Are You Prepared for Your Interview?

Another in a series of interview tips for authors.

If your interview is on an established show, listen to previous interviews your host has recorded. This will give you a feel of how they ask questions and what they expect of their guests. You can usually provide a list of questions and answers, or talking points, to your host.

Prepare and rehearse answers ahead of time. Be flexible. If it seems you need to fill more time, be prepared to slow your pace and have additional information. On the other hand, you may run out of time. Don’t hurry your pace. Instead, plan the interview so the most important questions are asked and answered first.

Let the host know you’re happy to provide more information via email to anyone who has additional questions.

The Series

January: Interview Tips for Nonfiction Authors
February: Are You Prepared for Your Interview?
March: What is Your Interview Message?
April: Practice Your Interview
May: Your Interview Environment

What Would You Do with an Extra Half Day a Week?

Our clients save, on average, half a day a week by handing off the repetitive social media tasks to Ausoma.

What could you do with an extra half a day a week?

You could spend more time on other tasks you feel aren’t getting your full attention now.

You could spend time on Quadrant 2 activities, those tasks which are important, but not urgent, and therefore fall to the bottom of every tasklist ever written.

Would you have time to take on another client?

Maybe you’d spend more time with family. I know I would.

You could write a book. If you write at my pace, you’d have a 60,000-word book done in two years without taking time from anything else.

Save up the half days until you have a couple and take a long weekend, a short vacation.

Or perhaps take a continuing education course and your local community college, or online.

Time it right and attend a conference.

Spend the time broadening your horizons by learning a language.

Broaden your horizons in a different way and take art classes or learn to play a musical instrument.

Your budget may not allow you to hire someone to manage your social media for you. We get that. If it does, though, what would you do with an extra half day a week?

Trust, Loyalty, and Long-Term Commitments

Did you know Ausoma doesn’t require long-term commitments from our clients? Our only contract is a service agreement stating the scope of work and cost, and an agreement to provide 30 days notice to cancel services. While we strongly recommend a 90 day commitment for new clients because it takes time to achieve results, no client is bound to us by a long-term contract. We take the risk, not the client.

Yet most stay long term.

If people stay when they don’t have to, spend their hard earned money with no contractual obligation forcing them, there must be something else keeping them.

If you’d like to find out what that is, just ask.

Scheduling Your Time

scheduling your timeDo you sometimes feel there’s not enough time to get all the tasks done in a day? Virtual Assistants usually have several clients – each with a variety of tasks to be completed. Often these tasks are done on a daily basis. If you have a dozen clients and need to touch their account daily and complete three different tasks for each of them every day, that’s 36 different things you need to schedule that day. How do you manage your time to get everything scheduled done?

Here’s what I’ve found is working best for me at this time. (I find that works best for me sometimes changes depending on how many clients I have and how many tasks I need to accomplish. Feel free to change how you schedule your time as the need arises.)

1. My Google calendar helps me see at a glance for the day, week, or month what client calls I have scheduled, what projects are coming due, and gives me a daily reminder to check my daily task list.

2. Currently my favorite way to be sure I get everything done I need to do everyday is to use a spreadsheet similar to the one pictured here. Each Monday morning I print out my daily task list and then physically check off each task as I complete it each day. I had tried to do this on the computer without printing it out. However, I love the feeling of having something in front of me I can see, touch, and write on. Since I have so many clients with so many different things to do, I actually have a 2-page task list. It sure has helped me accomplish a lot.

Everyone has their favorite time management tool. I’d love to hear what works best for you. 

See You At Nine

clockKeeping our word leads nicely to the next personal habit: punctuality. Yup; just plain being on time. It falls squarely in the first two dissatisfaction-eliminating facets of customer service: accuracy and availability.

Punctuality isn’t just about being on time for a meeting, although that’s critical. It’s also about timely delivery, whether by mail or in person. It’s about timely response, by phone, email, or smoke signal. We’ll come back to that in a bit.

As VAs we need to give realistic estimates of timeframes, then do all we can not just to meet them, but exceed them. That’s how word-of-mouth is created, not by simply doing what’s expected.

**This is an excerpt from The Commonsense Virtual Assistant – Becoming an Entrepreneur, Not an Employee by Joel D and Sue Canfield. Get a copy from Amazon here