Nothing requires more reading that virtual assistants. Being the go-to people for a gamut of tasks and requirements by clients in several industries, it pays very well for virtual assistants to be well-read. Reading itself opens the person’s mind to several types of information and turns it into a sponge. Being well-skilled and well-read makes for a person who is strategic and creative, both skills that virtual assistants can make use of as they tackle client requests moving forward.

But one of the main problems of being a virtual assistant is time. Being self-employed, work comes before self-improvement activities such as reading or even exercise. What’s the best way to resolve this? Here are some quick tips:

1. Have an entrepreneur’s mindset.

Company owners know what their biggest asset is and it’s definitely not their money, their company, or their connections – it’s them. They understand that their asset’s value is closely related to their value as a person, which includes their mind and body. There is a reason why CEO’s such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is known for his well-written and long memos, which is read by his team before any meeting begins and star investor Warren Buffet is well-sought for his reading lists. Reading in itself makes people think better and when they do, they do better.

Instead of thinking how busy they are, making time for what matters such as reading can exponentially improve the business of a virtual assistant.

2. Read everything.

Most people think that reading only involves thick books. On the contrary, reading can happen in the most simple of ways and can start with just opening a newspaper. Opening one daily can be a great start until the habit is solidified.

Love for reading can be espoused by following one’s interests. Do they love cooking? Are comics engaging for them? It doesn’t have to Leo Tolstoy or an Economics book right off the bat. Doing so also makes the whole activity more sustainable as it comes from a place that is driven by one’s passions. Forget the bestseller lists and what’s popular! Read what makes your heart sing.

In fact, it also can be not just about books. Reading materials such as magazines also count and can add to one’s knowledge.

3. Read depending on the industry you are in.

Once the habit has been formed, move on to reading books that were written on the industry one is in. Business books can be quite expensive so starting off with borrowing from libraries or downloading electronic books can be a better option.

In terms of recommendations as to which titles to get, why not get it from the person who knows it well – your clients. They have the most experience in the industry plus knowing that the person they hired is willing to study more deeply into their business is a big boost to your reputation and standing.

So start cracking a reading material, and see where life as a virtual assistant who is well-read takes you!

Let’s face it: there are a lot of virtual assistants today. Due to cheaper laptops and PCs as well as more reliable web connection right at the comfort of one’s home, setting up practice for virtual assistants is very easy. But still, not all can maintain their practice and there is more to having a slew of clients to keep one’s business sustainable.

This is where the benefit of having a strong personal brand as a virtual assistant comes in. Having one makes the person not just a producer but also an expert in the job – one that ensures clients will always choose them over everyone else. Personal branding elevates the person into a different level of providing service to someone who is also a great strategic partner for several projects.

How does one even begin? Let us count the ways:

1. Find a niche.
For beginners, it’s understandable for a virtual assistant to accept every project that comes their way. However, creating a list of clients who pay well should also serve another end: finding one’s real passion. From this, the virtual assistant can find out which type of work they will be more than happy to extend their names to and do for a very long time. Passion fuels interest and this leads to one being willing to studying that field until he or she reaches the expert level.
Then once that is established, getting more projects in that line of work makes him or her attributable to that field. Finding a niche can also come from careful study of what is in demand; this ensures lasting demand for one’s services in the long run.

2. Start a blog and have social media presence.
Having a blog and writing about the topic further, beyond the needs of the client, establishes one as a go-to person. This also makes one’s name stand out on search engines as clients search for people to connect with to help them with their needs.
Having social media presence also makes the person more reachable. With a carefully curated posting schedule, social media can work wonders for one’s reputation. At a glance, client will know the kind of person they are dealing with.

3. Let them talk about you.
Good PR is talking about one’s self, great PR is other people saying good things about you. Just like that famous saying that what people say when you are not in the room matters, working on one’s PR always makes for a fantastic business. Testimonials from clients matter and sharing these on Facebook or Twitter are not in bad taste at all – it is simply about letting people know of the good you do.
Connecting with local media and the community is a good strategy as well in getting the word out when it comes to one’s practice.

4. Network.
Being a virtual assistant can be home-based but it does not have to 100 percent home bound. Attend conferences and network. Meet people in the same business. Effective networking makes one aware of the latest in the field. At the same time, it is the best time to know more about the competition.
The best of them, with the strongest personal brands, are always ready to tackle it head on.

Virtual assistants are on the rise. According to popular outsourcing platform Upwork (formerly known as oDesk), they have 3 million job postings per year amounting to $1 billion. It also has 9 million registered freelancers from all over the world. That’s 9 million competitors worldwide, and this figure doesn’t include yet the numbers from the other popular platforms like Elance or Freelancer.
With more businesses hiring virtual assistants, the industry is bound to grow in the years to come. So how do you make sure you get noticed in the midst of millions of virtual assistants who are probably offering the same services or even better skills than you do?

1. Have your own website.
Yes, that’s right. Have your own website. Most virtual assistants would have their profiles on their platforms, but only a few would think of setting up their own website with their own domain name. Go for paid web hosting. There is a tendency for people to not take you seriously when you don’t have your own domain name according to an article on Forbes. The website can showcase your portfolio and your services, too. You can also publish blogs, which can help you establish your credibility and expertise in your industry.

2. Create a winning LinkedIn profile.
Gone are the days where employers only ask for your resume. Oftentimes, they would check your LinkedIn profile instead. Your LinkedIn profile is not just your resume, it’s also your branding tool. Take full advantage of its features. Have a professional photo taken for your account. Maximize the headline space by not just writing your job title, but also a summary of what you are offering. Finally, the summary below must highlight your skills, goals, and accomplishments. When writing this area, keep in mind the keywords that your potential clients might use when looking for the kinds of services that you offer. Aim to have multiple endorsements from your past clients or associates.

3. Upgrade your skills.
Regardless of the industry, learning is an activity that shouldn’t stop if you want to stand out. Stay ahead of your competitors by keeping abreast of the latest trends in your industry and equipping yourself with skills that can make you more desirable as a virtual assistant. For example, if you are a graphic designer, you can upgrade your skills by learning how to use the latest software for designing or knowing how to do web programming, so your client doesn’t have to outsource this part of their business requirement to another freelancer. Ultimately, you are helping them save time and cost.

4. Treat your proposal as a business proposal.
When applying for a job, treat your cover letter as a business proposal. Don’t just say what you can offer. Understand what the company needs. They don’t always say this on their job requirements, but doing a little research like checking their website or asking the client for more information can help you determine needs that the company hasn’t even thought of yet. This also shows your resourcefulness and determination to win. Mention their needs and propose solutions that can help them solve their problems.
More than just hard work, the best virtual assistants who get noticed are smart and strategic. Take the time to plan for your career, work on it, and success will come naturally.

1. Take a vacation—the kind that matters.
It seems like a counterproductive advice for ambitious and wired 24/7 business professionals, but vacations are part and parcel of a life that’s balanced and yes—productive. If you have been cancelling that trip to Napa for wine tasting, take it now and make it two weeks. Being enriched through travel provides unlimited opportunities for more business ideas that you may have been missing because you have been so focused in your line of work. Also, travel makes way for more ideas that can be applied into operations or marketing.
Travel in itself is always a win-win situation—it brings back the professional in you more refreshed and more eager to take on more challenges.

2. Work on your personal brand.
Sure, your Facebook page is well updated with news on your business, but how about you? People are keen to know the people behind the brand they buy and even consider that in buying it in the first place.
Work on your LinkedIn profile and blog. Consider guest blogging and contribute to websites pertinent to your line of business. Also, change your profile pictures into something more professional and representative of who you are as a professional especially on your LinkedIn account. Thought leadership is the name of the game and you can now use the time to work on your influence.

3. Read up and get updated.
Reading is the most underrated bullet in the business arsenal. But as the industry giants such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and famous capitalist Warren Buffet make us known, reading is the secret to great leadership.

It does now always have to be a business book. Polish up on your fiction by picking titles that are into fantasy, suspense or even romance. Magazines are great too for quick reading. The thing with reading is that it makes you more of a logical and critical thinker in general, the top two things that many decision makers lack today. It helps as well in making you a better writer and communicator. Reading also updates a person quickly and with many titles going online, there is absolutely no excuse as to why you would not know the latest news.
Enjoying your free time? Use it wisely by relaxing, building your personal brand, and updating yourself with the latest developments in your industry.

workToday, many companies are working with virtual assistants as an integral part of their business operations. It’s like being in a full-fledged office, except that the office only exists on the internet. You can talk to your teammates and clients through chat and VOIP services. Virtual assistant jobs pay well with less hassle. So what virtual assistant jobs are in demand these days?

Search Engine Optimization Services
Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is the driving force of internet today. Businesses need SEO experts to get their websites to rank high on Google. If you have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively help a website rank well in search engines, you can apply as a virtual assistant for companies needing SEO help.
Some of the possible job descriptions to watch out for are:
• Submit articles to social bookmarking sits and web directories
• Search for high value keywords using online tools
• Write meta descriptions

Blogging for Company Websites
As companies embrace blogging as a way to motivate people to buy their products or use their services, bloggers and web content writers are also becoming in demand. If you have good writing skills, then this job is for you. What’s great about this job is that you don’t have to be in constant communication with your client. You just write the required articles and submit them to your client for approval. It may also be part of your job to actually post these articles to their blog site.
The job descriptions for bloggers or web content writer may include:
• Writing articles relevant to the company niche
• Proofreading your own work
• Researching for good topics

Marketing, Social Media, and Email Management
Social media is an important marketing, public relations as well as customer service tool for businesses, this is why almost every company now has its own Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and other social media pages. These companies are always looking for people to help them update and maintain their social media accounts.
If you are interested in social media and you know how to manage it and create strategies for it, then this type of job may be for you. Also, some clients may be too busy to take care of their own email, so they would hire someone to manage their email accounts for them.
Job descriptions for marketing, social media, and email management jobs may include:
• Posting for Facebook
• Composing Tweets
• Posting product photos and ads
• Responding to comments on social media pages
• Read and reply to emails

Online Research and Lead Generation
If you are good at researching online, then you would have a good chance of landing this job. Most CEOs do not have time for time-consuming research tasks. This is why many business owners hire virtual assistants for research-related jobs. You may be asked to search for a specific topic, look for ideas, or verify information.
Some possible job descriptions for these jobs are:
• Search leads for products
• Research ideas for product launch

Working from home is now becoming the new normal as more and more professionals are seeing the practicality and comfort of working as a virtual assistant. You don’t have to travel to an office, so you save money on fare or gas, and you save time too because you no longer have to commute or drive to work. More importantly, with a high level of commitment and competence, there is a great earning potential for virtual assistants who work hard to become the best at what they 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).

tg_logo_bigVideo Marketing is a very powerful marketing platform for increasing leads and sales. Video is the only medium that communicates emotion. Therefore, it gives you the ability to leverage on the enthusiasm of your customers and staff as no other form of marketing is better at capturing attention than video.

It also introduces your company or business in a very irresistibly entertaining and compelling way. While it takes many touch points before one can achieve a sale, video marketing works to reduce the hustle and bustle of marketing, increasing conversions and sales at much reduced costs.

Videos build very engaging and memorable connections to your business or company brand. Research shows that video messaging is several hundred times more engaging that plain text only. It is proposed that companies can offer both video and text for the targeted audience to decide which suits them best.

However, for High Return on Investment businesses, video is the preferable way to go. This is because people prefer to watch rather than read long prose. With video, you can turn your static text sales pages to engaging pieces of video content. Some decent video marketing software can easily catapult your business to the next level.

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Video 1Videos have taken content marketing by storm. The power of video making for small businesses is far greater than what any other medium holds. Marketing via video has increasingly become very popular since it is far reaching and has yielded very good results in many marketing campaigns.

Future statistics and expectations.

According statistics carried out by Cisco, Video will account for 69% of consumer internet traffic by 2017. This means that Video-on-demand traffic will have trebled by that time. This is a fine indicator of its rapid growth.

Online video is becoming a very popular means for people to quench their thirst for information and entertainment. Small businesses that may fail to include it as an important element in their internet marketing strategies will most probably be phased out of the market very soon.

Various studies have shown that more than half of the companies in operation today are already employing this medium. A figure that can only predict the endless possibilities this type of marketing holds.

Nielsen Media Research claims that 64% of all marketers are expecting video to dominate their strategies in the near future.

Human behavior when it comes to video.

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Google hangWhile you may have heard of Google+ Hangouts, you may not be exactly sure of just what they are and how they work. This article will give you a basic understanding of what a Hangout is and how you can use them in your personal life, or incorporate them into your business practices.

Quick Definition of a Google+ Hangout
The best way to describe a Hangout is that it is a video chat software which is linked directly with your Google+ account. When you participate in a Hangout you can invite up to nine other friends or associates to join in onyour chat. While in the chat mode you can share documents and even watch YouTube videos together.

Why Use a Hangout?
Now that you understand what a Hangout is, why would you want to use it? Well, first of all it is a fun way to chat with your friends and family online. You can all get together and have a wonderful chat, watch a family video or just catch up. This is perfect for anyone who is away from their family and much better than sending an email. You can talk face to face regardless of your location.

For a business owner running a Google+ Hangout is a great way to get up close and personal with your customers. You can hold your own weekly business show, run customer service or offer how to tutorials for your products. Many people prefer to watch a presentation than trying to read an instruction manual!

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Google PlusQuite often when people reflect on their search engine rankings they do not think of Google Plus. The truth is that these activities are not worlds apart.  If you are really attempting to increasing their website traffic and brand awareness, there are some definite Google Plus preparations you must complete in order to follow through your goals.

This article will examine the voyage that will lead to using Google Plus fruitfully and will serve as a guide to prepare you for the success it can being you in the rankings.  There are a handful of things one should prepare before trying to utilize Google Plus.  However before using Google Plus, you first should evaluate and make certain that utilizing it is right for you.

The following are some tips on to get you on your way:

1 – Beating your competitors in the rankings game.

Beating your competitors in the rankings game is one of the biggest advantages Google Plus can give you. Many companies are still not using this social media channel as a means to communicate with their audience.

2 – You should use Google Plus more than Facebook

One of the greatest advantages to using Google Plus over Facebook is speed. Google will immediately index all of your posts in Google Plus. Facebook posts and other social media posts can take up to 30 days for the full index to complete. 

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