One of the many way coaches can increase their income is via membership sites. This can be very profitable and can used as your signature program or just as an add-on.

Here are a few items to consider before you create your next membership site.

  • Platform: There are many plug-ins that allow you to create a membership site. One of the most common one is Wishlist. This has been trusted for years by many coaches and is one of the first ones that was created. Another great plug in is WP e-Member. If you are already an Infusionsoft user, you may want to consider using their add-on iMember360.
  • Levels: Make sure you pre-plan how many membership levels you want as well as what each level will have access to. This will making the set up a lot quicker.
  • Free vs Paid: A good way to entice people to your membership site is to either offer a limited time discount. Another idea is to offer a few pages to “free” members. This will allow them to savor what you have to offer and want to upgrade.
  • Content type: It will be important to know what content you will be sharing. Are you allowing them to view the content or download the content? Are you adding videos or PDFs? If so, make sure that they are the right size and formats. Also consider if you want to “host” the items on your website server or if you are going to use outside hosting options (You Tube, AWS, Vimeo)
  • Payment: Next you need to decide on how you are going to accept payment for your membership if you are charging. Also you will need to decide if this will be an on-going monthly price or a X-time payment.
  • Timing: Another item you will need to consider is if you want all of the access available at one time or if you want to “drip” the content. Another variation is that it is you want to move the members from one page to another. This is common for “classroom” formats. Many will have the next class “open” once the member has completed all of the steps from the previous class.
  • Branding: Most coaches will have new colors, new logos and banners for their membership site. If you are thinking about this, make sure you ask your website designer what dimensions you need to give to your graphic designer
  • Domain: Here you have the option to make a sub-domain to your main domain. This is a free option and would look like (members.yourdomainname.com). You may also want to consider purchasing a separate domain for your membership site. If you plan on buying a domain, make sure you send all the log in info to your web designer.
  • Security: This will be important now days with all of the hackers. Make sure that you have one of the many free security plug in installed or consider purchasing our favorite- iThemes Security.
  • Expiration: Lastly, you will need to consider is whether or not the content or access to the site will have an expiration date. Many programs are 3, 6 or 12 month programs allowing people to log in only during these times. Others will create a lifetime site. If do a lifetime site, you need to also decide if you are going to continually add new stuff or will it be a one-time set up and members can access the material forever.

With the proper plan and guide, you can have a membership site up and running in a few hours. The key is to have all you need in advance before you send off to your web designer. Also we would suggest talking over all of the above with them beforehand and make sure that they are needing anything else before you begin to start your site.  If you are thinking about doing a membership site, we would love to assist you. Schedule your call today and let’s talk.

Online communications are truly the wave of the present. Gone are the days when people would send a letter via a courier. Today, if you want to speak with someone or inquire about something, all you have to do is go online and everything and everyone is yours for the taking. Because of this, a lot of jobs and opportunities have opened up, providing people the chance to work remotely or from across countries, giving rise to virtual assistants who are hired online to do work for clients from any part of the globe.

But despite the lack of face to face communications, there is still a need to maintain a professional demeanor. In fact, due to the lack of context with the help of facial expressions and voice inflections, there is a greater pressure for virtual assistants to be clearer to prevent being misunderstood in their communications whether it is via email or social media.

Read up on some quick tips for a winning online communication tactics for virtual assistants:

1. Place a subject.

When writing an email, always put a subject and make sure that it is pertinent to the items inside it. Emails are not something that people log on to or check via their desktop computers. Emails are a way of life and placing a subject is a way of showing courtesy to the recipient as it makes them aware of what they are about to read.

Furthermore, on a more technical point of view, subject-free emails are redirected to spam or to the junk mail more often than not. So don’t waste that well-written email by placing a concrete thought in the subject line.

2. Use the reply all button with caution.

Nothing puts one’s career in jeopardy than accidentally replying to all. As mentioned, emails are a major communications portal and can be very intrusive. Imagine being inundated by replies going back and forth on a business that you had nothing to do with. So double check the recipient area.

Also, when replying to the sender to confirm understanding, click reply instead. This makes sure that the message is sent only to one person and not to everybody in the email trail.

3. Send big files using big file sharing sites.

Save people’s precious bandwidth and data plans by sending big files such as editable Illustrator files or high resolution photos via a link where they can access these instead of placing them as downloadable attachments. First, they surely would not download it and second, your email will simply clog their whole inbox.

4. Do not be passive aggressive.

When it comes to social media, there is no such thing as a private status update. And if you are friends with a client, then you have basically signed up your account as a professional account, even if it’s personal. All your words can be twisted and misconstrued. To prevent this, stop with the passive aggressive language. If you have a problem for example with a person, settle it privately instead of posting irate messages that other people (read: your client) may think is directed at them.

Mind the language you use and see for yourself how it directly affects your career as a virtual assistant.

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!

Today, social media is prevalent. It’s the preferred communication among the younger set and studies have shown that a considerable amount of hours are spent on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during work hours. Most companies would respond by banning social media site access in offices as it is believed to take away from the productivity of workers. But this strategy simply boomerangs negatively, with employees instead opting to resign and move where rules are not as strict or resort to checking their sites on their own devices with data plans anyway.

In a nutshell, this is the best way for companies to deal with it: lose in the battle but win the war. Accept that social media is not entirely good or bad in itself, it is just a matter of having the right perspective and providing the right controls – the kind that respects the employee and at the same time, benefits the organization. Here are some ways to accomplish this in the long term:

1. Have a social media policy.

Most strict rules come from a place of fear. For companies, they are usually afraid of what the employee will share and the amount of hours they will spend online. First of all, owners should work with HR in accomplishing a holistic rule list when it comes to content. What’s deemed as confidential? What can help the marketing team? Be specific and if needed, list down the documents which can harm the company if shared. The last thing the company wants is to have an open ended memo which can be interpreted in many ways. Having so also protects the employees from other colleagues who may want to malign them online.

Instead of coming from a place of fear, come from a place of opportunity. Word the policies in such a way that they benefit the employee instead of seeming to stifle them. The goal is not to censor them but to ensure their safety and privacy as well.

2. Set smart limits.

The amount of bandwidth that is used for watching movies on YouTube for example can be detrimental for the company. So instead of banning the sites altogether, opt to have a social media hour for example so that these sites are not on round the clock. Rules such as not allowing downloading of movies or music are understandable. If the company security is compromised, invest in tablets which anyone can use for socials instead of individual PCs logging in.

This way, employees shift their mindset from something negative to positive. They are seen as the responsible adults that they are who plays a big role in maintaining the professional integrity of their workplace.

3. Provide the content.

When it comes to marketing, employees are the best brand ambassadors. It’s literally a gold mine usually untapped by most organizations. Since people are inclined to use social media, why not make them talk about the efforts of the company as well?

Nothing beats a company’s employee when it comes to announcing all its messages. And with the right guidance, it just might be the secret sauce to the company’s sustainable success, one post at a time.

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.

Richard Branson said it best when he boldly declared that time is the new money. For many years, management has declared that those who work long hours are deemed more productive. But today, it just isn’t so: time is the new standard with which people are judged and the more hours of it spent on working, the worst it is for a person’s well-being and reputation.

For entrepreneurs, even more so. As the captain of their respective ships, they should be the ones at the forefront of espousing work life balance and showing the right way by being out the door by 5pm. Of course, this is easier said than done. With responsibilities ranging from business development to marketing to operations, what is a consummate business owner to do?

Here are some ways to help you fight the workaholism plague and get back your hours:

1. Hire people correctly.
No aspect of a business is affected by the concept of opportunity cost than human resources. As a prized commodity, people in a business can derail or fast track its progress. For the business owner, hiring correctly makes the big difference from sleeping eight hours a day to literally being hospitalized every two months due to exhaustion. It is not just about choosing the right people, but more so, hiring the people and putting them in the right places in the company where they can be most productive and effective. Also, the number of people to hire counts a lot.
In the end, the bucket stops at the top and if the owner cannot hire right, he or she will end up doing all the tasks needed to keep the business going. The best way to mitigate this problem is by opting for outsourcing. This does not place a big strain on the company budget but at the same time, it quickly fills the spots needed. Hiring a virtual assistant allows business owners to focus on conceptualizing strategies and other tasks that require high level decision-making.

2. Stop multitasking and know one’s strengths.
For one, it is not effective, and two, studies have shown that multitasking can successfully do just one thing: shrink one’s brain.
Instead, set a timeline for each task and delegate. This frees up the hands of the entrepreneur to focus on the things they do best. As much as control is the name of the game, it does not do anyone any good.

3. Rest.
It’s easy for people to run on adrenaline, but what good does it make a person? Exhaustion simply leads to bad decisions, which then lead to more wasted time rectifying mistakes whether big or small.
Instead, rest. Sleep the right amount of hours and wake up refreshed and ready to go. Have time for leisure and other pursuits as these will help fuel creativity. The time it took to take a nap or to go for a quick swim may save you from signing a wrong contract.

4. Know what matters and tackle them during peak performance hours.
As Robin Sharma, a leading motivational speaker and consultant for many CEO’s, says: what gets written down gets done. A list that’s filled to the brim is not a good list. Priorities are few or else, they’re not really what it’s supposed to be.

The best way to solve problems is by first knowing what time one is at the most optimum level of productivity. Then, begin with the hardest tasks. Eat thy frogs first and the rest shall be peanuts—with a few minutes to spare after.

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.

Starting a business is one of the best and worst decisions a person can come up with. As much as being your own boss brings with it a level of freedom and independence, entrepreneurs are also the most stressed and harassed, having to deal with the needs of the business almost 24/7 without rest. While you can see business owners spend their weekdays doing activities they love other than business, it does not mean that they have fewer responsibilities.

Simply put, choosing to be in business is hard work and it takes a lot of commitment from a person when they finally take the plunge. Here are some ways to break into the jump and make it more manageable:

  1. Know the market.

The last thing a person can do is invest all their hard earned savings on a whim. It is important to remember that getting into business is part intuition and part calculated risk, but is never about gambling. Following one’s passion can be great, but it also makes for very risky business decision basis. Knowing your market is one of the first crucial steps that you should do when starting your own business.

Today however, an article on Entrepreneur suggests that knowing your market today shouldn’t be limited to getting details on their income, gender, ethnicity or education. Entrepreneur suggests taking your marketing strategies to the next level through personalization and customization and that means understanding the lifestyle of your customers. Understand the lifestyle of the generation where your target market belongs. You can also do your research by area. There are also tools that you can use to study your target market’s behavior, such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.

  1. Know the underserved market.

Another good way to get into business is by knowing the underserved market. What makes your life miserable? One may be surprised to know that it’s also what makes others’ unbearable and these underserved customers are actually willing to pay for a service or product to ease off the hassle.

Being in the underserved market also makes one a highly uncontested market, something the bigger players will be very wary to get into. This translates to income at the fastest way possible. In addition to knowing the underserved market, it would also be good to think of how you can beat the competition. Jim Koch of Boston Beer co. and Samuel Adams Boston Lager says in an article published in Business Insider that your business is only feasible if what you are offering is cheaper or better than the alternatives.

  1. Prepare for the worst.

Although getting into business is a true act of faith, one must also not get into it without a safety net of at least six months. Anything is possible in business, unfortunately, including bankruptcy. If the person has a family to support, blindly getting money into a business without ensuring that they can live comfortably is a reckless move.

Preparing should also include the right paper work to protect the name, the finances, and the assets of the business from unscrupulous people.

  1. Delegate.

Budget may be a concern when you are starting a new business. However, multitasking just to accomplish everything that needs to get done from accounting to financials would not be beneficial for your business. If hiring is not an option at the moment, consider outsourcing to virtual assistants. It is best to outsource tasks that are repetitive in nature, those that are time-consuming, and technical tasks that are not part of your skills set. As a business owner, it is important that you oversee all processes without losing your focus on growing and grooming the business to reach its full potential.

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).

Knowing how Pinterest works is just the start. You should also establish a clear link between your Pinterest account and your blog or website. You must also be able to conveniently pin photos to your account even if you are not tied to a desk and with access to your computer or laptop.

Have Pinterest buttons on display on all your websites and blogs.

Pinterest itself has several free buttons that you can use. They already come with the necessary HTML codes to make embedding hassle-free. You should also check with your content management system or CMS provider if they have options for including Pinterest buttons with every blog post you upload. If not that then maybe there are widgets or tools related to Pinterest, which you can host on your blog or site.

Download Pinterest applications in your site.

Pinterest also has its own official mobile application that you can download and use for free. However, there are also a number of paid applications, which are designed to make pinning quick and easy even when you are using a mobile device.

One application, for instance, allows you to pin photos straight from your mobile device’s browser – something that the official Pinterest app actually can’t do at the moment.

Make a list of possible pins you can use.

Photos, which immediately capture your attention are definitely worth pinning – maybe not now but sometime in the future for sure. You just need to come with a great article or blog post to link such photos to your business. Be sure to list the sites where you’ve seen such photos. Give yourself some time, and they’ll prove handy to your business sooner or later.

Have a camera with you at all times.

The best photos to pin are those that you have taken yourself. As the original source of such photos, your link will then be used every time your photo is pinned and repinned by other Pinterest users. As such, you should not let any opportunity for taking beautiful photos go to waste. Have a camera with you at all times – preferably one with an excellent range of features that include HD resolution, panorama sweeps, options for editing, and filtering effects.

In most cases, the cameras of high-end smartphones would already suffice. It’s actually better if you use a camera phone since this will automatically give you access to the Internet and have it pinned to your board in no time.

Subscribe to a mobile Internet service.

Speaking of Internet access, that’s yet another thing you should have at all times as well. A mobile Internet service will not only enable you to monitor your online business effectively, but it can also make sure that you will be one of the first to pin photos of events that you may be covering with live blogging. With the help of some handy-dandy applications, live blogging and pinning can be easily performed with just a smartphone or tablet.

Hopefully, these tips will be enough to equip your business with all the necessary tools and resources for maximizing the marketing opportunities offered by Pinterest.