Tag Archives: Advertising

GIVE MORE AND GET PAID MORE

As a rule I try to give a little more to my clients than their contracts allow. I do this, because everyone likes to get his or her money’s worth and it’s great to get that something extra special along with it. I always complete my work on time without errors. I’ve always known that as a virtual assistant, I have to set myself apart from other virtual assistants. I don’t have much money for advertising, so I use my work ethic and I give a little more than expected to boost my business.

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This usually works well and I get additional projects from my clients, but recently, I had a client that expected more than the contract stipulated. I did her project as directed and gave her a little more in the way of several samples for brochures.  While I usually give my clients a few samples of what they ask for, because it gives them more to choose from, this client was a little different.

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Even with the extra work I gave her, she wanted me to re-work all of the samples I gave her. I tried to explain to her that the extra samples were just to give her some ideas. I had to explain to her that if she actually wanted to use all of the samples and have me re-work them, she would have to pay me extra for my time and work.

Sometimes, clients are so good at what they do that they have no idea how much time and work it takes to do other tasks. Just because I’m a professional, it doesn’t mean my time is free. I had to itemize in spreadsheet form, what the contract stated in one column and the extra things I actually did in the second column. Only after doing that did she realize that she got a lot more than she contracted for. After looking at the spreadsheet, she was more than willing to sign a new contract for the additional work and she understood the difference between giving a little more and expecting more work for free.

I learned a lesson from this situation. The lesson is: continue to provide more than the client asks for. It shows interest in their businesses and projects, but don’t go overboard. Explain at the initial interview that any additional work or projects are extra and need a new contract signed, dated, and payment received before any work can begin.

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Giving a little extra may cross a fine line, but I still feel it is the best way to build up my client base and demonstrate that I am a professional and I really do partner with clients to help them develop and grow.

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Do you know anyone who could use a virtual assistant?   Contact Virtual Colleague, LLC at JPlante@VirtualColleagueLLC.com

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Why Blogging Is So Important for Business

As a virtual assistant at Virtual Colleague, LLC, I blog once a week about topics that are related to being a virtual assistant or about the virtual assistant business. When I started blogging, I pulled information from my childhood and then wrote about the impact that that event or incident had on my decision to become a virtual assistant.

I’ve been blogging for about 6 months and I have decided to focus my blogs on my own virtual assistant business. I need to get the word out, first of all, about what I do as a virtual assistant and how I can help businesses with their writing tasks and projects. Last week, I wrote about article writing and this week my blog is about Business Blogging. Why is Business Blogging so important? We live in a world of instant information and instant answers. Blogging affords the writer a platform and an audience to talk about or describe a product or service for a business.

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Blogging is better, because it is longer than a Tweet or infographic. The writer has more space to list the complete description, the uses for the product and how the product or service can benefit the customer and other useful information. There’s even place for charts, graphs, infographics, photos and videos. All within the confines of the blog. Blogging is a form of free advertising and the blogs can be scheduled daily, weekly, and monthly or any time the business feels the need to discuss their products or services.

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Blogging also creates “Followers” through tags. A tag is a word or words related to the content of the blog. For example, if the blog is about fishing. The tag words would relate to fishing terms, names of fishing equipment, places where fishing is permitted and other items mentioned in the blog. These tags help other readers to focus in on blogs that are of interest to them. Readers, who are interested in fishing, will put in some key word in the search box of WordPress or BlogSpot and this will produce some blogs about fishing or blogs related to their search term. This is a quick and easy way to find blogs about the topics that interest the reader. If a blog is particularly interesting, then the reader can follow the blog, meaning that every post from that particular blog will be sent to the reader. It’s a great way to keep current with the topics that interest the reader. For businesses, the blog posts are an excellent way of attracting and retaining new customers. By keeping to a regularly scheduled blog post; businesses can plan our their campaigns, give their blog readers advanced notice of new products or services; offer a special, i.e. eBook download, coupon code or other incentive to purchase or use the product or service.

Polls and Surveys

Blog posts are great for interaction with customers. Readers can insert comments or questions in the Comment Section. Sometimes, the blog post creates a poll about its services or products to gain customer preferences. This is so easy to do and the results are almost instant. As soon as the post is published, a notice goes out to the followers. They read the post and comment or take part in the poll. That’s how content blogging works and why it is a very efficient way of getting the message across to customers and potential customers.

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Benefits of Article and Advertising Copy

This is the first post about one of the services that I offer in my virtual business, Virtual Colleague, LLC. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am focusing on the writing services of my business.

In this post, you will see how important article writing is and how it can help to grow your business, organization, or group by highlighting the benefits of the product, service or volunteer opportunities available.

Newspaper Article

As a certified freelance writer, promoting an idea, suggestion or offer through written words is more effective than just a poster or a sale. Let’s talk about article writing.

When I write an article about a product, the article defines the product, gives dimensions or sizes and, states what the product does for you, the customer, and why you shouldn’t live without it. The article can then either give you the history of the product or itemize the other uses for the product and reinforce why you absolute cannot live without it.

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While video and cartoon-type advertising is eye-catching and flashy, it is so costly. Writing is an art form and it has been around for centuries. It is effective, because:

  • The customer can refer to it on paper or via computer
  • The message can be as long or short as needed
  • The message can be copied and placed on many different types of media
  • Speaking words is a momentary type of communication, but the written word is there for all to see and is PERMANENT

The most interesting part of writing an article for a company, organization, etc. is that the writer gets an opportunity to really get creative and get the message out about the product or service in a unique and positive way.

Along with article writing, which can appear in a blog, magazine or website, creating advertising copy is fun, interesting and a learning experience for the writer. Through advertising copy, a writer has to really get to know the product or service and come up with new ways to present it, education consumers to go out and buy it, and come up with a catchy phrase or slogan. Not really the easiest thing to do, but still, a fun, mind-exercise that can stir hours of creativity from within.

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Part of article writing has to do with facts and details, but it must leave the reader with wanting to know more about the product or service.

I’ve had the opportunity, through my writing, to promote activities of the International Association of Administrative Professionals – Providence Chapter both on the chapter website and on the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce website. The chapter events and activities were out there online for all to see and hopefully readers would contact the association for more information.

I have recently been asked to co-edit the monthly newsletter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals – Crossroads Chapter. It is a volunteer position, but I will be responsible for providing content on a number of topics for the newsletter.

I am thrilled to have this opportunity, because it gives me a chance to do my favorite thing, which is writing and I get to promote activities and events for the association that provides education and training for all administrative professionals on all levels.

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Do you know anyone that could use the assistance of a writer for any reason? If so, please ask them to contact me at JPlante@VirtualColleagueLLC.com, so we can discuss how I can help them with their project.

How do you feel about reading rather than listening to an advert? Please leave your answer in the comment section.

 

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