]The biggest misconception that people who work from home such as virtual assistants and freelance writers and designers have is that they do not need to work on their leadership abilities compared to their 9 to 5 warrior counterparts.

But they are the very ones who have the most opportunity to maximize their leadership due to 1) their lack of a superior, 2) lack of hours they need to strictly lock in, and 3) their ability to change their workloads as they wish.

Here are specific ways for virtual assistants to take the next step when it comes to leadership skills:

1. Read more books

Sharpening the ax never ends and reading is one of the best ways to do so. Every article on executives lists reading as their number one activity that helps them be a step ahead of the pack and be aligned with their purpose.

Business books such as those that are into customer service or even biographies can help them be inspired to take stock of their lives and provide better output to their clients. Magazines and trade-specific literature is also a great way to stay updated in the industry they are in.

2. Attend seminars on leadership and finance

Attending forums and talks are always a networking opportunity aside from the learnings that they can glean from the speakers. Being out with people in the same industry provides them with an idea as to their hours and pay. Think of it as benchmarking to ensure that they are at par with the rest of them.

Finance seminars are also important as it creates in them the idea that there is more to life than simply doing the work that pays weekly or monthly. Creating wealth is the name of the game of leaders and virtual assistants and they can tap into this power for themselves as well.

3. Outsource their work

Creating more leaders is the best way to be one. Virtual assistants, especially those who have been in the industry and have a cadre of clients, can create jobs for other people as well. They can hone others into becoming successful virtual assistants as themselves and they can also become thought leaders in the subject by coming up with blogs or webinars.

Doing so is a winner in all aspects: they get to provide job opportunities to other people and at the same time, increase their profile, making them the virtual assistant of choice – something a great leader is ought to do.

Business relationships are going virtual and the demand for virtual assistants is growing gradually day by day. Professionals and business owners are struggling to balance their career and personal life. This causes them to feel overwhelmed and constantly stressed out because their work pile has become a complete hassle. These everyday tasks really can be a pain when trying to find time for yourself. Scenarios such as this is what leads professionals and business owners to find a quick, inexpensive alternative to relieve them of the chaos they are experiencing.

Virtual Assistants Are Versatile
Virtual Assistants are definitely considered “on-call” for a reason. They will work around the clock, if needed, to keep their clients happy. (This includes weekends and holidays.) As independent contractors, virtual assistants take their work seriously and put their best effort forth at all times. Here’s a look at the many valuable skills VAs possess, manage on a daily basis:

1. Newsletter Maintenance
Keeping in contact with your loyal clients is vital to keep your business afloat, this we do understand. Newsletters are a great way to reach out to your clients weekly or daily. This is also a great way to grow your target marketing audience.

2. Social Media Marketing
Social media is a great way to promote your products or services to the public. It is definitely an inexpensive option if you are on a budget.

3. Website Design & Maintenance
Websites are necessary for a growing, successful business. Many consumers have gone virtual, so you are more likely to keep a steady flow of sales with a running website. Your Virtual Assistants offers domains for as low as $9! If you already have a website, it can still be maintained but sometimes changes are good for business.

4. Graphic & Video Design Creation
Visuals are VERY important in the rise of technology. Consumers frequently share graphics and videos through social media networks. This is a great way to reach new people. Graphics and videos are also used when building or reconstructing a website.

5. Shopping Cart Maintenance
When selling through your website, you will need to set up a shopping cart like Shopify, WooCommerce, InfusionSoft, etc. Shopping carts can be a hassle to set up if you are not sure of what you are doing.

6. SEO
Complete optimization of your website means you will generate more traffic and gain more exposure.

This is just a brief summary of what a virtual assistant can do for you and your business. (To view a complete list of services provided by Your Virtual Assistants — click here.)

Virtual Assistants Can Also Save You Money
Believe it or not, hiring a virtual assistant can save yourself a good chunk of change by reducing labor and hiring costs.

1. Virtual Assistants are independent contractors and pay their own taxes.
2. You will not be required to provide worker’s compensation or employee benefits.
3. Virtual Assistants will only charge for their time spent on tasks that are assigned.
4. Office space & equipment does not have to be furnished because VAs already come equipped.
5. Training costs are pretty much thrown out the window once you hire the right VA. Many of them already have experience needed. Just be prepared to send thorough instructions and have plenty of work ready.

If you are ready for more personal time without worrying about your business declining, it may be time to consider a reliable VA to handle all your dirty work while you focus on more important things (like golfing).

thWhile the rest of the world have developed many barriers and protections to keep their e-mail accounts spam-free, there are also those that subscribe to mails that promotes their products, services and their site. This is mainly because these subscribers want to know more about what the sites are offering and how it can be beneficial for them. They expect to be kept posted on what they are interested in and what are new in the market or field they have chosen.

Businesses would be so lucky to have these kinds of customers; the basic element needed to get these type of people is trust. When your customers trust you they will reward you with their loyalty. Many internet users have gone to great lengths in protecting their email accounts from spam mail. Some free-mail internet providers and internet service providers offer spam protection while there are also some internet based companies that screen your mails for you.

With an opt-in mail list, the mails you send containing your promotional materials such as newsletters, catalogs and marketing media will go through. Your intended recipient will be able to read and view what you have sent making it a successful transfer of information. To be able to be allowed to do so, you will need permission from your recipient, to get this permission; you need to be able to get their trust. With the great lack of disregard for privacy on the internet, getting the trust of an internet user you don’t personally know is a big achievement.

To build a good opt-in list you need people to trust you, for a faster and quicker build up, you need to get your opt-in subscribers to trust you quickly. The faster you build your opt-in list the faster word about your site and company gets to be spread. The bigger the scope of your opt-in list the more traffic you get spelling more profits. Its easy math if you think about it. Getting the numbers is not that simple though, or maybe it is?

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social-network_110002839-012814-intThe last couple of days have been beautiful, the weather near perfect and some of us are suffering from spring fever while others are simply struggling with the pollen levels. This time of the year reminds me that summer is coming and things are about to slow down – in networking. I would like to take just a moment and discuss this trend and what I believe may be the cause of it.

Let’s begin in the fall. At this time of the year we are working feverishly trying to procure new business because we realize that around the holidays things will slow down. As December draws near, some of us become preoccupied with things like parties and shopping and our attention turns from building our business. Others find it increasingly difficult to make contact as people begin long vacations.

Then the holidays pass. We put our marketing and networking efforts into high gear, going to several meetings a week, trying to get things cranked up again. The result is increased business and increased profits. Have you ever noticed that in the early part of February that things begin to pick up almost at a maddening pace? When this occurs, unless we are prepared for growth, we start to back off on our promotions as we scramble to complete the work that has been generated by our marketing efforts.

In effect, we stop networking. We lose contact with those we have been making and asking for referrals, and they begin to feel as if we are not interested in them any longer. When this happens, they may look for someone else to refer when that target prospect comes along.

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Hire-a-Online-Business-ManagerWhether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, feel like you have the gift of gab or just don’t know how to make small talk, networking know-how is very important for your business success. There is a notion in business that I believe most of us subscribe to that says “all things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those they know, like and trust.” And the key to this is obviously being able to develop relationships.

Think of networking as the cultivation of mutually beneficial, win-win relationships. In order to be win-win, there must be GIVE and take (notice the emphasis on give). Networking shouldn’t be viewed as “events” where you go to sell your business. When effective networking is taking place, the parties involved actively share ideas, information, resources, etc.

Ok, so you know that you should be networking because it is one of the most cost-effective lead generation activities when used wisely, appropriately and professionally. But, maybe that seems easier said than done. Here’s a seven step plan to really get going with networking for your business.

1. Check out several groups to find the best chemistry and perceived value. Most groups will allow you to come and visit at least a couple of times before you have to join. Go and ask around to find out why others have joined and what value they get out of belonging.

Resist the urge to just go join the Chamber of Commerce simply because everyone tells you that’s what you need to do. If that’s not where your target group can be found, then you might just be wasting a considerable amount of time (and money).

I’m not telling you not to join the Chamber. Just be clear about what you’d like to get out of this or any other group. If it’s to find prospective clients or referral sources, then you need to be networking where those resources can be found.

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