Is your blog being a resource? #vatip Gotta Tweet!
We play small when we think we don’t know enough. #vatipGotta Tweet!
Forget the business mindset when it comes to writing your blog. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant – Episode #19
This is Tiffany and I’m glad that you’re here. I’m also excited about your virtual assistant business and where you’re going. The fact that you’re listening to this podcast episode let’s me know that you’re serious about your business. Whether you’ve been doing it for a while or just getting started, and you’re seeking tips, wanting to learn more, or just to hear from a peer, another VA who’s in the trenches just like you are, so you don’t feel alone. That’s why I enjoy doing this podcast and why I’m glad that you’re tuning in today.
I’m going to talk to you about your blog. It’s not whether or not you’re blogging or anything like that, but just talking about your blog and what you’re doing on your blog.
I started blogging in 2010 and I had no idea really what to blog about. It would vary from how to come up with a blog topic to what was happening that day, or I can remember doing a blog post on having a mental block and then all of a sudden getting clear.
Then I would talk to clients about technical things: shopping carts, WordPress, webinars, teleseminars, different things like that. So a variety of things would come out in the blog post, and I always used it as my newsletter as well. So whatever got posted on the blog also got posted on the newsletter.
Time has gone by and as time goes on, things move; things change. They evolve. You learn more. You want to do better, and so I’m always seeing out, you know, tips and different things to make it better.
I like to think that the blog is unique because I’m a virtual assistant and I’m providing a service for clients, and on my blog I’m sharing a little about me, but more about what they can do with the different services they hire me for.
I can remember being in a training program and we were told that, you know, if you’re blogging and as a service provider, you shouldn’t be teaching on your blog, but you know, giving updates and different things like that, and you shouldn’t go into specific detail about tools. A lot of things about what not to do, but not as much about what we could do. So it was always confusing to me as to what to do.
Then I learned it could be a great place to start answering some questions that people had about hiring my company to do their services, and that is indeed where today we’re moving towards. Is it being a resource?
I want to share with you just some tips that I’ve learned and am growing through in regards to regard that blog.
Here’s the thing: you are speaking with prospective clients all the time. On the previous episode I talked about recording your calls and how that is just a gold mine for content for your website.
Those questions that come through on your calls and in emails, I’m sure you’ve got a lot more to share on those topics, and you have some background that you would need to provide for someone who’s reading it or hearing it for the first time. That’s where that makes your blog useful.
Prospective clients, a lot of them are not on Elance. They’re not in your Facebook groups. They’re just searching on Google, and having a lot of different articles on your site can help in that search. It also gives you a place to direct people when they’re asking you questions during consultations or on social media, so they can get even more details. This way they can read it further at their convenience.
It also makes it helpful if you are recommending resources to your client. You can point them to where you’ve talked about it on your blog so they can make decisions for themselves.
There’s a guy that I like, I follow, I listen to his podcast and on his website, and I won’t share his name because I was a little disappointed in his advice for a VA. He teaches heavily about content marketing and how to use your blog to get your name out there and, you know, how it can bring sales to your business and so on.
I just, you know, really absorbed his information. I liked what he was sharing and could really see a clear picture of how I could use my blog as a result of that information. I was always curious what he would say to a virtual assistant in regards to this because a lot of his content was using examples of offline business owners as opposed to online, and so I was just curious about that.
It just so happened that someone did send in a question, who was a virtual assistant, about how to use her blog for her VA business. Oh, his advice, it like burst my bubble and excitement about his content, and he was telling her that really, you know, instead of focusing on writing all these blog articles, to just focus on networking. I was like what? Is that it? That’s all you’ve got?
The blog can still be used in the same way, you know, he’s been sharing. He’s got a big eBook and blog posts and stuff. I thought about that advice for days about what he had said, and I’m like there’s got to be a way to do both.
I’ve talked on the podcast before about getting over your fears and networking in person, and calling, and things like that. A lot of that was based around getting over the fear, getting comfortable with what we offer, and learning what clients are interested in.
Because if it’s always one-sided, you know, we always know what we’re talking about, but we never go out and speak to someone who isn’t familiar with what we do, then it makes it harder to tailor our words to someone who has no idea what a virtual assistant is, much less, you know, the services that you provide. They may not be someone that’s not even online, and so how do you communicate that?
So he’s saying networking, you know, that’s where your focus should be is on the networking, and I disagree. I think that there should be a place where you show off what you know.
No one knows what you know until you show them what you know.
This is why we blog. This is why we use social media. This is why we can be helpful in the groups that we’re in, and this is why we provide a little sample of what we do. The sample is in the form of a portfolio or things that we’ve already created. Not doing free work, but pointing to things that we’ve already created to show what we know.
Now, this is the time to explore all the things you know either from your VA business, or professional career, or life in general, and share it on your blog.
Don’t think about it as, oh, let me put on my business cap. Be yourself. Be yourself. You are various things. Yes, you’re a business owner. You’re a woman. You’re a man. You’re a mother. You’re a father. You’re a husband. You’re a wife. You’re a friend, so on and so forth, all these different things. Be you. Be you.
If you are a mother, then your blog is going to encompass those things because that’s a part of your life. It’s not separate from business, you know, you show up as one person and that’s what you should bring to your blog is that one person and showing off what you know as it relates to your business.
You could, on the other hand, you know, leave all this stuff in your head and nobody knows except for the few clients that contact you via phone and then you’re able to share what you know. It’s just pointless for all that good information that you know, that will help someone, to stay in your head or have it just for you or a small few.
Share with the world what you know and watch your empire grow.
I wrote this down and I’ll probably post it on Facebook, but I want to say it again. It’s pointless for the knowledge that you know to stay in your head or just for you and a small few. Share with the world what you know and watch your empire grow.
This started because of his response to the VA and her blog. Also because of some books I’ve been reading and blog posts. I’m always researching and reading. I seek information and tips to use, not just to store in my head, for my business, and also to make me a better person.
After a while, when you start reading things and you’re like, yeah, I know that. I know that. Then you realize am I sharing all of me or am I holding back? This is where we start playing small because we think we don’t know enough. You know enough.
Right in the moment where you are, you know enough to move forward.
Knowing enough is not knowing it all. Enough gets you to the next step, and when you’re there you learn something to get you to the next step. That’s the key. That is the key. And with your blog, every blog post, you’ll get better. You’ll learn your voice the more you write, the more you hit publish. The longer you hold back, the harder it gets.
I’ll tell you, to record the podcast episodes, every week I get nervous. I am very thoughtful and prayerful on what to share. I’m always mindful of you, wanting to make sure that your time is not wasted because I value it in every way, and I want to make sure that when the episode is over, you’ve learned something, and not only learned something, but have been given something to do next for your business, for yourself, to move you forward.
With all that being said, stop playing small. Start writing as you. Forget the business mindset when it comes to writing your blog. Be you. Take a breath. Relax. Share what you know and watch your empire grow.
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.