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Category — Growth

Virtual Assistants-Taking Your Online Marketing to the Next Level


In this era of the Digital Age, more and more people are turning to the Internet to increase their marketing exposure. The problem? Every day the ways to use online marketing seem to grow exponentially.

From Clothing Boutiques to Real Estate Agents, Social Media Marketing has become a necessity to keep up in today’s marketplace. So, as an entrepreneur or small business owner, how do you find the time to run your business, increase your productivity, have a personal life, and keep up with the ever-evolving online marketing field?

The short answer? You don’t. You hire someone to do it for you. Enter the Virtual Assistant (VA).

Who are Virtual Assistants?

Virtual assistants are home-based, skilled professionals, offering businesses, and entrepreneurs support remotely instead of within the traditional office setting. Communication is usually done via email, phone, or even face to face services like Skype. This alleviates the need to provide additional work space at your office or other business location.

Don’t Virtual Assistants Just Provide Basic Admin Support?

Back when remote assistants first came on the scene, the majority of their services focused on administrative tasks that were similar to those of an executive assistant or secretary. They were just done from home. However, with the growing number of VAs available, their offerings now run the gamut, and thanks to the incredible increase in popularity of Social Media Marketing and other Online Marketing, specialists in that area have become easier to find, and are extremely beneficial to have working with you.

In fact, just a few years ago, the University of Florida created the first Bachelor and Masters degree programs to provide accredited education in Social Media Marketing and other schools followed quickly after that.

A Few Things to Consider When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

When you choose to hire a virtual assistant the first thing you’ll want to determine is whether you want them to be an employee or a self-employed contractor. There are pros and cons with each arrangement.

When you hire an employee, even a remote one, you’ll need to provide any benefits your other employees receive, based on their employee status, ie: Full-time, Part-time, or hourly, as well as add them to the regular payroll. A real estate agent in the northern California area reported he has a full-time person who’s only job entails maintaining all Social Media postings for active

If you choose to work with independent contractors or a freelancer you will have none of those responsibilities. But, you will have little control over what hours they work or be able to demand when they can be available.

To be designated as an independent contractor, an individual must be free to determine how the work will be done to completion, free from the client/company’s control. The contractor is responsible for the final product only as far as the terms of their contract requires.

Where Can I find a Virtual Assistant?

Just as the internet provides the opportunity for the concept of a VA to work, it also provides locations, and even platforms to easily find, hire and pay your VA. Here’s a short list of websites that provide freelancers and businesses a way to find each

24/7 Virtual Assistant
Assistant Match
eaHelp
Fancy Hands
Freelancer
FlexJobs
People Per Hour
Red Butler
Time Etc.
Me
Upwork
Virtual Assistant USA
Virtual Staff Finder
Worldwide 101
Ziptask
Zirtual

Hiring a virtual assistant will leave you with more time and energy on your hands to focus on the other aspects of your business.

September 22, 2017   No Comments

3 Powerful Networking Strategies that Never Fail

I found a good article From Entrepreneur Magazine
As an entrepreneur, you already know where your bread is buttered. It’s the customer, the follower and the community. Without these people, your business cannot thrive, much less survive, in the online jungle of success.

In order to communicate your expertise effectively to the people who will become your potential audience, you must fertilize the field by allowing them to get to know you. This is done through a series of networking strategies, which can benefit your business and allow it to reach its full potential.

Related: The Top 5 Mistakes We All Make While Networking

Networking is something every entrepreneur should practice. It should come second nature to you daily and, in order to make a habit out of something, studies have shown you must do something for 66 days before it takes hold. Let’s take a look at the top three networking strategies you should add to your wheelhouse.

1. Focus on relationship building.

There are people with whom you will want to connect your business with, and you can only do this by establishing relationships with them. As the digital age progresses, we preach relationship-building techniques more and more, however, we tend to have micro-conversations within our social media communities only to walk away without benefiting from them.

I’m sure you have heard of creating social media personas for your business. These are the people you will target with your message and your strategy. However, have you heard of relationship-marketing personas? It’s basically the same thing, but these are people you feel have the most connection and promise with your brand.

Create your list, and begin searching for personas who fit the bill to begin your relationship-building process. It’s not the small conversations that will make a friend and colleague for life. It’s a mixture of many things which will connect you to these people.

Relationship-building should be the most natural thing you do as an entrepreneur. Be yourself and the right people will be attracted to your personality and the message of your business. One entrepreneur asked me if she should only focus on building relationships with people in her niche. Honestly, I think that idea is ridiculous. Be friendly and helpful to everyone and anyone who crosses your path.

2. Branch into the unknown.

While most social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook only encourage you to network with people with whom you have already met, John White disagrees. White is the social media director at beBee, a trending platform based on affinity networking which has more than 10 million users. beBee is a personal branding platform designed to find content based on the relevancy to the user — not just what their friends are posting.

“If you network with the same people over and over again, you can expect to get the same results in your career,” White said. “Affinity networking helps you make the connections to take new steps in your career by networking with those that share your professional and personal interests.”

This is why branching your business into an unknown pool of people is never a bad bet. While your recent social networks are only connecting you with “safe” places and people you already have a connection with, it’s important to know there are others out there who can use your point of view and expertise.

Try visiting pages in your social network you haven’t been to in a while. For some, LinkedIn Groups is an unknown area. For others, it may be a Google+ community. Either way, the idea is the same. When you lodge yourself into these places, you are pushing a new opportunity for connection and networking for your business. Your perfect customer or audience member could be residing in a place very close to where you network anyway. You just have to find them.

3. Ask “How can I help?”

All of the best networkers are social butterflies. People love them, not because of their expertise, but because of the way they make their approach. Just like the butterfly, they land softly on their destination — not like the elephant, who stomps mud holes wherever he goes.

A soft touch is needed to connect to new people around you. One of the ways to create a soft landing is to offer your services as a solution to a problem they might have. You can learn what their problems are by using social listening tools and tweaking it to your expertise. Either way, when the notification is given and you have donned your superhero outfit, take flight to their problem and offer them a solution.

Softly is the key here. If you barge in with the answer, like the elephant, you may cause more harm to your brand than good. Begin the conversation by understanding why they have the problem in the first place, and work your way to the solution. People will organically gravitate towards someone who is always willing to be open and help with their problems, and it will always make a great ice breaker with someone you’re trying to connect with.

In conclusion

Should you be up to habitualize the lost art of networking for your business, you must understand these three networking strategies to always be effective. The most important thing while performing all of these strategies is to remember these are real people you are involving yourself with.

However, if you can adopt these strategies, you will find more people will gravitate toward your message and the positive way you engage with them.

September 8, 2017   No Comments

Creating an Effective Social Media Posting Schedule

The frequency of your social media posts can directly impact the number of followers that you get and keep.

If you post too infrequently or frequently, you’ll lose followers. You’ll also have trouble getting people to take notice of your social media accounts. For this reason, you need to come up with a schedule.

A social media posting schedule takes into consideration the following factors:

The best time of the day to post
The best day of the week
The topics you should post about
The percentage of promotional content

Determine the Best Time of the Day and Best Day of the Week

The best time of the day to post will vary, depending on the social media platform that you use. Also, your target audience may have different internet preferences.

Don’t forget to take the time difference into consideration. 80% of the US population are in the Eastern or Central time zones. If you’re in California and want to target the largest audience, you’ll want to plan your posts based on EST time.

Engagement tends to peak at the following times during the weekdays:

9 AM EST – overall engagement
1 PM EST – most shares
3 PM EST – most clicks

Next, consider the best day of the week to post. Monday through Wednesday, people are less active on social media. The majority of the population is too busy getting into the work week.

By Thursday, people are looking forward to the weekend and are more likely to spend time browsing on social media.

User engagement peaks on the weekends. This goes against previous studies that showed higher engagement during the weekdays. But, trends change over time.

The bottom line is that you should post between Thursday and Sunday to increase engagement. You should also plan at least one post for 9 AM, and subsequent posts around 1 and 3 PM.

Find Topics That Your Target Audience Will Enjoy

Along with considering the time of the day and the days of the week to post, you need to consider the topics of your posts. Find topics that your target audience will enjoy.

The first place to start is with the platform that you’re using. Facebook makes it easy to share just about anything, but Instagram and Pinterest are more image-centric. This means that content with a compelling image included in the post will be more effective on these platforms.

The topics should also be related to your niche and provide real value to your readers. This could include:

News
Tips and tutorials
Advice and suggestions

Essentially, it needs to contain beneficial information.

You can explore the most popular topics by performing searches through each social media platform. Each of these networks, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, includes a search box.

Type a keyword into the search box and look at the top results. View the profiles of the original posters of the top posts. Look for posters that tend to share content related to your niche and see what topics receive the most likes, shares, and retweets.

Balance Your Promotional Content

Along with your schedule and topics, you need to balance the use of promotional content. It’s a perfectly acceptable business practice to use self-promotional posts on social media. But, if you use too many promotional posts, you’ll lose followers.

20% appears to be the median where engagement increases or decreases based on the frequency of promotional posts. This means you should plan one promotional post out of every five posts.

If you post once per day, this is one promotional post per week. If you post several times per day, you’ll share a promotional post every other day.

Start using a social media posting schedule to increase the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts.

August 26, 2017   No Comments

Why Your Business Growth May Become Stagnant

Strategies for lead generation and internet marketing are constantly evolving. You might have been trying certain strategies which have been touted as effective for driving traffic to your online business, but find that they’re not working as well for you as others claim they do for them. Your online sales have a significant impact on the growth of your business so you’ll need to analyze your current strategies to see what may be going wrong.

The information to follow looks at things you might be doing which are working counter to the growth of your business. Really taking a good look at them will help you to shed these unproductive habits and develop a fresh approach to the online marketing of your business.

You’ve Not Created An Audience

The most effective way to generate traffic to your online business is to have a strong personal presence. You can accomplish that by authoring articles for authority websites, guest posting and having podcast interviews conducted with you. Doing this presents you as an expert in your field and will certainly get you a following.

You’re Not Focused On Establishing Connections

With that being said, you’ll need to strike a balance so that you don’t present yourself to your audience as an aloof expert. Let them see you as a person with whom they can truly connect and this’ll do wonders for your business.

You’re Too Dependent On Social Media for Marketing

Social media provides a free platform for you to be able to reach the global market and direct attention to your business. To be most effective if you choose to use social media as a marketing tool, you’ll need to make use of the paid ads they offer to get the greatest opportunity. Outside of that, you’ll also have to use the services of other forms of paid advertizing outside of social media if you want to see tangible results.

Your Brand Is Not Original

While an important way to get yourself noticed and become profitable is to take a lesson from successful businesses, you’ll need to exercise caution not to become a carbon copy and lose your unique identity. There’s also no guarantee that you’ll have the same success using someone else’s strategies. Your best bet is to establish your brand as an original and use that to generate interest in your business which will convert into profitable leads.

You Need To Update Your Marketing Tactics

With the evolution of online marketing strategies, you’ll also want to take a close look at your methods to make sure they’re current and effective. The online marketing landscape changes so quickly these days, that what may have worked so well for you just a few months ago, doesn’t have the same efficacy now. Keep up to date with current strategies by doing research on reputable (authority) sites, to see how you can implement the fresh strategies and put them to work for you.

The competition in the internet market place is quite fierce, but there’s always room for more. To make a meaningful impact you have to be willing to do what it takes to set your business apart so that you’ll get noticed and attract the right kind of traffic, the profitable kind. You also have to be mindful that there’s a lot of information out there clamoring for your attention, begging for you to implement strategies and tactics that are proposed to help you.

Giving serious attention to the foregoing setbacks which may be affecting your business, and having a clear vision in mind as to where you want your business to go, will help you to see renewed and sustained growth.

July 10, 2017   No Comments

Use Facebook Live Video to Promote Your Business

Facebook is a great tool to promote your business If you own a restaurant, imagine using Facebook Live to show off your delicious meals. Watch this video ad see what other ideas you come up with.

July 8, 2017   No Comments