One of the initial challenges of a Social Media Expert is this:
Naming Your Client’s Fan Page — if he doesn’t have one YET!
However, I learned the fun and easy way of choosing a likeable fan page when I attended the first live meet-up of the members of the FB Phenomenon Membership Site. This group is being mentored by Aussie Facebook Expert Jay Mclean and Work From Home Expert Jomar Hilario.
We had a round-robin activity. Each one contributes a funny (and CRAZY!) name for a member’s business. From these suggested “names”, you can either add or connect a word that relates to your business. It was a great exercise for stimulating your creativity while laughing!
Once you have chosen 3 names, you will conduct two types of tests:
1. Testing within your FB Personal Page
2. Testing in related FB Groups
Jomar and Jay opened their bag of tricks and generously shared what they do that make their FB Pages Phenomenal!
Live A Positively Awesome Life,
P.S. Jay is launching his FB Phenomenon Book on December 1, 2012! Grab a copy and learn more FB tricks to level up your skills as a VA!
After completing all the assignments, you’re all set to apply!
Now, here’s the next question: Where do I apply?
In my case, while I was doing the assignments, I am already building up my profile in oDesk. This is where I took the tests and underwent verification. Did I apply immediately?
Nope… I wasn’t feeling confident yet. However, when I was doing the 10th tutorial, I started browsing for jobs for hire. When I submitted the assignments to Rachel, I started applying for gigs!
My First brush With oDesk
In oDesk, you are given 20 chances to apply and when you get verified, you get an additional 5. This is refreshed every two weeks when you do not get any response from employers.
I had my first adrenalin rush as I received my first invite for a Skype interview! This one did not push through as the employer hinted that I lower my rate and do the task on a half voluntary basis. Well, what do you know! It was a non-profit organization. Good thing, Ann Exceptional VA reminded me to steer away from NGOs for they have limited capabilities.
On to my next search again! I received another email regarding my application as social media manager for a music school and another one for long term powerpoint presentation. I was asked to go through tests and unfortunately, the contracts were awarded to other bidders.
I was so eager to have a gig that I just forged on with the application in odesk. Waiting for response from employers kept me on my feet! Hours turned into days, then days turned into weeks. I was getting nothing, nada, zero, zilch!
Then a VA friend of mine said, “Why don’t you try Elance?”
My First Brush With Elance
I went through the same routine, open an account, fill up my profile page, took a test and applied for gigs.
In Elance, you are given 15 units per month and you use these units to apply for gigs. If you want your application to be visible to the employer, you use an extra unit to have you on the top-most list.
I am spending more time in Elance. I am a visual person, hence I like seeing the pictures and background of my co-applicants in just one glance.
I feel excited when I see our Philippine flag every time a Filipino contractor submits a bid for a job!
Most of all, I get faster feedback from Elance, like if my application was declined because my bid was too high or if the contract was awarded already to someone else. Also, when you click “My Elance”, I get a snapshot of the status of my applications. In just one page, I know if the jobs were still open, how many bidders, how much is the highest and lowest bids.
However, if you are an avid applicant like me, I used up all the credits in a matter of days! If you want additional credits to be able to apply for more gigs, you have to be willing to part with a few dollars.
My friends also say that Elance is more for technical contractors.
So what’s the verdict? Where should you apply? Apply to BOTH!
Have a Positively Awesome Day!
P.S. Got any interesting story or insights about oDesk or Elance?
You have just completed your 10th Tutorial!
You click enter to submit your VA Blog assignment to the virtual assistants of Jomar Hilario. Wohooo!
For me, doing the VA assignment was not an easy task since I had to learn the new tools, create 100++ slides per presentation and write the 10 posts! Plus there are many opportunities to learn and interesting webinars to attend resulting in a volume of information that needed to be absorbed by my feeling young brain cells.
Have I mentioned the numerous family errands and obligations that I have to attend to?
I was still employed then, so I was doing my VA assignment at 8 pm to 11 pm only. There were times when my schedule in the office was so hectic that I cannot muster enough energy to stay awake and still so the presentations at night. My motto then was “Just 1 slide before you sleep!” Of course, when I start doing one slide, you just have to keep going, right?
After submitting the assignment and sleeping for 12 hours to take that much needed rest, what do you do next?
Here are 5 things that you can do while waiting for feedback on your VA blog:
Have you completed your assignment in 2 weeks? 1 month? 3 months?
It does not matter. What is important is you have taken the time to complete the assignment after attending or downloading the VA Seminar.
Finishing the assignment calls for a celebration!
I bought myself 2 nice shirts to serve as a reminder for completing such a milestone in my life. I’m more supportive of my fellow newbie VA in completing what they have started since I wanted to share the feeling of accomplishment when they complete the task.
In my case, attending the VA Seminar alone is already a cause for a celebration for it opened my mind to the possibilities of working from home (a long time dream). Of course, it is still work, no, it’s hard work (as emphasized by Jomar Hilario).
By attending the VA Seminar, I now have virtual friends and classmates to run to when I’m experiencing technical trouble. Slowly, I gained confidence in my online skills which continued to amaze my non-techie friends. These alone are worthy reasons for me to celebrate the special occasion.
2. Learn more tools
While waiting for feedback, this is also the right time to learn more online tools that you will eventually use as a virtual assistant.
In my case, I took the time to study picmonkey for creating pictures without the use of photoshop. I also attended learning sessions on facebook since I would like to market myself as a social media expert.
I also did volunteer work for the succeeding VA seminars. It is my way to review and keep myself abreast on what is the latest in the VA world.
With free time at night, I used it to review sample cover letters for job applications. I realized that my cover letter is a powerful tool to get the attention of my prospective client.
I keep myself inspired by listening to the stories of other VAs who made it big in the online world. I regularly read Jomar’s posts in his blog and FB Groups
3. Take tests in Brainbench and Odesk
Nikki, one of the VAs of Jomar, posted that Brainbench is giving away selected free exams for 1 month. I immediately took the MS PowerPoint 2010 test!
This is the perfect time to take additional tests in Odesk and Brainbench to beef up your credentials and to wow your future clients
4. Complete your profile
In Odesk and Elance, some of the employers require that you have a complete profile. Some of them even prefer those who are verified . So why not take the time to do these.
Besides, you get bonus points or credits when your profile is verified and it increases your chances of being hired.
Have you tried making your profile in onlinejobs. ph? When I was doing the assignment, I was putting this off for there were tons of questions to be answered.
When I completed my assignment, I now have all the time to think over the answers that will wow my clients.
5. Apply, apply and apply
If you have completed Nos. 1-4, you can start applying for a gig.
Initially, I browsed through the listings on Odesk, Elance, craigslist, etc. This activity gave me a feel of the application process and got ideas on the most commonly used keywords by clients.
Actually, I started applying for a gig when I was working on my 8th Tutorial. Initially, I was getting rejection notices, stating that my bid was too high or that I lacked the necessary experience.
I studied how the successful candidate did it, how she introduced herself, how she wrote her profile, her price bids – in short, how she marketed herself.
I applied what I learned and I started getting invites for tests in editing, PowerPoint presentation, Fb posting, and writing articles.
All these activities (Nos. 1-5) will keep you busy and increase your value as a VA. Rather than waiting indefinitely, worrying when you will get feedback and fretting for feedback, you can decide to take action.
These activities will increase your confidence when presenting yourself to a client. More importantly, these activities will prepare you and equip yourself with the right skills and mindset as you take on this journey into the online world!
Have a Positively Awesome Day!
Postscript: A week before I got my very first gig, I got a feedback on my VA blog!
I was going through the list of available gigs in odesk. When I found this job post:
The title caught my attention, as if it’s written for me. They need a “Super Organizer” — that’s ME!
I clicked the APPLY button and excitedly wrote my cover letter. I re-read the job post up to the last line to make sure I had all the requirements covered.
I almost missed the last line: Please reply with your favorite TED Video.
I used to listen to TED Talks. I draw strength from inspiring, beautiful and courageous videos from the said website.
My journey to VA-hood reunited me with this website again.
TED Talks reminds me that there is a wellspring of inspiration that is just a mouse click away.
Here’s one TED talk that is now on my play loop!
I hope this will re-acquaint you with the simple pleasures of working from home and get reunited with who you really are — you are one Positively Awesome VA!
Last weekend, I had the privilege to work with my mentor, Jomar Hilario.
I was the Team Lead for the staff volunteers and at the same time, the host of the 2012 Facebook Marketing Expert Seminar. Jomar shared the stage with another FB Expert, Jay Mclean.
As Team Lead, I feel fortunate for having the support and cooperation of very professional and quick thinking staff volunteers namely Carmi, Rina, Macky, Darryl, Anna, Marlon, Mike, Eric, Loth and Ate Josie. The event’s success wouldn’t be possible without our virtual experts, Ms. Nikki and Ms. Trina. It was such a blessing to work with them.
The Team had a blast serving the participants and listening from the insights of Jomar and Jay. A big AHA for me is lesson on LIKES DOES NOT EQUAL TO SALES.
Initially, I thought that the more Likes is equivalent to sales, hence I was inviting everyone to be my friend! It’s crazy!
Here’s my take-away from the FBME Event;
Earning from FB is possible, it requires my daily attention and creativity to keep my fanpage engaging. I learned that it’s all about building relationships with your FB friends. This is achieved primarily by providing greater value to them, that eventually mutual trust is developed and this makes sales possible.
As Staff Volunteers, we learned new strategies and insights that we can apply to our business as entrepreneurs and as VAs. Plus, we went home with a bonus: A pat on our back from our mentor!
Indeed, in this life, it is possible to have BOTH!
Enjoy a Positively Awesome Life,
Sales drive business growth.
The same holds true for online businesses. In face to face marketing, you have sales pitches. In online marketing, you have sales landing pages.
The sales landing page consists of the following:
- Compelling Headline
- Sub headline
- Benefits to be Gained from Buying the Product
- Action Buttons
- Money Back Guarantee
Now, here is a cool plug in that makes creating a Sales Landing Page a breeze! Introducing: Premise 2!
Premise 2 empowers you to create sales landing pages without HTML knowledge! Also, it can be easily integrated with other email marketing systems such as Madmimi. More importantly, Premise 2 has a copywriting assistant that provides tips on sales copy writing!
Here’s ONE VERY IMPORTANT TIP from WordPress Premise 2:
Start your page with a compelling headline — it’s your most important element. Add a strong secondary header to amplify your point and give that headline an additional push…
Then start your sales letter by launching immediately into a mesmerizing premise, right after the secondary headline. Remember: the job of the headline is to get the reader to read the next line. The job of the second header is to get your reader to read the first line of your premise.
Every word of your sales letter, for the first half-page or so, is designed purely to get the reader to keep reading. Everything else is secondary.
Once the reader’s attention of fully engaged, you can start selling — not before.
Now, that was a great copywriting insight!
Let’s put that knowledge into action!
Live a Positively Awesome Life,
People love to WIN!
And do you know that there is a simple and easy way to create online contests? Meet RAFFLECOPTER!
Rafflecopter makes you WIN BIG in the hearts of your readers as it helps you create online giveaways with maximum impact! No need to study HTML codes, it’s a very intuitive tool! You can have a contest up and running in less than 10 minutes!
Sooo easy! This gives you more time to think of your concept for the contest, like
- do you have a story for the contest?
- what is your purpose for the online giveaway?
- what are the prizes that you will give?
- how many prizes will you give away?
- what is the contest duration?
- what do they have to do to join?
After all of these, you need to think of marketing your contest… so that many will be able to join!
Below is a tutorial on how you can get the most FUN from RAFFFLECOPTER! Enjoy the ride!
Live a Positively Awesome Life,
You want to make it BIG in the Internet Marketing Biz?
Then, you should have a mailing list!
In the Internet Marketing biz, your goal is to build a Mailing List. A Mailing List consists of names and email addresses of your fans. These are people who are willing to listen to you!
To build a mailing list, you need an Opt-In Page. Now, you must have seen an opt-in page hundreds of times.
Does this look familiar?
You must have seen this!
This is where you sign up and give your email in exchange of information.
To make an Opt-In Page, you can use Madmimi! This is an email marketing system that makes email collection and management so easy!
The tutorial below shows the step-by-step guide to turn you into a Opt-In Page Pro!
Now, start building your mailing list of fans!
Live A Positively Awesome Life,
P.S. The tutorial teaches you a neat trick! See if it works for you!
You wake up one morning, turn on your computer, open your email eager to see updates on your business… only to find out that your account is HACKED!
Has this happened to you? It happened to me several years ago. I’m pretty sure you know someone who has horror stories about losing their Gmail or FB accounts.
It can also happen to you.
Avoid the hassle! Simply back up your online accounts! Think of it this way, you can sleep better by knowing that your online accounts are safe and secure from hackers and even from yourself!
Yes… protect from YOURSELF!
You can accidentally hit that delete button and all your contacts, messages, and files — ALL OF THEM — will be nonexistent!
You’ll never know! You can be under a spell or super sleepy or trying on new settings or in a sudden burst of anger, you accidentally click DELETE!
Save yourself from the agony, here’s a free tool for you: BACKUPIFY!
Watch the tutorial below and sleep soundly!
Live a Positively Awesome Life,
P.S. Can you back up happy memories?
Welcome to the Information Age!
Gigabytes of information are right at your finger tips every minute! You store voluminous files at work and at home.
So how do you send HUGE files to your clients and friends? Remember, Gmail and Yahoo can only accomodate a limited number of files!
Worry no more for there’s a great tool that can allow you to share 5 Gigabytes of information with your friends and co-workers… Introducing: DROPBOX!
Dropbox is a free software that you can use to share pictures, presentations, word documents, spreadsheets!
This multi tasking tool is simple and easy to use. Just follow the tutorial below and you can immediately start sharing your files and enjoy the benefits of DROPBOX!
Live a Positively Awesome Life,
P.S. Have you heard of the Top 10 Clever Uses for Dropbox?