VA Job Roles: Marketing Support

Virtual Assistant support

Virtual Assistants can support business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs in many ways. This series of blogs will outline some of these roles and examine in more detail how having the support from a VA can add value and efficiency to your business and provide you with a better work/life balance. If you would like more information about Lucy-Anne Virtual Assistant, please contact us today.

 

Focus on: Marketing

Every small business owner will be acutely aware that there aren’t enough hours in the day to plan and execute a marketing strategy. It is often thought about as a result of low sales, or when time allows. Unfortunately, this makes the process less effective and efficient. Outsourcing your marketing activity to a VA can set-you-aside from the competition.  Once they are on board with your business principles and understand your brand values, they can make a huge difference to your organisation, and you’ll have piece-of-mind that this element of your business strategy is in good hands.

 

Marketing your business

Clever marketing has led to many recent business success stories

Creating a marketing plan for a small business may feel extreme, unnecessary or far too complex! But, without one, you could stumble around in the dark and end up being reactive to market conditions which is inefficient and costly. Creating a simple plan, based around the 7’ps, and allocating a reasonable budget will ensure you’re on target. Don’t forget, every plan needs to be evaluated and adjustments made if necessary.

 

Keeping ahead of the competition

Without proper marketing, you can’t get close to customers and satisfy their needs – and if you can’t, a competitor surely will. 

In basic terms, you must be in it to win it! Establishing a solid marketing plan will set you aside from your competitors. Having the confidence to adjust your plan based on feedback and research will also give you a competitive advantage over others. Never underestimate the value of monitoring and review.

 

Brand consistency

Being consistent builds awareness, trust and eventually loyalty

If you’re not being consistent with your brand image, you’re being inefficient and wasting valuable money on mixed messages.  Your brand image is made up of your logo, colours, typography, packaging, messages and customer experiences. Build a reputation through the consistency of your brand and you’ll evolve and expand, creating loyalty from your valued clients. Building a physical brand image can be achieved through social media posts, brochures, advertising, event planning and even email signatures.

 

Digital revolution

This revolution has also provided new tools to make marketing more targeted, relevant and effective

When it comes to digital marketing there is a multitude of platforms to consider and as a starting point, it is essential to know where your customers are in the digital world. Once you know this, have the confidence to concentrate on those platforms, rather than trying to be everywhere at once. Creating a consistent and clear message and keeping in line with your brand values, is essential to winning business through the digital medium.

 

If you run a small business and would like help planning and reviewing your marketing strategy get in touch with us today: hello@lucy-anne.co.uk

 

Make or Break!

Make or Break!

If you run your own business and feel like you’ve reached capacity, both mentally and physically, it’s time for us to have a chat!

Perhaps you know you’re letting clients down; not responding to enquiries in a timely manner or missing opportunities because you’re fire-fighting the day-to-day management of your business and personal life.

Unfortunately you face too many barriers to ease the burden…..

  • Hiring permanent and professional help is far too expensive
  • Finding the time to even consider training a new employee is exhausting
  • Delegating business tasks is a daunting prospect

We appreciate your dilemma and that’s why we are in business, to help make a positive change. Lucy-Anne Virtual Assistant are here to support small businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals like yourself.

Among our many skills we pride ourselves on being resourceful, approachable and adaptable but above all professional. So hiring a Virtual Assistant really can be the perfect fit for you and your business. Furthermore can add value, efficiency and improve productivity as we are flexible and offer a cost effective staffing solution.

So let’s turn these negatives into a positive and make a real difference to your life in 2019.

Hiring permanent and professional help is far too expensive
Compared to hiring a new employee outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant is a cost-effective solution

Finding the time to even consider training a new employee is exhausting
We are capable of being resourceful and adaptable, willing to ‘hit-the-ground-running’

Delegating business tasks is a daunting prospect
We appreciate you’ve built your business from the ground up, much like we have with our own. This is why we pride ourselves on offering a professional service because when you’re successful we benefit too.

Don’t delay – get in touch today!

http://www.lucy-anne.co.uk

Adding a course booking and payment feature to your website

crm

Being able to offer your clients the option to book and pay for courses online is essential these days. Especially given that your clients will want to process their booking with ease, simplicity and in a least amount of time possible. If you don’t offer this functionality you’re in danger of loosing their interest or loosing them to a competitor. There are several options available to you, all have been clearly outlined below.

Adding a ‘plug-in’ to your existing site

Not all website platforms/builders have the capacity to add useful plug-ins, but all is not lost! If your website doesn’t support plug-ins there are a whole host of other alternatives outlined below.

Plug-ins

If however, you have a wordpress site it is worth looking at WooCommerce. A fantastic customisable eCommerce platform that works alongside your existing website. With WooCommerce you can sell anything. From physical products to memberships, downloads or even appointments and course bookings.

Pros: WooCommerce is used globally and is a well established and trusted brand.
Cons: Not available for all websites

Adjustments to your own website with the help of a professional webmaster

Have someone create the perfect booking system with your business needs at its core. You can post your requirements on sites such as ‘freelancer’ or ‘fiverr’. This is a global network of freelancers. An alternative is to use a local webdesign studio.

Pros: You could build a brilliant, bespoke system tailored to suit your needs.
Cons: Lots of research and confidence required here! This could also demand a lot of your time if you spend too long pondering on the perfect solution.

Using an existing third party application

There are hundreds to choose from, it’s a minefield out there. All systems will charge a monthly fee, commission or both. Research the field well and look at the systems your competitors are using.  Choosing the best solution is probably going to boil down to budget. With this in mind I have outlined a few below that were reasonably priced.

Pros: Choosing the right system will give you peace of mind that support is on hand should something go technically wrong. The system will have a professional and polished finish.
Cons: Acknowledging it may not be possible to find an affordable system which meets ALL of your needs.

https://simplybook.me/
A simple site with clean functionality and plenty of room from growth. With fees from $0 – $60.00 pcm depending on the number of bookings you expect to take and the number of features you want.  This system accepts payments from a wide variety of sources and no additional fees will be taken when payments are made. Added bonuses includes some great online tutorials, and features including customisable promotions and product sales.

https://www.sagenda.com/
Advertised as completely free…..but…….Fees apply when you add additional features like the payment function then it’s $14.00 pcm. The price increases when you add further features like SMS notifications or using your own email address. This application only accepts paypal payments.

http://satoriapp.com/
This application is tailored towards coaches and will work well as a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. The application allows sessions to be booked and paid for online. The fees for this product start at $33.00 pcm.

Other systems to consider are outlined below:
https://www.timify.com/en-gb/timify-premium/ £29.00 pcm
https://www.bookeo.com/classes/pricing/ $40.00 pcm
https://www.bookingcommerce.com/en/pricing/ $10.00 pcm with 2% commission
https://www.smoothbook.co/pricing-3/ free for a limited time but you could get hooked then they’ll impose a highly month fee. I tried to call them to find out but no answer!

Once you have chosen the best solution to meet your business needs you may wish to consider hiring a Virtual Assistant to manage the administration and bookings to free up more of your time. If you would like to read more about how a Virtual Assistant can help you and business please read this post: Growing your business: How hiring a Virtual
Assistant will help

Good luck
Lucy-Anne VA

Growing your business: How hiring a Virtual Assistant will help

Growing your business: How hiring a Virtual Assistant will help

You’ve survived the first couple of years in business, well done and congratulations, you deserve a high five!

High Five

Where now for your small business?

Are you happy maintaining the status quo or do you have ambitious plans and feel passionately about the possibilities ahead?

As most business grow organically there will come a point where you’ll need to invest in people and take on staff. Finding the right candidates takes time and you may not have any spare hours during the working week to devote to this important aspect of your growth strategy. Also the cost of hiring additional employees may leave you in a cold sweat and give you sleepless nights!

growing seed in hand

This is where hiring a Virtual Assistant offers you the perfect solution.

Not sure what a Virtual Assistant is? Read my blog ‘What is a VA?’

You can hire a Virtual Assistant to help you with the advertising of a position, shortlisting suitable candidate and offer support during the interview stages. You can also consider hiring a Virtual Assistant to help with your business growth if you’re not comfortable with the costs and responsibilities involved with hiring employees.

Virtual Assistants can carry out a whole host of activities for you and work seamlessly under the umbrella of your company name, representing your business as if they were an established employee.

The possibilities are endless but we have outlined 5 areas of work a Virtual Assistant could help your business grow:

  1. Handle all of your customer service enquiries, ensuring your clients are delighted with their experiences and recommend your services to friends and colleagues.
  2. Coordinate your appointment bookings and employee schedules, maximising opportunities and being efficient with your time. Ensuring all business operations run smoothly.
  3. Keep on top of your marketing and communications, making sure your clients are aware of any changes or additions to your services or offerings. Remember, it is easier to gain additional business from your existing clients rather than new ones.
  4. Carry out market research to keep on top of changes within your industry and keep track of your competitors activities.
  5. Offer advice as most Virtual Assistants are professionally trained, highly educated and have worked for small and medium sized companies for a number of years.

If you’re at this exciting time in your business life cycle get in touch with Lucy-Anne Virtual Assistant and let’s discuss how we can help you grow and achieve more.

Good luck

Lucy-Anne Virtual Assistant x

What’s in a logo?

What’s in a logo?

Starting your own business is exciting, daunting and expensive. There are so many aspects of your business to consider and one of the most important things to get right from the outset is your logo. You’re asking a lot from a simple graphic / icon / symbol;

  • Be your first impression
  • Encompass your brand
  • Create a connection, a feeling and need to belong
  • Be memorable

Before a graphic design agency can initiate the creative process to build you a logo they’ll need to understand the personality, values and unique corporate identity of your organisation. This will help them to create something that truly fits your brand identity.

Brand and corporate identity is established through communication with your audience and encompasses your business cards, promotional materials, advertising, website, emails and social media presence.

It is important to be coherent and consistent with your fonts, colours and images to create reaffirm your identity. This is why larger organisations insist on stringent rules and regulations as to how their logos are used and displayed by third parties.

Of course, as a small business you won’t have the same budgets as multinational corporations to spend on your logo, but you can still achieve great things on a smaller budget with these things in mind. This is where hiring a Virtual Assistant with a creative background is ideal. Click here to read my blog on ‘What is a VA?’

  • Keep your logo simple
  • Select graphics which best suit your industry and can withstand the test-of-time
  • Use colours and fonts to express the appropriate feeling

Using intricate and detailed graphics with more than a couple of words will make your logo difficult to print and keep intact on some merchandise (consider clothing or promotional materials). Also, multi coloured printing can be costly. When visualising your logo always consider how it will look in greyscale (black and white).

When it comes to choosing a font you’ll be bedazzled by the sheer volume and range available to you. I have classified 4 major categories of fonts, please see below:

Whats in a logo blog fonts image

Serif: Generally used for large volumes of text and considered to be conservative, dependable and trustworthy.

Sans Serif: Modern fonts which are often used as headings rather than the body of text. Sans Serif fonts are modern, simple, clean and minimalistic in their nature.

Handwritten / Script fonts: As the name suggests these fonts have handwritten characteristics. These timeless fonts are ideal for adding a touch of elegance and femininity to your brand.

Display / Decorative: These fonts are great for grabbing attention, being bold and adding fun to your logo. They are not designed to be used for large amounts text.

Using a combination of fonts works really well if you want to say something like, Serious but Fun or Casual and Strong.

Just like choosing the right font choosing your logo colour(s) can be a difficult playing field to navigate. Again the possibilities are endless but one thing to remember is consistency! Make a note of the colours you use (each colour has a unique reference number) and replicate them when setting up your website and liaising with graphic designers.

Colour Characteristics
Red Passionate, exciting and stimulating
Yellow Optimistic, positive and warm
Pink Feminine, fun and delicate
Green Healthy, productive and nurturing
Orange Friendly, happy and confident
Purple Wise, sophisticated and luxurious
Blue Calming, reliable and trustworthy
Black and white Classic, timeless and modern

Capture 2

If you need a little inspiration or would like us to create a stunning logo for your business, get in touch today to see how we can help.

Good luck, Lucy-Anne x

Lucy-Anne Virtual Assistant