Forum on Virtual Assistance 2009 Launches New Site!

FoVA 2009 Yes indeed, the Forum on Virtual Assistance (FoVA 2009) has launched a new WordPress based site. Personally, I think it looks pretty great as I was lucky enough to use my favourite skills to setup the entire site.

Although we did choose the iThemes flexx theme for the core, a lot of customization was done to mold it into it’s own unique FoVA style. Keeping with the yellow and black color scheme made it fun to design the graphics to really stand out.

I also took full advantage of the hot new billboard plugin designed by iThemes to generate the custom thumbnails along the bottom of the site that profile the FoVA 2009 Session Leaders.

The blog certainly enhances the event and will make it easy to post information and resources that will be of benefit to anyone who is attending or thinking about attending the event.

I am really excited to attend FoVA again this year and have been given the opportunity to do a WordPress Workshop – ya! I am so excited to package up and share information on “How To Offer WordPress as a Service“.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the event.

Oh, and all FoVA 2009 Attendees… Don’t forget to Map yourself please.



Are you an Internet Marketing Virtual Assistant?

I see tons of people popping up all over the Internet who are proudly displaying the VAclassroom Certification Badge. Kudos to you all for taking such a great step towards enhancing your professional development portfolio. As you know…

Today’s Internet marketers and entrepreneurs are increasingly stressed, overworked and overwhelmed by all that goes into managing their businesses. They’re desperate for great virtual assistants to basically rescue them from drowning in a list of tasks they are not able to manage properly.

That is exactly why the VAclassroom was formed. To not only give people a place to learn the exact in demand skills to make them highly marketable in today’s rapidly growing outsourcing arena but also to give them a place to network, keep current on industry trends, share idea’s and have a central hub spot or home base.

I know first hand the added value that a VAclassroom Membership can give to your business. I finished the initial VAclassroom Certification Program last Spring and use my membership on a daily basis in my business.

A few of the key area’s you can expect to master include:

* Internet Marketing Foundations
* Web Analytics Assistant
* Affiliate Marketing Assistant Part 1
* Affiliate Marketing Assistant Part 2
* Search Marketing Assistant Part 1
* Search Marketing Assistant Part 2
* Blogging/ Social Media Assistant Part 1
* Blogging/ Social Media Assistant Part 2
* Email Marketing Assistant
* Digitally Enhanced Productivity Strategies
* Advanced Blogging VA Training
* Project Manager Superstar

So, as you can see I highly recommend the VAclassroom to anyone who wishes to learn these exact in demand skills.

Already certified as an Internet Marketing virtual assistant from

I would love to here from you… I am currently looking for 5 VAclassroom certification holders to participate in a unique marketing opportunity. I am creating a video presentation that includes some key statistics and information and would love to see you featured… Please send me a quick note to get started!

To your success, certificaton



11 Key Areas to Outsource in 2009

I captured a lot of key information recently from a free conference call hosted by Tina Forsyth, Online Business Manager and Cindy Greenway Virtual Manager, Victoria Business Solutions that I am very excited to share with you. The call titled, “VA Specialties that Clients are Eager to Pay For” was full of valuable information for both virtual assistants and for clients who are feeling overwhelmed and wondering what they can indeed outsource successfully to a virtual assistant ~ A big “Thank You” to both of you Tina & Cindy for this amazing call!

I have been in contact with 5 hot leads within the last 2/3 weeks who have a lot in common. They don’t operate the same type of business however a few of the commonalities they all share include:

a. Their businesses are experiencing tremendous growth in 2009.
b. They are starting to feel overwhelmed with the current workload and anticipate even more going forward.
c. They all had heard of a virtual assistant but are just not 100% sure of how it will all come together.
d. They all said, “I need more time to focus on what I love doing”.
e. And, they all found me through my social media endeavors!

With that being said here are the 11 Key Areas You Can Outsource Successfully in 2009:

1. Affiliate Marketing Management

Find the most affordable tools/systems for your campaigns, setup affiliate program action plan, bring on new affiliates, build lists, keep in touch with and ensure affiliates have all the tools they require, track affiliate sales and payouts, develop strategies to enhance campaigns, create/oversee the production of artwork, liaise with affiliate partners and/or their associates as required, develop system to track all social media activity/conversations about the campaign and ensure an appropriate level of engagement is taken by or for you.

2. Social Media Marketing (hot)

Take stock of your current level of involvement in social media marketing and devise a workable action plan going forward. Ensure a proper level of engagement is mapped out for your business and all of your social profiles across networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and tools such as autoresponders, article author boxes, email tag lines, etc are displaying your profile links. Incorporate strategies and systems to capture key conversations that are taking place about your brand and forward key information that you need to know and filter through everything else accordingly. Find key groups within your niche that will add the most value to your business. Create and submit content to all your social media channels that will add value to your brand and build your credibility. Ensure all of your “fronts” on the web are in top shape and encourage visitors to share and interact with you through social media. Make efficient use of effective social media tools such as bookmarking, RSS, tagging, submitting content, etc while documenting these systems and tools along the way.

3. Traffic and List Building Specialist

Finding and setting up the best list building system for your business. Branding and/or maintaining a consistent look/feel for your business across all of your communications. Scheduling communications in conjunction with your business and/or marketing plan, product/service launches, and major sales promotions. Database maintenance. Content creation. Seeking out cross promotions and/or joint venture partners. Spreading viral marketing offers across multiple social media channels. Tracking key statistics and information. Competitive tracking and research. Build and maintain solid relations with existing subscribers.

4. Video/Podcasting Production (hot)

Develop a production schedule for video and/or podcasts. Research and use the best tools and/or resources for your business ie., cameras, equipment, etc. Edit, tag, and publish audio and video to key submission spots that make sense for your business. Ensure social media marketing specialist is kept informed about keywords, tags, and RSS feeds for each production. Monitor traffic and analytics. Keep up with emerging trends.

5. Online Business Management

Manage the daily operations of your business giving you more time to engage in your area of specialty. This can include a broad scope of activities that revolve around planning, project management, and ultimately growing your team and your business.

6. Blog Management

Ensure the blog is setup with the best presentation for your readers and that it is easy for your readers to follow, subscribe, share, and find you across all your social profiles. Ensure blog is submitted to key directories and sites within your niche. Write meaningful content geared specifically towards your readers that engages with and shares your readers content as well. Ensure comments are moderated and responded to in a timely fashion. Ensure content is exciting and welcomes comments. Ensure content is syndicated where it should be. Develop strategies to make reading your blog fun. Ensure graphics, sign up boxes, and all RSS feeds are always in top working order. Install Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, and develop a spreadsheet to track statistics and watch trends. Use these key statistics to watch and develop content that attracts the most readers. Ensure ongoing maintenance and branding are kept up to date. Use creative strategies to promote the blog and content. Keep a “hot list” of who is talking, commenting, blogging, or sharing social media stories about your blog.

7. Speaking Engagement Management

Work behind the scenes to ensure all technicalities are taken care of. Preparing, formatting, and distributing presentations, handouts, and other literature. Responding to inquires in a timely fashion. Maintaining your membership club, creating, formatting, and adding new content. Building effective follow up and lead generation systems.

8. Publicity Management

Designing and implementing an effective publicity plan. Getting your name and business out there whenever possible. Optimizing your profile across major press release portals, ensuring all new accreditation, businesses and achievements are added in a timely fashion. Writing and distributing effective press releases. Ensuring website, blog and social network profiles are prepped and media friendly. Tapping into key people and resources to keep you in the forefront.

9. Article Marketing Management

Preparing article marketing schedule annually, quarterly and/or monthly. Writing, tweaking, reviewing and optimizing articles. Seeking out and keeping track of important keywords. Write capturing bylines. Ensuring each article is relevant and consists of important information for your niche market. Seeking out new marketing opportunities, portals, forums, message boards, and other key areas where your article should be published. Creating buzz within your niche capturing hot topics of interest to readers.

10. Online Copywriting

Creating autoresponder schedule. Write, edit, and create autoresponders. Writing, editing, and optimizing website and blog copy. Ensuring effective keywords are used across the board. Ensuring appropriate meta tags, tags, and keywords are used consistently.

11. Newsletter Management

Create and implement newsletter tracking system that includes a basic schedule, newsletter campaign statistics, and newsletter lead management capturing key information such as  newsletter goal, theme, frequency, autoresponder list name, template, and promotion and article titles, opens, clicks, conversions rates, subscribed, unsubscribed and total leads. Collecting key information for newsletter, editing, formatting, and inputting information. Collaborating with key affiliates and others who contribute content.

A good approach to finding a virtual assistant who is knowledgable and ready to take over these key areas of your business is to take a close look at people who have enrolled in the VAclassroom training programs. The VAclassroom is a Niche Training Center that offers comprehensive training programs specifically for Internet and Social Media Marketing.

In fact, if your favourite virtual assistant is looking at ways to enhance their skill sets so that they are able to better assist you with your Internet and Social Media Marketing then this is the prefect opportunity to treat them with a seat in the “Social Media Marketing Specialist” training program that is launching on January 15, 2009.

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What Do 8 Amazing Virtual Assistants Have in Common?

question markWhy did I choose the number 8 you ask?

I was inspired by a secret tip directly from Chris Brogan. Chris says, posts with numbers seem to work – especially weird or odd numbers. 27 is odd. Of course Chris didn’t directly tell me this tip however, he did post an inspiring article titled, “27 blogging secrets to power your community“. It’s really good you must read it!

Since a large part of my community are virtual assistants and of course my clients I wanted to point the spotlight on 8 amazing virtual assistants and take a look at what they all have in common. I enjoy following these VAs and have most of them captured in my Google Reader (thanks Google!) which makes it easy for me to keep up to date on their accomplishments and developments.

Are you ready?

8 Amazing Virtual Assistants:

  • Barbara Lang
  • Dawn Goldberg
  • Erin Blaskie
  • Kathy M Thomas
  • Michelle Jamison
  • Pam Ivey
  • Sharon Williams
  • Tawnya Sutherland

If you are a seasoned virtual assistant who converses online then you will most likely see where I am heading with this. Perhaps you are someone who is looking for a virtual assistant or even someone who is aspiring to be a virtual assistant. Regardless of your situation, the main ingredient that I feel these 8 amazing virtual assistants have in common is:

Each and every one of them have taken action to move the virtual assistance industry forward and inevitably pave the way for the future growth of this industry period.

It would take me a long time to write about all of their individual accomplishments (and a lot of accomplishments there are) so instead, I will provide a link to a few places where you can learn all about them just as I have.

Barbara Lang, Virtually Anything Administrative Services, Forum on Virtual Assistance,
Dawn Goldberg, Virtual Angel, Blog, Write Well University,
Erin Blaskie, Business Services ETC, The VA Coach, VA Training Club,
Kathie M Thomas, A Clyaton’s Secretary, Worth More Than Rubies,
Michelle Jamison, MJVA, The VA Voice,
Pam Ivey, My Creative Assistant, Visual Persuasions Canada,
Sharon Williams, The 24 Hour Secretary, Blog, OIVAC, Alliance for Virtual Businesses
Tawnya Sutherland, MediaMage Business Solutions,, Partnering With a Virtual

There are thousands of multi talented and successful Virtual Assistants around the entire globe.  Help grow this list and let me know who you think is an amazing virtual assistant…

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Make your Business Bells Rock in 2009 with a Virtual Assistant

We may be virtual but we know how to Rock!!!

While you are making your list of projects and tasks to outsource in 2009, don’t miss out on this Jingle Bell Rock video featuring some of the smokin’ hot Virtual Assistant’s online!

Make sure to check your list twice and ring in the New Year in style with a Virtual Assistant from the Virtual Assistant Directory or put in an RFP with all your specifications here.

Some other free goodies just for clients looking for a Virtual Assistant or who simply want to learn more about the benefits of working with a virtual assistant check out the ebook, “Finding the Ultimate Virtual Assistant for your Business”, the VA Top 10 Article Series, and the blog specifically to learn about “Partnering with a Virtual Assistant“.

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