Archive for August, 2012

Cindy Freland Takes the Podium

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Cindy Freland, President, Maryland Secretarial Services, Inc., takes the podium in the Oval Office October 2001.

Shaking Things Up With Marketing for the 21st Century

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Things are just not the same as “the good-old days.” We have to shake things up a bit. We have to put our thinking caps on to see where our marketing dollars should be spent. To quote a friend of mine, Bob Burg, “people do business with people they know, like and trust.” So how exactly do you get them to know, like and trust you? You establish long-term relationships with them. You have to “touch” people up to ten times to get them to buy from you. You need to contact them up to 10 times with emails, direct mail, social media, phone calls, networking, etc.

Below are a few ways to help get the word out about your business and establish long-term relationships:

1. Website – Every business should have a professionally designed website.

2. Social media – You should be on the top three social media platforms, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Post at least once a day on each.

3. Blog – Post at least once a month on your blog. I use WordPress but there are many from which to choose. Just search online.

4. Articles – You are the expert in your field. Write articles and submit them to as many places as will take them. I have several articles in EzineArticles.com.

5. Video emails – Don’t just send a text message. Shake things up a bit, surprise your prospect or client with a video email. You can also do broadcasts and screen shares. I use MyVideoTalk.com. But search online for more.

6. Networking – Attend as many networking events as possible. Some are free others are very inexpensive. Join your local chamber of commerce and attend the mixers. I also suggest meetup.com.

7. Newsletters – Include the articles you write, specials, new services and products. I use Constant Contact but there is MailChimp and many others.

8. Personalized Cards – People love to get personalized mail. I use Send Out Cards to send my new clients a postcard or greeting card and sometimes even a small gift.

9. Recorded Phone Calls – These are great to remind members of a meeting or in an emergency. But they are also great to advertise new products and services. I use callfire.com. But you can find more options online.

10. Webinars or Workshops: You are the expert so help others learn too. The best way to get people to listen to you is to teach them something. MyVideoTalk.com and GoToMeeting.com have webinar options and you can find more online.

11. YouTube – A YouTube channel will help you get your videos online. Don’t forget to post them on your LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

12. Press Release – Have a press release professionally written and email it to as many magazines and newspapers as you can. Also, search online for free websites to post them.

13. Contact Manager – Keep a list of your clients and prospects. I use QuickBooks Contact Manager, but you can use Excel, GoldMine, ACT! or others. Just search online for more.

You can use one or a combination of these services to help grow your business. Remember, you cannot do the same old thing, you have to shake things up a bit.

Cindy Freland is the author of several business networking articles. Freland is an award-winning virtual assistant and founded Maryland Secretarial Services, Inc. in 1997. She can be reached at (301) 352-7927 or cindy@marylandsecretarial.com or visit her web site at http://www.marylandsecretarial.com.

 

Pinterest Boards

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Pinterest is a social media website where you can promote your business using graphics, photos and text. Try it, you’ll, love it. Watch this short video by Cindy Freland to find out more.

Pinterest Boards

Bowie Business Journal “Wedding Trends”

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

“Wedding Trends” April 2012

Sharon White, The Cake Courtesan, Joy Thorpe, Bowie Florist, and Cindy Freland, Maryland Secretarial Services, Inc. (Host), discuss “Wedding Trends” on Bowie Business Journal April 2012.

Outsource: Keep 60% More Of Your Revenue

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

How many times have you had to stop doing what you do best, whether it’s writing, designing, or meeting with prospects or clients, and you had to do something else because there was no one else to do it? Those time-consuming, nagging projects, like typing, filing, social media or stuffing envelopes, need to be done but you hate doing them. You might not even know how to do them or you might not have the staff or your administrative assistant is on vacation or ill.

Doing it all yourself is costing you up to 60% of your revenue. You may think that doing it all yourself is saving you money. But just think how much more time you could spend meeting prospects or making those revenue-generating phone calls if you outsourced those nagging administrative tasks to an experienced Virtual Assistant (VA).

VAs are business owners who provide professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients – usually other independent entrepreneurs and small businesses. VAs work from their own office (hence “virtual”), thus making it a fairly popular (and growing) profession in centralized economies. It is estimated that there are as many as 35,000 VAs worldwide. They charge between $15-45, depending on where they are located.

VAs are experienced professionals who know the quickest and best way to complete tasks. Therefore, what may take you hours to complete, may only take a VA minutes, saving you time and money. With the VA doing the work, it enables to you do your revenue-generating tasks.

The following is a list of just a few of the duties that can be taken “off your plate” and given to a Virtual Assistant:

1. Bookkeeping: Make it easier for your certified public accountant (CPA). A VA will organize your income and expenses into an Excel spreadsheet or enter them into your QuickBooks.

2. Business Card Scanning: Have the business cards you collected at networking events placed into a usable format such as Excel or CardScan. You can then easily make phone calls, send direct mail or send an email. From this Excel file, a mail-merge can be done to send out a direct mail piece.

3. Desktop Publishing: have your flyers, business cards, brochures, letterhead and envelopes designed and printed

4. Filing: Most VAs work from their homes but some will come into your office to work. They can do all your filing and organize your office so you can find things easily and you will be more productive.

5. Internet Research: find material for a book, article or research local business owners

6. Mail-Merge: format letters and labels for a mailing using your client and/or prospect list

7. Phone Calls: schedule appointments, flight and hotel arrangements, follow-up phone calls

8. Social Media: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts can be set up. Profiles and business pages can be created and updates can be posted daily.

9. Stuffing Envelopes: Complete the mailing by folding and inserting the letters into envelopes, affixing the mailing labels, return address labels and postage and sealing the envelopes.

10. Word Processing: proposals, agreements, letters, forms, interrogatories, orders, documents

With all these responsibilities and possibly others taken “off your plate,” you will be less stressed, more organized and free to do what you do best, which is generating up to 60% more revenue for your business.

Cindy Freland is the author of several business articles. Freland is an award-winning virtual assistant and founded Maryland Secretarial Services, Inc. in 1997. She can be reached at (301) 352-7927 or cindy@marylandsecretarial.com or visit her web site at http://www.marylandsecretarial.com.