Monday, December 7, 2009

Virtual Assistants Do's and Don'ts to be Successful

Virtual Assistant Do’s and Don’ts to Be Successful

Virtual Assistants (VAs) are highly skilled professionals who provide administrative support and specialized services to businesses, entrepreneurs, executives, and others who have more work to do than time to do it. Examples of services a VA can do include publicity and marketing, web design and maintenance, word processing, meeting and event planning, desktop publishing, article and press release submissions, internet research, bookkeeping, business start-up consultations and so much more. This can be the perfect work-at-home opportunity for many with good computer and Internet skills.

Following are several Do’s and Dont’s to keep in mind for starting and operating your Virtual Assisting business.

DO -- Decide on a targeted market and initially focus your marketing efforts in that area. By developing a “niche” in your field, your reputation spreads quickly and soon you become a recognized expert. Several specialties include: publicity, medical, legal or business transcription, resume consulting, transaction coordination -- real estate industry, working with authors, academic typing, internet research, etc.

DO -- Be creative about where you can find business. The Internet offers a large variety of potential for clients just waiting for you to contact them. Actively network and don’t limit your marketing to simply sending out one press release or posting on a board or two. You want to find where there might be a need and go fill it. Always present a professional image and network. Become the expert that everyone looks to when they need information on your niche.

DO – Offer exceptional services. Word of mouth can be one of the most effective ways to secure new clients as well as keeping those clients for years to come. Always go above and beyond and let those clients know they were right in entrusting you with their business.

DO -- Write a complete business plan and marketing plan. Too many leave out this vital step and waste valuable time unorganized and without a clear-cut goal and direction for their business. When starting a business you will have tons of ideas floating around. You need to materialize all these and put them into a workable plan of action.

DO -- Develop a website that looks sensational! Your website is often the first connection a potential client has with your services. It must immediately let them know that they are dealing with a professional. Your site must then have the POWER to draw them to you and contact you. Let them see that you value quality by the look and feel of it. Additional tips include letting them know what services you offer and why you are qualified to offer those services by mentioning your experience and education. Be sure to include points on why you stand out among the rest and are the BEST! For example, if you have been featured in articles, radio shows, etc., have add that to the press page. Stand out and those clients will look to you first.

DO -- Learn everything you can about starting a business. Knowledge is power and the more you know, the greater your chances for success. Look to online services and message boards and chats to talk with other Virtual Assistants operating a business. Remember these are often run by pros who have been in business for years and are willing to share their experience.

DO -- Join associations that are targeted for our Industry. By connecting with these associations and being active, you learn from them what works and what doesn’t and you are able to post your questions to associate members via list serves often getting answers to your questions within minutes.

DO -- Read, read, read. By frequently continuing to increase your skills and your knowledge of your profession, the end result is a more confident satisfied you. Every tip you get from a book can be a new tool in your business. I recommend highlighting areas from several books and adding them to your library. Keep in mind that you might not use that idea today, but it might apply to specialties you might add down the road.

DO – Enjoy. There’s no greater feeling than landing that first client or finishing your first big project. Plus, wait until you get the opportunity to tell someone you own and operate your own virtual assisting business. It sure beats I’m a secretary at .... Plus, when you enjoy your business it shows. Your clients will sense your positive attitude and want to be a part of your team.

DON'T -- Underprice your services. The average virtual assistant today makes somewhere between $35 to $100+ an hour, depending on their skills, services offered, location, and years of experience. Don’t make the mistake of assuming if you charge the lowest prices, you’ll get the most work. You won’t. Instead, you’ll end up working outrageous hours for peanuts! Clients will pay more for professional services. When a potential client discovers you’re charging a lower rate than standard, they often feel they will receive a quality of services that is also lower.

DON'T -- Overextend yourself. One of the common mistakes many virtual assistants make is to accept too much work and then not be able to accurately complete it. Learn to say no or have a back-up helper who can assist you with any overflow work. Remember one of the most important ingredients for success is keeping your clients satisfied. If you overextend yourself and make a lot of errors, it will jeopardize your business.

DON'T -- Get discouraged. It takes time to get a business going. Plan ahead and have money saved in reserve. Don’t buy items until you have found the best possible price and there is an absolute need. This advance planning takes the pressure off of having to make money NOW. If things are slow and the phone just isn’t ringing ... MAKE IT RING!! There’s plenty of work out there, you just need to aggressively pursue it.

Finally, the most important ingredient for success is your belief in yourself. If you believe that with your skills and experience, you can own your own business, then there’s nothing stopping you. DREAMS DO COME TRUE. SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO MAKE THEM HAPPEN.
Diana Ennen, Author, Virtual Assistant: The Series, Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA, & Words From Home /, Article is free to be reprinted as long as bio remains. Stop by our site for a free booklet on obtaining clients.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Virtual Assistant Books


Okay, fess up. What's your favorite book on starting a virtual assistant business? How did it help you?

Go ahead and post away your questions on starting a virtual assistant business. I'm here to help!


Diana Ennen
Virtual Word Publishing

Why You Need a Publicity Virtual Assistant to Market Your Business

Why You Need a Publicity Virtual Assistant to Market Your Business

In today’s trying economy, it is extremely difficult to succeed. Small businesses and large businesses alike are facing record lows when it comes to sales. Even those in the service industry are seeing less and less clients sign up. So what’s the answer? Easy, hire a publicity virtual assistant to help with all your PR needs.

A publicity virtual assistant specializes in helping clients get more PR. They can handle everything from writing and sending out press releases to creating entire media campaigns. Their clients include authors, small businesses, online businesses, membership sites, coaches, etc. Any business that can use more publicity and marketing can benefit with a publicity virtual assistant.

Publicity virtual assistants take the time to learn their niche and to develop a relationship with their clients so that they can bring amazing results. Here are just a few of the tasks a publicity virtual assistant can help with.

Holiday marketing – A publicity virtual assistant can handle your entire holiday marketing campaign. It’s not too late to take advantage of all that can be done this year to make more sales. From social networking to writing and sending out promotional materials, a publicity virtual assistant will implement a plan unique for your business.

Article & Press Release Writing and Distribution – Article marketing works. It’s a great way to get more exposure for your business and when done right, can result in front page Google rankings, more clients, & lots of sales. Your publicity assistant can not only write your articles and releases for you, but they can help distribute them out to get the best results. Most already have a database of the best places to submit to. So turn it all over and sit back and reap the rewards.

Author Assistance - For authors, a publicity virtual assistant can help sell more books, set up speaking and book signings, create a blog tour, compose your media kit and promotional materials, etc. Even those looking to find a publisher can work with a Publicity VA and get that professional edge they need to succeed.

Google Adword Campaigns - Let your publicity virtual assistant set up your Google Adword campaign. You can benefit with added exposure, but also with the ability to see what keywords truly would bring in the best results.

Online Marketing - Need to get more press for your online shop, then look no further. A publicity virtual assistant can handle everything for you. Let them write better descriptions for your products, find the best keywords to drive traffic there, do research to find where best to locate your target audience, and then finally handle all your PR needs.

With the right publicity virtual assistant on your side, you can finally see the results you’ve been hoping for. If you need a publicity virtual assistant, stop by today. You can also learn more about becoming a publicity virtual assistant there as well.

Diana Ennen specializes in publicity and marketing and is the President of Virtual Word Publishing, Let her handle all your PR needs, large or small. She’s also the author of numerous books including Virtual Assistant: the Series, Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and So You Want to Be a Work-at-Home Mom: A Christian’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business. Articles are free to be reprinted as long as bio remains.

Opportunities Abound for the Administrative Assistant To Work From Home

Opportunities Abound for the Administrative Assistant To Work From Home

Administrative assistants are moving from the office back into their homes as the opportunities for working in a home-based environment are growing daily. As modern technology allows for the transfer of information quickly and easily, administrative professionals are finding it has never been easier to do the office work at home. Letters, memos and reports are just a click away. Web conferencing, marketing, publicity, and even bookkeeping can be accomplished from virtually anywhere.

Businesses are also realizing that the same work done at the office can easily be outsourced to a home-based administrative professional. In fact, many businesses find they are not only getting the same work done, but also experiencing better results. The home-based administrative professional is highly qualified and trained in the services they offer and therefore excel at these tasks.

These administrative assistants utilize their skills as a virtual assistant—virtual being the operative word. Being able to do work virtually enables these administrative professionals to do all those tasks normally done in the office. With all the downsizing and layoffs, businesses are thrilled to be able to have the support they need at a cost they can afford.

The services being offered by these independent business owners are varied and can be found to suit the job. The descriptions that follow are just a few of the services they can provide:

Press Release Writing & Distribution: Most businesses today could benefit from a great press release, especially when that press release is distributed to their targeted audience. Many publicity virtual assistants offer this service in addition to other marketing tasks.

Transcription services: Definitely in high demand today. Doctors, specialists, hospitals, chiropractors and many more use outside sources to transcribe their files. Lawyers also require this type of assistance in legal transcription.

Document formatting, data input, correspondence, and report writing: Work can be typed and sent via email, file sharing, fax, Skype—you name it. Keeping up with social networking, answering phone calls, managing email messages, and customer relations are more services that can be handled from a home office.

Event Management: Organizing conferences or workshops from beginning to end,is just another thing that can be done from a home office

Writing effective resumes: Resumes that get the attention of potential employers is a skill that is very useful, especially in the job markets of today. With downsizing, layoffs and business closures, landing that new job for many is so very important. On the employer side, a virtual assistant can set up screening of resumes from their home office.

Researching information: Research can be a task that few can spare the time for. With the amount of information available on the Internet, finding pertinent articles and company information can be very time consuming. There are home-based administrative assistants who enjoy this type of work and have developed methods of finding useful information effectively.

Article Marketing: Submitting how-to and informational articles on the Internet is fast becoming a great marketing tool. Articles are included in ezines and newsletters are often picked up by online news outlets.

For more information on partnering with a Virtual Assistant visit and where you can also get a free informational PR package.

Kelly Poelker of Another8Hours, and Diana Ennen of Virtual Word Publishing are the co-authors of numerous books including Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA, and its accompanying Workbook. For complete information on starting your own VA business or if you need a virtual assistant visit Article is free to be reprinted as long as the author’s bio remains intact.


I'm Diana Ennen, co-author of numerous books including Virtual Assistant The Series: Become a Highly Successful Sought After VA. I'm the president of Virtual Word Publishing, I've had the domain virtualassistantbooks for over a year and am just now getting into creating the blog I've been meaning to do. I hope you enjoy.

I'd love your virtual assistant articles, tips, advice, wants, needs, etc.


Diana Ennen
Virtual Word Publishing