Social Media Marketing is widely used today by marketers to connect with existing customers, as well as potential clients. Marketers are seeing social media marketing as very valuable to their business. It’s vital for business development and should be included in your marketing plan.
In an article in AccountingWEB by Michael Alter, he states that in a recent survey, 73 percent of salespeople who uses social media outperform those who don’t. Go here to read his article in its entirety.
In a 2013 end-of-the-year report by Social Media Examiner, 86 percent of marketers stated that social media is important for their business, while 89 percent of marketers stated that increased exposure was the number one benefit of social media marketing. Go here to pick up that report.
Facebook is still the largest network and is yet growing. It now has over 1.15 billion users. According to an article in Social Media Today by Phillipa Kiripatea, 50 percent of Facebook users check their profile every day, while 23 percent do it 5 or more times a day! In 2013, 54 percent of marketers acquired a customer through Facebook. Facebook is a popular social platform for interacting with potential clients. This is a huge opportunity for you to market your brand to your followers. Go here to read Phillipa’s article.
Google+ is the second most actively used platform with over 343 million active users and has over 500 million total users*; however, when you sign up for a Gmail account, you have to open a Google+ account. This is driving up the numbers. 67 percent of the users are male and 40 percent of marketers use Google+. Keep in mind using Google+ can have a huge impact on your business in regards to search engine results. Go here to read more about using Google+ for your business and the importance of doing so.
Twitter has over 500 million users and over 288 million monthly active users. The fastest growing age demographic is 55 to 64 year olds. In 2013, 36 percent of businesses gained a new customer through Twitter. 60 percent of Twitter users access their accounts using mobile. So, make sure your website is mobile friendly.
LinkedIn has over 238 million users and there are 1.5 million LinkedIn groups. It is known as a platform for college graduates. 50 percent of the users have Bachelor’s or Graduate degrees. This network is strictly for business connections.
Pinterest is the fastest growing network with women being the majority of users, over 69 percent. This network is great for driving organic traffic.
Check out this cool infographic from Digital Insights on social media statistics.
*There is controversy over the number of Google+ users. A recent report shows where Google+ has over 1 billions users; however, it’s not clear if this is the total number of users or Google accounts; i.e., Android users, Gmail users, Google+ users, Google pages, and/or Google communities.
Choosing a Social Network
If you’re not using social media for business development, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Chances are, your competitors have included social media marketing in their marketing plan. The key is to select social networks where your current and potential clients hang out in order to connect with them. Your connections will drive the expansion of your business.
Being an active user of social media networks can be time-consuming. Outsource the tasks that don’t require your immediate attention to your trusted Virtual Assistant, while you focus on your followers. There are virtual assistants who specializes in social media marketing.
Have you acquired any clients through social media marketing? We would love to hear your experiences, ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section. As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons!
Earlier this week, I published this comment on my social networks: Entrepreneur tip: Outsource your social media marketing to a Virtual Assistant so that you can focus on your clients. One of the members basically responded that a Virtual Assistant can’t build relationships with potential clients, only you can. This is true. This is where social media networking comes in, not social media marketing. Let me explain the difference.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is simply marketing through social networks. This can done with a blog, publishing micro-posts on various networks, uploading videos to YouTube, or adding a call to action at the end of your articles, for example, tweet this, digg this or share this. These are a few of the marketing strategies you can use for social media marketing.
What is Social Media Networking?
Social media networking is making connections through social networks; hence, being social. Your connections can be both personal and professional. Professional networking is for building relationships with your potential customers. This type of networking can only be done by you, not your Virtual Assistant.
Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant
It’s important to note that you should not outsource your social media networking; however, you can outsource your social media marketing.
A Virtual Assistant can help you with the back office sort of tasks: for example, setting up your profiles and networks, scheduling your marketing messages, marketing research, managing your contact lists, adding your content to your blog, as well as optimizing it, and uploading your videos to YouTube with the intention of them going viral. These are a few examples of what your Virtual Assistant can do for you. This, in turn, frees up your valuable time allowing you to focus on your clients.
Bottom line, a Virtual Assistant can’t build relationships with your clients for you, but they can help you market to your clients. However, it is necessary for you to establish a relationship before you start marketing to your potential customers. That’s a whole nother topic in itself.
As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on any of the share buttons below!
This week we are continuing our series on passive income models and are looking at coaching as a way to earn recurring income. Last week, we left off with running a Specialty Forum as a method of earning passive income. Go here to read it.
Offering coaching is something else you may consider after you’ve been in business for a while. Coaching comes natural in some business models. For example, as a Virtual Assistant, I often have consultation sessions with current clients, as well as potential clients.
However, I’ve been in business for 10 years and am knowledgeable about my service offerings. My consultation sessions generally end up coaching the clients as to which internet service they need in order to accomplish their business goals.
Methods of Coaching
There are various ways to offer coaching:
Coaching packages – Clients retain your services for a set number of hours per month; which, in turn, guarantees them that amount of time per month, as well as guarantees you a steady flow of income.
Coaching newsletter subscriptions – You can offer high-quality, valuable content that can’t be found anywhere else and is not available to the general public.
Coaching exclusive closed groups – This is a replica of a membership site. The group would be small and receive more of your individualized attention, as well as a few perks. This group could be a spin off of your membership site. Go here to read our post on operating a membership site.
If coaching is not your core business, do you find yourself coaching your clients anyway? If yes, have you considered adding coaching to your current service offerings as a method of earning recurring income? Join the discussion by commenting below.
Come back next week when we wrap up our series on passive income business models. As always thanks for reading!
In Step 7 of Starting a Start-up we looked at adding passive streams of income to your business model. For the next several weeks, we will discuss various systems of passive income. We will start with affiliate marketing. We touched on it in Step 7. Go here to read it.
There are two ways affiliate marketing can work for you.
Become an affiliate for other entrepreneurs, selling their products earning a commission for each sale.
Create your own affiliate program.
Become an Affiliate
This option is the least amount of work out of the two choices. As an affiliate, you allow other entrepreneurs to promote their products on your website.
The affiliate system they have in place will assign you an unique affiliate link. You will receive a commission for each product your site visitor purchases using your assigned affiliate link. Commission payouts generally range from 4-15%.
Create Your Own System
This option is an excellent way of spreading the word about your products. Your affiliates will promote your products on their sites earning a commission from you for each sale.
When creating your affiliate system, you can either form a joint venture with someone who already has an established system in place or you can go it alone.
Running a Successful Affiliate Program
Provide excellent resources; i.e., banners, buttons, links
Pay on time
Have a valuable product to promote
You can have systems set up to automatically pay your affiliates using PayPal or an affiliate marketplace, for example, Commission Junction if you have your products there. Check around to see what works best for you.
If you are short on time or experience, there are virtual assistants who specializes in affiliate management.
In our next webinar, we will cover extensively business models and systems for passive streams of income. We will also go more in-depth into affiliate marketing citing more tips on how to run a successful affiliate marketing program. If you can’t wait, pick up the Start and Grow Your Own Business courses by going here, which contains an entire module on business models and systems for passive income.
Are you an affiliate or do you run an affiliate marketing program? Join the discussion by commenting below.
Come back next week when we look at more passive income systems. As always thanks for reading!
About a week ago, ABC News did a story titled “Virtual Assistants: Do They Make Life Easier.” However, it did not accurately represent the Virtual Assistant industry. Click here to view it. First of all it focused on tasks that a personal assistant performs. Secondly, the virtual assistants’ fee was $2.00 per task.
The story did not point out the different expertise (specialty) services that virtual assistants (VAs) perform. My colleague, Tina Hilton, wrote an interesting post where she questions is the mainstream news media hurting VAs’ businesses. They are presenting virtual assistants as someone who does personal assistant tasks, at a very low cost, which does not require being an expert. Click here to read Tina’s post.
There are virtual assistants who provide the personal assistant services that are presented in the video, but not at $2.00 per task. The media is painting the Virtual Assistant industry with a limited brush stroke, says Tina, which I agree with. They are not shining the light on the rest of the industry.
According to a post in Huffington Post written by Grant Cardone, there are over 26 million people either unemployed or underemployed, and they are choosing to become entrepreneurs. These new entrepreneurs will eventually need a Virtual Assistant. This type of news story can give them the wrong impression.
When all else fail, Google it. This is a tip for entrepreneurs and small business owners from your Virtual Assistant Rita Cartwright.
I created a drop down menu for my ASPX web pages with Expression Web 2 software. The drop down menu appeared correctly in IE8 but not in FF 3.6. I posted my issue in the Expression Web forum, and the members gave me various suggestions and tips, which were from the perspective that I was designing my web pages incorrectly. So, I applied their suggestions; however, it didn’t solve my drop down menu issue.
Although, their tips didn’t solve the problem with the appearance of my menu, I did learn some valuable information regarding how to correctly lay out my web pages; therefore, it wasn’t all in vain. However, my menu still wasn’t displaying correctly in Firefox. So, I decided to Google my problem. Lo, and behold, I found a solution.
It turns out that it isn’t me, it is Firefox’s browser; specifically, Version 3.6 if using with Vista Operating System. If you are having the same display problems, click here for more information.
As a sidebar, Safari and Chrome browsers don’t show ASPX drop down menus correctly either. The members of the Expression Web forum did help me resolve this.
Anyway, when all else fail, Google your question and/or issue. There is a good chance you will find your solution. This is a tip from your Virtual Assistant Rita Cartwright.
In honor of Earth Day, I am re-posting this post. This is one of many solutions to help us preserve Mother Earth.
With the increasing cost of fuel and pollution, businesses are going to have to come up with alternatives for their employees who drive back and forth to work on a daily basis. One alternative could be to reduce the work week. Another alternative would be to allow their employees to perform their duties from home. Of course, there are certain businesses that cannot operate off-site, as well as certain tasks that cannot be completed virtually.
On the other hand, if you are an entrepreneur, small business, or a small business owner and need administrative assistance, you have the alternative of working with a Virtual Assistant (VA). As a result, you and your Virtual Assistant are able to “go green.” Your Virtual Assistant doesn’t have to purchase as much gasoline, because he or she works from their home office. You “go green” by choosing to work with a VA rather than hiring an administrative assistant who would have to drive to your office. Both you and your VA are helping to preserve our planet by not adding to the levels of carbon monoxide.
This is just another great benefit in working with a Virtual Assistant. “Go green” work with a Virtual Assistant.
Being an entrepreneur and small business owner, chances are you do not have enough time to prospect for new clients, as well as take care of your current clients. Generally, you are faced with daily administrative tasks, which are very time-consuming. You barely have enough time to focus on developing your business. This is where a Virtual Assistant (VA) comes in. When you retain the services of a VA, you will gain valuable time. With this extra time, you can concentrate on growing your client base. In addition, you will have more time to provide your current clients excellent customer service.
Examples of tasks that you can outsource are: bookkeeping, scheduling appointments, returning phone calls, answering phone calls, managing e-mails, making reservations, typing and mailing correspondences, creating and managing your database, updating your website and blog, etc. These are just a few examples of projects that can be farmed out.
Another task you can outsource to your VA is social networking. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, you are aware of the importance of using social media networking as a marketing strategy. You also realize how much time is involved in social media networking. I can spend an entire day on Twitter alone networking with other entrepreneurs. In order to save you some valuable time, virtual assistants can help you with your networking efforts. Keep in mind, virtual assistants use the same social media networking techniques and know their way around social media sites.
A virtual assistant can set up your social media profiles at various sites, as well as filter through posts for any relevant information pertaining to your business. On Twitter, a Virtual Assistant can check your DMs (direct messages) and your replies (posts directed to you) to see if there is anything you need to respond to.
A Virtual Assistant can also post pertinent information about your company and products and/or services. Larger companies are starting to use Twitter to communicate with their customers about their products and/or services, in addition to getting their feedback. Another feature of Twitter is you have people following you and people you choose to follow. A Virtual Assistant can research the ones following you to see if they are viable potential clients. In addition, s/he can search for possible clients for you to follow on Twitter.
As you know, social media networking allows you to create business relationships, as well as give your prospective clients the opportunity to learn more about you; therefore, it is necessary for you to spend some time networking on these social media sites. However, virtual assistants can help you save a huge amount of valuable time; time you can use to focus on your clients. Virtual assistants can help you with social media networking also.
Lately, I have been receiving inquiries as to how to arrange Virtual Book Tours (VBTs) and what is involved. I decided to write a blog post about it in order to share the information with other interested authors.
A virtual book tour (VBT) uses similar concepts as a book tour except it is done virtually on the Internet. Blogs are the brick and mortar book stores where book tours are held. Instead of physically going on a tour visiting book stores, you visit blogs.
The Process of Selecting Blogs
When you are arranging a VBT to promote your book online, research different blogs to determine if their readers are the target market you are promoting your book to, as well as how much traffic that particular blog gets. Are there a lot of site visitors/readers?
After you select the blogs, which meet your criteria, contact the owners to arrange a date for you to virtually stop by to visit with their readers. Then you will need to supply the blog owners with a copy of your interview, graphic image of your book cover, and your picture. The media standards are you provide the interviewer with the questions and answers for your interview. Although, the blog owners will get a lot of traffic, due to your book tour, you should offer them something for being a host. Maybe a discount or a free copy of your book.
Your Tour Visits
On the day of your tour visit, the blog owner will post your interview, book cover image, and your picture on their blog. You and the owner will want to encourage audience participation, as well as create an incentive for readers to visit the blog site on the day of your tour stop. You want as many site visitors as possible in order to promote your book or e-book.
The best incentive is to give away a copy of your book to a randomly selected visitor. There is a website called random.org where you enter the e-mail addresses of the site visitors, and it randomly chooses one. The contest can be something along the lines of all who post a question or comment on the day of your visit will be entered into a drawing for a free copy of your e-book or book.
You will check in throughout the day to see if there are any questions or comments that need addressing. This can create a dialogue or conversation, which in turn, will generate more audience participation. To make it more exciting, the owner of the blog can post the winner’s name after they have been notified that they are the lucky winner.
Following is an example of an interview I did when promoting my e-book to give you an idea of what type of questions and answers you can use to construct your interview:
TH: Why did you write this book?
RC: My goal was to create a handbook, which entrepreneurs and small business owners can refer to when they are searching for online marketing tools and/or new marketing ideas. I wrote it for new entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as for those who have been in business a while.
TH: Tell me about yourself
RC: I’m originally from Arizona and now reside in California. I earned my bachelor’s degree (with Magna Cum Laude honors) from Arizona State University when I was 44 years old. After graduation, I couldn’t find a job; therefore, I decided to start my own business offering online word processing services, which was 7 years ago. At that time, I was not aware of the virtual assistant industry, which I am now a member of. So, I guess you can say I was ahead of the curve.
TH: What qualifies you to write this book?
RC: Approximately 2 years ago, I started maintaining a blog and writing articles in order to implement the article marketing strategy. (I talk about using this strategy as a marketing tool in my e-book.) Also, while attending college, I learned how to write. I had to write. I remember my English professor saying I should be a writer, because he thought I had the skills. I didn’t take him serious. I was just trying to get through college.
In regards to the subject matter, my background and education in marketing and my experience from operating an online business provide me with the necessary qualifications to write this e-book on the topic of online marketing tools.
TH: How long have you been an entrepreneur?
RC: I have been an entrepreneur since October 2002. Although I started out as a small business owner, I have become an entrepreneur. There are differences between entrepreneurs and small business owners. In fact, I wrote an article on the differences. It is titled, “Are There Any Differences Between an Entrepreneur and a Small Business Owner?” Ezine Articles is one of the article banks where you can find it.
TH: What is the e-book about?
RC: This e-book contains information on various online marketing tools, along with some examples and in-depth descriptions of the tools. There is also a resource section that lists websites where you can find the online marketing tools, including “live” links to the websites. The resource section will save your readers a lot of time in Internet research when they are searching for information on online marketing tools.
TH: What do you want the readers to get out of this e-book?
RC: I wanted to provide those readers, who have a shoestring marketing budget, with information they can use in their online marketing plan or, at least, generate new marketing ideas. Most entrepreneurs and small business owners do not have a large marketing budget. The marketing tools I discuss costs little to no money.
TH: Can we look for more books from you in the future?
RC: Yes. One of my clients, who is a coach of Christian leaders, and I are currently working together on an e-book. It will be geared towards Christian leaders and Christian virtual assistants. So be on the lookout for that in the near future.
TH: How can the readers contact you if they have any questions?
RC: Your readers can reach me at 602-454-9408 or toll free at 866-651-3073 or send me an e-mail at Rita[at]rjsinternetmarketing.com.
TH: Where can the readers purchase your e-book and how much does it cost?
RC: They can click here to purchase it, and it only costs $3.98.
TH: Rita, thank you for stopping by my blog on your tour.
RC: You are very welcome. Thank you, Tina, for having me.
Overall, virtual book tours are more cost-effective than physical book tours. Plus, you reach a much broader, larger audience, including an international audience. If you don’t have time to arrange a virtual book tour, outsource it to your dependable virtual assistant.