Marketing Tool for Virtual Assistants

September 11, 2007

I recently discovered a valuable marketing tool for virtual assistants (VAs), which is participating in the forums of your target market. When you post your comments, your signature block can include your company’s name. However, in some forums the posts only have the person’s username as a signature, but your profile that you create on that forum is available if anyone wants to learn more about you and your company. If appropriate, your posts can be about the benefits of using virtual assistants or about the VA industry. Although more and more industries are become aware of the Virtual Assistant industry, many still do not know about us.

In addition to the possibility of promoting your business, you may learn some useful information. For example, I have a marketing degree with an emphasis in advertising; therefore, I chose advertising agencies as one of my target markets. Generally, they are a small business. According to U. S. Department of Labor, 68% of advertising agencies and public relations firms employ 1-4 employees. Participating in the forums of ad agencies, sales, and marketing has given me a refresher course in marketing in addition to learning new marketing techniques.

As a Virtual Assistant, participating in your target market’s forum(s) can be a valuable marketing tool for you, as well as provide valuable information. It doesn’t cost you anything but time.

Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’s Word Processing Services
http://www.rjswordprocessing.com
Your Business Success is Our Success


Starting A Virtual Assistant Business

August 6, 2007

When starting a virtual assistant business, the first item on your to do list is coming up with a business name. You should give this a lot of thought. This is the name that you will be using in your advertising and/or marketing campaigns and other communications. The name you choose should reflect your products or services. I’m considering changing my business name because now I offer more than word processing services. Therefore, selecting a correct name is very important from the beginning.

Speaking of advertising and marketing, these are very important tasks. First, decide who your target market is going to be. In order to create effective messages, you need to know who you are directing the messages to. Having a website is necessary, but it is not enough. I didn’t become aggressive in marketing until the last two years. The first three years, I didn’t use the same marketing strategy that I currently use. Being more aggressive has brought in more business. E-mail marketing is an excellent marketing tool and is affordable. One of the capabilities of your website should be to capture e-mail addresses to use in your e-mail marketing campaigns. For instance, offer e-newsletters to visitors to your site. Using the signup box you have on your website, the visitors will subscribe to your publication by providing their names and e-mail addresses.

Online networking is another great marketing tool. Virtual Assistant Networking Association (VANA) is a very informative forum to be a member of. In addition to having access to valuable information, you are able to network with other virtual assistants. The members of this forum are at various stages from beginners to seasoned small business owners. Offline networking is also a great idea. This would involve networking with members of your target market. Your local Chamber of Commerce generally has networking events for business owners.

Also, as part of my marketing strategy, I have started writing articles and blogs. This gives you credibility, as well as exposure for your services.

If you are considering starting a virtual assistant business offering virtual assistant services decide on a business name, choose a target market, create marketing campaigns directed towards your market, and network both online and offline.


Virtual Assistants Do More Than Just Type

July 3, 2007

Virtual Assistants (VAs) who are business owners do more than just type. We are also entrepreneurs, in addition to being small business owners. Virtual Assistant Networking Association (VANA) defines VAs as “A Virtual Assistant (substitute VA or Virtual Associate) works independently at an arm’s length, via the Internet, utilizing the latest technologies, to provide immediate professional support, services and skills to busy entrepreneurs and business managers.” International Virtual Assistant Association (IVAA) definition is “A Virtual Assistant (VA) is an independent entrepreneur providing administrative, creative and/or technical services. Utilizing advanced technological modes of communication and data delivery, a professional VA assists clients in his/her area of expertise from his/her own office on a contractual basis.”

As small business owners, we face the same issues and concerns as our clients. VAs are dedicated to helping their clients grow their businesses, while at the same time expanding his/her own company. It is a win-win situation. In addition to providing services, we are faced with the daily operations of a small business. These operations include everything from bookkeeping to marketing. In fact, VAs are hiring their own virtual assistants to help with the administrative tasks. We understand our clients’ business needs, because we are them. We do more than just type.

Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’s Word Processing Services
http://www.rjswordprocessing.com


Another Way To Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business

June 30, 2007

We, as virtual assistants (VAs), generally attempt to grow our businesses by obtaining more clients. Now the new strategy is to grow our businesses by organizing a team of VAs to subcontract or outsource projects to. These VAs provide services, which will complement your services rather than compete with them.

In an attempt to grow my virtual assistant business and deepen my service list, I’m applying the same strategy. I recently organized a team of three VAs. My core service is word processing, and my team services include bookkeeping, real estate virtual assistant services (REVA), transcription, and website design. Their services complement my services rather than compete with them. Now I can offer these services in addition to my current offerings.

If you are Virtual Assistant wanting to grow your business, consider organizing a team of virtual assistants.

Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’s Word Processing Services
http://www.rjswordprocessing.com


Do You Know Who Your Target Audience Is?

June 24, 2007

When creating an advertising message, it is important that you know who you are talking to. Do you know who your target audience is? If you don’t know, you are not maximizing your advertising and/or marketing efforts.

A member of the target audience influences the purchasing decision and/or the person who makes the purchase. The person who makes the purchase is also a member of the target market. For example, when McDonald’s creates an advertising message, it is directed at their target audience, as well as their target market. Children are the target audience and their parents are the target market. Therefore, McDonald’s strategy is to target both groups.

Do you know who you are talking to?

Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’s Word Processing Services
Your Business Success Is Our Success
http://www.rjswordprocessing.com
866-651-3073


A Virtual Assistant Becoming a Blogger

June 23, 2007

I have been dragging my heels in regards to becoming a blogger.  Due to its growing popularity and becoming a great publicity tool, I’m jumping on the bandwagon.  I am a Virtual Assistant and owner of RJ’s Word Processing Services.  I specialize in word processing services, in addition to other offerings.  Please visit www.rjswordprocessing.com/services.html for a list of services I offer.

I also have a degree in Marketing from Arizona State University.  When I graduated from ASU in 1998, blogging was not a marketing or publicity tool.  In addition, I don’t consider myself to be a writer.  From my research of blogging, I discovered that it is not necessary to be a writer in order to be a blogger.  Everyone has something to talk about.  Why not write about it.

I will continue my ride on the bandwagon of bloggers to see where it will take me.  If you are a small business owner and/or Virtual Assistant still standing on the sidelines, your competition are becoming bloggers.  As a marketer, I suggest you join me on the bandwagon of bloggers and start blogging.

Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’s Word Processing Services
http://www.rjswordprocessing.com