Blogging, Coaching, Content Creation, Entrepreneurship, Virtual Assistant

Free Advice On how to build a HEALTHY BUSINESS that lasts

I would like to introduce my first guest blogger Maggie Perotin of stairwaytoleadership.com.  Maggie is a mom of 1 girl and 1 boy, additionally she is a step mom of 2 boys, she runs a online coaching business focused on helping business owners to lead a balanced life. Read more in her bio below.  Take it away Maggie.

I’m sure you’re like the most of us, as a business owner, you’d like your business to last and be healthy. Your dream lifestyle and family well being depend on it. 

To achieve that, your business needs a core, a spine that will always be there no matter the changes that happen to the rest of the “body.” This core should help you persevere in times of doubt, say “Yes” to the right opportunities and especially “No” to the wrong ones even if they seem like “once in a lifetime” now.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog series on Change to help my readers understand the anatomy of change, what is needed to embrace it, and how to lead your organization through change. It’s because in today’s changing markets driven by lightspeed evolution of technology, as business leaders, not only we need to adapt it but also rive it in our organizations. 

However, there are things in your business that should stay fixed. Things that shouldn’t change at all or not for a long time, even if the strategies, products, or services you deliver change and adapt to your customers’ needs. 

Those main three things are: 

–    the core purpose = the ‘why’; 

–    the values; and

–    the vision

“You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things so that all the small things go in the right direction.” Alvin Toffler

Let’s talk more about the 3 big things then. 

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  1.   Core Purpose – why?

When we start a business, the truth is that the main reason for it is hardly ever solely money. Yes, I get it that we want to make a living while running the biz, but pause and think back why did you start it in the first place?

Was it because you wanted to be independent, have total control of your time? Or maybe to be able to lead a balanced life where you can spend time with your kids? Or you want to help people become healthier, feel more beautiful or be more successful because helping others makes you happy?

The answer to this question is your business’s core purpose. Now, it can create a mission, a statement that will embody it. The statement needs to be idealistic. If you think it’s not idealistic enough once you have your first draft, ask, “why do we do that?” and refine your answer. Repeat this exercise up to magic 7 times until you get to a statement that you are happy with and is short of “making the world a better place”. 

This way, you’ll define your core purpose as something you’ll always strive for that will never achieve 100. Something close to “make the world a better place.” Why? Because it will keep your business going and help you persist. Whenever you have any doubts about why you should continue to work on your business or feel discourages, the core purpose will give you the answer.

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  1.   Core values – how do we behave? 

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” Roy E. Disney

When you take time and think of core values for your business, they will act as guiding principles that will help you navigate your entrepreneurship journey. It’s because they can assist you in making the most critical decisions when presented with opportunities. Saying “No” to opportunities that look promising but can hurt your business, in the long run, isn’t easy. It can be easier though if you know that such an opportunity doesn’t align with your core values. To put differently, having values gives your business its soul. 

How do you determine your business’ core values then?

If you are a solopreneur, look at what’s important to you as a person and align them with your values.

If you already have employees, look not only at your values but also at who is your best team members.  The ones that you’d pick to recreate your business if you had to do that in another country. How do they behave when at work, what do they value?

Once you pick several them, put them through a time laps prism. Would you be living by them in 100 years? If yes, keep them. If not, scratch them off. 

This way, you can get down to 3 – 5 core values. Your business doesn’t need more. Then, instead of keeping them as one-word principles, try describing them a bit more by answering a question – how do we behave? What do we stand for?

As a reference to help you, here is Disney’s example:

–    No cynicism

–    Nurturing and spreading of “wholesome American values.”

–    Creativity, dreams, and imagination

–    Fanatical attention to consistency and detail

–    Preservation and control of Disney magic

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  1.   A Long-Lasting Vision – where are we going?

“Vision is a destination – a fixed point to which we focus all effort. Strategy is a route – an adaptable path to get us where we want to go.” Simon Sinek

As a business owner, you should create a far-reaching vision on what you’d like to achieve in 10-20 years from now. It needs to be audacious, BIG, and also needs to be achievable, even if the probability at this point is 60%. 

To do that you can write it down or if you like visuals, creating a vision board will work as well. 

In short, your Vision or Big Hairy Audacious Goals, as Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras called them in “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies,” need to be achievable and will change, unlike your core purpose. 

Because once you reach, you’ll need to set up new ones for the business to have something new to strive for and not become complacent.   

After you have done all this great and hard work, now you can start developing different strategies that will help you achieve your vision. These strategies will change and adapt to customers’ needs and market shifts.

All that I talked about above will allow your business to be healthy and last. It will also help you to have clarity and focus on the important things as opposed to urgent ones. 

When you don’t have that clarity the symptoms to watch out for are:

– you don’t have enough time to accomplish your business goals 

– you feel overwhelmed and paralyzed 

– you procrastinate

– you don’t accomplish much although you are busy all the time

– you don’t see the progress in your business that you were hoping for.

If you have seen some or all those symptoms in your day to day operations, maybe it’s time to stop and regroup. And if you need help, I’d like to offer you a free strategy session.

Just imagine, applying the right strategies to work smarter as opposed to harder; to achieve your primary goals faster and have more time to lead a balanced life. 

I wrote a post for Maggie called Why do you love your business?, click the link to read it on her webpage.

About the author:

20181123_153715 (2)I am a mom of 2 (boy & girl) and step-mom of 2 (2 boys). I love spending time with my family & friends, read & learn and be in nature as much as possible. 

Professionally, I have been working in facility management corporate world holding operational leadership position for over 13 years. I have done at lot: hiring, caching, mentoring, performance managing, training & scheduling in the 24/7/365 critical departments, managed portfolio of facilities, lead construction projects and North American programs; business analytics, operational effectiveness, technology up-grades and implementations, you name it. 

This year I decided to open my own coaching business, Stairway to Leadership. 

I help women to unleash their full potential as business leaders by helping them take full control of their time, run their businesses strategically with operational excellence so that they successfully lead a balanced life. 

I strongly believe in giving back to the communities we live in. I volunteer when I can locally and a percentage of profits form running my business will go to charities as well. 

Links:

https://stairwaytoleadership.com/

https://www.instagram.com/stairway_to_leadership/

https://twitter.com/stairway_2

https://www.facebook.com/StairwaytoLeadership/

 

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Blogging, Content Creation, Entrepreneurship, Research, Virtual Assistant

Just do it!

“Just do it!” To re-coin the famous Nike brand slogan, sometimes even in business you just have to do it. This past April I developed my first product the Customized Blogging Calendar. I then re-branded it after receiving a little bit of feedback, to be titled the Customized Research Calendar.

During the process of filling in the orders I had received for these calendars I realized the amount of work that  was going into them was a lot more than I had previously accounted for when setting up my pricing. To make matters more concerning not everyone who bought a calendar was fully satisfied as they were not 100% sure how to utilize the calendar ideas once they had received them. Some people spend entire life times trying to perfect an idea before ever taking the plunge to place it on the market. However, by waiting until their product is perfect they waste valuable time. Today, I want to go over the 4 reasons you should just do it.

Reason #1: I’m hoping if you have developed a product, you have already found a problem and a resolution for the problem. This is what a product is designed to do after all fix a problem, fill a need. By putting your product out their it plants the seed in people to recognize you as the go to person. It helps you plant the seeds for future business growth. I had multiple people who ordered the calendar requesting information and wanting to barter for me to write blog posts for them.

Reason #2: One product idea and witnessing how it works within the actual market can _Just Do IT!_ (1)help to inspire new product ideas and avenues. After creating a few of these calendars I was able to come up with more product ideas to sell within the parameters of my business. (Stay tuned, as I will be revealing these great products next month).

Reason #3: Those who purchase early even if just a handful can help you to see the cracks in your product that make it inferior whereas sitting on the product and never testing it on others leaves you with a sad product piece  that never ends up increasing beyond a small handful sales wise. In other words don’t wait to sell until you think your product is perfect, because it will keep you blind when someone actually stands up to say otherwise.

Reason #4: Going through the sales process can be nerve racking, but getting that first, second, and/or third sale really helps to build up your confidence. By putting your product out their you can finally start building on that sales experience. If you want to sell something in the online space it really requires a lot of confidence in yourself, your brand, and your product. By just doing it, and throwing the product out their for the entire world to see you build your confidence in yourself a thousand fold.

Nike’s “Just do it!” slogan may be geared toward athletes, and physical activity, but its also a great lesson for all business persons and entrepreneurs alike. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Whether that is posting content to social media, writing that blog post, setting up that website, or launching your first product idea. You might be saying to yourself, but you need a better idea. You may be saying to yourself, but what if nobody buys it? Then you now know 2 things. 1) You need a better idea of who your clients are and/or  2)  you need to complete some market research to better understand how the product you created solves a problem, or is the problem you are trying to resolve even a real problem?

Do you have a product idea you’ve been sitting on for too long? What is preventing you from developing, promoting, and selling that product right now? Tell me in the comments below.

Also if you liked this post and want more content like it  join my facebook group Focused on Content Creation, or like my facebook business page @Leeannminton.net

Blogging, Content Creation, Hobbies, Organizing, Research, Virtual Assistant

Customized Blogging Calendar

Do you struggle with developing ideas for what to post on your blog? Are you struggling to develop regular content for your podcast or youtube channel? Do you enjoy creating your own content, but sometimes struggle with writers block or figuring out what back links to include in your posts?

Here at L.M.V.A we have developed a template to standardize the blog outlining process, and we are offering to help customize a template specifically for you. Each Calendar comes with 24 outlines. This includes 24 titles/main topics, 3-5 subtopics, suggested post by dates, plus suggested back links where applicable.

Here is a sample sneak peak of the template.

sample calendar page

You can get all of this and more (promotional codes and other special discounts inside) for the low, low price of $48.

Each calendar is 100% customized. No two calendars will be the same. The content suggestions are designed to meet your content goals and are customized specifically for your niche.

Here is what others had to say about the Customized Content Calendar!

Calendar reviews

 

This low, low offer of 24 blog outlines for $48 ends June 30, 2019 to place your order please click here!

Employment, Organizing, Real Estate, Social, Virtual Assistant

How does a realtor establish their online presence?

The digital landscape is constantly going through monumental changes, and in today’s world it is not enough just to have a website and hand it out on a business card like an email address. You need to  market your website, increase web traffic, and make your website relevant enough so that it appears within a quick google search.

Realtors have always been at the forefront of new technology. After all a realtors business is getting their face and business in front of as many people in their local area as possible, so that when they are ready to buy or sell  a house, people choose them.

Establishing your online presence, might seem like a daunting task, honestly its the first task every realtor should outsource. In this article I’m going to share with you my online presence checklist. How to get started, so that you can easily hand the task over once you know what it is you want and are looking for.

Establishing your Online Presence:

  • If you do not have a website, you need one this is the first step to establishing your online presence. Check out this article on why you need a website and not just a social media page.
  • If you already have a website, make sure you are blogging regularly. Not sure what to blog about? I offer a customized blogging calendar, where I outline 24 blog posts for you! It is 100% customized so no one receives the same two outlines (even if you work in the same city. ) Click here for the order form. What People Are Saying About The Customized Blogging Calendar!(1)
  • Once you have a website set up, it is time to pick your ideal social media network. There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing a social media program, it is all about how well you market yourself on the network you choose. We will discuss this in more detail later.
  • Determine your purpose for using social media, are you trying to get more leads for your real estate business? Do you just want more traffic to your website, so that its more likely to show up on a google search? Maybe it is a combination of these things.
  • Start building an email list, Hubspot has a great free CRM option, that allows you to keep track of all the communications you have had with each of your contacts.
  • Create multiple calls to action. As a realtor you are selling houses, helping people to buy houses, maybe you are even in the business of flipping or renting out houses. As a realtor their are multiple ways for you to build your email list, but a call to action that makes people want to sign up for your list and provides them with something in return is proven to have the best return on investment.
  • Here is a list of some great calls to action you can use to increase leads.
  • Post often, set yourself up as an expert in your field, but also provide content that is helpful. You do not want all of your posts to be about how you can sell someone’s home, or how you can find someone their dream home. You want your posts to be helpful and informative, so that people keep coming back for more, and remember you in the future when they are ready to buy or sell a home.

 

choosing A

Choosing a Social Media Platform as a Realtor

There are many social media platforms, and they all work in a similar fashion. Below, we’ll explore some of the more popular social media platforms (FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, PINTEREST), and briefly talk about what each of these platforms does best.

    Facebook:

Facebook has approximately 1.8 billion users worldwide and is growing. As far as social media platforms go, facebook is ideal for building relationships and brand loyalty. With the ability to build a business page, group, and set up automatic chat response bots, facebook is truly the most interactive and automation friendly platform available. The best part is you can build a following 100 percent for free if you know what you are doing and put in the time to build it. Don’t have the extra time to spend growing your following? Not a problem, through facebook’s business ad program its very easy to grow a profitable following through facebook ads. Facebook is useful for those who are very text and video heavy in their promotion, with no real limit to the number of words and characters an individual can use it is great for providing a lot of detail and information. You also have the ability to share web links, videos, and images.

    Instagram:

Instagram is a subsidiary of facebook and is graffic heavy, allowing its users to showcase stories in image form and 1 minute video increments. Instagram is more about branding than relationship building. If you want to showcase yourself as a expert in your field, and develop a solid brand for people to remember you by, Instagram is the platform to do it on. There is also the option of connecting your instagram and facebook accounts in order to share posts simultaneously to both platforms speeding up your scheduling time. As a realtor Instagram is a great place for sharing virtual tours, flip projects, and homes currently available for sale.

    Twitter:

Twitter allows its users to share pictures, videos, and weblinks similar to facebook, the difference is it has a character limit of 280 for its posts. Like facebook, twitter is about building relationships. If you really want twitter to work for you, you need to direct your tweets at specific individuals. Make sure you use an image or video on every tweet as you increase the likelihood of your tweet being seen by 5x vs not having a image at all.

    LinkedIn:

Linkedin is a professionals social media platform geared toward building relationships with a business to business mind frame. You could  use linkedin to connect with people who will be moving to the area because of a new job, or leaving your area and needing to sell their current home as they move out of the area. Linkedin allows for similar sharing to facebook and twitter. Your reach improves with how consistent you are with posting as well as with how relevant your content is to your business and business goals. Linkedin like facebook also has groups you can join in for networking and conversation.

    Pinterest:

Pinterest is an excellent option for building web traffic to your website. Web traffic is very important if you want your website to rank in the upper pages of google, as web traffic helps to mark you as a expert in your field. Items to showcase on Pinterest as a real estate agent would be renovation before and after images, blog posts, and printables. Each pin should directly link to your webpage or a call to action landing page.

When it comes to choosing a social media network, the first thing to consider is what social media program you already use regularly. From there consider your business needs.

Content Creation for Realtors:

There are three forms of content Images, video, and written. While each content type showcases better on different social media networks, it is easy to re-purpose one piece of content into multiple content forms.

Here are some great content topic ideas for realtors:

  • Describe the history of a neighborhood, city or town
  • Review a local restaurant or place of business
  • Describe the home-buying process
  • Describe the home-selling process
  • Explain the benefits and/or drawbacks of a open house
  • Tips for improving curb appeal
  • Tips for improving resale value
  • Suggest day trips within 50 miles of your city
  • Moving tips

View this list of 100 real estate blog topics from zillow for more great ideas.

To establish your online presence as a realtor you need a website, calls to action, an email list, and one to two social media networks. If this sounds overwhelming it can be, but there are plenty of online tutorials and virtual assistants available at a variety of price ranges. Here at L.M.V.A we offer a range of services to help you with all of your online content needs.

Contact Me!(1)

 

 

If you found this post helpful, or have any questions please feel free to comment below.

 

Employment, News, Virtual Assistant

Currently Accepting Clients

I started this blog four years ago, over time it has gone through a number of changes. When I first started I was writing about food, then it morphed into a sort of mommy blog for awhile, and last year I finally landed upon my niche in the virtual world.

I have always enjoyed working as a personal assistant, and getting to do that from home is like a dream come true. I currently have two clients I am working with, A&O Realty and Inspiring Christian Coaching. I have attached a few links to my posts over at A&O Realty below.

In honor of the new year and my newest endeavor I am offering up free consultations and a discounted hourly rate for those who sign up before February 28th.

clients wanted

A&O Realty Blog Posts

Chesapeake Beach

Home Ownership Goals

5 Reasons You Should Hire a Realtor

If you like the posts I completed for A&O Realty and would like me to write something similar for your website let me know. You can contact me here. Want to know more about my services? Check out my services page. Looking to bundle multiple services? I have packages that will fit just about any business. I can also create a specialty package for you. Don’t forget currently I am running a special for all new clients who sign up between now and the end of February of a $15 per hour rate. The length of the rate will change depending on the project. Please set up a free consultation for more details. (Average length of discount is six weeks, but may be extended up to a max of six months.) This discount rate won’t last long, and may even be the only time it is ever offered, so jump on it while it is hot.

My partnership with A&O Realty was a lucky find and a fine example of sometimes it is who you know. If you are looking to start your own virtual assistance business reach out to your friends and family, see if anyone knows someone who could use help with their blog, website, or social media. I currently am responsible for the website maintenance (including blog updates) and social media outreach for A&O Realty. It’s important to remember however that when you work for someone no matter what your prior relationship was to working for them, this is a business and you must treat the job as you would any other job.