Stick with the social media platforms that are working for you and eliminate the rest. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Clients research us just like we research them. #vatipGotta Tweet!
The key thing with income generating activities is to do them consistently. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Well, the summer has come to a close and we are at the very beginning of fall, almost into the last quarter of the year. I have to share that after Labor Day I started to get a sense that the new year was already here, like 2016 is already here. What that means, for me, is just putting things in place for how I want everything to look come January 2016, like it starts now.
That means as far as income generating activities, removing time-wasters, focusing in on what’s working, what’s not working, being honest with myself and what I’m doing, and getting things refined so that when January 2016 does come, I mean, it’s just smooth sailing. Even before that, when the holiday fever hits, that it’s not a big deal because I’ve already refined things and there’s no room for anything to kind of creep in that shouldn’t be there.
Like how many times have you spent on Facebook just scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, and you’re not really looking for anything, but you’re just scrolling, scrolling, just seeing what’s going on, and next thing you know an hour passes of scrolling, of clicking, of reading articles, and all these things.
How much income does scrolling Facebook generate? Not much unless that is a project with one of your clients that they want you to do, and I don’t know, scope out their audience or something like that. I mean, I don’t know what project that would be, except for managing groups, and then you’re not scrolling on Facebook’s News Feed. You’re then managing that specific group, or if you’re creating content for social media, you’re not scrolling the News Feed. So I don’t know what income generating activities scrolling the News Feed of Facebook would be, but it is such a huge time-waster.
TV can be a huge time-waster because you can say, oh, I’m just going to watch the news. It’s noon. I’m going to have lunch. I’m going to watch the news. Next thing you know, it’s 2:00. Time goes by very fast when you’re doing nothing. Doesn’t it?
What are the time-wasters that you know are there and need to be put in check?
Only you know what those are for you. It could be answering your phone, like personal calls during your business hours and just chitchatting on the phone without any clear-cut purpose for the conversation, just chatting to be chatting. That can be a time-waster. Think about what those are for you and let’s look at refining that for right now, the new year, 2016, even though it’s not here yet. But hey, fall is here.
What generates income for us in our virtual assistant businesses?
Well, doing projects, having tasks or work from clients. That’s where our money comes from, right, at least the bulk of it. You may have other things that you do aside. But in regards to your VA business, client work is where we make our money.
Where are you finding your clients? Where do you find that you’re getting good quality clients that you would like more of? Where are they coming from? Is it word of mouth and referrals? You know, is it because you did such a great job with another client they have told their friends or their peers or their coaching group about your services?
Is it social media? You’re participating in groups. You’re posting great things on your Facebook page. You are sharing good information. Is it job boards, be it Elance, oDesk, Upwork, VA jobs boards, Freelancer.com, wherever, Craigslist? Job boards – are you finding good clients on job boards? Have you had any clients that found you as a result of a Google search?
Think about where you’re getting your good clients from, the ones you enjoy working with, the ones you would like to have more of.
Where are they coming from? Make a list for yourself. Make a list of all the places that you are putting yourself out there, and then make two columns. You’re putting yourself out there on all these sides. Maybe it’s job boards or social media. It is through paid ads. It’s through local networking. Put that in one column. Then on the column, where did your clients come from? Look at this year. Where did your clients come from in 2015? Write down where most of them came from.
If the bulk of your clients came from word of mouth, there’s not a whole lot you can do to increase word of mouth except continue to do a great job for the clients that come through. We can’t amp up word of mouth or amp up referrals. Sure, you could do a referral program or something like that, but you still have to have the initial clients coming in to do the referring. So not a whole lot we can do on that front.
Google search – if someone searches your name on Google or your website on Google, what comes up? Do you have a website for something to come up or is it just social media stuff that comes up?
Let’s go ahead and talk about social media, if it is social media, because you can do a Google search and all your social media profiles come up, right? If someone were to pull up your personal profile with Facebook, what would they see? This is not to say that you have to be, you know, uber professional or anything like that on your personal Facebook. But at the same time, it shouldn’t be anything crazy or someone would deem offensive or anything like that.
Clients research us just like we research them.
If they were to do a Google search on your name or on your company name, all that stuff is going to come up so you want to know what comes up in a Google search. That is something that we can improve on. We can improve on what we’re sharing and posting on social media, as well as what we’re putting out there on our blogs.
Job boards – are you getting good clients, the ones you like and would like more of, on job boards?
Now, once you see where your clients are mostly coming from, do an assessment on each one. I’m going to go backwards with the job boards. Let’s say you have a profile on Elance, oDesk, Upwork, Craigslist. You’re on a VA job boards group, I mean, you’ve got a whole bunch of them. Let’s say there are eight different ones. Which ones are most effective for you? Meaning you got good quality clients from them. We’re just talking about, let’s see, September is the ninth month, really in the last nine months because we just want to keep it to this year.
Now, if there are eight, are you getting good quality clients from all eight or just like two of them? If it’s just two of them, what was the difference? Were you more active on those two than the eight, or were you just as active on all eight, but just those two job boards got you the best result?
If you’re activity was similar, meaning you were consistent and always putting your information out there, submitting proposals and requests, if you were always doing that consistently on all eight but these two were the best so they rose up to the top, then it’s time to eliminate the six and focus on those two. If you know you were not consistent on all eight and you know I probably should let some of them go anyway, do that. Do that. Focus on the two.
When we spread ourselves so thin, imagine if your goal was to submit 5 proposals a day and you’re on 8 different jobs boards, that is 40 a day. Is that realistic? Whether you’re part-time or full-time, every day or a few days out of the week, is that realistic? Is that realistic for you? Time to shave it on down, especially if there are some that aren’t working for you, and keep it focused on the ones that are working.
Same for social media, let’s say you’re on eight different platforms. You’re everywhere. Do you need to be everywhere? No. Do you have to be everywhere? No. Is everywhere available to you? Yes. But that doesn’t mean we have to be there, right? Just like with the job boards, which one is most effective for you? Effective could mean you’re getting quality clients, the number of clients you want, the responses that you want, the opportunities that you want.
Opportunity meaning – let’s say you’re in groups on Facebook or LinkedIn or Google+, and there’s an opportunity for you to help someone. Maybe they ask a question about WordPress and you know the answer to that. Instead of pitching your service, you’re able to just outright help them. The purpose of these groups is to build relationships, to be social, to offer your help.
If you’re good at what you do, people will notice and then they’ll go to your profile and check you out to see what you do, and they’ll inquire about your services because of what you’ve done in the group. It’s not always the person that you’re talking to that ends up contacting you. Think about all the people that are watching and reading who you may never interact with, but they may be in touch with you when they need what they know you have to offer.
Which one of those social media platforms is working for you? Stick with the ones that are working. Eliminate the rest.
Now, if you know you haven’t been doing anything then you can’t really eliminate it yet because you haven’t been doing anything. Like LinkedIn, I haven’t been on LinkedIn in a couple of months. I can’t eliminate LinkedIn just yet. I haven’t given LinkedIn my all consistently, right? So consistently giving it your all, and if nothing is happening, forget it. Okay.
So we’re getting things refined for the new year. We talked about how with Google search, that contributes to our blog and social media, and then word of mouth is pretty much out of our control, just doing a great job for the clients that we serve.
Our biggest activity for generating income is outreach, letting people know we exist and what we do, because that is what brings in cash for us.
Let’s just say you’re a painter, if you’re the best painter in town but nobody knows you exist, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. You won’t generate any income without letting people know who you are. You could be phenomenal at what you do, but if nobody knows but the people that live in your house, it doesn’t matter.
Outreach is important for us and outreach is that marketing and making sure people know who we are and what we do. That’s the common thing that’s required for every area that clients are coming from, even if I didn’t name yours in that list. Clients have to know who you are and what you do in order to come.
If you’re at networking event and you never network, you never share, nobody knows. You may have the exact thing someone’s looking for. We have to be vocal. We have to reach out and share what we know. It doesn’t matter what format, except choosing one that works for us.
It may be different for everyone. It might be different based on what you do, where you live, all that good stuff, right. Because if you’re a bookkeeper that works with real estate agents, then you may be staying within your local area. If you’re a bookkeeper that works with affiliate marketers, then you’re probably online, right. Your clients are coming online.
Our focus for this year 2016 – I said this year meaning 2015 and this year meaning 2016, the coming year, and I hate to say coming because I just feel that it’s now, like right now, is to eliminate things that aren’t working. Focus on what is that generates income.
Now, you may be wondering, well, what about a website. Do I have to have a website? Do I have to blog? If you are blogging to provide information related to your service, then yes, that is an income generating activity.
I can remember doing a blog post about the importance of eCovers. This was when tablets first became really popular, and this was when I knew that blog posts could help in promoting my service. I had gotten frustrated. I had just gotten my iPad and I had put some PDFs on there, you know, eBooks on there and the ones that didn’t have covers just looked like spiral bound notebooks and they were, you know, just a white space spiral bound, and I took a screenshot of what that looked like so people could know how important it is to have an eCover for your free report, for your eBook. I can’t tell you how many clients I got, we were doing eCovers back then, as a result of that, in doing eCovers.
Most recently, I’m specializing and really focusing in on click through funnels, whether it be for webinars or free offers or products or whatever the case may be, but really focusing in on building click through funnels for clients. So I did a Blab and a blabinar specifically talking about that and at the end telling them how they could work with me in building their funnel, and I got clients from that.
That is going to turn into a blog post series, which will generate income because that’s putting information out there, letting people know what I do, how they can work with me, but also giving them information that they can do on their own where they don’t necessarily need me, like I’m not coming up with your free offer. Someone would be coming to me saying, hey, this is what I want to do. How do I piece it together? By helping them on the front end.
One of the best compliments as a result of that blabinar – blabinar is a word I came up with, and it’s an online seminar using Blab, which I absolutely love. You guys know that from the last episode. Anyway, I got an email from a new client and she said, “I’m so glad I found you. I’ve been blogging for years, but was not clear about what a click through funnel was or that I even needed to map it out.” As a result of that free blabinar, she got the information she needed and now we’ll be working together.
I don’t consider that free event like a time-waster or me just doing something. But no, it was an income generating activity and I’m not even finished with it. There’s more to come. That’s just an example.
I am going to kind of shift gears. There’s this article I read and I posted it on my Facebook page a couple weeks ago, but I don’t want you to miss it. The title of the article is Pleasure Is A Dangerous Lie. The article is written by Michael Shreeve, and I love how he writes. His writings are just really, really good. I’m going to read this real quick. I’m not going to read the whole article, but this is important as far as how we refine our income generating activities and stay consistent in doing them week after week, month after month, to grow and build our businesses.
It’s not going to be easy because the key thing is the consistency. That’s the key thing, to keep doing it, to not give up, to not stop regardless of our feelings.
Here’s part of the article: “There is a difference between the pursuit-of-pleasure and the pursuit-of-good things. Someone engaged in the pursuit of pleasure is looking for the “easy” money. (Think: “which genre sells more?” Or “what’s the fastest way to make $1000?”) Someone engaged in the pursuit of good things is looking for the “good” money. (Think: “what is a huge need I can fill?” Or “what thing do I care enough about to work really hard at?”) “Good things” get you closer to your goals. They give you what you want. Your deepest, most emotionally evocative dreams are “good things” dreams.”
That’s just a snippet of the article that I just want to highlight. It totally messed me up in a great way. It really did, and I’ve read it several times since I first saw it.
It’s like a reminder, you know, you go to the gym and you work out and the hardest part about working out is getting there. If you’re trying to do it early in the morning, it’s hard to get up, trying to get up and get dressed and go because it’s easy to talk yourself down. Then once you’re there and you’re moving – and this is why I like classes because there’s a start and an end. I have to be there at a certain time, well, and I also teach classes as well. That is one way to stay consistent with my workouts and hold me accountable because I have to show up.
But I found for the ladies in my class, it’s at a women’s gym so it’s all ladies, that once we get going it doesn’t matter is somebody thinks it’s really hard, we’re in it, we’re doing it, and as long as I’m telling them, okay, four more, two more, last one, they know they can do it regardless of the pain and the sweat that comes with it, but the end result is a good thing. So a workout is not pleasurable. It’s a good thing. So that’s what I thought about in reading this article. But anyway, want you to read it. Check it out. I’m going to put that in the show notes.
Make this year a year that you’re consistent with your income generating activities. This year, 2016, starting right now. Starting right now.
When the holiday fever comes, your schedule will be so worked out. It won’t be a big thing. You’ll enjoy your holiday shopping, your holiday cooking, and your family. You’ll enjoy all of that, and your business will be running smooth as well because of the things that you’ve put in place now.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you like what you heard, stay tuned. We’ll be back. Tell me what’s going on with you. Come on over the Facebook page: facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz, or if you prefer a little shorter message, come on over to Twitter: @tiffanydparson.
See you next time.