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Archive for Virtual Marketing

Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing bloggerVideos works! We know that, but too many just don’t use them. Why? Mainly fear. Fear that they won’t get the results they hoped for. Fear they won’t know how to effectively use them. Or fear that they are too expensive for their budgets. Some even fear needing to go in front of the camera. The good news is businesses have no reason to fear. Videos are not only affordable and easy to use, but also one of the best ways to market. And today, if you don’t want to go in front of the camera, there is no need to do so. It’s that simple!

When you realize stats like those mentioned recently in a recent SmallBizTrend article that state that “80 percent of users recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 day,” you can see why you should be using videos. Another example mentioned in that same article stated, “According to 70 percent of marketers, video produces more conversions than any other type of content.” Can you see the power of video? You should!

So let’s face these fears and break it down.

Why Use Video:
• Videos provide a way to remain “top of mind.” What does that mean exactly? It means, when someone sees your logo, they think of you. They remember you from your video. They feel they know you because the video adds that level of comfort and confidence.
• Videos provide a visually robust way to evoke a strong emotion and get viewers to take action. If you’re struggling to get your audience to react to your content, video will solve this. So will you get results, absolutely!
• Videos introduce your company, business philosophy, and services/products and help to build your brand awareness. What better way to show who you are and what you do.
• Videos help with all your marketing. Videos should be used not only on your website, but in all your social media, emails, newsletters, and more.
• Videos provide a means to regularly stay in contact with clients through education-based, warm and friendly, non-sales content.
• Today videos are so affordable that having an ongoing commitment is easy to do and encouraged.
• There are so many methods to do videos, if you won’t want to get in front of the camera; there is no need to do so. For example, you can do an audio-only voice recording that will be used with other video clips, images, animations, text and music. You can outsource a video spokesperson to present the message on your behalf. You can use hand drawn whiteboard sketch or illustrated animations and characters.
• Videos provide a way to showcase the holidays. What better way to say “happy holidays” than with a video with your company logo on it! And this isn’t just for the major holidays, but throughout the year as well for all special occasions.
• And so much more

Who can most benefit with video? Truly any business can benefit by making videos part of their marketing plan. However, these businesses truly do gain traction: marketing companies, real estate agents, speakers, coaches, authors, virtual assistant businesses, and more. Read More→

Feb
06

Virtual Assistant Niches – What You Need to Know to Grow Your VA Business

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing blogger

Finding the right virtual assistant niche is a great way to build your virtual assistant business with the best clients for your particular niche.  These tips should help.

 

So what exactly is a niche? Easy, a niche is a target market or industry whose needs fit well with a particular skill set. The great thing about the virtual assistant industry is that the opportunities for matching the right talents with the right niche are tremendous.

Basically having a niche allows you to focus your time and energy on the exact people you want to work with. And the ones that will pay your rates!  You will also be able to market best to find the right clients once you are clear on your niche as well.  When you aren’t all over the board, your marketing works best.

Here’s a breakdown of numerous Virtual Assistant Niches and the services they provide:

Publicity Virtual Assistants – Marketing VAs – PR VAs (My favorite of course)

  • All types of marketing – Really any marketing can be done by a virtual assistant
  • Finding the right type of marketing for each individual client (yes it differs!)
  • Write and send out press releases and articles
  • Help with book promotions and business promotions
  • Send out pitches to the media and securing clients on radio shows, TV engagements, mentions in magazines & newspapers, etc.
  • Creating professional images
  • Finding speaking opportunities for clients to speak at
  • Helping them blog and also send out regular newsletters
  • Building their brand

Author Assistant Virtual Assistants – Authors are an excellent source of work for VAs.

  • Editing – Proofreading
  • Typing of manuscripts
  • PR and marketing – selling their books as well as selling the author’s services , especially for business books
  • Ebook and book creation (typesetting too)
  • Social media marketing
  • Landing speaking opportunities and more
  • Getting them set up on Amazon
  • Publishing assistance (self-published or published).

Speakers and Coaches – They have very similar roles so often virtual assistants target them both.

  • PR and marketing – article and press release writing and submissions, brand marketing, event promotions, etc.
  • Teleseminars – from scheduling to promoting and marketing and being instrumental in having them run successfully, a VA can assist with every aspect.
  • Websites – Creating websites and maintenance, blog assistance & more.
  • Social media marketing – getting them visible and keeping them visible
  • Consulting and brainstorming on creating courses, ebooks, etc.
  • Finding speaking opportunities & everything involved in making sure these opportunities go off without a hitch
  • Administrative – emails, calendar assistance, document preparation, etc.

Real Estate Virtual Assistants – The real estate industry is huge now.  Long forgotten is the big crash of yesterday.  Now it’s thriving.

  • Design ads / Social media images, etc.
  • Verify and setup appointments with buyers and sellers and calendar management – Keep track of the calendar for busy agents
  • Prepare and proofread documents and various paperwork
  • Update listings
  • Respond to email inquires
  • Administrative tasks
  • Listing Coordination / Transaction Coordination
  • Bookkeeping
  • Marketing – Everything from research to sending out press releases and pitches
  • Website Creating & Maintenance
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Content and Blog Writing
  • Video assistance
  • You name it, you can do it.

Read More→

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Feb
01

Commit to Writing Press Releases in 2018

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing bloggerNow is the time of year to start thinking just how can I get more clients, sales, etc., in 2018.  What shall I do? One great way to market your business is to commit to writing press releases.  The goal is to write newsworthy ones that shout great things about your business. Ones that show why your event is the go to event of the year or why your business rocks!  But just as important in doing press releases is doing them right. Here are some tips to help.

Press Release Tips

  • A press release is normally a one-page document to capture the attention of your target audience. Now you need to know who that audience is, but you should already have that down pat. If not, get back to work!
  • Now, more and more, instead of addressing reporters and editors, you’re going after your customers and clients. Include language directed toward them as well as SEO keywords (to help your audience “find” you) and keep your language current (don’t use “out-of-date” or “overused” phrases such as “unique, state of the art, etc.”).
  • Include a title (or “headline”), and a subheading. The subheading is a great way to add a few sentences to discuss your release more.  It complements the title.  Make sure your title rocks and has keywords and also enough description to know what the release is about.
  • The release will generally reveal the “who, what, when, where and why.” It’s important that it’s accurate, informative and of interest to others. Rewrite and edit as needed. This is especially true for event releases.  Having the right information is critical.
  • The first paragraph should be enticing and should knock their socks off. Get their attention and keep their attention.  Also, include a website link to your website or the link to the event.  Early on you want them going to check you out.
  • Then the body should include three or four supporting paragraphs. Give the target audience what they want to hear.
  • Use bullet points to highlight specific points of interest such as what will happen at the event, speakers, etc. For your business, highlight key new features or key points of interest.  A reader’s eyes tend to go to the bullet points first so you have the opportunity to show them the best stuff there.
  • Steer clear of too much “industry-specific jargon” and avoid long, drawn out sentences.
  • Remember your audience is often reading on their phone or iPad.
  • Make every word count. Make the release newsworthy. Share a story. Relate your offering to current special events. Detail what makes your event the one to attend.
  • Include a quote from you. It personalizes the release more. Plus it allows you to make a statement about your business or event.
  • The call to action is the last paragraph. Include information you want them to do, buy your book, go to your website, find more information about your event, etc.
  • Also, include in the call to action paragraph a sentence stating, “For media interviews contact name and email.”
  • Include a short bio in the about us section. Discuss you or your business here, not necessarily the event. In some cases you can have two about us sections as long as you always include your information first.  Say, you and then information on the host of the event for example.

Read More→

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Dec
07

Changes You Can Make Now to Increase Your 2018 Profits

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing bloggernew year new startThe new year is nearly upon us  … a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.  A time to see everything as a new beginning.  And a time to be proud of everything you’ve done, even the small things.

If you know me well, you know one of the things I do a lot of is CELEBRATING!  Not the dance on the table with a lamp shade celebrating, but more the “Yeah, my pitch worked and I got my client in Inc Magazine.  Or after months of trying, I finally landed that client.  Bring out the bubbly, we are going to party!  I always try to celebrate the big wins and the little wins. Why? Because then when I have a “bad” day, I can reflect on the better days ahead.

The New Year is a great time to starting thinking about building your business.  Funny how January has that power.  Everyone is in the “grow” mode.  So with that, here are my top tips to increase your profits in 2018.

Tips to Increase Your Profits in 2018:

  • Do a website review – while you are changing that footer on your site from 2017 to 2018, spend some time and do a quick review of your site.  Read over it like you just put it up, and check those links, contact forms, etc.  Review the SEO and keywords to ensure you are still good to go. Review the services or products page.  Can you improve upon that?  Does it still represent all you do today?  Is it easy to purchase your products? Remember making it easy for your customers to order, will allow them to purchase more.  Now check your website on your phone.  Is it mobile-friendly or do you get a few sentences per screen?  Do whatever it takes to represent you in the best way possible.
  • Conduct a social media review – Devote a week each month in January, to reviewing your social media and make changes.  One week focus on Facebook.  The next week on Twitter.  Then LinkedIn, etc.  Now naturally you want to keep all your social media efforts going throughout the month, but if you focus on one each week, hopefully you can accomplish so much more.  You know the usual, add more content, etc., but what you want to do is plan out 2018.  Use that week to come up with a 3 month plan.  At the end of the three months you can review, and broken down into 3 months segments help.
  • Create passive income streams– Take some time and consider what you can do to get some passive income in each month.  Can you convert that webinar into a product you can sell?  How close are you to writing a new ebook?  Can you connect with those you have associated in your industry and see what they are offering?  Sign up for affiliates.  Just see what you can do to bring in income that doesn’t require you to do it.

Read More→

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Nov
27

Entrepreneur Tips – Things to Consider Before Starting Your Business

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing bloggerHere are several things to consider before starting your business

1) Costs – Know it all. Research and ask questions. Find out not just about the normal operating costs, but what else might be required. Write it all down and plan accordingly. Have money for several months or plan to work part-time. Too many fail because they don’t have the money to succeed.

2) Marketing – Most businesses don’t work without marketing effectively. Be sure you know how you will market this business and also that you have the expertise to do it. If not, get reading or be prepared to hire someone. Be prepared before you start and have that plan ready to go.

3) Be passionate – That’s the only way to keep going and face those odds, exhaustion and temptation to throw in the towel. You aren’t going to love what you do every day, but on the whole you have to believe in it and want to continue doing it. Read More→

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Nov
20

Money Management Tips for Virtual Assistants & Small Business Owners

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing blogger

Money management is one of those topics many virtual assistants and small business owners routinely put off and hope for the best. It’s front and center on the mind on April 1st in anticipation of the April 15th tax deadline, but then it goes straight to the back burner for the rest of the year. Bookkeeping and money management are best practiced year-round. When done this way, it gives you rewards of more money, more peace of mind, and above all else, a happy IRS!

Smart business owners know the importance of good money management and apply tactics in their business to actually help them. The following tips are sure to help:

Be Smart And Continually Learn More – Learn as much as you can from the get go. It’s often said it’s not how much money you earn, but what you do with it that counts. Totally applies to business decisions regarding money management and budgeting. Follow those you know on social media who offer business and money tips. Read all you can and know that especially in March and April many will be posting more business tips. When you see a tip you like, keep it and see how it can apply to your own business.

Track Your Income and Expenses – Seems silly to state the obvious here, but you’d be surprised at the number of business owners who haven’t got a clue about their operating costs, net income/loss, cash flow—none of it. It’s easy to see all of the income and expenses you incur on a regular basis if you keep records and write everything down. Don’t close your eyes (and your Quickbooks file) and hope things works out. By writing everything down or entering it into accounting software, you are well aware of your business status and can then plan business finances and make smart decisions on a regular basis.

If you don’t have accounting software that’s okay… log it all in a binder or Excel spreadsheet. For large purchases (anything over $100) include item description, use in business, date purchased, what you paid, and any model or serial numbers. Then you have an accurate accounting of items for tax purposes, an insurance record, and for software user licenses.

Budget for The Year Ahead & Start Making Good Choices – Create a budget and stick with it as best you can. Be honest and know that each year you will get better at this. Put away money for taxes. Save for expenses. And don’t buy things you can’t afford. Review this budget throughout the year. Honestly nothing beats looking at your budget and realizing how well you are doing.

Also, know that with your virtual assistant business, income might differ month to month. On those rock’n months, put extra away to compensate for any slower months or invest it back into your business.

Review Your Books Monthly – How much did you make? How much did you spend? Were these smart decisions or are there ways you can improve. While many business owners review their accounts monthly, they don’t spend time looking for ways to improve. That’s where the magic happens. By reviewing and analyzing them you also see if you need to make major business adjustments and also can identify trends so you can plan accordingly for upcoming years.

This cannot only save you money, it will also allow you to see if there are any mistakes. Yes, mistakes happen. For example, were any automatic payments taken out that shouldn’t have and more? While you are reviewing these, take a minute to consider if you are fully utilizing the services you are paying for. Is there a cheaper alternative that can still give you similar results?

Pay Yearly When Possible – If you know you have ongoing expenses, whenever possible pay for the year instead of making monthly payments. This can save you a considerable amount of money as normally businesses give discounts for annual payments. Web hosting is a good example of this. Look for other cost saving tips as well. Read More→

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Nov
13

My Best Marketing & VA Tweets Throughout the Years

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing bloggerTwitter BirdRecently I found a way to download all my Twitter posts. It was so easy. All I had to do was log into my twitter account – click on Settings – go down to your twitter archive – click request and BAM — It’s done. You then get a Excel Sheet with all your tweets.

Then what you want to do is in the column with your tweets, do a Sort by A-Z and then all your tweets will be together by hashtag and description so you can easily see them and review.

This is so great because now you can create new material (I’m making images from some of my tweets,) and also get a feel for the tweets you’ve done. This sparks the creative juices to write new and improved ones as well.
Now that I have year’s worth of tips, I thought I’d share some of the best with you.

#PR Tips:

#PRTip – When you see a title of an article that really captivates your attention, write it down. That can lead to a great title or subject line down the road. In fact, keep a list of titles you like. You’ll be so glad you did when the time comes to come up with a new title for your article or blog posting and you just tweak from your list.

#PRTip – Keywords are so important and consistency is too. Use the same keywords repeatedly in order to improve your SEO rankings. Be sure to use those same keywords in the blog titles.

#PRTip – Getting an award is definitely newsworthy enough for a press release. It’s good to “shine the light” on your accomplishments. And remember share these releases with your followers so they can see all you are up to.

#PRTip – Always double-check your website links and preview your release before you hit send. Also, when possible, add in a keyword-driven description under your logo.

#PRTip – Keep samples of the releases, articles, media, etc., you write in a spiral-bound notebook or three-ring binder. Often the language can be similar and it really helps to see the previous ones to help write new ones.

#PRTip – Don’t put too many website links in your press releases. Only add the main supporting links. Too many links can distract those reading the release! Also, all these links should be yours.

#‎PRTip‬ – My top recommendations for sending out a press release are eReleases, PRWeb, OnlinePRNews and 24-7 Press Releases. It’s important when you write a release to get the most traction from it and I find these work the best.

‪#‎PRTip‬‬ – Need ideas for headlines for your blog postings, articles, newsletters, etc, check out major magazines and their headlines for their stories inside on the covers. Which ones catch your attention right away? These magazines have mastered the art of getting you to look inside so see how you can apply the same principles to your marketing.

#PRTip – Don’t be a one-pitch wonder. Keep in mind, often people need to see you numerous times in order to connect and recognize you. Build those relationships.

#Book Marketing Tips:

#BookMarketing Tips – Avoid having your book launch too close to a holiday or other event that might take attention away from it. Also, if planning ahead on dates, consider all that needs to be done prior to the launch and plan accordingly. Be sure to add in a little extra time for those unexpected delays!

#BookMarketing Tips – Some books are perfect for different holidays. Remember…the media likes to interview unique guests and, if you have that book and are that special guest, get out there and let them know about it!

#BookMarketing Tip – Remember, marketing begins way before the book is finished. Complete most of your marketing before that book launch so, when the book is ready, you are too!

#BookMarketing Tips – An aggressive press release campaign can be one of your best and most cost-effective ways to promote your book. It not only brings exposure to your book, but it rocks your SEO results and backlinks! Your release can cover the launch of your book, any great reviews you received, an upcoming book tour or book signing, any speaking engagements you have up and coming, any radio appearances, and so much more! Remember the most important basis for a press release: It has to be newsworthy. Be sure to include in your press release all calls to action—buy my book, do a review, come to my book signing, etc.

#BookMarketing Tips – Be sure your website is set up to accept orders correctly. And, be sure that your message is clear before you market (review this frequently). Once you drive potential customers to your site, you want your site to do the rest and sell those customers!

#BookMarketing Tips – Blogging is a great way to get PR about your book. It allows you to connect with your readers, as well as those who are just curious about you but haven’t yet taken the plunge as a devoted fan. Blogging builds relationships, allows you to share more about yourself than just what appears in your book, and is the perfect place to post your book reviews or ask for reviews. Be consistent with your blogging and, whenever you add a new blog posting, mention it on all your social media channels.

#BookMarketing Tips – Radio and TV interviews are great ways to promote your newly released book. Plan for these the week of the release and schedule in advance so that all the particulars are set up and ready to go!

#BookMarketing Tips – Don’t do all your marketing when your book launches and stop. So many authors do this. They go out with a bang and then slitter back to the background in the upcoming months. Be committed to market for best results.

#BookMarketing Tips – Know your target audience. No, not everyone would love your book. Then be sure in your Facebook ads, and all marketing that you talk to them!

#VATips (Virtual Assistant Tips):

#VATip – Always have clear payment guidelines outlined in writing with clients. Everything works better when everyone knows what is expected!

#VATip – If you are available to your clients, they will trust that you have their back. Not saying be there 24/7 for them at all. Just if they have a quick question, respond ASAP. They will appreciate it.

#VATip – Let a VA Coach can help you establish your pricing. Have you ever sent out a proposal and thought, “Wow, that was too high, they will never hire me.” Or, worse yet, “Man, I’m working for nothing…I totally bid that wrong. Why did I do that?” Even the best of us have done this. But, with the right plan and review of your clients, services, skills, experience, etc., you can feel good about your pricing and know it’s right for you. Plus, I’ll bet you find that you will charge quite a bit more than you thought you could (or may be charging currently) once you have that “pricing discussion” with your coach. Read More→

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Nov
08

PR Success Series – Marketing Tips 101

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing bloggerSocial MediaWho’s ready to get back into marketing their business?  It’s time to get busy and there’s no better way than with tips from a pro, like me!  Here are some of my best tips to market your business and build your brand.

Marketing Tips 101

  • Define your business. In order to do this, you must know and understand who you are and who your clients are. Then you get to talk their language with all your marketing.
  • Make sure your “brand” is fully developed. Take a minute here.  If people were to ask what you do, what would you tell them?  This should come off your lips as fast as ice cream melts in the hot summer sun in S. Florida.
  • Create a complete “Marketing Plan.” This is a plan that you will follow.  Nothing fancy, just some good old fashioned ideas that makes your company stand out among the competition and brings those clients and cash (cha ching!)
  • Become an expert and use Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, etc.) to prove you are a rock star. Don’t boost, just provide great tips that show you know your stuff.   Also, be mindful of postings that are inadvertent brags.  Most see right through those.
  • Use images that show you as the supreme entrepreneur! Don’t just put an image out there to have new content.  Review those images and make them reflect the real you – you know the professional that will make other businesses shine when they work with you.
  • Network, Network, Network! Hi Ho, Hi ho, a networking we go.  – Online, offline, here an event, there an event, everywhere an event …. Okay, a little corny, but you get my drift.  Get out there and have some fun.  Network and meet new people, whether online or in person that can be your clients, refer clients to you, or just build relationships with.
  • Get involved in “virtual events” or host your own. These are often events where 5 or more entrepreneurs get together with a common theme and share what makes them awesome.  It’s great because not only do you get to connect with these entrepreneurs and build relationships, but you also get introduced to their tribe.  Win/win.  Just go in knowing that it takes time to promote.  Many a virtual event has not succeeded because no one took the time to talk about it.  The more you do, the better your results.
  • “Pitch” the media…and do it right! Write articles on your expertise.  How to articles work best.  Then create Cision databases and send them out.   Then announce on your social media when accepted.  Don’t have Cision?  No problem, email me and let’s see what we can do.

Read More→

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Nov
01

PR Tips – Best Ways to Pitch the Media & Build Your Brand

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing bloggerOne of the ways to get great PR for your business is to write pitches that can be sent to the media and other places.  The goal is to become a regular contributor to those you send to and often times that’s exactly what happens.  It’s just that so many aren’t sure how to do it right.  So let’s break it down in bite-size tips!

So…exactly what is a pitch? Let’s discuss the many types of pitches:

  • A story to a reporter or editor – stories sell, just make yours relevant
  • A pitch to a radio show, TV program, etc., to be a guest
  • A pitch that accompanies an article to get your article accepted in major publications, websites, etc.
  • A pitch to book reviewers to ask for a book review
  • A pitch to accompany a press release and show why the release is newsworthy and of interest to who you are sending it to
  • A pitch for a blog tour asking to be a guest blogger. As a blogger you can see if they would be interested in posting your articles, being part of a contest, do a Q&A, host giveaways, and more.  Guest blogging is a great way to build long-lasting relationships and get in front of new audiences.
  • A pitch to secure speaking engagements letting them know why you would be the perfect speaker for their event or audience

Read More→

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Oct
19

25 Awesome Ways to Get PR for Your Book (or Business!)

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing bloggerSelf-published your book and not sure how to get others to notice it?  No problem these tips will help you market like a pro. Many of these tips work for home-based businesses, too!

  • Get media attention – pitching the media. Securing interviews with various media is an excellent way to promote your book. Make sure your pitch is well-planned, clearly showing why you are the expert in your field, and outlines your experience appearing on radio, TV, and other media. Also, just because you wrote a book is not news, you need to talk more about how that book can make a difference or why their audience would love it. Be sure to pitch to the right editors too.  We use Cision to find those and it rocks!
  • Radio Shows – One way to get more PR for your book is to do radio shows. Fortunately there are so many shows available today and constantly are looking for great guests. In fact, it was recently mentioned in Entrepreneur Magazine that 57 million Americans are now tuning in. One benefit of doing radio is that you can do it from the convenience of your own home or office with no traveling required.    Remember pitch the shows that fit your book and you.  That show on benefits of going organic is not going to appreciate your book on building a business.
  • Write down sound bites that clearly discuss your book, you, the topic of your book, etc.  (The Q&A from your media kit can be used here.)  Remember when doing a show to keep it conversational and fun, always following the hosts lead.  And add these to your media page on your website and be sure to promote the show yourself.  Shows will have you back more when they see their numbers increase.
  • TV –Know that if you haven’t been on TV before, big named shows are not as likely to bite, so start locally and on a smaller scale. Build up to the bigger names one and always add any media you get to your press page, your bio, and any pitches.  Watch the shows so you have a good idea how they work.  Dress the part and be confident.  Yes, you’ll be nervous, but remember you did something sensational that not everyone can do … you wrote a book and are an author.  It helps!
  • Local Media – Connect with your local media and let them know you have a new book out. But be sure to give them a reason why they would want to interview you.  Again, the fact that you live in their area and wrote something isn’t enough. You need to pitch them on why their audience would be interested.  What unique angle can you bring to the plate?  Keep in mind too, you can often target these towards holidays or special events if you have a book that relates to these topics.  There always seems to be a day or month for something (i.e., talk like a Pirate Day.)
  • Book Reviews. Getting book reviews is so important. There are numerous professional book reviewers who review books professionally and it’s good to send pitches to them. Again, we use Cision to look for reviewers and all of our media, but there are others out there as well.  Just make sure it’s targeted and send exactly what they ask.  When you do your homework, it shows.

Also, it’s great to ask for those who know you as well to write a review, just don’t be that person that spams their friends.  Also, have a promotion strategy with a big push at the beginning, but then continue to seek and secure reviews on a monthly basis. It’s a commitment that will pay off by keeping your book in the public eye. Also, know timing is critical when securing book reviews as a few of the larger book review sites require the galley two to three months in advance. Read More→

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