June’s Quick Tips

SVA’s Favorite Helpful Desktop Apps or Extensions

To successfully multitask in the VA industry you have to be able to work smarter not harder. Here are some of our favorite applications & extensions for business. Just about any & all small business owners should take advantage of these great sites, especially if you work from a home office. The best thing about most of them…..they’re FREE.

LastPass: Free Password Manager / http://www.LastPass.comSimplified VA suggests, Work smarter not harder

Description: LastPass, a password manager that saves your passwords and gives you secure access from every computer and mobile device.

How we use it: LastPass is a VA’s best friend. For my Virtual Assistants to work with our clients, we need to have access to our clients’ websites, social media, & etc. LastPass preserves our client’s privacy when it comes to log in information. Our client sends us the links to their log-ins through their end on LastPass. What we actually receive is Log-in: ######## Password: ############

Check My Links / Chrome web store

Description: Check My Links is a link checker that crawls through your webpage and looks for broken links.

How we use it: We use it on all our clients’ sites. We also use it for email marketing. How many times have you sent out an email with dead links?! We send numerous emails out for our clients and it is vital to our clients’ identity to have a good email. Repetitive broken links will lead to a drastic decline in readership.

Hootsuite Hootlet / http://www.hootlet.com

Description: Quickly share web pages to all of your social networks using the Hootsuite Hootlet.

How we use it: Another great tool used for all of our clients. While logged in to a client’s Hootsuite account, we are able to auto-schedule or send immediately, any content we find online. Best practice tip – Have your auto-schedule parameters set-up prior to using. When sending via auto-schedule Hootlet will schedule separate your postings for various times, saving more time

MozBar from Moz / http://www.moz.com/tools/seo-toolbar

Description: MozBar provides easy access to SEO tools and data while you surf the web

How we use it: Basically we check all of our clients’ sites. We do not in any way claim to be website designers but we do create content for sites & do up keep for our clients. This is a great tool we use to check the sites before and after.

Page Analytics (by Google) / Chrome web store

Description: Allows you to see how customers interact with your web pages including what they click and don’t click.

How we use it: Another one where the usage is self-explanatory. We use it for each of our clients’ sites.

Pin It Button by Pinterest / Chrome web store

Description: Pin the things you find on the webSimplified VA suggests building a team to outsource to

How we use it: This pretty self-explanatory but we try to be our clients’ advocates & we love saving & sharing our clients content. We are pretty new to using Pinterest ourselves but we see and understand the awesome potential it has.

Pocket – Save to Pocket / http://www.getpocket.com

Description: Easily save articles, videos and more for later. Pocket Extension for Chrome – The best way to save articles, videos and more

How we use it: We save tons of good content for our clients and for ourselves. Sites providing industry news, free stock photos, & good blogs. All saved content can be reviewed or read offline at our convenience.

RiteTag Social Media Optimizer / http://www.ritetag.com

Description: Millions of free pics & influencer-tagging. Total post grading as you type in Facebook, Twitter, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Buffer & more.

How we use it: Awesome social cheat used with Hootlet. Click your Owly to bring up Hootlet. In the Hootlet window you’ll be able to find and use the best hashtags(#) and include stock photos if there are no pictures included. Another “totally cool” feature of this tool is it will tell you if your post is strong enough & give you tips on how to make it stronger.

ASANA / http://www.ASANA.com

Description: Asana is a web and mobile application designed to enable teamwork without email

How we use it: There are a few others but we find ASANA to be our preferred project management tool due to its ease of use. It is very user-friendly and has an easy to use mobile friendly app. Our clients are able to log in at any time of the day schedule a task or upload pictures. When we log in we are able to check due dates, new assignments & exchange messages with our clients. We have become completely virtual by using ASANA. No need for phone or emails.

MightyText / http://www.mightytext.net

Description: Text from your computer, sync’d with your Android phone & number

How we use it: True it’s only for android but I’m sure there is one for the iPhone out there. Now we tell all of our clients text in to use is completely unprofessional because let’s face it, it is. When conducting business with our clients, we do get friendly and at ties personal but business is business. Even though most VA’s work from home office’s, we really do not have the time to constantly text our family & friends back while we are in our “work zone” but MightyText lets us reply without touching our phone.

May’s Quick Tips

Don’t Let Your Setback Set You Back


Have you ever worked on a project and experienced setback after setback? It’s extremely frustrating and makes you want to justpic30 give up. I have words for you & your frustrations, success is not an option but a destination and in turn failure is not an option….at all. How you choose to deal with your setbacks determines your success or failure. Overcome your setbacks with these ‘quick tips’:

Determine what the exact problem is

  • You know you are frustrated and about to blow a gasket but what is the root cause. We can stew all day about the fact that we were unable to complete a task or we can fix the exact problem that stopped us in our tracks. In creating this workbook for the #SSC2015 my flash-drive broke in half & my files crashed 5 times. I thought maybe this just isn’t for me but the information was just flowing through me & I had to share it in my vision of this workbook. The root of my problem was my laptops configuration & memory.

Address how it makes you feel

  • Is your anger worth you give up? Was it a smart decision to toss your mouse against the wall or fire your administrative assistant? Calm down & step away from your project. If possible step away until the second half of your day or for the rest of the day. Coming back to your project after rejuvenating yourself be just what you need to re-think what went wrong or find what halted your progress.

Are there any environmental factors

  • Now I have not researched feng shui, but I do know that your environment plays an important part in your creativity. Traditional & home offices alike need to be designed for optimal productivity. Try natural sunlight, cleared out spaces, & fresh air. Just don’t go over board and get so comfortable that you sleep the rest of the day away….It’s been known to happen.

List possible modifications to give you your desired outcome

  • pic31You may just need a quick fix to your problem. Making a list of all changes to your plan can help you choose what the best re-route will be. Always have a back to your original plan. If possible completely outsource your project.. Build a team & designate tasks.

Power through

  • Absolutely, positively, do not give in to your frustrations. Shake it off & keep going. If you want to play hard you need to work hard. To continue on your path to success you need to power through whatever he setback is & keep pushing.

February 2015’s Quick Tip

February 2015

5 Must-Haves for Social Media Management

Written by Matt Foulger

Social media has grown from a curiosity to an integral piece of corporate strategy in the space of only a few years. Nearly overnight, companies have brought on whole teams of specialists to craft effective social media strategies and manage multiplying numbers of social media accounts. Companies are hungry for better social media tools to engage their constituents. Below is a list of five features key to delivering on a social media strategy.

1) Scheduling

Social media doesn’t sleep, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to! Ensure your social media management tool of choice allows you to schedule messages in advance. So even if you’re in New York, you can schedule messages out to your customers in Tokyo during their workday.

If you want to take scheduling to the next level, look for a tool that offers the ability to schedule large batches of messages at once. This will be a super useful time-saver when it comes to managing campaigns or contests that require heavy messaging around a certain period of time.

2) Geo

When it comes to interacting with your customers, those in different locations may have different needs, speak different languages or follow different trends. You’re going to want a tool that optimizes your searches and filters your searches by language to help you curate relevant content for different demographics.

3) Ke512px-owly-lumberjackywords

Social media is also an effective way for businesses to keep their finger on the pulse. Setting up keywords or search streams provide insight into what is trendy among your customers. This can help you develop a marketing strategy that focuses on customer’s lifestyles and personal preferences.

Keywords are useful for keeping track of competitors’ activities but they’re also useful for tracking brands that are complementary to your offering. If your product is often purchased in conjunction with another product, keep an eye on the complementary product’s social media activity to take advantage of promotions or recent sales, as these are potential leads ready to be converted.

4) Collaboration

It takes two to tango especially when it comes to being social. Collaboration is key when it comes to developing and executing an effective social media campaign. Ensure your social media management tool enables you to seamlessly collaborate with your team to ensure you execute an integrated social media management strategy.

5) Reporting

Gone are the days of social media purely being about ‘building buzz.’ It is now a line item in budgets as companies invest resources in these channels and there is an expectation for reports which show ROI for social media outreach.

Make sure your tool has the ability to analyze important metrics such as click-through rates on shortened links, clicks by region and top referrers. It’s also important to have access to Facebook Insights and Google Analytics.

The most effective tools will provide the ability to access in-depth granular metrics on the efficacy of your social media programs. This will allow you to determine which messages resulted in the highest number of conversions, which platform is providing the greatest return and which time of day is most effective to drive traffic.

What it takes to go Pro?

Social is here to stay and to maintain a competitive advantage, businesses need to stay abreast of this ever-evolving space. Hootsuite Pro helps teams engage with audiences and analyze campaigns across multiple social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn from one secure web-based dashboard.

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8 Tips for Social Business Part 1

Evaluating your Social Goals

Written by Evan LePage. Originally posted on HootSource.

After taking stock of your organization’s social maturity, it’s time to ask a few questions. First, where have you already or where do you plan to deploy social programs and against which goals? In either case, avoid considering social in a vacuum. Take the time to understand where it best fits your organization and how to integrate it into existing organizational and departmental goals. You’re not reinventing wheels for social, just using it to make the ones you have turn faster.

Where will it allow you to reach the customers or stakeholders who most crave deeper, richer dialogue? Perhaps it’s the marketing department, the traditional home of social media in business, but that’s not a given. Perhaps it’s HR? Maybe you’re better to consider developing a robust internal social ecosystem, harnessing the power of inward-facing social before you look outward? How are you goin512px-owly-ambassadorg measure and quantify the success of social programs? Look beyond vanity metrics such as Likes and Follows and try, for example, to find a direct link between conversation and conversion. Focus on influence and analytics over inflating a group size or follower base.

What can you reasonably afford to dedicate to social in terms of time and tools? The allocation of human resources is far and away the most significant cost tied to social. What will your team(s) look like? Identify leadership within your organization or begin the hunt to find it from the outside. With your team(s) in place, educate and cross-train team members so that they can be rotated across different areas of specialization. Empower your people. We practice this at Hootsuite as a way of providing our people the ability to engage our customers multi-dimensionally rather than silo-ing expertise department to department.

Look for a reliable and scalable social tool that centralizes control over your social platforms and puts the power to listen, engage, collaborate and analyze in the hands of your do-ers, practitioners and experts. Make decisions about which platforms you will be active on or where you may need to consolidate existing accounts. Observe the largest organizations in your industry vertical and learn from their successes and mistakes. Engage them in conversation about the future of social in your industry. Look deeper than the usual social suspects like Facebook and Twitter to other platforms like Quora or Get Satisfaction where you may have existing communities of powerful unpaid social advocates already at work on your behalf.

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January’s Quick Tip

January 2015

Branding Tips

Branding Cycle

 

Branding is never-ending & consistently evolving. In our quick tip here, we’d like to share are the 6 keys to the process of branding.

 

  • Promise – Your reputation is built on the backbone of your brand. Stick to it.
  • Presentation – To build you credibility & increase your consumer interest you need to maintain your presence when branding
  • Persistence – Do not get bored with you brand to soon. Keep a level of consistency with your brand to be able to be persistent in your businesses endeavors
  • Perception – Analyze that your brand is congruent between two things, your company’s goals & your consumer’s needs.
  • Product – Define what it is you are branding (which can be anything) & stick to that definition. Every you do in your business will be built out of your definition
  • Positioning – Make sure what you are branding has a need. If there is no significant need for what the brand you are trying to build you are not going to succeed