25 June 2007

New blog

I am excited to announce that the Wordpress installation has been successful and the new blog is ready.

Please go take a look and bookmark the new site.

Look forward to seeing you over there.

Emma Walker
CKPA Office Solutions

24 June 2007

Another award honour

I am really excited to announce that I have been awarded the VANA Blog of the month award by my peers for this blog.

I am just glad that people enjoy it and hopefully find some useful tips that they can implement in their businesses.

Thanks again to everyone at VANA!

Until next time,

Emma Walker
CKPA Office Solutions

21 June 2007

New software installation

I mentioned last time that I had decided to switch my blog over to Wordpress and was trying to install it.

Luckily I have the fantastic help of Crystal, fellow VA colleague and Rev member to sort this out for me as it is proving rather difficult to get my host to co-operate.

I am hoping to have it sorted soon and then I can get on and move everything across - hopefully the next post will be using Wordpress!

Until next time,

Emma Walker
CKPA Office Solutions

13 June 2007

Finally decided the time has come

I have decided that I want to start using Wordpress as my blog software and am biting the bullet to try to install it - I will let you know how I get on.

Would appreciate any tips.

Wish me luck,

Emma Walker
CKPA Office Solutions

08 June 2007

Treat Your Customers Like Children

I attended my first Tiny Talk session with my 6 month old daughter today and met some great people. Basically the class teaches us sign language through music to bridge the gap in communication until they can talk.

What I notived was that the communication tools were very simple and easy to pick up. The simpleness of it reminded me about a great post written by Karen Skidmore.

Would love to hear people comment about their communication successes and failures.

Until next time,

Emma Walker
CKPA Office Solutions

07 June 2007

My favourite productivity tip

I have been tagged by my VA colleague Crystal Pina - thanks Crystal. The topic for this tag is our favorite productivity tips, which was started by Ben Yoskovitz at the Instigator Blog.

My best productivity tip.....using Outlook for everything. Heres how I use it:

Calendar - all appointments are included on my calendar including personal, family and business.

Tasks - I include all tasks relating to my business and my clients and also have recurring tasks for certain items (writing newsletter copy, client invoices, specific deadlines etc).

Contacts - all my personal and business contacts are in one place and I make use of the category facility so that I can search for people easier.

Bonus Tip
Take time to focus on YOUR business. I take part in monthly vision calls where for 5 hours, I concentrate on doing some tasks for my business that I haven't been able to do that doesn't include client work (marketing, writing etc).

Who shall I tag?
From the US, my VA colleagues Laurie Dart, Patty Dost and Karen McGreevey. From the UK, Jaqueline Rogers and Karen Skidmore - can't wait to see your posts!

Here are the rules from the Instigator Blog:

1. Write a post on your best productivity tips
2. Include links to other people that have written posts, or include their tips in your post with proper attribution
3. If you use Technorati Tags, then tag your post “ultimate guide to productivity”
4. Tag others in your post to spread the meme. Tag as many people as you like!
5. If you link back to Instigator Blog and email Ben, he’ll be sure to include at least 2 links back to you.

Happy tagging!

Emma Walker
CKPA Office Solutions

06 June 2007

How to PR and sell e-courses and e-books

By Paula Gardner of Do Your Own PR

So you’ve delved deep into your interest and passions and come up with an inspiring and motivating programme that you can sell on a global scale. You know you’ve got a killer product but without getting people to actually come along and take a look at your site how are you going to seduce them into falling in love with it?

The key is in marketing and PR.

But you don’t have to think big agency bucks or huge strategic marketing plans. Just tapping into that same passion that inspired your product in the first place can really work wonders. I call this the MELT factor, as just like something melting, once you start the process it seems to carry on with a life of its own.

M - Market your product / ecourse / ebook

  • Optimise your site with the search engines. If you just want to get started you don’t have to pay a fortune to do this (although you will get many emails from search engine optimisation companies suggesting that you do). Just do a search on the subject and there are many web sites that will give you the advice for free. I can recommend a good guide at www.company-wizard.co.uk
  • Write a Press release and send it to your local papers and any other publication, website or radio programme that might find your product of interest
  • Talk about it on forums and network in e-networking clubs like www.ecademy.com . Write a short article on your subject, or use some of your ecourse, and offer it as free content to websites in return for a link
  • Start a newsletter and publicise it on your website, in your signature and on forms and discussion groups. A regular newsletter that is a combination of good practical help and ideas plus a little soft selling can go a long way towards marketing your products.
E - Elevate your product to professional status

It’s not just something you are interested in; it’s your business so invest in it.

  • Get a good website. If you shop around you don’t have to pay a small fortune to get something sleek and professional
  • Invest in those business cards
  • Simple touches like an email signature with website links and a brief description of the site can elevate your business from hobby to professional status.
L - Love it

I see lots of people who have set up their own small businesses only to admit that they haven’t told their friends and colleagues because they are shy, or afraid of being laughed at. This is such a shame.

Think of all the people you know. And all the people they know. What a huge untapped resource. Imagine if you tapped into your passion for your subject, be it fine wine or doll making, and sent an email or catch up letter to everyone you knew telling them conversationally what you are doing now. Imagine how many of them would remember and mention you to their friend who was interested in fine wine or doll making, or who might email you back with “That’s a great idea, you should get in touch with....”

And suddenly more doors are open for you, more people are buying from you, all because you’ve re-tapped into that passion.

T - Time

It’s so easy for someone else to say spend time on it. But the temptation is to set it and then sit back, celebratory glass of wine in hand, and say “Phew! Glad that’s done”. But you do have to spend time marketing and promoting your product. Even 15 minutes or half an hour carved out from each day will soon start to pay dividends. It might sound a little, but over a whole year the impact will be phenomenal.

Schedule it in so that it is a sacred as any meeting or dentist appointment. As the results start coming in, you’ll find yourself wanting to do more!

Setting up a regular newsletter is a great first step to building up a reservoir of potential customers. Check out our newsletter ecourse for the low-down on how to set one up, create a compelling and readable newsletter, promote it effectively and, of course, use it to sell your products without being seen as a spammer. For more info click here.

Do you want some help marketing your product? Contact us now to discuss what areas you need help with and how using the services of a Virtual Assistant could help.

Until next time,

Emma Walker
CKPA Office Solutions