Where in the World is Lydia?

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

― Kevin Durant

 

Where have you been hiding? When is your next post? Is everything okay? The last two weeks has been a boxing match between talent and hard work. So far it has been a draw! Maintaining a work-life balance can be quite difficult. Juggling work and personal life are quite consuming. In my opinion; I manage pretty well considering! hands-600497_640

Work and the pursuit of…. More Work.

Most of my readers are old enough to remember the geographical game and show, “Where in The World is Carmen Sandiego?” Carmen traveled the world conspiring with crooks. I love being a virtual assistant, social media manager, and freelance writer it allows me to travel the world from the comfort of my home and network with entrepreneurs and fellow writers. I find enjoyment in being a gumshoe for startup’s, nurturing my client’s social media, helping them to develop their brand, watching the business grow, their baby becomes my child. They are often surprised and pleased by what I help them to accomplish. Needless to say marketing myself on Twitter, LinkedIn and freelance sites such as Upwork.com has been vital to keeping me busy.

Writing and a writer’s life.

My blog writing has been very limited, but my writing has not stopped. Before blogging, I did content and article writing for clients websites. Freelance writing is also a wonderful way to get recognized and make money. Although, lately I have been working on my memoir, fictional novel and compositions for Two Drops of Ink.  The literary blog voted one of the “100 Best Websites for Writers” for the second year in a row. Thanks to The Write Life for recognizing such a great site, team and all of its contributing authors. Guest blogging is also an awesome way to get exposure to the writing world. Two Drops of Ink is always accepting submissions.  I have so many ideas dancing around in my head, some have been jotted down, and some are begging to be released. It would take a lifetime to give birth to every idea or maybe quit my day job. So I devote at least two hours daily in need of releasing creative pressure.

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Life at home.

We have been back home for two months. Well, at least I have! My dear Jimmy took a month off before heading back out. Which was not a part of the plan! That is the problem with passions. They can be an addiction. It is hard to live without or break free if it. Truck driving is his passion. Throughout the week he is out on the open road continuing his service to his country delivering freight and the weekends are for us. Our understanding the others need to do what we love for a living is what makes us work. Eight days to bond a month and four hours of phone time a day, I often miss my best friend. Two weeks ago we took a four day weekend together which was wonderful. Jimmy is my soul mate and so much more. In an attempt to make sure our beautiful union does not go lacking we promise to escape to the world where only we exist when we are together. It works.

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For my friends and followers who have inquired about me, I say thanks. I am here. Grateful to have such caring friends and supporters. Honored that my clients trust me with their businesses.

Images courtesy of Pixabay

 

 

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Outsource?!?! Tips for Hiring a Virtual Assistant.

 

Starting a business is very hard and time-consuming. Many tasks need your immediate attention.

  • Research
  • Data entry
  • Social media management/ marketing,
  • Email management,
  • Meetings or conference calls.

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These are just a few of the daily duties a busy entrepreneur encounters. Many of these daily tasks are daunting and are left incomplete at the end of the day. If you are a business owner, you know what I mean.

Lessen Your Work Load!

The best way to alleviate the daily stress of multiple tasks and being pulled in many different directions is through outsourcing. What business owner would not want the freedom to spend more time growing their business? Some tasks are tedious or require a deadline. Hiring a VA will help you to meet all of those needs.

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We as virtual assistants have the ability to not only relate to the needs of entrepreneurs but also to support business owners in establishing their businesses. Virtual assistants are also business owners, so we understand what all is involved with running and building a successful business. When you leave your business in the hands of your virtual assistant, it is imperative that all be in good hands. A good VA approaches all tasks in an efficient and professional manner. No matter how small or large the task. Our efficiency and knowledge are what determines the growth of our business.

Characteristics of a good virtual assistant?

You want to feel comfortable with the virtual assistant you choose. I feel an outstanding VA has stellar relationship building and communication skills. It is imperative that he/she not only has a bond with you but the ability to relate to your customer/ client base. At the end of your interview, you should know a considerable amount about the virtual assistant. They must be trustworthy and have you and the best interest of your company at heart. Trust is a major component as they will access to a great deal of your personal and business information.

What is their specialty?

Do they have the skills you need? Narrow down the tasks that they will accomplish now and in the future. Hire an assistant that has the experience to do these tasks. Virtual assistants have different specialties and skills they offer. This where your research and communication will pay off. Although, one- time tasks should outsource to a freelancer at a reasonable rate. The most important skills to look for when hiring are the following:

  • Social Media Management
  • Data Entry
  • Writing
  • Communication
  • Desktop Publishing

Reliability or Beyond the Call of Duty!

Consider availability; their availability should be convenient to your specific needs. Daily tasks, deadlines and last minute requests are critical to your day-to-day operations and growth. Are they flexible? Can they be reached during your business hours and weekends even when unscheduled? These are just a few details you want to consider when hiring a virtual assistant. As a virtual assistant, I feel incorporating these details into my business methods are what ensures my success.

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How do I find a good virtual assistant?

The field of virtual assisting has grown tremendously. Small and big companies have begun to hire more virtual employees. Small business is on the rise which increased the demand for virtual assistants. There are many online sites you can utilize to find a VA.

These are just a few avenues to search for the help you need. Word of mouth is also a winner! Reach out to fellow business owners to inquire about a good assistant. You will be surprised what you may find.

Outsourcing may seem scary at first. After all, your business is your baby, and it is imperative that the person you hire will nurture it. With the proper research hiring, a virtual assistant will pay off in big dividends.

 

Images Courtesy of:

Top Reasons for Outsourcing

Pixabay/ Geralt- Support

Pixabay/ geralt- businesswoman

Pixabay/ waldryano- Secretary

 

The Importance of Social Media for Businesses

Great blog post for #entrepreneurs and #startups regarding business and #socialmedia. I enjoyed it!!!

Internet Marketing Blog

This will be my last blog post before I conclude my blogging career, so I have decided to discuss the topic of social media. More specifically the importance of social media for businesses and the impacts it has on marketing.

How Big is Social Media

First, let’s establish how big social media really is based on these statistics from July 2015:

Twitter: 320 million users
LinkedIn: 450 million usersSocial Media Logotype Background
Instagram: 400 million users
Facebook: 1.71 billion users
Overall 2.3 billion active social media users

(Smith, 2016, para 2)

Before the internet and social media businesses would have had to pay thousands to millions of dollars in advertising fees, to possibly reach a small percentage of the total 2.3 billion users. Today it is expected that businesses include social media in their marketing strategies, as it is extremely beneficial to both consumer and business. “Social networks appear to be an exceptional…

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5 Tips for Marketing Your New Book.

“Writing a book without promoting it is like waving to someone in a dark room. You know what have you done, but nobody else does.”
~Madi Preda.”   ― Madi PredaHow To Promote and Market Your Book

Congratulations on writing your first book. As an author, you must be on top of the world. You have basked in the joy of your new accomplishment. The beauty of its cover, your words, pieces of the world you created. Now. It is time to get serious.

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What’s next? My research has given me the knowledge to assist you in marketing your book. What good is a book that no one gets to read? The next step is to get the book in front of prospective readers. The most efficient way is through creating a marketing strategy. Thorough research will reveal several marketing methods. Take a look at a few of the steps in the journey.

1). Reviews: As an author feedback is valuable. This is where reviews come into play. Consider the options for free or paid reviews. Only pay for top quality feedback. Determine if your reviewer will base their comments on reading the book in full or an excerpt. Your ultimate goal is to make sure it is beneficial to you. Every author desires raving reviews and high recommendations.

2). Blog Posts: Guest posts and interviews on blogs is another way to build a fan base. You may also start a blog centered around the subject of your book. Your blog may be the forum for your future books. Be sure to follow the blogs of like- minded writers.

3). Media Kit: How many business or post cards have you passed out? Advertise locally as well as virtually the more exposure, the better your chances for sales. Keep in mind; image is everything! A professional head shot is necessary. Your biography will invite readers to get to know the books creator. Don’t forget to include a ‘one- sheet.’ A high-quality photo of your book cover on the front and a synopsis of the book on the back.

4). Book Launch Party: A book launch party is not only a way to celebrate your accomplishments but an awesome way to get the word out. Offer giveaways or reduced prices for the date of the event. The event can take place both locally and online. The more excitement you build means, the higher potential for buyers.

5). Social Media: We are in the age where the click of the ‘send’ button moves at a speed of light. Millions of people have the opportunity to view your content on a daily basis which means book sales. Although, sales should not be your primary focus. Build a relationship with fellow authors and writers. Support those with the same goals and those aspiring to reach the depths that you have in the literary arena. Social media marketing makes sense regarding book marketing. Embrace it and reap the many benefits.

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Now that your feet are firmly back on the solid ground, and your head is no longer in the clouds, put in the footwork. Start doing the research and making all the needed connections. It may be difficult but all of your efforts will pay off.

 

 

 

Tips for Marketing on Social Media.

“Social media spark a revelation that we, the people, have a voice, and through the democratization of content and ideas we can once again unite around common passions, inspire movements, and ignite change.”

― Brian SolisEngage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web

 

I find the quote by Brian Solis regarding social media to be relevant on so many levels. Social media managers, marketers, gurus and enthusiasts can attest to the validity of the citation. When used a user sets out to rally others in hopes to gain customers, support their cause or to spread information; carried out the correct way they will grab the attention of many. Are you attempting to inspire a movement? Are you confused about how to market your brand? My advice to you is to keep reading. This post will briefly unveil the first steps of building your social media marketing skills.

Where should I start?

Start by asking yourself who is my customer base. Who is interested in my brand? The answers are indicative of where you should focus your marketing efforts. Although it does not stop there, these are just the first of many questions that will build your marketing strategy. Discovering your audience is imperative to gaining loyal followers versus fair weather connections.

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Content is critical.

Your content should be compelling and sought after by your followers.  Make sure it is relevant and what’s trending for your brand and among your community of followers. This is where paying close attention to your followers is critical. They know what they want and will share what interests them. Once you have honed in on this information, share it frequently but be careful as not to become a nuisance. Cycle out data shared, you do not want your posts considered as spam.

Engagement or Relationship Building techniques.

The ability to engage your followers in conversation is excellent. These conversations can indeed prove to be fruitful. Moreover, relationship building is by far more valuable. Relationships built upon a common interest are more likely to be sustainable and increase your tribe. Genuine and consistent engagement with your fan base not only shows appreciation, but it makes your brand more personable.

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Caring is sharing.

Show those who share your content you care by sharing their content in return. When you are marketing your brand, you can lose supporters by not being supportive. “One hand washes the other.” This saying is true in the world of social media. It can also be your golden ticket. Taking time to visit the pages of others and share their content is time-consuming, but it is worth it in the end. Devote a little time each day to ensure your social media success.

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Social media marketing is not an easy task but is well worth the challenge. Research, patience, and persistence are qualities that are beneficial to marketing success on social media.

 

Images courtesy of:

QuietQuitter on Pixabay.com  

Johny_deff on Pixabay.com

Geralt on Pixabay.com

 

Social Media: The Etiquette of Sharing Content

As a #socialmedia coordinator and enthusiast, I wrote this article for “Two Drops of Ink” regarding the importance of #sharing #content. Many have commented that it was very informative. A great follow up to the reblogged post by Peter Giblett.

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

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“If you have a candle, the light won’t glow any dimmer if I light yours off of mine.” 
― Steven Tyler

The saying says… “Sharing Is Caring”!!! This is not always a true statement in the world of social media. If you are an avid social media user, you may have noticed the following:

  • Requests for page “likes” that are not returned.
  • Retweets unreciprocated or impermanent followers.
  • You visit blogs, share content, and receive no acknowledgement. There’s no comment of thanks or a brief visit to your blog or Facebook page.

I refer to these fair – weather Twitter tweeters, greedy Facebookers, and illiberal bloggers as social media vampires. Beware! They lay in wait, ready to pounce and suck the blood of what could be faithful supporters. Thus, leaving them cowering in a virtual corner reluctant to share the content of those outside their immediate circle. This type of behavior…

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The Purpose of Reblogging

Have you read awesome content on a blog that you felt compelled to share? Are you wondering how to get your blog content out to more readers? Peter Giblettt explains the concept of reblogging. I found it to be very informative.

International Women’s Day!!!

“The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that should result in the highest development of the race.”   – Susan B. Anthony

 

Happy International Women’s Day! As a female entrepreneur and writer this day is a very important day. Today we celebrate being a female world- wide. Sometimes, as women in society with all that we do, we don’t get enough praise or recognition. Women wear many hats! It does not matter where you live in this beautiful world, women are a driving force in society. We are working mothers, business owners, wives, doctors, the list goes on. Often pulled in so many different directions at once. Women are not forced to play these roles, it is our innate ability. We handle these different roles with the utmost grace!!!

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Behind Every Successful Man There Is a Woman.

Remember when there was a time when we were not allowed to own a business, be a soldiers, or a working mom? Those times began to end on February 28, 1909, the first Women’s Day observance was held in New York. The march was the first outward protest for equality. As the universe revolved, time went on and women evolved. No longer satisfied by our mediocre position in the world. We not only demanded but claimed our right to be more as well as do more in the world. Thanks to the delegates consisting of 100 powerful women from 17 countries who promoted the end of suffering and oppression of the female gender. After 1977, International Women’s Day was made a popular event. United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace. No longer standing behind men but leading and walking with them. The fight for equal pay continues but proud of the accomplishments made thus far. Indeed we have come a long way.

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Girl Power! 

The stigma attached to women stating that we cannot work together and support one another is a thought of the past. Women are encouraging and supporting each other more than ever. Realizing, who better to support our goals and aspirations than another woman. Yes, our families are a strong support system. Although, outside influence is needed and appreciated as well. It is important to surround yourself with like minded people. The theme for International Women’s Day 2016 is “Planet 50- 50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. Celebrate by finding a local event near you. Visit the International Women’s Day website to search for events in your city, there are many ways to get involved. Women working together in perfect harmony for empowerment is beautiful. So on this joyous day I say to women everywhere “Happy International Women’s Day” (wine glass raised). Cheers!!!

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36 Services to Help Publicize your Writing

Need help publicizing your writing? Read this article on “Two Drops of Ink” by Peter Giblett.

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

By Peter B. Giblett
Aside from creating their masterpieces the greatest activity a writer needs to be involved with is publicising their work, across the web, many sites have been designed to aid those publicity efforts, each works slightly differently, but each has its value in showcasing your work. On-line writers need to leverage all the tools (like Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) they can in order to spread the message about their work. It is unlikely that you will use every site listed. Indeed, some have very specialist uses and will not be everyone.
Having researched this over many years I am aware there are many services available in languages other than English, I have not included services here unless they use English as I am unable to fully explore their capabilities, but if you speak another language then feel free to use services for other languages.
Please note…

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Count the Blessings: The Network Effect of Sharing

How often do you take the time to like the work of your followers? Do you follow back those who follow you? There is good Karma in sharing the content of others!!! Take time to read this awesome and informative article by Marilyn Davis.

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

By: Marilyn L. Davis

“A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition. Like money, books must be kept in constant circulation… A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold.” ― Henry Miller, The Books in My Life

social network symbols in the tree

Too many writers, bloggers, and website owners do not understand the value that they receive when they share articles or provide links to other people.  Certainly, they can see how it would benefit someone else, but don’t understand how promoting others become an advantage to them.

What can you expect to gain when you share a blog or post by someone else?  You’re going to improve your social capital on Twitter and Facebook.

So, why is that important and how does it work? When…

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