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Tag: Virtual Assistant

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!


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 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.


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?

I like PowerPoint!

I have some very creative friends.  Artists, musicians, the sort of people that can turn their hand to almost anything artistic (despite being told repeatedly by me that no-one likes a show off).

JakeWell OK, that comment is the green-eyed monster talking, I can’t even master the art of the most basic of drawing skills, and here is an example.  I have labelled it so that you are not confused as to which is the photo of my dog Jake, and which is my attempt at drawing him.

I know what you’re thinking.  Did a 47 year old woman really turn out something so tragically bad?  Well no!  The joke’s on you because I actually drew that when I was about 33. Yes years. And yes I realise that still makes it a pretty poor effort.

But do you know what I am good at and what I really enjoy?  PowerPoint!  Because it lets me be creative without having to worry about having the artistic ability of a partially sighted, elderly squirrel.  I can visualise what I want to see on the slide and PowerPoint gives me the ability to create it.  And for just a little while I can pretend to be an artist too…

So if you ask me to create a PowerPoint presentation you are actually giving my inner artist a way to channel herself without the humiliation of presenting something a bit like you see above (although I did have that drawing made into fridge magnets and sent them to a couple of friends – they were thrilled).

Want to chat about what I could do for you?  Please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation.

PowerPoint Presentation – Special Offer!

20 Slide PowerPoint Presentation for £25As mentioned in a previous blog post, I support Kim’s Home Dog Rescue who are based in Cardiff.

Bi-annually I run their online auctions to raise funds for dogs in their care and dogs needing a rescue space.

This involves sending out emails to supporters asking for donations and collating all that information as it comes in.

Then, after creating an online catalogue, I run the auction for one week on Facebook.

The really hard work starts at the end of the auction.  Co-ordinating payments in and making sure that donators send the right items out to the right people.  We usually receive around 240 items so this is a mammoth task!

I am also going to offer a 20 Slide PowerPoint Presentation for £25, four times a year.  The £25 will be donated to Kim’s Home.   A presentation of that size would usually cost between £35 – £50, so this is a real bargain, as well as helping a very worthwhile cause.

If you would like to take advantage of this deal, please go to my Facebook Page.  The first to comment on the promotional thread, receives this special offer.

I can’t build my own website… can I?

When I decided to become a full-time VA, my main problem was that I didn’t have a website or the capital to invest in one (I know you can find cheap website packages but there have been too many disaster stories surrounding those deals and it’s definitely a case of ‘you get what you pay for’).

Ideally I wanted control over my own website too, but was completely out of my depth in terms of my technical ability so didn’t believe that I would ever be able to build one myself. WRONG! I took Vee Smith’s Biz Website Course and was amazed that over the course of 10 weeks I not only built myself a website that I was really happy with, but that I actually learnt a great deal about WordPress. And guess what? Within a month I had already picked up a new client solely based on the strength of my website and ditto the following month (as I had not had time at that point to really promote my new business).

Biz Website Course

I took the standard course which was just under £200, a real bargain when you not only get complete control over your website, but you have actually added a new skillset to your portfolio.

One of the best things about the course is that Vee has a dedicated Facebook Group, so is on hand to answer any questions you may have (and I asked a lot of questions!), which not only gives you the support you need but also helps to build your confidence. There is also a VIP course for those who would prefer extra 1-2-1 support from Vee.

I really can’t recommend this course highly enough, if you like my website and would like to create one of your own, all you need to know is here.

From PA to VA – How I became a Virtual Assistant (by accident) Part 2

From PA to VA - How I became a Virtual Assistant (by accident) - Part 2Once my health started to recover I needed to think about getting back to work.  My work for Michael made me wonder about finding other clients who needed administration support.  At that time I hadn’t actually heard the term ‘Virtual Assistant’ but after extensive googling I realised that this was not only a ‘a thing’ but also a thriving new industry.

But where to start?

After some online research and some advice from another Virtual Assistant that I know I decided that it might be best for me to start as a VA Associate.  There was a local company who were hiring VAs, so I tentatively sent them my CV and was delighted to get an immediate response with the offer of an interview.

This all went very well and I signed up with them.  And it’s a good job that I did.  The computer work I had done for Michael was all audio typing into Word documents.  That was it.  It had not dawned on me how the rest of the world had moved on since I’d actually worked in an office (back in 1998).  WordPress?  Constant Contact?  MailChimp?  Erm…

But I struck gold signing up with Vee Smith at My Super VA (and now as part of her associate team at The Biz Tech Wiz).  Initially I could work with Office but the other packages were alien to me and I wasn’t sure how easily I’d pick them up.

I needn’t have worried. Vee gave me some excellent 1-2-1 coaching and gave me the confidence to really move forward with my skill set.  So much so that when I decided to branch out on my own, I took her online WordPress course and built my very own website (for more details about this please see my Links page).

And here I am, a fully fledged Virtual Assistant!

Want to know more about what I can do for you?  Please visit my Services Page.



From PA to VA – How I became a Virtual Assistant (by accident) Part 1

From PA to VA - How I became a VA (by accident) - Part 1So how did I become a Virtual Assistant?  In 2001, I answered an advert in my local paper for a part-time secretarial job for a semi-retired lawyer. I had my dog walking business at the time but decided that it would be good to keep up with my office skills so I went for an interview.  His name was Michael and he had a variety of work for me. He told me that he’d gone through a string of PAs but none had lasted and he really wanted someone to stay the course with him. We decided to give it a try.

It became apparent, quite quickly, that Michael was very particular about how he liked things done and could get into a flap quite easily if he was overloaded with work.  But he was very straightforward about his requirements.   I appreciate someone who is straight talking about what they want, and who always respects my time and efforts.  It therefore took no time for us to forge a strong working relationship.

We shared a similar sense of humour too so we got to the point where I could shout (in jest) at him if he was being overly ridiculous about something and it would make him laugh and calm down (in fact it was common for him to start a sentence with ‘don’t shout at me but…’). I had a little office at the top of his house but the household was quite noisy and I sometimes found it hard to concentrate.

From Personal Assistant to Virtual Assistant

Eventually I told him I needed to work from home (so became a VA without realising it).  We had a clear system set out from the start and this enabled me to get all of his admin work done without him having to worry about it.  Once he’d dictated correspondence and other instructions he could forget about it, knowing I’d have it all finished within the agreed time period.  We worked very well together.

When I became ill in 2009 I couldn’t work for him anymore. By that time the legal work had long stopped and it was only private correspondence that I dealt with for him. I’d showed him how to use email so many times but he never really got it and preferred to dictate letters.

He managed to do his own correspondence then, in the main, although occasionally would still ring and ask if he could send me a tape to transcribe for him. I always did, and it was a nice way for us to stay in touch.

When I moved back to Hertfordshire in 2013 I started doing a little more for him again. Not a huge amount but he was still quite active, they travelled a lot and he was always making arrangements to see friends in the various countries that he had homes and/or relatives in.

The last time we spoke was around October 2016, he rang me but he couldn’t remember why. We laughed with each other though and it was good to catch up.

On 2nd January 2017 his grandson called me to tell me he had passed away suddenly. He was 85 and hadn’t been in the best of health but it was still such a shock to hear the news.

So 2017 started for me with a heavy heart, but I’m happy to have known Michael, happy to have shared so many laughs with him over the years and I know I will always remember him with a smile.  And of course without him, I may never have decided to become a VA, even if it was all by accident…

Part 2 here.