Tag Archives: Time

VIDEO SCRIPTS BRING YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE TO LIFE

Did you ever consider making a video for your product or service?

Video posts are becoming more popular, because they make your product or service seem real. Videos create the opportunity to provide new information about your product/service and let’s your potential customers/clients SEE your product or service in action.

script clip

While most of us have phones that can create videos, it’s not enough to make a great impression.

A great video starts with an idea about how to present your product/service. The idea should focus on what makes your product or service different from your competition. Then, an outline should be created to present your product/service in a step-by-step process. This is accomplished by hiring a video scriptwriter.

Video scriptwriter

Can anyone write a video script?

Of course, they can! But you need someone, who not only writes passionately about your product or service, but understands how to sell your product or service through words. That’s where a qualified copywriter or video scriptwriter knows how to present your product/service and how to entice potential customers/clients to contact you and ask for more information. The video script is important, because 1) it lays out the benefits of the product or service, 2) highlights the features, and then 3) gives potential customers/clients a reason to want what you have to offer. The script has to flow and seem very natural to anyone watching and listening.

man with Mic

Another consideration for a video script is the rhythm of the speaker. Sometimes, the writer has to analyze the speech pattern of the speaker.  Using words or speech cadence that the speaker is unfamiliar with can ruin a video, if it is not carefully synced together. Background in video can be distracting, so the writer has to work with the graphics department to ensure that although the product or service is shown, the words have to add additional meaning to the visual.

Music Band

Time is also a factor. You have to determine how long you want the video to run. Music may be used, but again, it should complement your product/service or create a feeling of urgency. The music should do more than create a mood. It should appeal to the customer/client’s senses. You must be careful and get full permission to use music, graphics, or other elements in your video. The penalties can be steep and include jail time.

The video presentation has to be believable, enticing, realistic, plain speaking, and give the customer/client a reason to want to know more.

As technology continues to grow and push boundaries, some business owners are going totally video. They do this for two reasons: 1) they like the intimate feeling that is conveyed to the public by looking into the camera and speaking directly to the viewer and 2) they have the opportunity to sell something visually, verbally, and audibly. Three great ways to reach customers/clients in ways they can relate to.

Camera man

Making a video can be fun and a great team-building project, so if you’re looking for something to enhance your marketing, try creating a video, but make sure you hire qualified professionals. Virtual Colleague, LLC specializes in video script writing for any product or service. Contact Virtual Colleague, LLC at JPlante@VirtualColleagueLLC.com to schedule a free consultation.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Virtual Assistant Business

DOCUMENT PREPARATION

document preparationWhat is meant by “document preparation”?

Question mark

It means different things to different people.

  • It can mean simply correcting grammar and spelling mistakes
  • Making sure the correct punctuation is used
  • Formatting the document without any corrections, but adhering to margins and pre-set formatting styles
  • It can also mean that you, as the document preparer, have to take a series of sentences and place them in logical order, incorporating good grammar and punctuation, and creating a visually-pleasing documentcolor-chart

Document preparation is all of the above and more.

Along with a firm command of the language and its parts, the visual is also important. There must be enough “white space” to make the document appeal to the average person. Small fonts, fancy fonts, and long paragraphs make the document difficult to read and/or comprehend.

Speaking of understanding and comprehension, technical, foreign, or archaic words add to the confusion and not many readers will take the time to look up their meanings. Words highlighted in a light color may be difficult for some people to read. On the other hand, you don’t want to BOLD AND CAPITALIZE too many words. It implies you’re shouting at the reader.

hand-with-jigsaw

What’s the best method to prepare a document?

Ask who the target audience is. Is it the elderly, who need larger fonts? Is it the younger generation, who are already familiar with the information in the document? Is it a company document meant for internal use only or is it meant for the general public? Knowing this, will make document preparation much easier.

Does your client have a pre-set format or do they “wing it” depending on the document? Do they use a color scheme or color-coding to enhance their marketing materials? Most companies use a few select fonts, so customers will recognize their brand.

Virtual Colleague LLC 4

Virtual Colleague, LLC

As owner of Virtual Colleague, LLC, I offer document preparation as part of my list of services. Before I sign with a client, I ask all of the above questions and more. I need to know up front, if I’m working from a draft or a finished copy. If it is a final copy, has the entire copy been approved or is there room for change?

This information is important for two reasons. 1) It gives me an idea of how much time I have to spend on this project and 2) it determines the fee I charge for this service.

painter

Artist and Canvas

As a document preparer, I am like an artist. The paint (words) were made by someone else, but the finished picture (the document) is a reflection on me. I can’t afford to do shoddy work or use the same format for every document. Each document is different and is meant to convey a different message by way of visual and presentation. It is my job as document preparer to capture the essence and tone of the document. This service is no different from the other services I offer.

Quality should always come before quantity.

Do you need document preparation? Check out my website www.VirtualColleagueLLC.com for more information about me and my work.

Like me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Virtual Assistant Business

WRITING AGES LIKE FINE WINE

So Many Topics, So Little Time

Virtual Colleague LLC 4

I’ve written over 140 blog posts since April 2013. In that time, I’ve covered various topics about my virtual assistant business, Virtual Colleague, LLC, running a business, different aspects of a business, my fiction novel “Everyone Evelon” and many other topics.

Everyone Evelon Cover

In preparation for writing this post, I went to back to the first six months of my posts. Needless to say, my writing has greatly improved. I struggled as anyone does, when they start out doing something that they’ve never done before. Back then, I had a variety of topics, but my writing style was not that good.

Through reading other blogs and doing some research, I’ve honed my writing skills and produced better copy and deliver more information to my readers. It doesn’t matter what topic I write about, I’ve developed a better way of expressing my thoughts and opinions and the blogs are better for it.

I write two distinctive blogs. One is for my virtual assistant business and the other began as a blog for my author website, but is in transition. As a result of taking a copywriting course, I will be dividing my time between my virtual assistant projects and copywriting.

Perfection

Mom Always Said Practice Makes Perfect

 BloThis is so true! I see the results in my posts as I scan through my blog posts from beginning to end. I’m getting better all the time. I’m still struggling with SEO and keywords, but I’m headed in the right direction.

wine-cups-and-grape

Writing Does Age Like Fine Wine

 Wine starts out as grapes. These are the topics for blog posts. The grapes are squeezed, so only the juice is used. This is the research that comes from searching for pertinent information to include in the blog post. The juice goes through a fermenting process. This is where the blogger researches, writes, stops, researches again, continues to write and then leaves this copy for several days to let it “settle” before going back to it to find mistakes, inaccuracies, or any other problems.

When the wine is near perfection, then it is ready for public consumption. So too, with your blog post. After you have rewritten your copy several times and changed the word order or some words and checked punctuation and grammar, then it is ready be shared with the public.

This is the analogy I use, when thinking about my blogs. Every post I complete is shared worldwide, so it needs to be as perfect as possible. I admit, some posts are funnier than others are or contain more information than the others, but each one is the very best I can do at the time. I use the wine analogy to keep myself focused and produce the best posts I can.

 bottle-and-glasses-of-wine

Wine Is Sometimes Enjoyed In Intervals

 

I recently bought a bottle of wine for the holidays. I know I will not drink all of it at once. Instead, I will savor it over a period of time. Writing blog posts should be like that, too. Your readers should want to reread them or refer to them, if they need to. Your posts should make a lasting impression.

The next time you start to write something, whether it’s a thank you card, letter, description, or other piece of copy, remember the wine analogy and make whatever you write as clear and smooth as a fine wine.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Virtual Assistant Business

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO LEARN?

Learn

The opportunity to learn new things is everywhere and yet, we sometimes have difficulty learning something new. Why does this happen? Did you know there are three ways to learn? Now I’m not talking about reading, hands-on, or visuals. I’m talking about the medium needed to learn. Let’s take them one at a time.

Internet

The Internet

Most of us use the internet. This is a great way to learn almost anything. There are free websites with step-by-step instructions or paid programs that walk you through the whole process and answer your questions. Some sites even suggest books to read, so you can become proficient at what you want to learn.

REading

Reading

Speaking of the internet, the internet uses the three forms of learning. Reading is key to learning anything on the internet. The internet is mostly comprised of words, with photos, and videos making up the balance.

If you’re a good reader, you can ingest volumes of information about anything just by reading. Some words are highlighted and linked to their definitions, so clicking on them will give you an immediate definition, but if you’re a visual learner, this is where the second form of learning comes into play.

 Videos

Visuals/Videos

The second form of learning is using visuals. Visuals can be photos, images, or videos demonstrating what you are trying to learn. This is a great way to learn how to decorate cakes, do arts and crafts, create holiday decorations, hairstyles, or anything you create by hand.

This form of learning is for people, who don’t like to read or have difficulty reading. Some people are just geared to learning this way and they can easily watch and learn at the same time and need very little outside help. They simply follow the visuals and achieve the same results. While this is a fast and easy way to learn, not everything we want to learn is available on video and a video or visual is very limited as to information. A visual gets you from start to finish, but isn’t capable of describing all of the details, tips, and tricks you should know. That kind of information is found in books or on the internet, where you have the space to read about certain subjects in depth.

Skills

Your Skills Solve Problems

The third kind of learning occurs when you don’t read or watch visuals, but use your intuitive skills to figure out how to do something. For example, suppose you want to re-create a certain hairstyle. You look at the photo, but there are no videos or written instructions to tell you how to do it. You simply use your skills to figure out which steps to take. This is usually the “trial-and-error” method, but it does bring results. Most people using this type of learning are truly “hands-on” in their approach to problems or issues. They get totally involved in the mental process of figuring out where to go or what to do to solve the problem. They don’t quit until they’ve figured out what to do and get the correct results.

Important

So Why Is This Important?

As virtual business owners, we have to be able to master all types of problems or issues. Things like software programs, hardware issues, telephone issues, and decisions about how to set up our offices and what furniture and tools we need. If you’re a reader, you can sit and read the solutions to most of your business problems. If you’re a visual/video learner, you can watch how to solve certain problems and replay as many times as necessary to get the end result.

If you simply don’t have patience to use the above methods, you can simply get into whatever your problem is by trial-and-error and fix it or make it better. This may take time, but your mental focus and memory will serve you well.

Path

Each Of These Methods Are Equal

There is no right or wrong way to learn or solve problems. The best way is the way that works for you. Sometimes you may use more than one method or you may stick to the way that works best for you. In any case. as a virtual business owner, you must find a way or ways to handle, manage, and maintain all of the tools needed to make your business profitable and grow.

 

What is the best way for you to learn new things?

 

Virtual Colleague LLC

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Virtual Assistant Business

CHRISTMAS GIFTS AND PREPARATION

christmas Gifts

By now, I’m sure that most of us either have completed our holiday shopping or are at least half way through it. Of all the months in the year, I find that November and December are extremely busy, expensive, and time just flies.

ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS ARE IMPORTANT!

December Calendar

Around the end of October and beginning of November, I start making lists of things to do by certain dates. This is where organizational skills are very important. I always start my holiday shopping in November, but first, I have some research to do.

I always:

  • see if I can get some gift cards with my mileage points or credit card points
  • make a detailed list of what to get everyone including: size, color, style, and price
  • research which stores offer the best deals for the above mentioned
  • consider merchandise exchange policies
  • inquire if gift-wrapping is available
  • decide if waiting for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday will give me better deals

That takes care of gift buying. I only have to go out and pick up these things or order them online. This is one facet of the holiday rush.

PREPARE FOR SOCIAL EVENTS

Upcoming Events

I also have to make sure I prepare for all social events. Thank goodness, Thanksgiving is a food holiday! I just concentrate on cooking and socializing with family and friends. It is wonderful to sit back and catch up with everyone after a delicious meal.

There are so many other events to plan. There is:

  • the tree lighting on the green
  • school plays
  • finding time to decorate the house – both inside and out
  • baking the traditional Christmas cookies and then packaging them to send off to others

There’s also events at church and holiday parties with various organizations.

CLIENTS AND VIRTUAL OFFICE PARTIES

Office party

As a virtual assistant, owner of Virtual Colleague, LLC,  and copywriter, I don’t have an office party. I’m the only employee, but I do send a little something to my clients, especially those I’ve worked with this year. My clients are never forgotten and they all receive an ecard for the holidays, but I like to make my clients feel special, so I give them something extra. It may be a gift card or something small like a calendar or pen light, but I want to reward them for giving me projects through the year.

Then there’s the writing and mailing holiday cards and packages. While some people prefer a digital holiday card, most everyone on my list prefers a traditional card. This is more time consuming and expensive. I also feel I have to put a personal note inside every single card and   purchase holiday stickers, address labels, and postage stamps. All of this takes time to do!

Christmas Card

IS IT WORTH IT?

YES! I am busy throughout the year, so why shouldn’t I find and take the time to acknowledge the people in my life, who have worked with me, advised me, and assisted me to become the person I am. At no other time of the year is it more appropriate to show your kindness and gratitude to everyone – my clients included.

So while I may be stressed from lack of sleep, lack of money, and lack of time to do everything – the holidays are a wonderful time of the year and should be savored and enjoyed like fine wine! Taking the time to slow down and enjoy the atmosphere is one of the best presents you can give yourself.

How do you handle the holiday rush?

Leave a comment

Filed under Virtual Assistant Business

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.

bonus-award-

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.

sample-stamp-on-boxes-s

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.

ribbon-bow-on-dollar-sign-

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.

Virtual Colleague LLC 4

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Virtual Assistant Business

LEARNING NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR FUN OR NEED

I feel I’m proficient in the technology I use as a virtual assistant, but there’s so much out there that I don’t know about. For example, Infusionsoft. This is something that so far none of my clients use or need. Some of my clients have other systems they use.

Infusionsoft

I’ve never used Infusionsoft, but I’m curious about it. I’ve got a busy schedule as a virtual assistant and I am also an author of Christian fiction. I’m working on my second book, so time is valuable and I have to use my time wisely.

I want to sign up for a course about Infusionsoft, but I don’t want to spend the time to learn something that I may not use and I could use that money for other things.  I’ve always said that no one should stop learning. Life is a lesson in learning, so this may be something I should do. I’ve heard so much about CRM and how it helps clients, but right now, my time is limited to doing work to meet my deadlines.

Time

http://www.feedigitalphotos.net

On the plus side, I should continue to learn just to exercise my brain. If I learn this technology, I could offer it to my clients, enhancing what I have to offer. Maybe I could use it myself for my own business, Virtual Colleague, LLC.

On the minus side, the course is expensive and it is time consuming. It lasts for 6 weeks with homework and online classes. Even if I learn this technology, my client may use another type and I may have to spend money and time to learn that one.

I guess it boils down to priorities and needs. I need to complete the existing projects by their deadlines that I’ve committed to. That a priority. I need to schedule all my tasks, so I will accomplish that goal, but I also need to do something for myself. All work and no play is no good.

Perhaps I can contact the instructor to lock in the price, even though I may not start the online course for several weeks. I don’t need any more stress, so this seems like an option. In the meantime, I will poll my clients both past and present to see if any of them are interested in using this technology. That will help me decide to take this course or maybe look into something else that my clients will use.

In the meantime, I have to research this instructor and company to make sure they’re legitimate and see if I can find the same course for less money or a better schedule. As technology continues to develop, I need to keep searching for what’s out there and what I may need. I try to forecast what skills I need, but part of that assessment has to do with my clients’ needs.

For more information on Virtual Colleague, LLC and what I can do for your business, click on www.VirtualColleagueLLC.com.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Virtual Assistant Business