Marketing Activities You Need to Schedule

Marketing Activities You Need to Schedule

Scheduling your marketing activities is key to ensuring you are consistently and successfully getting the word out about you and your company and all the great services and products you have to share with people.

There are several formats that people use to schedule things – to- do lists, activity lists, calendar items, list of projects, sticky notes all over their desk, and so on. It doesn't really matter how you do it as long as it works for you.

There are going to be three general types of marketing activities that you'll want to put into your schedule:

Ongoing everyday marketing activities include those that you do regularly.

Some examples are:

1. writing your ezine

2. adding new auto-responders to your email series

3. writing blog posts

4. contributing to online forums and blogs

5. networking events

6. writing content for your monthly teleseminar

7. adding content to your website

8. writing articles for submission

9. checking your website analytics

10. communicating with your affiliates

11. sending out press releases

12. networking on social media sites such as Facebook and Linked In

Specific one-time projects would be marketing tactics that occur as a special or one-time opportunity. For example:

1. a workshop you're putting on

2. creating a new product

3. setting up a referral program

4. a joint venture with another company

5. flushing out the specifics of a new service you're going to offer

6. a speaker series you've been invited to share at

7. setting up your affiliate program

8. running a special promotion

9. writing a book

10. a new website

11. setting up a blog

Time set aside for idea generation is important. You need to schedule this in just like any other marketing activity. Things you'll "think" about during this time can include:

1. researching possible joint venture partners

2. thinking about ideas for a new product, service or book

3. taking a look at some colleagues websites and blogs to see what they are up to

4. daydreaming about the direction you'd like your company to go

5. brainstorming about your professional and personal goals

Write down a list of all the different marketing activities you currently do and start scheduling them into your calendar and to-do lists. Make sure you look at your schedule first thing in the morning and different times throughout the day to make sure that you're staying on course.

Commit to your marketing by having a schedule and you'll see your business grow and attract new and old clients on a consistent basis.

How to Make Time for Marketing

To start getting business and success, you must make time for marketing. Most small business owners and solopreneurs know this…let's face it, they've heard it over and over again.

Virtual assistants are no different. We are often so busy doing client work that we run out of time to do our own marketing.

People insist that they don't have enough time to do everything, and certainly not to do marketing!

I know that it's tough – believe me it's the same for me sometimes. But I have seen the results when I do make time to market and so that keeps me finding time, even when it seems impossible.

I have also seen the results that other successful business owners get…and it's because they make marketing their #1 priority.

If you've made marketing a low priority, here are some things for you to do TODAY to start to change that:

• go to your calendar, make a 30 minute block every second day, for the next month and label it: Do Marketing!

• turn off your email/phone/social media and work uninterrupted for 20 minutes on making simple connections on social media, or on follow up
from an event you have recently attended.

• make a list of your time-wasters during the day (internet surfing, computer games, yakking with friends, surfing Facebook) and the next time you
start to do one of these activities, stop and do a marketing task instead: call a client, jot down 5 ideas for new articles, write a blog post, research a
guest for your next teleseminar, write a special email to your list, etc.

• take a look at all the ezines you get and ruthlessly start unsubscribing – keep only the ones you actually open, read and take action on.

Marketing is an ongoing process for you for the lifetime of your business. The sooner you start cultivating consistent marketing habits, the sooner you'll start reaping the rewards you want.

Try taking these small steps...they may seem big, but they are doable. With consistent effort you will see consistent results – attracting more clients and prospects than you think!

You will also feel really good about your ability to market effectively and this increased confidence will show throughout all areas of your business and personal life.

So what are you waiting for?! Get going on those steps….

How to Know If Being A VA Is Right for You

If you’re considering starting your own business then being a VA is a good choice. It’s a service that is in demand. And the demand seems to be growing. More and more people are realizing the value of outsourcing their administrative needs. It’s a career choice that promises variety, daily challenges and the freedom of being your own boss. However, it’s not the right choice for everyone.

Here are a few questions to help you determine if being a VA is right for you.

Are You Good at Managing Your Time?

As a virtual assistant you’re going to have to balance a lot of tasks. You’ll balance client work. You’ll balance managing your business. You’ll also want to market and grow your business. And of course the day to day responsibilities like laundry don’t go away either. There will be a lot of demands on your time, energy, and attention.

If you’re good at managing your time, then great. If you can focus and be productive you have what it takes to be a VA. If time management isn’t your strength, there’s still hope. Start adopting habits right now to better manage your time. Learn to schedule and prioritize. Learn how to focus and be productive.

Are You Motivated and Enthusiastic?

Being a VA takes a lot of positive energy. You’ll want to be able to get up every morning and be able to focus on your business. Of course there will be low energy days. Everyone has them. However, in order to succeed as a VA, you’ll want to be brimming with energy and enthusiasm to start, grow, and manage your business.

Are You Organized?

In addition to organizing your own business needs, tasks and information you’ll need to organize your client’s. That’s part of your job. Your clients need your help getting and keeping them organized. And the more organized you are, the more productive you’ll be. Not organized? Start creating systems right now. You can still be successful. However, you’ll have to pay careful attention to your systems and practices. Make yourself be organized.

Are You Social?

Okay, so you don’t have to be a social butterfly to succeed as a VA. However, you will want to be easy to communicate with. Clients and prospects will communicate with you via email and the telephone. Make sure you’re comfortable talking with strangers. Also, the more social you are, the more clients you’re likely to meet online and off. It’s easier to build your business when you’re delighted to talk about it with others.

If you don’t have all of these skills or personality traits, it’s okay. Most of them can be learned. You can even learn to be motivated and enthusiastic. If you want to start a VA business that desire is the first step. The rest will fall into place. To your success!

Three Challenges of Being A VA and How to Avoid Them

There’s little that compares with being your own boss. As a VA you have a lot of freedom. You choose your working hours. You choose your clients. You even set your fees and grow your business as you see fit. However, this freedom also means challenges. Owning your own VA business can be tricky. Let’s explore some common challenges of being a VA and how you can avoid them.

#1 Time Management

One of the great things about being a VA is that you get to set your own working hours. However, if you’re not good at managing your time, you could end up working around the clock. In addition to your client projects, you have a business to run. That means tasks like invoicing and email are on your daily to do list. Couple that with the normal responsibilities of life and you have a very full schedule. It’s then easy to see why some VAs never seem to sleep.

However, with a good time management system, everything gets done. You get to sleep. It’s about scheduling your day. It’s about prioritizing. And you must make the most of your work time. Be productive! Eliminate distractions.

#2 Clients

Without clients you don’t have a business. Yet there will definitely be clients you wish you didn’t have. It’s okay. You don’t have to like, get along with or work with everyone. If you find that you’ve gained a client you just don’t want to work with there’s a solution. Honor your commitment and then refer them to someone else.

When setting up your business you can avoid problematic clients by taking a few steps. The first is to identify the type of clients you do want to work with. Create an “ideal” client. Write down all of the characteristics they have. What makes them ideal? When you’re searching for new clients, keep that “ideal” client in your mind.

Also make sure your systems support a good client relationship. Make sure you have established policies and procedures. Make sure communication is easy and straight forward. This will help ensure your client relationships are positive ones.

#3 Cash flow

As a service provider you only make money when you have client projects to work on. This can make cash flow a real challenge. No cash flow and you may have to take on a part time job or borrow. That’s not the goal here. The goal is to have a successful VA business. There are a few strategies to help.

First, create a savings account that can support you during the slow times. There will be slow times. Even very successful businesses have them. When you have savings to turn to, the slow times can be stress free.

Create systems that support consistent cash flow. For example, consider finding regular, longer term clients instead of project work. program. Have your clients pay in advance each month and be sure to always be marketing to bring in new clients when needed.

Finally, look for supplemental income. Become an affiliate for a product or service that your audience might be interested in. Sell advertising space on your website. Create an information product and sell it. Partner with another business owner and earn referral income. When you have multiple streams of passive income coming into your business, cash flow management becomes much easier.

There are challenges to being a VA. However, the rewards can offset them. With a plan in place, you can overcome these challenges with ease. To your success!

Easy Tips for Managing Your Business Hours

Time ManagementTime management is one of the biggest challenges modern workers face.  New technologies have given us more freedom to have flexible schedules and many more opportunities to slack off.  Here are a few tips you can use to get yourself on track to being more productive.

Write a to do list and keep it in a prominent place.  It is also a good idea to prioritize your list and do it in (or close to) that order so you know the most important things are getting done.  Or, if you know when you’re most productive during the day, do the #1 item during that time.  

Once you’re done making your list and putting it in order, cross off everything below #5.  If something is #8 on your list, it’s probably not going to get done that day.  And if it’s not important enough to be high on the list, you probably don’t need to do it that day.  It will probably just sit there, looming on your to do list, making you feel unaccomplished.  Besides, if you get everything done on your list, you can always make a new one later in the day.  

Take care of your most difficult task first.  Often we spend a lot of our day coming up with ways to avoid tasks we don’t want to do.  We may do this by getting other tasks done, or we may just play solitaire on the computer instead.  If you get your worst task done first, you’ll not only get to your other tasks rather than avoiding them, but you’ll also have a sense of accomplishment to help motivate you through the rest of your day.

It’s always been accepted that you should keep your mind on your work and not let other things distract you or you won’t get any work done.  However, recent research has shown that this isn’t true.  In fact, it’s the opposite of the truth.  

Taking short breaks by doing something you really like doing actually increases your productivity when you get back to work.  The problem with this is that many people have problems getting back to work at the end of their break.  If you do take short breaks, you should set a specific time limit and stick to it.  You should also pick your activities carefully and stay away from those you know you won’t be able to stop doing once break time is done.  

While it’s good to take breaks, you need to work to make working time only working time.  This means clearing your desk (and computer desktop) of distracting things.  If multitasking helps you get stuff done, then go ahead and work on several projects at a time, but don’t multitask between a project and an internet conversation or reading a funny website.  Keep your fun time away from your work time.  Otherwise you’ll find you have very little actual work time.  

If you are multitasking different projects, watch what things you do together.  While working on a supply list and a budget at the same time might be useful, constantly interrupting your work to answer the phone or respond to emails is only going to slow you down.  Save things like phone calls, emails, and checking on projects with co-workers for a few times a day.  This way you can get your work don’t without interrupting your flow.  

By just making a few small adjustments, you can drastically increase your productivity.