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!

Listen While You WAH: Elisa Blaha Cripe’s Podcast “Elise Gets Crafty”

In case you’re wondering, in “Listen While You WAH” . . . WAH stands for Work At Home :)

I’ve worked from home for years and I’m always looking for new things to listen to while I work. That’s one of the MANY great things about working from home: You no longer have to put up with co-worker Joe’s political talk radio or Sandra’s country music blaring in the office all day. YOU get to choose what you listen to!

One of my long-time favorite crafters, ELISE BLAHA CRIPE, has her own podcast. Please read her blog post HERE for all the deets.

Even if you’re not a crafty type, I think you’ll enjoy Elise. She’s also a healthy mama, military wife, solopreneur, work-at-home mom, cook, gardner, DIY decorator, casual fashionista, runner, etc. The girl has a lot going on!

I admire her drive to get things done. She’s a goal-setter and super sweet, too. Oh, and she created the Get to Work planner I included in my huge planner round-up HERE. In her spare time, LOL.

Okay, I’m off to listen to Elise’s podcast while I work today! Two great episodes I’ve listened to already are one with a fave blogger, Sarah from YES AND YES) and the one with with ALI EDWARDS, another creative type who’s making a living working from home.

HERE is a link to the podcast on her website. HERE is the “Elise Gets Crafty” podcast on iTunes. I hope you give it a listen, too.

Please let me know what you think in Comments below!

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 Get 50 Quality Comments on Your Blog

Here’s all you have to do: Join me for the FREE Commentathon Event happening February 19-26, 2014 hosted by Blogelina.com.

Yeah, you read that right: It’s free. As in “nada, zilch, zero” cost to you. Well, it will cost you in time but SO worth it.

Here’s what you do:

1. Go to Blogelina.com and click this icon in the right sidebar:

2. By Wednesday, 12-12-14 at 11:59 pm EST, leave a comment on that post saying you want to participate.

3. Start writing an EPIC POST {linkee has some cursing, forgive!}.

4. By Monday, 02-17-14 at 11:59 PM EST, post that epic something on your blog.

5. By Wednesday, 02-19-14 in the morning, absolutely have it posted because Blogelina needs your live link.

6. On Thursday, 02-20-14, expect an e-mail from Blogelina with instructions.

The event goes through 02-26-14 so I assume that means you have about 6 days to post comments on 50 other blogs. But the super kewl part is that YOUR blog will also receive 50 comments! Fifty meaningful comments, not just “Great Post” or “Good Job.”

Blogelina has done Comment-a-Thon events like this in the past but they called for 100 comments so I couldn’t participate. Leaving 50 comments is going to be time-consuming enough but I’m determined to do it! There are 4 reasons:

1. I have a new blog and I want to spread the word.

2. The deadline will give me a kick in the pants to write a great post.

3. I love getting Comments!!

4. I look forward to discovering new blogs and reading 50 quality posts from fellow bloggers.

For virtual assistants, what a great way to get the word out about your website and the services you offer. For businesses, isn’t this an effective way to bring traffic to your site so they can see what you have to offer?

It’s a win-win, baby! So, would you like to join me? Wouldn’t you love to get 50 great comments on your blog in less than 1 week? Just sign up HERE.

PS: While you’re on Blogelina’s site, check out all the amazing content she offers for free in addition to some great, affordable services for bloggers. And Fizzle.co at the “epic” link above is another great site to check out!