Just had to share that I have a mention in the November issue of Redbook magazine as a virtual assistant. I’m proud of the work I do for my clients, and I hope this further educates the public about Virtual Assistants.
By Jan Udlock on October 13, 2013
By Jan Udlock on August 3, 2013
One of the fun things about being a Virtual Assistant is that you’re always learning something new.
Technology is always,
So today I thought I’d share a great tip on how to embed a tweet in your blog post.
And before I share, you may ask: Why would I share tweets with my readers? Well for many reasons like:
- You want to stay relevant on the newest technology because it’s so invigorating!
- You get some grand applause about your work in a tweet so you share it on your website for potential clients to see others review of your work.
- Tweets grab the reader’s attention because you don’t see them very often in blog posts. And…
- Tweets just look cool in posts.
There’s a few ways to embed a tweet but I found a super simple way.
Find the tweet you want and click on the date at the top right corner. Then copy the URL that is in the browser and paste it on a separate line in your post…and Bam…It’s there!
@JanUdlock Who is better than you?! Thank you, dear!
— Kristy Schnabel (@kristyivd) July 16, 2013
Is that just too cool? (Sorry if my nerdyish is showing…but it’s so fun!) I did some editing work for Kristy and she was so kind to share with the Twitter world about it. Thanks, K.
Try it and leave me a link so I can come to your post and take a look!
By Jan Udlock on June 30, 2013
By Jan Udlock on June 29, 2013
This is my 3rd year that I have completed the Blogathon. And it was my easiest one, yet. (Tomorrow is our last day.)
I see that planning is key to my stress level. I brainstormed loads of ideas weeks ahead of time, had certain days for certain subjects like Quotes Sunday and Guest Post Thursday and wrote out my ideas in a planner.
This was the second year working with Michelle Rafter in helping her run the Blogathon. It was so much easier this year because even though we tried new ideas, so much of the work was the same as last year. Plus she’s easy to work with because she has great ideas and believes in always expanding her business.
With this year being my first year as a Virtual Assistant, I just didn’t have the time to write quality posts so my writing wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I had tasks and projects with other clients also so my time was spread thinner this year than all the other Blogathons.
Not obsessing over my traffic numbers this year was a huge growth area for me. I tweeted about my posts as well as about others posts.
I loved having guest posts which made 4 less posts I had to write and got to share with my readers about some pretty cool VAs. I also think I introduced the idea of Virtual Assistants to more people, too. Happy dance!
Overall, I recognize if I stress less about what I have to do and just do it, life is easier. Blogging every day is a lot of work but it is still a strong sense of accomplishment. And I was a sponsor this year so I’ll be able to provide one blogger with 2 hours of VA services. So that’s cool, too.
What did you learn?
Image courtesy of chanpipat/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
By Jan Udlock on June 28, 2013
As a virtual assistant, I often respond to my various clients’ clients. I have to answer questions or clarify something. Or in the past, I’ve had to quickly respond to a regional parenting editor who needed some extra information.
And one thing I’ve learned over the recent months is I need to be patient and remember kindness in my words.
In my answer.
There’s been more than a few times that I’ve had to erase my words in an email after I reread what I wrote.
Emails can easily sound abrupt when you didn’t necessarily mean to be. Tweet this
They can sound
I have to remember that when someone has a question, 99% of the time they need clarification about something.
They need an answer. They need
a gentle one;
and a thorough one.
I have to remind myself when someone is abrupt with me or even frustrated in an email, I make it a challenge to be kind enough in my email to them that I see a change of tone in their email.
I don’t know what kind of day they’ve already had.
Did their dishwasher break?
Or did their spouse bark at them this morning?
Or are they just in a rush to get to their next important project?
I don’t always remember to be full of thought and full of grace when I respond to clients. My natural reaction is to bark back if someone is short with me or become impatient if I have someone asks me a question that is clearly already answered in the email.
But I’m getting a bit better…How about you?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
By Jan Udlock on June 27, 2013
It’s Thursday so it must be Guest Post day. Today I’d like to introduce another amazing, talented and generous Virtual Assistant Coach, Lisa McDonnell. I’ve never met her in person but I feel like I’ve known her for years because she’s been so super helpful and generous with business info, tips and encouragement in my virtual assistant journey. I gush but every bit of my praise is well-deserved. Welcome, Lisa!
Lately, I have been doing a lot of soul-searching around what it means to be a ‘Successful’ entrepreneur.
For a long time my definition of success was all about ‘getting rich’. Success meant making big money, passing the 6-figure mark proving to all the non-believers that yes, you can make a ridiculously good living working from home.
As I raced to achieve my ‘success’, some interesting side-effects surfaced:
- My laundry never got done. My kids were crying for clean socks. The solution? I bought them dozens of new pairs and bigger laundry bins, and kept working.
- I was slowly turning my family from health-food eaters into fast-food junkies. The race to riches left me no time for culinary pursuits. I quickly discovered that if you buy a large enough pizza…you don’t have to make lunch the next day either. Yeessssssss. I could keep on working.
- My husband started hinting that maybe I should just ‘get a job’. That way I could leave the office by five instead of working straight through to 11pm. I accused him of being ‘unsupportive’…and kept right on working.
- I missed every single field trip: the pumpkin patch, the cross country running competition, the maple sugar bush, the track & field meet…you name it. I was busy working on my success.
- My gal-pals had lunch without me. A lot. They stopped asking me because they already knew my answer: “sorry guys – gotta work!”
One day I smacked myself upside-the-head and thought: “What on EARTH are you DOING?” Sure, you’re making money…but your life totally sucks!
I became an entrepreneur so I could be home for the kids. So I could do their laundry, make them healthy dinners, be that suburban TV Mom who goes on all the field trips and cheers them on at the big games. Instead, my daughters were sending me text messages from their bedrooms to say good-night! I bragged to the non-believers that entrepreneurs could take Fridays off and have lunch with their gal pals whenever they wanted (LIES!) My only friends were total strangers on Twitter. I only spoke to my husband on weekends when my schedule slowed down (a little). Wow.
Suddenly 6-figures didn’t make me feel rich. What I really craved was TIME.
Skipping latte’s with friends and ditching school pageants so I could work, never made me rich. Today I define success as having more free time to make Thai Fresh rolls with Peanut Sauce, to read “Alice the Fairy” for the fifty-eleventh time to my daughter, to have coffee with my besties at least once a month. And…I fold the laundry. (I still don’t put it away…but it’s clean). Today, time is the most valuable asset I own as an entrepreneur.
What are your thoughts? Would you rather have more time…or more money?
Lisa McDonell is a Virtual Assistant Coach who inspires and empowers other women to launch and grow their own businesses online. Sharing her wise and witty business advice, she shows new and aspiring Virtual Assistants how to take their ‘big dreams’ and transform them into profitable companies. Lisa has been a featured Speaker at Virtual Assistant events around the globe including: Red Deer College’s VA Certificate Program, the IVAA Online Summit and the Alliance for Virtual Business – Australian Chapter. Lisa is a self-proclaimed ‘Brainy Gal’. You can find her hanging out at www.thebrainygal.com or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thebrainygal
By Jan Udlock on June 26, 2013
Earlier I shared how to put on a free conference call with FreeConferenceCall. Today I want to share another great way you can use FCC to record an interview of yourself to share on your blog or share with potential clients. Below are the easy steps on you can set up the interview, record it and then place the audio bar on your blog for others to listen to.
Set up your account of FreeConferenceCall and then share the phone number and access code with the interviewer. Since you are the one who is going to be interviewed, write up the questions you’ll want to be asked and write notes for yourself to remember to touch on. You can have a friend who is across the country interview you by phone or you can have a friend who’s down the street interview you over the phone.
Once you are both on the phone, you can practice a bit and then when you are ready, you can hit record by using your phone or by your computer and the program begins. After the interview is over, you click off the recording and FCC will make a recording of the interview for you for free. (The only cost is the long distance call.)
You have complete access to the recording and you can also copy the html code so that you can have a audio bar download onto your blog. (Unfortunately, I don’t have my example of my practice interview I did.)
So how can you use a free recording on your blog?
- If you’re a health coach and wanted to share tips on eating the right foods. You could record a series of ideas for your readers.
- If you were an author and wanted to share the first chapter of your newest book.
- If you were a writer and wanted to share about clips you have but by audio rather than listing them.
- If you were an up and coming speaker and you wanted to share some speaking tips.
The list is endless.
What subject could you talk on and record?
Image courtesy of Kittisak / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
By Jan Udlock on June 25, 2013
As a business owner, you have to keep on top of all costs in your budget. And yet, you’ve probably heard that virtual assistants make between $25 – 75/hour depending on what type of technical skills they have. Why are they paid so well?
When you hire a VA, you are not paying to house the employee, provide supplies, and are not paying payroll taxes. You do not pay for coffee breaks, water cooler time or office party time. You aren’t paying for all the down time that all employees have while working in an office. You rarely will pay for training, too.
You pay for a specific project to be completed. As their client, a virtual assistant will bill you for a newsletter or blog post. A VA will charge you for the social media plan that she created or for weekly upkeep of your website. Although various VA’s have different policies pertaining to billing hours such as some virtual assistants bill by 15 min increments. Some VAs use monthly retainers with their clients.
Hiring a virtual assistant is a cost-effective way of doing business that cuts waste, too.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
By Jan Udlock on June 24, 2013
By Jan Udlock on June 23, 2013
Acceptance of one’s life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.