Building A Great Email List with the Help of Your VA
Did you know that your Virtual Assistant can build an email list for you? If you require someone to help you with your lead generation by building a database of prospects to email, a VA can easily assist. Your VA stands as an important part of the lead generation process. In so doing, a VA is an extension of your sales team.
To do this, you don’t even have to have a structured way of gathering leads, your VA can put structures in place too. He/She can decide where they will source information for your database based on the target market you give him/her. You can use the database to send email campaigns and make more sales.
Here are suggested ways your VA can build your email list:
- Run a contest or giveaway. This always works to get more email addresses. Make sure that the product you are giving away is aimed at your target market. Run the competition for at least one week to maximise on email signups. Let your VA manage this competition, pick a winner and announce it. Lastly, your VA can start sending email campaigns to the list at least once a week.
- Give a free EBook. Let readers who want to receive a free eBook sign up to your email list. Your VA can create an opt-in button that prevents the download until the reader has given their email address. There are tools like Mailchimp and Aweber that can help you do this seamlessly.
- Block certain blogs. There are tools and plugins like Opt-In Panda that helps you to block other content besides EBooks. With these tools, you can block blogs, pages and much more. One great way to build an email list is to research which questions your target market wants to be answered and let your VA write a post packed with insightful responses. Make sure that the blog can only be unlocked when someone enters their email address. To bump this up a notch, search for the most popular keywords by using a tool like SemRush and write another blog related to the keyword. Block this content as well. When someone finds your blog in search engines, they will have to insert their email address to unlock the content. This will result in a self-sustaining database of leads for your business.
- Run a referral program. Your VA can manage your company referral program. For each customer that successfully signs with you, request at least three referrals. If the three referrals are legitimate, the customer can get a discount. This will help you to collect email addresses of people who may be interested in what you offer.
- Try Google ADS. You can create an AD for Google using specific keywords or catch phrases that you know your target market will search for. Link this AD to your landing page that gives a bit of explanation of what you do and then requests an email address. Your VA will then be tasked to collect all email addresses that come through from the landing page. He/She must thereafter send email campaigns to these email addresses.
- Go the traditional route. In the past, businesses would contact random people from the yellow pages. You can still do this today, just a little bit differently. If you’re a B2B business, you can search for your target market online. For example, if your target market is insurance companies in Johannesburg, a simple Google search for ‘insurance companies Johannesburg’ will give you thousands of hits. Your VA can go to each website, collect email addresses and send emails to those people.
You can also automate the entire email sending procedure. This means that each time someone gives you their email address via any of the processes 1-5 above, a tool automatically starts sending email campaigns at certain times. Our Virtual Assistants are well skilled in this. Contact us today if you want us to help you.
3 Things you can do in your business when your internet is down
Most businesses nowadays is internet based, so when your internet goes down it can be quite a challenge to say the least.
There are times this will happen and for the most part there is nothing you can do about it. Why not use that time productively whilst you wait patiently (so to speak) for your ISP (internet service provider) to give the all clear?
Relocating to the closest coffee shop is an option. However, if it’s not on the cards, what else can you do with this new found time?
#1 Re-strategise your business
This might be the opportune time to re-strategise your business. Grab a pen and paper and brainstorm new possible services or even re-align your current services. Devise possible upcoming promotions or define ways of streamlining your business.
Mind map your marketing plan for the next year, build your social media calendar with collateral or take the time to build a list of possible clients you would love to work with.
#2 Tidy up and Organise
Now’s your opportunity to take the time to tidy up your desk, re-organise your digital filing system. We know you’ve been putting it off, so now is the ideal time to take stock of what is on your computer, organise your desktop and even prepare your receipts sheet in time for the next tax year.
#3 Get writing
This is the perfect time to get writing. Start planning and writing your blog content for the next 3 months. Fortunately you don’t need the internet to do this. Or start writing that book you’ve been threatening to start the last 2 years. If there comes a point in your writing that you do require research, make a note and keep writing.
At those times when the internet is down, see it as a saving grace. You have now been given some breathing space to relax and to reassess your business, to reflect on how far you’ve come, to show gratitude for your many accomplishments that enabled you to reach this point. It’s an opportunity to make this time productive and your business better.
How to Use Zapier to Manage Your Notifications
Small business owners and entrepreneurs tend to be technologically savvy. They understand that managing a business with the least resources as possible will help them grow as fast as possible.
If you consider yourself as a tech-savvy entrepreneur, you should use or allow your Virtual Assistant to use Zapier. The tool allows you to manage notifications and alerts without having to check your email calendar. What makes this app great is its compatibility with other 3rd party apps. You can link the tool with apps such as Google, MailChimp, Dropbox, Evernote, Social Media and even get notifications for articles and publications online.
The tool has three features:
1) Get Notified About Important Events
Wouldn’t you want to get notified when you receive an email from an important client? Or how about a reminder to attend a special event?
You’re probably currently using a calendar, your CRM and other apps to monitor notifications. Although it works, using too many apps can distract you from your work and result in missed opportunities.
Zapier helps entrepreneurs handle all their notifications in one place with their notification feature. It monitors all your critical apps and lets you know when something has changed. You can choose to receive notifications via chat, SMS, email or push notification.
2) Discover Problems Quickly
If your server goes down or any of your critical systems stop working, you may experience some downtime. Zapier can help you get notifications when you experience system outages. It can even send a notification to all your customers automatically.
3) Record Your Team’s Most Important Activities
The Zapier dashboard is perfect for businesses to:
- Monitor orders and shipping
- Monitor blog subscribers
- Monitor sales
- And much more
VA Connect helps you become more tech-savvy with tips and tricks to grow your business without growing your staff. Plus, we provide affordable Virtual Assistants to help you get stuff done. Contact us for more information.
Why Multitasking is Not for Everyone
Ever tried to juggle multiple tasks in a day? Were you successful? Or did you succeed in only appearing busy, but not actually completing anything?
Multitasking is not for everyone, here’s why:
Did you know that only 2% of people can multitask? Yep, as much as we think we make great multitaskers, science proves that only 2% of us have the natural ability to do this. Those who can are known as “supertaskers”, a term invented by David Strayer, a professor of psychology at the University of Utah.
When most of us would struggle to complete tasks simultaneously, supertaskers thrive in these conditions. They perform better when given multiple tasks to do.
How do you know if you’re a supertasker?
To clearly identify whether you have multitasking abilities,
Two university students developed a test to assess this cognitive ability. This test called the Gatekeeper allows people to examine whether they are supertaskers. Funny enough, those who believe that they can multitask, are usually those who fail the test.
The test can take a while and therefore we recommend that you schedule ample time to complete it. There are 20 rounds which last for 90 seconds each. You can take a break between these rounds.
I failed the test, now what?
Failing the test only means that you’re not a supertasker, not that you can’t handle certain tasks. Since 98% of us are not multitaskers, this is nothing to worry about. What you can do is find a solution to avoid juggling too many tasks at a time.
One sure way to do this is by hiring a Virtual Assistant. Simply put, a Virtual Assistant or VA is someone who will work for you remotely, completing tasks that you’re not able to complete at any given point in time. These employees work by the hour and are paid an hourly rate. They don’t require any benefits such a pension, medical or office supplies.
They’re flexible. This means that you can call or email your VA at any time (depending on your agreement of course), to schedule, receive or discuss work.
Furthermore, VA’s are highly skilled individuals. Most of them have long-standing careers in their respective fields. They take the step into virtual work to gain a work-life balance or to take charge of their income.
What tasks can a VA do for you?
VA’s are highly educated, experienced and internet savvy. Here is a list of 40 tasks that you can outsource to them:
- Filtering Emails / Handling Spam
- Database Building / Updating Contacts or CRM
- Answering Customer Service Emails /Support Tickets / Chat Support
- Sending of Greetings Cards / Birthday Messages / Event Invitations etc.
- Calendar Management
- Email marketing
- Appointment Scheduling
- Travel Arrangement and Planning
- Reminder Services
- Audio / Video Editor
- Content Writer
- SEO / Web Marketer
- Graphic / Web Designer / Web Developer
- Dropbox / Google Drive Organization
- Creating / Managing Spreadsheets
- Preparing PowerPoint / Keynote Presentations
- PDF Conversion, Splitting and Merging
- Transcription of Video and Audio Files
- Simple eBook Layout / Formatting
- Preparing Online Meeting Minutes
- Report Creation
- Forms Creation
- Document Template Creation
- Online Research
- Data Mining & Development / Lead Generation
- Blog Publishing Management
- Moderating Blog or Social Media Comments
- Adding Tags & Images to Blog Posts
- Receptionist Duties
- Voicemail Checking
- Invoicing Clients
- Basic Bookkeeping
- Personal Errands (Purchasing Online Gifts, Reminders, Planning Family Holidays etc.)
- Project Management Between You and Team members
- Training Employees or Delegates
- Preparation of Training Materials
- Onboarding of New Virtual Staff
- Deadline / Deliverables Tracking
- Social Media Management Tasks
- Creating Social Media Fan Pages / Groups
Besides this, a VA can do any task related to their skills and expertise.
Need a VA? Contact us!
5 Great Ways to Get Started with Your Virtual Assistant
So, you’ve just hired your first Virtual Assistant, congratulations!
Now, because you will be working together virtually, there are a few steps you must take to get your assistant up and running. Although you won’t have to worry about office space, you must spend some time setting him/her up with the right tools to do the job.
Here are five great ways to get started with your Virtual Assistant:
1. Training and Development
Due to the nature of the work (online and not in person), giving clear instructions and expectations is essential.
Training material– Develop training material, how to’s and step-by-step instructions on how your Virtual Assistant should do his/her job. Remember the reason you employed a Virtual Assistant is to save you time, therefore, make sure he/she is properly trained to work independently.
Expectations document– Outline what work you expect daily. Do you require him/her to send 10 emails by 5 pm daily? Make sure it is clearly outlined in this document.
Performance measurement– Describe how and when you will measure your Virtual Assistant’s performance. Remember to tie KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) to the expectations document. Also, make sure KPI’s are realistic. You can determine this by getting feedback from your new Virtual Assistant. Ask him/her if they agree to the KPI’s and work together to set a good way to measure performance.
Of course, your Virtual Assistant must be paid. You can set up a payment method that works best for the both of you. Consider extra charges with the method you choose. Popular payment methods are PayPal, Skrill and Payza.
3. Apps and Tools
To work effectively, your Virtual Assistant will need the following common tools:
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software
- Emailing Platform
- Messaging Platform
- Accounting Software
- Meeting Platform
- Document Management System
There are certain apps that can make working virtually seemingly easy. Read our blog on five apps and tools that every virtual business should have.
4. Virtual Phone System
Since you’re running a virtual business, you will need a virtual phone system that will allow your Virtual Assistant to make calls without using his/her private phone while giving you the opportunity to monitor calls.
Setting up a virtual phone system is easy. All you have to do is:
5. Shared Calendar
Finally, the best way to know what your Virtual Assistant is busy with daily is to setup a shared calendar. You can use Google Calendar which can be easily synchronized with Outlook. This calendar can be edited in real time and accessed via your PC or mobile, making it a popular alternative for small business owners.