Archive for August, 2008

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What Kind of Business Training is Best for You?

August 19, 2008

While the content should be something that will enhance your business and help you increase your revenue, skills or happiness; the way in which you learn should help you determine how those skills are best processed by you.

Essentially there are 3 different Learning modalities:

Visual – You find writing things down, or highlighting them to help you best to recall the information.  Diagrams, photos, video or even cards with notes on them – remember flash cards in math?  All of those are helpful for those that process things visually.

Auditory – You learn best by closing your eyes, blocking out the world and listening.  Word Association is an effective tool that you use to remember things.  Tapes and teleconferences are fabulous ways for you to increase you business acumen.

Kinesthetic – You learn best by jumping in and doing it.  You are the one that glosses over directions and fiddles around with things until you know how to do it.  Lessons that include games, role-playing and props (or physical examples of something you can touch) make a much bigger impression on you.

Most people do not have just one modality.  I learn best kinesthetically, but I also learn well visually.  Sitting still through a lecture or teleseminar is difficult for me, no matter how interesting the subject matter.  To counteract this tendency for my mind to wander in situations such as teleseminars, I tend to doodle about what the person is speaking about or take notes.  If the speaker is referencing things from the web I will bring them up on my computer.  I do have to make an effort not to become too involved with whatever is on the web so I tune out the speaker.  I know the point of my doodling or surfing the web is to keep my mind engaged on what the speaker is saying.

The most important thing to do is think about the ways you process information best and then choose the classes or lessons that work with that modality.  If there is a class or seminar that you want to be involved in that is not your strength, think of ways to incorporate your learning modality.  Someone who is auditory might want to record a seminar to listen to later.  Someone who is visual might choose to take notes and go over them with a highlighter later.  A kinesthetic person would choose to jump in and try out whatever it is they are learning to see how it feels.

Play to your strengths, while still being aware of your weaknesses.

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Are YOU a Virtual Assistant?

August 7, 2008

Get Thee to the 2008 Virtual Assistant Industry Survey

Adsurvey The 2008 Virtual Assistant Industry Survey is underway and if you are a Virtual Assistant, you are personally invited and encouraged to participate!

Every August marks the time of year when Virtual Assistants can contribute to the statistics and body of knowledge that is improving the industry’s understanding of itself and the education of its market. Sponsored by the Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce, over 10,000 Virtual Assistants from around the world are invited to participate.

Created by Virtual Assistants (the folks who know the industry best!), the Virtual Assistant Industry Survey is the most comprehensive and in-depth survey in the Virtual Assistant profession. With 101 questions, the survey includes detailed cross-sectional data that offers unprecedented information about individual and business demographics, market data and services. Other survey topics include:

  • Education, experience and credentials
  • Employees and subcontractors
  • Clients and target markets
  • Hours and services
  • Pricing and income
  • Training and continuing education
  • Marketing and networking
  • Success, profitability and entrepreneurship
  • Standards, Ethics and Educating the Public

This year’s survey focuses on how the media portrays our industry, what they’re getting wrong and what they’re getting right, our qualification standards and the issues that give a black-eye to the profession. Our collective voices can be heard and have a very real impact on properly educating those who work with us and write about us. That’s why it’s so very important that each and every Virtual Assistant take a moment to participate, be counted and have their say.

The 2008 Virtual Assistant Industry Survey is open to all professional Virtual Assistants. A copy of the 2008 Virtual Assistant Industry Survey Report will be provided at no charge to every participating Virtual Assistant at the end of the survey period August 31.

You Can Help Spread the Word!

By participating, each and every one of us makes a difference in shaping our industry. You can help us in the effort of giving every Virtual Assistant a voice by helping spread the word. Hey, it’s a great excuse for a blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn post, and if you belong to other Virtual Assistant forums and listservs, please tell everyone you can.

Feel free to copy and paste text and graphics as you like from any of these sources:

Office Press Release:
http://www.virtualassistantnetworking.com/releases/2008/080208.htm

Gritty VA Blog Post:
http://www.grittyva.com/the_gritty_virtual_assist/2008/08/get-thee-to-the.html

Survey Page:
http://www.virtualassistantnetworking.com/survey.htm

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Credibility on the Web

August 4, 2008

(Part 2)

Since so many business owners are popping up and creating their own businesses from templates I will add a few do’s and don’ts about designing a website. Any good web designer should know this, so use it as criteria to evaluate their web designs or in designing one yourself. If you can afford a web designer – don’t do it yourself! There is much behind the scenes “stuff” that will be missed in a templated site.

Business websites should have a consistent theme or feel so the viewer knows they are still on the same website. Templates provide this – however there are a whole slew of sites out there that just scream that they are templates. If you must use them do so, but plan to have a professional designer do your site as soon as practical. And make sure that whatever domain name you choose you can take with you, that it is not the property of someone else.

Spelling, punctuation, grammar and font choice are all very important. The web is no place for typos. Have as many fresh eyes as possible go over your site and critique it.

Many people are fond of a particular font or like to change things up. Limit your website to no more than 2 fonts. It should be noted, however that for legibility on the web, a non-serif font is best. This would include Arial, Verdana, Trebuchet, Tahoma and Calibri to name a few. If you use a different, more decorative font, limit it to Titles and headings. By using it sparingly it says more – also realize if you use a lesser known font, it will not necessarily show up for all users as the font you want. Prepare for this contingency.

If this is a strictly business site, leave off the advertisements and web banners. If you do use them, make sure it is clear that it is advertisement separate from your site. Likewise if you include Links or affiliates, be sure they are appropriate to your industry and your audience and leave them on a page labeled Links.

Make sure the content is fresh and updated on a regular basis. If it shows “old news” it quickly loses credibility. An example happened to me recently. A friend decided she wanted a German Shepherd Puppy. I Googled German Shepherd Dog Breeders in her area and came up with several possibilities. One site stood out above the rest, until I read about the most recent litter of puppies born just last week. The date on the photo was 14 months earlier. I passed and moved on. If you don’t care about your site, you don’t care about your customers.

Creating a web presence that has credibility is the first step in creating credibility for you business. Websites have become the platform that most people use to research a business. Make sure yours stands out, is believable and creates the image that you can be proud of.