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10 Tips to Improve Your Business’ Online Reputation Now

There’s no denying that in today’s “all-access” online world, people are talking. What people say about your company online can have more of an impact on your sales than you think! Some of the larger corporations and well-known companies pay Online Business Managers or Reputation Managers thousands of dollars every month to ensure that the first impression seen online is a positive one. Here are some tips on what you can do to help improve your online reputation right away! For specifics on how your individual company can work through these situations, you may want to get with a professional do discuss your specific issues further. A professional can view all of the information online about your company, and come up with a specific “plan of attack” for you. Just remember, companies who solicit you for “removing” negative reviews or placing them lower on the site aren’t really fixing anything, and often use immoral ways that can get you in trouble. Our team can help you with everything from Online Reputation Management to Social Media, Search Engine Optimization & Placement and more! Find out more about how we can help you here.
By |January 28th, 2014|Marketing, Virtual Assistant|Comments Off
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    Thinking of Paying for a Fake Reviewing Service? Think Again!

Thinking of Paying for a Fake Reviewing Service? Think Again!

How many of you have thought about what you can do to help get rid of those bad reviews on sites like Yelp & Google? Better yet, how many of you have been contacted by companies promising to clean up your reputation online? I was recently contacted by a client looking to see what they could do to help bump up their ratings on websites like Yelp, Google & Yahoo. They had been contacted by a company promising to get the bad ratings moved down the list, so the better ratings would show first. Well, just like with everything else, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! With a good understanding of how companies like Yelp work, I wanted to know more about how these third parties we’re intending on “cleaning up” the reputation of clients. I spent nearly two days calling these companies asking how they could help, and did some research into their examples of work they had already done. Things got interesting about a minute into the call! Here’s What These Companies Are Doing to “Improve Your Reputation”! Fake Recommendations - They are faking recommendations using templates that they have saved. Besides being immoral, these reviews are incredibly fake-looking, and easily detected by most people who read them. Most of the people writing the recommendations use English as their second language, which is also why they are generally paid nearly nothing, leaving their reviews lacking various words that make it hard to read. Paid Placement – Even companies like Yelp are now accepting payment for placing the bad reviews further from the front page, and putting your good reviews up front. Now, of course when Yelp contacts you about cleaning it [...]
By |January 28th, 2014|Marketing, Virtual Assistant|Comments Off

The Difference Between a VA & a Staff Member

The other day I heard from an attorney who was looking for a Virtual Assistant to help him in his bankruptcy practice. It became immediately clear he was operating under several misconceptions, but primarily that Virtual Assistants are a form of cheap employee labor you don’t have to pay taxes on.He about had a heart attack when I informed him that the average rate range of Virtual Assistants was between $35-$70 per hour. When I inquired as to what his expectation was, he explained that even at $35 per hour, he wasn't in any position to afford $72,000 a year for someone to assist him 40 hours a week.Whoa! Hang on there! Let me clear up this medical emergency.When you work with a Virtual Assistant, you are working with an independent service provider-not an employee. Therefore, how and when you work together isn’t going to look anything like the way you work with an employee. You aren’t “employing” us for a part-time or full-time work week. Rather, Virtual Assistants offer strategic support delivered on a monthly basis.Virtual Assistance is the best fit for solo and small practice attorneys who don’t have the time, space, budget or a large enough workload to warrant hiring an in-house assistant. Unlike project-oriented secretarial services and freelancers, Virtual Assistants work with clients in ongoing, collaborative relationship, with a typical commitment from the client of between 10-30 hours per month.A Virtual Assistant’s services will allow you to focus your efforts on your main income-generating activities-client work and marketing. Using average figures, let’s say you decide to retain a Virtual Assistant for 20 hours a month. If paying a simple $900 retainer each month allowed you to be more focused, get [...]

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A Virtual Assistant (or VA) is a solopreneur who specializes in providing ongoing, one-on-one, collaborative-style administrative support. Like other professional service providers, Virtual Assistants operate remotely from their own places of business and utilize today’s technology to deliver their services and communicate with clients. Virtual Assistants are first and foremost administrative experts. Virtual Assistants sometimes offer additional, separate specialties that fall under creative and/or technical services. Virtual Assistants come from a variety of business backgrounds, but the single-most important qualification the industry expects of its peers 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/supervisor, etc. From this level of experience, a Virtual Assistant is expected to possess the skill sets, training and business knowledge which are the hallmark of a truly qualified Virtual Assistant.Written by: Virtual Assistant Chamber of Commerce  Source: Virtual Assistant Chamber of Commerce
By |December 9th, 2013|Virtual Assistant|Comments Off

Tips for Working with a Virtual Assistant

Regardless of the industry you are in, there are some great tips to working with a virtual assistant. Whether you just started working together, or have been working together for a long period of time…there are always ways to improve your working relationship.Communication can be the most important factor. It is very important to be clear on your instructions, deadlines and your overall goal in asking for assistance with your project.Check up on your project. If you don’t have time to check up on your project, most Virtual Assistants have an online system that will tell you where they are with your project. We are now using TeamWorkPM to effectively manage our projects, which our clients can be a part of!Set clear expectations from the start. When we initially start working with a client, we get a complete overview of the project. The TEAM Leader then produces a Project Assignment Information Sheet, this form can easily be reviewed by the client to ensure that our conversations have been correctly documented prior to the work being started.Set up a clear budget. If there is a budget you need to stay within, let us know. We frequently tailor projects to stay within our clients budget. We also run regular promotions to help save even more.Provide prompt feedback. People change their minds, and that is okay. If you want to change the direction of our focus, come up with different ideas for a project, or want changes made…No Problem! Just let your Virtual Assistant know as early in the project as possible. This way less time is spent working in the wrong direction.Written by: Amanda Lawson
By |December 9th, 2013|Virtual Assistant|Comments Off

What is Your Logo Saying About Your Business?

Did you know that the color of your logo says a lot about your business? Well, it does. Most of us know that different colors have different meanings, so we put together a fun little chart explaining what some of the most popular colors mean. When it comes to logo design, keep it simple. Far too often new business owners will put too much into creating a complicated logo that becomes inefficient in the long run. The top 5 things to think about when designing or re-designing your logo (brand): COLOR- as the chart outlines, color has many meanings and emotions attached to it. Make sure the color(s) you choose reflect you the way you want. We would never recommend multi-colors – these are the most difficult to work with and we've had to re-do many for clients who became very disappointed with trying to place it into different backgrounds on different mediums. SIMPLICITY – there are many reasons simple logos work well. The primary reason is that it will represent well in different mediums. Consider this: the golden arches work on huge signs on the street and they also work as itty-bitty, recognizable arches at the top corner of a business card. We highly recommend you remember that when you’re getting to the point of over-designing your logo. UNIQUE – there are millions of logos out there and it’s tough to stay above the crowd. However, worse than that, would be to imitate another brand. Always be your authentic self! FILE – this is where we get a lot of clients coming to us having to get us to recreate a logo because they don’t have the original file. There are two things to remember here: #1 MAKE [...]
By |June 27th, 2013|Creative Services|Comments Off

Notice More Changes on Facebook?

You are not alone! Just when we thought we were getting used to the new look of Facebook, and the new “Graph Search”, the Social Media giant made another change to how everyone uses Facebook. While the most noticeable changes recently affected the Timeline layout, and the increased search capabilities with the “Graph Search” options, the most recent change effects the News Feed. In an effort to encourage users to spend more time on the site, and advertisers to spend more money, the News Feed has been completely overhauled.The News Feed can now be broken into categories, instead of showing the Facebook status updates all together. For instance, users can now differentiate posts in their News Feed by music, photos, or even events. The new changes also enable advertisers, who are now able to pay for placement on or News Feeds, to utilize video and larger photographs to make their post more eye-catching and potentially encourage more clicks and “likes”.The changes to the News Feed have been tested by tech gurus across the globe, and have given it a “thumbs up”, noting that the design works flawlessly across all mobile devices and search engines. In fact, the overall design of the new News Feed has been given an A+ for being simple, clean and beautiful.CEO Mark Zuckerburg’s outlook on the changes? He hopes that this will help make Facebook more of a “personalized newspaper”.What does this mean for people advertising on Facebook?Well, based on my research, it could mean a few different things. It is becoming clearer that less people are paying attention to the paid “pay-per-impression” or “pay-per-click” ads in the right-column. They are becoming completely irrelevant, as more and more users are [...]
By |April 12th, 2013|Social Media|Comments Off