You should use Twitter to connect with influencers that will help you build a successful virtual assistant. But instead, what I'm seeing happen are tweets like this:
I grew my virtual assistant business from 1 client to 10 in 12 months flat using nothing more than my LinkedIn profile. That's right, I didn't have a website. LinkedIn is a powerful social media network if you know how to use it.
According to Facebook, at the end of March 2012 their user base stood at 1.1 billion. For the record that number is almost as high as the population of China (just to give you some perspective). Chances are just about everyone you know has a Facebook account. To add to that, your potential clients are spending time on Facebook and trust me when I say that they are looking for virtual assistants all the time. You better be there when they start asking. :)
This begs the question, how do you find them?
The answer is Facebook Groups.
There are Facebook groups for just about ANYTHING these days so if you're an aspiring virtual assistant or you've been in the industry for awhile this is an excellent way to start putting yourself out there and showing everyone how much value you can provide. Let me give you an example. I join a group, follow the conversations for awhile before I start commenting. As soon as I see a post that I can add value to, I just jump in on the conversation.
So, how do you find the groups where your ideal client is hanging out?
In the video below I will show you how easy it is to find relevant groups to join so you can start prospecting clients and build relationships that will lead to clients down the road.
So, what groups are you looking to join? If you're already a member of Facebook Groups, how do you feel it's helpful for you and your business?
Leave me a comment below. I read every single one and want to hear from you!
I joined an online social media summit recently called Social Media Superhero Summit and I was blown away by the branding of the summit and the technology the summit host used to produce the summit.
This online summit was run entirely using Google Hangouts. The first of it kind to run an online video summit using Google Hangouts and not the usual online webinar software like GoToWebinar or similar. It used to be that if you wanted to have a video conference with multiple participants you had to purchase a paid plan.
GoToWebinar costs $99/month for up to 100 participants and that's the "cheap" plan (gasp!) So how does Google Hangout stack up to GoToWebinar and why is this a game changer? Let's talk a moment about Google Hangouts are and how it works.
Let's say that you have a client and this client has multiple team members that he/she has asked you to train on a particular service you offer. Perhaps this services is updating your clients WordPress website. Your client has asked that you teach the entire team how to update the site.
Using Google Hangouts you can video conference with up to 10 people simultaneously. You can easily share your screen with all the participants of the call with the click of a button without having to download anything. Each time someone speaks Google Hangouts automatically pushes their video to the center of the screen and maximizes the video. So you have a more face-to-face experience as you know who is doing the talking and when.
So now let's move on to something remarkable and really powerful that Google Hangouts offers.
Google Hangouts on Air
A Google Hangout On Air is simply a standard Google Hangout (remember, we have have up to 10 people actively participating in the Hangout) but you have the ability of inviting people from all over the world to watch your Hangout Live as it's happening.
You have the ability to broadcast your Hangout with a few clicks. When I say that you can share your Hangout with the world I mean just that. All you have to do is click "Start broadcast" to go On Air and then you're Hangout On Air will start broadcasting on your Google + profile, your YouTube channel and on any website that you have embedded it.
This means that you can lead anyone to your website to watch you live streaming a training video, an interview, or any other video you can think of. Anyone can watch your Google Hangout on Air as it's happening and what's even better is that when your Google Hangout on Air is over you don't need any special software to record your Hangout.
Every Hangout is automatically saved to your YouTube account. Once your Hangout On Air is over, you can get share your content on Google +, YouTube, your Facebook page or profile, embed it into your blog, etc. The possibilities are endless. Because Google owns YouTube and YouTube is the worlds 5th biggest search engine your content gets preference for it's keywords.
The reason Google Hangouts and Google Hangouts On Air is a game changer is because you used to have to spend a lot of money on a webinar software to host your online meeting using video to hundreds or thousands of participants. With Google Hangouts On Air - it's now free. This is going to kill the business model of some companies once people really start understanding the power of Google Hangouts On Air. Businesses aren't there yet but mark my words, people will starting using Hangouts to host their online conferences. If you can be first in line you'll beat out the crowd.
So how can you use Google Hangouts and Google Hangouts On Air to market your virtual assistant business?
Here's an idea for you! Host a Google Hangout On Air with one other person. You could train this person on one specific thing that you are a master at. Perhaps it's building out a PowerPoint presentation with all the bells and whistles, perhaps you are a social media whiz and you want to show this one person exactly how you vet out content and post this content across social media channels using a social media dashboard like Hootsuite.
Perhaps you could walk the person through how to use DropBox or Gimp or Google documents. The point is that if you are using Google Hangouts on Air to train someone on one specific skill set you have. What you're doing is marketing your virtual assistant business using video. Create one of these a week and within a couple of months you'll have almost 10 videos on YouTube that will bring your leads for your business. Bam!
This training video doesn't even need to be with an actual client. It could be your best friend, your mom or your neighbor. The key is to set up a training session with someone. You need one person to start a Google Hangout and once you have that one person you can broadcast the session to the world using Google Hangouts On Air.
Now how can you increase your billable hours using Google Hangouts?
Propose all the above to your clients and get excited about it. Get them excited about the idea of using Google Hangouts for business and getting a stream of new leads from video marketing.
I have plenty more ideas but I'd love to hear from you! Let's keep the conversation going in the comments. Let me know how you are using Google Hangouts and Google Hangouts On Air?
I can't wait to hear from you. See you in the comments!
If you're using Twitter but you're not using the power of a private prospect list, you're not using your Twitter effectively!
While Twitter is fun, wouldn't it make more sense to use Twitter to get more clients? I mean, isn't that a more effective use of your time on this social media network?
In the video below, I am going to show you how you can leverage Twitter to engage your ideal clients and become top-of-mind when they need to hire or refer out a virtual assistant. So, watch the video to the very end and leave your questions and comments below!
I love hearing from you and can't wait to hear your feedback!
I had such a great response to last week's blog post about how to market your virtual assistant business using the social network Pinterest. I've decided to do a follow up post. In this video you will learn why it's important not only to pin original content by why you must include original images with a strong call to action.
Once again, if you really want to leverage the power of Pinterest to get prospects back to your site, than I highly recommend you go and check out Melanie Duncan, the creator of The Power of Pinning. Melanie taught me everything I know about Pinterest and trust me when I tell you, she knows what she is doing.
So let's get started.
How do you create visually pleasing images of your own? The good news is it's not that hard to do! Anything from an image of text on a colorful background works. In fact, the simpler your image, the better!
A really great idea of pins would be to post your blog posts as I mentioned in last week's tutorial. In addition create some tutorials like the one below and pin the tutorials to your board. Once you've done that create a teaser pins to intrigue people and get them to click through. A teaser pin is just some text on top of a image or colorful background that states what you will learn if you click here. I show you a great example of this in the video below so make sure to watch the video all the way through and don't forget to leave a comment with your results!
Did you know that you can use Pinterest to marketing your virtual assistant business?
Peg Fitzpatrick knows a lot about social media and Pinterest in general. Chek out her 12 Strategic Ways to Use Pinterest for Marketing post. Then read below and watch my super short training video to show you how to pull this all together.
In the video below I am going to show you how easy it is to leverage Pinterest to generate traffic back to your website. You don't want to miss out on the traffic you can get from Pinterest. Research shows that Pinterest is the 3rd most popular social media network in terms of US traffic. More than that over 80% of all pins on Pinterest are re-pins. What does this mean? It means that if you are pinning unique content onto Pinterest you have a virtual army of people waiting to re-pin your content and get traffic back to your website.
In addition to marketing your business, you can also suggest to your clients that they too should maximize Pinterest as a way to get more exposure to their business. If you convince them that they need to pin their blog posts to Pinterest then you've just increased your billable hours! Cha-ching!
Let me know what you think of the video below by posting a comment. Have some great results? I want to know about that as well. Leave me a comment below detailing your exact results from this training video or email me directly. I may just highlight you and your business.
Have a great week and as always, rock on!
What would you say if I told you that you already know the rules of great social media engagement? That's right. Read on, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
The way to be effective and successful with social media is to think of each interaction you have on social media in the same way you would engage with someone at a cocktail party. Let's break it down into a few easy steps:
Spark up a conversation
If you're at a cocktail party how would you start a conversation with a complete stranger? You wouldn't just stand there and wait for them to talk to you (I hope!) because service-based business owners who are afraid to start up a conversation with a complete stranger are going to have a hard time getting new clients.
The key to starting a conversation with a complete stranger in person or on social media is to listen to them first, see what they are talking about and then present a thoughtful response about something they have just mentioned. When I am at a party, I don't jump in a conversation without first knowing what the topic is about.
I need to first listen, and only then can I jump in on the conversation and offer up an interesting point of view. I don't mull over in my mind what I am going to say, it comes naturally, just flows because I am paying attention to what's being said. Don't over think social media conversation. Be natural. Be yourself.
Listen More, Speak Less
Listen to the problems that your ideal clients are dealing with, and try to help them solve these problems without expecting anything in return. The reason I say this is people aren't interested in your business, they are more interested in solving their own problems. They are interested in making themselves happy by way of a funny quote, or a silly picture. Can you help with this? You bet you can. Mix your posts up with this formula:
- 1/3 business
- 1/3 funny or inspiration quotes
- 1/3 direct engagement with your friends/followers
Be Authentically You
Social media is a place where conversations are light, fun and people love seeing how "human" we are. Don't be afraid to be yourself on social media even when you're reaching out to your target audience and having conversations with potential clients. The more open and transparent you are, the more people will trust you. And the more people trust you, the more people will want to do business with you. The more authentic you are--showing your true self, your personality, and even your mistakes and vulnerabilities--the more people will be drawn to you.
Case in point. My most popular Facebook status update to date was when my 4-year old son who just couldn't hold it anymore had peed on my patio and the event that followed after. Check it out below. It got dozens of comments and almost 40 likes in a few hours.
Don't be afraid to post similar posts. The above post was put on my personal Facebook profile and I have a great deal of business contacts as friends and they all told me what a great laugh they had after reading my post. The more human you are, the more authentic you are, the more people will want to do business with you.
I wanna see what you've got. Let me know how this post has helped you realize how to reach out and communicate with your ideal client on social media. Let me know in the comments below. I read every comment and can't wait to hear from you!