Monday, May 25, 2009

One Bad Apple

One bad client is like a rotten apple in your fruit bowl. Last year at this time I had one bad apple in my bowl of clients. Her negative energy was spreading through me and in to my clients.

I was so stressed working with this one demanding and unappreciative client that it was affecting my whole business, to the point where I almost let the wrong clients go.

Pulling that one bad apple out of my business and cleaning up the rest has made such a huge difference in my business and my life.

I now love all my clients and love the work I do with them.

Also, removing the rotten apple made room for a big beautiful pineapple in my client bowl.

Lately, I've been focused on clearing out the clutter in my closets, in my email, etc. Sometimes it's good to look at the clients in your business and decide if you have any clutter (or bad apples) to clear out.

Every time I have let a client go a new one has arrived and my business has blossomed.

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” - Alexander Graham Bell

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It is not that Simple!

The word assistant sometimes has a stigma associated with it. Some people think assistant means you are less intelligent, not motivated or not successful. Actually, I'm not really sure what they think but somehow they think assistant means cheap labor. When I first became a Virtual Assistant back in 2002 I resisted the word assistant like it was the plague. I said, I am never going to be called an assistant again! I felt this way about the word assistant because of the way I allowed myself to be treated as an assistant when I was an employee. As a Virtual Assistant I was no longer an employee, I was a business owner. I started calling myself a Virtual Business Manager to avoid that icky word. But then I began networking online with Virtual Assistants and realized they were a great group of successful, powerful business owners. I learned it's not what you call yourself it is the respect you command. Yes, having a name like assistant rather than CEO stuck to your name does require more effort to command respect but it is possible.

I think of a Virtual Assistant as a partner to business owners. We partner with you to bring you success. We assist in your success.

I got a call today from a potential client. In the first 2 minutes of the call I could already tell she had a preconceived notion of what an assistant was. To her the work an assistant did was of less value than the work she did. She said something like, "Frankly, I cannot believe you are charging so much for such simple work. I've never paid an assistant that much and really think it is too high for the kind of work you do." First of all, this woman does not know the kind of work I do. She has never worked with me. She does not know me or any of my clients. She found me on google. How can she decide what my work is worth?

There is a reason I list my rates on my Website and that is to avoid talking to people who think it is okay to tell me I am not worth what I charge. I mean isn't it kind of rude to call someone and tell them they are not worth their fee? If you don't want to pay their fee don't call them.

I told this woman I only do high end, high quality work and I don't lower my rates. I suggested she contact a local college to find a student who might be willing to do the "simple work" for the lower pay.

I totally understand that small business owners and entrepreneurs are on a budget and that investing in a Virtual Assistant is a big deal. That is why I don't lock my clients in to a set minimum amount of hours. But I also know you get what you pay for. Do these people tell their doctors they don't think the 2 minute exam was worth $95? Do they tell their lawyers the 1 hour consultation is not worth $350?

What Virtual Assistants do is not simple work. If it were simple wouldn't everyone just do it themselves? Yes, probably you could do it yourself but then you wouldn't have time do what you love. What Virtual Assistants do is important work that needs to be done!

Monday, May 18, 2009

How to Create a Facebook Fan Page

I set up and manage quite a few of Facebook® Fan Pages for my clients. The reason I do this is because creating and updating a Fan Page on Facebook® is not an obvious thing to do. It's a bit clunky actually and not everyone has the time or patience to figure it out. However, Mari Smith has made a video that walks you through step by step how to create a Fan Page. For those of you that want to do it yourself, this is a great video!

Adding an event to a Fan Page with the new Facebook® design is a whole new challenge. I had to spend some time researching how to add a new event to the Fan Pages I have been managing. I found this blog very helpful.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Calling all Virtual Assistants!

It is time to start networking!

Are you a lone wolf or do you hang out with other Virtual Assistants? If you are a lone wolf I suggest you try networking with other Virtual Assistants. I have learned so much from my VA colleagues. Virtual Assistants are a special breed, we like to share, we like to learn from each other, we like to challenge each other and we like to see each other succeed.

I don't know if any studies have been done but my unofficial research says that networking with other Virtual Assistants will bring your business to a higher level of success.

Here area few great places to hang out if you are a VA:

Oh and if you are a Virtual Assistant on Facebook please join the IVAA fan page. I am the new admin for the IVAA Facebook fan page. (So please become a fan to make me look good as the new admin) *wink*

If you are new to online networking here is must have ebook written by Angela Smith!!!

She shares lots of great tips and tricks for networking online.

Online Networking for the Newbie


This just added! I told Angela I was featuring her book and she offered my readers a discount!!! Thanks Angela - you rock!

Virtual Simplicity blog readers get $5.00 off the price of Angela’s e-book, "Online Networking for the Newbie." With this discount, you can pick up a copy of the e-book for only $9.95 or the VA Combo Pack (which includes the e-book and the Virtual Toolkit) for only $12.95. Just enter the following coupon code at checkout: SIMPLICITY.