How Do You Get the Conversation Started in Social Media Networks?

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Ask engaging questions
  • Use humor
  • Ask for tips

How do you get the conversation going on social media?


How Do You Get the Conversation Started in Social Media Networks?

More Interaction on Social Media Using Questions

  • What is your favorite song?Are you feeling like your Facebook business page or other social media networks are stagnant?
  • Are you getting few likes, retweets, +1s, shares on your social media sites?
  • Would you like to get more interaction and engagement with readers, followers, fan?

You want to ask questions. Asking questions on social media  that are fun and easy to answer will compel people to leave a comment, share, and like your posts. So what kinds of questions can your ask? Here are some ideas:

  • If you could visit anywhere where would you go?
  • What book are you currently reading?
  • What’s the best/worst gift you’ve ever received?
  • When have you been the most proud of yourself/someone else?
  • What is something you wish you were better at?
  • What is something you learned this week?
  • What is your favorite song?
  • If you could be any fictional character who would it be?
  • What is the craziest thing you’ve done?

You might even learn something about them that could help you tailor your services toward their needs.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes. Let me ask you, what is your favorite song? Ask me a question and I’ll post my reply.


Q&A: What topics should I write about on my blog?

What should I write about on my blog?Question:
I am working full-time and trying to get clients for my business. The hardest part is marketing and writing a blog.I’ve started a blog but what topics can I write about? What about marketing?

It’s got to be tough working full-time while trying to start a business. On the other hand, that gives you an income you can count on while you work on building your business.

Since you have such a busy schedule, it’s important to make an appointment with yourself to make time to work on your business, write blog posts and market. Then keep your appointment as though you were meeting with a new client!

Here are some suggestions from the Action Guide, Building Blocks: Succeed as a Chief Virtual Officer:

  • Write a “how-to” article or a “ten tips” article
  • Answer questions you get from prospects and clients as a blog post (much like this one)
  • Invite prospects to write guest blog posts.
  • Write about a client’s success
  • Post a list of relevant links with a short comment on why you found each valuable
  • Share a recent experience you had

It’s very helpful as part of your marketing strategy to also visit other blogs and post comments there that will link back to your own blog.

More tips on blogging and marketing can be found in the Action Guide, Building Blocks: Succeed as a Chief Virtual Officer.

What topics do you write about on your blog?

Q&A: What kind of investment should I expect to make to be a successful Virtual Assistant in 6 months?

What kind of investment should I expect to make to be a successful Virtual Assistant in 6 months?Question:

What kind of investment should I expect to make to be a successful VA in 6 months? I know it is important to get business cards, get a domain, create a website, join online industry organizations and memberships. But what are the other considerable costs one should make?

I think the answer to this question is a bit subjective. First you need to define what success means to you. Some only want to work part-time while others hope to make it a full-time business and earn six figures.

More important than a monetary investment is the investment in your time and energy. Before we get into that though I will cover some basics you need.

In my book, The Commonsense Virtual Assistant – Becoming an Entrepreneur, Not an Employee , the introduction lists some skills and tools you’ll need such as:

  • Business Plan
  • License
  • Contract
  • Reliable computer
  • Internet access
  • Phone service
  • Time tracking tool
  • Project management tool

There are other investments you can make to get training and certification. These are not necessary. If you do choose some training or classes to get certified, make sure to check them out thoroughly so you are getting the value you need for the investment you make.

Now to the important investments: your time and energy. Your success will depend largely on the time and energy you are willing to spend to build your business. The number one investment in your time and energy should be to attend in-person networking events. I’ve written numerous times  about how important it is to do this if you intend to build trusting relationships with prospects and clients and gain referrals. The Commonsense Virtual Assistant book has an entire chapter dedicated to marketing and specifically covers networking.

So the real question you need to ask yourself is, “Am I willing to attend four networking events every month for the next six months and build relationships?” When I was growing my business I attended a different networking event every week of the month and did that consistently for six months. By the end of that time I had built trusting relationships with people who I was able to refer work to. That in turn led to my gaining new clients and referrals.

Let’s ask other successful virtual assistants: what did you do to succeed?


Q&A: How Can I Market My Business?

How Can I Market My Business?Marketing a business is a huge topic. Today we will address a specific concern one virtual assistant has.

I ran a VA business from 2007-2009. As much as I loved it, I found that I was having to spend a large percentage of my time marketing my business. I would like to start up again, but what alternatives should I consider besides doing my own marketing?

To give the best answer, I first asked some additional questions.

  • What percentage of time did you use to market your business?
  • What marketing strategies did you use?
  • Would you be open to having someone else do your marketing and if so, how would you envision that?

The virtual assistant stated she spent at least 50% of her time marketing her business. Now that may seem like a lot. However, I did a bit of research and found several entrepreneurs who encourage spending at least 60% of your time marketing. I do know that if I’m working 20 hours a week for clients, I’m spending an additional 10 hours or so marketing my business. So the amount of time seems right.

What we sometimes forget is that we are entrepreneurs and business owners. That means usually we are the one person doing it all: sales, marketing, client work, administrative work. And that takes time. If we don’t want to spend the time doing the marketing, we have two choices:

  1. Hire someone as our marketing person
  2. Find a J.O.B. – because a business owner must market their services and products in order to succeed

Some marketing strategies that are very effective are in-person events such as SBA events, BNI meetings, professional associations. Then there’s online marketing: a blog, social networking sites, ezines, press releases. Yes, these all take time. That’s why it’s important to put together a simple marketing plan and calendar and schedule these events and actions. Our Action Guide has a sample marketing plan and calendar with details on how to put them into action.  Having a plan helps you make sure you’re using strategies that are most effective and less-time consuming than just haphazardly posting something on a social network every day.

Joining local small business groups and attending monthly mixers are effective marketing strategies. Get to know the people, what their needs are, how you can refer them to others. It’s important to build relationships with these people before you ever try to “sell” them your services. There’s a whole section in our book, The Commonsense Virtual Assistant – Becoming an Entrepreneur, Not an Employee, that has lots of great information on marketing. You can purchase a copy on the website.

The Commonsense Virtual Assistant
The Commonsense Virtual Assistant

I believe doing your own marketing is most effective. However, hiring someone to market your services for you is also a viable option. After all, isn’t that what many of our clients hire us to do for them? You can hire someone to help promote your services – online, via mailings, follow-up phone calls, and even by attending in-person events.

Another great marketing strategy is article writing. It establishes you as an expert and always links back to your website. Check out my articles at Ezine Articles.

You can read more about proactive marketing at another blog post of mine.

I’d love to hear your comments!