Friday, August 19, 2005

I've been mentioned on Dr!

Author and radio personality Dr Laura helps people with a wide range of personal, work, and family problems. She "preaches, teaches, and nags about morals, values and ethics." Her website has a lot of great information for everyone.

She recently posted an article about working at home vs. taking on a second job and I was mentioned! You can read the article here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Do you have the Virtual Edge?

The Virtual Edge – The Website that Shines!

Do you have the Virtual Edge with your business? That website that when people go there they say, Wow, I want to work with that company. If not, here are a few pointers.

Packing a Punch

Your website is the one thing that defines you and your business and has the potential to draw the entire virtual world to your products or services. How important is it? Well, I just recently had mine redone, and I immediately starting gaining more clients. Also, because I added a more professional edge to my site, I started getting clients who were a higher caliber and who paid more!

Here are a few pointers I think you might find useful:

* The First Glance - Hook Them!! Keep in mind that the first thing listed in the main body of your site should be the best you offer. The main thing you are bringing people to the site to see. It has to clearly state what is it you want to sell, offer, feature, etc. Go look at your site, have you done it?

* Buttons That Tell & Sell - Those side and top buttons—you need to clearly set up so that people want to click on them and find out more. Also, you need to have these labeled correctly so they know what they are clicking on to see. That name is critical to making them take the time to check out that page.

* Bullet Power- Clients often skim sites and rarely read through the entire site. They look for items that interest them. If you list paragraph after paragraph, it won’t get read. Think back, do you read those paragraphs. I don’t! Therefore use bullets or symbols instead. And try the slanted bullets or a different bullet style for more eye appeal.

* Chose Your Words Wisely - Every word on your site should say something important. Absolutely you need to use keywords, but you also need to use convincing words to sell you and your business. Don’t get so caught up in keywords that you lose the focus of the site. Write the text, edit and delete, and repeat that last step over and over until you have it just right.

* Convenience -- Clickable Links -- In the body of the website itself, whenever you are providing a reference to a site, make sure you have a clickable link, even if you have it on the side panel. People often won’t take the time to go look for the button, so make it easy for them.

* Colors Are Cool -- Match your colors to your business and you. I just started another new site and added my favorite colors to it. It has a softer feel and look to it and yet still has the professional edge I need for virtual assisting.

* Front Page Magic – Offer Something FREE - On your front page, it helps to offer something for FREE. I offer a free booklet on obtaining clients in a pdf format. How about a free 10 ways to do whatever it is you do? That sort of thing. Let people long after they leave your site remember you and want to come back to you with their money and business.

* Contests - Come One- Come All -- Yes, we know they work. They get people to your site and that adds to your traffic. But, here’s a tip to make them really successful. Follow-up each response with a personal e-mail. Now, the key is not making it a hard sale sales letter they will never read. Instead, a “Hi, thanks for entering the contests, I’m sorry you did/didn’t win, but I’m ...” And then give them something special, including a coupon off of your services. Make them feel special.

* Newsletter -- List your newsletter on numerous pages if not all. This is what is going to be reconnecting you to your clients and potential clients.

* The Eyes Have It - I strongly suggest you have another friend or business associate view your site and offer opinions. It’s incredible what they can see that you don’t as you are too close to it.

* Eyes -- Take Two -- Right now, stop and check out your site. Have you looked at it from a potential client’s viewpoint? What did you think? Did it clearly define you and what you offered? Did it spark your interest?

I hope these tips help you to get the virtual edge you need for your business. Good luck!

Diana Ennen is the author of numerous books including Virtual Assistant: the Series, Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and Words From Home, Start, Run and Profit from a Home-Based Word Processing Business. She specializes in publicity and book marketing and is president of Virtual Word Publishing and Articles are free to be reprinted as long as the author’s bio remains intact.

Not Another Carpet Sweeper!

Don’t want another carpet sweeper this year for Christmas?
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