Effective Methods of Social Media
I know it can be overwhelming at times. We have our business to run, our family to interact with and friends to connect with in reality and yet we know we need to virtually connect with as many people as we can around the world. In fact, without social media the way it is today, my business would be half of what it is.
Yet how can anyone keep up with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, GooglePlus, Pinterest, Klout and the hundreds of other websites where we’re all told we “must” keep an active account? How much time should we spend on social media before it becomes a hindrance rather than a benefit? How often should we be actively posting, pinning, connecting and tweeting?
There is no right answer, it varies by what you are trying to accomplish. First, if you want to get your name out into the world as an expert in your field, it requires a great deal of exposure. If your goal is to be a local expert, it will take a lot less of your time and focus. The minimum rule of thumb is one post a day in each of the top sites mentioned above. Some very active social media experts post three to five times a day, but in my opinion, I don’t need to hear from someone that often and it becomes more irritating than engaging.
One of the helpful tools I found is Hootsuite. You can add up to five social media accounts at no charge, post a single message and it will show up on every one of those sites. It is a major time saver and what I like about it the most is I can write out my posts for the week and not think about it for another week because of their delay scheduling option next to the message box.
There are virtual assistants who can manage your social media presence for under a hundred dollars a month. They are adept at going through your website to know how to write messages that sound like you. They will work two to four hours a week to give you a broad exposure through the entire social media arena.
I use social media primarily to meet joint venture partners. I have been able to conduct no less than 100 experts I have interviewed. I use the interviews to build my collateral material on two of my websites. Interviews consist of the interviewee providing me with questions pertaining to their expertise. They are educational, informative and interesting. Some of the interviews I have done have been from India, Australia, England, Canada, Spain and Mexico. There are no limits when you can connect with those who share your interests.
Quite of few of my interviewees are for my radio show for authors educational purposes. Those interviews will also become a part of my new membership site. But what is amazing is a number of the people I interview ask to interview me so I get cross exposure to their database too. I’ve been able to produce teleseminars and webinars jointly with some of them and have even been booked for major speaking engagements through those connections.
It’s not enough to be active in social media; you must have a plan and stick to it. Model your activity after successful people in your field. They will probably have a team of social media experts doing the work for them, but you can see what frequency they post, what they are talking about on their profile, group and fan pages. Join the groups they belong to and watch how actively they leave their input.
And track what you are doing. That way, if it’s not working you can change what you are doing. I take at least one teleseminar or webinar pertaining to social media every week and am constantly learning from the experts. If I pick up one bit of wisdom or a new technique from the event, I feel it’s worth my time.
Don’t let social media overwhelm you, but be sure to establish your presence and keep up a consistent presence. It will pay off for you in time!
Why Virtual Assistants Are Important to Your Productivity
If you’re like most of us, you never have enough time to do all of the tasks that are required of an author and entrepreneur. My friend in San Diego says “Entrepreneurs are lucky, they only have to work half the time and it’s their choice which half of the day they work.”
I truly believe the advent of virtual assistants is one of the greatest resources created in the past ten years. We don’t have to do every task ourselves and in fact, if we can hire it out for under $200 an hour, we should not do the task. Especially when we take the time to do marketing, sales or relationship building tasks instead of doing the outsourced task.
Some of the tasks I have learned to hire out include bookkeeping, cleaning up email, typing, social media, approach calls, book marketing tasks, graphic design. membership site marketing, database building, speaking engagement queries, transferring audio files to text, video clips, video editing, joint venture and affiliate approaches, website maintenance and even writing. There is no limit to what you can job out and if you focus your time on revenue generating activity your business will grow exponentially.
You’ll want to write out a detailed description of what you want the VA to accomplish. How much time will it take? What skills do they need to have? How much experience do they need? How many hours a week do you need them to work? How is it best for you to work with the VA, by phone, email or Skype? Be sure to ask for references and be sure to call each of at least three of the references. Check their website to verify their professionalism and set up a couple of hurdles to see what their response time is such as returning your email or phone call.
Selecting a virtual assistant is trickier than deciding what to hire out. What I have found is to create a spreadsheet of all the tasks I somehow never get around to doing. I record every speaking engagement I do and have those transferred to text files to see what new material I might be able to use for a book, blog post or even an inspiration for a new project. The VA I use for that task is different from the one I use to create social media activity. It seems each VA has specific tasks they are good at doing and I receive much better results by using one who excels and has a great deal of experience in the task at hand.
Start out with a ten hour agreement and be sure every detail is in writing. Define exactly what is confidential and be sure they sign a confidentiality agreement to protect your intellectual property. Most VAs expect to be paid in advance, so you don’t want to commit to too many hours until you’re comfortable with your working relationship. Be sure your agreement spells out they are independent contractors and are fully responsible for taxes.
I have used as many as three or four VAs at time depending on what projects I’m working on. I use several websites such as elance and freelance as a resource to find new VAs. There are thousands of resources which offer lists. The average is between $7 and $15 an hour. One site which has been a great resource is fiverr. For five dollars, you can find someone to do almost any task you might need.
It is a great feeling to know I have work being accomplished where ever I am and whatever I am doing. I especially appreciate getting the tasks complete when I know they are tasks I tend to avoid.