How to Create a Newsletter That Counts

The internet is one of (if not the) strongest and fastest ways to reach consumers and clients these days.  Businesses have taken their online presence to a whole new level, often going as far as hiring someone to reach potential consumers for them.

Everyone who is engaged in the internet these days has an email account, so why not use that to your advantage?

While most of us might think that email marketing is an obsolete practice because of the countless social media options available at our fingertips, there is still some power to email newsletters, that is, if you do it the right way.

Why Email Newsletters Are Still Relevant

While social media and websites are all well and good, email newsletters offer a different stance on the grand scheme of internet marketing.  By sending newsletters to past and potential clients as well as consumers, you create a more personal feel to your intentions.

People tend to feel more interested in something if they feel it was tailored just for them, and if you make your email newsletters the right way, then you could elicit just that.

Another thing is that people will check their email at least once a day, so whether or not they decide to buy from you today, you’re going to constantly be just within email distance for when they finally decide they need your services or products.

How to Use Email Newsletters to Boost Your Business

It’s all about how you design your newsletters.

Firstly, people are often deterred by emails when they suspect that something’s being sold to them.  Lose the sales pitch and make it sound more personal, this way, people will be less discouraged to read what you have to say.

Secondly, it’s important to be informative.  Give relevant information on what you want to let your readers know.  Do you have a new promo?  Are there discounts?  Make use of information that your reader would most probably want to hear and use those topics as headlines.

Finally, be consistent.  The more available you are to your consumers, the more likely it will be that they will give your newsletters a well-deserved read.

How a Virtual Assistant Can Help

Virtual Assistants (VAs) can be a great big help when it comes to email marketing.  No doubt it can be a difficult task to come up with those mailing lists and to create a newsletter that matters.

Hiring a VA can help decrease the time you spend emailing consumers and increase your reach and email effectiveness.

Just make sure you take the time to effectively communicate with your VA-to-be to ensure a problem-free partnership.

The Wonders of File Sharing

The internet is full of documents and files that are being uploaded and downloaded at amazing rates.  No doubt, the internet is one of the best ways to send and receive files quickly and efficiently.

There are many benefits to using file sharing software and whether you are delivering a single document or if you handle large quantities of files for a living, file sharing software can drastically change the way you do your work.

What is file sharing software?

File sharing is the public or private sharing of data within a network, and it comes in many different shapes and forms.  Usually, there is one administrator in a software network who chooses what access levels different people have to the files made available to them.  File sharing has become a popular means of sharing information among students, employees, and businesses through the years due its ease of use and unparalleled convenience.

How file sharing can help your business?

Odds are, your business makes use of some sort of digital file or document to log data and information. If you have multiple people who need to make use of this data, then maybe it would be in your best interest to look into the benefits of file sharing.  It can be tedious and costly to have to constantly print something out or save something on a portable drive for others to have access.  File sharing also allows for updates to take place in one central place, ensuring that the latest version is always accessible when needed.

How can file sharing help you and your Virtual Assistant?

Most interactions with Virtual Assistants take place over the internet and often a physical meeting does not take place at any stage during the contract.  File sharing software keeps everyone on the same page, keeps the information current and can also provide a log of who has accessed data and what changes have been made.

Safety Tips

It is important to note that while file sharing enables a streamlined workflow, it is important to research the program you choose to use.  Be sure that you can modify access levels for different users and that there is a proper log system to show you, the administrator, what has happened to your files and when.  Another point to consider is only allowing access to the documents and folders that a user actually needs, taking time to set this up properly in the beginning can save a lot of hassle later on if something goes wrong.

In this age of electronic data, comes the threat of electronic malice.  It is important to ensure that all users have adequate security on their devices when accessing your files.  Another aspect is to look at whether your file sharing program is able to take you back to a point in time or undo bulk changes which may occur if a virus enters your system.

An electronic backup system is also recommended as some file sharing and cloud based programs leave the onus on you to arrange appropriate backups for your data.  These systems are usually set up to back files up at a certain time each day and will replace files which have been amended.  These systems also usually allow you to restore from a previous version should you need it.

A New Year

This is it!

The moment we have all been waiting for, a new start, a clean slate, the chance to really succeed and the promise of the year ahead is alluring to all of us.

This year will be different though.  Not like last year, when time moved too fast, plans went unfulfilled and our best intentions did not lead to the success we dreamed of.

This is the time that we start to think of all the possibilities:

That holiday we have been dreaming about; we can almost feel the breeze in our hair as we visualise every part of the trip.

An increase in sales and profit for our business; the freedom that the added income will bring you.  Already thinking about how you will spend the money.

Finally achieving that work/life balance that everyone keeps talking about; what we could do with all that free time!  Maybe take up a hobby or finally finishing that book that you bought months ago (or maybe even years ago), or maybe simply spending more time with family and friends.

The possibilities are endless!

Here’s the thing though, it’s not enough to want it.  It’s not even enough to dream of it or being able to visualise it.

Those things are important, but to be in the best position to succeed you have to know what you want and you have to have a clear plan of how you are going to make it work.

To say “I want to earn more money this year”, is probably going to lead you to the same sense of disappointment and dread that you felt as you saw December fast approaching last year, and realised that it was highly unlikely you were going to be able to achieve all that you hoped to.

I have great news for you though (and this is the part where you can smile to yourself at the sheer possibilities).  You can achieve all of those things on your list, you just need a plan!

First, what you need is a clear target, something specific, like “I want to increase my sales by 50% by 30 June 2016”.  Now you need to ask yourself, what do you need to change or do to achieve that?

This year I embarked on a new system for myself and my business where I look back at the things that happened last year.  Some things were fantastic and I am incredibly grateful for them, others were not so great and not only do I want to avoid those things this year, I also want to create new opportunities and experiences to replace them.

This is the exciting part.

To ensure that I am best placed to do this, I have set out goals for myself both personally and within the business and have listed the specific steps I need to take to make those things happen.  I am going into the year ahead with the most confidence that I have had in the years since I started my business.  For the first time I feel in control of my journey which is a wonderfully liberating feeling.

Now don’t get me wrong, this was not a simple process which I sailed through, it took self-examination and being open to my strengths and weaknesses so that I could create something better than I have now.  You need to be prepared that some of the things that need to be done to achieve your goals will be outside of your comfort zone, but stretching yourself in this way will provide you with immeasurable growth and the ability to not just meet this goal, but the confidence to meet your next goal and the one after that.

I would like to thank my spectacular support network for setting me on this path, it took me a while to come around to the idea of these workbooks, but like everything, I needed to look at the data before proceeding.  I won’t look back now though; I have goals to reach.

Go out there and get yourself a plan and have a spectacular 2016.  You can do this!

Powerful Passwords

Powerful Passwords and How You Can Create One

How many times have you gotten rejected trying to enter a password that just wasn’t strong enough?

A lot of people today take passwords for granted, but these digital keys are a lot more important than we’ve come to realise.

Passwords protect our online information – from social media and email correspondence, to online finances and banking. With all the scams and frauds that occur in our world today, it really isn’t safe to use a password that’s too easy.

Although we might sometimes try to come up with some complicated passwords like T2uidg$jakgloie3539 or something else you might have invented when pressed for time, there’s no guarantee that we won’t be clicking that “forgot your password?” link by the following day.

Have you been having passkey troubles recently? Read on to find out more about how to deal with password creation problems and how you can remember your password.

Password basics

  1. Length – Some websites require a specific number of characters be used. Although there really isn’t a standard set number, it would be best to create a password that’s between 12-14 characters long. Longer passwords are harder to duplicate, so the longer you can make them, the better.
  1. Numbers, symbols, upper and lower case letters – Mix it up! By throwing in a few trick characters here and there, you can throw off someone who’s trying to copy your key. Numbers, symbols, and a random title case makes your password a little less prone to getting snatched.
  1. Ditch dictionary words – Try to steer clear of words that are found in the dictionary, what’s more, stay away from the ones that are too obvious. Never use “Password” as your password and if you’re signing up for a social media account, “friends123” probably isn’t the best idea either.

How to Create a Password That Lasts

Taking into account the above mentioned criteria, it can be easy to come up with a strong password. Just slam your hand into your keyboard and you’re done. However, while creating a strong password is one thing, remembering it is a completely different thing.

It is important to make sure that your password resonates with you, for example, you can also use a code like a statement or idea that is unique to you. For example, if you once had a dog named Fido when you were 7 years old, you can use that as a reference for your next strong password. With this statement, you could come up with something like “i1haDnFwiw7.”

Organisation

Tips and Tricks on How To Keep Your Life On Track

No matter how organised we might become, there are always those times when we wish we could have done better.

Maybe we wish we could have spent less time on a task, or maybe it could be that we weren’t exactly satisfied with something we worked on because we were too busy thinking about the next thing on our long list of to-dos.

Whatever the reasons, there are those could-have-been moments when we think about the many tiny details we could have changed about the way we went about our responsibilities.

If you’re anything like me (read: organisational freak) then you have probably tried thinking up new ways to make your process better. Whether you’ve been in the business of organising for heaven knows how long, or if you’ve just started falling into the skill of organisation, read on to pick up some tried and tested tips and tricks on how to improve your process:

Put colour coding into action – Ah, yes. The old colour code. Use coloured baskets, folders, or containers to separate items in and around your workspace. For example, you can use red for documents that you plan to edit within the day, yellow for papers that need to be accomplished within the week, and green for things that can be put off until much later on. This could also work for when you write things down on your to do list. Red could mean personal, yellow for work, and green for family-related events or responsibilities. It’s really all up to you.

Keep a notebook in handy – While there are tons of software, apps, websites, and devices that can help us when it comes to reminders, many would argue that nothing beats the old reliable to-do list. We remember things best when we write them down, and that’s what makes notebooks so effective. Keep it with you wherever you go, or somewhere that you will be sure to see it, like on top of your desk or on your bedside table.

Do it NOW! – A lot of times, the organisational turmoil we experience is because of the fact that we put off what we can do now for later. Procrastination is the enemy of all organisational enthusiasts. Remind yourself the importance of getting tasks done and stick to a time frame. Give yourself a certain quota of things to do for the day, set schedules, or put reminders in places that you’re likely to see them. Use the things you want to do as incentives for the things you need to do.

Out with the old – A cluttered home or work space could make navigation a challenge, and you don’t want to have to stumble around boxes of junk or fumble across your desk looking for something when you try to get some work done. Get rid of stuff that you no longer need so you’re left with a clean space that’s more conducive to work.