I have been known to discuss why we shouldn’t be too open with personal information on Social Media Networks (SMNs), especially when teens are involved.

As a virtual assistant, I’ve been in the thick of SMNs for several years now and help my clients set up their networks.  It is an exciting way to share information with the masses and an exceptional tool for business owners to market their business.  Friends and family members are connecting here, too, more readily than via email these days.  However, when utilizing this for personal engagement, especially those with teenagers need to be fully aware of what information is being posted for public consumption.

Reinforcing this thought is this Yahoo news link I found this morning.  Thieves have found a way to guess pertinent information via information posted on SMNs like your Social Security Number 8.5% of the time for people born since 1989.

My advice, remove or hide key information on your SMNs.  Need help?  Contact me and I’ll help you protect your information.

Best to you,
Jan

Are you currently marketing your business via email?  Email marketing is an immensely beneficial direct marketing tool.  Today, more and more online business owners are turning to email marketing as their primary means to generate more business.  Because of the minimal costs involved, you have a greater chance to generate a profitable return on any money invested.

In recent years, many business owners have begun relying on email marketing specialists (i.e. virtual assistants) to expand the reach of their internet marketing efforts.  It makes sense because internet users use email.   It takes knowledge to target the right category of consumers and encourage them to opt-in through enticing offerings.  Keep subscribers engaged by writing relevant and compelling content and conveying information on a regular basis.

What makes this platform even more appealing is that email marketing has proven to be more effective in generating sales leads than many other direct marketing platforms!  Measuring the efficiency and effectiveness is simple because most platforms have tracking features such as read rates, open rates, and click-throughs.  Use the results gathered to gain valuable insights on how best to communicate with your target audience and modify your marketing efforts accordingly.

Your virtual assistant can build effective email marketing campaign, allowing you to spend more time on other important aspects of your online business.

Email marketing should be an integral part of promoting any type of online business.  Through this platform, you can enhance brand reputation, reach out to a larger market, and track results in an inexpensive manner.  You can achieve outcomes they would never expect from any other direct marketing platform.  In fact, an email marketing campaign can be effective enough to be an online business’ ONLY means to generate more revenue.

Hello All!

Now is a great time to brush up your skills or add a new one and here’s why you can’t pass this opportunity up . . . it is a great course and it is FREE!  For anyone who is interested, a colleague and fellow Colorado VA, Andrea Kalli,  online is offering a FREE online training course – Outlook 2007 What’s New (ol07wn30). Andrea is a terrific trainer and she makes learning effortless.  Sign up through her e-learning center, under the Free Training Material category at http://www.virtualassist.net/elearning.

She has additional courses/subjects available, so please visit her e-learning center to get more information and to sign up.

Best to you,
Jan

Well, that is something each business owner must ascertain for themselves.

Although I consider myself to be a positive thinker, the current economic shift has been tough on many businesses/employers and it may remain that way for a while.  Faced with having to make critical decisions regarding their workforce to keep the business solvent is not easy.   Replacing employees with a full-timer may not be the best option when times are still uncertain.

Luckily, the virtual world offers the relatively new solution of hiring a professional virtual assistant.  Choosing to partner with a virtual assistant might be the most cost-effective solution when you have to cut your traditional workforce.

Best to you,

Jan

Anti Virus

February 27, 2009

So, I scheduled an onsite “Computer Tutor” training session today for a client who claims to be not-so-savvy when it comes to the computer.  Very typical scenario, he’s newer to computers and finds them a bit intimidating.  Not a problem, that’s why I’m here.  (I offer virtual training and onsite training for those who want me to personally walk them through the steps and show them the how-to’s. )

He needed help accessing and surfing the World Wide Web, installing a program he bought, setting up a new email account, and walking him through some basic steps.

When I got there, the “normal” pop-up window (that “always comes up”) appeared stating they needed to update/upgrade their virus protection software.  This entailed purchasing a new, more expensive version.

This aggravates the hooey out of me because for the average user, there are terrific FREE versions of protection from reputable companies.   We downloaded a new FREE program, scanned his system, and removed the old program.  Voila!  It didn’t take long, he’s protected, and it was …. oh, that’s right, FREE!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Best to you,

Jan
Professional Virtual Assistant

Argh – this really chaps me.  Those sneaky official looking domain renewal letters sent out to people.  I’ve had several friends and clients who have received these and PAY!

I’m posting this blog because a new client called to say she received a letter to renew the domain.  I already coached her on who to pay and approximately when it would be due.  (She forgot and that’s why she called.)  She was going to pay this phony-bologna company but had the inkling that something didn’t seem quite right.  Precisely!

So here’s my plea – if you receive a domain renewal letter by mail, don’t pay it without checking it out first!  If you don’t know how, contact me, or your virtual assistant.  Unless, of course, you have about $100 that you are willing to give away.

Best to you,

Jan

“Administrative support only when you need it!”

http://www.eva-colo.com

Virtual assistants help their clients with many aspects of business. One of the services I offer to my clients is helping them get their businesses up and running. With many, many facets to be addressed, I help them make choices that are the right fit for them and their clients – such as a client-friendly toll-free telephone number.

Here are a number of resources to look into if you are interested in obtaining your own toll-free telephone number.

I encourage you to visit these options to see which best fits your needs. (As in my past posts, these are in no particular order.)

www. ringcentral.com

http://www.AITech.com

http://www.ureach.com

http://www.kall8.com

http://www.accessline.biz

http://www.onebox.com

http://www.tollfreelive.com

http://www.smart800now.com

http://www.freedomvoice.com

Let me know if you have any questions or feedback on these vendors or their services.

Best to you,

Jan Clark

Email Subject Line

March 3, 2008

Use a subject on every email you send. By using a subject line that pertains to the email content, recipients will be better able to determine which emails to read first.

This is important: when you change the email content or add a topic, adjust the subject line to reflect the new changes. For example, if your original email contained information regarding a new real estate listing and you responded but added a question about the time line on updating a calendar, modify the subject line thusly – Original subject line “New listing 123 Main”; Adjusted subject line “New listing – calendar update ?”. At a glance, the recipient can ascertain new information is included.

As a virtual professional assistant, the preferred method of communication by most of my clients is email. Utilizing the change subject line technique takes only moments to complete while making certain all parties are alerted to any changes.

Best to you,
Jan

RESOURCES: fax via email

February 11, 2008

As a virtual assistant, often times I am asked to provide options for different aspects of business. Through my various affiliations, I learn about different sources for a multitude of business requirements.

Latest case in point, the need for faxes be sent and received without a fax machine. Faxes are sent and received via your email account eliminating the need for a fax machine and its associated expenses (extra telephone line, ink cartridges, paper, etc.). Complete faxing solutions are available for individuals, small businesses and even large businesses. Prices range from free to pay per use or pay per month. Many accommodate an array of files types i.e. .doc, .pdf, .csv, .bmp, .gif, .tif, .html.

Although, I personally haven’t tried them all, one or more colleagues and/or their clients have used the services below for their faxing needs. I encourage you to visit these options to see which best fits your needs. (They are in no particular order.)

Let me know if you have any questions or feedback on these products.

Best to you,

Jan Clark, EVA

Email Basics

January 30, 2008

Here are a few tips on sending emails.

  • Always use the subject line relevant to the topic when sending an email. If the topic changes as you correspond back and forth, edit the Subject line accordingly.
  • Do not use all upper case letters when writing an email. It is the equivalent of shouting.
  • Refrain from using sarcasm and in some cases, humor, as they can be easily misinterpreted.
  • Don’t use abbreviations or acronyms unless you are certain the recipient knows the meaning. (Unfortunately, I used IMHO which caused the recipient to ponder a series of possible meanings before actually asking what it meant! IMHO = in my humble opinion.)
  • It is best to request permission from the recipient before sending email with large attachments or numerous large emails. The capacity limits of some inboxes can reach the maximum in the blink of an eye. Believe it – not everyone has high-speed internet, even today. It’s still unavailable in some rural areas (although there are a few excruciatingly high cost alternatives).
  • IMPORTANT: When forwarding an email, take a moment to delete the previous addressees. The only exception is when you want your recipient(s) to see the thread associated with email for informational purposes.keyboard
  • IMPORTANT: Use the blind carbon copy (BCC) when sending email to multiple people. It is considered impolite to list everyone in the TO: field. Additionally, you should consider the issue of privacy. As a rule of thumb, use the BCC field unless there is a specific reason (project management, etc.) others need to know who you are addressing.
  • People expect a quicker response with email messaging. Be sure to check your email regularly. Use an auto-respond message if you will not be checking email for several days (while on vacation, etc).
  • Spell check an email before you hit the send button.
  • Avoid discussing sensitive or confidential information.
  • Be professional and concise with your content.
  • If your message is lengthy, break it into paragraphs or even better, separate emails.

These are the tips at the forefront of my mind at this moment. I hope you find them to be useful.

Jan ~EVA~ Electronic Virtual Assistant