Exciting! Virtual VIP Days for Creative Online Entrepreneurs

It’s time for a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! I have an exciting new offering for creative entrepreneurs called a Virtual VIP Day. Wondering what the heck that is? It’s all laid out HERE on my Virtual VIP Day page!

Is There a Problem?

In my 10 years as a virtual assistant to creative entrepreneurs, I’ve noticed a clear pattern of good intentions getting sidetracked :) We start working together, assignments and questions are traded back and forth via messaging or calls, and sometimes a week or a month can go by before we complete a project that would’ve been so helpful for your business, like, yesterday!

palaugustfreebie

The Solution: A Virtual VIP Day

This is a full day where we’re connected via video or phone, we follow an agenda, and we Get Stuff Done! After the VIP Day, I include 1 extra hour of VA work to tie everything up. I also provide a summary of our work and some suggested next steps.

A Video to Explain More

There’s a lot of information to digest on the Virtual VIP Day page so I recorded a screencast video which you can view here:

VA Creatively Virtual VIP Day from Erika Friday on Vimeo.

It’s an 11-minute walkthrough that I hope addresses some of the questions and concerns you might have and explain things in a bit more detail. {I’m happy to do a longer video as well if you express interest in that}.

Interested or Have Questions?

Review of “Hello Post” by Honizukle Press

One of the best things about being a virtual assistant to creative entrepreneurs is that I get to work with super rockin’ clients like Kimberly Costa.

Not only is she an amazing web designer but she also has an online letterpress shop, “Honizukle Press” (pronounced like ‘honeysuckle’). And now she’s launching a monthly subscription box with her awesome letterpress products called “Hello Post.”

Kimberly was kind enough to send me a box from the first shipment so I could check it out. We’re going to be working together on marketing for her Honizukle Press and Hello Post.

I was so excited to receive my Hello Post! Don’t you just love getting something purely fun in the mail as a break from bills and ads? GET OUT! Me too!

So here’s the cute box that Hello Post arrived in.

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When I opened it up, I was greeted with aqua sparkly tissue paper that made me smile :) There aren’t many problems in the world that aqua sparkly tissue won’t solve, am I right?DSCN7663

 

Underneath, you can see the happy yellow crinkle paper. Between the perfectly-sized box, the tissue, and the crinkle paper, Hello Post is packaged so well. It’s pretty AND functional; all the products were in perfect condition with no bent corners, wrinkles, or tears.DSCN7664

 

Here are all the items spread out so you can get a better look. Counterclockwise from top right: A cute little paper bag sealed with washi and containing 3 custom-made sticker sheets (10 stickers total); a letterpress thank you card w/envelope; a letterpress Mother’s Day card w/envelope; and a set of personalized notecards and envelopes, tied with silvery twine.DSCN7667

 

Is this cool or what? Thick white notecards with my name letterpressed in a gorgeous green color (can you tell from my website that I love green?). They have a nice clear storage box to keep them in great shape until I’m ready to send one to a special friend or client. It’s really hard to choose but I think this is my favorite item in the Hello Post box.DSCN7668

There were 8 of the personalized notecards and 8 envelopes. Here’s another look at the stickers – which you can use as envelope seals – and I forgot to mention the adorable flair button that was also included! Did you notice that both greeting cards were in clear sleeves as well? Kimberly really covered every detail, didn’t she?

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Lookie, lookie at the gorgeous sea green letterpress on “my” notecards. I love the mix of the pretty script font on top with the more straightforward font on the bottom and the 5 dots underneath add that special touch. I can’t believe you get 8 personalized items with each Hello Box.

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My photos just can’t do these cards justice. So so pretty! I wish you could see the depth in the letterpress like it shows in person. You can run your fingers over it and it’s so special, so classy, so perfect for my mama.

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Both of the greeting cards had a colorful “Honizukle Press” letterpress mark on the back. So when someone receives one of these cards from me, they’ll know where to go and order their own. Perfect :)

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I got another sweet surprise when I opened the envelope for the Mother’s Day card. Look at that gorgeous print lining the envelope! My goodness, I just love all these special touches and can’t believe (don’t kill me, Kimberly) that she doesn’t charge more for these boxes plus includes free shipping.

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If you’re wondering about getting Hello Post for yourself or as a gift, this is what is sent each month:

Hello Post will come right to your door in a lovely, custom designed box that will include a set of 8 personalized, letterpress stationery & envelopes, 2 greeting cards and 10 custom designed stickers to seal all of your correspondence.

Check out this animated video Kimberly made about Hello Post:

Yep, she MADE that herself. This lady is mad talented, people! And I’m not just kissing up because she’s my client and fellow B-Schooler :D

So that’s my review of the Hello Post monthly box. I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions about Kimberly’s products or my virtual assistant services, don’t hesitate to ask, love <3

Virtual Assistant: What Specific Tasks Can I Do for You?

If the concept of working with a VA is new to you, it may be hard to imagine what tasks you can turn over. I mean, what does a virtual assistant even do, right? You might hear “social media” or “WordPress” but what does that mean, specifically?

femenine-17
Image courtesy of Feminine Stock

Here’s a list of some of the things I do for clients, to see if it triggers any ideas for you:

Note: A few of the links below are affiliate links; I may receive a small commission if you click on them and end up making a purchase from the site

  • Research: Blog post ideas, podcasts to appear on, guest posting opportunities, etc.
  • WordPress: Create blog editorial calendar (CoSchedule); draft blog posts with your text and images (or I can find/make images for you); add Categories and Tags; schedule posts to publish in future; create blog graphics to include in post then share across social media
  • Proofreading/copyediting: Anything written – emails, blog posts, e-books, brochures
  • Social media: Find like-minded people to follow/share; create graphics/memes in Canva; use a scheduler like Edgar or Buffer to pre-schedule social media posts; maximize your presence on social accounts (e.g., add hashtags to social media posts, improve your Pinterest boards, etc)
  • Transcribing: Transcribe podcasts or videos to provide transcripts to your audience or repurpose into a lead magnet; transcribe your voice notes to create blog posts, newsletters, or an e-book
  • Organization: Research/set up task management (Trello, Asana), appointment setting (Calendly, Acuity), and/or client management system (Dubsado*, 17 Hats)
  • Affiliate marketing: Find and sign you up for affiliate programs that align with your brand to generate passive income

*For 20% off your first month of Dubsado, use code ERIKAFRIDAY (all caps)

There are lots of other tasks I can do as well. I can’t possibly be experienced at ALL THE THINGS! However, I’m willing to learn new software, etc. (on my own time) and help you apply it to your business.

So don’t be afraid to ask if you have other areas you’d like assistance with. If I can’t do it, I usually have someone I can refer you to.

2016 Planner Round-Up: 50+ Planners for Creatives and Entrepreneurs

This post has been updated for 2017, increased in size up to 80+ planners (!), and is now hosted on my other site ErikaFriday.com. You can see it HERE.

Are you looking for a paper day planner? I’ve scoured the interwebs and found over 50 planners for you to check out.

Each planner name is a link to see more about that planner. Each photo shows just one of the options or views but the sites have a lot more information ranging from photos, videos, more versions and sizes, free printable pages, etc.

In other words, don’t just go by the photo shown; click the link and see all the other options and views :) There are blog, yoga, and business planners, mom planners, motivational planners, even a planner just for photographers. So many options for creatives, entrepreneurs, and more!

I hope this is a great resource that helps you to choose your perfect planner. Happy browsing!

Arc

arc planner

Ashley Shelly

ashley shelly planner

BanDo

The BASICS Notebook

the basics notebook planner

A Beautiful Mess

a beautiful mess planner

Blog + Life

blog and life planner

Bloom Daily Planners

bloom daily planner

Blue Sky

blue sky planner

Brilliant Business Planner

brilliant business planner

Bullet Journal

bullet journal

The Choices Notebook

choices notebook planner

Commit 30 Planner

commit 30 planner

Daily Greatness

daily greatness business planner

Daily Dream Creator

daily dream creator

Day Designer

day designer planner

Danielle Laporte

danielle laporte desire map planner

DaySpring

dayspring planner

Design Love

design love planner

Dream Planner

dream planner

Edited Year

edited year planners

Erin Condren

erin condren planner

Freedom Planner

freedom planner

Get to Work Book

get to work book planner

Goal Digger

goal digger planner

Holistic Day Design

holistic day design planner

I Am

i am planner

iBloom

ibloom planner

I Heart Planners

i heart planners

inkWELL Press

inkwell press planner

The Inner Guide

The Inner Guide planner

It’s That Kinda’ Day

it's that kinda day planner

Kate Spade

kate spade planner

Kikki-K
kikki k planner

Lara Casey

lara casey planner

Life is Messy Bootcamp

life is messy planner

Live Life Creative

live life creative planner

Making Ish Happen

making ish happen planner

Mama CEO

mama ceo planner

My Creative Year

my creative year planner

My Life Planners

my life planner

Paper and Prosper

paper and prosper briefcase planner

Paper Source

paper source planner

Passion Planner

passion planner

Photographer’s Planner

photographers planner colorvale

Planner Pad

planner pad

Plum Paper Designs

plum paper planner etsy

Posy Paper Co

posy paper co planner

Print & Go Planner

(no shareable image)

Purposeful Planner

purposeful planner

Rebel’s Agenda

rebels agenda planner

Recipes for Joy

recipes for joy planner

Refresh Planner

refresh planner

Rifle Paper Company

rifle paper co planner

Rituals for Living Dreambook and Planner

rituals for living dream book and planner

Savor the Success

savor the success planner

Scattered Squirrel

scattered squirrel planner

SELF Journal

self journal

She Plans

she plans planner

The Simplified Planner

emily ley simplified planner

Small Paper Things

The Spark Planner

spark planner

Start Planner

Sugar Paper

sugar paper planner

Text Agenda

text agenda quo vadis planner

Tools for Wisdom

tools for wisdom planner

Ultimate Business Planner

ultimate business planner

Uncalendar

uncalendar

Visionary Journal

visionary journal planner

Week Date

week date planner

Week Dominator

week dominator planner

Write It Designs

write it designs planner

The 7-Minute Life

the 7 minute life planner

If you’re also a scrapbooker or crafty type, try these:

Simple Stories, Webster’s PagesMAMBI, Dokibook, and Heidi Swapp. Then check out The Reset Girl for lots of fun accessories. I’m using an aqua Simple Stories “Carpe Diem” planner to track 2 of my niche blogs in 2016. Can’t wait to get crafty and organized at the same time!

If you know of any planners I’ve missed, please let me know in Comments and I’ll add them!

Weekly Round-Up by VA Creatively.com 04-12-15

Here’s a round-up of some finds from around the web this week. Just some things for creative entrepreneurs / solopreneurs about social media, working at home, living a creative life, and other things you might find helpful or interesting.

I noticed that The Good Creative: 18 Ways to Make Better Art is FREE for Kindle right now.

From the description on Amazon:

You’re creative. You dream and plan and make stuff – all the time. And whether that “stuff” is a book, a startup, or abstract crayon art on the bathroom wall, you have a nagging feeling that you could take your work further. Do it better. Become more successful.

In The Good Creative, I outline the 18 habits of the world’s most respected artists. It’s a concise, invigorating manifesto for creative pursuits of every kind.

Happy reading!

I know we creatives love our Macs. Have you heard about the new Macbook Pro? I’m not a total techie but – in this review by Mashable – it sounds pretty impressive to me! For me, it would be hard to get used to 1 USB and also to the new keyboard – I type a TON as a transcriptionist. But those are risks I’m willing to take for something this pretty . . . oh, and functional!



I love this article by Olivia.co called “10 Introvert-Friendly Offline Marketing Ideas for Your Blog + Business” – great tips!



Have you been seeing these cool text masks around the interwebs lately? Me too! Wanna’ make them yourself? Me too! Check out PicMonkey’s text mask tutorial.



One last thing . . . do you have Testimonials on your site? As a service provider, it’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. I finally sat down and tested out a few WordPress testimonial plug-ins. My favorite and the one I chose is called Handsome Testimonials. I only had time to add 2 testimonials for my virtual assistant services so far but I think they look pretty good, don’t you?



Have a great week!

Weekly Round-Up by VA Creatively.com 11-02-14

Here’s a round-up of some finds from around the web this week. Just some things for creative entrepreneurs / solopreneurs about social media, working at home, living a creative life, and other things you might find helpful or interesting.

How about 5 free creative business card templates RIGHT HERE? And check out the cool “X” WordPress theme while your there.

Do creatives make their own luck?

Have you MET EDGAR? Seems like a nice, helpful guy. {This is something a virtual assistant could set up for you . . . hint, hint}

I want THIS BOOK so badly! Every business needs a blog, especially creative ones. I’d love to take my blog design skills to the next level.

Hope you enjoy your week!

Attn: VAs and Biz Owners – Should VA’s Specialize or Optimize?

Wow, THIS is a great article in THE GUARDIAN about how and why to use virtual assistants!

The article is geared specifically toward SME’s = small and medium enterprises.

The writer TINA NIELSEN has used virtual assistants in her business and found them to be a wonderful resource. {She also wrote THIS cool article about WAH’ers achieving work/life balance}.

Tina uses virtual assistants for jobs she doesn’t have time to do, doesn’t like to do, or doesn’t want to learn :)

Photo by:  Eutah Mizushima

I mean, why not? Why should you spend the time and have the aggravation of learning how to market your business on PINTEREST, when there are VA’s like me who already know how to do that?

It’s a no brainer, really.

The same goes for other small tasks that just suck up the time in your day. Your time is worth more than you’ll pay me, I assure you. With a VA doing these tasks, you can concentrate on what YOU do best, love to do, and will generate the most money for your company.

Ms. Nielsen did give me some food for thought. She talked about – having learned from experience – how she now hires very niched virtual assistants, as opposed to hiring one VA who can do a lot of different tasks.

I see what she’s saying: When that VA leaves, you’re adversely affected in a big way. Instead, if you hire one VA to do your social media, one to do your travel arrangements and schedule, and another to do your newsletters, you’re more diversified. If one VA leaves, it’s much easier to replace that cog in the wheel, and the entire wheel doesn’t stop spinning in the meantime.

So that got me thinking about the VA services I offer and whether I should pare them down a bit. My current list of services looks like this:

– Social Media Management

– Simple Website Creation

– Blog Posting and Maintenance

– Graphics Creation (Blog Header, Facebook Cover Page, Pinterest Graphic, etc.)

– Administrative Tasks including Transcribing

– Travel Arrangements, Online Shopping, and Other Personal Tasks

On the one hand, I need clients, LOL! So I hate to perhaps not to be hired by clients who need work done that I’m fully capable of doing.

On the other hand, I’ve now heard the advice several times from established VAs and from those who hire VAs that being very specialized is the way to go. Their advice is to choose the few tasks that you really excel in and market only those talents to prospective clients.

To the VAs benefit, you’ll be doing work you love and are great at. To the client’s benefit, they’ll be getting the best person for the job they need done.

WIN-WIN

So I’m thinking about all of that. If I were to eliminate anything, it would be the last task group: Travel arrangements, online shopping, and other personal tasks. While I’m fully capable of and experienced at those tasks, they’re not as challenging as the others. And I love to be challenged!

I get a charge from a work day well-spent, solving problems, finding the best way to do something, and making clients happy with the end product. I love working on blogs, writing, making things happen with WordPress, or posting relevant content to social media and watching interractions increase and numbers rise (eeeee!!).

I’m really good at transcribing, as that’s been my main work for the last 7 years. I’m a fast typist (about 90 wpm) and have a BA English = word nerd!! So those are the tasks I would keep.

As a VA or aspiring VA, what do you think about specializing versus offering ALL of the services you’re capable of?

As a potential VA client (business owner, blogger, etc.), would you rather hire a VA who specializes or one who has a broader range?

I’m really interested to hear your thoughts!

How Do You Get Through Doing the Work You HATE?

In THIS article at WOMEN’S AGENDA, one of the tips given is to hire the dreaded work out to a virtual assistant (VA) . . . like me :)

The article has some other great suggestions, too.

“Women’s Agenda” is a site geared toward working women and I really enjoy the articles and support they provide. This is a good topic for them because we “working women” tend to feel we have to do it ALL. But, I promise, there’s nothing wrong with handing off unpleasant, time-consuming tasks like these to someone else:

– Wait on terminal hold to straighten out the overcharge on your bill

– Enter and update all your contacts (name, mobile phone, e-mail, website, etc.)

– Post or schedule social media to build your business and increase engagement

– Go through your blog or website and fix dead links, delete outdated information, etc.

– Transcribe your work meetings into easy-to-refer-to notes

– Make travel plans and bookings with a nice schedule provided

Virtual Assistants (VA’s) can do all of this for you and more.

Example 1: Say you spend $45 so I can put 1 hour toward setting up affiliate accounts for you and inserting affiliate links on your website. Then in the first 2 weeks, you make $90 in affiliate income. Didn’t I just *EARN* you $45?!?!? Not to mention all the affiliate income in subsequent months. That’s called “return on investment (ROI)”, people! It’s a beautiful thing.

Example 2: You hire me for 4 hours this month ($180) to do social media posts about your product, service, blog, etc. Over those 30 days, your traffic increases 45%, you get 70 new followers, 20 new e-mail subscribers, and sell 18 e-books at $4.99 each. The increased engagement continues into future months/years and your sales increase in general. Didn’t my services just pay for themselves? Indeed-y, they did.

You and I can build a lasting relationship where I start to anticipate what you need and just DO it, or you can try me out with a one-off task and see how much relief that brings!

Because goodness knows, we’re all super busy and – why waste your valuable time doing tasks you hate to do?


*Image courtesy of Diamond Images at Zazzle.com

Please do reach out via my CONTACT page. Let me take over some of the work you hate :)

Okay, I’m Just Going to Come Out and Ask You This

What would make you read this blog? And what products or services do you need?

As you can see, I’m new here. Not new to blogging (I have another blog that’s 7 years old with 1,100 posts) but new to blogging about these topics:

– Social Media
– Blogging
– Working from Home
– Virtual Assistants
– Solopreneurs, etc.

I started this website to have a home for my virtual assistant | blog helper | transcribing biz. But I decided to include an active blog about the related topics above as well. I’m super excited about writing here and (hopefully!) creating a community with people of the same interests. I also hope to be a resource for anyone looking for information – maybe you’re thinking about starting an at-home biz, wondering about the latest change to Facebook, or looking for cool work-at-home wear.

I want to be your Go-to-Girl :)

Since it’s early days, I figured it was the perfect time to ask:

vac whatwouldmakeyou

It’s also the perfect time to ask for input because I’m taking part in Blogelina’s 50 COMMENTS EVENT. I’m currently getting about 40 views a day (and I got my first Comment, yay! LOL). But during the 50 Comments Event, I’ll have the chance to gather some great input. And what’s more important as I start up this blog than finding out what YOU want to read about?

So, in Comments, please let me know: What would make you read this blog?

Some examples, just to get your juices flowing:
– Latest social media news
– Where to find work-at-home jobs
– How to become a . . . transcriber, virtual assistant, affiliate marketer, _______________
– Interviews with movers and shakers in these industries
– Deals on services, programs, or books that will help bloggers, business owners, virtual assistants, or ______________

One thing I already know is this: There will be humor. And sarcasm. They come naturally and are free of charge :P

Another question:

vac whatproducts

What is missing in your life or business? In other words, is there a topic you want to know more about and would, say, maybe buy an affordable e-book or online course about? Do you need graphics, headers, or help with your blog? What subject(s) would you like pointers about?

I want to be helpful to YOU. I want to provide content that you’ll read. I want to have a blog that you put in your reader or come back to often. I want to write about things that will provoke you to leave comments.

So I decided to just come out and ask you: What would make you read this blog? And what product or service do you need? I look forward to hearing from you!

*Images made using SOCIAL GRAPHICS PRO by CoachGlue.com

How To Make a Header for Your Blog or Facebook Page . . . When You Have No Graphic Design Skills :)

I’m a virtual assistant, blogger, and transcriber.  I own a business, can make dinner while dictating notes AND Tweeting, and know who Dustin Pedroia plays for (the Red Sox – hollah!). I’m a person of many talents. I am not, however, a gifted graphic designer.  Even if I could afford Photoshop, I don’t have the time or patience to learn it. Someday, maybe, but not today ;)

Are you in the same boat?

Well, what are we to do when we need cool graphics for our blog, website, and all the social media platforms?

I finally figured it out!

vac how to make header graphic

 

I heard about SOCIAL GRAPHICS PRO by CoachGlue.com and signed up for it immediately.  Today, I watched the 18-minute instructional video which made it look so easy.

(Don’t they always?  But then you try to replicate the results, it doesn’t work, you get frustrated, and give up). (Okay, maybe that’s just me, but still).

I opened the program and within about 30 minutes, I had this new blog header that I was very happy with!

cropped-vacreatively-cover-1.png

 

For comparison’s sake, here are two other blog headers I created recently using other programs:

vac header1

 

copy-VA-Creatively.png

 

The first one was too plain/boring.  The second one I couldn’t get to load properly on my site. Both were a total waste of time because I didn’t end up using them . . . and who has time to waste?!? Not me, Bucko.

I was so happy with the header I created using SOCIAL GRAPHICS PRO, that I decided to try making an image for this blog post that I could use to share it on PINTEREST.  It’s at the top of this post; what do you think?  Pretty good for a graphics newb, eh?

Granted, the graphics available aren’t as extensive as you may find elsewhere but they serve my purposes perfectly. If you like, you can upload your own images. It doesn’t get much better than that. I’m having visions of all those cool quotes I see on Pinterest that now *I* can make! Such a great way to increase traffic to our sites, yeah?

I heartily recommend Social Graphics Pro from CoachGlue.com to anyone who needs to make graphics – Facebook covers, blog or website headers, Pinterest images, logos, etc. – but like me are not experienced with graphic design or complicated programs. If you’re a Virtual Assistant, what a great service you could provide for your clients. If you’re a business or website owner, what an easy and affordable way to create these images on your own.

If I can do it, YOU can do it!

You can learn all about Social Graphics Pro HERE including a short video demo and a DISCOUNT CODE! You’ll be surprised at how affordable it is.

Please sign-up for SOCIAL GRAPHICS PRO, MAKE SOMETHING, and come show me whatcha’ got. I can’t wait to see what you create!

PS: If you like, I’m happy to make images FOR you :) Check out my RATES & SERVICES, then LET’S TALK. I’d love to make some images for your site or social media use.

Update 02-19-17: I now use Canva for Work and my graphics skills have come a long way since this post. But I’m keeping it for posterity’s sake, lol.