Hello, I'm Bridget, founder of Your Virtual Assistant Co! After years of sleepless nights and a never ending to-do list, running both my bridal boutique and wedding design businesses, I knew I needed help!
It’s easy to think of your marketing strategy only in terms of your social media game and your website. While you need to keep these content channels strong to have a healthy marketing strategy, these are only small but crucial pieces of the puzzle. You may have beautifully written and informative content but, without the right audience, it will get you nowhere. Targeted ads on popular platforms like Facebook and Google brings your ideal client to your content quickly and, with the right know-how about setting up campaigns, can save you time and stress!
How does your brand attract new customers?
Think of your marketing as three umbrellas of content – owned media, earned media, and paid media. Your website, your blog, your social media profiles – basically, the content you use to define your brand – is called owned media. If your owned media defines your brand, earned media invites people to connect with your brand and want to share it with others. Ever heard the term “social proof?” Basically, it means that when someone resonates with your brand and they share information about you on social media or blogs, other people find out about you and your services. Paid media, or paid advertising, gets your brand noticed by potential clients that have no relationship with your company. You can attract new potential customers to your business with targeted ads, usually offering some kind of opt-in enticing them to leave their contact information. You need a healthy mix of these three content channels to find the right clients and book them!
Where should you use targeted ads?
You can use these basic forms of advertising to grow brand awareness:
Display ads – these advertisements appear as boxes or “banner ads” on websites to promote your business. You can purchase ad space on any website that offers ad opportunities, like The Knot or Style Me Pretty.
Social media ads – these are any form of paid ads that you run through social media platforms. Popular platforms include Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can use several types of advertising on Facebook including sponsored posts and promoted Facebook events.
Search engine marketing – search engines like Google give you the option to create targeted ad campaigns that bring your website to the top of popular keyword searches in your industry. You can filter ad visibility by keyword, demographic, geographic location, and even past search history!
Native advertising – this type of advertising blends in with content on a website so that it doesn’t stand out as advertising to readers. It’s typically considered less disruptive than other forms on on-page ads.
You should constantly evaluate how your paid ads are doing to attract new followers to your brand, and ask yourself where your ideal customers are spending most of their time. If you’re not seeing returns on one form of advertising, try to allocate that budget to another platform that might bring you more web traffic.
Used strategically, paid advertising can be a powerful tool for growing brand awareness for your company and bringing new clients to your doorstep. In the next installment in our Targeted Ads series, we’ll dive into some techniques for setting up a Facebook ad campaign!
Can you believe it? It’s the last month of 2018! The year has flown by and in just a few weeks or days we will be welcoming our little miracle baby into our lives! I can’t believe it! With his arrival coming around the holidays, everything seems busier than ever right now! It is super important I plan things out and make sure the businesses are ready to roll while I’m out for a couple month. That said, our marketing calendar has been a big priority for me! I have been busy working to stay a month ahead these last couple months to make sure our marketing stays consistent and on point, even while I step away for a little.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the end of the year, the holidays, and all the things that tend to cause stress right around now, we are sharing our free downloadable December marketing calendar with you today. Take some time to plan this out so you can take one big piece of stress off your plate! Enjoy this time of year with those you love, while letting your business be marketing and working for you while you do. With engagement season in full swing, you’ll want to be sure to have all of your marketing on point!
The Easy Stuff
I always suggest filling in the easy stuff first. If you know when your newsletter is going out and what content pieces you want to incorporate, fill that into your calendar. Same with any other routine items that go into your marketing plan that don’t take you much time to think about. The more you can fill in the quicker it will go. Once you’ve done that you can look for the gaps that still need attention. With the end of the year, it’s a great time to run some holiday specials or giveaways if you are looking for areas to fill in your calendar. Partner with a fellow creative entrepreneur for a giveaway to connect with each other’s followers. Use the holidays to create fun engaging social media posts that get people talking about traditions, things they are doing, etc. Dive a little deeper this month to get more personal with your potential customers and existing ones. It’s an easy time of year to share more about your life outside of business. This is always where people love to connect!
Planning it Out
Once you’ve filled out your marketing calendar with all of your plans, spend some time scheduling out as much as you can! There are so many great tools that allow you to schedule out your blog, newsletters, Pinterest, social media, etc. Take your content and schedule it out so that you can enjoy the rest of the month and the holidays with those you love!
Grab Your Free Marketing Calendar Template
Ready to spend a day tackling this project so you can get hours of your life back this month? Hop over and grab your free template! Download it and use it to plan away. And don’t worry! If you start to get stressed out and feel overwhelmed, we’re here to help! Send us a message to learn about our marketing packages to see if we can help take some of this off of your plate!
If you are in the wedding industry, you are probably enjoying a little down time right now. BUT we all know that engagement season is coming! Between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s day, a large percentage of engagements are happening. That means in the next few weeks and months several couples will be starting to look for your services! We thought it was the perfect time to share some quick tips to make sure your business is prepared. If you are looking to connect with your ideal clients and book new business, now is the time to prepare!
Where Are You Promoting Yourself
Take a little time to explore all of the places you are currently marketing. Things such as:
Make sure these listing are all up to date. Do they have your correct business info? Are they showcasing your brand clearly across all platforms? Is there a cohesive look and feel that appeals to your ideal client?
Maybe you are noticing some of your original work is still up on these sites. Consider if that still speaks to who you are now and the client you are truly looking to connect with. It’s ok to clean out images that no longer represent our business and brand. it’s actually best! You want to be showcasing the things that speak to you and your client!
Who is Your Ideal Client & How Do You Speak to Them
Take a quick minute to analyze your current ideal client. What is their age range, where do they shop, where do they live and what do they like to do for fun? These are just a few things to think about. Picture this person as your friend. What all do you know about them? Once you have done this, think about how you would speak to them. What words do you use and what words don’t you use?
Maybe it’s time to update that copy across all of your marketing platforms. Make sure the client you want to be reaching is connecting with your brand and brand voice.
Get Consistent With Your Marketing Game
Now that you’ve analyzed all of your marketing and revisited your ideal client, it’s a good time to get consistent with your marketing! Whether you use Instagram, Facebook, a blog, newsletter, Pinterest, or all of the above, it’s good to make sure you have a strategy and keep it consistent. Newly engaged couples like to see you on multiple platforms and that there is consistency across them. If doing too much is keeping you from being consistent, pick a couple places you can invest your time. It is better to do a few things well. Plan out your strategy, schedule out what you can, and make sure that newly engaged couples can connect with you.
If all of this is stressing you out or sounding like more than you can handle, reach out! That’s what we are here for! Whether it’s a new marketing strategy and help with your marketing platforms or some updated copy, we can help! Don’t stress! Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones! We’ve got you!
Recently we took a day to really look at our original business plan. It seemed like it was time to really look at our core values, our vision for the company and solidify some of our services as we have really found our niche. It was so great to see where we have come in a year and a half and really put on paper the “roadmap” for the business. Looking at our core values was probably one of the easiest parts of the whole project as these are the things that drive us in the business. They come naturally and are what get’s us excited every day! Today we thought we would share these core values with you. We want to give you a little peek into the heart behind Your Virtual Assistant Co.
The first word that came to mind was passionate! We truly love what we do and it is why we launched this business. We love helping creative entrepreneurs manage, build, and succeed in their business while making time for them to do what they love. Our team loves all the “behind the scenes” aspects of the business that help drive the success of the business. Tackling marketing strategy, copywriting, social media, bookkeeping, website maintenance… it’s our jam!
Transparency & Trustworthy
We’re all about transparency! We are a part of your business team and your business’ success! If there is a new idea, concern, feedback that needs to be discussed, we are going to discuss it. We always want open communication between our team and our clients! Which also pairs with our being trustworthy. We are going to be open and honest with you at all times!
We know the importance of strong team members. Although we work virtually, we see ourselves as part of your business team. It is important to us that you can count on us! We create project timelines and make sure we all have clear expectations so that projects can be handled in timely fashion.
Hiring a virtual assistant helps you tackle tasks in your business that can help your business grow. It is important to us to set goals and track results to make sure the areas you are investing in are helping your business. Instead of just putting pretty images up on Instagram, we want to have a strategy to make sure those posts are getting views. We want to make sure the feed is serving your clients and your business. This is just one example.
Approachable & Supportive
This ties in a bit with trustworthy and transparency, but are always approachable. We are open about who we are, the struggles we face as business owners and what life really looks like. It is important for us to have real and open conversations with our clients. We know that the more we are open with each other, the more we can support each other.
Uplifting & Encouraging
Being an entrepreneur is hard! Most creative entrepreneurs are running solo and we know all the fears and doubts that can accompany being a business owner. It’s important to us to build community here in this space. We want to be uplifting and encouraging for our clients and fellow creative entrepreneurs. There is room for all of us here!
Now you know a bit more about why we started Your Virtual Assistant Co and what drives our business. We’d love to know if any of your core values are the same? Drop a comment!
Happy Halloween! It’s hard to believe another month has gone by already! I’ve been embracing all the fall things these last few weeks! The leaves are changing, pumpkin desserts are in abundance, and I love the chilly nights that are perfect for a bonfire! With November upon us, it’s time for the days to feel a bit shorter and the holidays start sneaking up! For me that always makes it seem like I have less time to do all the things! So, it’s really important to take time to work on my November marketing calendar to make sure no matter how busy the days get, all of the marketing keeps going out!
As you get ready to plan your November marketing content, it’s a great time to look at your goals for the year and how close you are to meeting them. How are you going to finish the year strong? Do you need to do some end of the year incentive to help you achieve your goals? Are there holiday promotions you want to run, that need planning out? Are there any new marketing platforms you want to start adding into your marketing strategy? Take a few extra minutes of planning time this month to really look at where you are and how you want to finish out the year.
Planning Out Your Month
As usual, you’ll want to take your November marketing calendar template and fill in any events, topics, promotions, etc, that you already have planned out. Now you can look at your list of any end of the year ideas that you put together while you were brainstorming. Is it time to finally launch that new idea? How will you go about building hype and excitement and when will you actually launch? Do you have a giveaway you’ve been putting off? Would it make sense to do that? Once you have everything plugged in that you already know, take a look at all the fun things happening in November to help fill in the gaps.
Small Business Saturday
These are just a few days happening in November that can help fill your marketing plans. As you get everything filled out, try to make sure you are keeping your brand and message consistent across all of your platforms. Think about the ways you are serving your customers and followers as well as connecting with them. Once you have it all planned out you’ll easily be able to start scheduling and planning all of your marketing.
Grab Your Free November Marketing Calendar
Ok, it’s time to jump over to our home page and grab our free template. And if you start to feel overwhelmed, reach out! We’re here to help! Let us take some of your marketing challenges off of your plate!
It’s National Get Organized week so it seemed like the perfect time to chat about organization in your business. One thing that always gets me stressed out in business is when I start to feel unorganized. I start to feel very reactive instead of proactive in the business when this happens. This always causes a more stressful environment for not only myself but my team. It leads to frustration and burnout pretty quickly.
One thing we’ve learned is that staying organized and setting up systems, helps us avoid this much more. Of course, life happens and it’s not perfect but the more we have systems in place, the more organized and less stressful things seem.
Today we thought we’d share with you some quick tips in using systems to help organize your business. Hopefully, these tips can help you feel less stressed and save you time and frustration in your business!
Track Your Every Day Tasks
Take a week or two to track your every day and every week tasks. You will often find that every day there are routine things that happen within your business. Some of these items might include:
Responding to client inquiries
Onboarding new clients
Tackling the endless email inbox
Social media posting and engagement
Sending proposals or contracts
Cleaning up your office
I’m sure the list goes on and on. Hopefully, you’ll notice some patterns in the things that happen more often than others.
Write Out the Process
What tasks are you doing over and over? What is your process in doing that project? For example, one of our clients is a photographer. She often gets clients inquires every day. Sometimes they come through email, Instagram or Facebook. But often times shes drafting a reply on the fly each and every time. This takes time out of every day. So we worked through writing out the process.
What Type of Inquiry
What is a typical response for each type, leave a few blanks where appropriate
Include links to FAQ blogs to answer questions
Include links to booking appointments, packages
We broke the typical flow down and the different types of responses that make sense accordingly. We did the same thing for when a client books a package and signs a contract. What is the onboarding process for each client/package?
Put Systems in Place
Once you have reviewed the tasks that are every day, and your typical workflow from that point, it’s easy to build out an automated process to help save you time! If several steps involve email you can automate a series of replies with time triggered responses. If they are a bit more customized, you can build out and same templates for future use. You can use apps like Asana to create workflows. This way your process runs smoothly each time. The more you map out your process and build a system the quicker and easier these repetitive tasks will become! You will save yourself time and headaches!
If you know it’s time to build out systems in your business to help automate tasks and save you time, we’re happy to help you do it! With custom packages to help with not only the automation and workflows but copywriting as well, we can help you with each step along the way! Get back to doing what you love, and let us help you save time and relieve stress in your business!
Making the decision to let someone assist you with critical tasks in your business can be a tough one and a bit scary. But, being planned and organized in making the transition can help ensure for a smoother process. The last thing you want it so officially move things off your plate, only to feel like a bigger burden of work has been created. If you are ready to start making time in your schedule by outsourcing some areas of your business, consider these tips to prepare.
Know Your Brand & Working Style
As you’ve grown and established your business you have probably established your brand and the way you prefer to represent yourself as a business. Putting this in writing and discussing it with your virtual assistant is very helpful. When we take on new clients one of our first onboarding tasks is to understand the business and brand. Whether we’re working on marketing copy, website updates, social media, blogs, etc, knowing the brand and the way you portray your business is essential to our onboarding process.
Know the Systems for Sharing Information
Most virtual assistants have a preferred way of sharing information back and forth with their clients. Whether it’s a client management system, google docs or multiple platforms, there will most likely be a way the two of you will be communicating. Be sure to nail down the systems you will be using so that it is easy to get information back and forth between the two of you. You want to make communication and information sharing easy. This helps keep projects on deadlines.
Take Time to Prepare On the Front End
If you are going to be handing off projects, the more information you prepare on the front end, the quicker and easier the transition. If you have to spend two months going back and forth with getting information over to someone, it’s going to feel like a burden and you are going to reconsider if this is “saving you time” at all. Think of outsourcing like hiring a new employee to your team. What role are they hired for? What information will they need to perform the job? For example, if the VA is handling blog writing for you and the blogs involve client features, make sure you have access to the images, vendors involved, and some key background details on your experience with the couple, so they can jump in and start writing.
Communication & Feedback
Lastly, keep open communication and feedback with your VA. The quicker you can provide answers to your VA’s questions, the faster projects can continue to progress. If you are feeling like the project doesn’t quite meet your expectations, be sure to give feedback on how and why. The more communication you have the quicker our VA can comfortably learn your business and help take items off your plate.
As you are preparing to outsource know there will be some time on the front end to move over tasks. But once you have done so, you can cross the items off your to-do list! And, your VA is typically an expert in the area they are working and what may have taken you hours to complete can be done in a fraction of their time. Now you can get back to the heart of your business and gain some much needed time back in your life!
If you are considering outsourcing and unsure if its right for you, reach out! We’d love to chat!
We’ve been talking about outsourcing a bit over the last few weeks on the blog. We often find people have questions about outsourcing and if it’s right for their business, what can be outsourced and the reasons to outsource. Today we thought we would share with you 5 reasons to outsource. If you’ve been wondering if outsourcing might be right for you, hopefully, this will help answer some of your questions.
Save Labor Costs
One of the biggest reasons business may choose to outsource is to save on labor costs. Instead of adding a fixed person to your payroll with guaranteed hours, you can contract our work and only pay for the hours needed. The person you are outsourcing to should be an expert on what you are hiring them. They can often complete the project quickly.
Tackle Tasks that Would be Time-Consuming to Figure Out on Your Own
Are there areas in your business you want to implement or update but aren’t proficient in? By outsourcing these tasks to an expert, they can be done quickly and efficiently and save you time and money. Item’s that we find are often in this category include- bookkeeping, website maintenance, sales funnels, newsletters, copywriting, blogging.
Focus on Core Business
Another big reason to outsource is making time for you to focus on your core business. As a creative entrepreneur the more you get tied down to mundane tasks, the less time you have to focus on the creative areas of your business that you love! For many of us in the creative industry, we are working solo and wearing “all the hats.” The more you spread yourself thin, the less work you can take on and the less time you get to truly enjoy doing the business you love. By outsourcing tasks that you alone don’t have to do, you can focus on your core business and what you love!
Ensure Certain Aspects of Your Business are Being Handled
There are only so many hours in a day. If you are a solopreneur or working with a team that can only handle so many aspects of your business, often times some of the most crucial areas of the business get overlooked. The customer typically comes first, which is important! But if the back end of the business isn’t happening, customer service will start to suffer in the long run. If your marketing isn’t happening, new customers will start to dwindle. If your bookkeeping isn’t being maintained, tax time will sneak up on you and can create havoc in the business. These are just a few examples of things that often get overlooked when things get too busy in our businesses.
Save on the Investment Into Resources & Technology that the Experts Have
Another great reason to outsource is cost saving on resources and technology. Often times the areas you are outsourcing could involve hours or training on special resources or need certain technology or programs to do them. By outsourcing, the other company will carry the costs of these things and you can save yourself time and money.
These are just a few reasons to outsource. If you have questions if outsourcing might be right for your business, or what you might be able to outsource to make more time for your core business, reach out! We’d love to schedule a time to chat more about helping you in your business.
Is your to-do list starting to look more like a novel you can’t ever finish? Every Wednesday, are you feeling down because you’ve gotten maybe half of the things done that you planned for the week? That’s the feeling of working IN your business instead of working ON your business. Successful entrepreneurs know that there isn’t enough time in the day to take on everything on their own. Small tasks tend to slip further down on the list until they aren’t a priority. The problem is these small tasks can sometimes bring the biggest return for your business and, with an overall marketing strategy, can make them more effective. Outsource these tasks to a virtual assistant to keep these pieces working for your business while taking things off your plate to focus on the bigger picture!
Social Media Planning
Especially for creative entrepreneurs, social media can grow your business exponentially by making people aware of your brand and services. Not having a social media presence has widespread effects on the success of your business. People won’t know anything about who you are and what your brand stands for, are less likely to reach out to you for business, and are less likely to find you with even a general Google search.
If your social media isn’t up to date, hire a virtual assistant. They can learn your brand voice to grow your audience and create brand ambassadors for your business!
Creating Original Blog Content for Your Subscribers
We’ve all heard how important SEO is, but how many of us really understand how it works? There’s a lot that goes into making your website rank well on Google, but one of the fastest ways to improve your website ranking is creating quality content with relevant information for the people you’re targeting. If you’re a photographer, write a blog on the perfect wedding day shot list! But, rushing through blog posts can make your content suffer and drive less traffic to your website. That’s where a virtual assistant comes in – they’ll know your brand voice and can focus on writing blogs that serve your audience.
Keeping Track of the Numbers
Bookkeeping is typically one of the last things on your mind in the day-to-day of your business, but it’s indispensable for your business. It’s how you keep track of how your business is performing and how to plan for the future. Find a Quickbooks certified bookkeeping specialist to help you stay up-to-date on your bookkeeping without having to plan it into your busy schedule.
Return on investment for email marketing is higher than any other type of marketing – even more than social! It’s a proven marketing strategy that works for virtually any business and, most importantly, engages subscribers who’ve already shown interest by opting in to get your information sent straight to their inbox. But – how do you grow a subscriber list? How do you make emails that people connect with? How do I turn subscribers into booking clients? Seek the expertise of someone who knows the ins and outs of email to make this powerful tool work for you.
Creating Your Overall Marketing Strategy
More than executing your marketing, you need to plan and strategize your marketing efforts to identify the needs of your ideal client and keep your marketing dollars spent on tactics that work for you. What makes your company different from your competitors? How do you make your brand work for you to find your ideal clients? The best person to help with finding the answers to these questions is a marketing consultant. Marketing consultants can strategize around the specific needs of your business and lead your social media, blog, and email marketing to attract the people you want for your business!
If you just read this and thought to yourself – I need to make these tools work for me and my business, contact us to set up a call to discuss your needs! With a background in website design, branding, email marketing, social media strategizing, and a Quickbooks certification, we’ll help you make these tasks indispensable tools for your business.