Mary Wu, Virtual Assistant

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Tips and Tricks for January

Every month or two 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.

LinkedIn Recommendations. While helping a client update her LinkedIn profile, I ran across an article about getting and using LinkedIn recommendations. The link to the article is in the “Related Articles” section. While this article is mostly focused on people in the job market, many points are the same as for a solopreneur asking clients for LinkedIn Recommendations, especially #6 (reach out personally when you ask for a recommendation) and #7 (only ask those who truly know your work.) This emphasizes what was said in my post on finding your social media voice. Be authentic and consistent.

Website Safety. I found an old appliance that I no longer had a need for, but I knew someone that would love to have it. However, I had no idea where the manual might be. I turned to Google to do a search and I found a place called kitchenmanualsonline.com where I could download the manual. Before downloading the manual though, I hesitated for a few minutes. How can I tell if a download is going to be safe?

Then I discovered the website www.webutations.net which rates a website’s reputation. Just go to the Webutation website, type any name in the search box, and you will get safety rating for the website.

(Just in case anyone is interested, my website is G-Rated for child safety — WHO KNEW?)

Spreadsheet Shortcuts. It’s late January and it’s the time of year when people’s thoughts turn to taxes. Okay, maybe it’s not romantic, but it is important. For business owners this means organizing your expense report from the previous year and getting everything ready for your accountant or your tax professional (or in my case, my spouse). I promised my complete Schedule C to my husband by January 23 (which is his birthday – we’re a strange couple). I’ll admit that for a few days before that deadline I was finishing up my expense report from 2013. While doing this task, I was trying to remember how do to something in Excel that I rarely use, and I came across a link at shortcutworld.com titled Excel 2010 Shortcuts. In addition to the Excel shortcuts, they also have shortcuts for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

Never be bored. Do you ever find yourself waiting? Whether you’re in a doctor’s office or on public transportation or at the Department of Motor Vehicles, sometimes you just find yourself waiting. And waiting. And waiting. When I’m waiting, I’ll often knit or read a book: but sometimes I forget to bring something with me. If you have a smartphone, this is actually a great time to muddle through all those old emails and realize that you can, in fact, delete some of them. Life is too short to spend parts of it being bored.

Email Marketing. I have a client trying to decide which mail service to use for her newsletter. She is debating between AWeber, Constant Contact, and MailChimp. While I was asking some fellow VAs if anyone knew of a recent article comparing email programs, my fellow VA Molly Baker at Sound Administrative Solutions wrote this article. Thanks for solving that for me Molly.

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Everything You Need to Know About LinkedIn Recommendations. Susan Adams (forbes.com)

Aweber, MailChimp, or Constant Contact – Comparing 3 Email Marketing Programs. Molly Baker (soundadminsolutions.com)


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