Category Archives: va training

Benefits of Email Marketing to Online Businesses

Email marketing is becoming a vastly popular and beneficial direct marketing tool. Used primarily to provide subscribers with information on service and product offerings, it has also been particularly useful in building a loyal customer base. More online business owners are turning to email marketing as their primary means to generate leads not only because results are easily tracked but also because it is an inexpensive way to market yourself on a large scale, allowing a greater chance to generate a profitable return on your investment.

Recently, owners of online businesses have begun relying on email marketing specialists to expand their internet marketing efforts and enhance their online business profits. Because all Internet users use email, it’s easy to reach your target consumer, by encouraging them to opt-in through enticing offerings and keep them subscribed through relevant and compelling content.

Whether online business owners decide to engage in your services or invest in tools to use themselves, email marketing is considered a low-cost means to generate sales leads. In fact, most email marketing campaigns average just one cent per email sent–much cheaper than other direct marketing platforms. It has proven to be more effective in generating sales leads than many other direct marketing options.

Measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of email marketing is simple because of reporting features that track key performance indices such as open rates, read rates, and click-throughs. Using these results, online business owners can gain valuable insights on how best to communicate with their target audience and enhance their campaigns accordingly.

Other very important benefits include the ability to easily send out multiple communications, personalize emails, and send out automated responses. With all these features combined, internet marketers and email marketing specialists can easily carry out an effective email marketing campaign, allowing them to spend more time on other important aspects of maintaining and expanding their business.

Email marketing should be an integral part of promoting any type of online business. Through this platform, online businesses can enhance brand reputation, reach out to a larger market, and track results in an inexpensive way. Through email marketing, online businesses can achieve outcomes they would never expect from any other direct marketing platform.

Although it may take quite some time to build a large and targeted subscriber base, the results that this direct marketing platform will generate in the long run will surely be worthwhile.

Take a moment to share your email marketing successes and challenges by leaving a comment for our subscribers to enjoy.

Jeannine Clontz, owner of Accurate Business Services, a VA practice, is an author, writer, speaker and VA Business Coach specializing in providing professional business coaching to established and start-up virtual assistants (VA’s). For a copy of her wildly successful book, Entrepreneurial Freedom: How to Start and Grow a Virtual Assistance Practice, visit: http://entrepreneurialfreedom.com/order/

email marketing

What’s Holding Back Your Success? NO EXCUSES!

No ExcusesI think I may have heard or said them all to myself, those nagging excuses we come up with to avoid what’s really going on. The economy’s too bad, my dad liked my sister better, I was not able to go to college, or I’m just not able to sell myself.

Whatever encompasses your list of excuses, get over it! There’s no place in a successful business for excuses, especially from the ownership/management level. Try to figure out what went wrong and the best way to fix it; then move on. Especially if your business includes a team of VAs or sub-contractors, having excuses will infect the entire team and could jeopardize your ability to move forward.

I remember early in my business that I had the cleanest house on the block. Every time I was at the point where I had to do something that I wasn’t comfortable with, like cold calling, or attending a Chamber meeting, I would find some really dirty windows, or something that needed to be sewn or washed; anything to give myself permission to not do something that was a little ‘outside the box’ for me.

This may surprise you for any of you who know that I have a background in sales, but I struggled in closing sales when the product I was selling was me. I didn’t have any problems in selling a product or service that someone else was paying me to sell, I had some difficulty when the product was me, or my service.

I have found that women struggle the most with this because we are prone to satisfy and support everyone else. Turning the tables and trying to support and encourage ourselves is a whole new concept, one that you’ll need to deal with pretty quickly if you want your business to grow.

Look at it this way – in order for me to help and serve my clients (which is usually what our business is all about – helping someone else solve a problem), I have to be willing to communicate to them how I am the best option for their need, and what solutions I have to solve their problems.

Instead of thinking that you have to ‘sell yourself and your services’, think of it as educating them on the best way to solve their problems in the least amount of time, with the latest technology, and by making an investment in themselves and their business.

You have to be willing to do things that are outside of your normal comfort zone. If this was easy, everybody would be doing it. To succeed in business you have to be self-motivated and immune to any criticism.

So write down all those excuses that have been holding you back and draw a big black line through them. Crumble the piece of paper up and throw it away – and with it, your need to use those excuses to hold back your business progress.

Ready to get out of your own way? Take advantage of our New Year’s Discount on the “Business Essentials for a Virtual Assistance Practice Online Program”. Now through February 28, 2015 enjoy $100 OFF the regular price! For only $97 you’ll receive:

Electronic versions of the book and companion workbook, Entrepreneurial Freedom: How to Start and Grow a Profitable Virtual Assistance Practice.

The Business Essentials for a Virtual Assistance Practice program, is an Online course designed to take you step-by-step through the process of starting or growing your VA practice. Utilizing the companion workbook, you’ll quickly see how it will allow you to formulate your ideas, plans, and dreams.

Here’s what’s covered in the book:
Chapter One – Do you Have What it Takes?
Chapter Two – Planning Your Business
Chapter Three – Branding
Chapter Four – How to Find and Keep Clients
Chapter Five – Professional Development
Chapter Six – Marketing, Advertising & Public Relations
Chapter Seven – The Challenges of Working From Home
Chapter Eight – Ethical Considerations
Chapter Nine – Growing Your Business
Extra Content – Includes Contracts & Forms

Beyond the scope of knowledge covered in each Chapter, you’ll also have access to the results of our VA survey, sample documents and contracts. Everything you’ll need to get your small business off the ground and growing in the right direction.

Each Online session will go in-depth covering all the information in each Chapter, assist you in developing your workbooks, and there will even be two opportunities to schedule 30-minute private One-on-One coaching sessions. Part of the more than $500 in bonuses when you purchase the program. Don’t Wait Any Longer – Get Started On the Right Path NOW!

Visit: http://vabizcoach.com/starters.html for more information and to get into the program TODAY! There’s even a two-pay option so you’ll have NO EXCUSES about getting your business back on track. Use Coupon Code NEWYEAR2015 or NEWYEAR20152 for the two-pay option and get ready to make 2015 your best year EVER!

Jeannine Clontz, provides professional business coaching to established and start-up virtual assistants (VA’s). Download her FREE report “A Fresh Look at Time Management for Virtual Assistants”, request her FREE audio CD “What’s Holding Back my Business Success?”, or consider her online course “Business Essentials For a Virtual Assistance Practice” at, http://vabizcoach.com/starters.html; or contact her at: coach@VAbizcoach.com.

Tips to Grow Your Business: Surround Yourself With Supporters!

One of the reasons our men and women in the armed forces work within platoons and brigades, etc., is to become familiar with each other so there is a true dedication to the support of each other. You don’t want to be sitting in a foxhole with someone who doesn’t have their focus on the team, not just themselves.

Like Minded PeopleStarting and growing a successful business can be similar. You need to surround yourself with like-minded people. And that means people who encourage and support you in starting and maintaining a business.

When I first started in business 16-years ago, home-based businesses were just coming into light as a viable business model. Oh, there had been home-based businesses for many years already, but not in the increasing numbers that we’ve enjoyed since the late nineties and the introduction of the Internet.
I wondered how my daughter and husband ever got anything done before I started working from home. They were quick to provide me with a laundry list of ‘to dos’ that I could help them with since they were at school or work all day, and I was just hanging out at home.

It was pretty nice to be able to more easily set appointments for the plumber, the handyman, or the TV repairman as it was to be able to pick-up the dry cleaning and handle everyone’s banking. My family and friends thought I would be available at any time to call and chat or drop by for lunch; I mean what was I doing?

As hard as this is for me to say, because I have a very large and close-knit family, you may have to start diminishing the number of times you get together with your family. Until they actually realize the amount of work you do running a business, and sometimes even a household, they may not be able to support you in a positive way. Understand that it is detrimental to the health of your business to be in the company of anyone who will encourage you to, ‘get a real job’, or insinuates that your job is less important or not making a contribution to the family finances. This can really chew away at your resolve and determination to own your own business. You have to maintain a positive attitude and only like-minded friends, family, and peers will keep you on your game.

It was hard in the beginning for me to get potential clients to wrap their mind around me working from home instead of the traditional office environment. One of my first clients worked from home, but figured if I wasn’t working from his home office, I could have the time clock on and be sitting at home eating bon-bons and watching the soaps.

So, I let several clients run my business for me in the beginning. I went to work in their homes and offices; I even picked up bathroom fixtures and delivered them to a job site for a general contractor. In the beginning, I let it be all about bringing in the money, instead of developing a strong and viable business, based on my business model, not what everyone else wanted it to be.

Those clients came and went rather quickly, and for good reason. They were a part of the learning process for me. I had to decide if I wanted to have an employee mentality, or an entrepreneur mentality. I chose the latter, although it did take me longer than I’d hoped.

That’s why making time to continue growing and learning whether by reading, participating in seminars and groups are so important to continual business success.

Make the commitment to surround yourself with positive supportive people as you start and grow your business. Join one or more industry associations and get involved by volunteering or participating regularly in forums. Join several well respected social networking groups and set aside a minimal amount of time each day or week that you’ll participate in these forums. This will increase your network of ‘positive’ support and help you strengthen your resolve to grow a profitable business.

Jeannine Clontz, provides professional business coaching to established and start-up virtual assistants (VA’s). Download her FREE report “A Fresh Look at Time Management for Virtual Assistants”, request her FREE audio CD “What’s Holding Back my Business Success?”, or consider her online course “Business Essentials For a Virtual Assistance Practice” at, http://vabizcoach.com/starters.html; or contact her at: coach@VAbizcoach.com.

What’s Holding Back Your Virtual Assistant Success – Pull the Trigger

I’ve been a mentor to start-up and established VAs for about 8-years, and even more after writing our ‘how to’ book. What I’ve learned from all these relationships is something very simple. Everyone had very good skills, but many of them didn’t have the knowledge or information they needed in order to establish a solid, ethical business.

The one thing they all had in common, at least those who became successful, was what I call an entrepreneurial mindset. They had good self-esteem, and a passion to work hard to build a profitable business. Like me, when they started their adventure, they may not have had these skills or the drive to take the time to learn and develop the mindset, but somewhere along the line, they were inspired, or they inspired themselves to go the extra mile and change their attitudes and ultimately create the mindset that helped them to build successful Virtual Assistance practices. I hope this information will do the same for you.

So let’s look at one of the things that may be holding back your business success.

Pull the Trigger

Before I started my business we were looking for something for my husband to do from home. Ten years ago when he got laid off yet another restaurant job, we decided to send him back to school and let him start his own home-based business.

Although he gave it two years and tried really hard, we learned that it was just not for him. He just didn’t have the focus and self-motivation to make a go of it. For him, the biggest challenge was pulling the trigger. He could do all the research, could put together all the details needed to make a decision, but could never make the decision that would move the business forward. He just had too much fear about making a mistake. Ultimately, he let himself get so frustrated; he did make several mistakes that caused him to realize he was not enjoying anything about his business. He transitioned back into the corporate world and is much happier in what he’s doing. It doesn’t mean he’s a failure, it doesn’t mean he can’t be successful, it simply means having his own business, and this particular type of business, was not a good fit for him.

Let me start by saying this is not easy. There’s no immediate success without very hard work. You have to really want this, and want it badly. So many people tell me that they’re going to give this a try, and if it doesn’t work they’ll go back to working in the corporate world.

To me, that’s a pretty good indication that this is not for you. You will have problems being decisive and making good long-term decisions if you’ve got an idea that things may not work and you have an out. You have to be totally committed to doing what’s necessary to make your business work.

Many people are attracted to a home-based business model so they can stay home with children. Understand if this is going to work, you’re going to have to initially make some sacrifices. You may have to miss some dance recitals or hockey practices, and you will need the full support of a spouse or significant other, and hopefully your family and friends.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, if you want to make a good income and eventually have more time for family and fun, you will have to start by making some hard decisions about what you’ll need to do to succeed.

This will be your business and you’ll make all the decisions. If you’re looking for someone to bring you or give you business, or you just aren’t willing to do anything outside your comfort zone, stay in the corporate world.

Having a business means no excuses, and no complaints. Either you have the drive and motivation or you don’t.

So make the decision now to take the steps to start your business with the knowledge that you will need to immerse yourself into making this a top priority, and doing things that may now be ‘outside the box’ for you. I’m not saying you have to do everything day one, but you have to be willing to open your heart and mind to the possibility that there are opportunities available to you, if you only try.

If you’ve been established in your business for a year or more, we can sometimes get complacent and feel that there’s nowhere else for our business to go. Take a step back, talk to other successful VAs and change something to take your business where you may not have considered going. Try a new marketing plan; put together a system to reach past clients as well as prospective clients. Drag yourself away from something that’s taking too much of your time and not producing results, and ‘pull the trigger’ on something new.

Jeannine Clontz, provides professional business coaching to established and start-up virtual assistants (VA’s). Download her FREE report “A Fresh Look at Time Management for Virtual Assistants”, request her FREE audio CD “What’s Holding Back My Business Success?”, or consider her online course “Business Essentials For a Virtual Assistance Practice” at, http://vabizcoach.com/starters.html; or contact her at: coach@VAbizcoach.com.

Taking the Book One Step Further

Greetings everyone – been a while since either Lauran or I have added to this website. We’re both very business with our VA practices and volunteering within the industry.

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update about the book. We have established the book and workbook in several community colleges in the Continental US, and are working on several more. If you have a Communitiy College in your area that’s looking to add this to their curriculum, don’t keep us a secret. In fact, other VAs have taken the book to their Community College and are teaching the class – extra income, and helps to build your expertise. :)

This past January, after several years of coaching and mentoring, I started a Virtual Assistance Coaching business. It has been very well received. I now offer three ways to assist start-up, or established VAs support and growth for their businesses.

One-on-One Coaching – an intensive 12-week program that focuses on your specific needs and helps you to re-invent yourself and/or your business, or take it to where you always dreamed it could go – for more, click here!

Group Coaching – for the established VA, working full-time, this group coaching model connects VAs to experts each month on topics that will help them to increase their success and grow a profitable business. They get the monthly sessions via CD along with a verbatim transcript so they can check back whenever they need to move forward. There’s also a Q&A segment or group discussion after the presentation, and I provide homework to continue to keep you accountable for making your business prosper. Members also get an opportunity to speak with me one-on-one on a designated date/time. More here!

Business Essentials for a Virtual Assistance Practice – this is the program I developed to teach at the St. Louis Community Colleges. It utilizes the book and workbook and over a 10-week program will take start-ups and those who are looking to take their business to the next level, a step-by-step process to establishiing or growing their practice. This teleclass offers several 90-minute sessions just for questions, and has lots of bonuses (over $1,050 in value) for those completing the program. Find out more here!

Overall, this has been a very active 2009 for me, and I see the climate for VAs growing and growing. Now is the best time for you to consider starting or growing a Virtual Assistance (VA) practice. The economy has allowed us to come to the forefront as a viable option for small, medium, and large businesses. Enjoy the ride!