How To …

Should We Have Stopped at Kindergarten?

Posted on June 22, 2011. Filed under: How To ..., Smart Business Strategies | Tags: , , , |


[tweetmeme]My son Spencer recently graduated from Kindergarten and during the ceremony I quietly reflected on his past year of school and how much he’d grown and matured. I realized that Kindergarten has already started to establish the basic fundamentals for his future. Amazingly, he has been able to remind me of some things we should all be incorporating into our professional lives, especially as business owners. (more…)

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Creating Systems for Success

Posted on February 15, 2011. Filed under: How To ..., Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant | Tags: , , , , , |


[tweetmeme]Most of us run our lives on a handful of systems. Between our cell phones, our planners and our email in-boxes, we have organized ourselves and our time quite effectively.   Yet as important as these systems are, most of us don’t take advantage of other creative ways to improve our business procedures. By documenting processes, they can occur without so much thought or reinvention.  And most especially if you are a solopreneur, having your processes documented and in the hands of your Virtual Assistant, your business can continue to run smoothly, even if you are sick or on vacation.

For most of us, there are dozens of similar repetitive tasks, large and small, in our businesses that could be systemized. To identify where, step back from your routine and look at it all objectively. As you go through the analysis, ask yourself why you created a particular process in the first place.  For every process you find that could be automated with a new system, you may find another that can be eliminated altogether.  Reviewing your business this way may in fact prove to be both valuable and enlightening. (more…)

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What Does Integrity Really Mean and Do We Truly Operate With It?

Posted on August 24, 2010. Filed under: How To ..., Marketing Ideas, Smart Business Strategies | Tags: , , , |


[tweetmeme]

So many businesses advertise “integrity” these days that we no longer pay much attention to it. It is an overused word. When we read it, we don’t know if we can trust it; it is unlikely that we will go ahead and purchase a product or service because of a company’s claimed “integrity”. YET, most of us do exactly the same: promote our integrity as a key reason to do business with us.  There is a solution at the end of this article, but first let’s examine TRUE integrity.

Who we are in life is who we are in business. There really is no getting away from that. We must closely examine ourselves and know that if we do not have core values then we will not run our businesses with true integrity, and we will be found out. Integrity must be present throughout the deepest layers of our company, and not just at its surface, so it becomes the heart and soul of our company culture. Clients will sense this and it is very attractive! (more…)

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How to Develop a Relationship of Trust With Your Cyber-Clientele

Posted on July 20, 2010. Filed under: How To ..., Virtual Assistant |


[tweetmeme]

As a “Virtual” Assistant, I rarely have the opportunity to meet my clients in person so it’s vital that I do all I can to make a connection with them and that we develop a relationship of trust.  After all, most of my clients provide me with credit card and other confidential information related to their business.  Integrity and trust are among the most valued traits in developing a long-lasting relationship.  So how do my clients KNOW that my priorities are in alignment with their values?   I consistently demonstrate these traits in everything I do for them.

My clients are scattered throughout the country, in different time zones and they are extremely busy, so it’s rare that we have an opportunity to speak on the phone, let alone meet in person.  Our relationship is almost exclusively developed through email communication, so I have to do all I can to promote confidence as well as a sense of familiarity.

The issue of  “bridging the distance” is not exclusive to my business model.  In these technological times, Coaches and Consultants alike as well as many other professions work with clients whom they may never meet face-to-face.  I am pleased to share some examples of how I have been able to nurture my client relationships from afar:

  • Keep them updated regularly on all assignments, pending projects and reminders.  For example, “Do you want me to follow up with Mr. Smith on the proposal we sent him last week?”  To keep my updates brief and concise I use bullet points, e.g. “I have submitted your Press Release to the following outlets …”
  • Make them look good to THEIR clients.  I have clients who provide direct access between myself and their clients. Whether through email or on the phone I handle all communication using a professional yet friendly tone.  Often times I receive feedback from my clients such as “Mr. Jones sent me an email and commented on how helpful you were.”
  • Proofread for content.  Many of my clients have top-notch writing skills but they appreciate that when they ask me to proofread their work I check not only for edits in grammar, spelling and punctuation, I also read for content.  I often include my own redline suggestions to enhance their message and include comments such as “You may want to mention your upcoming event in this paragraph.”
  • Manage important correspondence appropriately. Although my clients trust in my abilities to communicate their message effectively, for more important/sensitive correspondence I send a draft to my client first so they have an opportunity to add or edit anything before I send it out.  Once approved, I copy or blind copy them on the final email.
  • Make it MY business to know THEIR business. Even if it doesn’t pertain directly to me, many of my clients copy me on all their email correspondence so that I am “in the loop”.  I keep a ‘tickler’ file on my desk so pending items won’t fall through the cracks.  Generally I hear “Thank you for reminding me.  I had forgotten about that.”  I also keep their business in the front of my mind and send articles or other items I think would be of interest or relevance to them.

Although your business model may not be the same as mine, I hope these examples have provided some helpful ideas for you to consider and that I have provoked you to think of ways you can enhance your own cyber-clientele relationships.  I would love to hear your feedback and ask that you send me some of your ideas that I can post on my blog.

*To receive a FREE copy of my Ebook, “Social Media Marketing Strategies”, use this link to subscribe to my mailing list: http://bit.ly/A0pq0Y.  

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Social Media Strategy Checklist

Posted on June 25, 2010. Filed under: How To ..., Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant | Tags: , , , , , , |


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Achieve Better Results for Your Business

Posted on June 23, 2010. Filed under: How To ..., Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant |


[tweetmeme]

Achieving better results in your business lies in asking yourself better questions. With great confidence you will be able to figure out the solution to any obstacle. Keep in mind it’s as important to tap into the skills and experience you already have as it is to be willing to learn new skills along the way. Ideas for your business can come from anywhere. Start by asking yourself these questions and you will soon begin elevating your success. (more…)

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As Seen on Forbes.com – “Don’t Let Your Business Be Held Hostage”

Posted on April 5, 2010. Filed under: As Seen On ..., How To ..., Smart Business Strategies | Tags: , , , , , |


[tweetmeme]

(I am quoted on Page 2 of this post – link below)

“Is there someone who is a little too indispensable at your company? I’m thinking of the person who is the only one with the password to several critical systems, or the only one who understands how they work.

Where would you be if he walked off in a huff and decided to hold that information hostage? Where would you be if he got run over by the proverbial bus?

I took this topic from a discussion in the Small Business Online Community on LinkedIn, and interviewed several of the participants…” Click here to read more

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7 Ideas to Demonstrate Customer Appreciation

Posted on March 22, 2010. Filed under: How To ..., Marketing Ideas, Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant | Tags: , , , , , |


 

[tweetmeme]
I receive a lot of positive feedback from my clients – almost daily.  I say this not to pat myself on the back, but to recognize that a simple “You’re terrific!” can truly make my day.  Honestly, 2 simple words at the top of an email in response to an idea I sent to them or to follow up on something that they may have all but forgotten is confirmation that they feel properly served.
I hope that my clients realize that their appreciation of me not only brings a smile to my face, but mirrors their reward by continuing to bring results right back to them.   Gratitude  from my clients only encourages my increased commitment and motivation.
I am thinking about ways to learn more about my clients, their business and their plans for growth, but it also brings to mind ways that I can demonstrate my appreciation of their loyalty to me and to my business.  I hope you will be motivated to show your gratitude to your customers with some of these ideas: (more…)
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Promote Your Business in 6 Words or Less

Posted on March 15, 2010. Filed under: How To ..., Marketing Ideas, Smart Business Strategies, Virtual Assistant | Tags: , , , , , |


[tweetmeme]

It can often be challenging to craft just the right “elevator speech”. The term elevator speech defines that your marketing or sales “pitch” should take no longer than the time it takes to explain what you do while riding with someone in an elevator. The objective is to be clear and concise and address these 3 key points: (more…)

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How to add a ReTweet Button to Your Blog Post

Posted on March 11, 2010. Filed under: How To ..., Marketing Ideas, Smart Business Strategies |


[tweetmeme]

I had to do some research to find this out, but I was amazed how simple it was. In your blog post, and at the top before your text, type this exactly, but with no spaces (I have to add spaces to show it to you, or the text won’t show up here in my post). [ tweetmeme ].  Believe it or not, this “secret code” won’t be seen by your readers). Then add a paragraph break and start adding your blog text.   *Make sure you use the square brackets, not the “squiggly” ones, and not parentheses.

When you publish your post, click on the title of your post to see it as a “stand alone” and you should see the Retweet option as it show up for people, with the cute icon and all.   Enjoy!

Please let me know how it works for you (and if you liked this tip!).  Thanks.

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