6 Tips For Operating a Successful Virtual Assistant Business

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6 Tips For Operating a Successful Virtual Assistant Business

Operating a successful virtual assistant business takes a lot of hard work. Done right, your hard work can prove extremely beneficial to build your business on a solid foundation as well as add to your bottom line.  These tips are sure to help.

  • Don’t work for free. More and more new virtual assistants are working for free as interns to get the experience, and hopefully land the client long-term. Continue reading

Virtual Assistant Coaching – Summer Special

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Ready to jumpstart your virtual assistant business?

We’d love to help.  During the Month of July, you get $75.00 off our coaching packages.  That’s right  $75.00 off.  (Normally $495.00 and during July only $420.00

What do you get!  LOTS!

You get …

* 4 hours of coaching with me (once a week we talk for one hour while I show you how to grow your virtual assistant business)

* Email support

* Our PR Success Class (5 weeks of PR training) (Value $275.00)

* Review of your PR materials

See our coaching tab for more  information …  http://dianaennen.com/virtual-coaching/

All of this for only $420.00  …

Diana Ennen

Let’s get coaching!




 

 

 

Virtual Assistants – When is it time to hire a coach?

You probably started your virtual assistant business with big hopes of success. You figured as soon as others knew you were in business they would be flocking to you. Yes, you were ready. Success was yours.

However, even though you put up your shingles, “Open for Business” a funny thing happened. No one came. So you go back to the drawing board again and become a little more vocal this time. “Hey, I’m opened, come and get it.” That should do it. But unfortunately it doesn’t.

So many make this mistake. They think with the right services the clients will be able to find you once you get started. Unfortunately instead of that lovely emails you receive of “you’ve got a payment” you can still hear a pin drop and no one is contacting you. Now what do you do?

Believe it or not, this happens to a lot of virtual assistants and other business owners thinking that once you open you can just get down to doing the work. The clients will automatically come running. But that’s not always the case. In fact, that is rarely the case. You need to get out there and promote your business and also you need to be set up for success, well before you send out that first marketing piece.

And that is why you might need a virtual assistant or business coach. Someone who can take you step by step through the process and help you not only get those clients, but also be set up correctly so once you get them, the day-to-day operations of your business run smoothly. Let’s talk about what a coach can do for you.

What can a virtual assistant coach or business coach help with? Here are just a few things:

• A coach will make sure you haven’t forgotten any of those vital business basic steps needed to start your business. Bookkeeping, licenses, business plans are just some of the topics to be discussed and figured out.

• A coach will help you decide with your skills and experience who would be your ideal clients. Then the coach will help you put the steps into place to land those clients. Marketing your business will be a big part of what you will be doing together.

• Your coach will review your pricing and figure out the best way to set up your business, whether you would benefit with going with packages, blocks of time, retainer rates, etc.

• A coach can review all your media including your website, media, blogs, and make recommendations. This alone is worth its weight in gold. Once you get out there marketing, if your site and branding doesn’t convince clients you have what they need, then you can be not only wasting your time and money, but burning bridges down the road. Those potential clients may never come back.

• A coach will be your best friend at times and your worst enemy at others. Yes, they will be there for you when you do things right, but they should also be there for you and guide you gently when you don’t. By helping you prevent many of the mistakes that they might have made themselves, you learn the best way to do things.
This all sounds good, but how do you find a good coach? The main thing you want to consider is to find one you feel confident in by reviewing their business. Is it one that you would like to mimic? Do they walk the walk and talk the talk? You want someone who you respect and know they have your back as well as the skills needed to help you success. Once you know what you’re looking for, go out there and connect. Your business success is waiting!

Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com has been in business for over 25 years and is eager to help coach you to better success.  Email for her free informational package diana@virtualwordpublishing.com. Article is free to be reprinted as long as bio remains.

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Do you have tips on starting your business and the challenges you had?  Let’s hear them!

 

PR in Today’s Economy – Businesses Learning to Master PR Themselves

PR in Today’s Economy – Businesses Learning to Master PR Themselves

Today’s economy has made more and more businesses forego marketing because of economic concerns. At a time when businesses should be doing more marketing, many are losing clients and sales because of the expense of hiring a PR professional or losing the assistance of a marketing department due to budget cuts. Fortunately, on February 1 that changes. Beginning on that date, authors and businesses will be able to discover the techniques needed to get great publicity by attending the Publicity Success Series http://tinyurl.com/62btshj

The Publicity Success Series is intended to help businesses master PR skills and get the publicity needed to succeed. The same techniques that the marketing department used to handle is now being taught by public relations specialist, Diana Ennen. Ennen states that over the last few years, a clear new role is emerging where businesses are required to handle more and more marketing tasks. Many businesses just aren’t equipped to do it right. But by learning the basics to writing and distributing press releases, mastering social media, understanding the secrets to pitching the media and more, businesses will now be competing and getting the word out about products and services and get great results.

Ennen has been successfully getting PR for clients for 25 years and has received or secured clients media mentions in such major media as USA Today, Woman’s World, Fox News, CNN Radio, Reader’s Digest, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and so many more. Ennen is eager to reveal the secrets to success.

Ruth Martin of MapleWood Virtual Assistant had this to say about the Publicity Success Series. “Diana covers how to pitch concisely written and topic focused ideas for optimum exposure. It’s like having your very own coach guiding you through the hurdles towards the ultimate goal of getting more PR.”

The classes take place weekly starting on February 1st. All classes are recorded and available via download to listen at any time. Email assistance is also available throughout the course.

For more information contact Ennen at http://tinyurl.com/62btshj or email directly at diana@virtualwordpublishing.com. For those that want to hire a PR professional, Ennen is also available.

Start Your Virtual Assistant Business Today

Start Your Virtual Assistant Business Today 

Starting a virtual assistant business is a great work-at-home business and the potential just keeps getting better and better.  In fact, some are citing that having a virtual assistant is one of your most important keys to success. 

Getting started is easy.  Fortunately, it’s not expensive either.  First of all you need a complete plan of action set out in advance.  This ensures that you don’t leave any vital steps unaddressed and will have a solid plan of action to succeed.  You don’t need anything technical, just how you plan to operate your business including advertising methods, pricing, business hours, equipment and supplies needed, goals, etc. 

You want to clearly define your business.  There are so many different areas you can go into as a virtual assistant so you need to decide with your skills and your experience what is the best for you.  Want some ideas of some services you can offer as a virtual assistant?  Here are a few. 

It’s important to find your own niche and really own it.

Now, that you have your business plan you need to decide on the name of your business.  One thing you need to make sure of is that you can legally have that name.  Often I’ve seen virtual assistants start their business and just grab a name and call it their own.  That doesn’t work well when someone else has already chosen that name, registered it, perhaps trademarked it, and has been using it for years.  First check and make sure that no one already has it, then test it out.  Is it easy to pronounce when you answer the phone? Does it sell you well?  Does it limit you?  Five years from now will you still feel proud of that name? Try it out on friends and ask their honest feedback.  Also, go to the various boards and mention it too.  For such an important decision it’s worth the effort. 

To operate a business you are required by law to have the appropriate licenses.  This is your permit to do business locally. It’s a simple procedure that doesn’t require a considerable amount of time.  Contact your city and county officials under occupational licenses for complete details or go online.  Most VAs start out initially as a sole proprietorship and then might change later into either an LLC or S Corporation.

Now it’s time to set up your bookkeeping. You will want to keep track of all your income and expenses.  Save all receipts and pay all your expenses out of your business checking account.  A software program such as Quickbooks is ideal for our type of business.  Not only does it allow you to keep accurate records, but it also enables you to track exactly where the most money is coming from.  This enables you to target your marketing efforts more in that area.

Now you must decide how much to charge.  Don’t undercharge your services.  The Virtual Assisting Industry is a very proud bunch and we want our clients and others to know that when you partner with us, you are getting a professional and one capable of making your business better.   Clients will pay well for making their business succeed.  Determine what you are bringing to the table. What specialty services such as web design or  publicity you offer, and then decide on a rate that is right for you.  Today, I believe the going rate is between $25.00 to $90.00 and more.  I’d love to see all virtual assistants start no lower than $45.00 an hour, but I know that’s not always possible.

It is also important to have an impressive marketing piece. Your brochures, letterhead, flyers, business cards, etc., should look sensational.  I personally love VistaPrints at VistaPrints.com.  I can afford to get matching business cards, mailing labels, magnets, and even Christmas cards cheap.  This makes me look more professional as I have everything the same layout and because it’s so reasonable, I even have different styles for different clients.  Also, recently they added T-shirts to their line of products.  They will often have free giveaways of these.  I’ve gotten business T-Shirts and the results were exciting.

Now you need to get those clients. The key to successful marketing is to tell clients what benefits they will receive by answering their main question, “What’s in it for me?”  Keep in mind, you’re not selling your services, you’re selling the benefits of your services.  What can you offer them that would make their business run more successfully?  An example of this would be accurate dependable service done on an “as needed” basis.   As many of you know too, I have a free booklet and advertising letters I’d be happy to share on obtaining clients.

 One of the most important things is to get a professional website.  This will enable you not only to get clients through your SEO efforts, but also to show your clients your services and everything about your business.  You can’t have the same ole’, same ole’ here.  It needs to be unique and impressive.  Don’t just tell the client what a Virtual Assistant is?  Tell them why you should be their Virtual Assistant.

It’s also important to get listed on directories and with the various VA forums. 

Now that you’ve got the clients, you need to keep them.  The best way to do this is to always provide them with more than they ask for.  Go the extra mile on all assignments.  Let them know that you value their business and are eager to help them succeed. 

 Diana Ennen and Kelly Poelker are the co-authors of numerous books including Virtual Assistant: the Series, Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and accompanying Virtual Assistant the Series Workbook, and Virtual Assistant – The Series: Working Virtually, A Guide to Working Remotely as an Employee.  For complete information on starting your own VA business, stop by http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com.  Article is free to be reprinted as long as the author’s bio remains intact.

Publicity Virtual Assistant – That’s me

I often get asked, what exactly do you do? I’m proud to say I’m a publicity virtual assistant. What does that mean? I help authors, small businesses, online businesses, etc. with their PR campaigns. From sending out press releases to preparing a full media campaign, I work one-on-one with clients to make a difference. As a published author myself, I think that adds a lot to what I’m able to do. Being a writer, I can create great materials that work.

Who can use a publicity VA? Everyone! Who doesn’t need more help with their marketing.

Interested? Email me at diana@virtualwordpublishing.com and take advantage of our summer specials. $10.00 off our hourly retainer rates. Also, no minimum retainer requirements. Act soon though. We fill up quickly.

Thanks! Diana Ennen