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Digital Marketing, Goal Setting, time management

Time Management Skills To Grow Your Business as a Fitness Instructor

Time management, for all business owners, is about being productive while simultaneously being proactive. Doing more does not necessarily mean you’re being more productive with your time. Fitness instructors have a lot on their hands. You must be active and efficient with your time on a day-to-day basis. Considering how active you are, you may start to feel burned out from being so busy. Interacting with your community can take up a lot of your time. Whether that time is taken up answering emails, phone calls, or setting up personal sessions, you may want to get some of that time back. We have some great tips for how you can properly manage your time as a fitness instructor. 

As a fitness instructor, you like to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle, but this also includes taking care of yourself and having daily, weekly, and monthly goals set for yourself and what you would like to achieve. So one of the most important things you can do to manage your time wisely is by establishing those goals for yourself.

Make a list of all the tasks you have to do and schedule them out evenly on a calendar throughout the week or month. This will help you visualize all the things you want to achieve without overwhelming yourself each day. 

Next, to get into your new routine, you must stay strict with your time and yourself. It can be easy for us to fall into habits of procrastination. But stay disciplined and focus on using your time wisely and efficiently during the times you have planned for your business. By knowing and planning what you have to do during each time window during your day will help you avoid procrastination. There are also a variety of health and self-awareness apps that can aid you in curbing your procrastination periods. Some of our favorites include Focus@Will, Focus To Do, and Rescue Time. 

Limit technology. Unfortunately, it can oftentimes be very difficult to release ourselves completely from technology. Especially in a business, technology is how we connect with our communities, customers, and potential clients. However, making an active effort to avoid social media, emails, and texts when you are trying to stay focused can be very useful when managing your time. When working on high-priority tasks, you want to avoid all distractions. So switch off those phones and TVs to get things done quickly, so you can get back to doing what you love. 

Prioritize your time. If you’re a fitness instructor, you are constantly active and on the move. At times, this can become very overwhelming. Taking care of yourself, others and your business can be a heavy workload. It is important to prioritize balancing your time throughout the week. Always remember to focus on what works best for you, your work schedule and personal schedule.

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Digital Marketing, Goal Setting, Marketing, Social Media Marketing

How Coaches Can Sell More Courses

Whether you are a business leadership coach, a motivational coach, life coach, fitness coach, or one of the many other types of coaches out there, there are people who want your expertise and skills. Take advantage of online courses as a form of selling your knowledge. As an entrepreneur, you want to share your success with others so that they can learn and succeed as well. However, you may run into dry spells where you find it difficult to continuously sell your courses. As a coach, your goal should be to consistently find new clients to share your intellect with. We have some tips for coaches on how to sell more courses. 

Podcasting:

A current and popular trend right now is podcasting. Podcasts are great for driving authority in your specific niche. Whether you lead your own podcast or join an existing podcast as a guest, participating in podcasts expands your reach in clients as you are able to reach people within your niche. It may be to your benefit to reach out to podcasters in your niche and ask about being a guest. 

Social Media:

There is no question that social media marketing is one of the best methods to get the word out about your coaching courses. With over 3.96 billion people actively using social media, advertising your courses through platforms such as Linked In, Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok is an effective way to gain attention and customers. Identify where your target audience is most engaged and link relevant content and promote your courses on these platforms. 

Online Communities:

Another great method for raising awareness and selling your courses is through online groups, more specifically, Facebook groups. Facebook is a great platform for finding communities within your niche. You can begin by starting your own Facebook group related to your courses where you provide snippets and incite on your expertise. Here, you can engage and communicate with clients directly and share updates. An important part of these groups, however, is consistency. Make a point to be active in the group by posting a few times a day. This will make your group stand out amongst others. As you begin to build a community, make sure to take advantage of the platform to sell your courses and provide value. 

Choose the proper platform for your course:

Now that you have integrated yourself into the online community of your niche, you need to focus on the course itself. Make sure to always provide high-quality videos with high-quality editing. Next, your course needs to be easily accessible to your customers. You can host your course on your own website or you can consider third-party platforms. A marketplace platform can host your courses for a fee and allow you to customize your branding. Some examples of a marketplace platform you might want to consider utilizing are Masterclass and Udemy. 

The selling of your course can be time consuming. Don’t get overwhelmed. This is the perfect opportunity to allow a virtual assistant to take care of these back end tasks that will help grow your business. Delegate and hire a VA to handle your social media, schedule podcast interviews, and upload your courses to your marketing platform. 

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Digital Marketing, executive assistant, Goal Setting, small business, time management

How Time Blocking Can Grow Your Business and Cut Your Hours

As a small business owner and entrepreneur, you are more than likely thinking about how you can maximize your time and still grow your business as much as possible. Time blocking is the answer in many of these instances. With this not-so-new technique, you can successfully plan every hour of your week so that nothing slips through the cracks. There are time blocking apps and weekly planners with time blocking grids. You can use your Outlook calendar or your Google calendar, no time blocking software necessary, or use intricate programs that schedule your tasks automatically. This time management method allows you to keep track of your task management and stay focused.

By setting boundaries, buffering your time, and blocking out time to work on your tasks you can retake control of your day. It’s also good to think about your obstacles so you can plan for them. Does your client always call at the same time during the week? Make a note of it on your calendar and plan for that interruption. Maybe that means you work on items that don’t require much brain power or focus because you know the client will inevitably call during this time. Notice the patterns in your day so you can make a plan.

Here are some interesting statistics on where our time goes:

  • We spend ten minutes every day searching for lost items, from books and phones to car keys and even the cars themselves. 
  • 3,680 hours or 153 days is spent searching for stuff, over our lifetimes.
  • Office workers waste an average of 30% of their workday looking for information

You have a limited supply of energy, focus and will power. And the distractions don’t help. Allowing interruptions and less important tasks to take up your time is a recipe for disaster. It takes on average 25 minutes to get back to a task after a distraction

Where do I begin? Here is a simple way to get started.

Create a new spreadsheet that has the days of the week across the top and the hours, from the time you wake up until you go to bed, down the left hand side. 

Fill in recurring events.

Fill in anything that reoccurs from day to day or week to week. These could be meetings, recurring tasks, networking events, work hours etc.  You can now fill in the blank spots with chores, you time, and hanging out with your family.

One of the easiest ways to make it feel like you have more time in your day is to group like tasks together.  Plan a specific day for errands.  Define a laundry day and a shopping day.  Don’t feel like you have to do this all on the weekends.  Laundry can be done while watching your favorite shows mid-week or you can run errands after work on your way home.

At the end of the day, if you feel stressed and feel like you do not have time for things you enjoy, time blocking may work for you. If this technique does not, a virtual assistant from Life by Design can take on any tasks you just don’t have time to do.

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Digital Marketing, Goal Setting, Marketing, Social Media Marketing

Best Practices for Marketing in a Digital World

In today’s digital world, there is no reason a small business can’t thrive. By utilizing the many avenues of digital marketing in efficient ways you will be able to connect with over 4 billion internet users as well as generate consistent clients and revenue. We have put together the top marketing tips for small businesses.

  • Social media allows entrepreneurs, small businesses and influencers to connect with over 3.4 billion users in a nanosecond. This completely free technology is unmatched in the digital marketing space as you can find your ideal clients very easily. The most important aspect to this is time. Utilizing social media scheduling apps you can ensure posts are consistent and less time consuming in the long run. Researching hashtags that are appropriate for your niche can lead you to long term success. Consistent activity, appropriate hashtags, and communication are the most important ways to get the most out of your efforts in this space.
  • Know your customer. Finding and focusing on your ideal client base is key for success in any space, whether it be digitally or brick and mortar based. For example, if you have a nutrition business, you most likely don’t want to find clients that are looking for general contractors.(Unless you do, that’s fine too!) Look at who your posts/emails/and blogs are attracting and you can adjust your approach from there.
  • Focus on the long term. Where do you want your business to be in one month? One year? Five years? By setting appropriate and adequate milestones for marketing, you can make this time a little less cumbersome. Set and write down short and long term goals in an area you see regularly (be it an office space, calendar, or fridge!). This will keep goals in your mind and encourage you to actively work towards them.
  • Remain consistent in design when launching a campaign. Making sure all marketing spaces apply the same design aesthetic shows consistency and will let current as well as potential clients find you more easily. This simple tip will also look more professional and trustworthy. Try to use the same (or similar) colors and fonts in graphics, on your webpage, business cards and logo.
  • Develop Email Campaigns. On average, email marketing returns $44 for every $1 spent – that’s a 4,400% return of investment (ROI). You can bring more money and return customers to your business with the right emails – but what are the best emailing practices? To encourage return visits to your website, you should set up automated responses to thank customers after they subscribe or make a purchase. Consumers like to feel appreciated, with ‘welcome’ emails boasting an average open rate of 82%. A drip campaign needs to add value without spamming. Make sure the emails you create are of value. The marketplace pays for value. Everyone likes to buy, but no one wants to be sold. Keep the sales pitch out of it. Effective marketing tells the prospect WIIFM. (What’s in it for me?, meaning the prospect) What’s in it for your prospect? How will it bring them value?

As with anything, there is a learning curve and a development time. Patience and planning will ensure your long and short term business goals are being met. If at any time you need help with digital marketing for your small business, Life by Design Virtual Assistant Services is here for you. Our virtual assistant staff specializes in all aspects of digital marketing from graphic design to blog writing to email marketing, and much more.

Digital Marketing, executive assistant, Goal Setting, virtual assistant

Virtual Assistant Must-Haves for Saving Time and Money

When you first decide to start your Virtual Assistant business there are so many questions to ask yourself, one of the biggest being “What applications can I use to maximize my functionality as well as keep things cost effective?” As you’ve probably figured out by now, there are a ton of options out there for everything from time tracking to project management and everything in between. It can seem like a daunting task to learn them all and find out which work best for your business. Luckily for you, we have narrowed down the top applications for 2021.

Top Project Management App:

  • Infinity.  Infinity is a task tracking application with a multitude of uses. As one of the more cost effective project management programs, it allows you all the functionality of the top names for a better price tag. With packages including anywhere from 1 to 30 workspaces, and anywhere from 50GB to 5000GB of storage, it is sure to fit any VA’s needs. Not only is it practical for your wallet, Infinity easily integrates with other top platforms such as Clockify and Trello. The best part about Infinity is you pay once and have access forever, no monthly or annual payments. You can check it out here. https://startinfinity.com/pricing 

Top Time Tracking App:

  • Toggl. Toggl brings time tracking to a whole new level. It is perfect for those just starting out as freelancers as well as companies with large teams. The time tracker itself is completely free to use, allows for multiple projects to be tracked simultaneously, and is very very user friendly.  The time tracker as well as report generation can be easily accessed via web browser or mobile app, and reports can be generated as a pdf or csv file based on any time period, project or client making it easy to share with your clientele. 

Top Messaging App:

  • Flock. Flock is our pick for the top messaging application for any small business. While it has a very similar structure and functionality to other messaging platforms, it is free to use for 1-20 members, making it ideal for those first starting out. This version also includes 1:1 video calling, searchable messages, 5GB of storage, and unlimited 1:1 and group messages per team. 

Top Scheduling App:

  • Acuity Scheduling. Acuity stands alone as my favorite scheduling application for every business both large and small. Starting at a very practical price for one location (and up to 36 for its top package), it works seamlessly with a multitude of other programs such as Zoom, Wix, Mailchimp, Quickbooks, etc. The only caveat is that it can take some time to learn all of the functions available to you. 

Top Video Conferencing App:

  • Zoom. I think, by now, we have all heard of and used Zoom in some fashion as it has become the premiere video conferencing app for both business and personal use. As with the other applications mentioned, it was chosen based on its functionality for both large and small businesses making it perfect for freelancers. 

Top Video Recording App:

  • Loom. As with Zoom, Loom is a video chat app. However, we love it in particular for its function as a recording app making it easy to create training videos and communicate with clients on your own time. A top criteria for this list was cost effectiveness and Loom doesn’t disappoint with its free version

As a new Virtual Assistant, we suggest sticking to necessary applications that will be utilized for your current clients along with a time tracking application such as Toggl. As you continue to learn and expand your business, you can take advantage of free trials to learn more about them and hone your skill set to maximize your potential!

businessbuildingstrategies, Goal Setting, small business, time management, virtual assistant

5 Goals You Can Set For Your Small Business

It is never too late to set some new goals for your small business! Here are five things you can do once or continuously to better improve your small business.

  1. SWOT analysis: S- Strengths, W- Weaknesses, O- Opportunities, and T- Threats. This is a great way to figure out/analyze the current state of your company. Also, this helps target those areas you may need to improve on before setting goals.
  1. Take Advantage of Social Media
    1. Social media is one of the absolute best tools to use when it comes to not only growing your small business but also establishing a key identity that is attached to your business’ name. Try creating a profile on Instagram or Facebook and just putting your logo and company message, and then add consistent content focused on your products and/or services.
  1. Revise Your Customer Service Process
    1. Having a fantastic customer service process is especially important. People like to feel like they are cared about personally when it comes to assisting their needs. If you sell products, maybe start offering an easier method of contact. For example, if you only offer a customer service email, think about opening a business phone line or live chat for people to get a faster response.
  1. Hire Someone to Help
    1. If you find that your business is starting to grow, adding an additional person may be your best bet to maximize productivity. Virtual Assistants are the perfect option to start off with. They have a lower cost vs regular employee and need little to no benefits. It would be great to talk with you and see if our VA’s are the right fit for your business.
  1. Reduce Business Expenses
    1. This is dependent on the type of small business you are running, but there is always some way to cut a few costs here and there. For example: unneeded materials or subscriptions.

Here at Life by Design Virtual Assistant Services, we wish your small business nothing but the best. Feel free to check out the FREE 15-minute consultation we offer on our contact page to see if our services would be of benefit to you.

Attraction Marketing, blogging, businessbuildingstrategies, executive assistant, Goal Setting, onlinemarketing, personal assistant, process management, small business, social media management, Social Media Marketing, time management, virtual assistant, virtual assistant services

The Importance of Branding Yourself

Whether you are an entrepreneur, or someone looking to get employed by others, branding yourself is one item in your personal portfolio that can make or break you.

Why Is It Important?
Over 70% of employers say they check social media accounts to see who “you really are”. They want to see if how you present yourself online aligns with the company’s beliefs. If you’re an entrepreneur/ small business owner, many people will probably Google your name and see what populates. We’ve all “googled” someone at some point. You want people to see positive things but also relate to you as a human being.

Where Do You Start?
Branding yourself normally starts with social media. As I’ve said before, you will probably be searched at some point and the first thing that will pop up is ALL of the social media accounts with your name attached to them. Make sure you’re posting appropriate content that speaks to who you are as a person. Social media is like a peek into what you do in your free time and/or your personal accomplishments. People want to know how you are spending your time and what you have to say about it.

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah has proven to be one of the best at personal branding, almost anyone in the world knows her name. With an estimated net worth over $2 billion, she (I am sure she has a social media manager) always is posting content that revolves around staying true to yourself and your passions. This kind of content brings people in and also empowers them- while benefiting her personal image and growing her following.

Outcomes of Personal Branding
Not only will you have a solid foundation of who you are as a person and your values on display for people to connect to, but also your brand will be able to evolve/adapt to the changing world. You may start a small business and the product is slowly going out of style- if you are attaching your name to that business and bringing your customers to your own personal image then they will be attached to not your business, but you. They have the potential to follow you around on your next business endeavor because people like to support like minded or positive people.


Personal branding is growing in importance now thanks to social media, and your entire life story can be just a click away. Most importantly, make sure you are portraying yourself in a connecting, encouraging, and honest way.

businessbuildingstrategies, Goal Setting, small business, Social Media Marketing, time management, virtual assistant

What is a Virtual Assistant and Why Would I Ever Need One?

Whether your business is a one-man show that’s just begun or an established company with more than one team member, a virtual assistant may be in your best interest. Their purpose is to allow you to focus on what matters most, your passions and running the business you love. 

No matter if your business is completely online, in person, or maybe both- tremendous benefits come along with hiring one. 

Managing a consistent/cohesive brand image across all of your social media platforms, website, local listings, and more can become a serious challenge. Alongside keeping up with all of your clerical/general administration tasks can seem nearly impossible. That’s why Virtual Assistants are there to help you! 

Save Money 

Most brands like to outsource when it comes to hiring someone to handle all of the busy work because it normally results in a profit save. As well as cutting back on things like training costs.  Virtual Assistants are already knowledgeable in everything that comes with the job. 

Save Time

Starting a business can be so exciting and gives you the opportunity to make a profit from something you truly enjoy doing, but will soon be followed by busywork. These amazing assistants truly will take a tremendous amount of pressure off your back so you can stop sweating about the small things and dive deeper into your passion. 

Virtual Assistants are becoming more and more acknowledged today, especially with everything starting to be done remotely. Most assistants work from home allowing a very flexible schedule to fit all of your company’s needs. 

Social Media

  • Content creation 
    • Using your brand colors, the content will be created to match your brand image and engage your following. 
  • Grow Your Following 
    • It’s a proven fact that when business social media accounts post consistent and engaging content- follower counts go up. 

General Admin  

  • Email Marketing / Regular Usage 
    • Including management and cleanup, sorting, scheduling newsletters and general emails, email autoresponders, automations, as well as mailing list setup. 
  • Proofreading 
  • Basic Bookkeeping 
  • Calendar Organization
    • Including management and appointment scheduling, creating daily to-do lists, and creating employee schedules. 
  • Media Creation 
    • Including slides for presentations, word documents, spreadsheets, and more. 
  • Research 
  • Data Entry 
  • Website Management

Life by Design is known for exceptional customer service and guaranteed client satisfaction. Each one of our team members has the same goal in mind – making your life easier while you continue to dive deeper into your passions. Hear from our past clients on our home page where reviews are located. See them here.

2021 can be your best year in business yet, with a little help. 🙂

To your success,

Genean

businessbuildingstrategies, Goal Setting, small business, time management, virtual assistant

Growing Your Business With a Virtual Assistant into 2021

As e-commerce platforms are growing in the business world, hiring a virtual assistant is becoming more and more needed. As a virtual assistant myself, I believe that we, as professional VAs, should possess certain qualities to help your business grow.

As the need for virtual assistants is growing, more and more underqualified and inexperienced people are starting a virtual assistant business. When hiring a virtual assistant, it’s imperative that you screen them well, ask many questions about their prior experience, and make sure they have the qualities of the kind of person you are looking for in your business.

I have heard from many business owners who hired a virtual assistant, then soon regretted it because the assistant was not as skilled as they claimed. At that point, it’s a little awkward letting them go, not to mention the business owner is now gun shy on hiring another VA.

There are many quality VA’s out there who will do a fantastic job for your business. Many are looking for work right now! A couple things to ask for is a portfolio of past work, and a referral.  These two things can tell you a lot about the professionalism and quality of a VA.

You also want to ask questions to find out the quality of the person. Integrity and honesty, being punctual, and meeting deadlines are things you need in a VA. Here are 3 more qualities to look for when hiring a virtual assistant.

  • Detail-Oriented. A virtual assistant should always have great attention to detail. A quality virtual assistant is one who does the task promptly, does it correctly, and does it with a positive attitude.
  • Responsiveness. Virtual assistants are just that, virtual. So, it is important to have good communication since they are not in the traditional office setting.  Depending on where your virtual assistant lives, the time difference can be a challenge for both the company and the VA. So, it is important to discuss these issues in the initial consultation, before hire, and set expectations.
  • Effectiveness and Efficiency. Effectiveness and efficiency are critical aspects of making any task successful. When running any business, it is of great importance that all deadlines are met, and all work is completed thoroughly and professionally.

If you are currently in need of a virtual assistant, or maybe you are just window shopping for now, you can see what we at Life by Design VA Services do by scheduling your free consultation here.

Virtual Assistant
businessbuildingstrategies, Goal Setting, Mindset, time management

Investing in Your Most Important Asset as a Business Owner

As a business owner, many of us have a tendency to work too much. It’s easy to get sucked into working ALL THE TIME. If your office is in your home, it’s easy to keep going back in and doing just a little more! Wait…is that just me? It can’t be!

Can anyone relate to the above? If so, I bet you can also relate to burnout, stress, overwhelm and zero self-care. I don’t know about you, but this mom, wife and business owner has been there too many times.

So, what is your most important asset as a small business owner? Duh, it’s you. Yes you! You are your most important asset in your business!

Investing in yourself and taking care of yourself is the most profitable decision you can make, in my opinion. It can help you to be more productive with less hours. Learning new skill sets, setting priorities and achieving a better quality of life are all results you can obtain by investing in you. Putting in effort now can have a big difference in your future in a much more positive way.

So maybe you’re thinking how in the world can I invest time into me when I have a million other things to do? The simple answer is just do it. Seriously, you just have to make a decision that it’s an important aspect of growing and maintaining a healthy life in all areas. Here are 2 things that have made a difference for me. FYI – number 2 should actually be number one.

1. Developing Your Skills. This can take on many forms. The niche you are in will determine some of the skills you should hone in on, but for the most part we all need to invest in personal growth and learning new skills regardless of the industry we are in currently and regardless of how long you have been doing a particular type of work. Things are always changing and to keep up we have to be prepared with new skill sets.

  • People skills. No matter what industry you are in, there are people. The money is in the hands of the people. The marketplace pays for value. Upping your people skills makes you more valuable in whatever line of work you pursue. Consider listening to personal development daily for 15 minutes.
  • Free and paid training that fits your niche – enroll in online workshops, go to live conferences or participate in webinars that fit your industry and the areas you want to see growth in more.
  • Grow your knowledge – Read books. Leaders are readers! Listen to podcasts. Schedule at least 15 minutes a day for just listening or reading positive things.
  • Care for your body. Self-care is so important for every aspect of our life. And it’s normally the one that we put last on the list. For most of us with families and businesses, there is little time left for ourselves. But it is so important that we make it a priority. We cannot pour from an empty cup. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. Take a spa day, get a massage, take a day to binge Netflix, take a drive or even a weekend away. Whatever it is for you, just do it. Make the decision to practice self-care every week.

Investing in you can truly make a difference in your life, your relationships, and your ability to grow in your business and utilize your skills to the best of your ability. The extent to which you invest in yourself, caring for your mind and body, making self-care and learning new skills a priority, can make a world of difference in your entire life.

If you are a business owner who has too many tasks taking too much of your day, it may be time to think about getting some help. A virtual assistant can help you by doing the back-end work like social media management, website management, calendar and email management, and much more.

If you are a business owner who needs a bit of a break, let’s talk. Schedule your completely FREE CONSULTATION here.

Genean Roberts

http://www.lifebydesignvaservices.com