If you haven’t heard about the 2000 Bloggers’ Project, you need to head over to my blog at SOHO-Life and read all about it. If you are keen to get listed on a blog that is being listed in lots of places, then it’s not too late and you could be one of the 2000. Interesting experiment. Make sure you have a photo of yourself available too – they will only link if your blog has a photo, and not a caricature or logo. KMT
Archives for January 2007
Over the past couple of months I’ve had a business directory company from another country constantly contact me to list with their website. They list all the benefits and are quite persistent. Normally I would register – it’s always good to have my website listed with another service. However, they insist on addressing me as ‘Mr’ and Dear ‘Sir’ and I’ve told them time and again that I am NOT a man.
This leads me to think two things:
1. They don’t read their email and/or comprehend it.
2. They don’t think women can be in business, or perhaps they think a man is at the head guiding the woman.
This may be a cultural thing but I believe in order to connect with others from another country, it is equally important to be careful to read their email responses and address people appropriately. I recently had a man from yet another country address me as ‘mother’ because in his country it’s a sign of respect to an older woman. I had to explain to him I didn’t feel comfortable with that address and it’s not done that way where I live and gave him permission to address me by my name.
I just want to encourage all to think carefully about how you address people in other countries and try to be aware of the cultural differences. It is also important to check whether the person you are addressing is a man or a woman (especially if their firstname doesn’t give any indication) – if they have a website or are listed on the web somewhere, it is often quite easy to find this out. And if someone emails you asking you not to address them a particular way, please take note of that and don’t ignore it. It could make the difference as to whether you do business with them or not. KMT
Addendum:Â Received another email (30th Jan) from the directory company mentioned above – they are still addressing the email as ‘Dear Sir’, even though they are personally answering my emails which have explained I am NOT a man.
As the virtual assistant industry grows and develops VAs are beginning to discover that they either have a passion for a particular area, or they need to find an area to get passionate about. Whilst many do run ‘generalised’ businesses and offer services to a wide range of clients, many are finding more satisfaction in specialising in a particular service or industry type to provide a service to. My own interests have related to Association Management and servicing Public Speakers and Business Coaches.
Enter Beverley Neil who is an internationally accredited and certified resume writer. She has also been a winner and finalist in international awards for resume writing. Beverley has written a course designed to teach VAs how to become expert resume writers and who better than Beverley to teach you?
So, if youâ€™re interested in exploring this niche area to expand your VA business, why not visit her site detailing the course at ResumeWritingCourse.com. KMT
I love working with WordPress. So many templates available with options for 1, 2 and 3 columns and a whole lot of extras. Makes changing the look of your blog almost as easy as changing your clothes – you could do it daily if you wish(the blog I mean)! And so, my new look blog – for a while at least. On my ‘to do list’ when I have nothing else to do 🙂 I might actually spend sometime learning php and then create my own template from scratch. But for now there are enough choices out there to keep me happy.
If you haven’t yet explored operating a blog for your own business, you can get a free account at http://wordpress.com/ or, if you have your own website you could ask your web host if it’s possible to install WordPress on the server. I do my own through Fantastico which was installed on my server by my host. Now I can set up WordPress on any domain I set up for hosting and it’s quite easy to do. Not to mention in learning a new skill like this, it means I can also provide it as a service for my clients, as my proficiency increases. Something to think about, isn’t it? KMT
Yesterday I attended an all day planning session with my coach and his other clients. He gets all his clients together regularly through the year to listen to motivational speakers and learn more about developing their businesses.
Yesterday was an all day session designed to help us plan our year and then break it up into 90 day chunks so we have smaller bite-sized goals to achieve. I always enjoy days like this because it gives me ‘permission’ to take my mind off my own clients and concentrate on my business and what I want to do with it.
In these sessions we sit at round tables, with 4-5 people per table, so throughout the day we discuss ideas, share on challenges, make suggestions to each other and so on. In the process we get to know what each other does, and more importantly, what the needs are for each business. This is always a great by-product for me because invariably I come away with prospective new clients and yesterday was no different. Both of the clients I’ll be working with need help with their website listings, links, and their internet marketing. Naturally I had business cards with me – they travel everywhere!
I want to encourage you to remember that wherever people congregate, there is an opportunity for you to network and talk about what you can do to assist another business person. Not through blatant ‘advertising’ but simply by sharing how you handled a situation, solved a problem and showing your knowledge in different areas. People soon pick up on this and start asking direct questions. KMT