What is Nurture Marketing?

Think of it as caring about the people in your business!

We call it nurture because you are taking care of the people who matter to your business, such as your prospects, customers, and the people who can/do refer business to you. You educate them, share things, and build a closer relationship with them. You nurture them as you would your family/friends.

When you reach out in this way, the nurturing happens consistently and automatically aiding you in the building of stronger relationships.

Nurture marketing is the easiest, the least expensive and some say the most powerful source of marketing a small business can do.

If you nurture your customer/clientele right, you will grow your business even if you do not do any other type of marketing. Moreover, if you do other types of marketing, nurture provides a foundation upon which you can build on.

You may ask how I can do all that.

Some think of CRM (customer relationship marketing) as Nurture Marketing, actually, Nurture Marketing is the process of regularly sending people information about your business that:
• Educates them about your products and services,
• Establishes your credibility,
• Proactively answers questions prospects commonly ask,
• Makes them feel good about your business, and
• In return gets them to buy your product/services.

Jim Cecil of http://www.nurturemarketing.com had an idea. When Microsoft needed his help to garner more prospects and yield more sales, Jim decided that the one-off punch to boost numbers overnight was not good enough. He wanted more for his client. He wanted to redefine the way we think about marketing.

Jim’s approach centered on a simple philosophy: like any good relationship, customers want your loyalty and respect. They want to know you are looking out for them, listening to them, and tailoring your products and services to quench their needs.

Sounds ambitious, I know.

This is the first in a series of post I will be writing, about Nurture Marketing.

In future post, I will show you how nurture marketing will help your business growth: assist you in gaining word of mouth referrals, along with the ability to increase your sales.

Please subscribe to this series of post.

Comments are welcomed and encouraged.

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Knowing Your Staffs Abilities

I recently had an issue where a client had given me an assignment. I split up the assignment between an assistant (wishing to become a virtual assistant) and myself. The assignment was easy enough. A typical task that clients request their VA’s to perform from time to time.

The task was to find some information and enter the data into an Excel spreadsheet. She is not familiar with creating a spreadsheet (for you aspiring VA’s out there, Excel is a necessity to know, at least know the basics). Not a problem it takes very little time to design a spreadsheet.

She had trouble finding the information at first. I had her join me on Team Viewer and I walked her through it. After I completed a couple of entries, she stated that she understood what the client expected of her and she could continue the task. I let her know that I am just a ping away, and let her go to work. It had taken her about three hours to complete the task.

The problem, my client came back to me stating there were mistakes in the data. After reviewing the data and seeing the errors. I made the corrections and sent my client the updated (corrected) assignment.

I was able to correct the issue in a short amount of time. However, it did start me to thinking. How can I ensure that this will not happen again?

I saw that my first mistake was not reviewing her work prior to sending it on to my client (BIG BOOBOO, do not do that). Take it from me review the work always; at least until you know what the assistant can do correctly.

My second mistake (yes their where two) was not requesting her to fill out a skills questionnaire. Some VAs asks their potential clients to fill out a pre-consultation questionnaire. This step aids the VA in learning more about their client’s needs and goals. It is a great tool I am glad they shared it with me. I am of a mind that if I had asked her if she would complete a skills questionnaire, I would have seen that the assignment was not her forte.

Now I know you are asking, “Why are you writing about this in your blog?” I believe that there is potential that this mistake could happen to others. As our client’s, hire their VA’s by seeing our testimonials, portfolios and referrals. We need to obtain from our assistants their skill information as it pertains to our client’s needs and goals. Not to judge their abilities but to better gage their usable talents, and apply that towards what assignments we entrust to them.

I am all about OJT (On the Job Training), and I will still use here talents to assist in my business growth.

I just have a better understanding of where her many skills can assist my clients to the fullest.

In closing to the business owners whom are thinking of hiring a VA, create a skills questionnaire that fits your needs and goals, try keeping in mind that the internet and technology are ever changing, as are our business needs and goals. When you find a VA whom you feel you are considering working with, request your potential VA to fill out your questionnaire. It will only assist you in finding the right match for the long term of your business needs, along with help your potential VA get a view of your goals and expectations.

For the potential VA’s reading this blog if there are areas of your skill set which need updating or improving. There are places where you can obtain the skills you may need and most offer “certifications” in your particular niche “Bonus”. One said place is VANA, VA networking @ http://www.vanetworking.com/become-a-virtual-assistant.htm.. They offer support group chat sessions on Thursday’s (in their chat room) for all members. I know your saying great another membership site, but it’s free and the forum post are from the very successful VA’s to the aspiring VA’s to become.

Please leave a comment!

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What is a Virtual Assistant?

I am often asked what a Virtual Assistant is, and what can one do for me?

There are many definitions of what a Virtual Assistant is. One definition comes from The Virtual Assistant Social Network ~ VAnetworking.com

A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a highly-skilled, independent professional who remotely provides administrative, technical, and/or creative business support services.

This summons it up in a small paragraph.

Virtual Assistants come from a variety of business backgrounds, but the single-most important qualification to become a Virtual Assistant is at least five (5) years administrative experience earned in the real (non-virtual) business world working in upper level capacities such as administrative assistant, executive assistant, secretary, legal assistant, paralegal, legal secretary, real estate assistant, office manager, etc.

From this level of experience, a VA should possess the skill sets, training, and business knowledge, which are the hallmark of a truly qualified Virtual Assistant.

Some Virtual Assistant niches (specialties) not mentioned above are:

Virtual Marketing ~VA’s can effectively market your business to a broader audience via the internet. They use standard marketing approaches to improve the promotion of your relevant services and organizational goals.

Virtual Social Networking Marketing ~ VA applies a “customer/clientele oriented” approach and uses the concepts and tools used by commercial marketers in pursuit of their client’s social marketing goals.

Nurture Marketing (CRM) ~ Virtual Assistant’s helps you create and maintain mindshare with the people who matter to you in your business – your prospects, your customers, and the people who refer business to you.

Virtual Bookkeeper ~ is highly skilled with various accounting programs. Some areas where they assist their clients are. Accounts receivables and payables; reconciling your bank statements and credit card statements, and tracking your expenses. The difference from an in house bookkeeper and a virtual bookkeeper is that, the business owner has to send the data to the virtual bookkeeper via email, snail mail, or fax.

There are many ways a Virtual Assistant can assist you. Many Virtual Assistants in the fields mentioned above are certified in their niche (specialty fields).

I hope this information was helpful.

The definition and resources in this blog are a Courtesy of:

The Virtual Assistant Social Network ~ http://vanetworking.com
Nurture Marketing training provided by http://www.proresource.com

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What I can complete for you in ONE HOUR OR LESS!

Business owners are faced with many tasks that take away precious time from building their business. What may take a VA an hour or so to complete, may take you hours because of all the distractions and necessary projects, which have to be done.

Here are 37 examples of what I as your VA can do for you in one hour or less:

  • Warm call 25-30 prospects (via clients list)
  • Phone a minimum of 25 clients for a specific project (based on the project)
  • Enter a minimum of 40 contacts in an Excel spreadsheet
  • Create correspondence for a client or prospect
  • Follow up on a minimum of 25 pending requirements (i.e. financial services)
  • Create a PowerPoint presentation
  • Balance a monthly bank statement
  • Update web site content (based on the amount of content to be updated)
  • Article and press release submissions (prepared by client)
  • Update and manage your calendar
  • Transcribe a half hour of audio (clear audio)
  • Research for a specific project
  • Type handwritten notes from a seminar
  • Make edits to 1-5 web pages (depending on the number of changes)
  • Post 3-4 blog entries including adding photos and/or video (pre-written)
  • Submit a press release to 5-10 sites (i.e. pre-written)
  • Do follow-up research on a client, prospect, applicant, or competitor
  • Delete spam accumulated in your e-mail overnight, and sort, answer, and/or redirect the remaining messages
  • Convert document files to PDF format
  • Build a custom spreadsheet
  • Format and submit your (prewritten) article online
  • Proofread a narrative of up to five pages
  • Edit and proofread up-to ten webpages
  • Copy, edit and  proofread 10 brochures
  • Write a blog entry (information provided by the client)
  • Update an old word-processed file to reflect your company’s new standards, color, logo, font, etc.
  • Research possible vendors of a service or product you seek
  • Edit and post multiple blog entries (prewritten)
  • Monitor and forward news, headlines, blog posts, and articles as they pertain to the clients industry
  • Create PDF’s for numerous company documents, white-pages, charts, etc.
  • Design print-ready company letterhead
  • Add a press page to the company website
  • Set up a blogging account/program
  • Select and schedule 12 individual handwritten greeting cards for delivery, each with a personal message (via Send out Cards or Hallmark.com)
  • Research the best price/features of a needed service, technology, or item
  • Order a shopping list for home or office delivery
  • Request hard copies/files of recent print mentions and/or live media appearances

Each of these items is subject to the individual needs of the client.

The examples shown here are some tasks that I can complete in an hour or less; just imagine what I can accomplish for you in five or ten hours!

Remember these are samples of what I can do as your VA. Every task/project is unique to the client’s needs.

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How I can assist you

Are you drowning in paperwork? I can assist you with that.

I can handle your administrative, social media, customer support, and bookkeeping, tasks for you. I will complete your assignment/task whatever they may be, proficiently and professionally leaving you the time to concentrate on your business growth and goals.

I work on a contractual basis. Because I am an independent contractor, you are not responsible for any employee-related taxes, insurance, or benefits. You will also avoid the logistical problem of providing extra office space, equipment, or supplies.

I am highly skilled with various accounting programs. Some areas where I can assist you with your bookkeeping needs are, accounts receivables/payables, reconciling your bank/credit card statements, and tracking your expenses.

Whatever task you delegate to me I can handle it with the professionalism, you deserve.

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