to have an editorial content calendar setup so that you can take yourself out of the social side of your organization with only a check in every few days.

Now some people can’t just give up ALL their social media stuff (me being one of those people). So I monitor and I write some content for it and let my VA use it/expand on it.

Research

Entrepreneurs and coaches are always thinking of new ideas, but never have the time to fully research these ideas. Assigning this task to your VA to do the digging for info for you can save you hours of time. Whether it be tax questions or whether a product already exists in the market, your virtual assistant can type away on Google to find the information needed, create a doc with what she/he finds and give it to you for you to utilize.

What kind of work does your virtual assistant help your brand or company with that I didn’t mention in this post? Please share your experiences in the comments below!

How To Rock Business Growth This Year

We all want our businesses to grow without any work. We’ll wake up one morning and find that someone just gave us 100,000 in our Paypal account and be all sorts of excited. Sounds fabulous right? Of course! Realistic? Not so much doll face!  Creating the business of your dreams, giving yourself the freedom that you want and living the life that you want CAN and WILL happen, but there are some things you need to do.

Are you looking for a way to rock business growth in 2015? Here are a few tips on how to stay on top of your business while not working IN your business.

First off, you need to think about your business in a long term way. Is your business ran around you? If you were to stop doing everything that you do, do you have systems and processes in place that will allow your assistant to run the business for you? If not, that is something you really need to start thinking about as you create a business that you enjoy.

I’m going to give you some tips and tricks on how to rock business growth this year and how to allow yourself to step back and enjoy what you’re creating instead of spending 40 – 60 hours in your business each week.

How To Rock Business Growth

Project Management Program – I cannot stress this enough! You need to have a system where you can create assignments for you and your assistant, graphic designer, etc.  Email is good, but in order to create a business that you can grow without you working in your business 24-7.  Good ones that I’ve used before are Basecamp & Asana.  Basecamp starts at $20/month but it is super easy to use. Asana is free for up to 15 people on on your team and it is really intuitive.

Schedule –  Something that I lacked at the beginning of last year was a schedule and I saw that it really messed with me.  I was taking calls, all day every day and I was just not productive enough.  The second half of the year was so much better for me because I stopped taking calls on Thursdays. When I would get a skype message or something, I would only reply if it was a necessity. It allowed for me to be productive and accomplish more with less interruptions.

I find that once I get in my groove, I get more done. But when I was getting interrupted every 15 minutes, I wouldn’t accomplish half of what I needed to get done.  So set a schedule, allow yourself 1 or 2 days a week where you say no to phone calls (no matter how much you need the business).  See how having a day off of social media (yes, I totally went there) and a day of getting stuff done works for you.

Make sure you schedule in time to take care of yourself too.  Self-care is at the top of my list!

Priorities – Something I’ll be doing differently in 2015 is prioritizing things.  My family comes first and I want to be more present with them.  Sometimes we forget why we start our businesses, what the purpose is that we go off on our own to create something special and we get blindsided by having to do more, be more, have more.  ‘

The reason I’ve created my business and chosen to run my business from home for the last 7 years is because of my children.  I love that I can make every doctor’s appointment and basketball game. I LOVE that I can sign my daughter up for dance class and not worry about if I will have to work or have to “request my time” off of work.

If that’s the reason why you’re doing this, don’t miss the dance recitals, don’t miss the basketball games.  Show up, be present and enjoy the life you creating.

Get Clear On Your Price Point –  Instead of pricing on what you “think” you should earn. Price on what you want to make in the hours that you want to work.  For example, let’s say that you want to only work 15 hours a week and you need to make 5,000 per month.  So it would be 60 hours a month.

So you would take $5,000 and divide it by 60 hours and it would be 83.33/hour or about $85/hour.  I would also add on a little because if you are taking hourly coaching clients, you have to research, review, etc so make sure you add that into your pricing as well.

Be Yourself – I see people who trying to be some of the big names they see and mimic them. I know there aren’t any “real original” ideas, you can still show your personality in your content, show who are.  People will buy from you because they like and trust you.  You can give them the results they are looking for and that is what matters.

These are just a few tips to rock your business this year.  I’ll be going into more detail about the Project Management system that I use with videos and how it can work for you.  If you have any questions about that area, please leave a comment and I’ll make sure to add it to the video.

 

 

My 2015 Word Of The Year And What It Means To Me

As I sit here and write this, I have a horrible cold and I just don’t feel good.  Yet, I feel called to write this at this particular time.  I could wait until tomorrow but I don’t think the words would be the same as right now. I want to talk about what my 2015 Word Of The Year would be.

2015 Word Of The Year

I realized that life has been pretty good. I’ve been able to have my business from home for the last 5 years.

But there is something missing, there’s this sense of fulfillment that I am missing and I want to really get back into what I LOVE doing.  However, there is this fear that is holding me back.

I feel like I got into a routine and just went on autopilot and quite frankly, with me turning 30 in 2 weeks, I want to be more present, live a more fulfilled life with my family.

I was going to have this huge 30th bash and invite a bunch of friends to go out and get completely drunk and then I was looking at my Core Desired Feelings and I thought, is that really how I want to feel ringing in my new birth year? Surely there has to be something more fun to do than go to the bars.

Instead, I’ll be going to a comedian and trying a new restaurant.  And on my actual birthday, we will do a family dinner and just have a really good time together! I don’t want to do the same ol’ stuff. I’m going to be 30 and I want my 30s to be more purposeful than my 20s.

Anyway, with all of that said, let’s just jump into my word of the year and what my Core Desired Feelings are for 2015.

2015 Word Of The Year

My word is FEARLESS.

I feel like over this last year, I’ve gained confidence and more experience than ever to create the business of my dreams and the lifestyle I want to have for my family.  Something that holds me back from doing it is fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of screwing up, fear of what people think, fear of what I want actually happening.  I get scared and that stops me dead in my tracks.

What does being fearless mean to me? It means to push through my fear, to allow myself to feel the fear but to take the action anyway because I deserve to create something amazing, I deserve to serve and stay in alignment with what my purpose is. I deserve to teach and coach in what I know best (systems, marketing & mindset) and this year I’m going to allow myself to do it.

So when I get that feeling that tells me to stay where I’m at, I’m going to push through it.  I’m going to show my fear that I control my life and not the other way around.

2015 Core Desired Feelings

I don’t want to go into detail about my Core Desired Feelings, but I did want to share with you those words as well. They are on the front of my 3-Ring Binder, which is my Planner that I printed off.  These are things I want to feel every day and I can’t look to my kids, my job, my fiance or anyone to make me feels these things.

However, in every interaction I have with people, I want to create one (or all) of these feelings.  If you have heard of Core Desired Feelings and you want to take a peek at them, you can find Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map here.

My Core Desired Feelings:

  • Freedom
  • Feminine
  • Abundance
  • Sensual
  • Romance

I am excited about these feelings because I took a list of Core Desired Feelings from the book and wrote down everyone  I wanted to feel (like 15) and then I went through them again and let my intuition pick them out. It was fantastic “feeling” these feelings. Like how I did that? Ha.

Here's my word of the year and my Core Desired Feelings for 2015.  Come see what I want to feel and how I want to be this year.

 

What Rituals Will I Do To End 2014 & Start 2015

There are a few rituals I’ll be going through to end 2014 and to start 2015. One of them is to write down and release any old baggage that I feel I still have. I’ll also use EFT to tap out some of the emotional blocks that I have.

I do the negative stuff first like the releasing of the old baggage and what I would have done differently, so I don’t end on a bad note.

After that, I look back at what I created for myself in the year and all the good from my business life and from my personal life.  I “feel” how it felt to do the good things.

Then I write what I want to accomplish in 2015 and I map out the steps to get there.

Not too bad, right?

Share with me! What does your 2015 look like? What do you want to feel? What do you want to accomplish?

How I Ran My Business & What I’m Changing In 2015

2014 has been a really good year for business for me.

I ran my business on referrals. I BARELY used my website at all (now I’m slowly getting it set up).  It felt really nice to know that clients and business associates thought that highly of me to refer people to me so I can help grow their businesses.

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I am so grateful that this year has been so much better for Chad and I as a couple too. I honestly think when kids are little, it is a strain on your relationship but we’ve definitely improved.  Maybe we just get better with age? Just like wine ;).

How 2014 Looked For My Biz

So I was the “only” person working in my business for a while. Until I realized I couldn’t and didn’t want to do it on my own. I mean, for the last 4 years I’ve been a Project Manager. The owners of the companies I worked with delegated their tasks to me and then I outsourced/managed the tasks. Surely I could do the same thing.

So fast forward to today and I have 2 Virtual Assistants, 1 Graphic Designer & I’m in the process of hiring/finding a Video Creator & Editor.  It feels nice that while I’m sitting here writing this, I have a VA creating content for my social media pages that I get go in and approve.

This year I did a lot of client work and it was nice that I was able to serve clients and help them grow their business.  After Jan. 1st, I will only be taking 1 – 2 new PM clients and charging a premium because I want to grow my coaching biz even more.

In 2014, I learned a lot about myself and how organized and efficient I could really be.  At one point, I had 6 different clients that I was doing Project Management for.  Not only, was I managing some of my content on my mommy blog, but I was handling MULTIPLE projects for 6 clients.  You can’t do that unless you got your shit together and fortunately I had mine together.

With that said, I also felt utterly drained and I was focusing on my projects less and less (example: my website and its current work in progress state).  When I fired 2 clients (yes, I fired clients even though the money was AMAZING), it freed up my time and gave me clients who I have been so aligned with.

I feel like this was my rebuilding year, I made around the same as what I made in 2013 which is good. Next year, I will hit multiple six figures with what I have planned out.  Let’s take a look at what I want to accomplish in 2015.

What 2015 Will Look Like For Me In Life & Biz

So not only are you going to get a glimpse into what I want to do for my biz, but I want to get personal with you and let you into my life and what I want to accomplish personally too.

Biz 2015 Intentions:

  • 200,000 in Sales
    • This includes all websites & what we will be doing with Fulfillment By Amazon (stay tuned for more info)
    • This will include a sponsorship for my future podcast
    • This will also include the 2 online programs I want to launch
  • Author 2 Amazon books
  • Create a Private Mastermind with 8 Women
  • Launch 2 Online Programs
  • Hire A More Advanced Business Coach
  • Start a weekly podcast for my biz
  • Start a weekly relationship/life podcast for my mommy blog

This is just the 30,000 foot view of what I want to accomplish. As I am working on each area, I might break it down so you can see how I work on each area.

What are my 2015 Business and personal goals?

My goal is to streamline even more this year. I don’t want to be working in my business, I want to coach and work on my business.  I’ve created a make shift coaching page because I’ve had 5 people tell me how amazing I am at coaching and it is what I’m truly passionate about.

Fortunately, if you want to try coaching, please sign up now. My rates aren’t going to be this low for long.  I know some coaches charge upwards of $500 per hour, fortunately that’s not me. You get me at $125/hour and if you decide you want to with me weekly, it goes down to $100/hour for me to hold you accountable and to get your biz in gear.

Let’s get started on what I want to accomplish personally.

Personal 2015 Intentions:

  • Read more (not just listening to books). I want to read 3 books a month. For some that seems like nothing but for me, to actually read and not listen to them on Audible will be pretty hard, so I’m pushing myself.
  • Each month, I’m taking two days off of work during the “work week” just to focus on going through trainings and business/personal development courses that I’ve bought and just haven’t gone through
  • Be more fearless <- That is my 2015 word of the year
  • Create a community for my children more (and for myself). I want to do more family oriented things but with other families because I want my kids to grow up with friends.
  • Create a community of friends that are like family and where we do more meaningful things together. A lot of my friends are social drinkers. don’t get me wrong, I love going out to have drinks and dance every once in a while, but in 3 weeks I’ll be 30.  I want to retire by 40 and I want to do more meaningful things that drinking on the weekends.
  • Have more phone conversations.  I’ve been horrible about text messaging and not calling. I’ve actually gotten out of the habit of calling people because its easier to text and I’ve never really learned how to end a phone call. Seriously! I am not good at saying goodbye and I feel so awkward – but I need to push through that.

Okay, so I wrote more than I thought I would, but at least you know what my 2015 Intentions are.  My word of the year is Fearless (stay tuned for a blog on this too dollface) and I am just so excited to push through my fears!

What are your goals for 2015? What do you want to accomplish?

InstaAwesome Tips – 3 Tips To Rock Your Instagram

You already have an Instagram account for your business set up, but do you know how Best Practices and how to best use Instagram to market yourself or your business (or both)?

Insta Awesome Instagram Tips

These 3 tips are the best ways to market using Instagram and, of course, to grow your business!

Tip 1: Leverage Your Followers – How To Get More Without Paying

It used to be a big deal to pay for followers on “all” the social media sites, aka Facebook and Twitter. The thought was that quantity was better than quality in followers. That thought is gone and has been replaced with quality over quantity, and that’s for all social media sites.

Why have followers that don’t give a rip about your business (or don’t even really exist)? Answer: No idea, so don’t pay for them and don’t chase or follow people that don’t like you or your business’ products.

Here’s the best way to get Instagram followers that are quality ones and get a good quantity of them at the same time. It’s not fast or incredibly simple, but really, is anything that fast or simple in social media? NO, but it’s worth it!

Here’s what to do to get more followers on Instagram:

  1. Be interesting and genuine, and set yourself apart from the others in your niche. Be funny, be sensitive, be sincere. Be yourself!  When I went looking for people to follow, I saw the same thing in the coaching and creativepreneur niches which is motivational quotes and “stuff.”  Give actionable tips, show us the real you and don’t let it ALL be about business.
  2. Post quality, ingenious, well-thought out or spontaneous and pictures of yourself, your business, and your products in fun and colorful (or black and white!), filtered or unfiltered pictures, 3-4 times per day. Be sure to post at the times that your audience is most active on Instagram, so do some research to find out.
  3. Along with these pictures, sometimes post ones that create conversation instead of only double taps or hearts. By engaging your audience in conversation, their followers can see that they were involved in a conversation with you and your business, and can create an environment of more follower interaction and more followers!
  4. Actually go and double tap your followers’ pictures. Post comments under them. Even just a, “Nice!” makes them feel like you’re personally involved in their lives.
  5. Do searches of hashtags that have something to do with your business, then go and find people that used that hashtag. Don’t follow these people *yet*. This is when you double tap pictures and make comments on pictures. They will see that this person or business they don’t know or follow made an effort to like their picture, and they will very likely come and follow you, especially since they like the same types of things as your company based on their hashtag usage.

Tip 2. What types of Instagram pictures get the most interaction for businesses?

Tips To Rock Instagram

Based on the infographic from Mashable, Ellen has the highest follower count on Instagram. She’s not a business (well she kind of is), but she’s a personal brand. If you check out her Instagram profile along with the others on the list, you’ll notice that 9 out of 10 are not posting magazine advertisement-type pics every few hours. They’re posting personal, funny, engaging, thought-provoking, reposts from followers (or even ones that aren’t followers) that are interesting or have to do with their niche.

The pictures aren’t perfect – they’re sometimes blurry, never photoshopped (read: Beyoncé), and very rarely have a CTA (Call To Action) for marketing. Leave that stuff for Twitter. This is fun on Instagram. If you do want to use a CTA on or along with a picture, do it only once a day or every other day or you’ll be losing followers like crazy tomorrow.

Tip 3. What other Instagram related apps should I have to get the most out of my Instagram marketing?

You cannot have the full functionality of Instagram without having accompanying Instagram app tools. Here is the list of the ones I use that are absolutely invaluable in both my personal and business Instagramming.

Repost - “Repost for Instagram makes it easy to #Repost your favorite photos & videos on Instagram while giving credit to the original Instagramer.”

Repost tool for Instagram

With just a few clicks, starting at the Repost app, decide if you want the picture you’re reposting to have a white or black banner with the original Instagramer’s name and its location, then you’ll automatically move the picture over to Instagram. You can choose whether to edit the words and hashtags or just post as is. So simple. Easily my favoriteInstagram reposting app.

Resize - “InstaSize is a full blown photo editing app for your everyday photos. With the ability to resize, create a collage, you can add beautiful filters, typography and effects. Available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.”

I’ll admit I haven’t tried the other picture squaring apps, but I like this one so much that I wanted to look for another. Basically, we don’t always take pictures that are exactly the square that Instagram requires, so Resize adds a border to it to make it the square.

Resize has so many different borders to choose from: Basic Colors, Holidays, Solar System, Polka Dots, and so many more. I love using them to make my pictures stand

out. Resize app also has its own version of different picture filters, and they’re different than the ones on the Instagram app. It has stickers, a collage feature, resize, and text overlay to add words to your pictures if you’d like.

InstaQuote  – “Express yourself. Create beautiful text pictures.”

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I love this one, it is free but I bought the paid version which is like .99 or 1.99 (I don’t remember).  Up above is a pic of what it looks like on my Galaxy Note 3.  It is so easy to use!

If you like to create motivating quotes (and biz tips too) on beautiful pictures or add words to pictures (that aren’t necessarily uploaded on Instagram, but used on your blog or wherever else – like I do!), then you need to download InstaQuote. If you don’t believe me search the hashtag #InstaQuote on Instagram or search for InstaQuote pictures on Google. There are some insanely beautiful pictures out there.

InstaQuote has an inventory of their own beautiful pictures for your use to buy, but you can use your own for free. There is a huge selection of fonts to choose from to add to your pictures and any color you can think of. You can also use two colors at once – your normal color font and the “Punch” color to make it stand out from the regular font.

Those are all the apps I use because they all do multi-duty, plus they were all FREE – my favorite kind.

Between the the tips and apps, you should start seeing growth with your Instagram following. Be sure to do at least 10 minutes Instagramming daily, plus posting 3-4 per day (even on the weekends) to not lose momentum on your account.

In a few weeks, I’ll do InstaAwesome training on Instagram hashtags to help you grow your biz, so stay tuned for that!  You can also follow me on Instagram here.