How do you prepare your blogs? Does a topic just grab you in the morning and you think “I’ll write about that” or do you have pre-defined rules? Are there specific topics you enthuse about or is a general overview of all and sundry more your style? An idea came to me today that if I looked back on what I had posted on Social Media last week surely I would find more than one blog amongst the hundreds of posts I put out. No doubt that’s where the idea of paper.li started.
Georgina Laidlaw posted Easy Content Scheduling for Bloggers which clearly shows there needs to be a plan. So working from this I need to be blogging about administration, social media … er – administration, social media. Hmm… I appear to have a blank spot. You know what – I’ll use the templates as a guideline and go from there. I like writing about the odd episode regarding my cat “Butch”- he keeps me entertained and would you really only want to read about administration and social media? I think not.
Let me know if you have a structured plan for your blogs or whether you just bang them out as and when.
Working as a Virtual Assistant (VA) means my entire business is based on-line, either through email, Skype and the telephone. The only time I have face to face meetings is when I attend Networking events – which are a must to keep up on social skills and to actually speak out loud. It is very easy to agree with everything you say to yourself.
One of the drawbacks that can arise when working on-line is that I may not always see what the client does. I can’t tell what they are feeling. Until technology takes another step forward how can I tell if they are they having a bad day. How will I know if they have just lost an important project or that they are running out of time to meet a deadline? As wonderful as technology is I can’t always tell from an email what frame of mind they are in.
It’s not a new theory and I am sure you will recognise some, if not all, of what he has to say. I have often said to friends, clients and even my children when they have received an email or text message that they don’t understand or misinterpret - “they may not have meant it that way”. However, I am grateful for the reminder that you never know what someone is thinking and it pays not to guess. A little perception is required. Listen, ask, and then take action.
Can you relate to Charles Green’s article?
In my profession as a Virtual Assistant one of the most common questions I get asked is “So what exactly is a Virtual Assistant, and what do they do?” For many people in business the concept of a Virtual Assistant (or ‘VA’) is well understood, but for other people I find that I need to carefully explain what services a Virtual Assistant can provide.
So in this blog I have decided to explain in simple terms exactly what a Virtual Assistant is and show how a VA can help businesses both large and small. In simple terms, a Virtual Assistant is an independent administrative assistant just like any other Assistant, Secretary or PA. The difference is that in this case a VA does not physically work within your office premises but works remotely using technology to service all your business needs and requirements.
Although no two VA’s are likely to provide identical offerings, most VA’s tend to focus on a number of core business services. Typically these would include secretarial type services like making phone calls and following them up, sending e-mails and physical mail, scheduling appointments, taking messages and even electronic filing. In addition, some VA’s will also maintain your web presence by managing your social media sites; Facebook, Linked-In and Twitter for example.
Some VA’s will also offer to maintain your business website or your blog, arrange mail-shot campaigns, arrange the distribution of company newsletters, write press releases and assist with general sales and marketing activities. For example, as part of my own business I look after a number of clients who need a 24/7 presence on the web through the medium of social media. I am able to set up their accounts and profiles thus giving them the web presence they require.
The advantages of using the services of a Virtual Assistant are many, but crucially it can prove to be a very cost-effective way of working. By using a VA your business will not have to pay for office space, a PC or office equipment, Internet connection, printer, phone, filing cabinet or desk. Also, because your VA is not on the company payroll, you do not have the additional expenses of health insurance, national insurance, sick pay and holidays. Also, most VA’s already have prior experience of working in an office environment and therefore need very little training in order to start becoming productive.
If you are running a business that uses a Virtual Assistant you will often find that they become an integral part of your team, providing a number of key benefits. To make the most of the services of a VA however, it is worth taking the time to plan exactly how to utilise this important resource to best advantage. For example, think about which tasks can be delegated to a VA, structure these tasks into a priority order and then discuss with your VA how these tasks can best be scheduled. In many cases a VA will specialise in a particular aspect of business and it is worth taking advantage of this expertise if possible.
Realistically, taking on the services of a VA is not always as cheap as taking on a school leaver or part-time Administrative Assistant, but because of their professional experience and reliability it is often more cost effective to utilise the services of a good VA than risk putting your business relationships into the hands of inexperienced staff. Also, it is always advisable to find a VA who is able to offer a wide range of skills than to use the services of a number of different VA’s – because a good VA who understands your business and is able to operate using their own initiative is a much better option than farming work out to a number of different individuals – and then having to coordinate their efforts.
The bottom line is that a good VA can be worth their weight in gold because they free up your time to focus on the most important parts of your business, while you are secure in the knowledge that all your administrative duties are being taken care of by a professional that you can trust.
Don’t forget that if you want any further information on any of the above topics then please do get in touch. On The Go is already helping successful businesses in many of the ways described above – as well as implementing their social networking strategies, helping them set up a consistent company profile and scheduling their media messages to give them a 24/7 web presence.