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Producing your own Digital Magazine

Creating your own Digital MagazineSo I’ve already blogged about the first online magazine I created for a client in the US.  However, the second one that I produced was so much fun to create, the contributors were all a delight to work with and my client was absolutely thrilled with the results, as was I!  Within a day of publishing we already had enquiries about advertising in the next edition and even had a publishing company get in touch asking if one of their authors could write a piece for the next issue!  It’s fully interactive, so all of the links within the magazine will take you to the various contributors websites, ditto for the advertisements.

It has also been a great marketing tool, not only for my client but for everyone else involved.

If it’s something that you think could benefit your business, I really do recommend giving it a try.  The possibilities are endless!

If it’s not something you can do for yourself, then you can always have a 30 minute trial telephone call with me to see if it is something I could help you with.

And I was thrilled when, to show her appreciation, my client sent me flowers and chocolates as a thank you.  Being appreciated for something you thoroughly enjoy doing really does give you a spring in your step!

 

Shall We Zoom?

Shall we Zoom?

One of the reasons that certain people find hiring a VA so beneficial is that they consider themselves to be technophobes. Not only are they disinterested in technology, they find it all too overwhelming and complicated to use.

Since so many people are working remotely these days, it can be vital to have a reliable communication tool so that you can jump in and out of video calls with anyone you need to.  Skype and Google Hangouts were quite popular a couple of years back, but could be unreliable if your internet connection was having an off-day.  Who remembers staring at someone on screen wondering if they had just paused, deep in thought, or whether their screen had frozen again. Argh!

Then came Zoom

This has taken simple video communications to the next level.  A free account will give you up to 40 minutes per meeting, you can record your meeting, save it to your computer or to the cloud. You can also screen share (very handy when you’re either showing work to a client or teaching).

Upgrading to one of the paid packages means you can opt in for branded invites, unlimited meeting times, webinars, Facebook Live videos and so many other enticing features.  The customer service is also excellent!

And most importantly, it’s VERY reliable!   No more frozen screens, listening to that wobbly Skype call echoing into the void.  I’ve been using it for a good 2-3 years now and I really can’t fault it.

The first time most of my clients hear me utter the question ‘Shall we Zoom?’, they are initially baffled and then tell me they really don’t know how to use anything like that.  After reassuring them that all they need to do is click on the link I send them, they are dubious at first, but then always delighted that it really is that easy!

And one of my real technophobe clients recently told me that at a meeting with her web designer, she asked them if they wanted to Zoom.  They stared at her blankly.  She told me that she puffed herself up and told them how EASY this was to use and was feeling quite smug that she knew something that they didn’t about modern technology!

Their website and online help are very good if you want to take a look, but if you’d like to ask me any other questions about it… shall we Zoom?…

I Love This New Graphic Design App

I recently signed up for early access to a new graphic design application, Artboard Studio. It is currently still in private beta stage, and they wanted sign-ups to test it and request any items or templates they might need.   So, I got cracking at the weekend and am already LOVING this new app.  It is so versatile in what it can do.

My Super VA Blog

It’s a pretty simple drag and drop idea, but all the images have a 3D effect and you can add your own images to notebooks, iphones, laptops etc to customize what you need.  So for instance, I’ve added my own website to the phone and laptop in the image above, and added a branded cover to the notebook.   Goodbye expensive photo-shoots, hello professional looking branded content!

Here is another example of what it can do.

I chose a template of someone holding a magazine.

My Super VA Blog

I added two pages from an e-magazine that I recently produced for a client, to personalize it.

My Super VA Blog

I added a wooden table image and positioned it correctly.

My Super VA Blog

And finally a photo of a garden in the background.

My Super VA Blog

There are so many other things this application can do, and I’m really enjoying discovering what else is on offer.   I like that you can keep things simple or add backgrounds, like the example below.

My Super VA Blog

From a simple template to your own branded coffee, on a table in a coffee shop!

My Super VA Blog

My Super VA BlogFor creating branded content, I believe this will be an extremely popular graphic design app when it is finally launched.  So easy to use and such brilliant results.

If you think this might be something that could benefit your business, let me know.  Any items, templates or pictures that might be useful for your business may already be in the Artboard Studio archive.  If not they are adding new items every day and are asking that us beta testers request any other items/images we may need.

I will be taking advantage of this for existing clients while I continue to test this package!

 

Attracting Your Ideal Client

Atttracting Your Ideal ClientNetworking has never been easier with social media as such an accepted norm these days.  There are still plenty of networking meetings that take place globally but what if your ideal clients are not always local to you?  You can connect easily enough on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, but how do you really attract their attention?

Whether you have your own website or not, there is a solution that can be very effective.   Imagine your ideal client. Imagine what freebee you could offer them?  A tempting example of what you could do for them to make their life easier.   Make up some eye-catching, professional looking content and offer it to them for free.  Because everyone loves a freebee!  But how and where to offer this?

If you have a website then you can offer it there, by setting up an autoresponder campaign.

No website? No problem.  You can set up a landing page with your free content available to download from there.  Just copy the landing page link and add it to your social media pages, your business cards/flyers – wherever you want!

Both options are simple and quick to install and can be the gateway to opening up dialogue with your potential new prospects.

Your business could be just one click away from your ideal client!

Not sure where to start with any of this?  Why not take me up on my free 30 minute telephone consultation, I can help point you in the right direction.

 

Social Media Pain Point Solutions – Part 2

Social Media Pain PointsSo I gave you some hints on how to brighten up your social media by using Canva, but where are you going to find the time to post it all?  So many channels, so little time! Social Media is a great way of marketing your Business but it can be so time consuming.

There are some very good social media management platforms that can help you with this by scheduling everything for you. Meaning you can keep your channels active whilst you are busy elsewhere.

The five names that usually come up when talking about management platforms with other VAs are Hootsuite, Buffer, SmarterQueue, Planable and Meet Edgar.  There are plenty of others out there to choose from too.

Hootsuite Social Media Management Platform

I use Hootsuite for my clients. I find it easy and quick to upload content and I love the dashboard.  You can look at each social media channel with options to look at your feed, what you’ve got scheduled, what your interaction has been and you can also comment, like and share from there.

So once you’ve got a few articles, graphics, adverts or whatever it is you like to share on social media, you only need to spend the time it takes to upload and schedule to Hootsuite and it takes care of everything else.  You can pick and choose when to schedule each item and decide whether you want it on all or just some of your channels.  It even has a Chrome plugin called Tailwind that will upload to Pinterest for you (which is not considered to be a Social Media platform as such).  Easy peasy!

If you feel you are lacking somewhat in the social media marketing area of your business, why not take me up on my FREE 30 minute telephone consultation.  I could help you spruce up your branding and take your social media channels to the next level!  Email me to book an appointment.

 

Social Media Pain Point Solutions – Part 1

Social Media Pain PointsAnyone running their own business knows that there are always tasks that are continuously put to the bottom of the ‘to-do list’, either because you find them tedious, time consuming, difficult or all of those things. I get it.  I run my own business.  There are always going to be some tasks I find more enjoyable than others.  However, I like to find solutions to these particular tasks, because as soon as you do that, they are no longer lingering at the bottom of the pile.

I have clients that find social media a total drain on their time and energy.  So many different platforms, so much to keep up with.  And so much content to generate!  If that sounds familiar then here are a couple of pointers to ease that pressure on your time and sanity!

Keep your social media branding consistent

First up, you want to keep your branding consistent across all platforms.  Once you’ve decided on a design then Canva is a great place to start.  They have ready made templates for social media covers so all you need to do is drag and drop the content.  Do the same for each cover and “voilà” your branding is done!

They also have free templates for social media posts.  So if you like inspirational quotes, for example, it’s easy to find lots of free content.  Again, just drag and drop what you like, change the words and you have a crisp and contemporary looking image ready to download.  If you like any of their paid templates, they are only $1 a piece so none of this is going to break the bank.

My Super VA

My Super VA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I find them really helpful to create adverts for events or products, exactly the same process gets you some nifty looking ads, and all for free too!  If you don’t like the free images that come with Canva, you can always upload your own images or find something you like from websites such as Pixabay which are all royalty free.  Don’t just download something you find from Google, remember you need permission to use other people’s images.

My Super VA

My Super VA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now you know how to create some attractive content for social media, where are you going to find the time to post it all?  I’ll answer that in my next blog post.

In the meantime, if you would like to have a free 30 minute phone consultation with me about any of the above, please email me for an appointment.

Creating A Digital Magazine

Creating a Digital MagazineI was approached last year about creating a digital magazine.  I hadn’t done anything like this before and I wasn’t sure how straightforward it would be.  However, when I was recommended FlipBuilder, I was amazed at how easy it would make the process.

Canva gives you some great templates to use as magazine layouts which is where I began.   Once we had decided on the template it was just a case of adding the content and making it look fresh and contemporary.

When the magazine content was ready to go, I uploaded it as a PDF to Flipbuilder, after choosing a background to lay it on, and “Bob’s your uncle!”  You have your very own published magazine!  It even makes the page turning sound as you flick from page to page!  Depending on which package you go for, it can also be interactive with links to outside urls, and embedded videos amongst other things.

What I also liked about this is that it comes with a WordPress plug-in meaning you not only have it published as a url, but you can also embed it into your website.   Quite a cool feature!

So far I’ve published a client’s biography in magazine form and a 60 page dog breed magazine (which had such a great response, I will be producing this on a bi-annual basis).   Next up is a magazine for a client’s Life Coach training course.  Lots of opportunity to be creative, I can’t wait to get started on it!

Here is The Sloughi Review and here is what my client had to say about it:

Working with Caroline Mathews of My Super VA to develop a flip page e-magazine has been a very positive experience. Caroline Mathews listens, answers quickly, implements, corrects with great attention to detail and in a very timely manner. This resulted in a highly professional and internationally acclaimed publication with a beautiful lay-out. I cannot recommend her enough.

Dr. Dominique de Caprona, USA.

If this sounds like something that would benefit your business, why not arrange a call with me for a no obligation 30 minute telephone consultation.  If nothing else, you may get some ideas for marketing your business!

 

My Super VA

My Super VAYou may have read my blog post ‘From PA to VA – How I became a Virtual Assistant (by accident)’ about how I signed up to be a Virtual Assistant Associate with Vee Smith at My Super VA. About all the marvellous training and tips I was given and how generous Vee was with her time. That was 5 long years ago and so much has changed over that period.

A really big change for me came in November last year when Vee told me she was branching out into Digital Marketing Strategy and Implementation (check out her fab new website here!). She was moving away from her Virtual Assistant business and asked me if I wanted to take it on. I was so flattered that she asked me and very happy to accept.

No longer CarolineVA, but now My Super VA, I also took on another new client who I instantly clicked with. It is such a good feeling when you look forward to working each day and I’m really enjoying the variety of tasks and challenges that go with it. Lots of creativity including setting up lead magnets from her website, setting up email marketing campaigns, managing social media accounts and giving her branding a complete face lift amongst many other tasks. She is already experiencing an increase in business and we’ve only been working together for 3 months. Meaning we are both very happy!

But don’t take my word for it, see what my new client, Carole Ann Rice, has to say about me!

Since using Caroline my business has taken a massive upswing.  She has streamlined my processes, upped my profile and looked into every nook and cranny of my business and upgraded it and made it super relevant.

I have used a VA for many years but Caroline has more than surpassed her role as a personal assistant – she is a mind reader. forward planner, obstacle clearer and adds clarity and professionalism in ways I had not foreseen.

My business could not run as efficiently without her. She has saved time and money and increased profits too.  What more could a busy business person want?

Carole Ann Rice – Life Coach, Author and Happy Monday columnist for the Daily Express

You can read what my other happy clients have to say here.

Do you feel that you need support in your business, someone to take away the daily headache of all the administrative tasks that need doing but that you simply don’t have time for. Are you stuck on how to grow your business because you are unsure about how something like lead magnets or email marketing campaigns can help?  Sometimes it can be such a simple system to put in place, when you see how quickly it improves your business, you’ll wonder why you didn’t invest in it sooner!

Why not take advantage of a free 30 minute telephone consultation with me, I may be able to help!

Part ‘VA’/Part ‘Time Lord’

I know what you’re thinking.  Either the heat has got to me or I’m using any excuse I can think of to post a picture of a TARDIS.  There might be an element of truth in both of those statements.  But bear with me.  I can create time for you, leading me to believe that I am Part ‘VA’/Part ‘Time Lord*’.

I’m (probably) not an alien, I don’t own a TARDIS and I’ve never seen a Dalek in real life (although I’m ever hopeful that will change one day).

But I can create extra time for you!

My clients come from a variety of different backgrounds.  What they have in common is that they all need more time to build their businesses.  I give them that time!

When you run your own business it is easy to lose track of your day.  You’re running a webinar, you have a presentation to put together and  this needs to take priority.  But you also need to update your Facebook groups and update your blog.  Not to mention all the other little things you’d hoped to schedule in.  You know what the content will be for all 3 tasks but no time to implement any of them properly.

How quick and easy would it be to give the bones of your presentation to someone who can create a professional looking presentation for you while you get on with your next task?  How much quicker would it be to dictate your blog and send off the file to someone who could transcribe it and upload it to WordPress for you? And what about creating and changing your Facebook Page/Group headers, files, information etc to keep your brand looking fresh and customer’s interested in what you’re up to?  It is all so time consuming.  However, all of these tasks could be outsourced freeing up your day to concentrate on other things.

Send it all to your own personal Time Lord!

Yes, that is a Sonic Screwdriver!

This is what I do for my clients. It gives them much more time to breathe during the day.  Once they’ve passed their tasks to me, they can be confident that they will all be completed in a quick and efficient manner (and at a typing speed of 90 wpm, I really do mean ‘quick’!).  They can get on with planning their next event/blog/meeting without getting bogged down in the time consuming effort of putting it all together.

Does that sound like something I could help you with?

Why not visit my website to see what some of my happy clients have said.

Or email me at caroline@carolineva.co.uk to arrange a FREE 30 minute consultation to see if I could create some much needed time for you.

 

* Might not be an ‘actual’ Time Lord.

 

An Easy WordPress Backup Solution

An Easy WordPress Backup SolutionHow many times have you heard that you MUST backup your WordPress website?  Of course you must!  It’s taken hours of work to build, why would you risk losing it all?

When I started to research how to backup my WordPress website, all the solutions seemed a little beyond me.  As mentioned in my previous blog post, I am still fairly new to WordPress.  The reason it appeals to me is that you don’t need to know about html coding to build an impressive looking website.

Initially I was looking at options that required knowledge of File Transfer Protocol, something that I was not familiar with.  It seemed a little complicated and I wanted to find something that was easier to use so I started researching recommended WordPress Plugins.

UpdraftPlus

My research took me to a Plugin called UpdraftPlus and guess what. It’s SO easy to install and use!  It was exactly what I was looking for.  This Plugin gives you step-by-step instructions on how to install it. Once set up, it automatically backs up your website without you having to do a thing.  I get an email once a week to let me know that backup has been successful and it’s all stored in Dropbox for me.  Easy!

And check me out, ‘researching Plugins’.  It was only a year ago that I’d hear the word ‘Plugin’ and assume people were talking about air fresheners…

Think building your own website is beyond you?  Why not check out  Vee Smith’s Biz Website Course. Easy to follow, all the support you will need and lots of top tips on how to build an impressive looking website.

Already have a WordPress Blog but not enough time to update it?  Why not contact me for a FREE 30 minute consultation on how I can help you with that?