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Social media should always be part of your marketing strategy as a business owner however with the country on lock down, now, more than ever, is the time to get your message out there and to be giving value to everyone you meet ‘online’.

Without the ability to mix in social gatherings, it can become a lonely place and people are finding ways to break the boredom, frustration and changes ahead. Being online will be the first point of call for many who are trying to stay up to date with the world, stay in touch with friends and family and continue as normal as possible.

So where and how does your business fit in to the mix?

Many people are asking the questions, “Should I pull back from social media?” / “I haven’t got the money to put into marketing at the moment” / “There’s no need to promote my business at this time”. All valid questions or thoughts but at the end of the day, you have a business you believe in, the world will go on and come through the Coronavirus at the other end and you want to be in the forefront of people’s minds when that time happens. By disappearing and being unseen through these times, it will make it harder to have an impact when things start to get back to normal.

The best thing your business can do is to keep an active social media presence but perhaps change the tone of what you do. For example, how can you help your audience? How could you provide value to your audience? Could you provide tutorials or how-to’s? Can you inspire or motivate your audience or be a listening ear to the questions or thoughts they have?

There are many ways that you can still communicate with your audience online, it doesn’t have to be about selling your product or getting them to use your services, the above ideas will help to build a relationship with the people around you and to build trust and credibility. You just need to be you – YOU are your brand and the people (eventually) will buy from you when they like and trust what they see and hear.

Tell your story

Relationship building and story telling is so important throughout your marketing ventures, whether that be online or offline, people want to trust who they connect with and love what they see. Tell your story, be honest in what’s happening around you at this time. People are happy to listen and engage when it’s something real – in the long term they will not appreciate you being something you’re not and giving them false hopes of what they will get from you.

How can you use your social media for good in times or hardship or worry? While the country is lockdown, you can provide value in your marketing

Be passionate and positive

Be passionate in everything you do, be inspirational and lift people’s spirits. These are hard time for lots of people and many are seeing their businesses fall around them. How can you be their ray of light? Even if you don’t feel like it’s going great for you, you can still take the positive mindset and believe that if you push through and do all that you are able to do, it will be ok and your business will come through the other end. Mindset has so much to do with outcomes – do you agree? The more positive you are through a situation, the better the result. And that can be applied to your business in these times of lock down, isolation and worrying days. Make the decision to be positive, to be brave, and to try new things as we go through a different way of life for a while. You may try something completely new and it works! You’d never know unless you try.

Bring your audience with you in the journey

Step out of the boat, put your best face on and be there for your audience. Explain to them where you’re at, bring them along with you in your story, make them part of the journey. Allow your audience to help guide the direction of where your business heads, your customers are your lifeline, they are the people that are going to keep your business afloat, so give them what they want and allow their reactions and decision to influence yours.

There is room for everyone online

Social media marketing is a minefield as you may well know by now, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t play the game right and fairly. The internet is a big place and there is room for everyone, you just need to know how and where you fit in. And with many businesses pulling back in their online presence there will be more opportunity for you to be heard, if it’s done correctly and sensitively. Know your audience, know when and where to post, understand them and what their pain points are, get to love them and be in their shoes when writing your copy or creating your images, be that customer and create your content as if it were for you. What would you want to hear? What solutions would help you? What inspiration would help you or guide you?

Make a list of questions that your audience could be asking and write content around these, dig deeper into the mindset of your customers and provide as much value as you can for them and let them think that you are writing directly to them.

Each of us will be going through different struggles in these unprecedented times, the country, the nation, the world is all going through it together, so you are not alone. It’s just going to be a case of what can you do now to keep your business alive and help it to come out the other side?

It’s all in the marketing strategy

Plan your marketing well. Don’t live in the hope that it might work, be strategic in your approach and use your time wisely in creating a plan that will help you achieve all that you need to, while speaking to all those you need to and by providing all the value and solutions that you are able. Be consistent, be persistent and love your audience.

If you’re looking for guidance on how to get your business through these times and showcase what you have to give, we’d love to chat with you. Feel free to get in touch and let’s talk.

 

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5 Quick Tips To Be More Productive

5 Quick Tips To Be More Productive

Everyone wants to accomplish as much as they can in the quickest time frame but often this comes at a price. Being quicker at something is not always the most effective way and can often lead to a negative result at the expense of your business.

Being productive at work, whether you are an employee in an office, a freelancer working from home or an entrepreneur starting a small business, it is an important aspect to learn if you want to be successful.

If this is you and you’re looking for tips on being more productive in the work place, then take a look at our short list of things to think about to achieve productivity.

Learn to say no

If you’re a small business owner or freelancer just starting out, you may feel that you have to accept and tackle every job that comes your way. But you don’t have to! How important is the quality of your work? This should be at the top of the list in terms of business objectives and if this is compromised at any time, it will have a knock-on effect in your business.

Learning to delegate or working with others could be a solution if you are finding that there is just not enough time in the day. Delegation is not a way of giving up or defeat – it’s a way of managing a growing situation that you know could be handled better.

Start with tasks that you know are time-consuming or you simply don’t have time for but you know they have to be done. Hire a Virtual Assistant for those small takes, just a few hours a week and be assured that they will be completed whilst you focus on other parts of your business.

Say no to other jobs that you simply cannot fit into the puzzle. It is better to say no than to do a bad job – word of mouth and reputation is extremely important for any business, especially a small business that is trying to grow. If it’s a job that you know fits with your business but you personally don’t have time – is it something that you could hire a freelancer / virtual assistant for?

It’s about working out a way of managing your time and workload and staying focused on what you enjoy in your business.

Prioritise

We all have a hundred and one things on our to-do list and as the above point, there are times that we have to say no. However there are also times that we need to prioritise what we are doing and put order into our days.

Prioritise the work that comes in, work through tasks in order of importance. Often a good tip is to complete the tasks that take the most amount of time first, knowing that once that is done, you’ll have more time to focus on the rest.

Use lists to help you with your workload. Wunderlist is a great app that you can use on the go and will sync with your laptop so wherever you are you’ll be able to see what needs doing and what you have completed. It may seem tedious to start with but when you get the hang of working with lists and prioritising the tasks on them, your working week will become more manageable and you’ll be able to see what comes next each step of the way.

5 Quick Tips To Be More Productive

Manage your time

It’s extremely easy to get side-tracked and start one thing and then start something else halfway through. Managing your time properly will enable you to know how much time you spend on each task (especially useful for freelancers or virtual assistants who charge per hour) and help you to work to deadlines more efficiently.

Using your lists, work through your workload in order. If you’re charging per hour, be sure to use a stop clock or online app that helps you track exactly what time you are using.

Using an online calendar is also a great way of ensuring that you stick to your timeframes and with reminders being set, you can be sure to get each task done as and when they are required. Don’t forget to schedule phone calls or meetings into your calendar as this is time away from your day that you have planned to complete other work. Along with this comes scheduling time to check emails and messages. This should all form part of your daily lists and be entered into your calendar. It may sound silly but actually managing your time effectively means you need to know where all your time is being spent – and this is a great way of keeping track.

If you work from home and have family commitments, have your desk ready for working when you come home from the school run and then you know that you’re ready for business from that point on. Discipline is very important when working away from an office and getting in to a routine takes practice but is definitely worth it.

Stop multitasking

May sound an odd thing to put on this list as multitasking is often taught to be a good thing. But multitasking can often lead to mistakes and work not being produced to a high standard.

Use your lists and your priorities to organise your work load and work on one thing at a time to produce great results that clients will be sure to recommend you for.

Less is more when it comes to your productivity in the workplace – get tasks done more effectively and efficiently by not multitasking at work.

Take breaks

Yes, you want to get more done and you have a ton of things on your to-do list … but being productive is about time management managing your workload well. If you schedule breaks into your working day, it will enable your mind to re-focus and re-charge.

Grab a snack or a coffee, perhaps go for a walk and get some fresh air and definitely step away from your screen! Allow your body to have a break, ready to come back refreshed and ready to start again. This will make you more effective in your work.

There are many more things we could add to this list but remember that your business is your livelihood, it is a part of you and in order for your business to grow and to be successful, you need to a good reputation and your recommendations matter. Staying on top of your workload and being more productive at work will bring great benefits to you, health wise and also to your business.

If you’d looking for a helping hand in achieving any of the above or are looking for a Virtual Assistant to be your pair of helping hands, then get in touch!

How’s Your Day Going? Need An Assistant?

How’s Your Day Going? Need An Assistant?

It’s the start of the day and you’ve come into the office ready to tackle the tasks ahead of you and to accomplish some of your to-do list. You sit down to check your emails before you start anything else and after some time realise you’ve just spent half the morning going through routine emails and not actually getting on with your day – sound familiar?

An assistant, in this typical situation, would be the best next step for you – don’t you think?

And now I hear you say “But I can’t afford an assistant to work every day, and I might not even need them all the time”. Well there is a solution to that exact problem:

Hiring an “on-site” personal assistant has it’s very good positive points, don’t get me wrong but also hiring a “virtual assistant” definitely has its plus side.

Have you considered hiring a virtual assistant? It’s quite the in thing at the moment as well so you’re not on your own and there are plenty of resources out there if you wanted to research beforehand.

So what are the benefits to hiring a VA?

  • No PAYE / Tax / NI to sort out.
    Virtual Assistants are usually freelance and will bill you for their time.
  • No holiday / sick pay
    Virtual Assistants are self employed are not entitled to this.
  • No need to set aside an office space / computer or telephone equipment.
    Virtual Assistants usually work from home or a set place of work and will have their own equipment.
  • A Virtual Assistant is available when your office staff are overloaded and can be on call.
    It is usual to pre book a set number of hours per month and these hours can be used as and when you require them.
  • And the best point of all: You only pay them for the time they are on task.
    A timer can be used to bill each job / project.

So as you can see there are a whole range of benefits to hiring a Virtual Assistant rather than an assistant in house and a VA can be flexible to your business needs and work around the tasks and projects you assign them to.

Next is the question of what tasks you could assign to an assistant. Well if that sounded like you at the beginning of this post, then sorting through and checking your emails on a daily / throughout the day basis would be a benefitting start! Setting out guidelines before you start and handing over instructions on “what to do if…” tasks will enable the VA to get on with the job in hand and then come to you only if there is a problem.

Call answering: If you have a busy office and a lot of the time it is routine queries, why not have the telephone diverted to an assistant. They can answer the call, take the messageand email that to you with a detailed description of the call and their message, if any. Once the VA knows your business they would be able to answer questions and give replies also if you were willing for them to do that.

Diary Management: Do you have a busy schedule? Your diary can be managed and maintained by an assistant and set up with reminders for you to know what your schedule is and what you have on.

Website Management: Updating your website can be a tedious job and depending on what things you have on there, it might be time consuming if you’re needing to update product information etc on a daily basis. Also if you have a blog, typing the post is one thing but laying it all out and formatting it with pictures etc can take time. These tasks can easily be given to an assistant, with you checking the final products once completed.

These are just a few examples of what a Virtual Assistant can do for you, there are many more examples of what they can do. Just think of all the tasks that need to be done, but you’d rather not take time doing them – and these can be passed over. It’s about delegating and letting go, it’s about concentrating on what you are good at and need to do in order to grow your business and letting an assistant take care of the rest.

Thanks for reading… feel free to comment at the bottom, would love to know if you’ve been in this situation or are in this situation and how things are working out for you: until next time!

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