At any given time I could have 10-15 games going at once. Interestingly, I’ve only met about half the people I play in person. The other half I know from social media. People see I play, and start a game with me. If I recognize the name of the person from my circles of online connections, I accept and it’s game on.
One of those connections is the lovely and strategic WWF player (that’s my abbreviation for “Words With Friends”), Tracey Thorpe Tarrant.
Tracey is a fantastic person. From her Facebook feed, you quickly learn she is beyond your run-of-the-mill animal-lover. She’s such a devoted rescuer of pets from high-kill shelters, she actually formed her own rescue organization, Claws and Paws Animal Rescue, of which she is the CEO. She saves many animals from too-soon deaths and too-sad lives in the Georgia county where she lives.
Yesterday, my friend, Shannon Cherry was commenting on Facebook about how her search for a new Virtual Assistant was yielding some less-than-ideal results, at least with one applicant.
As you can see, that led to a whopping 37+ comments about virtual assistants. A few of those comments were from some who could do the kind of work Shannon needs. And one of those people was my friend Tracey Thorpe Tarrant, the “dog rescue lady!” – and apparently Virtual Assistant and Online Business Manager. Who knew? Not me. And I am her market.
I told her I had no idea that she did customer service work for businesses like Shannon’s and mine. All this time I figured she was living off the dog rescue business (if that’s even possible).
She quickly commented that she should maybe, once in a while, post about her business. I agree!
Then I asked her if it’d be OK for me to write a blog post about this simple mistake so many people make when networking online (or using one of the many games apps to do so as well).
It’s interesting because I see mistakes at both ends of this spectrum. Some people don’t post enough (or at all) anything work-related but others post way too much, and only work-related things – never anything personal.
The trick to social media, and any networking online or offline, is to communicate the whole of who you are as a person. This whole person communication is one of the most beautiful parts of social media, as far as I’m concerned. Because we are in charge of sharing what we choose about our lives, we get to easily build relationships around a number of things we have in common with others, bit business and pleasure.
Knowing what to talk about and what to leave out can be a challenge. But think of social media as a platform where people want to get to know you a bit. The WHOLE you – business as well as personal.
There is a similar mistake I see a lot of entrepreneurs and experts making; not necessarily leaving out or not talking about what they do for a living, but that they also do (or want to do) speaking for their ideal audiences. If people don’t know that you offer a particular service like public speaking, how can they hire you for it? So many of my clients come to me asking for help, and that’s one of the places I always start. It’s likely they haven’t even mentioned in their bio or about page or anywhere that they do public speaking on their area of expertise.
Want to be sure you’re not making any more common communication mistakes? Pick up my free report Costly Communication Blunders today.
In the meantime, I’d love to know what kinds of things you like to talk about on social media? Please share in the comments below.
I am embarrassed.
When I started my business and learned about the concept of blogging, I used to blog every single day of the week. Of course back then, I didn’t have any clients — well I had one. A pro bono client. And that was about the size of it.
Fast forward almost 4 years and my blogging habits have, well, um, become spotty at best. And as I look at the last date I actually posted here… my face turns a bright shade of red.
Unfortunately that’s “leaked” into other areas of my business as well. Although my income from my part-time home business is going amazingly well (like making more than I ever did while working full time plus in an office or college classroom), my systems and processes are all over the place.
Just like with this blog. In all honest transparency, for many things I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants. Sure, I have deadlines I create for myself that I *mostly* meet. And I have a few things that are working amazingly well. But I think a lot of work-at-home people can relate — there’s a lot of reacting going on.
Oops an email just came in. Let me respond to that.
There’s a direct message on Twitter from someone who wants to chat. Better find time.
Just got a phone call about a speaking engagement. I need to get them what they need right this second.
And so on.
What happens is that without any real systems and processes in place, some important tasks, as well as those “that’d be nice to do someday” things tend to fall by the wayside. Not because I don’t want to do them. Or not because I’m not getting other things done. It’s just I haven’t had a solid system for everything that has to happen.
Lucky for me I have My Fabulous VA, Rebekah Jones. (Whew– breathing a big sigh of relief!)
Rebekah is an amazing virtual assistant — someone who handles lots of my “should be systematized” tasks. She makes running my business easy and fun.
Since the beginning of my business I’ve always worked with a VA (used to be My Lisa was my go-to woman for just about everything until she decided to get out of the VA biz onto bigger exciting things for herself!). Whether I had the income or not. Why? Because I *knew* that having a fabulous VA would be necessary to get me to the place I wanted to be in my business. And I was right! Working with my VAs has allowed me to do what I am best at, which has allowed me to bring in plenty of income to pay them and myself.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, “How do you work with a VA?” And importantly, “How do you work it so you are extra profitable with a VA?” Well, I talked my own VA, Rebekah, into teaching a class with me tomorrow night to tell you.
We’re both excited because this class is specifically designed for coaches, consultants, speakers, and other heart-centered service-based entrepreneurs. And it’s also for other VAs who want to know the magic formula to find your most fabulous clients.
As for me, much to Rebekah’s relief, this year I am developing systems, process and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for my business. I’ve made it my theme for the year. That means writing down schedules for everything and sticking to them. Like when I’ll be blogging.
SO now, I invite you to do a couple of things:
1. Visit http://WinningBusinessRelationships.com now to see the invitation video we created for you.
2. Comment below about what areas you need better systems in and what systems you have in place that are working for you. (I need all the help & suggestions I can get!)
As I write this I am in the process of multiple projects.
Now I know, you may be thinking, “But Felicia, I heard you’re supposed to focus on 1 thing at a time to be the most successful?”
That advice is only partially correct.
You see, just because I have several major projects happening at once doesn’t mean my focus is split. In fact, I’m able to focus even more clearly on on task at a time, allowing me to get the projects done. How? Read on.
I know as a small business owner or micro business if it’s just you, there are A LOT of tasks to keep up with. So how do you stay productive and focused with so much on your plate at one time? And how in the world can you get it all done?
With a little help.
Right now as I write this, my ezine is being prepared to go out this morning and I’m in the process of a major re-launch of a program I created from scratch. Yet, I’m writing this blog post confidently knowing the other work is getting done. Because I have help from 2 fabulous Virtual Assistants, Lisa Wells and Rebekah Zobel Jones. Both are members of an organization called International Virtual Assistants Association, a group of dedicated administrative professionals whose sole task in their business is to help you with yours.
Pretty cool, right?
You can have the same secret weapon I do — and find your own highly qualified VA to help you with your specific needs by simply going to www.IVAA.org and completing a Request for Proposal (RFP). Likely within minutes you’ll have emails from VAs ready and able to do the tasks you need them to do.
Here are some of the tasks I have my VAs do for me, either regularly or as special projects both now and in the past:
- format & send my bi-weekly ezine Creating Connections
- manage my calendar and appointments
- send email reminders of appointments and events to my clients and group coaching members
- upload new files to my website
- format & upload sales pages to my website
- manage my shopping carts
- manage my affiliate programs
- deal with website tech issues such as hosting and URL management
- respond to email inquiries for affiliate promotion requests, appointment requests, etc.
- send me regular reports and updates on my various projects and provide me with a to-do list based on those projects
- handle customer service and technical issues
- maintain my website to keep it current
- manage my books
- handle all my travel details & create itineraries for when I travel
- format and create pdf files for various teleseminars
- format & create order forms for speaking events
- create and revise powerpoint presentations
- I could go on & on!
What that all means is in the middle of a super busy week I can take the time to write on my blog, Tweet, talk to clients, or any other number of tasks I’d rather be doing. Talk about a win-win situation!
IVAA.org is THE place to find someone to help you. Oh– and my budget for my VAs? One works 5 hours per month and the other is 10 hours per month. As you can see, because they are experts in what they do, it doesn’t take them long to do what needs to get done.
So now you know… my “secret weapon” isn’t a secret at all. It’s getting help from experts who can get the job done!
A colleague of mine, Tracey Lawton, Online Business Manager & Virtual Assistant is offering a FREE teleseminar tomorrow night, Thursday, November 8. She’ll answer all your questions about shopping carts so you can sell your products right from your own website and as they say, “Make money while you sleep!”
Tracey offers useful information to help you get started. Sign up now for FREE! http://www.traceylawton.com/teleclass1.htm
On a personal note, Tracey’s originally from the UK and now lives in Findlay, Ohio. For my American friends, Tracey is so much fun to listen to– her voice and accent are truly lovely! She’s not only smart, but she’s kind. You’ll really like her. So get into her class right away.
My VA (that’s virtual assistant) told me today that I should have a class in how I prepare my classes and products so quickly. So I thought I’d write a little something and see what bubbles up as I type!
Let’s see- if I was to tell you the steps I take it would look something like this:
1. Decide what product to create. Will I have a multi-session telecourse? A written product? A one-time teleseminar? I personally have had a lot of luck with multi-session telecourses, so I gravitate toward those first. The next steps here are my process for creating my telecourses.
2. Decide on the topic. My audience is specific. I deal with small and home-based business owners and sales professionals. They have specific wants and needs as a group. And they often tell me what they need. So I listen for that and respond to their needs.
3. Buy a URL. I like having a separate URL for each of my products. I figure out a name for the product while searching for a URL. The page serves well as a stand-alone site.
4. Write the sales page. Yes, I write my sales page before my content. Why? Because I use my sales page as a guide and outline for what I want to include in the program. As I write the sales page, I’m also constructing the program in my mind. I have my resources about that topic open on my computer and surrounding me on my desk, the floor, and where ever there is free space. I also have my favorite sales page books, ebooks, and notes open, too. Because writing is a process, I usually sit down and crank out the whole first draft at one time. Then I go back over the next day or so and revise, tweak, add things as I think of them, etc.
5. I send my completed sales page as a Word document to my VA to upload to my new URL. You’d have to ask her what she does from the technical side. I don’t know and don’t really want to know. It works , it’s cost-effective, and that’s what matters.
6. After the sales page is ready and we know the links to PayPal work, then I send the link for the sales page to my subscribers.
7. People sign up!
8. Then and ONLY then– I write the full content. Let’s say I made a mistake and somehow misunderstood the needs of my clients. I’ll find out in a hurry. By now my list is large enough that when I send an offer that is priced right and promises to deliver something my readers want, they will buy it. After I have people who have committed to the program is when I prepare the full program. I base the sessions on what I promised in my sales page. As a result of having all my resources open when I wrote the sales page, I’ve already created the full program in my mind. All I have to do is go back to the sales page (and I sometimes write notes to myself in the file about page numbers or books or websites) and I’m all set.
9. I write NOTES, not a manuscript.
10. Market the class to places other than my own subscribers.
Very often I do not write brand new content for a program until a few days before the class session. Again, I have it ready in my mind, but let’s say I write session 1-4 and at the end of session 1 someone asks a question I didn’t anticipate. Maybe it’s a good enough question that I want to spend some time discussing in detail in the next session. If everything is meticulously planned out, there’d be no room for that type of spontaneous, client-driven content. And I think all programs should be client-driven to some extent. After all, these are the people paying me. I make sure I give them what they want as it relates to the topic at hand.
And that’s how you get to be successful. Give people what they tell you they want. I hope you’re inspired and ready to create your own class, now!