How You Can Leverage Social Listening To Boost Business Growth- What It Is & What You Can Do

Social Listening To Boost Business Growth

So, you are familiar with blogging and make sporadic appearances on message boards, commenting forums and your blog page. You are active on all social media accounts and as a result have an enviable digital presence. Does this make you feel like you have an advantage and can outdo your competitors? Don’t be too sure just yet.

While forums, social media and blogging are essential for survival in a competitive business landscape, social listening is a crucial tool and can help you scale your business. Social listening is the act of monitoring or tracking various social media accounts, blogs, wiki pages, message boards and the like, to gauge the level of sentiments that people have towards a business and what they are saying about it. For instance, if you are following industry influencers, other well-known personalities who operate in the industry you work for and have a strong following by potential clients, there’s a very good chance that you will be followed or at least noticed too. Imagine what earning a blog link or a mention from an established personality can do for your following, brand and business growth.

Social Listening Tips For Business

Effective social listening can help boost sales for your business and more specifically, give you a competitive edge over your competitors. The question you need to be asking yourself is, how to leverage social media monitoring for better business.

Social Listening Tips

1.By Tracking Your Competitors’ Activities

If you are active on social media accounts, you should ideally be tracking what your competitors are doing too. Check for their success stories and make a note of their slipups. By monitoring your competitors across social media platforms, you will also be able to keep a close eye on any new, development from their side be it improved product/services offerings, policies or other prominent changes that could positively impact their businesses.

Track Your Competitors Activities

2.By Monitoring Your Online Reputation

It is imperative to learn what the world thinks about your business. Monitor all the social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, online review sites, blogs, forums and other platform for mentions of your company or brand. If you want to boost credibility (and also visibility!) ensure that you always respond to your clients on time, with thoughtful replies, apologies or other appropriate comments for every mention you get on the World Wide Web. Fail to do this and you might risk your reputation.

Monitoring Your Online Reputation

3.By Discovering New Ideas & Trends

Set up social alerts to identify the emerging trends and fresh ideas that may be relevant to your industry. In doing so, you will be able to update your products or services and keep them up-to-the-minute.

What You Should Do

Now, that you know why it is important, it is crucial to understand ‘what’ you should ideally be doing to get started with social listening. Social listening is a fairly simple practice and can be done easily with the use of platforms such as Google Alerts, Social Mention, Topsy, Hootsuite and Icerocket. Platforms like these can help collect aggregate data, track keywords and mentions across important social media channels. All you have to do is set up your alerts and monitor your social conversations on a day-to-day basis. Remember that social listening is not a quick process. It requires a thorough understanding and dedicated commitment of at least half an hour everyday, apart from working on other activities. You will additionally need to schedule alerts, manage your inbox and maintain commitment with the other work you do on a daily basis for your business. If you are just starting out with social listening and you have a lot on your platter, you might end up making mistakes, losing out on time and patience.

If you want to save on time and still get your social listening right, why not outsource and hand over this responsibility to a reliable, social media virtual assistant from a virtual assistance provider like GetFriday? Talk to your social media virtual assistant about what you are expecting, what is relevant to the industry you operate in, map out your competitors, etc. You can also monitor your virtual assistant’s work along the way and ask for regular reports, alerts or other notifications for the social listening activities. Why should you compromise on your productivity and do complex, specialist work when you can have a professional do it for you in half the time? Think about it. Wouldn’t it be better for you if someone else could take care of your social media accounts while you focused on growing your business or doing other activities that interested you?

In order to stay competitive, it is essential to learn about your clients, competitors and what the Internet has to say about your brand at large. If you partake in social listening activities, you will be able to take online conversations from being a one-way street to interactive and thus, boost business growth.

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AJ Jacobs Talks About His Experiences With Life Outsourcing Company, GetFriday


GetFriday’s Virtual Assistance Services has won the hearts of many around the globe, due to their timely, professional personal and business support services. A fitting example of a happy client is the editor of Esquire Magazine, AJ Jacobs. AJ Jacobs is a New York Times bestselling author and journalist who has been on a long and fruitful journey with GetFriday for the past ten years. In the quest to improve his life, AJ Jacobs experimented with outsourcing and chose to work with GetFriday.

In his testimonial video, AJ Jacobs recounts his experiences and throws light on how quickly and efficiently GetFriday’s Virtual Assistants responded to his needs and enquiries. In a light-hearted moment in the video, AJ Jacobs mentions that if he had outsourced the making of the video testimonial to Team GetFriday, they would have done a ‘quicker and a much more efficient’ job. He also talks about a gamut of services offered by GetFriday. From carrying out online purchases on his behalf to managing his e-mails, AJ Jacobs had a helping hand at every step of the way, with GetFriday’s Virtual Assistants.See how GetFriday’s Virtual Assistant can help you. It is a matter of great pride and honor for GetFriday, to have worked with AJ Jacobs.

Just like AJ Jacobs, GetFriday has successfully served clients from different parts of the world across multiple domains and industries. GetFriday’s Virtual Assistants have proved that they are capable of multi-tasking and handling work, no matter how simple or complex. On a closing note, GetFriday eagerly looks forward to serving hundreds others and making a small difference to their lives in every possible way. Because, Life gets better with GetFriday!

New to outsourcing? – Six Things You MUST outsource to a Virtual Assistant

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WHERE DID ALL MY TIME GO? – A Beginner’s Guide To Simplifying Life & Work

It is said that time is money but money can be redeemed when lost, while the same cannot be said for time. Do you often find yourself asking this question? “Where did all my time go?”

Don’t hesitate, admit it. If this question pinches your heart every night when you go to bed, you know that there’s something drastically wrong with what you are doing with your life. But, do not fret. You are not an alien. Just like you, there are many others around the world who feel the pinch, when they think of where their time went. Let’s take for example, the life of an average, hard-working Joe – ‘Ben’.

Ben’s Dilemma – A Story

Ben lives in New York. He has a loving wife and a four-year old son. Ben is a small business owner and though he was proud of himself for starting his dream venture, he very quickly grew unhappy with his business, because he always seemed to be busy. This also impacted his relationship with his wife and son, who were always complaining about him not being around. Everyday, he had too much to handle on his platter. It was the same old charade, with e-mails, juggling bank accounts, attending meetings for investments and so on and so forth. Ben worked hard to meet both ends – his work and his family. But the harder he tried, the more he failed. But why did that happen?

Ben dreamt of taking his business international , but his hopes were crushed when he started to notice that his clients and his profits began to fall because of the erratic schedules that Ben had to work with as a small business owner and also because he also had other responsibilities as a family man. Ben?s world started to fall apart. One fine evening, Ben returned to find his wife upset. She accused him and threw a fit because he had conveniently forgotten their anniversary. “How could you forget our anniversary?”, she yelled.

Ben slowly started to realize that he desperately needed a quick solution to balance both, his work and life, otherwise he risked losing both. To make matters worse, Ben didn’t find time to play with his son either. Suddenly 24 hours in the day were not enough for Ben. He wished he had just one more hour in the day to sort his life out and get his business back in order. That’s when reality struck him. He had let his business and personal life slip out of control because he believed he could handle everything by himself. He slapped his head in embarrassment and asked himself, “Where did all my time go?”

If this story rings a bell and feels extremely familiar, you should ask yourself one more question, “Why did all my time go?”

But, there’s nothing to worry about just yet. Ben can bring back the balance and happiness in his life and so can you. It’s true that time can’t come back but the bigger truth is you can compensate for all the lost time by making the best use of time you already have in your hands. It is really not that hard to be happy! By making a few quick but drastic changes to your life, not only will your life become more manageable, but you’ll begin to believe that you have more hours in the day.

1. Strike out the things you hate to do!

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Maybe you love to walk your dog, go for a swim, do the dishes or sing to your plants in your kitchen garden. But unfortunately, you are stuck with paying electricity bills, calling vendors for your business, arranging data or responding to ceaseless e-mails. If this sounds like something you don’t like to do, then why do it in the first place? Start by making a list of all the activities that you don’t like doing. Once you have done that you will be able to identify the areas that take away a lot of your time unnecessarily and you will be able to channel your energies and time better to other activities that actually need your attention.

2. Make A List Of Everything You Did In The Past

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Now that you have eliminated the things you don’t like to do, you are already one step ahead to living a happier and a more productive life. To make it easier for you, also write down the list of activities that you indulged in before your life started to spiral out of control and you started to feel helpless. Think of all those activities that brought a smile to your face and de-stressed you rather than burden you mentally. Your goal now should be to allot at least 2-3 hours to pursue these activities that you love to do, every single day. In doing so, you’ll find that you are more relaxed and charged to take on the world. Sure, business is important, but not more important than you are. Give yourself a break once in a while. You deserve it.

3. Make Time For The Activities That Don’t Interest You

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Now that you have gotten back to doing the things you love, you can finally look at squeezing in the other activities that once took up a lot of your time and you ‘thought’ required your attention. Be it making calls to clients, sifting through complicated bookkeeping work, handling administrative tasks for your business or just paying the regular bills for your house, slot at least 4-5 hours in the day for these activities. With 2-3 hours devoted towards doing what you love and 4-5 hours channeled towards other activities, you’ll slowly start to regain the lost work-life balance and still have a few more hours at your disposal at the end of the day!

4. Or… Explore Other Options!

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If you find that you are still not able to strike the perfect work-life balance, even after making amends to your life, you are either doing it wrong, or you really do have a lot more in your platter than you can handle. If this is the case, explore other options to increase time and productivity. Outsource your work to a third party company or a Virtual Assistant, perhaps? Outsourcing all your mundane work to a professional, sitting halfway across the world from you, could probably be the best thing you can do for your business growth and life!

Virtual Assistants are trained across a wide spectrum of disciplines, industries and verticals and can help you streamline your work and life just the way you want. By doing the right homework on a professional Virtual Assistance provider and a few e-mail exchanges, you will be well on your way to securing a helping hand that can work on business tasks, personal work and even specialist work like SEO, Content Creation, Bookkeeping or Market Research. Why be stressed yourself when a Virtual Assistant can handle all the work that you do not like to do, do not have the time to do or don’t have the expertise for?

It can be quite a struggle to juggle business and personal life. This post intended to throw some light on a few simple steps that you can take to strike the perfect work-life balance, increase productivity, and make more time for yourself and for your business growth. If you are however, looking for a more permanent solution; one that you can count on, it would be prudent to consider outsourcing with a reliable, virtual assistance company like GetFriday. Take the right step for the sake of your life and business, and you will be well on your way to making renewed time for yourself, for your loved ones and your business.

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Hear, Hear! Here’s Why Building Social Media Presence Is CRUCIAL For Your Business!

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Are you ready to get ahead of your competitors? Social media presence plays a significant role in determining whether you stand a chance against your competitors in search engine rankings. Strong brands and smart businesses almost always use social media to market their business and to voice their content. This positively affects their rankings on search engine results, one of the many benefits of building social media presence and marketing your brand through social media channels. If Hubspot statistics are anything to go by, 92% of marketers claimed that social media channels were extremely important to their businesses. Why? Scroll further to find out –

1.Brand Exposure

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Social media channels are perfect to voice the content you have in mind for your brand. It can help make your brand more recognizable for existing clients, bring in more visibility for prospective clients and also make uninterested clients re-consider your brand because of your wide, social media presence.

2.Building Credibility

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Building your presence on social media channels will increase your followers and this in turn, can lead to an increase in marketing power. Every positive interaction you have with a client could increase chances of a subsequent conversion. Ranking higher in search engines like Google should be your top-most priority. As your social media presence increases over time, so will the credibility for your brand.

3.Making Competition Irrelevant

Making Competition Irrelevant

Forget about beating competition. Your aim should be to make competition irrelevant. A great way to start would be by building social media presence. Are you simply going to watch your competitors race ahead after all the effort you put into building your brand? Think of what a potential customer might think if he/she has visited your website and has learnt that they can?t follow you because you don’t have a social media account? If your social media presence is non-existent, so is your brand.

4.Drives Website Traffic

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Hashtags are a great tool to help your content travel and get your brand out into relevant conversations. The more social media accounts you set up and the more hashtags you use, the better the chances of clients getting routed back to your website. All the content you post on these social media forums creates more opportunities for new visitors, more leads and higher conversion ratios. It may also interest you to know that some of the world’s top companies have adopted the hashtag almost completely to drive more traffic, leading to a 12% increase in overall engagement. Need we say more?

Although the benefits are plenty, it is no secret that juggling multiple social media accounts can be a hassle, especially if you have a growing business to handle or if you are busy with other work. When you neglect social media, or if you don?t have the right understanding or know-how to operate or market your brand effectively through social media channels, there’s a high possibility that you may end up losing out on business growth and revenue. If you don’t want that to happen to you, outsource all the heavy-lifting to a reliable Virtual Assistance company. GetFriday, perhaps?

Hire A Social Media Expert!

Yes, you can now outsource your social media accounts to a personal, social media virtual assistant – one who is up-to-date with new social media trends, hashtags and can carry out micro-blogging for the industry you operate in. All you need to do is, do your homework on the right outsourcing partner, sit back and outsource! Hiring a Social Media Virtual Assistant can ensure that your networks are up-to-date with keyword-rich content, are in line with your business objectives and your brand. Additionally, your social media virtual assistant can also post relevant information and images a number of times in the day, to make your brand appear ‘socially active’. This will draw more leads to your websites, result in more conversions as well as positively impact Google’s rankings

Take your business to the next level. Understand the importance of building solid social media presence. If you haven’t gotten that far and don’t know where to start, cut through the chase and outsource. You’ll find that it will be easier to manage your business online if you have a dedicated, social media virtual assistant who can get your brand message out in a cost-effective manner and time your social media activities to reap optimum results!

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Six Things You MUST outsource to a Virtual Assistant

Focus is one of the biggest secrets to success. So, start focusing on the core tasks of your business. But, what if you have a long, boring list of trivial tasks to handle before you can even begin to focus on the core tasks? What if you are too confused and can’t figure out what you should be focusing on? Aren’t these questions becoming barriers to your business growth?

Today, many start-ups and small business owners suffer from the ‘superhero syndrome’ -a condition where business owners believe they can take on anything and everything on their own! While taking responsibility for your business is good, juggling too many hats at the same time, could eventually lead to your downfall, as you slowly begin to lose focus on the core tasks and what you should ideally be concentrating on as a business owner. You start dissipating your valuable resources across trivial tasks which can be better taken care of by someone else. This is where the need for a convenient solution arises.

If you are seriously looking at business growth or a balanced, personal life, you must think of hiring a Virtual Assistant. Now, before you get all excited and make a hasty decision of hiring a Virtual Assistant, ask yourself if there are aspects of your life that you need a break from and if there is a long list of other activities that you need to focus on. Once you have filtered out the activities that are best handled by a third party provider like an outsourcing company, you can then finally get down to hiring a Virtual Assistant.If you are new to outsourcing and don’t know where to tread yet, let us take a look at some of the tasks that you can outsource to a Virtual Assistant.

Managing e-mails

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Managing e-mails can be a whale of a job. Sifting through junk and responding to countless e-mails can eat into a good chunk of your productive time. Consider outsourcing e-mail management to a reliable virtual assistant. It will free up a lot more of your time than you would have imagined. Trust us!

Bookkeeping

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We all know how monotonous bookkeeping can get. It involves the time-consuming process of recording bills, invoices, payments etc. Imagine how much you can achieve in your business or personal life with the free time you get after outsourcing bookkeeping tasks to your virtual assistant! Numbers can get harrowing and with a Virtual Assistant in the picture, you won’t have to worry about one more complicated entry or computation.

Online Research

Online-Research

Online research is another important task that many individuals and businesses carry out in their day to day lives. It also consumes a good fraction of your precious time. Online research, if outsourced, can earn you that much-needed time to focus on the activities that matter the most to you and that are crucial to your business.

Travel and trip arrangement

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We all know how much effort goes into planning a journey. One may face a lot of hurdles along the way when it comes to booking a hotel to suit the budget, hiring a taxi, booking cheap flight tickets and the like. With the help of a virtual assistant, focus on the destination and let your Virtual Assistant take care of all the nitty-gritties of making your journey a comfortable one.

Setting Reminders/Calendar management

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A well-managed calendar can help you sail smoothly through the month. Setting reminders is also an integral part of a well-maintained schedule. Outsource your calendar management activities to a Virtual Assistant and rest assured you will never miss another important deadline or family event!

Data Entry

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Data entry is a simple task but can be monotonous and tiresome. Consider outsourcing data entry to a Virtual Assistant. It will give you a lot more time to do the things you love.

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Things You Should NEVER Outsource As a Small Business

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As a small business owner, it can be a real struggle to stay at the “top of things”. What you should ideally be focusing on is how to run your business and attract new prospects. Like any business however, the things you may want to do may slam into the things that have to be done on a daily basis.

A great way to free up some time so that you can focus on growing the business is by engaging an experienced Virtual Assistant from an experienced outsourcing provider like GetFriday. A Virtual Assistant could be the answer to your growing business demands and help offload run-of-the-mill tasks like handling social media accounts as well as mundane jobs like contacting clients, email management, setting up reminders or devising a travel itinerary for you.

The possibilities are endless!

If you have decided to take the leap, be wary, because a bad outsourcing decision can be costlier than not outsourcing in the first place. Keeping that in mind, this post highlights three of the major things that you should NOT outsource as a small business and that are best handled internally.

Take a look!

1. NEVER Outsource Your Core Competencies

GetFriday-Virtual-Assistance-NEVER-Outsource-Your-Core-Competencies-768x401Never make the mistake of farming out your core competencies to virtual assistants. If you are a tech start-up, do not subcontract your technology or if you are a recruiting firm, don’t outsource your recruiters. Figure out what your company is really good at doing and outsource the auxiliary services that are related to these core competencies, if you must.

Let us take the following example. You could hire virtual assistant specialists to write and edit the content that you want to include in your inbound marketing efforts. But make sure that your in-house team makes the business or the editorial decisions as to how the content has to be written, what topics should be covered or the channels that should be used to propagate the content. Part of developing an effective outsourcing plan is to understand what your company is really good at doing and keep it in-house. Outsource the rest to a dependable, virtual assistance service provider.

2. NEVER Outsource What You Don’t Understand

GetFriday-Virtual-Assistance-NEVER-Outsource-What-You-Dont-Understand-768x401There are probably a hundred things that you might want to outsource at the moment, such as getting an assistant to manage your CRM, designing a shopping cart, developing a WordPress website and so much more! While most of these can be outsourced, if you don’t really comprehend how they work precisely in accordance to what you need – be it now or later, you could end up investing a lot of money on something that you’ll end up substituting very soon.

For example: You are unsure of how to create an online shopping cart, but you know that you require one that connects to your catalogue, can be easily modified, agrees for coupons etc. Even if you don’t know how to manually design a shopping cart, you will at least know how it works from an operational point of view. This is a situation that is considered safe for outsourcing. However, if you don’t understand the basics of how online shopping carts work at all, it is not advisable to blindly outsource it to a third party like a Virtual Assistant company. Chances are, you will never find out if the solutions they have recommended are effective enough. This is especially true when it comes to outsourcing software issues or technology and if you are a start-up. By relying on Virtual Assistants from the onset, you may miss out on the chance to understand the full picture on how the technology works. Outsource only what you need to. Ensure that the teams in charge have at least a basic understanding of what needs to be accomplished and the yardsticks that will be used to evaluate the final suggestions.

3. NEVER Fully Outsource Your Brand Identity

GetFriday-Virtual-Assistance-NEVER-Fully-Outsource-Your-Brand-Identity-768x401If you are starting out, you need to focus on brand-building. Understand that you will attract more opportunities if you have built an effective brand strategy. Think of whether you have created an effective logo or brand message that will go on to resonate with your future clients. While there are Virtual Assistant professionals who can help build your brand message, tag lines or designs; your message and your brand identity need to strictly come from YOU. This is because, only you and your in-house teams know what it stands for and how the brand needs to be communicated to target audiences.

Even if you insist on outsourcing this aspect to the experts because you don’t have the time for it yourself, you need to at least be involved in the logo/brand creation process every step of the way so, that your brand still retains your identity. For example, would you mind walking into a tattoo studio and letting the tattoo artist instinctively create what he/she wants to, onto your skin? Tattoos are permanent and the first impressions that people get of your brand, are equally indelible. Though the tattoo artist will be creating the final art work, your inputs on how you want it done, the styles, colours or the design will solely come from you and will echo your thoughts/experiences. Now, think of your brand in the same way Would you want to fully outsource your brand identity to a third party?

You might think that you can subcontract every small task to your Virtual Assistant. Though there are a lot of tasks that you CAN outsource to your virtual assistants, certain aspects such as the ones mentioned above, could risk colossal business damage. You need to do some prior homework on what your company does best, understand when the right time is to outsource and the credibility of your outsourcing provider.

What do you think? What are some of the functions or tasks that you will never outsource?

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Four Fool-Proof Ways To Overcome Writer’s Block With a Virtual Assistant

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Writer’s block is something every writer struggles with at some point in their lives. Since the lifeblood of every writer’s success lies in their ability to churn out quick quality content, a writer’s block could throw you off balance, especially if you have strict deadlines to meet.

The feeling of not being ‘good enough’ to write is all too familiar. But most of the time, a writer’s block is not really a ‘block’ at all. It’s just endless self-criticism and a noiseless outburst of the ‘stress’ you experience when you have to produce work that will not be viewed by your readers as flaming pieces of garbage. If people pen their thoughts down without worrying too much about perfecting the sentences, the flow of writing improves and gives the writers a rough skeleton to work with for later. Contrary to popular belief, a writer’s block usually occurs during the initial phases of writing and is common among professional writers, novelists, academicians, researchers and the like.

Many a time, people put their lives on hold until they can find the inspiration to write. Some of the activities that people indulge in for inspiration include going through ‘how-to’ blog posts on overcoming writer’s blocks (shooting myself in the foot?), taking long walks outside, completing household chores, reading poetic novels or hoping to find some inspiration by watching the plants in their backyards grow. Though these may provide stimulus for some, it does not necessarily work all the time.

What You Should Ideally Be Doing?

Writers have to invest countless hours of research and pore over a number of resources before they actually get down to writing the first few drafts.

With hours of prep work, professional writers almost always struggle for time. All this creates an even bigger problem if the writer is prone to experiencing writer’s blocks every now and then. The trick to overcoming a writer’s block is to work around the problem smartly. Though a request for help with writing at this point may be perceived as a critical weakness, it is in fact one of the smartest things a writer can do for his/her writing, without taking away the glory they deserve.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant can give you enough room to work around your creativity and will give you the space to write at leisure without letting the brass tacks or prep work get in the way. Though indirectly, this could help with overcoming writer’s block because you will have fewer things to worry about and will be able to concentrate better on the composition of your thoughts. Leave the research, keyword searches, vocabulary sheets and lots more to your VA. You’ll find that no matter what you compose, be it an online blog or a book, outsourcing a few aspects of preparatory writing work to a personal virtual assistant can definitely ease the pressures of a writer’s block.

Get your VA to:

Do The Research Work

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Whether you are working on a research paper or writing a blog series, you will be required to do some amount of research if you want your final, written piece to look credible. Engaging your audience is crucial and presenting data or checking out the facts behind people, locations, characters and subjects can help you do just that.

For example, in the following two sentences, you’ll notice a difference in how the information is presented. The research and detail that goes into the second sentence will make you understand why the second sentence will be considered more reliable in the eyes of a reader.

Example 1

“Mike stole an orange bag from the Selfridges store and ran out as quickly as he could.”

Example 2

“Mike stole an expensive, orange, suede satchel from the Selfridges store and ran out as quickly as he could.”

A reader would most definitely be drawn to the second line, because it is a lot more descriptive and also gives the illusion that the bag is stolen from the store actually exists at Selfridges. The devil is in the details and carrying out proper research before any kind of writing, will only make your writing piece honest.

If you are starting out as a writer, you may not know where to look for information. Even if you do, you may find that ‘research’ can get exasperating and take up a lot of your time. That’s where a Virtual Assistant steps into place. No matter what online research you require for writing your blog, book or paper, you can outsource ‘research work’ of various natures to your VA and focus more on composing your written work.

Generate Blog Post Ideas & Page Optimization

If you are struggling with finding suitable keyword-rich titles for your blog posts, give your Virtual Assistant a rough idea of what you are expecting in terms of the title for the post and what the blog will contain. Your VA will carry out all the keyword research required to target the right audience and also come with up ideas for your next blog posts. Apart from this, get your VA to keep your blog pages optimized and can carry out competitor research so that you can gauge where you stand. All this data, presented in a comprehensive, easy-to-understand format by your VA, should be able to ease a part of the writer’s block and give you the freedom to write your piece in a relaxed manner.

Drafting Blog Posts

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If you continue to have a problem with writing in a lucid manner or you are not finding the time to complete your blog for the week, have your specialist Virtual Assistant work on a draft for you. All you will have to do in the end is go through it, format the content and hit the ‘publish’ button. Your Virtual Assistants, being jacks of all trades, are also talented wordsmiths. You’ll be surprised with the lucrative ideas they give you and the quality work they can come up with! They can handle all your website content work or if you require help writing your blog posts, statements of purposes, product descriptions or marketing content, they’ll get it done for you in half time.

Proofread Your Work At Every Stage

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Writing is just the first part of the problem. Once you have worked on the skeleton draft, you will have to string it all together for it to make more sense. That’s where proofreading and editing the content comes into play. Whether you need help with re-structuring sentences, use of appropriate vocabulary, spotting and correcting errors in spelling or grammar, outsource the task to your Virtual Assistant. Writing can be an extremely tiring activity and by the end of your piece, you will probably be left with very little or no energy to go over what you’ve written with a keen eye.

Virtual Assistants are trained to pay attention to the smallest details so, getting timely help with proofreading the errors and polishing your written work can help make all the difference to the final output. What’s more, this will make it seem like you never struggled or faced a writer’s block in the first place!

If ever you get stuck with writing, don’t panic. Follow the steps outlined above and never shy away from getting professional help when required. If you have a shed-load of other work that needs your undivided attention and you are not able to devote time to any of it because you are stuck with making your drafts look pretty, don’t bother! Have your VA take care of all your work for you. You’ll notice that over time, the writer’s block will wane in obscurity and your writing too, will improve!

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Superhero Syndrome At Large Among Small Business Owners

Suprhero-Syndrome

Being a superhero for your children, spouse, parents or partner is great, but the same cannot be said about your business. Sure, you may run a successful single-office agency and could be the jack of all trades for your business. But do you realize it could be detrimental if you are the master of none?

Most entrepreneurs take great pride in completing every task and jump at every small opportunity to be the only ones at the helms of their businesses. Chris Ducker, the author of ‘Virtual Freedom’ has coined a term for this situation and calls it the ‘Superhero Syndrome’ , a prevalent condition wherein entrepreneurs and small business owners believe that they can handle everything on their own without having to delegate or subcontract work.

Facing-difficulty-in-handling-everything

Though there is nothing wrong with handling everything yourself, it is only prudent to outsource dreary business processes to specialized Virtual Assistants at the right time. This could save you from facing a burnout in the long run, can positively impact your business and give you the opportunity to let professionals handle specialist tasks at a fraction of the cost! What’s more, you have access to a large pool of skills and can outsource practically any aspect of the business you like!

So, what do you do, you ask?

What you should really be focusing on as a small business owner is to give more value to your clients, measure results, build ideas and re-strategize your business for the future.

Take a look at what you need to know about overcoming the ‘Superhero Syndrome’

Repetitiveness And Systemization

In a business, you’ll find that a lot of processes are repetitive and the repetition can in fact, be systemized. Consider a car service centre, for example.

When a car has been taken to a service centre, mechanics take their time to gauge the problems with the car before they get down to fixing them. However, when it comes to specialized jobs such as fixing the filters in the car or changing the cover for the seats, mechanics may not be able to handle these tasks themselves. There are specialized contractors and suppliers who provide these products and/or services.

When a filter or a seat cover needs to be changed, service centres will not waste their clients? time and their resources by learning how to change these filters internally or manufacturing leather seat covers themselves. They will instead, outsource the work to the professionals who carry out bulk supplies of these certain products outside the service centre. A final markup to the price is added, before handing your car back to you.

Ergo, the service centre is benefitting from making additional money out of a job that they are not even doing and are building a name for themselves. This is all thanks to the fabulous job done by the specialist suppliers/vendors, who helped the centre with their timely ? ‘behind-the-scenes’ support.

Okay, So How Does It Help My Business?

OutSource-and-share-your-workload

Think about a similar situation for your business. You could outsource everyday functions to a professional Virtual Assistance company like GetFriday and end up saving a lot of time and money. This will ensure that you don’t work your way out of your own business and will also give you the time to re-focus on the core functions while your able team of Virtual Assistant professionals work behind the scenes and handle other aspects of your business for you.

On The Lighter Side?

It is okay to have delusions of being a superhero. But learning when to get your sidekicks (in this case, your Virtual Assistants) into the picture and sharing the load with them can help you do a better job of running the business and still give you the opportunity to govern the work being done.

Let’s take the classic examples of Batman and Robin for instance. Though we know which one of the two shoulders the mantle all the way through, Robin’s character was created for two very simple yet important reasons-

1.Batman needed a friend, a brother and a confidante. Someone he could talk to because a hero can very often find himself ‘alone’ in the humdrum of everyday life.

2.Robin, the Boy Wonder, was not just a wingman, but also a vigilante who kept Batman from making the wrong choices and was always around to ‘help’ Batman fight crime.

The reasons are straight forward. No matter how big a superhero you are, you will, at some point, require ‘help’. Whether it is a boy in green hot-pants who comes to the rescue or a resourceful Virtual Assistant, halfway across the world from you, a helping hand is all you need to ease your work burdens and can make you and your business a better one.

Got It. What Do I Do Now?

Take control and start by making a list that contains the following three columns-

>Outsourcing what you don’t like to do
>Outsourcing what you shouldn’t be doing
>Outsourcing what you can’t do

Once you have written down your tasks under each column, it will become easier for you to delegate your work to your professional Virtual Assistants. Your online virtual assistants will work flexibly to understand and learn the ways of your business and probably do your work better than what you would have done!

Rest assured, your Virtual Assistants can handle pretty much all your boring business functions and do a lot more specialist tasks that you wouldn’t be able to do yourself i.e. handling all your web page requirements, writing blogs, graphic designing, specialized SEO services, email management, accounting and so much more!

Be a real superhero by outsourcing unimportant functions in your business and take out more time to do high-value work, build networks or make time for the family. This will help you focus better on doing the things you love, can do and should do!

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Ten Reasons For Small Businesses To Outsource

The year 2009, for entrepreneur Chris Ducker, was fraught with commitments above and beyond necessary. He had a doting family to go back home to, but being an entrepreneur meant that he had to forego his personal time and suffer many sleepless nights because it was more about being ‘in’ the business rather than being ‘on top of things’. Luckily for him, he made some smart choices and was well on his way to gain that much-needed respite through outsourcing. Now, he works an average of 6 hours a day, can look into personal commitments, focus on building new business goals and advocates Virtual Assistance services, all the time!

If you’re managing a start-up and you’ve blown that amazing business opportunity because you missed a follow-up deadline or were too tied up with routine administrative operations for your business, then hiring a Virtual Assistant is something you might want to consider. However, the thought of hiring a Virtual Assistant for a first-time outsourcer can immediately trigger a feeling like the world is about to zap all the cash from your bank account. But it is not always so. In one of the earlier blogs in the series, we stressed on how to decide ‘when the right time is to outsource. In this blog post, we’ll give you plenty reasons as to ‘why’ you should outsource- especially if you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur. Read on!

1. Reduced Costs

Reduced-cost

As much as small businessmen would like to believe, hiring a virtual assistant can in fact save you money instead of stretching your budget. Since a virtual assistant is not a full time employee, you won’t need to worry about payroll taxes, sick leave, vacation pay, health insurance etc. In the case of virtual assistants, they only get paid for the hours they work and in turn, add more value to your investment.

For example: You might end up paying an in-house employee for 40 hours of work per week, despite the employee taking coffee breaks, going out to use the restroom and making ceaseless phone calls. However, if you hire a Virtual Assistant and you have purchased only 20 hours worth of work per month, you will end up paying the Virtual Assistant for only 5 hours of work per week! That’s a difference of almost 8 times! Ergo, it is safe to say that the costs of hiring a VA are a lot lesser as compared to hiring a full-time employee.

2. You Don’t Need To Provide Office Space

Office-space

The best part about outsourcing is that you don’t need to worry about providing an office space for your Virtual Assistant. Global Virtual Assistants use their personal computers and their own internet connections to execute the tasks you send them. If you are a small business and you think that hiring a group of in-house employees and providing for large offices right away could cost your business, outsourcing could come across as a boon for you.

3. Training For VA’s Is Not Required

Every year, businesses spend thousands of dollars on training employees to update their knowledge on new software, tools and the latest technology. By outsourcing your work to a Virtual Assistant, you can easily save on all this money because Virtual Assistants are already trained and are quite well-versed with the latest online tools and software because their jobs demand it. Depending on the nature of tasks you want to outsource, you can either choose general Virtual Assistants, who are jacks-of-all and are all-rounders, or you could choose to hire specialist Virtual Assistants who are proficient at one particular job.

4. A Pool of Resources To Choose From

Pool-of-Resources

If you choose to partner with an outsourcing company, you’ll be working with a melting pot of specialists and gain access to a large pool of online resources. You won’t have to go looking to hire specialists, sifting through countless applications and interviewing hundreds of people. If you are a small business and you don’t want to waste your company’s resources and time searching for the right specialists for your job, partnering with an outsourcing company is easily be one of your best bets. Once you SignUp, you will be able to outsource tasks of multiple natures to your Personal Virtual Assistant and then relax, knowing that your tasks are in safe and experienced hands.

5. You Can Quit Anytime

Firing an in-house employee can be a long and tedious process and there may even be instances, wherein you will need to abide by employee agreements if you want to avoid lawsuits. With a Global Virtual Assistant however, you don’t need to worry about any of it. You have the flexibility to fire your virtual assistant instantly and easily if deadlines are missed or the assistant repeatedly makes mistakes despite feedback.

6. Get Your Tasks Completed On Time & Efficiently

On-Time-Efficiently

As a small business owner, you’ll realize that you have a ton of work to complete, no matter how important, tedious or repetitive. Who said that being an entrepreneur was easy? The trick to finding the right balance, is to work on tasks that have greater value (monetary or otherwise) and outsource the rest to your personal virtual assistant. This way you’ll find that your other tasks (which you don’t like to do or find too boring or time-consuming to complete) are being handled a lot more efficiently and are completed within the stipulated deadlines.

7. Boost Productivity

Boost-Productivity

If you are a hard working entrepreneur or a small business owner and want to get more done in less time, you can boost your productivity with outsourcing. Having virtual assistants take care of all the tasks that you don’t like to do yourself means that you will gain that extra hour or two to focus on other important jobs and tasks at hand, thereby maximizing productivity and making more time for yourself in the day.

8. Re-Location & Travel Becomes A Lot Easier

Re-Location-Travel

If you are traveling, have to relocate or are stranded in a place due to poor weather conditions, you won’t have to worry about your projects coming to a stand-still because you can constantly stay in touch with your Virtual Assistant over e-mail, phone, fax or IM. This is especially important for small business owners who need to constantly travel to develop business connections and need to focus on brand-building for their businesses.

9. You Don’t Have The Skills To Handle A Certain Task

Skills-To-Handle-A-Certain-Task

If you are not adept with the DIY approach, it would be wise to outsource the tasks that you believe you don’t have the skills for. Many entrepreneurs start businesses that revolve around their primary skills and interests. But the reality is that an entrepreneur has to wear many hats and has to get into all aspects of the business i.e. marketing, sales and almost every other department that requires the entrepreneur to be involved, even if they don’t have a background in it. Instead of working purposelessly and forcing yourself to do the jobs that you don’t have any idea about, you could outsource these functions of the business to outsourcing companies.

For example: If you do not have a background in SEO or designing a website, it would be better to approach Virtual Assistants or professionals to get it done, rather than wasting your time on learning how to do it. Sounds about right, doesn’t it?

10. Your VA Can Also handle Your Personal Work

Personal-work

When you start a business or you have been running your business ‘solo’ for the last few years, the worst part is, your personal life suffers in the first few years because you just have so much to do all the time! Having 5-10 in-house employees to help you with your business can definitely help you, but what about managing your personal work and your life?

Your employees will surely not be able to help you out with your tax filing, your personal bookkeeping or order groceries for your wife. That is something that you will need to make time for, along with all the other work that you handle in your business. Having a personal virtual assistant could help you with this part of your life too. Apart from outsourcing your business functions, you can also subcontract all your personal tasks to your virtual assistant and expect maximum efficiency, dedication and delivery.

With your personal and professional life sorted out, you will find that you will be able to boost productivity on the business front and will also be able to strike the perfect work-life balance and dedicate more time to your loved ones, with your newly-gained time.

Need more reasons to outsource?

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Six Activities To Grow Your Business

It is no secret that business owners and SME’s outsource, because it gives them more time to grow and streamline their practices. Entrepreneurs have long believed that outsourcing is a practice that only big companies can afford. However, more small businesses and entrepreneurs are outsourcing today because they can’t meet the expenses of in-house support services that larger companies maintain and because handling a number of onerous procedures and processes could slow down the process of growth. By outsourcing, businesspersons can get close to 5-6 hours of renewed time for themselves and profitably utilize their time to build better businesses with a few of these post-outsourcing activities.

Following are the 6 activities small business owners fulfill post-outsourcing:

1. They Attend Business Meetings

Attend-Business-Meetings

Outsourcing gives a businessman more time to think and dream for the business without limitations and ideate on the overall strategy and vision. Smaller businesses know that they have to make their businesses more competitive in order to survive and meetings are a powerful business weapon that encourage personal interactions and provide a great avenue for the quick pooling of ideas whilst giving a business owner a good reality check on the progress. Once a business’ lengthy processes have been outsourced, business owners have the opportunity to conduct and attend business meetings frequently and utilize these hours to discuss progress and work towards actuating plans.

2. They Streamline Their Business

Streamline-Their-Business

According to the founder of iTech Developers, Kevin McElligott, entrepreneurs ‘don’t realize that they can make things easie‘ and often undertake the burdens of shouldering all levels of business activity when they can outsource it instead. Through outsourcing, businesses can utilize the free time they get, to focus on the activities and strategies that really matter. Whether it is reorganizing the hierarchy, updating new technology or simplifying processes, small business owners have more time to focus on the important matters at hand, post-outsourcing.

3. They Travel for Business needs

Travel-for-Business-needs

For dynamic businesses and entrepreneurs, travelling is most often a recurrent activity, is challenging and can take up a good bit of time. Whether it is travelling to close a deal in a new city, travelling to tap new markets or to acquire new projects; a small business owner cannot forego the opportunity to network or build partnerships through travelling, because of onerous business functions holding them back. Thanks to more small business owners taking to outsourcing in recent times, travel for business needs is an activity that entrepreneurs and small business owners undertake in their newly-gained time.

4. They Generate Fresh Ideas for Products & Implement Them

Generate-Fresh-Ideas-for-Products-Implement-Them

With laborious or specialist functions outsourced, business professionals and small business owners have more time to pool ideas for new products and implement them. Time is one of the most important resources for a new business and to utilize this time to discuss fresh, untapped or niche ideas could generate more revenue for the business. Once a business has subcontracted work to a life outsourcing company like “GetFriday”, the business owner has cut off, what can safely be termed as “noise” and has effectively gained back time to discuss the makings of a new product and how it can help push the business to achieve its overall goals and vision.

5. They Acquire Other Businesses

Acquire-Other-Businesses

Once a business has delegated certain business functions to professionals or companies, they scour acquisition targets or at least plan for acquisitions if they have just started out. With renewed time, business owners focus on maximizing future synergies, realize cost-efficiencies for potential takeovers and significantly speed up their core processes to capitalize on future mergers and integrations.

6. They Spend Time With Friends & Family

Spend-Time-With-Friends-Family

In the past, small business owners and first-time entrepreneurs undervalued the worth of their time.

For example: When working out if a new venture would be financially viable they would have merely calculated the cost of materials and office space, but would have forgotten to add the cost of their time. This would have ultimately resulted in owners toiling away at odd hours for their business and losing out on important family time.

In more recent times, business owners outsource mundane work and utilize the time they gain with their families. Delegating repetitive processes will give a good 3-5 hours of free time for business owners to spend with their parents, spouse, make it for their child’s graduation night, go on short joy rides/trips with friends, make it back home for anniversaries and occasions, and attend events and so much more!

If you are a small business owner, outsourcing onerous processes early can help you with building a better future for the business and will also give you ample opportunities to plough back your new time to focus on other core activities, while managing your personal life. Sometimes, you really need to take a step back and strategize for your business and your life, while you let experts handle commonplace processes and functions for you.

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