Tag Archives: customers

What’s So Interesting about Data Entry?

 data-entry-

Data entry is one of the services I offered in my virtual assistant business, Virtual Colleague, LLC. While it appears as simplistic, data entry and an integral part of any business. Data entry is important for two reasons. First, it is a list of names, dates, amounts, descriptions, and other information pertinent to the business. Businesses thrive on lists of information. Lists are necessary to target customers, record what is the top seller, and other information.

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The second important feature of Data entry is the realtime update of information. Data entry lists are updated almost immediately. They’re in invaluable source of information and can be access with one click. That’s why I offer Data entry as a service. It is vital to most businesses, yet it is something that is simple to do, time consuming, and repetitive in nature. Fast typing and getting it done quickly is easy money, but accuracy is expected and errors are inexcusable. While most virtual assistants shy away from typing long lists of information, it is part of the brain of the business. This information is used for marketing, promotions, selective offerings, surveys and other business ventures.

typing

As a virtual assistant, I do a lot of typing and I give myself a typing test every month, just to make sure that I am in top form and not getting lazy with my strokes. It is also good for hand-eye coordination. Dexterity is important, when working in Data entry or figures. It saves a lot of corrections and brings a rhythm to the project.

Not to be confused with transcription, data entry is the creation of a list of information provided by the business or its clients. Transcription is typing words or figures that is created from some type of voice mechanism. Transcription involves additional equipment. Projects are transmitted online through special software programs. Then there is the foot pedal. This is connected to the computer, so the transcriptionist or virtual assistant can control the speed of the voice recording. It may be necessary to replay or slow down the speed, so the foot pedal is essential.

translate

Both data entry and transcription are similar, but data entry is a more relaxed style of working. Transcription definitely requires specific equipment and rates are charged by the minute instead of by the hour. Data entry depends more on eyesight, but transcription relies on good listening.

Every time you receive an email or advertisement in the mail, you know your name and contact information is included on someone’s business list. As a virtual assistant, I think of all the opportunities for my business, when I receive one of these emails or mail. That’s why data entry should be part of most virtual assistant businesses. It is easy to do. You can always check your accuracy against the list provided, and it is a constant source of work for your business.

If you would like to know more about my virtual assistant business, Virtual Colleague, LLC, please click here.

 

 

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PROOF IS IN THE PROOFING

Proofreading

I write this post, because yesterday I had a lot of writing assignments to do including emails and I had typos and misspellings in every piece I wrote. It was a bad day, but it was a great day to learn a BIG LESSON.

Computer desk

Always Proofread Your Work Before Posting Or Sending It Out!

I was overwhelmed yesterday by the amount of work I had to get done and I skipped the Spellcheck feature as well as re-reading my work. At the end of the day, I felt I had wasted my time. The emails I sent out were not my usual, carefully crafted work. Typos, in my opinion, are inexcusable. Did I keep up my work schedule? Yes! But at what cost?

 Lesson Learned

It’s not the quantity of the work; it’s the quality of the work that matters. Thank goodness, I didn’t have to submit anything for a wide audience, but every member of your audience deserves your full attention. Your work should contain new ideas or at least another way of looking at existing ideas. That makes you and your work stand out.

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My virtual assistant business, Virtual Colleague, LLC, specializes in writing projects. Yesterday was the worse day I’ve had at the office in quite a while, but it will never happen again. I’ve put measures in place, so I will never rush through a project or skip steps to get everything done on time. I usually finish my projects ahead of schedule. I pride myself on doing that, so any last minute changes will not keep me from submitting my work on time. Skipping steps is not one of the ways to meet deadlines.

Proofreading Girl

What Exactly Is Proofreading?

According to https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/Proofreading, “proofreading means examining your test carefully to find and correct typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, style, and spelling.”

The Writing Center of the University of Wisconsin also lists some “helpful tips, when you proofread:

  • Work from a printout, not the computer screen. (But see below for computer functions that can help you find some kinds of mistakes.)
  • Read out loud. This is especially helpful for spotting run-on sentences, but you’ll also hear other problems that you may not see when reading silently.
  • Use a blank sheet of paper to cover up the lines below the one you’re reading. This technique keeps you from skipping ahead of possible mistakes.
  • Use the search function of the computer to find mistakes you’re likely to make. Search for “it,” for instance, if you confuse “its” and “it’s;” for “-ing” if dangling modifiers are a problem; for opening parentheses or quote marks if you tend to leave out the closing ones.
  • If you tend to make many mistakes, check separately for each kind of error, moving from the most to the least important, and following whatever technique works best for you to identify that kind of mistake.
    For instance, read through once (backwards, sentence by sentence) to check for fragments; read through again (forward) to be sure subjects and verbs agree, and again (perhaps using a computer search for “this,” “it,” and “they”) to trace pronouns to antecedents.
  • End with a spelling check, using a computer spelling checker or reading backwards word by word.
    But remember that a spelling checker won’t catch mistakes with homonyms (e.g., “they’re,” “their,” “there”) or certain typos (like “he” for “the”).”

I usually proofread my work at least 3 times before submitting or sending it out. Yesterday was the exception.

Upset Girl

Why Am I So Upset About This?

Perception is everything, when you’re in business. Potential customers and clients see your work as in indication of what THEY can expect from you. If there’s typos, misspelled words, or bad punctuation; then they will look to another business to fulfill their needs. That’s why it’s so important not only to make a good first impression, but to consistently perform at a high level, so your business persona shines and stands out from the rest.

Perfect Pose

No One Is Perfect, But Practice Makes Perfect!

That’s why it’s so important to do your best at all times. As a virtual assistant, I strive to maintain high standards and share those standards with all of my clients. Proofreading makes perfect!

Did you ever have a bad proofreading experience ?  Share it below. 

 

Click here to link to my website for more information about Virtual Colleague, LLC and how it can help you to grow your business.

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Networking Through Press Releases

What is a press release?

headline

 A press release, also known as a news release, is a few brief statements that outline the major facts of a news story in journalistic style. It is also an official statement issued to newspapers giving information on a particular matter, such as a new product or service, a company sponsored event or employee promotions.

Social Media

With the explosion of social media, the press release is now considered a form of networking. Instead of creating a brochure, white paper, or advertising campaign, the press release provides the perfect opportunity to broadcast news, new products or services, personnel changes, company expansion, and a host of other newsworthy topics. Rather than going through the local newspapers, social media broadcasts the press releases in many forms and at lightning speed, so businesses can keep everyone up to date on changes within the business and any brand changes.

People Networking

Why is this considered networking?

Networking comes in many forms. Almost any type of marketing involves networking. You may think of networking as a business event “after hours”, but networking is any time information is exchanged between the company and potential customers or clients. Networking is meant to create a bond between the product/service/company and potential customers/clients, so anytime someone is interested in your company’s news, product, or information that is a form of networking.

Successful networking involves person-to-person contact as in a meeting, phone call, or event. Press releases used to appear only periodically and only for important events within a company. Now that social media has created an ongoing platform for all kinds of information, the press release is easily used to relate information as often as needed.

Can press releases really take the place of networking?

A true press release is more formal than a quick bite of text in social media and it is usually a page long and can contain photos, charts, or graphs. Pieces of the press release can be inserted into social media, so within a short period of time, the entire message or news is out on social media. Broken into small bites, it is sometimes easier for readers to understand. They can digest small snapshots of information, which makes them eager to read the rest of the announcement.

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Virtual Colleague, LLC can get the results you need!

Press releases are easy enough to write up. After all, it relays information. You need someone, who knows how to write and get the message across briefly and succinctly, while creating interest in the announcement.

As a virtual assistant of Virtual Colleague, LLC, I can write press releases that not only convey the message, but also create the desire to know more about your product or service. Contact me today at 401-595-0087 for a free consultation. We will discuss your announcement and how I can relay more than just information to help your business grow.

 

Click here to link to my website for more information about Virtual Colleague, LLC.

Click on my Facebook page for more info about what I can do for your business.

Join me on Twitter.

 

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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.

Widget

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.

slogan

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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