Mary Wu, Virtual Assistant

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Yearly Archives: 2013

Forming a Social Media Success Plan – Step 4

Social Media Computer Key Showing Online CommunityThere are 7 steps to building a successful social media platform. During the next few weeks, we will be going over these steps one at a time.

The steps are:

  1. Create a Vision
  2. Set Strategic Goals
  3. Find Your Social Media Voice (Persona)
  4. Build Your Social Media Platform
  5. Create a Publishing Plan
  6. Build Your Tribe (Community)
  7. Evaluate Your Results

This week we’ll talk about building your platform. Facebook will be used as an example, but most points apply to all platforms.

If you’ve been following this series, you should have determined your social media vision statement (see step 1), set your strategic goals (in step 2), and determined your social media voice (in step 3). If you don’t already have one, you’ll need a Facebook page for your business. This is not a difficult thing to set up (it typically takes me between an hour and a half and two hours to set up a page for a client). For some do-it-yourself step-by-step directions, see these instructions from Social Media Examiner.

On Facebook, you want separate pages for personal and business. (more…)

Forming a Social Media Success Plan – Step 3

ID-100215439 (1)There are 7 steps to building a successful social media platform. During the next few weeks, we will be going over these steps one at a time.

The steps are:

  1. Create a Vision
  2. Set Strategic Goals
  3. Find Your Social Media Voice (Persona)
  4. Build Your Social Media Platform
  5. Create a Publishing Plan
  6. Build Your Tribe (Community)
  7. Evaluate Your Results

This week we’ll talk about finding your voice.

PICK ONE (or more)

Consummate professional? Girl next door? Helpful assistant? Wise mentor? Busy mom/family nutritionist? (more…)

Forming a Social Media Success Plan – Step 2

smartgoals2

There are 7 steps to building a successful social media platform. During the next few weeks, we will be going over these steps one at a time.

The steps are:

  1. Create a Vision
  2. Set Strategic Goals
  3. Find Your Social Media Voice (Persona)
  4. Build Your Social Media Platform
  5. Create a Publishing Plan
  6. Build Your Tribe (Community)
  7. Evaluate Your Results

This week we’ll talk about setting strategic goals.

Set SMART goals (more…)

Forming a Social Media Success Plan – Step 1

business man drawing social network

There are 7 steps to building a successful social media platform. During the next few weeks we will be going over these steps one at a time.

The steps are:

  1. Create a Vision
  2. Set Strategic Goals
  3. Find Your Social Media Voice (Persona)
  4. Build Your Social Media Platform
  5. Create a Publishing Plan
  6. Build Your Tribe (Community)
  7. Evaluate Your Results

This week we’ll talk about creating your vision. Why do you need a vision? “When there is no vision, the people perish.” – Psalm 29:18. In order to reach your full potential, you need to know where you’re going.

With that in mind, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself: (more…)

Top 5 ways to say “Thank You” to your clients and vendors

ID-100113560It’s November. The air is cool and crisp, the trees have just about given up their leaves, and we are gearing up for the end of the year.

Thanksgiving is a day where we traditionally eat excess food show our gratitude for what we have been given.

As the calendar year winds down, what are some ways that you can say “thank you” to your clients?

  1. Be specific. At a minimum, send out a note that says, “Thank you for your business this year.” But for special clients, if you’ve got the time, you can be more specific. “Thank you for allowing me to work on your project. I enjoyed learning more about Acme Widgets.
  2. Give a social shout out. If you have a client or service provider you’ve enjoyed working with, it’s a good idea to send them a note of thanks. It’s a GREAT idea to put that note of thanks in public view, whether through a shout out on their Facebook page or a testimonial on the LinkedIn page.
    If you send a specific thank you note, be sure to let the person know they are welcome to use that information on their website or on LinkedIn.
  3. Pass it along. If you have a service provider that has gone above and beyond for you or if someone you know is always willing to help out or give just a little extra, don’t keep that secret to yourself. Your colleagues or friends might also be able to use their services.
  4. Go old school. Often it’s fairly simple to toss off an electronic thank you. Written thank you notes are even more appreciated. We all have mailboxes full of bills and junk mail. Send someone something that will brighten their day.
  5. Be authentic. When it comes time to send a thank you, be authentic. Your thank you note will mean more if it’s honest and heartfelt.

Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tips and Tricks for October

Every month I will be doing a posting on timely tips and tricks. For the most part, these will be guided by the questions I run across from clients or while networking. In other words, if I have to dig out information, I’ll pass it along instead of having others need to look up the same information.

Scheduling multiple people. Okay — first I have to admit that I didn’t find this on my own. I found it on the blog at barrymoltz.com. Doodle is an easy scheduler. You create a poll, invite participants, and then confirm the date and time that the most people are available. Instead of having multiple emails flying back and forth, you can get all of the information in one place. And it’s free. The only question I have is, “Where was this when I was trying to arrange meetings for multiple professors when I worked at the University of Illinois?”

Emailing multiple people. Every now and then you’ll want to send the same email to more than one person. Some email programs allow you to do this automagically, but Google doesn’t have a “mail merge” button (like Microsoft Access does). However, if you know where to look, Google does have a way to do mail merge. This 8-minute video gives a clear step-by-step how to. (Thank you Anson Alexander).

Limit your reading time. There are quite a few blogs that I follow. I get resourceful and timely productivity tips from Evie Burke at One Insight Closer. As mentioned above, I find useful information at Barry Moltz’s blog. It would be nearly impossible to keep up with the social media industry without reading Social Media Examiner. There are others. But I do not have time to visit all the blogs I read every day. I do spend a few hours a week checking all the postings by using Feedly. It took a bit of organizing to group the information I read into different categories, but now I can take a few minutes to an hour with a cup of coffee and read all of my news or short bits of it.

Comparing email Services. There are many email service providers out there. I have used MailChimp and AWeber, but those are the only ones I have first hand experience with. I found this article from April 2013 (before the MailChimp change) that describes some of the providers.

“E-troducing” people. One way to be known as a person that is a valuable resource is to help connect people. You may often meet someone that you think would be a great client, provider, or power partner for another person (for instance, a realtor and a mortgage broker).  I spent some time struggling with the right “formula” for doing email introductions. One day I decided that I was going to write a template for doing introductions, but (as I often do when trying to figure something out) I wondered if someone had already done this. I did a search and found a great article on the Forbes site about email introductions.

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Doodle Saves Time (barrymoltz.com)

Create a Mail Merge with Gmail and Google Drive / Docs (YouTube.com)

Comparing email services: Aweber, iContact, ConstantContact, MailChimp, and MadMimi (changetheworldmarketing.com)

How to make the perfect email introduction (forbes.com)

Building Your Business Through Networking Part 4

ID-10066404Part 4 – After an Event

You’ve gone out, you’ve met some new contacts, you’ve collected some business cards. Now what?

Business Card Organization

One of the first things I do is organize any business cards I’ve received. I have an earlier post that goes into business card organization in detail. It’s worth your time to read it.

Follow Up

If you said you were going to get back to someone, do so within a day or two*. If someone expressed interest in your business, send them some more information or a link to your website, (LinkedIn, Facebook page). Last week I talked about keeping notes when you’re meeting people or when people are giving their introductions. This would be a good time to review your notes and contact people.

I have a basic rule in that if I can figure something out in 10 minutes, I’ll gladly send information to someone. Once I was at a networking event and one of the people was commenting on how they were overwhelmed with how to handle business cards. I came home and wrote up an email with links to my two business card organization postings. I’ve also sent e-introductions to people who that I thought could have a mutually beneficial relationship. Don’t ever be afraid to help people out.

Sometimes it’s hard to call someone because you don’t know exactly what to say. There is an article from Freelance Switch that gives some scripts for particular situations. To give credit where credit is due, I did not find this article myself but found out about it in a blog post from Evie Burke at One Insight Closer.

Meet Up

Sometimes you’ll meet people and you’ll want to know more about them or their business. Talk to someone or call or email them to set up a one-on-one. This is a good chance to get to know more about them and their business and for them to get to know more about you and your business.

This is not a time for “selling” but a time to build a relationship. I’m sure most people have stories about meeting with someone who spent 30 minutes trying to “sell” them something that they were not interested in buying. Don’t be that person (please).

As I mentioned last week, listening is one of your most useful networking tools. You might not be a client or a customer for every person that you meet, but you might know a good contact for that person. Every person you meet is not a potential client. But every person you meet might know someone that does need your services. Be professional, polite, and a good resource. And then …

MEET, GREET, REPEAT

Related Articles

*Sometimes you don’t get back to a person right away. If not, contact them later. This is less awkward if you pass along an article or idea that relates to your conversation.
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net