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Being a VA: Your Performance Depends on Your Internet Connection

speedtestWe’ve got quite a lot inquiries, job application letter or even just a short message asking how to start working as a Virtual Assistant submitted from our contact form. We really thank you for that. Although we don’t think that we’re the expert, but we love to share some of our experiences and hope that it can be useful references. 

First thing we need to remember. Working online means you depend 100% to your internet connection, so it is extremely important for us to prepare for good and reliable connection before we can move further into the business. There were some times when we did online interview by using instant messenger to some candidates that applied for the post of virtual assistant in Virtary, and internet connection seems to be the major problem.

You can ask for excuse for one-two days, but clients can’t wait (and they won’t) forever. They have the inquiries, and surely they won’t be willing to let our ‘connection schedule’ to control their activities. So, try it hard to make sure that ‘Sorry disconnected’ or “Sorry no service” will only be spoken in the times of emergency where there’s really nothing you can do to make the error up. 

Probably internet connection isn’t a problem in major Western countries, but IT IS still a problem in Indonesia. Based from our own experience, living in the capital city of Indonesia doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t have slow connection. You might have good enough speed to do social media chit chat, but when it comes to work, bump! The connection is as fast as a snail walks, LOL!

So, it is not true that building virtual assistant business won’t cost you anything. Well at least you need to be sure that you must invest for fast internet connection for the start. 

 

 

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Working in Virtary

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Image Credit: Freevector.com

When I started blogging and got online gigs through writing articles from a regular client and in Odesk, I told myself that I would make it as a career. Well, it’s not that I am a professional writer but I have a strong passion in writing even during my studying years. Answering questions in essay format had always been exciting for me. I love putting my imaginations into writing and it had become easier when I discovered blogging on the worldwide web.

To make my clients satisfied with my craft is my number one goal. I’ve done several ghost-writing and as much as I want to see my own byline in most articles I wrote, it’s not just possible. Thankfully, I became a member of some article directories and my craft was recognized as written by me. Deep in my heart, I feel proud just to see my own byline in my articles that’s why I was thrilled when Rieni, founder of Virtary, a Virtual Assistant company in Indonesia, offered me to be part of their team.

Flashback:

I was hired by Johnny M., husband of Rieni to be a blog writer for their website. At first I thought he’s just another Odesk client that I need to serve and give my full effort to provide quality content especially when he said the line “I am very interested with your service”. Yes, I can be easily motivated and touched by kind words especially if it shows trust and belief to what I can do with my writing. The project went well and later on I am discussing tasks with Rieni and not with her husband anymore. It made my stint working for Virtary much pleasant since she is also a work at home mom who keeps their children as their top priority. She understands my situation when I can’t deliver on time because of my motherly duties.

Writing articles about tips and tricks of becoming an effective VA, an online contractor and a lot more about working from home had never been hard for me since I am personally interested on those topics. For almost three months, I have written several articles for Virtary’s blog and so one day, I got the guts to ask Rieni if I could add my experience writing for Virtary to my Odesk profile as their ghost writer. To my surprise and delight, she didn’t just said okay but offered me to be a part of their team. She asked me to provide a short bio, an email account with gravatar and gave me access to the WordPress blog.

I was elated to see my own byline in the succeeding articles I wrote for Virtary. Just recently, Rieni introduced me to the rest of the team members via Twitter and I really felt that I belong. As of this writing, I take pride in writing for Virtary especially with articles about working on line at home in which I earn additional income to help my husband in financial matters the same time as I take care of my family.

Why I love working in Virtary?:

  • The fact that I am working with a fellow WAHM is number one.
  • Topics assigned to me are interesting and mostly are based on my own personal experience (working from home tips, reviews, etc.)
  • Supportive superior who never fails to commend me in my work.
  • Team mates who accepted me as part of the group.
  • I learn new things about Indonesia (language, culture, family etc.)

I could say that working in Virtary is one of the highlights of my online career and I intend to be part of the company as long as they want me to.

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4 Ways to Make Your Business Referable

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1. Build a strong relationship

In order to work professionally has always been the number one rule in dealing with clients. Professionally means strong commitments to deadlines, open-mindedness when it comes to business strategies and a lot more. Those are actually imperative to make your clients trust you. However, as much as becoming business oriented is concern, it is also advisable to become a little personal with your clients. This would add up to your clients faith and belief in what you do hence referring you to his colleagues would come smoothly and in his own will.

In order to work professionally has always been the number one rule in dealing with clients. Professionally means strong commitments to deadlines, open-mindedness when it comes to business strategies and a lot more. Those are actually imperative to make your clients trust you. However, as much as becoming business oriented is concern, it is also advisable to become a little personal with your clients. This would add up to your clients faith and belief in what you do hence referring you to his colleagues would come smoothly and in his own will.

2. Make it obvious that referrals are good for your business

There is no harm in letting your clients knows that you are open for referrals. Social Media is obviously the interactive counterpart of “word of mouth” hence asking your clients to share your company’s page would not be bad at all. You can give them special discounts or freebies in exchange of recommending you to their friends via online or in real time.

3. Give high quality outputs or services all the time

No matter how big or small your business is or the task you do for your clients, always put your heart and mind to it. Make sure that your clients will be 100% satisfied when you deliver your craft. New and potential customers would surely be asking your clients where they got/availed such services or products and before you knew it, existing clients will be pointing fingers towards you.

4. Let new referrals find you

Well, your existing client might have done the initial introductions and enough information about you, so it’s your duty to make yourself reachable. Always have handy-dandy business cards with you or update your contact information on your company website. Keep track of your Social Media as well as this is the easiest ways nowadays to share your business or craft to others through worldwide web.

You don’t need to have extra finances to promote your business or career online, just follow the above tips and for sure, new clients and customers will be knocking at your doorsteps. Just keep on leveling your craft and continue making lists of satisfied customers.
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3 Great Apps for your Social Media Engagement

Businesses, organizations, personal blogs and websites have the same goal why they linked their sites to different kinds of Social Media. To widen their reach when it comes to their target market and be known in all parts of the world, that is. Getting known in a small span of time is not impossible with the use of Social Media especially with their millions of users who log in and spend time browsing every day.

But when the competition gets tough, you cannot just sit down and relax and let alone your businesses or organizations in the hands of your chosen Social Media. You need to work things out to keep people from coming into your site.

Below are: 

Three great apps you could use for your Social Media Engagement 

 

rafflecopter-logoLet’s start off with Rafflecopter which is by the way a free app (yeah, I can hear you saying “best things in life are FREE”). One thing to attract website visitors and followers is by making contests, sweepstakes or giveaways. Unlike the traditional mailing of entries into a drop box, we now have interactive contests just as we have interactive people joining in. There’s nothing more a visitor could ever love than having something in return for liking a Facebook Page or following someone on Twitter. Visitors will surely keep coming back to your site and even invite others to drop by your site as well.

Are you worried of having so much time just to come up with a contest? No need. Rafflecopter is so easy to use you can even have your eyes closed while doing it! (But it’s better if you keep them open! lol!). If you are accustomed with HTML, then you could go along just fine. Rafflecopter would provide you with a widget after you finished your contest’s criteria: Liking Facebook Page, Following on Twitter, comments and linking back just to name a few. It will hold the starting date for your contest as well as when it would end. The contest will automatically stop if it reached that date. Selection of winner is done randomly in a single click. Running contests and other fun stuff on your site don’t need to be a pain in the neck with Rafflecopter.

Free apps can be awesome so how much more if you pay for it? Wildfire App is another app you could use in creating campaigns and promotions but for a fee. Thankfully, they offer flexible pricing scheme and you could choose from their four packages. Basically Wildfire charges their clients per campaign which are much more favorable among bloggers and website owners. You could start by signing up which is very easy, no need for email verification (hassle free!). There’s no way to be confused because help and other resources on how you should start and finish creating a campaign are offered right on your plate. If you are not an internet savvy kind of person, its user friendly interface would spare you from doing the daunting tasks. And so, I guess the price you pay for using Wildfire is more than enough from making campaigns easy for you.

North-SocialAs popular as these two, North Social is also one of bloggers, website owners, businesses and organizations all in one tool in engaging with their Social Media particularly Facebook. It is another paid app though it offers a 14-day trial. It has five pricing packages you could choose from which will surely fits your needs. North Social will never make you feel intimidated because it proves the term WYSIWYG. Do it yourself is what they initially offer to their clients especially with those non-technical individuals. Uploading images, texts or links is so easy and without a single code needed. With its simple kind of promotions like what Wildfire and Rafflecopter offers, you could expect an increase in your company’s marketing performances and a brand built in minutes. Make use of the 14-day trial and see for yourself how North Social could make your campaign a success.

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3 Free Invoicing Tools

To engage in any kind of business whether it is big or small would surely need a reliable and effective invoicing process. For starters, you might want to try several tools to create invoices especially now that the Internet has tons of recommended sites where you could create invoices for your business either for free or with a minimal fee.

You are in for a good treat because in this article, we would feature three (3) FREE tools to create invoice that would spare you from spending additional expense for your business but would give you ease when doing this daunting task- invoicing.

1. Invoiceto.me

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This comes with the most friendly user interface that even a child aged 10 and above would surely understand. Yes, we are not kidding! From the ready-made invoice, you can easily edit the entire field that needs change like company information, name and address of the client and other invoice rudiments. It has a table where you could place all your invoice items and can be adjusted depending on the items to be included with no conflict at all. Invoiceto.me is widely used compared to others because one, there’s no registration required. You can create invoice right then and there. Two, easy to follow instructions on how to come up with an effective invoice. Three, you could write special notes on the invoice itself and four, it can be converted into a PDF format for printing or emailing invoices to clients.

2. Bambooinvoice.org

bamboo-invoiceIt is another free online invoicing tools that most small businesses would also love. It provides a neat and spontaneous look that would give you the idea on what items to include to create professional invoices. Its custom ability is superb and you can enjoy its multi-language and PDF features when it’s time to send invoices to client. On the other hand, it would give you an intimidating impression once you knew that it would require you to have a web-hosting account before you can download this free invoicing tool. Also, do not expect to see recurring invoices and online payments capability in here which most users find as a major shortcoming in making this tool standout from the others.

3. Simpleinvoices.org

simple-invoicesAlbeit the word simple is on this free tool’s name, you might slightly your head when you read that a LAMP set up would be needed in order for you to successfully install it. But no worries because once you got the hang of it, the process would be smoother. It’s versatility feature which allows several user accounts and different billing formats normally get the most thumbs up among its users. From the settings panel several tabs can be seen and you will be easily directed on what data you should place to complete your invoice. It rises above all other free invoicing tools because it supports more kinds of formats aside from PDF. You could choose whether you would want your invoice in MS Word, plain text, Open Document format and even in Excel format, whatever your client is most comfortable with. If you would want to know more about Simpleinvoice.org—then go ahead and try its free live demo.

 

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Tips to Work in Different Time Zone

FreeVector-Work-Day-SilhouettesOne major thing that an online worker would surely love is to work with people of different nationalities and countries. This is not impossible because your workplace is the worldwide web. Personally speaking I find it both enjoyable and challenging. I said it’s enjoyable because as I work and communicate with my employers, I feel like I have been in their countries too. It’s challenging because there are lots of factors to consider in making the long-distance employers-employee works particularly in dealing with different time zones.

However, we offer few tips you could follow when you are compromised to work with employers in different time zone

1. Work when your boss is asleep

If you have a huge time difference with your boss, let’s say when it is day on your time and it is night on his—you could work all your way while he is asleep. This could be an advantage on your part because you could do your work without your boss bugging you around over Skype or e-mails.

2. Output is delivered first thing in the morning

As you worked all day, your boss would surely be delighted if he sees your report on his inbox the minute he wakes up just when you are about to hit the sack.

3. Keep the communication alive

Perhaps you are about to sleep when your boss decided to catch up with your work via Skype. It is understandable that you may sound gibberish when you talk about work the moment you picked up his call. Therefore, create a light conversation at first like ask about how his day was just to break the ice. He may be sensitive enough to know that the time is not comfortable for you to talk seriously about your job with him and so save your mouth from discussing about it further.

4. Prior to your scheduled conference call, list down all your concerns

Your time may be a hindrance but if you both know how to make both ends meet, it would work just fine. Jot down all your questions, suggestions and other concerns before you both go live on the web. You will save both your time if you know beforehand what you would want to discuss with your boss.

5. Be resourceful

Since your boss would probably be not around to answer your queries while you are working, take the initiative to know stuff on your own. The Internet could give you answers if you know how to do your own research.

To be at his beck and call may not be that important if your boss in the other part of the world. Remember, you will be judged based on your output. Work at your own will and give all your best so you could prove your worth even without your boss’s meticulous eyes.

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