Tag Archive | virtual

Wallflower – Your Business Needs You Front and Center

wallflowerHey Wallflowers! Wake Up!

When it comes to social situations, how many of you are wallflowers – raise your hands.

OOPS, this being a virtual world, I can’t see the answer. No matter. Us wallflowers don’t always answer those types of questions anyway. WHY? Because it (generally) brings unwanted attention.

OK, how many business owners are wallflowers?

More than you might think. It’s just that some of us have come to learn that if we don’t get “out there” no one will know about us. Think about it. If Abraham Lincoln, Orville Wright, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Tom Hanks or Lucille Ball let their shyness rule, would we have things like planes? Or think about this, if Thomas Edison let his shyness rule, would anyone have accepted his inventions – like the motion picture camera? If that wasn’t invented, how would we see movies? We wouldn’t have gotten to see Tom Hanks in Big. We wouldn’t have seen The I Love Lucy show.

So, now how will anyone know how wonderful your business is if you can’t get past your shyness and/or fear of being in the public eye?

You may have the same/similar argument I have. My work is in the virtual world and is all over, most of my clients are not local. Trust me, I’m definitely with you on that one! I have clients that I’ve never seen and the only reason I know what they look like is because of their picture on one of the social networking sites. But my business coach – who I also have not seen face-to-face – has told me that I need to get out there and strut my stuff.

Strutting your stuff – virtually – can be via social media, a killer website, and awesome marketing. But even with this – wallflower business owners need to engage. It is your face the public sees when it comes to your business (even if it is only a picture).

Now, as this quote says – get out there and dance! So get closer to the flashing lights, before the night is over just DANCE.”

Um, for the record – and complete honesty – for me, some of this is a do as I say not as I do kind of thing. I really want and hope you do better than me. I know I need to get away from that wall.

This article is also found in Small Biz Forward magazine. There are many other contributing writers with great articles – check them out!

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Was I Too Honest?

What do you tell a prospective client? Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s too much and what’s not enough. Especially when you communicate via the internet (international calling is challenging sometimes). I will honestly tell you, this is what recently happened to me. A potential client didn’t know what to ask – had made a general statement of: I’ve never worked with a VA before and have no idea of how to choose the right person. Don’t know which tasks to effectively delegate and what systems to create. Then asked (and rightly so) “to VA’s out there, how do you help your clients? How do you help them figure out what to delegate and what systems to use? What do you want to know from a potential client?

All very good questions. But when I answered, did I give away too much? You decide.

woman pointing at the clockWell, who ever you hire as your VA (whether it’s me or someone else), you need to say just what it is you want your VA to do, at least an idea. I’m presuming you would want me (easier than saying “a VA” all the time) for the back-end of things: checking emails, following up on messages, schedules and such. I cannot give you an idea of charges and whether or not I am the one to help until I know what it is you need done. Also, I understand the desire to check in just once a week, but at the very start at least a few times within the week to get to know/understand what is expected.

As an example, for one client, I help her with editing articles and post them for her. Since she wants to set up the various accounts to be used, I have suggested a calendar program /website for her to set up allowing both of us access to her calendar so I know what her schedule is like to better assist her, and it will help her keep everything she needs to do in order. I am learning more of Volusion to better assist her with her shopping cart. I (currently) haven’t the knowledge to work/create her individual ad pages. However, if things are set up as a template in WordPress, I can work with that. I can work with website editing. My website: http://www.virtually-helps.com is basically handled by a company, but I use their templates to select the design I want, if I don’t like the pictures they have in their library – I look for (and buy) what I want. My blog: https://blogwithvhelps.wordpress.com/ is the same – I use their templates.

And honestly, if what you want/need isn’t something I can provide for you, I do have sources I can contact to put in touch with you. I have done this with others.

Then (of course) the potential client wanted to know what I charged, and how that worked. I explained that they could go to my website and select the package that will work best (5, 10 or 20 hours per month), then told them the best way to reach me – instead of using social media.

The person then told me would want to follow up with a couple of others. Of course I responded “Good, I would expect you to talk with others to make sure of who/what you want. Makes perfect sense to me.” This is what you really want, you don’t want a person wondering if you really are the best “fit.”

Well, it turned out that the potential client chose a different VA. Did I “give away” too much information? Did this help them know what to ask others and eliminate me because (perhaps – but not necessarily) they got what they needed and thought I was weak? Too willing to give so much information? I believe in being honest – but was I too honest?