Getting Virtual Help With Your Business; Hiring a Virtual Assistant

A number of our readers continue to raise questions about hiring someone to do some of the work with their websites or blogs. They want help with writing, setting up their blogs or websites, driving traffic and a number of other time-consuming, but necessary tasks to make their businesses successful.

So Savvy Marketing Secrets directed some of your questions to Staci Jansma, owner of Your Online 24/7 Virtual Assistant.

Savvy: What types of tasks will virtual assistants perform?

Staci: Virtual Assistants can literally do anything. Graphic design, web programming, create brochures and promotional material for both online and offline events, record webinars for future products to sell, setup shopping carts so you can be selling while you sleep, schedule blog posts to increase traffic to your website and gain more awareness to what you have to say. You can hire a writer or copyeditor to write new content for your webpages, blog posts, press releases, articles or even for your next info-product.

Savvy:  What are their (virtual assistants) typical fees?

Staci:  Most sources will say Virtual Assistants currently charge $10 to $50 per service hour.

Savvy: How do you find a great virtual assistant?

Staci: I think a “great” virtual assistant is someone that you connect with and you can write emails back and forth with little confusion where both parties understand. I have one client that I have been working with for over a year and as of today – we still haven’t had one single conversation via phone. We have always exchanged emails and it has worked exceptional for us – so I do believe that we have a great connection and created a bond where we understand each other. Of course I do have clients that want to talk via phone (or Skype) and sometimes the conversation requires a phone call – so we can get our thoughts out there and see what ideas the other person is thinking of – we use this for our “strategy” planning moments.

Savvy:  Before I ask you to respond to some of the more specific questions our readers have asked, please tell us about your business.

Staci: I am the owner of Your Online 24/7 Virtual Assistant helping you when you need me! I launched StaciJansma.com in June 2009. Through clients and my 2 business coaches i have learned what I needed to do to advance my business in the right direction. Not only have I seen what others have done but I took action and implemented. There is so much you can learn and do and the main thing I have been doing is “Just Do It!” I needed a blog because that will help drive more traffic to my website – especially organic traffic so I just did it – Started blogging and haven’t looked back since. I launched my blog on December 1st, 2009 and I usually blog at least daily Monday through Friday and sometimes on Saturday and Sunday. If there is something that comes up that I want to add during the month also you may see more than one blog post in a day – that just means it was a social day! Lots to share. My business coach told me – blog about it – people will find you and I agree, people do find you.

Savvy: Can you hire someone to setup your business (or website) for you? 

Staci: Yes. But as the business owner – yoou need to have a vision or a plan for your business and your website. If you don’t know what you want then it is hard for a virtual assistant to do the work for you. Yes your virtual assistant may have an idea of what can be done – but keep in mind it is still your business. If you are not getting traffic, you are not happy with the design of the website and if you don’t know how to do this – then this is when you outsource the task or project and hire someone to help you. 

Savvy: What about hiring someone to build a Facebook business page?

Staci: Yes – if you don’t have the time or don’t know how – then by all means yess!! they are not really that hard to do – just time consuming and you have to understand HTML or FBML.

Savvy:  Can you hire people to build backlinks for you?

Staci: Yes you can definitely outsource this task to build backlinks for your business. Backlinks will only help you – they really can’t hurt you. Recently I had a client tell me she wanted to drop a domain because she is no longer using the domain – however the domain had over 300+ links which means over 300+ websites are linked to that domain. I told her I would keep paying for it because of those 300+ could bring you some traffic that you would lose. Or I said you could look up who is connected to you and ask them to change it – the easiest and most affordable way is to keep the domain name.

Savvy: If I am not a good writer, should I hire someone to write my website?

Staci: Yes – you can find people through your current contacts or put out a request through forums, twitter, facebook, etc.

Savvy:  Which of these activities can virtual assistants perform? How do you determine a VA’s skill set when you approach them, or before?

Staci:  Virtual Assistants can do anything, we really can. A Virtual Assistant’s skill set depends on their passion. I have a passion to help others and if I can do it for them I will sure try. I do have some skill sets that I prefer not to do – that is when I will introduce my client to a team member from YourOnlineVirtualAssistant.com or I will outsource the work to them without my client being aware. Eaither way the work gets completed and client is happy.

Savvy:  Stacy, we want to thank you for sharing all of this great information about outsourcing and hiring a virtual assistant. Please leave any comments you have for Staci and don’t forget to visit her website: StaciJansma.com.

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What is Savvy Marketing?

In the 1980’s, Jay Conrad Levinson published a legendary book called Guerrilla Marketing; Secrets for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business. The book was wildly popular because Levinson described business leaders who had found ways to steal the show from major players by doing something as simple as giving out thousands of bags of popcorn at the Super Bowl with the company’s name on them.
 
People remembered the free popcorn longer than they remembered most of the commercials giant companies spent millions to air during the game.
 
That was savvy marketing.
 
Gravitars of some of my twitter followersSavvy or “smart” marketing is when you find clever ways to make your marketing stick or get your point across without spending a fortune to do so.
 
You are using savvy marketing when your small business builds credibility and name recognition with a highly effective article marketing campaign that helps you build a responsive list of customers without spending a lot of money.
 
Savvy marketing is when using keyword research; you identify long-tail keywords you can rank for that help you get on the first page of Google in a keyword search.
 
Savvy marketing is when you produce a clever little video and upload it to YouTube. Your video goes viral and gets millions of hits, bringing a lot of traffic back to your website. The video cost little more than your time.
 
Savvy marketing is when you do something I’ve been planning to do  — start and maintain a talk show on Blog Talk Radio, a free service to use, that generates a ton of traffic to your website and helps you build an audience.
 
Savvy marketing is when you publish a book that becomes a best seller on Amazon or the New York Times by getting all your JV partners to promote your book and give away a ton of free products to people who buy the book within a certain period of time. Of course you reciprocate when your JV partners publish their books, guaranteeing that all of your books sell well.
 
Savvy marketing is when you use a big product launch to boost your own email list by promoting someone else’s product like crazy.
 
Savvy marketing is when you use social networking sites to build your audience — not by spamming the sites with whatever you are selling — but by building strong relationships.
 
I could go on and on. The truth is the Internet provides a number of opportunities for savvy marketing. But unlike what you are likely to hear from some marketers who are just trying to grab your cash, it is NOT easy or fast.
 
Savvy marketing takes time, research, hard work and sometimes you have to spend a little money for the best results.
 
Savvy means being in the know so the best way to be a savvy marketer is to constantly learn about what is going on in the marketplace and are ready to seize opportunities when they present themselves.

One of our top goals here at Savvy Marketing Secrets is to keep identifying and writing about savvy marketing strategies to help you build a profitable business. So stay tuned.

How To “Borrow” Other People’s Buzz TODAY (Think Traffic!)

Here’s a guest column I should have shared with you a couple of weeks ago, but I was extremely busy. After reading it, I decided the post is timeless. You can use this information again and again. So I am going to share it here. Jimmy D. Brown is one of my favorite teachers. He has a great knack for making things crystal clear.

By Jimmy D. Brown

Did you know that other people “warm up” your customers for you with their “big product launches”?

And, did you further know, that a huge opportunity for you to create sales for YOUR product or a product you promote as an affiliate can be the result?

If, that is, you “borrow” the buzz that other people are generating.

Imagine this scenario…

Mr. Marketer creates a new $2,000 product. He “launches” it with his friends. Everyone on the forums is talking about it. Every email sent out within the marketplace has something to say about it. Bloggers are raving. The whole industry is buzzing about the new launch.

The average conversion rate is 2%. And that’s not on $2,000 products. But, let’s assume that Mr. Marketer is the best in the biz. And he can generate something obscene like 25% conversion rate on a $2,000 offer (which, by the way, ain’t likely to happen).

IF that were to happen, the flipside is this: 75% DON’T BUY.

In other words, for every 100 visitors to the “launch” site, 75 of them walk away without buying.

Were they uninterested? If that’s the case, they likely wouldn’t have visited the site in the first place.

In the majority of the cases, the $2,000 price tag was out of their reach. Not in the budget. Don’t have the money. Been there, done that … didn’t have the cash to buy the t-shirt!

So, what can we learn from this?

We can learn…

  • These 75 out of every 100 who don’t buy are probably interested to some degree.
  • These 75 out of every 100 have heard all of the buzz and have been “presold” on the premise of the product.
  • These 75 out of every 100 are strong candidates to buy a lower-priced, related alternative.

That’s where YOU come into the picture.

You “borrow” the buzz that’s been generated for the big product being talked about by everyone as you promote a lower-priced, related alternative!

Here’s how you do it…

Look for high-dollar launches in your market.

1.  The first step is to keep your eye on the pulse of your market. Whenever a major new product is being launched, get busy. You’ll usually know days, if not weeks, in advance because that’s how launches work: they do a lot of “pre” build-up work to get people salivating for the eventual launch. Keep your eyes out for anything new in the works.

2. Promote a low-cost alternative.

It doesn’t matter if you write a quick 10-15 page report, promote your own existing product that is related or grab an affiliate link to some other existing product or service. It doesn’t really matter WHERE you obtain this lower-priced alternative. The important thing is that you find one. It needs to be related to the topic of the big product being launched. It can be related either (a) by teaching a similar concept, or (b) teaching a portion of the big product’s concept.

3. Write a mailing that explains the two options.

You’ll want to write a mailing to send to your subscribers or to post at your blog. This mailing needs to contain three important elements…

– Content that presells. Share some meaty nuggets related to the offer you are ultimately going to promote to set the table.

– A small blurb about big launch with your link. Mention the “major” launch briefly. Describe it’s benefits and use an affiliate link of yours to point to the offer. Mention that it’s only drawback is “price”. Express that many people can’t afford it.

– A stronger promotion for your option. Then, really hit home with this “lower-priced, related alternative”. Let them know the benefits are similar at a fraction of the cost. Be sure to point out that it’s priced for everyone — especially those who feel “left out” of the big budget launch because they can’t afford it.

Then, it’s just a matter of getting that mailing out to your subscribers.

Let’s look at what you have in place as a result of this strategy…

  • You have two promotions: a minor one for the same “major” launch everyone else is promoting, and a “major” one for the lower-priced, related alternative.
  • You have “borrowed buzz”. Everyone in the marketplace is warming up prospects with all of their “talk” about the importance of the subject matter of the “big product launch”. They are primed and ready to buy … something!
  • You have a spike in sales coming.

This is a wonderful strategy for getting extra sales.

Remember, there are always a whole lot more people who DON’T buy the product being offered in the “launch”, than those who do! You’ve got a huge pool of prospects in the 75-98% of people who don’t buy the $2,000 offer. Many of them WILL buy a lower-priced, related alternative.

So, the only thing left for you to do is get started.

And if you’ve like a shortcut, let me show you a quick way to do it TODAY.

You have almost certainly seen that Product Launch Formula 3.0 (PLF3) has launched this week. Everyone is talking about it. While there are a lot of different strategies and ideas involved in a “launch”, the backbone is the same…

*** Other people send you the majority of your traffic.

It’s obviously a very *HOT* topic right now. People are scrambling to pay BIG BUCKS for the course.

But…

Do you think everyone can afford it?

What about the tens of thousands of internet marketers who can’t afford it, but who ARE INTERESTED in the subject?

What a shame to let them sit by without getting any sales from them!

But, don’t worry — you CAN get sales from them! Here’s how…

You offer them something for PENNIES on the dollar that provides the same end result: other people sending them traffic for their products and services!

A few days ago Jimmy D. Brown announced a resale rights offer for his SalesArmySecrets.com course.

All the details are at http://www.infoprofitshare.com/go.php?offer=mingcomm&pid=49

There are still licenses available for YOU to grab in order to sell a low-cost alternative to the high-dollar “launch” product that everyone is jabbering about.

***BUT IT GETS BETTER — FREE PLR to $20 Report! ***

Jimmy wrote a report several months ago which he briefly made available to one of his membership sites. It’s entitled “How To Get R.I.C.H. With Your Own Affiliate Program”.

(It was pulled after a month and is no longer available anywhere.)

The report is 21 meaty pages in itself, but it also strongly promotes the Sales Army Secrets course at the end.

When you order one of the remaining licenses for Sales Army Secrets, Jimmy is going to give you (no cost!) a free PLR license to the special report!

You can sell the report for $20, give it away, do whatever you want with it (as long as you don’t misrepresent it or mention Jimmy in reference to it)…

…while using the endorsement at the close of the report to promote YOUR COPY of Sales Army Secrets!

It’s a ready-made marketing report to get people to buy Sales Army Secrets from you! You can sell Sales Army Secrets for $97 per order and keep 100% of every sale!

Here’s what you need to do…

1. Order the Sales Army Secrets resale rights license at http://www.infoprofitshare.com/go.php?offer=mingcomm&pid=49

2. Register and open a ticket at Jimmy’s support center at http://www.Infoprofitshare.com and provide his staff with a copy of your receipt.

Within 24 hours someone will send you the download information for this special Free PLR offer.

That’s it!

Get one while it lasts…

http://www.infoprofitshare.com/go.php?offer=mingcomm&pid=49

There’s only ONE catch…

This special offer is for the next 3 days only. On Friday, July 2nd at 10PM CDT, Jimmy is shutting down the license offer and this Free PLR offer. They will no longer be available. Officially “retired” at that point.

Grab yours now: http://www.infoprofitshare.com/go.php?offer=mingcomm&pid=49

Then you can quickly “borrow the buzz” of those promoting PLF3!

A New Profit Blueprint for Making Money with PLR

If you’re like me, you probably have a ton of Private Label Right’s material just sitting on your hard drive. You may have been enthusiastic when you bought it, only to find it wasn’t as much fun when you tried to get those digital products up and making money on the Internet.

Some of the stuff I bought just wasn’t any good. The sales page or video was great but the actual product didn’t live up to the hype. You read the ebook or watch the video and grimace. Who will want to buy this? No one, you think. So you abandon the piece leaving it on your hard drive.

Here’s another scenario: The product is great, but in doing your homework you find a number of people are already selling it – including some who are pricing it well below the suggested retail price. So you know, you can’t just put it out there. You have to change the product, redo the graphics and develop a new sales page. That’s a lot of work. So you let the product sit.

Finally, you have a great product but there’s no sales page, or something else critical is missing. You’re up to your ears in other work, so you don’t get around to doing anything. Meanwhile the product loses some of its luster.

Do you abandon PLR or use a Blueprint to turn your PLR into Profits?

PLR Profit Bluepring - People poring over blueprints

Here's a Profit Blueprint to help you put your PLR to work.

So what do you do? Abandon the use of PLR altogether? Or take a lesson from Ronnie Nijmeh at PLR.me. Develop a strong blueprint for how you will use PLR in your business. With a blueprint, you can “use, reuse and recycle” your PLR purchases to multiply its value to your business.

 You also will have more incentive to plow head first into the work of making your PLR original – something enough PLR users don’t do. 

I have to admit that I was struggling with this. I have viewed several training programs to find the answer. Now, after viewing Ronnie’s video and reading his one-page profit blueprint, I am ready to take a fresh look at all the PLR on my hard drive.  I am also really curious about the new product he is preparing to launch which he calls “Info Product Empire-in-a-Box.”  If  you share my challenges with this PLR issue; you won’t want to miss his video, so go here now to check it all out. The video and Profit Blueprint are free!

PLR PRofit Blueprint

You should know that I am an affiliate for this product. It solves a problem that I and many of my readers are struggling with in a terrific way. If you are one of the first 10 people to buy through my link, I will sweeten the deal.  I will share with you a PLR product that I own with the rights in tact so that you can increase the value of your purchase.

So go now, and check it all out so that you can get started right now with your own PLR Profit Blueprint.

What makes a good blog post — one worth reading?

What makes a good blog post?A Drawing of a cup of hot coffee and a legal pad

A good blog post is readable and thought provoking

In my quest to become a better blogger, I read what other bloggers say on this topic and asked friends why they read blogs. Specifically, I wanted to know what makes a blog or, a post, worth reading. 

My friends told me they read blogs that are entertaining, well-written, fun, controversial or thought-provoking. Others read certain blogs because they contain useful information on topics of interest. Sometimes it’s important that the information is free.

Often blog readers hope to learn from people who have established themselves as experts. The reader’s goal in this case is to learn as much as possible without having to reinvent the wheel or to avoid making mistakes.

 Perhaps the best blog posts contain a little of all of these points.

 I learned even more from what other bloggers have written. A good blog breathes new life into topics others may have done-to-death and isn’t afraid to break the rules, one blogger said

“Good blogs have a voice,” according to Merlin Mann who explored this subject at some length in his blog, 43 Folders. “They show some level of craft, thinking, and continuity beyond the word count . . . Good blogs make you want to start your own blog.”

Other bloggers use words like authenticity, honesty, passion, humor and relevance to describe traits that set one blog apart from others. Posts that are philosophical, give advice or start with mistakes are also effective. And case studies that are not overhyped can be useful too, according to Frank Strong at Sword and the Script.

A Good blog “makes your opinion known, links like crazy, includes passion, snappy headlines, bullet point lists and are easy to scan,” observes Darren Rouse whose Problogger is a favorite among bloggers trying to make their own blogs better.

A good blog post should be short, have a hook and give readers something to act on, says a writer at Accessinitiative.org.

“Good blogs are laser-focused, targeted to its audience and personal,” according to a blogger at findableblogs.com. “They have original content. They are readable, link to relevant information and have accurate, but intriguing titles.”

I found it useful to take a look at what other bloggers believe sets their posts apart from the thousands of new blogs people are starting daily.

Sometimes you can’t say specifically what makes a blog work, but you recognize quality and valuable content when you see it. I’d love to hear your views on this topic. What do you think makes a good blog post?

Can a Twitter Server Crash Hurt Your Business?

Lightning storm - a metaphor for business calamity

Lightning storm - a metaphor for business calamity

You’ve worked hard to attract thousands of followers on social media sites like Twitter. Some of your income and marketing efforts are linked to your social marketing strategies.

So what happens if a server crash suddenly wipes out your thousands of Twitter followers? Or your fan page on Facebook?

Case Ernsting, who writes about social media on his MetaSpring blog, practically had a meltdown of his own when his list of Twitter followers dropped to zero Monday after its servers crashed.

You can read more of what Case learned by reading his guest post here: http://www.webtrafficroi.com/180-minutes-without-tweeps-a-live-blog/

His experience raises important questions for business. How do we protect our companies against calamities that occur on sites we don’t own?

Is this a vulnerability social media will have to overcome if they are to play a major role in the marketing world of the future? What do you think? Leave a comment to share your thoughts or experiences.

Marcia Ming