Don’t be so quick to say it won’t work. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Dig in and learn your client’s business so you can serve them better. #vatipGotta Tweet!
Be more conscious of how you’re responding to valuable information. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
I’m going to start and just share with you my sad story of having to let go of the power cord to my MacBook.
My husband and I, we like to go out and find Wi-Fi at different places on the weekends. So we’re hanging out and enjoying ourselves, having great coffee, conversation, and hopping on our laptops.
Well, I noticed a week before that my cord on my MacBook had, you know, torn a little bit. But I’m like, it’s okay, I can move it around. It’ll work fine. That happened, I want to say, a full week ago, maybe a few days ago, but it was towards last week, maybe Thursday or so.
Anyway, Monday evening is when this happened. We’re in the coffee shop and I go to plug up my laptop…nothing happens, and my computer, I have this awful habit of waiting till my decides are about to totally die. Like I’ll see it’s at five percent, but I’m like, okay, I’ve just got one more thing to do. I’ll see it at two percent, I’m like let me just hurry. Let me race. I’m trying to race the power on my device, and it’s not a good habit. I’ve got to get out of it.
But anyway, plug my computer up, nothing happens. No power, nothing, and if you’ve ever had to replace a cord, and I have on my MacBook Air, I’ve had to do that, and it’s like $80 to get the cord. If I want to spend $80 I don’t want to spend it on some stupid cord, and of course, I need the cord so you’re at the mercy of Apple at that point.
So we go to the mall to get the cord because I have no choice and, you know, I’m asking the guy what can I do to keep this from happening? Oh, before we went to the mall, I looked it up really quick. This is what I was spending my last five percent on the computer looking it up because I’m like what is wrong with me? Why do I mess up these cords? What am I doing wrong? So, you know, I’m looking it up to see if it’s just me. That’s what I did with the last five percent, and discovered that it’s not just me. That this is something that happens with Apple cords.
Anyway, back at the Apple store, I ask the guy, “What can I do so that this cord will last longer?” I won’t have to come in and get another one. He’s like, “Well, you just have to keep your cord really, really straight.”
So this is a warning for all you Apple users, whether it’s for your MacBook, MacBook Air, for your phone, for your iPod, whatever, when you’re charging them, as the Apple guy says, just keep it really, really straight, and nothing touching it, nothing up against it, and it will last a longer time.
Now, I’ve had this, I want to say two years maybe. I had the cord for two years. The other computer was about the same, maybe I had that one two or three years before I killed the cord, and the same thing is happening with my iPhone, but I’m still like rigging it, making it work, last until the last drop. So anyway, we’ll see how that goes.
But that’s my tip in regards to keeping these cords nice so they last a long time. So take notes on that.
All right. Now, I was in Panera Bread and I used to really enjoy being in Panera Bread, but it’s like more people are in there, and I’m going to tell you, the more people that are in a place like that, the less I like it. I like to be in a place that seems kind of secretive where like we’re the only ones that know about it.
But Panera Bread has gotten really crowded. So I went and tried to get a few things done, checking email right quick. Whenever I have a long wait, you know, like I’m waiting for something, I’ll just go to a Panera or somewhere so that I’m getting out of the house, getting some fresh air, being around people.
So I’m in Panera in the corner, in the cut in Panera, and there’s this man, this lady at a table not far from me. Now, I wasn’t trying to hear their conversation, but they were talking pretty loud. So I put my headset on. I was going to listen to some stuff, but something caught my attention, and I figured out that he was like some type of business advisor and she owned some type of business related to healthcare, maybe like in-home aid or something.
Anyway, he was giving her advice on what to do about her business and he tells her that her rates are too low. So my ears get big on things like that when people are talking. I can’t help it. I love business. I love talking about it, hearing about, and who knows, I might be able to get a tip from this guy. He’s talking to her, and she gives him all these different excuses for why her rates are the way they are and she can’t go up on her rates, and her concern was about making more money in her business.
It got me to thinking how when somebody gives us advice, someone who’s been where we are and they’re where we want to go, whether we’re reading the advice, hearing the advice, or getting it firsthand from them in a conversation, a lot of times a negative thought is the first thing that pops up instead of, oh, that is such a great idea. Let me write that down. I’ve got to try that right away.
Or even if we get the advice and we come from a positive angle, we lose steam after the fact to put action to it.
Instead of saying, you know what, I’m going to try that. I’m going to see if it works, prove that it works, you know, like her, many of us instead give all the reasons why it can’t work or won’t work, or we’ve tried that in the past. I mean, not only was he giving her tips about her rate but also different things she could do to make more money in her business, different services they could offer and, you know, I keep hearing, oh, we tried that. It didn’t work. We did that. It didn’t work. Yeah, the people we serve won’t. You think people will pay for that?
I’ll tell you, I thought about you guys, because when we’re getting into our virtual assistant business, whether you’re at the very beginning, in transition, at a plateau, when it’s time to change some things or evaluate what’s working, what’s not working, there may be a hesitation there because we’re not sure. Will it work? We tried that. It didn’t work or, you know, whatever the case may be.
After hearing her responses, it’s like I want to be more conscious about how I’m responding to the information that I’m receiving. If I’m seeking out advice from something or someone, how am I receiving that information? Is my first thought defenses and why it can’t be done, or is my first thought I’m going to try that right away to see if it works.
I challenge you to think about what your responses are like when you’re given some good advice from something or someone that you sought advice.
Because I’m not just talking about some random person coming up to you and they don’t know you, or putting a comment on social media. I mean from someone you respect. You know they mean the best for you, that kind of thing. What’s our first response in receiving that, and after that, what’s our first point of activating the information that we’ve been given?
Okay. That’s all I got from being nosy at Panera Bread. I promise you, I wasn’t trying to listen to their conversation, but it was good. He was giving her some good stuff. I really hope that she takes his advice and her business takes off.
I had to share that with you because it was good y’all. Yeah. I sat there and listened to their whole conversation with a headset on doing other things. You’ve always got to do other things if you’re listening. You can’t be obvious. So anyway, that is that.
Here is my advice for you today and if you’re listening to this, I feel like you’re giving me permission to share. This is about why it’s important to know specifically who your clients are. We have to get in the huddle, so to speak, with our clients.
Imagine you’re in a hallway and there are five doors on the left and five doors on the right, and at the top of each door it says who it’s for. You might see affiliate marketers, direct sales, party planners, event planners, interior decorators, real estate and brokers, pastors, network marketers, bloggers, Etsy crafters, eBay sellers, and the list goes on and on as to who you see down this hall.
As a business owner of a virtual assistant business, which door do you choose based on where your clients would be?
If you’re not sure, and maybe I didn’t name the type of business your client is in, which is fine, but let’s imagine they’re on the list if I didn’t say them. Which door do you go in? You can’t go through all the doors because you can only be at one place at one time. Which door do you go in?
If you’re standing in the hallway and you’re thinking, Tiffany, I don’t know, or I’ve got like three doors on the left I could go to and two on the right I could go to. If that’s the case, it’s too many.
It’s time to narrow the scope. Narrow it down. Who are you serving? Be very specific.
Now, we know that you should specialize as far as your skill, but now we’re talking about being focused on a particular niche.
If you just say coaches, coaches has it’s own subset. You’ve got health coaches, life coaches, fitness coaches, business coaches, and the list goes on of all the different coaches. So even coaches is too broad.
If you say bloggers, well, even that is broad. There are some people, they blog, but they don’t consider themselves bloggers. They use their blog as a tool for their business.
Let’s say it’s an affiliate marketer and they use their blog as a way to get information out there about the products they review or have tried, recommend, and suggest. So they may not be in the room for bloggers. They’re going to be in the room for affiliate marketers.
If you say creative bloggers, that could be one. Maybe they do like recipes. Food bloggers is what they would be. See how it just gets even more specific about who your client is, like where are they? What do they do specifically?
The reason why this is important is because we’ve got to know which door to go through because there are a million doors, and the doors are Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, Google+ communities. Then you think about conferences: live conferences, online conferences, people that you follow on social media. All those are like doors as to where your clients would be.
The more focused you are, then you know where to show up.
A while back when I was first starting with LinkedIn and getting an understanding and learning about groups, I had a general idea of my clients as far as the category like coaches, bloggers, mediapreneurs. So I was joining these groups related to these broad things, but they weren’t talking. Nobody was talking, and I’m like this sucks. It’s not working, you know, my response to the advice. I went out. I tried. It’s not working.
This time around I’m coming back and I’m like no. What can I do better? Because I get why they say be in these groups, and I want to help and I want to serve, but I’m in the wrong place because nobody’s talking.
So when you get specific, where are they? Really dive in, if you can sit amongst them.
If your client is an affiliate marketer then there’s a conference that’s called NAMS, and gosh, I forget the guy’s name. Anyway, if you look that up then you can start following the guy who founded this. He may have groups: Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, so you can sit among affiliate marketers and hear what they’re saying.
I’m going to even go as far as to say become one of them. Be an affiliate marketer for something. Of course, you don’t have to do a big push like your clients would, but do enough so that you understand what they would need. You understand about shortening the links, about product reviews, about writing blog posts around different products.
This is really digging in and getting inside of their business and what they do so you can serve them better.
When you’re able to do that, then when you’re in these groups and there are questions that come up to the same things that you provide that we’ve talked about in the past: your blog content, social media, bookkeeping, graphics, all those things, then you have some information and advice that you can share as a result of what you do for clients, yourself, and now helping them in the groups. Remembering that when you’re answering people in the group, it’s not just for the person you’re responding to, it’s for them and all the people who will read it.
The action step for you is get narrow, get nichey, niched down. Who is your client specifically?
I’ve got this down for ThePodcastVA, we work with podcasters. For Virtual Hired Hand, we’re doing redesign of websites but it’s time to get very specific about what that is. Whether it’s websites that focus on style or restaurants or podcasters or people who host webinars. Very specific, we’re narrowing it down.
I challenge you to do the same thing so that you’ll know which door to go in so you can sit amongst your clients, become one of them and serve as questions come up.
Freely serve and you will get what you want in return, and that’s clients. You help someone else, and what you want will come to you in return.
Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. I tell you, it is freezing cold in the QC. This was an icy day. School was out. School’s going to be out tomorrow, so another icy day, even though the roads in our neighborhood are clearing up. But anyway, I like snow days. My hubby gets to be home, and it’s cool. We get to hang out.
So anyway, I want you to have a fabulous day. Take action on everything you heard during this episode.
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.