10 Steps to Creating Content Your Potential Virtual Assistant Clients Will Love (Part Two)

10 Steps to Creating Content Your Potential Virtual Assistant Clients Will Love (Part Two)

Marketing content has to be all about your clients, and their needs. Virtual Assistants sometimes misunderstand marketing, and think they have to blog about their work and their VA business.

This article is the second part of a two-part series about creating content that your potential clients will love.

Last time we talked about how to choose what to write about, and coming up with a few actual article titles. Writing about things that your audience is interested in is the first part to getting their attention.

Check out Part One to get your first 16 content ideas pulled together. (That’s where points 1 to 4 are!)

Here we go with Part Two.

Once you have your article ideas, it’s time to plan your strategy.

5. Plan your content calendar.

Start with a simple Google calendar to plan out what you want to post, and where. Using your content matrix/spreadsheet, drop in each of your article titles into the calendar – once a week is great for blog posts or videos. You can rotate through your categories so that you are creating interesting content week after week.

I call my Google calendar an editorial calendar, but it reminds me not only of what I want to publish on each date, but then you can also plan time a few days or a week before to actually do the writing or recording so that you are ready on publishing day.

6. Use media you are comfortable with for your content.

In order to make sure you don’t procrastinate around producing content, choose media that you are comfortable with and actually enjoy.

If you don’t like to write, blog posts might be challenging for you to pump out (although I always say once you have the article titles in your content matrix, it is much easier to write a 400 or 500 word blog post). And blog posts can be repurposed into many other types of content.

If you prefer images or video, then use those. And definitely consider how your clients like to consume their advice and interesting content.

I didn’t like doing video, and it took me a long time to get started with it, but now I find it one of the easiest ways to create content quickly.

7. Focus on one or two platforms and do them well.

Another mistake VAs make is thinking they have to use every social media platform out there (plus a blog). But you can’t do everything well if you divide your attention, and you will also spend way too much time marketing. Focus on one, master it, and then add another. You’ll do a much better job of consistently posting valuable stuff for your audience without spending all of your time marketing.

8. Publish regularly and consistently.

Strive for interaction from your audience. Post content consistently and respond to people who interact with you. Be aware of algorithms. The more you post, the more people will see (once a day or once a week is often far too little).

9. Simple is best.

Don’t try to write 1,000 word articles, or record 1 hour long videos. Keep things as short and to the point as you can, to hold someone’s attention. If you have a topic that has many tips, consider breaking it into more than one blog post (like I did with this one!) or video. With my videos, I stick to 3 main points to hold the audience’s interest.

10. Showcase your personality.

Our clients hire a person to help them with their business. Your personality is a big part of that. You want to create content that is interesting, and shows your expertise, but don’t forget to leave YOU out of it. You will discover your ‘voice’ the more you do. Use that. It’s yours alone, and no one else can be you!

Creating content is easy once you get into the swing of things – and follow your calendar. Plan your content, write or record it, schedule it, and be consistent.

You will soon see what your audience reacts to, and get into a routine to put yourself out there in a way that feels natural, and yes … even fun!

If you need help marketing your VA business and finding clients, a CAVA Full Membership might be exactly what you are missing. CAVA is a professional association for Virtual Assistants in Canada. We provide community, visibility, resources, connections, training, client opportunities and so much more. Check out our full list of benefits here: https://canadianava.org/join-cava/

About the Author: Tracey D’Aviero is a Virtual Assistant Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Author. After operating a busy VA business of her own since 1996, Tracey began teaching others to run their VA businesses in 2010 through Your VA Mentor. In 2016 she purchased the CAVA and GAVA VA associations and now teaches and coaches VAs exclusively. She has a vast amount of experience working in many different industries which helps her to offer her students and coaching clients a unique perspective and sound advice. She is a proud advocate of the Virtual Assistant industry. Learn more about Tracey’s journey in the VA industry here.

10 Steps to Creating Content Virtual Assistant Clients Will Love (Part One)

Virtual Assistants often tell me that they have no idea what to put out in terms of content – often this means they just don’t post anything.

What do you talk about or write about when it comes to your VA business?

Are you talking about how great it is to be a VA? Or actually about being a VA?

That might be interesting to you, but it’s not what your audience wants to hear.

They don’t have any interest in the daily life of being a VA.

Clients want to know two things: They want to know how you can help them, and how much it will cost them.

That’s it!

Being a Virtual Assistant is very important for your business, but it is not important for your marketing.

Marketing content has to be all about your clients, and their needs.

How you got started and what your day looks like does not belong in your marketing.

With your marketing content, you are trying to do two things:
• Educate your audience about your ability to help them with THEIR business
• Move them into action to work with you

Your clients (and their businesses) are the most important piece of your content strategy.

I’m going to cover 10 steps to creating marketing content that your (potential) clients will love. We’ll do this in two parts. Here are the first 4 steps for you:

1. Select Content Categories

Determine what your audience wants to learn about. Choose some categories to create content around. Four categories to start is perfect. For example if you offer Bookkeeping services, your categories might be: Organizing expenses, Timing/dates, Taxes, and Tips and resources (all VAs should have a Tips and resources category!). Be decisive so you can move to the next step. You can always expand this later, don’t worry about leaving things out.

2. Determine Article Ideas/Angles

Next, choose four ideas (or angles) that you can provide education or information about. This will help you focus very specifically on what your content will be about. Angles are things like strategy, mindset, numbers, habits, support, tips, resources, and so on. Choose four of these, again keeping in mind that you can add more later. The idea is to get moving forward, so four is a good start.

3. Create Your Content Matrix.

Next you come up with an article title for each combination of Category + Angle. It helps to put your ideas together into what I call a Content Matrix, a simple spreadsheet with the categories listed across the top columns and the ideas along the left hand side rows. This leaves you with 16 cells in your spreadsheet to do the next step.

4. Come Up With Article Titles

Your article title will come from combining the category and the angle. So in the corresponding spreadsheet cell, you put your article title. So for our example above, find the box that connects Organizing Expenses + Strategy = and put in an article title like “Tracking Expenses Monthly Helps You Better Manage Your Cashflow”. Get as specific as you can. This is an actual blog post title/topic or video topic. Fill in the rest of the other 15 spots by matching up the category and the angle.

When you plan for 4 categories, and 4 ideas for each, you will have 16 main content ideas. If you are only creating one main piece of content a week (like a video or a blog post that you can repurpose into smaller pieces of content), you will have enough content ideas for 4 months!

See how easy content production is when you plan ahead?

Everything is decided way ahead of when you need it.

And when you know what you will be writing about, you can search for things like statistics or quotes or look for image ideas that you can model for your own content, that all support your categories and ideas.

Your writing will be better because:

a) You have planned ahead which helps your writing appear more polished,

b) You will be consistently creating content that is very relevant to your clients,

c) You will be able to research or gather enhancements for your content that will help make you look even smarter!

Creating content is easy once you get into the swing of things. Develop a good strategy and use a system to brainstorm ideas, and then just do it!

In Part Two of this post, we’ll talk about where to publish your content and what to be aware of when you do. Continue reading steps 5-10 here: "10 Steps to Creating Content Your Potential Virtual Assistant Clients Will Love (Part Two)"

If you need help creating your marketing content so you can get clients, join me for my free 5 Day Get Clients! Challenge for VAs. Over 5 days starting July 10th, I’ll teach you how to strategize your messaging, you will do a daily homework exercise to help you implement what you learn, and you’ll be on your way to getting new clients more easily than you ever have before! Register here: www.YourVAMentor.com/getclients

About the Author: Tracey D’Aviero is a Virtual Assistant Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Author. After operating a busy VA business of her own since 1996, Tracey began teaching others to run their VA businesses in 2010 through Your VA Mentor. In 2016 she purchased the CAVA and GAVA VA associations and now teaches and coaches VAs exclusively. She has a vast amount of experience working in many different industries which helps her to offer her students and coaching clients a unique perspective and sound advice. She is a proud advocate of the Virtual Assistant industry. Learn more about Tracey’s journey in the VA industry here.

Freshen Up Your Social Media Content with These Tips

Do you get stuck when it comes to social media content?

Many Virtual Assistants say they don't know what to post, and so they end up either wasting time, or posting nothing at all.

But social media is one of the best tools you can use to market your VA business.

I don't know about you, but when I come across someone that I might want to work with, I immediately check out their online presence, and that includes their social media profiles and content.

No matter what your service offerings are, I want to see that content in your social media posts.

If you are struggling with what to put out there, here are some tips to help you get unstuck, and getting your profiles to work for you.

1. Plan ahead

So many VAs try to just post spontaneously, and then they say they don't know what to post or write. Your social media is marketing - and you need to present a cohesive message to your audience that lets them know what you do and how you can help them. Without a plan, you will not be able to make sure that your message is consistent and clear.

2. Focus on 1-2 platforms

It is tempting to be everywhere and do everything, but the more you try to do (especially without a great plan), the more you will dilute your efforts - and your results will reflect that. Focus on 1 platform at a time, and really do it well. Facebook or LinkedIn are usually the two biggest places that VAs post. Clients are generally in one or the other, and you will have the time to interact with people better when you don't have to go 5 places. Master one platform, and then start to work with another.

3. Schedule and Be Spontaneous

Some people will tell you to never schedule any social media, but it helps to make sure you are consistent. Don't rely on scheduling everything, however. The idea behind social media is to be social. Schedule one post a day to Facebook, and make an effort to be present at least once a day to share and be social. When you aren't present, your content will reflect that.

4. Curate Great Content

Your social media channels don't have to be all about you. Find content that others are posting and share that with your audience as well. Of course make sure it is congruent with your own marketing message. But you don't have to reinvent the wheel with every post. If you see some great information that someone else has shared about a topic that your audience will be interested in, share it. They will appreciate it!

5. Check Your Messaging

Make sure your messaging is consistent with what you are talking to clients about on a regular basis. If your service offerings have changed, or if your target market has changed, make sure that your social media has changed too. It's important that your marketing message is consistent across your online channels. You sometimes don't know how a client finds you - so you want your message to be the same no matter where they are finding you.

6. Create Your Own Images

Sharing other people's images is easy - but it's not always the best idea (or even legal!). Creating your own images helps you to ensure that you have original content - and you can brand them to suit your business. It is a fact that posts with images garner much more interest that posts without them. Do yourself a favour and have some images made or make your own with a software like Canva.

7. Educate, Don't Sell

Many VAs get challenged by the ratio of content to sell their services versus those that don't sell. You will hear percentages like 20% or 25% sales posts. But what you really should be focusing on it educating your audience. When you do that, you are seeding your service offerings without providing a link for them to buy something. Focus your posts on providing information and your audience will get the message that you can help them.

Whether you are new to social media, or stuck in a rut of 'I don't know what to post', it's about strategy and congruency. 

Freshen up your social media by taking these two things into account. Sell less. Educate more. Make things look nice, and branded for your business. Share relevant content always. Schedule but be present.

To make sure your marketing message is congruent and working properly for you, check out this blog post:   Get The Most Out of Your Marketing Message

5 Ways a Solid Content Planning Strategy Helps You Get More Clients

Many Virtual Assistants do not realize the impact that content planning can have on their business.

There are a lot of mental barriers that come up for VAs when it comes to what to put out there, where to put it, and what it’s all for.

That can lead to a lot of time wasted thinking about all of these things.

And often, it means that Virtual Assistants put the wrong kind of content out for their audience to see.

Or worse, they don’t put anything out at all.

How many inspirational quote graphics do you post in your social media channels?

If they are not relevant to the services you offer your clients, they are not working for you in the way that they can be.

The bottom line is that we use content as a means to get clients.

If you don’t take the time to plan your content strategy, you can waste a lot of time and effort and see no results whatsoever.

Here are 5 way a solid content strategy helps you get more clients:

1 - Strategic planning saves you time.

If you have ever done any business planning, you know that the better prepared you are, the easier it is to execute your plan. We do this every day for our clients, but sometimes we forget to do it for ourselves. When you have a strategy, you know where you are going to focus your marketing – and that give you more time to spend interacting with potential clients. Tip: If you find yourself spending endless hours trying to put content together, take a half hour now to plan your content for the coming week. What you want to post, and where. You’ll see how much time you’ll save! (then do the next week, and the one after that!)

2 - Content goals become clearer.

What do you want your audience to do when they see your content online? Knowing your end goal is very important whether you are writing a blog article, recording a video, or creating graphics to post on social media. What do you want them to do? You want them to work with you, that’s for sure. While it’s nice to see email opens and blog comments, you really want them to take action. Tip: Instead of just writing any article for a blog post, plan what you want your people to do and work back from there. Your message will come through much more clearly, and they will know the next step.

3 - Measurable results help you improve what you put out there.

When you use content marketing as a means to build your business, you need to make sure that your business is, in fact, building. Using SEO properly in your content helps it get seen better, which is the point of content in the first place. When you build content using keywords and relevant hashtags, you are putting more eyes on it. Are you getting more signups to your list? Are you getting consultations? Are you having conversations with potential clients? If not, your content could use some work. Tip: Choose some keywords that will be the foundation for your marketing message. Don’t underestimate the power of Google and search functions. People want to find what they are looking for. When you choose your SEO pieces effectively, you will be seen.

4 - Consistent messaging positions your expertise.

Is your marketing message consistent through all of your marketing? If it’s not, your audience could be confused by your content, making it less effective. Planning helps you to figure out how to sprinkle your main marketing message throughout all of your marketing platforms so your message is the same everywhere. Tip: Use your content plan to select some broad topics and some categories, and develop your content around those.

5 - Reach your audience in a way that makes them respond.

Your audience doesn’t always like to consume their content in the same way. Some people prefer short posts, some like video or audio. If you make a plan of what you want to post, you can also plan to produce content in different formats that might be more appealing to some of your audience. Tip: Repurpose blog posts into social media graphics or videos. The more your potential clients hear about your expertise, the more effective it becomes.

Remember the whole idea behind sharing content is to get clients.

Marketing is all about putting your message in front of your potential clients so that you are top of mind when they need help.

Make your content work better for you by making a plan and developing your content around the plan.

You will make better use of your time, your audience gets a clearer message, and you can position yourself as the expert in your field.

Content Planning Masterclass for VAsWant to learn more about content planning?

If you want to learn more about content planning and see a demo of a really cool tool to help you manage yours, join us for this Content Planning Masterclass on Thursday May 17th at 1 pm Eastern.

Andy Lambert from Content Cal is my special guest for this training class.

Read more about the session and register here!