15 Tips to Build Your Newsletter Subscriber List

6.    It’s simple but very effective, include an opt in form on every page of your web site. It’s also worth checking your web statistics to see where people leave your web site. Check the last page they view before they leave and make sure there is a note asking them to sign up for your newsletter at the bottom of this page.

15 Tips to Build Your Newsletter Subscriber List

5.    Run a joint venture with a complimentary business. Chose a business that provides services to a similar target market, for example small businesses. Include a link in your newsletter for readers to opt into the other businesses list, in exchange for their running an opt in for your newsletter on theirs.

15 Tips to Build Your Newsletter Subscriber List

We all need to fill our marketing funnel with the contact details of potential clients and referrers of our business services. The following series gives you some ideas about how to collect contact details, and in particular email addresses, so that you can begin to build relationships with your prospects.

15 Tips to Build Your Newsletter Subscriber List
1.    Put an offer on the back of your business card to get people to sign up for your newsletter. For example, “Visit www.mywebsite.com/freereport to download 20 Top Tips for Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant”. When they land on your page, ask for their email address in order to receive the free report.

How to Turn Your Clients into Raving Fans!

Better Than Advertising
So as you can see, creating your brand or the ‘image’ for your company isn’t about expensive graphic designers or advertising experts. It’s about identifying what’s great about your business and communicating that in a clear and consistent way. If you can turn your clients into raving fans, they’ll not only stick with you through these turbulent times, they’ll also recommend others to you. Now that’s got to be better than spending a fortune on advertising!

How to Turn Your Clients into Raving Fans!

How Can You ‘Delight the Customer?’
Years ago I used to work for a holiday company who used the line ‘delight the customer’. The idea was that you don’t want the customer just to be satisfied with what you have produced for them. In order to get them singing your praises you really need to ‘delight’ them. So what can you do to delight your clients? Where can you add that little bit of extra value or really show some initiative? If you are seen to be going that extra mile, your clients will love you for it and that’s when they start to become your raving fans and tell everyone how great you are.

How to Turn Your Clients into Raving Fans!

What Weaknesses Can You See?   
Some of these may be related to the industry as a whole, for example it may be that as you work remotely you cant make the coffee ;o) However, be aware if things crop up that you can do something about. Perhaps you have missed deadlines or you are not up to speed with particular software that your clients use. Think about how you can improve on these for the future.

How to Turn Your Clients into Raving Fans!

What Do They Like?
When you have identified the similarities, have a close look at what your clients and prospects love about you and your service. These are the positive aspects of your brand and are what you need to be communicating in all your marketing information.

How to Turn Your Clients into Raving Fans!

What do your existing clients think of you?
The best place to start is by sending a questionnaire to your existing clients and anyone on your prospect list. It’s a good opportunity to ask for their opinion on what they like about your service and what improvements could be made. You should begin to see some similarities in the responses which will give you an idea of how your brand is perceived.

How to Turn Your Clients into Raving Fans!

We all hear about branding and how important it is to your business. But branding is not just about your web site or logo, it’s also about the associations your clients hold with you and your company name. The more positive that association, the more likely they may be to remain loyal to you when times get hard and competitors start slashing their prices.

So how do you know how you are perceived by your clients and prospects and how can you set about improving or building on your brand? Check out the following series for more.

How to Stay Focussed on Your Business Goals

In a nutshell:
In the end, the success of your VA business is entirely and completely reliant upon you and the decisions that you make. Success is within your reach, if only you can stay focused on your goals. You must decide to reach for your goals, and then, you must have the discipline necessary to reach them.

How to Stay Focussed on Your Business Goals

5. You should allot a certain portion of your day to email and to regular mail. For example, allot one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon to handling all your written communications. Unless you dedicate specific time slots to the handling of email and post, you will soon find yourself on the downward slope of decreased productivity as you constantly check and respond to email to put off whatever you should be doing.

How to Stay Focussed on Your Business Goals

4. Don’t permit your friends and extended family to put on you. Many people are under the misapprehension that if someone works from home then they are not actually working. They may believe that you are fair game for a social call during the day or that you may be able to run errands that would otherwise mean them taking time off work.

It’s really important to set the ground rules early and then stand firm. You must make certain your friends and family understand that when you are working, then you ARE working and that when your time is interrupted, you will not be earning. You are the only one who can stand up for you. Your friends and family will seldom be able to appreciate your dedication to your business, unless you make the effort to make sure that they have the same respect for your business that you do.

How to Stay Focussed on Your Business Goals

3. When you are dealing with family in the course of your workday, it is important to schedule your activities as much as possible. With small children, you must take time when you need to, but you should also work hard to make sure you dedicate a specific number of hours to your workday.

With older children, it is much easier to tell them that you will be working between the hours of x and y. Then your children, and even your friends, must understand that certain hours of your day are devoted to the activities of your business.

How to Stay Focussed on Your Business Goals

2. Remember that owning your own business is not the same as being employed in a job. Some people go to work and coast along, playing games or enjoying online social networking (Facebook and co.), some socialise over the kettle or printer, and others, most often those who are paid in a commission or tip environment, go to work to work and to make money. When you work for yourself, what you make in terms of money is directly proportional to your productivity. Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense to stay focused on getting as much done in as short of a period as possible?

Go to work to work and to make money. Leave socialising for when your workday has ended.

How to Stay Focussed on Your Business Goals

1. Whatever your reason for going out on your own, you must keep your reason in the forefront of your mind. If you forget your reason for starting your own Virtual Assistant business, you will not be working for yourself for long. It is far too easy to let circumstance drive you and when circumstance is in the driver’s seat, you are more likely to crash and burn.

How to Stay Focussed on Your Business Goals

As the owner of a Virtual Assistant business, you will find hundreds of distractions that vie for your time, energy and focus. Common distractions can include children, family and friends, neighbours, pets, constant telephone calls, mail and deliveries, household chores, television (Lorraine Kelly or Loose Women anyone?) and so many more.

As the owner of your own Virtual Assistant business, you must always remember your purpose in bringing your profession home. What was your reason for wanting to own your own home based business? Was your goal to work from home so that you can share more in the lives of your children? Was your goal to be out from under the rule of a dictatorial boss? Was your goal to have the freedom to work when it is convenient for you? Was your goal to reap the rewards of your efforts and make lots of money working for yourself?

Whatever your reasons for starting your VA business, over the next few days we will give you a few tips that will help you stay focused.

Creating the Right First Impression

Do What You Say, When You Say You Will
It sounds obvious but make sure you follow up. If you have said you will send through a contacts details, make sure you do it. If you have arranged to send through more information by the end of the day, make sure you do. Nothing will kill a relationship faster than not following up as and when you say you will.

Creating the Right First Impression

What Else Can You Add of Value?
When you are meeting a prospect or attending a networking event you will understandably be focused on what you can get out of the experience. But be prepared to give a little too. It could simply be making an introduction to another of your contacts that could be useful to your prospect or offering a free piece of advice or your expert opinion. Small helpful acts like this will create a great impression and ensure you are memorable to your prospect.

Creating the Right First Impression

Make Yourself Clear
Make sure you are prepared for the specific situation. If you are attending a networking group, make sure you have perfected your one minute presentation and are prepared to speak to prospects on a one-to-one basis and have a ready answer to the inevitable question ‘What do you do’. If meeting a prospect who knows a little more about you and your business, make sure you are clear on what you are offering and how your service works and be prepared to explain this in simple terms with out jargon.

Creating the Right First Impression

Are You Interested?
As well as having the opportunity to speak about yourself and your business, it is equally important to show interest in your prospect and their business activities. You will create a great first impression if you listen carefully and ask questions. By doing this you will be able to find common points of connection as well as identify areas where you will be able to help them professionally.

Creating the Right First Impression

Oozing Confidence?
Now you’re sure you look the part you can walk into any room with your head held high and confidence intact. Arrive in plenty of time for any appointment as you don’t want to be rushed. Stand up straight and tall and look the other person in the eye when introducing yourself, and don’t forget to shake hands firmly – no-one likes a limp lettuce handshake!

Creating the Right First Impression

Looking Good?
Is your blouse ironed or are your shoes in need of a polish? It may sound immaterial but in the eyes of your potential client the care you take over your appearance symbolises the level of care and attention to detail you would take over their work. If you turn up with chipped nail polish and lipstick on your teeth they may wonder if you going to send out their letters with spelling mistakes or send emails to the wrong people. Make time to check your appearance before meeting your prospects.

Creating the Right First Impression

As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to create a good first impression. When you are running your own business, it’s imperative that within the first few seconds of meeting you or being introduced to your business, you create a great first impression. In the following series, we’ll give you some simple tips that will have the prospects that you meet being impressed by you, liking you and, critically, wanting to do business with you.

Peter Jones’ 10 Golden Rules of an Entrepreneur – Rule 8

Rule 8: Perseverance

Tycoons go the extra mile. Perseverance, sheer determination and tenacity are core characteristics of the mindset of a Tycoon. Successful entrepreneurs battle against all the odds to build their business and always appreciate when it is time to get out. Try to have flexibility to work outside your own comfort zones in order to bring your dreams to fruition.

Peter Jones’ 10 Golden Rules of an Entrepreneur – Rule 1

Peter Jones is a proven businessman and star of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den. He is also a judge for the BT Business Essence of the Entrepreneur 2008 awards. His entrepreneurial journey started early when, at the age of 16, he founded a tennis academy. He then set up a computer business, along with other business interests.

Peter has won many national awards, including Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001. Now in his early forties, Peter is considered to be one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs.

 

Over the next few posts, we will be sharing Peter’s top tips for an Entrepreneur:

 

Rule 1: Have a vision

Your vision is your destination. You’ll need a map to help you reach that destination, which will be made up of goals and results. The vision is the vital part, otherwise, you won’t know where you are heading and your goals will be irrelevant.