7 Reasons why it is good for a women to be her own boss
Internationally and in South Africa, every year we celebrate the amazing achievements of women and the progress we have made towards gender equality. Women everywhere are recognised for their leadership, particularly in business. Of course not everyone can be “Woman of the Year” but every women who is her own boss is a leader.
This year, the United Nations encourages women to innovate, think equal and build smart. Here is what the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, aims for:
“Let’s make sure women and girls can shape the policies, services and infrastructure that impact all our lives. And let’s support women and girls who are breaking down barriers to create a better world for everyone (https://www.un.org/en/events/womensday/)”.
With encouragement like this, women are finding the freedom to be their own boss all over the world and embrace these ideals. They empower themselves and are am example to other women and girls and free themselves to achieve.
But it’s easy to overlook this freedom if you only focus on the bottom line when running a business.
Free to choose!
Whether you are single, a wife or a mother, you can choose how your time is spent for a balanced life. It doesn’t matter when, how long, or where you are working as long as you deliver. You are in control You choose how to meet the challenges of running your business because the responsibility begins and ends with you.
Free to grow as a person!
As your own boss, you go from strength to strength by not relying on the approval of a boss. You measure your success by what you achieve. When things go right no one else takes the credit, you are the one who becomes more and more confident by being the boss.
Free to learn!
You learn every day that you manage your life, whether you realise this or not. You can devote that little bit of extra time to learn how to improve whatever aspect of your life and work, whether it is related to running a business or not.
Free to earn!
There is no ceiling on your earning capacity nor that of your employees. Unlike being employed at a set salary, when you have your own business there is no waiting and hoping for a tiny increase in your salary.
Free to create!
You don’t have to be the creative type to find better ways to do business, or how to make everyone’s work fun and rewarding. As an entrepreneur you must and will innovate to solve problems, use new technologies, improve your service and create new products.
Free to give back!
When you hire staff you help fulfill their own hopes and dreams. This is a perfect opportunity to create an amazing job and work environment for yourself and for others. You are giving back to others as well as growing the economy.
Free to celebrate!
This year Women’s Day in South Africa focuses on focuses on celebrating the strength, beauty and love of all South African women. As your own boss you are free to love what you do, and do the work you love.
You can be very, very proud of yourself and everything you do and celebrate your strength and entrepreneurial spirit, not only on women’s day but every day of the year.
Effective Ways to Increase Your Social Media Reach Organically
We all know or have seen the effects of a good social media reach. Some of our favourite Facebook pages get thousands of likes, followers and tons of engagement daily. But, why is it that even though you seem to be doing the right things, you’re still not increasing your social media reach like these other pages?
This is a million-dollar question that everyone who has created a social media page wants to know. How can a business or an individual grow their social media reach without paying for it?
Increase your reach organically
Sometimes businesses prefer to grow their social media reach organically. They will not pay for advertisements and would rather gather likes slowly and organically.
This option is beneficial for small businesses who find that paying for social media marketing is too expensive.
You can grow your social media reach organically using these methods:
Simply creating a social media account and posting content is not enough, you’ve got to make sure that your page is optimised for search engines. When Google crawls your social media pages, they are looking for relevant information such as name, description, the number of likes, and the number of people talking about your page. This information will help them to list and rank your page with the right keywords.
Failing to add the right information will land your business at the bottom of search engine results. Funny enough, this is a mistake that the biggest brands are doing. A simple search for “Vehicles on Facebook” for example, brings up small business results and none of the big car brands. This is because these small businesses have learned how to optimise their Facebook pages.
Here’s how you can also optimise your Facebook page:
- Add an important keyword in your profile name. for example, if you’re in the car business, add “cars” in your profile name.
- Complete your bio. This will help
- Complete the key
- Request reviews from customers. Request at least five reviews from your best customers. This will make your page stand out from the crowd in search results.
- Add hashtags to your post. Many people search certain keywords in the Facebook search bar. If you search “cars” for example, all the posts with this keyword will pop up. If you want to be on top of search results, make sure that you add a few keywords in the description box of each post. Be wary of overdoing hashtags. Two to three hashtags per post are enough.
- Optimise your audience. In the picture below is a screenshot of what a Facebook page’s settings look like. If you go three lines down you can edit your page’s visibility. Make sure that you’ve selected “allow preferred audience selection…”. This will help you to reach the right people.
The trick to getting your Twitter page noticed is to use hashtags in your posts, especially hashtags that are trending. Word of caution – Don’t use popular hashtags in your Twitter bio or name as it will direct people away from your page. You can use a hashtag in your bio or name only if your company dominates it or if it isn’t so popular.
Another way to optimise Twitter is to use automatic greeting messages when people follow you. Tools such as Crowdfire allow you to do this. Here’s an example of a Crowdfire automatic message:
Thank you for following me, I see that we have the same interests. I am a professional Social Media Manager that helps people boost their social media presence. Don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any question. My links are xxx…
Finally, add your Twitter handle in the publicise portion of your blog post editor. When readers share your blog to Twitter, it will mention your Twitter handle. This will get more people to follow your Twitter account. If you’re not sure how to do this, this blog explains it in detail.
With Instagram, adding hashtags to your profile name works perfectly. I have done this myself and found that my follow rate has increased by 20%. Another tip is to have a simple Instagram handle. Handles with many digits or funny characters are difficult to remember and find.
7 Great Inbound Marketing Techniques Every Business Should Use
Outbound marketing techniques such as cold calling and emails were once the only methods used by businesses to attract clients. But since inbound marketing has come to the scene, companies are finding that they can grow their business even faster. Inbound marketing not only grows your business, but it also allows a company to educate their prospects instead of just selling a product.
Here are seven inbound marketing techniques you can use in your business:
1. Build specialised landing pages
You may have many different products on your business website, but one way to make one product stand out is to create individual landing pages. A landing page is a unique one-pager that focuses on one thing. This helps keep visitors focused on why they clicked your links and helps you make more sales.
How to use landing pages: If you’re in the business of apparel and you sell clothes, shoes and hats for example, but you think that your hat sales should increase, you can create one unique URL/page that only contains information about your hats. Make sure to add a call to action such as, “If you purchase a hat today, you get $10 off your purchase.” This call to action will propel your visitors to purchase more hats.
2. Take advantage of SEO
Make sure that your business ranks on search engines for the right keywords. Research has found that longtail keywords work better than one-word keywords, so next time you write a blog or create an AD, add a keyword of at least three words.
3. Get your VA to write smart blogs
Many businesses write articles, blogs or news on their website with no clear purpose. To make sure that your website ranks for the right keywords, write “smart” blogs. Smart blogs are those that educate your audience, but at the same time influences them to purchase your product. This is a great task to outsource to your Virtual Assistant.
Example: I recently wrote a blog for a recruitment company about how jobseekers can excel at interviews. Within the post, I added information about the recruitment company and how jobseekers can get personal assistance from this company to do well at interviews. This blog served two purposes; the first, educating the reader on how to be successful at interviews, and the second, offering one-on-one help to each reader.
4. Track how prospects find you
Knowing where your prospects and clients are finding you is valuable information that can help you to create better content. Use Google analytics and or surveys to evaluate where users find you the most.
5. Guest blog
Guest blogging on other websites is a great way for you to:
- Expose your brand
- Get linkbacks to your site
- Add prestige to your brand
6. Create popups
Some people hate popups, but research shows that they’re useful to build an email list. If they weren’t, you wouldn’t see all websites with them. Businesses can use popups to collect email addresses and send email campaigns. Embrace the popup but make sure it’s:
- Simple and neat
- Easy to close
- Doesn’t require much information
7. Host a Q&A session
A great way to interact with your audience is through a Questions and Answers session. In this way, prospects get to ask their burning questions and you get to educate them on your brand. Make sure to collect email addresses of all attendees so that you may send marketing material after the session.
Inbound marketing has become the holy grail of marketing. Businesses have seen its benefits and therefore are using it more rigorously. These are just seven of multiple inbound marketing techniques. For more techniques, contact us and one of our consultants will gladly help you.
Frequently Asked Questions by Entrepreneurs When Hiring a VA for the First Time
Virtual Assistant services are now widely known. They are especially used by entrepreneurs or startup businesses who need the extra help but can’t afford to invest in a full-time employee. For a first-time entrepreneur looking to hire a VA, he/she may have questions or reservations. To help you, we have collected four frequently asked questions and answered them in detail.
1. Where is the best place to hire a Virtual Assistant?
A simple Google search for Virtual Assistant will give you over a million results, but we do not recommend that you choose solely on search engine results. There are a number of ways to find a Virtual Assistant:
- Partnering with a Virtual Assistant Agency. Probably the easiest and safest way to hire a VA is to partner with an agency like ours. It’s safe because you have a legitimate business to hold to account if things go wrong. It’s easy because the agency will handle the recruitment side of things for you. All you have to do is let your requirements be known to your agency and they will handle the rest.
- Social media. Yep, there are thousands of VA’s on social media. David Risley, a janitor turned successful entrepreneur hires his VA’s on Twitter. He says; “I realized that I needed to tackle this. So, in a very modern approach, I turned to Twitter. I simply tweeted out that I was looking for a VA again. As it turns out, virtual assistants are ALL OVER Twitter. I had several reply to me fairly quickly…”
- Job boards. You can also go the traditional route by posting an advertisement on a career site or job board.
- Freelancer websites. One of the popular ways for finding a VA is through freelancer websites such as Fiverr, Freelancer, Guru and UpWork. What’s great about these sites is you can post a project with the exact requirements for the job. Payments are secured too.
2. Do I have the right resources to work with a Virtual Assistant?
Before you hire your first Virtual Assistant, you must make sure that you’ve properly set up the resources she will need to complete her work. The main resources needed are:
- CRM system
- Email management
- Call management system
- Productivity tracker
- Password sharing tool
Depending on what else your VA will do you will require additional resources. If you’re not sure which resources you will need for a particular project, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be glad to help you.
3. How will I communicate with my Virtual Assistant?
Communication is key in a virtual work environment. Most entrepreneurs prefer to communicate via email and messenger apps like Slack or WhatsApp. You can communicate using any method provided that it works for your VA as well.
4. How do I pay a Virtual Assistant?
Paying your VA is easy if you’re in the same country, but if she’s in a different country, simply depositing money into their account may not be the easiest. If you’re still set on depositing money into their local bank account, however, you will need your VA’s bank code, bank name and bank account number. Inquire with your own bank on how you can best set this up.
The most popular methods for paying internationally are:
- PayPal is widely used worldwide and is easy to set up. All you require is your Virtual Assistant’s email address. Your VA can use the money instantly or transfer it to their local bank account. If they choose to transfer, they will get the funds within 2-5 business days.
- Skrill is popular in Western Europe and is also easy to set up.
- Payoneer is similar to PayPal, but just with added functionalities like an ATM card that your VA can use instantly.
- Payza works just like Payoneer.
To choose the best method for your business, compare the fees you will pay with each one. PayPal, for example, removes a large chunk of your VA’s funds when transferred for “goods and services rendered”. If you’re using a freelancer website to hire your VA, you will have to abide by their payment rules.
If you’ve got any further questions, do drop us a mail at email@example.com
21 Ways to Use a Virtual Assistant
Here’s a list of 21 tasks you can outsource to your Virtual Assistant:
- Scheduling appointments. Let your Virtual Assistant schedule and manage all your appointments for you. You just view your diary every morning and show up to every appointment prepared and let your VA do all the admin work.
- Managing events. Managing a corporate event can be stressful, especially if you’re inviting international delegates. What’s even more stressful is handling the queries from each delegate. Outsource this task to your VA to ensure a successful event.
- You can outsource your general reporting to a VA. Make sure you take your VA through adequate training before expecting him/her to produce accurate reports.
- You can get your VA to do basic bookkeeping tasks such as updating your journals or cash book.
- Running errands. Do you have personal errands you need to run but no time to do it? Let a VA do that for you!
- Cold calling. You’ll have to be careful with this one as not everyone is good on the phone. If you hire a VA to make cold calls, make sure he/she has sales experience.
- Blog writing. You can send a list of blog titles to your VA and have him/her write your blog posts. Regular blog posts will not only keep you connected to your audience but also get more traffic to your website through search engine traffic.
- Social media management. No time to manage your social media accounts? Let a VA handle that for you Just give him/her the posting schedule in advance so that he/she will know what to post.
- Editing and proof-reading of written content. Editing written content can be time-consuming especially for people who are not professional writers. Let a VA edit all your documents so that you may have more time for other tasks.
- Managing emails. Most entrepreneurs have a mailbox full of emails that they can’t get to. This leads to missed opportunities. Outsource this function to a VA.
- Chat support. These days customers want to hear from you within 24-hours of sending a query. If not, they go to a competitor. A VA would be a perfect match for this type of role as you can pay him/her by the hour.
- Transcription of audio/video content. If you’ve got audio and video content that you need to transform into written content, outsource it to a VA.
- SEO/web developing. Let your VA search for popular keywords in your industry so that you can add them to your blog posts/content. Also, your VA can develop your website or landing pages.
- Building databases. If you need a database to start calling for appointments, a VA can build it for you by searching the internet.
- Travel arrangements. Flying for a business meeting? Let your VA handle that for you!
- Sorting online files/documents. A virtual business may not have physical files, but the online files can get just as crowded as physical files. Have your VA sort all your documents in well-labelled folders so that you and other staff members can easily find information.
- Online research. If you need to research a specific topic, let your VA do it for you.
- Creating forms and templates. If you require templates to send emails, guide employees and onboard new employees, let your VA handle it for you.
- Creating and sending email marketing campaigns. Email marketing campaigns are successful in increasing your sales, let your VA create and send them to your clients.
- Designing visual content such as images, logos, banners and headers. Need a graphic designer but can’t afford one? Let a VA design your visual content and pay only for each completed project.
- Managing teams. You can hire a VA to manage other team members. This is great for a small business because you can have him/her work for a few hours per day and pay by the hour.
If you are currently hiring a Virtual Assistant we would love to hear more about the kinds of tasks you outsource in the comments below!