Tips & Tools for Virtual Assistants & MomsSubscribe Now

How to Delight Your Clients and Make them Fall in Love with You

make them love you

One of the most important aspects of doing business online is to develop lasting relationships with your target audience. Not only that the relationship should be mutually beneficial so that in the end you have both reaped the rewards of the relationship. That’s how people fall in love. They love how the other person makes them feel and it draws them to the person in a deeper way. You can have that with your business relationships too if you know what to do. You can delight your clients and make them fall in love with you over and over again if you know how.

Know Your Audience

You need to start with learning about your audience so that you learn them inside and out. Think about it like you would a marriage. Before you met your partner didn’t you have an idea about who you wanted to meet and what type of person you wanted to share your life? You need to know exactly what type of person you want to work with, and why. It’s imperative, not just for success, but for joy.

Know Where They Hang Out

This goes for online and offline socialization. If your audience is on Instagram you need to be there. If they’re on Facebook you better be there too. If your audience goes to local meet ups and live events to see each other in real life then you need to do it too.  You need to be so much in their lives that they would be lost without you. Be the one person they can count on to provide solutions whether online or offline.

Deliver What They Want

It’s so much easier to sell someone on what they already want than to convince them that you have what they want. If you know your audience and observe them in their natural habitat you already know what they want. Give them that. Show up with that. Be the go-to person providing them with everything they want and then some.  Don’t be afraid to give a lot away because if you give away high value, they know that the value of what you’re selling is even more amazing.

Over Deliver Always

Whatever you’re providing to them, you need to seek to make it even better than you think you can. Provide content in all forms, social media, videos, webinars, podcasts, and of course PDFs and blog posts. Throw in some templates and checklists. Find ways to boost the value of anything you offer and make it more than it was before. You want them to be so wowed by your deliverables that your name becomes synonymous with your niche and their needs.  So, not only area you giving them what they want, but how they want it, and more.

Give Them Options

Everyone loves options. But, options can be tricky. It’s kind of like the advice that Michael Pollen gives people about diet. “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Give them options to go further with you, buy more value, but keep it to just a couple of options. For example, pay monthly, or yearly. Give a discount for yearly. It’s easy but when you give people a great offer, and have given them valuable free information, they will move forward and because you always over deliver what they want, they’re going to grow to depend on you and fall madly in love with you.

Be Yourself

It can esteem near impossible to be yourself in this world. But, in all honesty it’s the best thing you can do. After all, the real you will come out after all, right? Over time in any relationship the newness wears off and the real you will come out. So start out with being real so they can love the real you. You want only your ideal audience to respond, and the best way to do that is just be the real you that you are, flaws, faults and all.  You don’t have to be a picture perfect model to be successful in business. It’s okay to be quirky or different. It’s also okay to be a princess if that’s what you are. But don’t try to live up to some false ideal that doesn’t fit. Be real. Be you.

Business relationships based on mutual trust and love can be very profitable over the long term. You can have that in your business if you seek to make it true. Give them what they want, be transparent, under promise and over deliver and you’ll have a recipe for success that you can replicate for any type of business.

 

How to Be Successful Reaching Any Goal

experiencing success

Being successful is not something that just falls out of the sky. It’s not something that will happen automatically, and rarely happens by accident, no matter what people say. Success happens because someone set a goal, worked toward meeting that goal, and completed that goal.

That’s how success happens 99.9 percent of the time. No matter how much failure you’ve experienced in the past you can also be successful. You can be successful if you realize that it’s not a big secret and you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Success can happen to anyone who sets their mind to it and works toward the end result.

Know What You Want

Everything starts with figuring out what you really want. Do you want a business, a hobby, or something to pass the time? It’s totally up to you and there is no right or wrong answer. The only thing you can do wrong is say you want a business but work hobby hours or give it hobby priority.

What you want is up to you, and not up to someone else. If you want a VA business but you only want to work part time, that’s great. Who is to tell you that part time work isn’t success? No one. If all you want to make is grocery money – when you achieve it, that’s success too. Success is reaching your goals.

Set a Deadline

No goal is ever complete without a deadline. If you want to make a certain income or have a certain number of clients, creating a deadline is imperative. The deadline will help guide all the other action you take in terms of time and resources put into it. Be realistic about your deadlines.

Don’t set them so far off to the future that you could do nothing until the last week and succeed, challenge yourself more than that. But don’t set the deadline so soon that you have to work 15 hour days. Be realistic about how long you really have to devote each day to the goal, and then choose a deadline based on that reality.

Create an Action Plan

Make a list of everything that you need to do in order to achieve the goals you’ve set so far. For example, if you’ve decided you want four new clients by Christmas then you’ll need to determine what needs to be done to accomplish that.

Let’s say you want to write a 50,000 word book in 100 days, what actions will you need to do in order to accomplish that? Do you need to do research? Do you need to write a certain number of words a day? What exactly needs to be done in order to accomplish the goals you’ve set? Write it all down.

Create a To Do List

Put this list of things you need to do in order of what needs to be done first, second, third, fourth and so on. A chronological list of actions that you can put into your calendar for you to do each day on that date will get you to your goal. So, for example, let’s say you want to submit 10 answers to RFPs each week. You must locate the RFPs first right? You must write out an answer, right? Put it all in order of exactly what you need to do each and every day to get to the final date.

When you create the to do list it’s imperative that things are in the order that they need to be done so that you won’t have to go back and forth or get frustrated. Try to work the same way you should process snail mail — over the trash can. That way you only touch and process one time, right? Figure out how you can process once within your to-do list.

List Your Resources

Make a list of any all your resources that you have at your fingertips, plus any that you might need from outside of your own means. For example if you need help editing, writing, with graphics and so forth, including technology, people, places and things – write it down.

It also helps to get out your to-do list and match the items that need to be done with who might be able to do them other than you. Don’t be afraid of this process. You can free up a lot of time and make more money when you’re willing to let go a little bit and get some help.

Ask for Help

Contact the people you’ve identified that can help you, contact the business owners who have the technology you need so that you can test out different solutions and pick the right ones without waiting until the last moment. If you map out everything you need to do from day one you’ll be in better shape at day 100.

Just remember, you really don’t need to do everything yourself. You can find help in the form of technology for automation, and human resources to do tasks you don’t want to do. In all honesty, “want to do” is a bad way to put this. You really should outsource anything that isn’t your main money making task when you can.

Get an Accountability Partner

This is super important. They say you’re the sum of your closest five friends. So if your friends make an average of 60K a year, you probably do too. If your friends tend to procrastinate, so do you. So, pick someone outside of your main circle to become your accountability partner.

The very best way to go about this is to get a coach. A coach will not let you slide, a friend might. There are numerous coaches around that purport to know how to help you build your virtual assistant business. But, it’s up to you to check them out. Find out if those they’ve coached have really experienced success before you pay them.

Check Your Progress

Every evening before you close up shop, check out your to-do list. Mark off what you’ve done, and move things over that were accidentally out of sync, or things you didn’t get done. Note what you’ll be working on tomorrow, so you’ll be ready to go when you start working that day.

Keep tabs on your progress so that you can see if you need to work harder on any given day to make up for lost time. This will help you stay on track. Do not move your deadline, only move around the “to do” list in order to make it happen on time.

Anyone can be successful when they set their mind to it. You have to set goals, create a plan of action, make a to-do list and then stick to it until you’ve accomplished the tasks necessary to get to the finish line. One thing I know for sure is that you can do it. I have done it, and so can you, if you want to.

Charging What You’re Worth and Getting It

picture saying money

There have been many discussions lately on Facebook discussion groups about low pay for Virtual Assistants. Many VAs wonder how they can compete with VAs in other countries who charge 1 to 2 dollars an hour, or writers who charge 1 dollar a page, or web designers who build entire eCommerce websites for 500 bucks. Well, here is my answer. Fasten your seat belt.

Choose Your Audience

The first thing you should do when you start your VA business is choose an audience and then get to know them. Know what they care about, know what they’re willing to pay for good services, and create services that appeal to them. Do not choose an audience that will even want to pay those types of low fees. The people who want to pay those low fees aren’t in your audience. Period. Therefore, you can forget about them and focus instead on your audience.

Hint: Your audience may not be only on the Internet.

Once you know who your audience is, go where they are. Go to live events, go to online events, beat the street in your local community — be where they are. Let them get to know you and what you do. Whatever you say you do, do it. For you. Do it so much that no one can ignore the fact that this is what you’re good at doing. Spending time with colleagues can be nice, but you’re going to be more likely to get clients when you surround yourself with your ideal clients. If you’re confused about all this ideal audience stuff find a mentor who can help you, or take a course that will teach you what to do.

Don’t Give Yourself Away

I know you hear a lot about giving things away for free. I do it. I tell people to find something to give away free to build their email list. But, you don’t give away your time free. Give away something that you can give away over and over again that doesn’t take more time after you’ve created it the first time such as a checklist. But, don’t give away your time free to get references or referrals. It won’t work.

I’ve been doing this for 20 years now, and let me tell you, when I’ve charged what I want to charge, what I know I’m worth, that client sticks around a lot longer than the freebie or cheapie seeker. That’s not to say I won’t have sales, or do something fun on occasion to build up my email list, or work with someone at a reduced rate that I really love and want to work with, but I don’t give away my time for free and you shouldn’t either. I don’t care which guru tells you this is a good idea. Do not do it.

Do Unto Others

Yes, I’m going there. I know for a fact there are VAs or “Want to be” VAs who have no problem hiring others and paying low rates to them. They will go on Fiverr.com and hire someone to do something for five bucks then get on a message board and complain that people want to hire them for five bucks. If you want to command higher rates, pay higher rates when you outsource too. Pay what you think the job is really worth  based on the criteria you set that makes you feel good about it. If you and a friend want to work out some subcontracting rates, or other special deals that are lower than the rates you charge a client directly, that’s fine —  but don’t undervalue yourself or them. If you feel resentful about any particular job, it’s time to resign kindly after trying to raise your rates. But, remember how it feels and don’t do it to others.

Let me say something about people who want to pay low rates for a moment. Not all of them are bad people. Business is not personal. Business is business and is about dollars. Just repeat to yourself: Not My Ideal Client and move on. The client who wants to pay super low rates just isn’t for you. That’s okay. It doesn’t make them bad, although I do think there are some mills out there that do take advantage of people.

I once talked to a local potential client who contacted me. He wanted me to come to his office. I was curious so I did. He’s a big Internet Marketer so I was super curious, I won’t lie. I went to his office and he spent 30 minutes bragging about and showing me pictures of the million dollar house he was building. A million dollar house in Alabama is pretty huge, let me tell you. Then he made his offer to me.

“I like what you’re doing, and what I hear about you. I have a great offer for you. (the rest is paraphrased) I want you to come to this office Monday through Friday and work 8 to 10 hours a day for 10 dollars an hour.

First, let me say that at the time I was still in the mindset that I might want a “real” job with benefits and security. (that makes me laugh so hard now) So I was actually willing to entertain working in an office. But not for 10 dollars an hour. I told him I can’t get out of bed and get dressed for less than 45 an hour, plus since he wanted me to essentially do all the work, research, and everything involved with creating his information products I wanted 10 percent of profits.

He almost fell out of his chair.

I laughed.

We just looked at each other. I waited for him to say something.

Finally he said. “I have a woman in Texas who works from home for five bucks an hour, why would I pay you that much?”

I said, “Thanks for the conversation about your house, and for such an amazing offer to do all the work with none of the benefits, but it’s not for me.”

I shook his hand and left as he stood there slack-jawed.

He called me a month later and offered me 5 percent and 15 an hour. I said no. He called another month later and offered me 22 an hour and the 10 percent I wanted. I still said no. He had already shown me that he’s not my ideal client. I wouldn’t work for him for any  amount of money now.

When you’re good at what you do, you can walk away and turn down things. In fact, if you don’t turn down something that is wrong for you, you’ll close the door on what is out there that is for you.

Build a Real Website

Stop thinking you can get by with a Blogger account or WordPress.com account. Build a real website. I don’t really care if it’s from a builder like Foursquare.com or Wix.com, (although it’s better to get self-hosted WordPress and it’s not as hard or scary as you think, at least try it) but upgrade and pay for it and don’t use the free version.

If you expect people to pay you a premium rate, your business needs to look like a premium business. Build a real website, pay for the upgraded version so that it has a real domain name, and promote yourself in a way that is not taking advantage of a bunch of free things in a way that makes you look like a hypocrite.

If you’re not good at building websites and following directions on how to build one, use an amazing theme (which is honestly just like using a builder if you read the directions) or pay someone to do it for you. But, I promise, if you want to be a VA you will do yourself a favor by getting over your fears and just trying it. Learning to build a website, especially right now in WordPress (a very sought out skill) will be a great thing for you to do. It’s not that hard either. You can learn to build a WordPress website using Angela Will’s courses. You can even learn it and teach it to others if you want to.

In the beginning, I had no clue how to build a website. Back in the day (in the mid 90’s) it was harder to build a website. I had to figure out how to do it though. I barely knew how to turn on the computer. But, I taught myself how to do a basic HTML website, then I started building them for local business owners. Then I finally learned how to use Front Page and another program I think it was called Corel Draw or something. But, the thing is, I learned. I spent hours and hours doing it. You can too, and I promise, it’s way easier now.

Treat Your Business as a Business Not a Hobby

So many people come to me and say they want to work from home and do what I do. I’ve even heard the words, “I can just do what you do” as if what I do is so simple and easy that just anyone can do it. Sorry. No. Not anyone can do it because not anyone will do it. You have to hustle to get clients, you have to follow up with what you said you’d do, and you have to deliver outstanding service to your clients. If you say you can work 20 billable hours a week, and you’re not full of clients, guess what — you are your client. Get to work.

Get a real business license if it’s required in your area of the world. Get a bank account, set up everything legitimately for a business. Set aside an office space. Do the work necessary to be a real business. Not just for yourself but for the people you want to work with. They need to see that you take yourself as seriously as you want them to take you. Work is not just going to flow into your lap even when you do these things, but you’re going to have more chance to make it than if you don’t do this.

You Can Make a Really Great Living as a Virtual Assistant

You can make a good living as a virtual assistant despite the so-called gurus out there promoting 2 dollar an hour outsourcing. I can tell you for sure that even if you go to one of their webinars, they will not actually promote 2 dollar an hour outsourcing. It’ll be more like five bucks an hour and even 10 bucks an hour which is also cheap. What’s worse is that they will sell you their course they just admitted cost them 35 dollars to create, that is not high quality for several hundred dollars too. But, most of the time the people who try it will find out that the work is not up to par, and is not what they wanted.

If you want to make a real living at it be realistic. There are only so many hours in the day. You’re not going to make six figures working for free or charging 10 dollars an hour. In fact, if you want to make six figures, 100K a year, you’ll need to make about 150K a year. Then, you’ll also need to work about 30 hours a week, billable hours — those are hours you can charge to a client — for about 105 dollars per hour. Now, think of that for a moment and let it sink in.

But, yes it can be done, but you’re going to have to think outside the hourly box, and outside of what you thought a VA did and what you thought you’d do. Again, you’ll find your ideal client and do what they need, exceptionally well so that you can easily command that amount or more. (Look into “package rates” too.)

What Goes Around Comes Around

I know it’s happened to you before. You saw a really good “deal” via Groupon being advertised on Facebook. Maybe some leggings for 10 bucks, or a ring for 5 bucks. You couldn’t help it and bought it only to find out it’s junk. They know it’s junk, but they also know statistically you’re unlikely to return it. Now, don’t get your panties in a wad if you happen to be one that is charging these super low rates. You have to understand that if you’re in a third world country working for a service, you are also getting scammed. If you are highly skilled and capable, get out from under the service and go out on your own. Like Vivian in Pretty Woman said, “I say who, I say when, I say how, I say what, and I say how much.” I don’t think that’s the actual line, but you get the picture.

I had a discovery call recently from a person who had outsourced some work that I charge a minimum of 100 dollars for, for five bucks to a Fiverr person. In their opinion they were “scammed”. However, they then tried again with someone else who was cheap, and then started working with the person off the system for even more money, and ended up spending a couple of hundred of dollars trying to save money because the work was not done correctly and there was no way for her to really talk to the person.

That’s what was said anyway. I have no idea what really happened.

The point is, that’s why they came to me, even though I was a known person to them prior to that moment, but my fees are higher. I did not take the job.  They weren’t my ideal client.But for them it ended up costing more to fix the issue than it would have to just have me do it from the start.Their loss.

Your job as a high quality Virtual Assistant (or whatever you want to call yourself) is to make your ideal audience notice you and realize that they need you. That you provide skill, value, and personal service that they’re missing. Differentiate yourself from everyone else. Charge your fee with pride, knowing you deserve it. I know I deserve every single penny I charge. I don’t flinch when I tell people what my fees are. You shouldn’t either. When your client doesn’t flinch either, then you know they’re the right client for you.

 

Can Giving Free Consultation Build Your List – Doable 27

Doable 27

Here we are at doable 27 of the ‘Build Your List with 30 Daily Doables’ Blog Tour. Yesterday we learned how to use JV Giveaways as a list builder.  It is definitely worth a read if you haven’t set on up on your site yet. A full list of the blogs we have already visited can be found at the Blog Tour Information Page.

Thank you so much Stephanie Watson-Barry for hosting us on our blog tour.

Don’t forget that not only can you learn some neat tricks about list building but you can also win great prizes. You can find all the ways to enter at the bottom of this post.

It’s not just on the blog that you can pick up earn entries – share about the blog tour on social media and use the hashtag #30dailydoables for more chances to win!

This blog tour is to celebrate the launch of our latest book ‘Build Your List with 30 Daily Doables‘.  If you grab the book while the blog tour is on, you receive access to some great extra bonuses – make sure you visit the launch page to get yours!

Have an amazing day!

Stacey Myers

www.StaceyMyers.com

Build Your List Blog Tour

Can Giving Free Consultation Build Your List – Doable 27

Free consultations are fantastic for getting to know the people that are going onto your list.  You can book sessions for any length of time – anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour.  I personally wouldn’t give away an hour session for free.  I think 30 minutes is a reasonable amount of time.  When you have a session with your potential client it helps to find out what their immediate goals are and how you can help them to achieve their goals.

You don’t want to give away too many free sessions as it can take up a lot of your time. If you are giving away a free eBook, you create it once and then it will continue to build your list on-goingly, whereas you need to show up yourself every time for a free session.

I think the free sessions work really well as a list building tool for a particular product or service that you offer that is higher in price.  Where people might be a bit on the fence about whether they should do it – a conversation with you may be all they need to help them decide.

There are a few different systems you can use for people to be able to book sessions with you, and believe me, you want to make it as systemised as possible.  The last thing you want to do is keep going back and forth with people to get a time that works for both of you.

I really like TimeTrade. With that system you put in all the times you have available and how long you want each session to be and then you just give people the link in your follow up email.  They click on the link and go and book.  It easily sorts things out if times need to change or if they cancel, without you having to take time rescheduling them.

The form for a free consultation probably wouldn’t go on your homepage but at the bottom of the page that you are offering your coaching program or other service on.  In my publishing company I offer free consultations for people that are considering writing or publishing with us.  The only page that it is on is the one that refers to the packages that we offer.

Another time I do give away free consultations is when I want to do some market research. It gives me direct access to know what people are dealing with in their business. I give away 5 free, half hour consultations.

Do you think you would offer free consultations to build your list? Leave your comments below.

ENTER HERE!! Build Your List with 30 Daily Doable Blog Tour CONTEST

Why Certification Helps You Land Great Clients

Approved There are many reasons why you might want to become a certified virtual assistant. But the most common reason that a virtual assistant chooses to become certified is so she can get more clients and more lucrative work. Whether you work with solo-preneurs or large corporate executives, becoming certified can open doors for you to grow your business like never before. Here are a few reasons why certification can help you land those great clients.

Certification increases a potential client’s trust.

Thanks to the World Wide Web, anyone can put up a website and claim to be a virtual assistant. These phonies may just be posing as virtual assistants to take advantage of clients that are unfamiliar with the concept of outsourcing. By the time the client realizes he’s been scammed, the phony VA could take down their website and create a new one.

Certification lets potential clients know that you’re not a scammer. Of course, scammers can claim to be certified, too. But a quick Google search can confirm that you really are certified as a virtual assistant. When potential clients see that you are who you claim to be, they’ll be more likely to trust you with their business.

Certification gives you an edge.

When it comes to applying for virtual assistant jobs, you want to make sure you have an advantage over the other applicants. One way to show that you’re more qualified for the job than anyone else is to mention your certification.

A hiring manager will look at your resume and be more likely to hire you because he knows that he doesn’t have to teach you everything before you can begin work. Instead, he can give you a simple introduction to how things are done at his business and pass off a list of tasks to you. This frees him up to focus on tasks that generate revenue.

Certification shows clients that you’re serious.

When you’re certified, you’re sending the message to potential clients that you’re serious about your online business. Clients know that you aren’t just claiming to be a virtual assistant but you really are one and that you’re willing to do the hard tasks that lead to success.

Becoming a certified virtual assistant will allow you to go after bigger clients and increase the trust you already have with your existing clients. It will also help you, too. You’ll be more confident and do a better job of marketing your services once you become certified. I’ve tried out a few courses and training programs personally and have compiled a list of those that impressed me. Check them out and let me know if you choose any of them.

March 16th is almost here…

Can you believe it? I can’t. I honestly can’t.

It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating Thanksgiving, and now it’s almost spring!

But it’s true  March 16th is going to come and be gone before you know it.

When it’s over are you going to say that you have learned something amazing that can move your business forward that you can actually implement?

Or, are you going to just wake up on the 17th unchanged, without new skills, without new opportunities and everything is just the same? I hope not. I hope you choose to learn something new, to push your boundaries, to get your business off the ground.

March 16

WordPress is a very important type of website builder to learn.

It’s not that hard either, and it’s especially easy when you have an expert to guide you like Angela Wills. Not only can you become your own web designer, you can start adding WordPress skills to your portfolio to serve your clients. Many clients need virtual assistants with WordPress skills, and by learning how to use it properly, and letting go of the fear, you’ll be far ahead of the game and on your way to a full roster of clients.

Okay, I wanted to make this post short so that you can hurry and sign up for the WordPress Coaching before it’s too late.

You can sign up for the WordPress Coaching here right now. Don’t miss out.

Scheduling Client Work around Your Home Life

One of the hardest parts of being a virtual assistant and a mom is scheduling client work around your home life. You want to balance both your client work and your time with your kids. The best way to achieve this balance is to work in small chunks. There are probably many moments in your day that you could use to get a bit of client work done. Be on the lookout for these times and use them to your advantage.

Immediately After Naptime

Yes, you can use naptime to be productive. But you can also use the first moments after naptime to work, too. While your child is still sleepy, give them a quiet activity to do like coloring or reading. This works especially well for children that are slow to wake up and need a few minutes to get going. While you wait for them to wake up, go ahead and take some extra time to work on a client project.

During a Movie

Thanks to devices like Apple TV and streaming services like Netflix, there are now hundreds of kids’ movies at your fingertips. If you need a large block of quiet time, try putting on a movie for your child. But it’s best to pick a movie they haven’t seen yet as that’s more likely to capture their attention.

Waiting Rooms

Whether it’s getting a cavity filled at the dentist or waiting in the car pool lane to pick up your child from school, you probably spend at least fifteen minutes waiting. That’s valuable time you could use to get a jumpstart on a project or send an invoice to one of your clients. Many places including doctor’s offices now have free Wi-Fi. Make a habit of storing your current projects in cloud-based software like DropBox. Then when you’re at a location that offers free Wi-Fi, you can open the app and get to work from your phone or tablet.

Track Your Time

If you just feel like there isn’t enough time in your day, spend a week writing down every activity you do. Then analyze your week and look for areas where you might be missing the opportunity to squeeze more work in. For example, if you take time to prepare meals every day, maybe you could delegate this responsibility to another family member or prepare meals in advance. By looking for little blocks of time that you can work in, you’ll find that you can balance your work with your lifestyle so that you get the best of both worlds.

Many parents find that they have to schedule client work around their home lives. While it may not always be easy, it can be done. That’s why it’s important that you prioritize at the beginning of each day and work on the most important tasks first.

6 Ways to Work from Home around Toddlers

Child cryingBalancing work and life is a challenge for most parents. That challenge is even bigger when you’re a virtual assistant working from home. Now, you have to find a way to keep your clients happy, entertain your toddler, clean the house, do the laundry, and market your VA business. Fortunately, there are ways to work from home around toddlers that don’t involve losing your sanity. Here are six tips to help you do just that.

Write down your child’s schedule.

While your child’s schedule may fluctuate a little day from day, it can be helpful to write it down. You don’t have to be super detailed or break down your child’s schedule into fifteen minute blocks. But if you have a list of the activities your child does every day, then you may begin to see short chunks of time where you can sneak some extra work in. For example, if your child always watches an educational TV show at 2 pm, then you know that you can schedule a small amount of work during this time.

Do your most important work at nap time.

Toddlers need frequent supervision and can easily get themselves into trouble. That’s why it’s best to schedule your most important work during nap time. Many virtual assistants that have toddlers use nap-time to their advantage. You can use this time for conference calls, client projects, and other important work-related tasks.

Have a play area near your office.

Even if you’re just working at the kitchen table, pick a spot nearby and turn it into a play area. Keep your area close by so you can look up from your work and see your toddler. Childproof this area and put plenty of age appropriate games and toys in it. Depending on your child’s age, you can use a playpen or safety gates to create this space.

Keep an activity kit ready.

Some days, work emergencies come up and you need a way to entertain your toddler for a few minutes while you deal with it. That’s why you should keep several activity kits ready. You can create an activity kit yourself with items that are likely to excite your child. For example, you could put together a box of ‘dress-up’ clothes, art supplies, or pots and pans. Then bring out one of the activity kits when you have an emergency and need a few extra minutes of work.

Take a break to play, too.

One of the best things about working at home is getting to spend time with your toddler. Be sure to take frequent breaks to play with your child. Your child will be quieter and happier after some mommy playtime and you’ll be able to go back to your desk with renewed energy.

Build in some me time.

Mommies need breaks. Don’t be afraid to take a long lunch or pause to watch the latest episode of your favorite TV show or do some relaxed networking. If you don’t relax, you’ll feel frazzled and both your child and your clients will sense your stress. That’s why it’s important that you take time for yourself.

Toddlers can be a handful and working with them under tow can be difficult. With a little preparation and organization, you can manage to balance both your clients and your kids so you can create the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.

5 Tricks to Managing Projects for Multiple Clients

project managementAs your virtual assistant business grows, you’ll most likely end up managing projects for multiple clients. It’s great to have the work, but it can also make it hard to know what to do next. All of the ongoing projects can easily overwhelm you. But don’t give up. There are a few tricks you can use to manage those weeks (or months) where you have multiple projects going on.

Rank your projects.

This requires creating a list of your current projects. Once you’ve made your list, look it over and begin ranking projects by urgency. For example, mark all of the projects that must be done by the end of the week with an asterisk. Then mark projects due next week with a square. Doing this will help you clearly see what needs to be done right now and what can wait until later.

Focus on one client at a time.

Very few people can effectively multi-task. Unless you’re one of them, try to sit down and focus on just one client right now. You don’t have to dedicate your whole day to working for this one client. But do try to dedicate an hour or two to working on their project. You’ll feel more relaxed once you get the most urgent projects taken care of so always start with those.

Batch small tasks.

Sometimes, you’ll have to do the same task for different clients. You might have to update a client’s website to the latest version of WordPress or clear spam comments from their site. Instead of spreading these tasks throughout your week, do them all at once. Batching work like this keeps you from interrupting your work flow to handle small tasks.

Keep track of deadlines.

When you’re juggling multiple deadlines, it can be easy to let one slip. A good way to avoid this is to note project deadlines on a calendar. Whether you choose a desktop calendar where you write down the deadline or a virtual calendar that you can access on the go, it’s important that you know when your next deadline is.

Send out status emails.

Even clients that take a hands-off approach want to know that you’re still hard at work on their project. A quick way to let clients know that you haven’t dropped the ball is to send out a status email. It doesn’t have to be a long email but mention what you’ve been working on and how it’s coming along. Many virtual assistants pick one morning a week to send out their status emails to all their clients. Your clients will be happy because they’ll feel like their project is still your top priority and happy clients will be more forgiving if you do drop a ball later on.

Juggling multiple projects can be tricky but it’s an essential skill that every successful virtual assistant needs to learn. You can use software, project management systems, and more to help you work on everything without confusion. But remember, these tricks will only help your business if you implement them.

4 Tips to Get Your Spouse on Board with Your VA Dreams

FamilyStarting a virtual assistant business can put a lot of strain on your relationships, especially your marriage. Your spouse may not understand what you’re doing or your drive to have your own business. Because of this, he might struggle to support your VA dreams and this can make it hard for you to get your new business venture off the ground. But there are things you can do to help your spouse come on board.

Communicate Your Vision

In most cases, a spouse is not supportive because he doesn’t understand your vision. First, you need to define to yourself what it is that you really want out of your virtual assistant business. Maybe you want to spend more time with your kids. May you want to escape the job you hate and make money at home. Maybe you want to use your VA earnings to get out of debt or save up for a new car.

You’ve got to clarify what it is you want and why you want it. Once you’ve discovered what you want, you need to schedule time with your husband to discuss these things. Plan your talk for a time when you’re both relaxed and neither of you are hungry or tired.

Be Willing to Listen

Once you’ve shared with your spouse your vision, it’s time to listen to him. Your spouse probably has some concerns about your new business and that’s actually a good sign. It means he listened to what you said and he’s processing it. Now that’s he listened to you, try to listen to what he’s saying.

Negotiate if Necessary

There are several reasons your husband might be hesitant to jump on board with your new business idea. He might be worried about finances, health insurance, or how you’ll feel if for some reason, your business doesn’t turn out like you’d hoped. Try to find out what’s really troubling your husband and work together to come up with a solution that’s good for both of you. For example, if your husband is concerned about your finances, then maybe you should work part-time at your job while you build your VA business.

Support His Dreams, Too

Your spouse might be the type of person that’s happy being an employee. He may never dream of starting his own business and he may stay in the same industry for decades. But he still has dreams of his own. Maybe he’s always wanted to take up a hobby like golf or photography. Maybe he wants to restore old cars or write travel books. Find out what your husband wants and try to support his goals, too. If support is a one way street in your relationship, then your husband may become resentful of your business and the time you dedicate to it. This could lead to future problems in your marriage and in your business.

Don’t get upset if your spouse isn’t immediately supportive of your virtual assistant business. You may need to have several conversations over the course of weeks before he begins to understand and support your business. In the meantime, look for a group of online business owners that you can join, like Solo Masterminds. There, you’ll find support and help from fellow solo-preneurs just like you.