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Starting a Business After 40: Part 3 – Learning How to Market Yourself

Starting a Business After 40: Part 3 – Learning How to Market Yourself

The Write Hand, LLC is a Virtual Assistant Company

At The Write Hand, LLC, we are dedicated to helping small business owners eliminate and manage all sorts of administrative tasks. We have assistants with a variety of talents enabling us to create and maintain websites, create and distribute all manners of marketing collateral, down to simple tasks like scheduling, email clean-up, travel reservations and so much more. We like to share articles of value when we come across them and we hope you’ll enjoy this one…

Starting a Business After 40: Part 3 – Learning How to Market Yourself

From Kabbage – Click Here For Full Article and Credits

Finding and developing a niche in business is a great way to attract the kinds of people you want to work with, but don’t expect overnight success. You will need to work at positioning yourself as the go-to expert in your niche, as well as market your message in the right channels to reach your audience.

In Part 1  of this series, we discussed choosing your niche, and in Part 2 , how to gain experience in it. Here, let’s talk about marketing yourself in your niche. In her book, Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future, author Dorie Clark provides several insightful tips to do just that.

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Find Your Unique Selling Proposition

Clark says you need to know what’s unique about you so that you can convey it to others. This will be the basis of your marketing going forward. Additionally, she suggests you consider “what skills or abilities you possess that are in short supply in your new field.” Knowing what gaps there are that you can fill makes you even more attractive as a niche provider.

Clark also says not to fear being an outsider: even if you’re moving into an industry you have little to no experience in, find ways to relate the experiences you do have to making you uniquely qualified to view problems and solutions from a different angle.

Build Your Narrative

The next step in preparing your niche marketing is to craft your narrative:

“Humans understand the world around them through stories, narratives we tell ourselves about what’s happening and why,” Clark explains.

What is your brand, and why are you focused on this niche? Cut-and-dry answers won’t make your story resonate as well as a well-told narrative. Maybe your grandpa was in this industry and he taught you everything you know. That’s a story. Maybe you had a wake-up call after 10 years as an investment banker when you had a heart attack, and now you’re focused on living a better quality of life through your new company. Find a way to make your story relatable. Evoking emotions never hurts!

Apply Your Niche to Content Marketing

Content marketing is still one of the best ways to impart your knowledge on a topic, and the more niche that content is, the better. As you get to know your audience, you’ll better understand what topics they care about. Sometimes, though, it’s trial and error. In Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It, Clark says:

“Sometimes you have to experiment with a lot of ideas and see which one sticks. If you’re unsure, let the market decide. Which posts receive the most comments, or retweets, or e-mail inquiries? What seems to capture people’s imagination? Finding your niche is not an exact science, and you often won’t know in advance what will work.”

Not sure where to start? Try conducting research and writing reviews, Clark suggests. Both give you authority in your field, and help expand your knowledge.

Also, Clark says that repurposing content gives you even more ways to reach people. For example, can you take one blog article and expand it into a longer ebook? Create a series of videos or emails? Share tidbits via Twitter?

Get to Know the Media

Another marketing technique Clark suggests in Stand Out is developing relationships with traditional media:

“Being quoted in the mainstream media is useful because they often still have large audiences, even in an era of fragmented reading and viewing habits. Plus, their third-party validation lends credibility to you. If you’re quoted in The New York Times or have appeared on the Today show, that’s a public signal that you’re an authority.”

Keep Your Own Marketing Channel Preferences in Mind

People may tell you that podcasting or videos are the must-have marketing tools, but if you’re uncomfortable with the medium, they won’t work for you. Clark says it’s no good forcing yourself to use a tool if you dislike it.

Instead, focus on the channels that make sense. If you enjoy writing, blogging and book-writing may be a natural fit. If you love speaking to your audience, video is worth considering.

Scale Your Efforts Strategically

Why help one person with your knowledge if you can help five…or 5,000? Clark brings up the example of Quora, a website people go to in order to find answers to their questions. Thousands of industry experts weigh in on questions, building their authority and credibility.

If you start getting the same questions from people over and over, realize that there are even more people out there that want the same questions answered. Determine the best way to help more people with your answer. You could post the question and answer to Quora, or write a blog post and then share it on LinkedIn. There are numerous ways to share your knowledge with more people with a little ingenuity.

Because you’re talking to such a small sector of the population about the niche you serve, your marketing needs to be extremely targeted and valuable. But the more value people get from your marketing messages and content, the higher your conversion to new customers will be!

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Posted by on February 24, 2016 in Small Business News

 

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3 Lists an Entrepreneur Should Make…

I received a link to this article in my email and although there are some typos (which drives me batty); the information is great. This article plants the seed for entrepreneurs on a few lists that help keep you on task, moving toward bigger success. Naturally, I am thrilled to see the author mention how you can outsource tasks to a Virtual Assistant, such as The Write Hand, LLC. Our motto is, “Helping You Create More Time,” and don’t we all wish we had more time… I hope you find this article of interest!

The 3 Lists Every Entrepreneur Must Make – By Paula Rizzo / Entrepreneur Online Magazine

EntrepreneurStarting a company is like a dream come true: no one telling you when to go into the office, you can pick and choose meetings and there’s unlimited vacation. Sigh — the life of an entrepreneur. So flexible, so fabulous. If only it was that easy.

Those perks were likely on the “perk” side of the pro and con list you made before going into business for yourself. But the real truth is that now you’re busier than ever. You’re likely wearing the hat of HR, IT, marketing and business development teams, just to name a few.

Structure and organization are key to success as an entrepreneur. I know because without my lists I could never get anything done at home, work or play.

For those entrepreneurs needing a little help in the organization department, here are three lists you should be making:

1. To-do list
You have to have one. I structure mine with daily tasks but you may find that a weekly list works better. Another option is to organize your to-do list by project or client.

It’s easiest to plan ahead and make sure not to include too much on the list at once. Try to really be aware of what is feasible given the time frame and resources you have available. I make my to-do lists for the next day before I leave the office at night. I run through everything that is coming up and what has to be handled the next day. I include any appointments and meetings on the list as well. Then when I come in the following day, I just refer to it as my roadmap and hit the ground running.

2. Outsource list
Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. I get it, control is a difficult thing to give up — especially when we’re talking about your business. You’ll do whatever it takes to make sure it’s successful. So why not give the to-do list to someone else?

Outsourcing will provide you the freedom to focus on the tasks you’re really good at — and hopefully increase your chances of making more money. So, make a list of all the mundane tasks that are necessary but that you don’t need to physically do yourself. Responsibilities like making appointments, booking travel, uploading your blog posts and maintaining your social-media platforms can easily be outsourced. Investing in the help of interns or virtual assistants will be worth the trouble, as the time you will save is staggering. Make sure to also make a list of all the projects you want to work on once you have some extra help to get the busy work off your plate.

3. To-become list
I’m a big fan of Oprah’s mantra: “You become what you believe.” Once you set an intention to do something it becomes so much easier to attain it. And taking it one step further and writing it down can really seal the deal. In fact, Dr. Gail Matthews, a professor at the Dominican University of California found that writing down goals will make you 33 percent more likely to achieve them.

This list can include anything that you want for your business and your life — daydreaming is definitely in order for this list. Think big. Even if you can’t figure out how exactly you’d achieve that goal, write it down anyway. Making a to-become list will get you motivated, hold you accountable and remind you of what’s important to you and your business. Keep this list somewhere safe and set a reminder in your phone every few months to check it out and see what you’ve become.

 
 

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What Can I Delegate to a Virtual Assistant by The Write Hand, LLC

Using a virtual assistant can shave hours from your workweek, but knowing which tasks to delegate can be tricky. When considering a virtual assistant, I suggest that you start with a list of tasks that take away from your main business goals. What are you doing that could easily be accomplished by somebody else?

Working remotely is rapidly becoming appealing to employees and employers. Both are finding and capitalizing on the many rewards. Employees are broadening their horizons, working flexible schedules, and finding greater work/life balance; thus creating a happier and more successful employee. Employers are realizing economic savings with the reduction of overhead and better output from employees that are truly enjoying what they do. Virtual Assistants are just one category of remote workers but they sure can save you a lot of time and aggravation.

Certainly running your own business can mean burning the candle at both ends. How many times have you been so overloaded that you just didn’t know which way to go next? Wouldn’t it be great to have your own virtual assistant? Well you can!! No, I don’t mean an assistant that shows up at your door Monday through Friday from 8 to 5. I’m talking about an assistant that is ready when you are, can do a lot or a little; an assistant that you keep in your back pocket for one off tasks or maybe a steady 2-3 hours a week to free you from pesky administrative chores.

No matter if you’re running the race in corporate America or forging your own path in entrepreneurship; a quality virtual assistant can be an economical and beneficial facet of your success. Sometimes, all you need is an Ah-Ha moment to get the wheels spinning…

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2015 in Let's Share...

 

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Is Ghostwriting Ethical???

Blog for Business

Blog for Business

In researching some business information I was derailed momentarily when I came across an article in Forbes that proposed the question: “Is Ghostwriting Ethical?” In all of my works as a ghostwriter, I never once thought I was unethical. Of course, that is because I collaborate with my clients to ensure the message they want to convey is reflective of their thoughts, lingo, and experiences. In the case of writing informational blogs for clients; I research a topic that the client dictates and then write an article accordingly. It’s so very true that not everybody has a firm grasp or passion for writing such as I and other writers do. In the case of The Write Hand, LLC and the ghostwriting services that I provide as a Virtual Assistant; I can always ensure my clients that my work is original and well crafted.

In the article from Forbes, authored by Cheryl Connor on 3/13/14; I have to say that I agree with the manner in which she lays out what she feels is ethical or unethical when it comes to ghostwriting. In particular, these two paragraphs summarize the jest of the question/answer; but to read more on the subject from Cheryl, please visit the article in Forbes by clicking here…

Quoted from Cheryl’s article in Forbes on Ghostwriting:

Collaboration with a professional writer is a wonderful concept and a tremendously effective means of getting the great thinking of a great leader into the words and format that will be interesting to readers, and will make the material memorable and compelling to share. In the world of communication, it’s an extremely valuable service, whether for a book, an article or a speech.

However, Ghostwriting, when it means the creation of material without the participation of the represented author, or without disclosing having utilized a ghostwriter, is a terrible idea, and in my opinion, an ethical breach, especially when non-transparent ghostwriting is used to promote a leader’s or public figure’s image or brand.”

Ghostwriting

Ghostwriting

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2015 in Ghostwriting

 

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Virtual Assistants: Everyday Uses for Everyday Folks

Always the To-Do List

Always the To-Do List

Don’t we all have nagging little tasks that we’d love to get done, but just keep putting off? Some of these tasks are simple yet time consuming. Some perhaps are not your specialty and just aren’t appealing. In any case, a Virtual Assistant can often be a good source to help with a lot of tasks from simple to elaborate.

Now a Virtual Assistant typically has extensive background in administrative tasks. As such, he or she should be very organized, time disciplined, and savvy with a myriad of technology. The list of skills could truly go on forever because every assistant excels or enjoys certain tasks more than another or is educated higher in some areas than others. Virtual Assistants often rely on each other as a network to accomplish a client’s vision. Let me give you a very small sampling of how a Virtual Assistant can help men and women in their daily lives.

»Creating a searchable document with all those recipes you have collected over the years and have to scrounge through every time you need that special one.

»Entering your contacts for those business cards you collected at the last conference because goodness knows you can’t reach them if you don’t have the info handy.

»Keeping your family or business QuickBooks accounts in order and reconciled, plus reporting, payroll, and more.

»Researching travel plans for family or business travel.

»Help you sell all those car and bike parts in the garage you just haven’t gotten around to listing on eBay.

»Creating a website for your small business whether it’s a main source of income or a hobby with potential. Similarly – helping manage your social media for optimal success.

»Refresh Your Resume, build a new resume for a high school kid, or even a college student.

»Checking your email and actually UNSUBSCRIBING to ads you no longer want. Come on, we all do it – we delete it and say we’ll unsubscribe later and just never do.

»Research dern near any topics you have in mind perhaps you simply haven’t had the time. A simple list of some of the better search results on your topics can make your reading and research a little less painful.

»Setup reservations for dining, theater, travel, and more. Along with extensive help with scheduling.

»Clean-up and organize all those digital photos you have collected over the years. There are also great storage and backup platforms that they can suggest as well.

…the list could really go on!

VAs can help unjuggle your life

VAs can help unjuggle your life

Just think of it this way, “Is there somebody I can just give this to for a reasonable price and have it off my plate?” If you don’t physically have to see this person, a Virtual Assistant can and most likely will be your most trusted and most economical means of support for miscellaneous tasks throughout life.

The nice thing to keep in mind is that if you establish a relationship with a VA, you don’t have to use them every week for a guaranteed number of hours. Make sure you interview your VA and ask how they function and be sure it suits your needs. You will find after that one simple task is completed, you’ll get a sense of accomplishment even if you didn’t have to do a lot. From there you will be searching for tasks to give to your Virtual Assistant to help make life smoother and free up some of your time.

 

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