Turn Your Emails Into Automated Marketing Machines

You send hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of emails every week. Leverage the marketing power of your emails automatically by adding a professional, effective, automated email signature.

Put Your Marketing on Auto-Pilot

A good email signature is a chance to stand out while communicating important information. Use your email signature to effortlessly:

  • Build your brand
  • Reach more readers for your blog
  • Get more people to buy your book
  • Promote your products
  • Sell your training
  • Find more social media followers

In order to do all the above most effectively and automatically, you need a professional email signature that people will remember and respond to. You need WiseStamp Pro.

50% Off Black Friday Sale

WiseStamp Pro gives you:

  • Over 25 designer-made Pro templates so you stand out
  • Unlimited signatures for different email addresses (or for the same one!), to tailor your message
  • Social icon design features to help your customers follow you all over the web
  • No WiseStamp branding, so it’s all about your business

50% Off Black Friday Sale

Dress your email for success for half price during WiseStamp’s 50% Off Black Friday sale.

Wisestamp (which I use and love!) is running a 50% off Black Friday sale for the WiseStamp Pro Plan. The sale runs from Monday, November 23, through Friday, November 27. This sale lowers the regular price of $48 per year to a super low price of $24 per year. Grab this great deal before it’s gone by clicking => WiseStamp Black Friday 50% Off Sale

P.S. I’m an affiliate, so these are my referral links, but I’m also a huge FAN. I’ve been a WiseStamp Pro user since 2014.

5 Tips to Make Your Connections Count in Your Virtual Assistant Business

Make Your Connecti

In the Virtual Assistant world, we are often advised to network to attract new clients. Networking is a valuable and effective tool that can help you reach new clients.

Being smart and selective with networking can lead to great results for your virtual assistant business. Here are five tips to help make your connections count:

1. Don’t just socialize – select.
True networking isn’t just hanging out and being friendly, it’s meeting the right people. While you want to get along with potential clients, it’s still important to be selective. Ask yourself “Is this person in my target market? How could they benefit from my services?” Be ready to share with them when the time comes.

2. Get outside your comfort zone.
Generally, we gravitate toward people who are similar to us. Yes, it is still good to be in virtual assistant groups, but it’s also imperative to branch out and join the groups where your target market hangs out. Make informative comments on posts or even give compliments to get the ball rolling in conversation.

3. Know when to move on.
No matter how selective you were on the front end, don’t make the mistake of giving any particular individual or group all of your time if you aren’t seeing results or getting quality advice. Remember that your time is valuable.

4. Manage the follow up.
Connecting once or twice does not automatically create a beneficial relationship. How you follow up with that contact is just as important as how you made your first impression. Don’t wait until you need something to follow up with them. Find a way to create value when you follow up. Send them an interesting article or connect them with a potential client. Create reasons to stay in touch.

5. Give back.
Successful networking is a two-way street. Most of us start by asking for help and advice, but as we become more knowledgeable, we gain the means to help others. When possible, give those less experienced a piece of advice or recommendation. As their business takes off and they start to network, you could be their next referral.

By having a plan and sticking to it as well as keeping an eye on what’s working and what’s not working, you will make each connection count. If you’re ready to expand your VA business, apply for a free “Transform Your Business” Breakthrough Session at http://expertvatraining.com/free-strategy-session/

 

Criticism: How to Use it to Improve Your Virtual Assistant Business

As you continue to develop your virtual assistant business, no matter how fabulous your service is, you’ll run in to criticism from clients. Here are five tips to help you use criticism to improve your virtual assistant business:

1. Do not become defensive: The person giving you feedback might have a reasonable point, which you’ll never pick up on if you’re busy thinking about how to defend yourself. Do not blame someone else or make excuses. Instead, stay professional and learn from this situation.

2. Look for seeds of truth: It’s not easy to take an honest look at yourself and your weaknesses, but you can only grow if you’re willing to do this. Criticism opens you up to new perspectives and new ideas you may not have considered. If the criticism has merit, listen to the feedback objectively and be sure you understand it.

3. Get a second (or third) opinion: Often, it’s very difficult to step back from the situation and assess it accurately. When that happens, ask a trusted colleague, mentor or coach for their opinions.

4. Take corrective action: When the criticism is valid, consider your options to rectify the situation or resolve the problem. Then put your plan in to action.

5. Do not beat yourself up: Even though we’d all like to be perfect, we are not. Receiving constructive criticism is a good thing – although it doesn’t usually feel very good at first. When you discover weaknesses and work on them without getting down on yourself, you’ll experience far more happiness, peace, enjoyment, and success.

Handling criticism well and learning from it without losing your confidence is a must if you want to do big things in life. And I know you do or you wouldn’t have started your own business!

Want to get encouragement on a daily basis? Like my Facebook page now at https://www.facebook.com/expertvatraining.

 

 

The Signs You’re Too Scared to Be a Virtual Assistant

I just read a great article on the blog Make a Living Writing titled The Telltale Signs You’re Too Scared to be a Freelance Writer. The signs shared by this author that indicate you’re too scared to be a freelance writer are the same signs that indicate you’re too scared to be a successful virtual assistant:

1. You don’t have a website. That means you don’t really have a business.

2. You have a website but YOU are not on the website. You don’t have your  photo on the site and don’t share information specifically about who you are on your About page.

3. Your contact page only has a form to fill out. People want to be able to reach you — don’t hide from them!

The full article provides some other great insights, so please be sure to read it by clicking here: The Telltale Signs You’re Too Scared to be a Freelance Writer.

Want to overcome your fear and earn great money as a virtual assistant? Check out my Expert VA Training program. Participants of both the Small-Group-Coaching and One-On-One Coaching levels of the training rave about how much their confidence increases during the program.

How to Benefit from Non-Billable Hours as a Virtual Assistant

As a virtual assistant, you not only have to perform the tasks required by your clients, you also have to perform the tasks of a small business owner for yourself. Those tasks include invoicing, accounting, marketing, learning, and keeping your computer in working order. The time you spend on these tasks are non-billable hours, which means you cannot invoice your clients for this time.

As an example, I work about 15 non-billable hours each month for my virtual assistant business. Here’s what I do in during my non-billable hours:

  • Invoicing clients and accounting: This takes me about 4 hours each month (which is about an hour per client). Many VAs are faster at this than I am.
  • Keeping computer in working order: I spend about 4 hours a month on this, which includes backing up my computer, updating software programs, defragging, etc. Having a fast, efficient computer is well worth the time it takes.
  • Marketing my business: Since I don’t have room to take on any new clients, I spend very little time on this. I might spend 1 hour each month answering emails from potential clients and referring them to VAs who have graduated from my Expert VA Training program.
  • Learning: Although I am an expert in my area of specialization, I still have to stay on top of what’s new. I spend about 6 hours  a month reading, attending webinars and teleseminars, and participating in a marketing mastermind group.

How do you know how many non-billable hours you should be working and how you can make the best use of that time?

Until you have all the clients you want, you should spend all those extra hours building your business. That means focusing on two categories: marketing your business and learning.

For example, if your goal is to earn $50,000 per year (that’s the goal of most of the students in my virtual assistant training program), you’d need to work 93 billable hours per month at $45 per hour. If you have only 2 clients and you work an average of 15 billable hours a month for each of them, you’re working only 30 hours per month of the 93 hours you ultimately want to work. Don’t squander those 63 extra hours. Use them wisely as non-billable hours, and you’ll quickly have all the clients you want.

Here’s an example of how I recommend using your 63 extra hours each month (as non-billable hours):

  • Invoicing and accounting: About 1 hour per client each month. Using our example of 2 clients, that’s only 2 hours per month.
  • Keeping computer in working order: Spend about 4 hours a month on this and your computer will work well.
  • Marketing your business: Spend at least one hour a day, Monday through Friday, on this task. That’s 5 hours a week, which is 20 hours a month, minimum.
  • Learning: This is where you’ll spend the majority of your time, until you’re an expert in your area of specialization and an expert on how to get clients. That means you’ll be spending the remaining 37 hours per month (or 9.25 hours per week) learning. As you master your area of specialization and how to get clients, move these hours to marketing your business.

If you’re serious about earning a great living as a virtual assistant, you’ll love working those non-billable hours to market your business and become an expert. Put the time in now, and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.

Want to learn how to get clients? During my virtual assistant training program, I teach you step-by-step exactly how to get a steady stream of clients coming to you. Learn more now at http://expertvatraining.com/virtual-assistant-training-with-small-group-coaching/.

4 Ways to Improve Your Virtual Assistant Business Today

Jumping

There are many ways you can improve your virtual assistant business in one day, especially when you add that one day’s accomplishments to the following day’s accomplishments and the day’s after that. That’s called consistency, and it really pays off. So let’s start that ball rolling today with 4 things you can do right now:

  1. Raise your prices: If you’re undercharging for your services, write an email to all of your existing clients and let them know that 60 days from now your prices will be increasing by $5 per hour. Change the prices on your website right now, so that all new clients get the new price. Don’t you just love giving yourself a raise?
  2. Back up your computer: This may seem like a small thing, but it’s a HUGE thing if your hard drive fails. And hard drives fail every day. It’s not a matter of if your hard drive will fail, but when. Do not put this off until tomorrow!
  3. Contact two companies to ask for referrals: Call two companies you admire who have the same target market as you but offer different services. Offer to refer clients to them, and ask them to refer clients to you. Do this again tomorrow and the day after that, and you’ll soon have a steady stream of clients contacting you.
  4. Schedule a free strategy session: Ready to build a multi-va team? Perhaps you want to expand your business by creating products, developing training courses or consulting programs. Give me 60 minutes, and I’ll help you determine the exact next steps you need to take to achieve your goal. Schedule your free “Transform Your Virtual Assistant Business” session now!

What else can you do in one day to improve your business? Share your suggestions in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you!

3 Rookie Mistakes that Damage Your Virtual Assistant Business

Just like most new virtual assistants (VAs), when I first started my VA business, I made many costly mistakes. One of my primary goals is to help others avoid those mistakes.
Here are three rookie mistakes and how to avoid them:

 

  1. Chasing the “hot” skills: Many VAs who are not earning the kind of money they want to earn make this mistake. They spend a lot of money learning the latest skill that they’ve heard is in demand. VAs who do this believe that if they learn the skill that is needed by a lot of people those people will magically call them and say, “I need you!” Unfortunately, that does not happen. To avoid this mistake, and get all the high-paying clients you can handle, focus on building a foundation for your virtual assistant business.
  2. Setting prices too low: As women, we tend to undervalue our experience and skills and believe that we aren’t “qualified enough” to charge higher prices. Without emotion, assess your skills and knowledge, then set your prices according. The average hourly rate for USA-based VAs is $45. If you’re charging less than $25 per hour, raise your rates. As your expertise increases, continue to give yourself raises until you’re at (or above) the national average.
  3. Getting stuck in analysis paralysis: Should I create packages? What hourly rate and project rates should I charge? Does this logo make my website look fat? If you find yourself in a never-ending spiral of uncertainty, make a decision and go with it for a while. If that doesn’t work out, it’ll be easy to change it. That’s one of the many benefits to running a virtual assistant business: It’s very easy to make changes.

If you’d like a sounding board to get out of your analysis paralysis, consider signing up for the Expert VA Training course that fits your needs. As part of every training program, you get unlimited access to me and other successful VAs via our forum and twice-a-month mastermind calls. Together, we can quickly help you make decisions, get answers to questions, and achieve your goals.

New Year Plans for Your Virtual Assistant Business

make-2017-your-best-year-everThis is the time of year when we’re all thinking about the new year. If you have a virtual assistant business, or are planning to start a virtual assistant business, it’s important that you take the time to plan for the new year. Here are three plans I highly recommend you put in writing now so that the new year is your best year ever:

  1. Vacation: Wonder why I put this one first? Because I’ve found that if you don’t plan your vacation first, and stick to the schedule, you won’t take vacation. And that’ll soon cause burn out. So how much vacation do you want to take this year and when will you take it?
  2. Budget: An annual budget for your virtual assistant business is a plan that helps you stay focused. For example, you can use your budget to help you determine how much you need to earn, how much you can spend on training/coaching to grow your business, and how much you need to set aside for software and other office-related materials. This is incredibly helpful when it comes time to determine if you can afford to pay for training you’d like to take or buy a new computer.
  3. Action Plan: Exactly what do you need to do each month in order to achieve your goals for the new year? You can set goals, but until you have an action plan in place to achieve those goals, nothing will happen. Take one goal at a time and write up a step-by-step action plan to achieve that goal.

This holiday season, my team of Expert VA Coaches have made a few FREE “MORE Clients MORE Profits Breakthrough Session” time slots available. These free sessions are only available to those VAs who qualify. During your one-hour free session, the Expert VA Coaches I’ve personally trained (and who have all created super successful VA businesses of their own), help you set goals for the new year (and figure out what’s holding you back from achieving your goals) so that you have the most successful and profitable year ever. Apply for your free session now to find out if you qualify: MORE Clients MORE Profits Breakthrough Session

3 Traits Needed to be a Successful Virtual Assistant

Successful Virtual AssistantLast week, I wrote a blog post about 3 Skills Needed to Be a Booked-Solid Virtual Assistant. Many virtual assistants (VAs) make the mistake of thinking that experience with and expertise at in-demand skills are all they need in order to create a successful business. Not so!

Just like any other business owner, as a virtual assistant, you not only need skills, you also need a particular set of traits. Today, I’m going to talk about three personality traits needed:

  1. Confidence. I cannot emphasize the importance of this trait enough. If you do not project confidence to clients, they will not want to work with you. Just last week, I referred a virtual assistant to a potential client. I thought they’d be a perfect match. The VA had all the skills needed, and I know from working with her that she’s an expert at those skills. The potential client emailed to let me know that she decided not to work with the VA I recommended. That rarely happens, so I asked for feedback from the potential client to hopefully provide a better match for her needs. The potential client told me that the VA didn’t project confidence, and she wanted someone confident in themselves and their abilities. Be sure you’re not only good at what you do, but that you also sound like you’re good at what you.
  2. Reliability. This means that you do what you say you’re going to do. I surveyed a wide variety of VA clients and asked what problems they had working with VAs. The number one problem they had was that VAs they had worked with weren’t reliable. This included VAs who disappeared from the face of the earth, those who didn’t meet deadlines, and those who didn’t know how to perform the skills they said they could perform. If you simply do what you say you’re going to do, you’ll be a giant step closer to having a successful business.
  3. Perseverance. You have to work hard to have the virtual assistant business of your dreams, and you have to keep working hard at it day after day. You also have to be able to pick yourself up and keep going, no matter what. Even if you do everything exactly right, something out of your control could derail your business goals. From 2001 to 2008, I had a very profitable real estate VA business. Then the real estate market crashed. There was nothing I could have done to prevent that crash. It was out of my control. But my income went from 6-figures to low 5-figures within a few weeks of the crash. Did I give up? Definitely not. I got busy figuring out a new target market for my business. Within 30 days of determining that my new target market would be authors, I had a full practice again.

Virtual Assistants who hire me as their business coach and trainer tell me that one of the biggest benefits they receive from working with me is increased confidence. Here’s what one client had to say:

“My business has grown exponentially, and my confidence and ability to meet challenges along with it.” – Cynthia Daffron, ArtfulAdvantage.com

Whether you need to increase your confidence or you’re ready to double your income, I can help. Schedule your free “Transform Your Virtual Assistant Business” session now. I look forward to talking with you!

3 Skills Needed to Become a Booked-Solid Virtual Assistant

DeadlineYou’ve decided you’d like to work from home and start your own business. Becoming a virtual assistant (VA) is one of the businesses you’re thinking of starting. To help you determine if you have what it takes to become a booked-solid virtual assistant, review these three skills needed to excel as a VA.

  1. Excellent written communication skills. As a virtual assistant, you communicate with clients primarily through email. If you struggle to get your thoughts across in an email, now’s the time to improve those skills. I highly recommend Lynn Gaertner-Johnston’s training course How to Write Email That Gets Results. The course includes Lynn’s booklet 110 Tips for Writing Email that Gets Read, which you can also purchase separately at http://syntaxtraining.com/our_products.html. If you’re not certain if your writing skills are good enough, send me an email at kathy@expertvatraining.com, and I’ll give you some feedback.
  2. Outstanding organizational skills. This doesn’t mean you know how to set up a filing system. Working as a VA requires much more. You have to juggle the needs of multiple clients, prioritize and keep track of and meet deadlines.
  3. Computer skills. You do not need to know how to program a website (unless that’s the service you’re offering) or build a computer from scratch. But you do need to know how to use the software programs necessary to provide the services your clients need. At the very minimum, you need to know how to use Microsoft Office software programs such as Word and Excel. An excellent place to learn software programs is http://www.lynda.com. They offer high-quality training at a low cost.

Are these the only three skills needed to be a booked-solid virtual assistant? No. But they are three of the most important. If you’d like more information on how to become a booked-solid virtual assistant, schedule your free “Transform Your Virtual Assistant Business” session now!