Listening to your own advice

Listening to your own advice

As a business owner, there are times that arise when listening to your own advice is the very best thing that you can do.

This week, I have an ear infection and it’s been making me feel slightly slower than normal. It hurts, obviously, and I’ve been berating myself for not doing All Of The Things that I usually do at the speed that I usually do them. This morning, as I dropped my children off on the hour-round trip for childcare, I stopped and asked myself: ‘why am I beating myself up about being unwell?’ and it just sprung a light bulb moment in my head. LISTEN TO YOUR OWN ADVICE, I told myself.

 

If a client or a friend told me that they were feeling run down and that they weren’t on top of their game, I would never expect them to reply to that email, complete that task, share the live post or come over for dinner so why-oh-why was I beating myself up about it?! I have been trying to do way too much this week and that light bulb moment was a real CLICK in my head. Just from noticing that, I have slowed down, reorganised my diary and seen the GP. And you know what? Life is still continuing and my business is still a success!

 

I just wanted to record on my blog that, sometimes, listening to your own advice can be so so helpful. In a digital world of constant advice, tips, success stories and “you should try….” tales everywhere, actually tuning in to your own intuition and switching OFF can be the best way to get well, up to speed and switch back ON at your fullest capacity.

 

My business pal and productivity guru Amanda Appiagyei has a fantastic course entitled ‘Organising your Life and Business‘ coming up this month that could be just for you, if you feel that the balls are all up in the air too much of the time and you need some clarity around getting organised. I need to be clear here and state that I am in no way affiliated with this course, I just think it looks incredible and that it could support you, if this blog post has resonated with you in any way. For, if we cannot support each other in learning to be the best business folk and people we can be, then what’s it all about, eh?

 

I’m off to rest.

 

Natalia x

CDVA HQ

How A Virtual Assistant Can Help You To Grow Your Business

How A Virtual Assistant Can Help You To Grow Your Business

If you’re reading this, then the likelihood is that you should pat yourself on the back, as I imagine that your business has already reached fantastic heights…

However, if you’re reading this, I get the inkling that you might be reaching the point in your business where you’ve started to feel slightly overwhelmed at your seemingly never-ending task list? Perhaps you’re starting to get frustrated at the amount of time that some of your administrative tasks are taking? Maybe your business growth is stalling because you’ve been devoting less time to driving sales? If you’ve answered “Yes, that’s me!” to any of the above, then you are in the right place.

How a virtual assistant can help you to grow your business

A virtual assistant can help you to grow your business with a multitude of tasks, but it’s when ‘tasks’ move into ‘support’ that the magic really occurs. Any old folk could do some data entry for you, or you could probably ask a well-meaning relative to proof-read your e-marketing, but would they be truly invested? Would they see beyond the words to the effect on your ideal customer? That’s where Clear Desk VA really comes into its own.
You see, it’s the feeling of peace of mind and trust in your virtual assistant that really builds your businesses growth.
Yes, if your invoices are sent out for you – it helps.
Yes, if your social scheduling is neat and tidy for the month – it helps.
But the *real* service a brilliant virtual assistant should provide to help you to grow your business is being that wingman that helps you to push sales, constantly improve, and tweak everything to help you to move forward.
An efficient and well organised virtual assistant will always be on hand to serve their clients needs, and to come up with the best ways to help you to grow your business. If you are an entrepreneur feeling overwhelmed by your task list, look no further and contact us today for a FREE, no obligation consultation call to see how we can help you to grow your business and to achieve a Clear Desk – Clear Mind.
No (wo)man is an island, after all.

If you’re interested in working with me to help you to grow your business, then I’d love to hear from you. For more information, contact me via my website here, or email me at hello@cleardeskva.co.uk.

Let me help you to achieve a Clear Desk – Clear Mind.

Guest Blog from Ruth Buckingham – Kandu Marketing: ‘6 Useful productivity and blogging tools for small business’

Guest Blog from Ruth Buckingham – Kandu Marketing: ‘6 Useful productivity and blogging tools for small business’

I’m really thrilled to welcome Ruth Buckingham from Kandu Marketing to my blog this week. Ruth offers jargon-free content marketing support for small business owners. Here, she has some brilliant tips to improve your productivity:

When budgets are tight and you are managing your marketing yourself, any tools that can help improve your productivity or increase engagement with your blog posts can be beneficial.

Below are the top 6 free tools that I am working with on a daily basis for different client needs. 

Productivity

  1. Toggl – Take your timesheets to the next level

As my business has started to grow I have moved on from a timesheet approach to tracking time that I spend on different activities and clients using Toggl.   Toggl is a simple to use, free time-tracker tool that also provides reports as and when needed.  

I can ensure that my precious part-time working hours are well-spent.  I also have a record of how much time various activities require on a regular basis.  This can help me when preparing quotes for customers so that I can be accurate in budgeting. 

  • Buffer – social scheduling covering LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Facebook

I use this tool for my own accounts as well as my clients for scheduling social media posts. Prior to discovering Canva I also used to love the Pablo extension which has a range of free images which can be customised for my needs or you can upload your own and edit with logos, quotes etc. 

Once the posts have been published you can also go back and view analytics on engagement at a basic level.    By scheduling batches of social media messages in advance it allows us to be active on multiple platforms but still have time free to focus on core business activities.

A note on images – I always like to use my own but on the occasions I am sourcing images for client or for a specific image, another two great free picture resource sites are Pixabay and UnSplash.  Always credit the photographer if you can, even if it’s not required on these sites, I think it is good etiquette!

I also use Later for my Instagram scheduling.  I probably will combine them at some point but for now I’m happy to keep them separate as I do use the platforms differently and Later shows you a lovely graphical view of your posts to check that everything flows nicely.

Recently, Instagram updated its platform so it is now possible to auto-publish to your account, rather than get a notification on your smartphone to post.

Blogging tools

  1. Co-schedule headline analyser

If you are writing your own blogs or email campaigns you might find this one useful.  I love this tool, it really does what it says on the tin, by helping ensure the title of your blog will get more opens and ultimately engagement.  The teacher’s pet in me loves getting a score of over 70 and a smiley face! 

As an example, for this blog post I started out with the basic topic “B2B blogging and social media tools” which scored 44 points and used the headline analyser to refine it to “Useful social media tools for small business” which got a whopping 71 points!  On review I didn’t feel this accurately reflected the content of the blog so have compromised on the title above –  a score of 64 so not too bad!

A well-known plugin for WordPress, Yoast is great to help you ensure you have your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) basics in place on your blog post and also to edit the post for readability.  I find this is a great last sense-check before posting a blog.  A “virtual” second set of eyes so to speak.

As a copy-writer I find it quite easy to come up with blog ideas for my clients, less so for myself!

However, you may feel a little stuck sometimes.  Perhaps further down your blogging journey and have already covered why you started your business and key trends in your industry.  This little generator can help spark your next great idea to think about what your customers might want to read about and what ties into your own usps

I hope you have found this round up of tools useful!  Most of the companies I have recommended also have great blogs of their own that you can follow for further marketing tips. 

*About Kandu Marketing*

My name is Ruth, I am a Freelance Marketing Consultant operating as Kandu Marketing.  I provide jargon-free B2B marketing support.  This usually starts with content strategy or copy-writing but also covers a range of other marketing activities. www.kandumarketing.co.uk