Communication and Book Marketing

Thousands of new books are published every day. That’s right, thousands! So how does your book get noticed?

Communication is key. I’ve always believed that communication is the most important skill to have in business–and in everything we do to market our businesses–and our books.

Since you don’t have time to effectively communicate with your audience on every social media platform there is, it’s important to communicate regularly on one or two. Share posts that encourage communication–asking and answering questions.

When you build a relationship with your audience, they will be much more likely to notice and buy your book, and to tell others about it. Books sell by word of mouth and this happens when you build relationships and communicate with your readers.

Continue building your reader base with a newsletter list. Communicate regularly with your list, sharing insights into your writing and what you’re doing, making them feel special and important.

Your goal is not to find the next buyer.

Your goal is to create the next reader who will come back for your next book, and will tell others.

Commit to Consistent Publicity

This entry is part [part not set] of 8 in the series Book Publicity Mini-Course

When your book launched, you probably did a lot of marketing and publicity leading up to the launch—and maybe even for a month or so after the book was released. One of the mistakes I see authors make is stopping their marketing and publicity efforts or becoming inconsistent. They may do nothing for a few months, then do another marketing campaign for a month or so, then stop again, around and around.

It takes work to build relationships with media sources for book publicity. Commitment to consistent publicity is important so you those relationships don’t wither. Working with media sources consistently helps them to get to know you, your business, brand, and message.

If, for example, you’ve written a book about how to manage personal finances, there will be many opportunities throughout the year to pitch to media around the topic of personal finances: the start of the new year, tax time, each quarter, etc. By consistently pitching relevant topics to your media sources, you can become their go-to source.

3 Quick “C” Tips for Success in Your Virtual Assistant Business

three quick tips for successAs we wrap up 2012 and look ahead to what’s ahead in 2013, now is a good time to review what you can do in next year to make it the most successful year yet in your virtual assistant business. Here are 3 Quick “C” Tips for success.

1. Consistency – Whatever you do in your business in 2013, be consistent. Create a marketing plan that shares your messages in a regular, consistent manner on a weekly basis. Clients will also appreciate knowing that they can depend on you to be consistent in always getting work done and reply to their inquiries in a timely manner.

2. Collaborate – Don’t be afraid to collaborate with your colleagues – particularly if a client asks you to do something you haven’t done before. Working with a fellow virtual assistant to provide the best possible service to your client is much better than trying to struggle to learn something you are unfamiliar with. If you need help finding a fellow virtual assistant to collaborate with, contact me at sue@chiefvirtualofficer.com and I will help you find someone – at no charge.

3. Commit – Commit to doing your very best every time. Commit to learning all you can this year to make 2013 your best year ever – even if that means investing in a book, a coach, or additional training. Commit to providing the best possible service to every one of your clients.

These are just 3 Quick Tips for success in your virtual assistant business. For more tips, continue following our blog.

Small Daily Steps to Success

Sometimes we become so overwhelmed that we forget that it just takes small daily steps to succeed. The important thing is consistency and doing something every day. So it doesn’t have to be a huge thing.

One thing I’ve noticed in the last 60 days is the increased traffic at this blog. When I post regularly, traffic increases and so does interest in my business. So I’ve decided for the month of April to post a blog entry every single day. It may be a small post. But I am interested to see what kind of traffic I have this month after doing this.

What do you think? Will this result in increased traffic to my blog? Will it result in increased business this month? I’ll let you know!

What small daily steps to success will you take in April?

Cheap Versus Quality and Consistency

You’ve set your rates as a virtual assistant and then are contacted by a prospect who wonders if you’ll work for $4-$10 per hour. You know there is no way you can cover your costs for such a low hourly rate. But how can you explain to a prospect why your rate is so much more and why they still may want to use your services?
I’ve talked with quite a few clients and prospects who tried the $4-$10 per hour services and then decided to use a professional virtual assistant instead. The two main reasons they chose to use a professional virtual assistant instead are quality and consistency.
The cheaper service providers don’t usually offer the same quality of service that a professional virtual assistant can provide. Small business people are looking for someone who not only can do the tasks assigned, but that can also add value. A professional virtual assistant can do this by doing additional research and making recommendations.
One client said, “My only previous experience is with assistants that just did what I told them to, but contributed very little input and really didn’t add any value.”
That client needed an email marketing tool and had just signed up with one of the email management services. Before we got started on the project I spoke with the client and asked enough questions to find out that the particular service he had signed up for was not going to meet his needs. I offered to do some research and make recommendations on what would work best for his needs.
After we found the right service for his business, this same client said, “I just love having an assistant that is knowledgeable and gives thoughtful consideration to our projects.”
The other complaint business people had about the cheaper services was consistency. They didn’t feel they always were working with the same person or getting the same level of service from each person. The availability of the service was inconsistent.
Now there may be times when using the cheaper services is right. Each person will need to make their own determination on that. I thought of something in my life to use as an example. Have you ever been to one of those stores where everything is only $1? I have too. In fact, there are many times when buying something there really cheap is just what I need. For example, I homeschool my five-year old. At these stores I can buy all kinds of workbooks, stickers, pencils, glue, etc. for my five-year old to use in school projects. These projects aren’t going to be saved in the Smithsonian. It also doesn’t really matter if one week I go there and buy a pack of consruction paper but the next week they don’t have any. It seems that these stores are cheap but they don’t necessarily have a consistent stock of items.
But let’s say I need a quality gift. I could spend $5 at the cheap store and pick up several little gifts that might be fun to give to my five-year old. But would I buy a quality gift there to give to my friend as a going away present? No! I would go to a store where I could find something of quality, though I would expect to pay more, of course.
Then there’s the inconsistency at these cheaper stores. I may be able to find the construction paper I want for a school project one week and then it’s not there the next week. So if I really needed construction paper on a weekly basis, I’d be less inclined to go to the cheaper store because I wouldn’t be sure I could always find it. I’d be more inclined to go to the local office supply store where they always have the paper I need.
So perhaps there is a time where using a cheaper service is the right choice. For the most part, though, business persons have found that paying a higher rate for a professional virtual assistant is the right choice because they get the quality and consistency they need.

You’ve set your rates as a virtual assistant and then are contacted by a prospect who wonders if you’ll work for $4-$10 per hour. You know there is no way you can cover your costs for such a low hourly rate. But how can you explain to a prospect why your rate is so much more and why they still may want to use your services?

I’ve talked with quite a few clients and prospects who tried the $4-$10 per hour services and then decided to use a professional virtual assistant instead. The two main reasons they chose to use a professional virtual assistant instead are quality and consistency.

The cheaper service providers don’t usually offer the same quality of service that a professional virtual assistant can provide. Small business people are looking for someone who not only can do the tasks assigned, but that can also add value. A professional virtual assistant can do this by doing additional research and making recommendations.

One client said, “My only previous experience is with assistants that just did what I told them to, but contributed very little input and really didn’t add any value.”

That client needed an email marketing tool and had just signed up with one of the email management services. Before we got started on the project I spoke with the client and asked enough questions to find out that the particular service he had signed up for was not going to meet his needs. I offered to do some research and make recommendations on what would work best for his needs.

After we found the right service for his business, this same client said, “I just love having an assistant that is knowledgeable and gives thoughtful consideration to our projects.”

The other complaint business people had about the cheaper services was consistency. They didn’t feel they always were working with the same person or getting the same level of service from each person. The availability of the service was inconsistent.

Now there may be times when using the cheaper services is right. Each person will need to make their own determination on that. I thought of something in my life to use as an example. Have you ever been to one of those stores where everything is only $1? I have too. In fact, there are many times when buying something there really cheap is just what I need. For example, I homeschool my five-year old. At these stores I can buy all kinds of workbooks, stickers, pencils, glue, etc. for my five-year old to use in school projects. These projects aren’t going to be saved in the Smithsonian. It also doesn’t really matter if one week I go there and buy a pack of consruction paper but the next week they don’t have any. It seems that these stores are cheap but they don’t necessarily have a consistent stock of items.

But let’s say I need a quality gift. I could spend $5 at the cheap store and pick up several little gifts that might be fun to give to my five-year old. But would I buy a quality gift there to give to my friend as a going away present? No! I would go to a store where I could find something of quality, though I would expect to pay more, of course.

Then there’s the inconsistency at these cheaper stores. I may be able to find the construction paper I want for a school project one week and then it’s not there the next week. So if I really needed construction paper on a weekly basis, I’d be less inclined to go to the cheaper store because I wouldn’t be sure I could always find it. I’d be more inclined to go to the local office supply store where they always have the paper I need.

So perhaps there is a time where using a cheaper service is the right choice. For the most part, though, business persons have found that paying a higher rate for a professional virtual assistant is the right choice because they get the quality and consistency they need.