Ten Tips to Help You Succeed with Social Media

by Jill Hart and Diane Ennen, Virtual Word Publishing

It’s official. Social media is here to stay.  It’s not a fad like so many initially thought and it isn’t going anywhere soon. Businesses have realized that not only is it a great way to connect with current clients, but a great way to land potential clients as well.  And that’s only the beginning. Social media also allows you to promote all your upcoming events and products, and even gives you front row access to editors and reporters who might write on your area of expertise.  The possibilities are truly endless.  But the big question now is, how can entrepreneurs best use the current social media opportunities to help increase business?  Here are some tips we feel will help.

Ten tips to incorporate social media into your marketing plan:

Determine What Social Media Sites Are Best For You. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the top three, but that’s only the beginning.  Determine who your target market is and then meet them where they are.  It’s okay to ask by taking a survey by email or on your website asking which social media avenue your clients prefer.  Once you determine that, be consistent and realize that you can’t be everywhere all the time.  Pick the ones that are best for your business and really engage.

Team Up With Other Entrepreneurs. By teaming up, you allow easy access to retweets, Facebook posts, etc.  Plus, it’s a great way to provide your audience with more valuable information on topics that would interest them by sharing information that is provided by the business(es) you team up with. Just make sure that your choose teammates with information that is a good fit for your audience.

Don’t Just Advertise, Build Relationships. – We’ve all seen them.  The tweets and Facebook postings that we know are scheduled and we know are only trying to sell us something.  We aren’t saying that you can’t promote your services or products.  In fact, we encourage you to do that.  But do it right.  Don’t just be about landing the deal.  Truly connect with your audience and show them why they would want to work with you. We know you’ve heard it a million times already, but it speaks for itself and bears repeating:  Social media is meant to be “social.”

Make It a Two-Way Street. You post and you post and you post on Facebook. You’ve tweeted away on Twitter & you’ve updated your status on Linkedin. Finally you’re done. Social marketing is ready to be checked off the list.  Not so fast!  Realize that just like you are posting there are others out there posting and building relationships as well.  Get out there and respond to others, too.  When you think about it, how do you feel when someone posts on your Facebook posting or blog entry?  It feels good, doesn’t it?  When you see a Facebook posting that you like leave a comment – always making sure you add value and are not just promoting your business.

Make It Exciting. We see this often: business owners on Twitter who get on for 20-minute increments and during that time we are inundated with retweets.  They will throw in an occasional tip or two, but basically it’s just 20 minutes of nonsense.  Now we love a good retweet, but we don’t enjoy this at all.  When you are marketing your business via social media, make sure that you engage with others and make it exciting.  Give some good information and tips – don’t just retweet to be seen.  Provide great value and your followers will not only enjoy your messages, but when they are looking to refer someone who needs your services, you will be on the top of the list.

Learn From Others. One of the best things about being in business these days is that you have the opportunity to follow the pros and see what they are doing right. They eagerly give out tips, videos, etc.  Make it a point to follow those who you respect and can learn from.  Sit back and take notes.  But more importantly, take the action steps necessary to make these points work.  It’s more than learning from them, you need to actually do what they recommend as well.
Contribute to Other Networks.  Another great aspect of social media is getting your message out to more than just your audience. Offer to guest post for other networks in your area of  expertise. You never know who may see your posts and become a client.

Create An Expert Status. Why do people follow you?  Many times it is because they see you as the best at what you do and they want to learn from you.  Therefore it’s important to always give solid tips and advice to really show your expertise. Create high quality blog postings, tips lists and posts to share with your audience. It may take extra time to create high quality work, but the effort will be well worth it in the end.

Spruce Up Your Page. Social media has come a long way in a short time. No more are you limited to a tiny avatar of your logo. Most of the social networking sites today allow you to fully customize your page with images, backgrounds and more. Spend the time to create a page that will draw in your audience and make them want to come back daily.

Be respectful. One of the things that most business owners value most is time. It’s important when you are on Facebook, Twitter and the other networks, that you be respectful of others’ time.  A few ways you can do that:  Don’t Expect An Instant Response.  Sending an Instant Message (IM) to a colleague or respected leader is fine, but recognize that they may not be able to chat with you immediately. Often times that person has allocated a certain amount of time to be on the site. If they are constantly on an IM, they can’t get what they need done. We’re not saying you can’t IM, but be respectful when you do.

Don’t Take Advantage. Social media is a relationship builder and gives us instant access to industry leaders. However, be careful not to take advantage of someone’s goodwill by asking a zillion questions.  Most business owners enjoy helping others, however, to provide personalized coaching is a different story.  Always respect the person you are communicating with and we bet you’ll find you get way more back than you ever imagined.

See how easy social media is.  When done right it can bring amazing results for your business.  Not only will you establish yourself as an expert, but you will be promoting your products and services regularly. Make it a commitment to master social media marketing and we promise you next year at this time, you’ll be so glad you did.

Jill Hart, Founder of Christian Work-at-Home Moms http://www.cwahm.com/ and Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com/ have teamed up to write So You Want to Be a Work at Home Mom: A Christian’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business http://www.soyouwanttobeawahm.com/.  Start or expand your business today with their help.  Article is free to be reprinted as long as bio remains.


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Filed under Marketing your Business Online, Small business trends by Linda.
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Keep Your Virtual Engine Humming

by Ali Brown

Whether you are a “team of one” who is just starting out, or a “team of many” with subcontractors and/or employees helping you to operate your business, chances are you will be working virtually with some of your team members.

Operating a virtual team isn’t the same as working in a brick and mortar building where you can shout over the cubicles. I’m very fortune to have an amazing team who supports me from different areas of the country. It can be tricky at times especially when everyone is in a different time zone.

We don’t just make it work; we’re a fine-oiled machine that hums. And I often get asked how we do it. I give much of the credit to my COO, Liz, who started out as my first VA (virtual assistant) a decade ago. We’ve learned a lot along the way, and these factors have played a major role in our success.

**(This is an article by Ali Brown – see more at www.AliBrown.com)

1. Communication.

This one may be obvious, but it can’t be overstated. Staying in touch with your virtual team is vital, especially because you don’t see each other every day. Our team uses every means of communication to touch base including phone, fax, email, Google chat, conference calls, regular team meetings, and in-person meetings whenever possible. We use simple yet effective methods such as marking an email urgent (red exclamation point in Outlook) or adding “HOT” in the subject line as an attention-grabber for top priority tasks.

Ali Brown's Millionaire Protege Club - Gold Tier

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"I've spent thousands and thousands of dollars on outsourcing, and hundreds of hours of time wasted…" says Ben Brandes,  affiliate manager for leading multi-tool platform FusionHQ

"I'm going to give you the 5 best tips I have learned over the years so I can help save you a ton of time and money."

My very first outsourced project was an online website with an integrated affiliate system and lead generation software built in. It was a huge learning experience for me.

I actually paid someone $1000 to help make sure that it was completed with the least amount of resistance. I was told she had a lot of experience working on projects, so I thought it’d be wise to get her help rather than starting from scratch.

I spent hours writing scopes, videos, flowcharts and was told the project would all be completed in 10 days. Long story short, 3 months later, I had gone through 3 different programming teams and the project was still not completed.

I ended up ditching the project as it was getting too complicated and costing more than I’d like. All up I invested about $4000 in that lesson. So after 3 months of pulling my hair out, what did I learn?

1. Be absolutely clear on exactly what you want done

I'm primarily visual so for this project I actually went and bought some wrapping paper, then drew on the back of it. I drew all the pages I wanted created and their design. From there I could take photos and record it using video. This helped me get clear on exactly what I wanted.
When writing the scope its best if a 9 year old could understand it. Write it as though you’re telling a 9 year old what you want. Make sure you use screen shots if possible.

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Attention Webpreneur:
**Have YOU ever faced one of these situations…

* You don't know how to do some kind of "technical" activity such as building a website, installing a script, setting up a blog or anything like that?

* You've seen a "little" success in building a list, driving traffic to your site, getting affiliate commissions and other internet marketing activities, but never hit it big?

* You are pulled in so many directions with so many different strategies and solutions that you just don't know what to do next?

* You are struggling with one specific activity that is preventing you from breaking through such as writing a salesletter, getting joint venture partners or getting your site setup?

* You've been moderately successful at what you do, but you realize that you are working yourself ragged and weary because you've got so much stuff going on?

These are scenarios in which you're "stuck". And there are many others just like them.

Why are you stuck? Why don't you call for help? Is it because…


The truth is …

* You'd love to have someone setup your website for you!
* You'd love to have someone build your list for you!
* You'd love to have someone drive traffic to your site for you!
* You'd love to have someone create products for you!
* You'd love to have someone troubleshoot problems for you!
* You'd love to have someone handle customer support for you!
* You'd love to have someone run 95% of your business for you!

I'm convinced that people don't stay stuck because
they WANT to, they stay stuck because they HAVE to.

They simply don't know two important things…

1) They don't know what can be outsourced.
2) They don't know where to find quality outsourcing help.

Here's an affordable option – Outsource Weekly gives you all the tips and tricks you need to know in order to get your work done – by having someone else do it for you – efficiently and effectively.

from Jimmy Brown and Nicole Dean

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Filed under Outsourcing News by Linda.
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Watch this video, from Britt Malka – on how to increase your productivity with the least outlay, by "replacing yourself" - ReplaceMyself.com

There's a controversy over the question: What is best, outsourcing offshore, a US or Canada home-based virtual assistant or virtual team…and there is no simple one-size-fits-all answer….

But, if you are a webpreneur and you need a full-time skilled internet marketing team to get your work done, you can't beat working with VAs in the Phillipines. How do you manage that, what are the issues and pitfalls, in hiring and efficiently working to get your tasks completed?

John Jonas has created a subscription-based program to facilitate the ins and outs of outsourcing to the Phillipines – whether you want a tested, trained and proven worker, or would like to browse the resumes and pick your own match for your particular needs. The bottom line is price per hour – way lower than you would believe.

I'm still a fierce proponent of US virtual assistant teams – - but I think that John Jonas has done a great job of smoothing the way if you want to outsource offshore. Check out ReplaceMyself.com right now!

ReplaceMyself.com Banner

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Filed under Outsourcing News by Linda.
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If you are an entrepreneur attempting to work "virtually" you most likely have a few resources you depend on to get business done…and then there are times when you are completely lost and confused - How to send that big file? How to simplify social networking? How to keep track of contacts and customers? -

"Tech Divas" Donna Baxter and Kirsten Womack have authored "199 Online Tools," a virtual bible of websites and resources available to online entrepreneurs to help them build and grow their businesses. Read more

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Filed under Virtual Office Toolbox by JS.
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Don't you think it's time to stop being enslaved by your business…You could use a break!

When you first decided to open your own business, you probably did it to achieve things like:

*Be your own boss
*Financial freedom
*Having more free time for yourself
*More quality time with your family
*Focus on your health & well-being and getting out of that stressful 9-5 rat race.

But soon it became apparent that this online business thing required a lot of work, and often MORE work than ANY 9-5 job.

"I had this same revelation and it was painful," says a wellknown marketer. " I overworked myself, the house was a mess, my marriage was a mess, I gained weight and I was drowning in my own business and still not making the money I wanted to.

"Then Something Changed…

"As soon as I learned to get the help I need in my business, things began to change. My business began to really thrive, my family and my health was no longer being left in the dust. The best part, I was the one in control of my business, instead of it holding my reins!"

Let Me Help You Do The Same…And Make it as Simple as Possible for You -
OUTVEO – Outsourcing Management Made Easy

Whenever I talk to other online business owners about getting the help they need and outsourcing (i.e. hiring contractors to help with various tasks in their business), they often say things like:

"I can't afford it."

"I can't find reliable people."

"I'm the only one who can do the job properly."

"I don't have time to train people."

Check out how easy and simple it can be to work with a great team, for a very reasonable price, and really get your business up to speed, without running over yourself. You can get started today.

OUTVEO -it's the best way to go… and you won't believe the reasonable price – and NO monthly fees for the software. Better than BaseCamp!

Check it out – Order Now



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Filed under Outsourcing by Linda.
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Few small business owners alone possess all the skills necessary to create and manage a thriving business without some professional assistance. For the past decade, virtual assistants have been instrumental in assisting small business owners in areas such as internet marketing, website design and maintenance, publicity and advertising, list and database management, customer care, and a host of other key business functions.

However in reality, few virtual assistants possess the vast skill set necessary to provide the business owner with the highest possible quality work in all these key areas of business management. As a result, an employer may spend many tedious hours training a VA to get her up to speed in the areas in which she is deficient, only to receive mediocre results that may not help the business to grow, or worse, may actually result in a negative ROI.

This is why a Virtual Team is an intelligent outsourcing solution for the small business owner with diverse tasks to delegate, and a demand for consistent, measurable, excellent results every time, on every task. Read more

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Filed under How to Find and Hire a VA by JS.
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