business management

Lead Generation Tasks You Can Delegate To A Virtual Assistant

First of all, what is a lead?

 

A lead is someone who is interested in your product, service, or business. A person shows interest by submitting personal information to get a freebie, signs up for a trial, or subscribes to your content. This person is a lead. 

 

There are two types of leads, outbound leads and inbound leads, and both are important for growing your business. 

 

An outbound lead is someone who doesn’t know about your business yet, but you want them to know about it. The best way to get people to know about your business is to reach out to those potential customers, interest them in your product/services, and explain what you do and how you can help them. This is where a virtual assistant (VA) comes in. You can delegate some outbound lead generation tasks to VA’s!

 

4 Outbound lead generation tasks you can delegate.

 

  1. Cold calling- When hiring a VA for cold calling, make sure they are well versed in your business or industry. Give them a script and tight parameters to ensure they have the tools they need to do the job well. 
  2. Cold emailing- Any VA should have experience writing emails and setting up campaigns. This is a great task to outsource to your VA. Just make sure they are on brand and in your voice. 
  3. Social selling- Social selling allows your business to zero in on business prospects on social media and build rapport with a network of potential leads. Done right, social selling could potentially replace the dreaded practice of cold calling.
  4. Data collection- This is an easy one. Once you have reached out to a potential customer, you will collect information about them, such as their contact information. Have your VA compile all the data for your leads into an organized spreadsheet for future use. 

 

Alternatively, inbound leads come to you through your social media, website, or blog. They find you through SEO keywords or even word of mouth.  

 

Managing inbound leads is time consuming. Getting people’s attention, especially on the internet, is very competitive. In order to attract clients, you need to understand what a potential consumer needs or what their pain points are. You have to study that, write copy and make graphics that portray their needs and how you are the business that offers a solution! And ultimately, get them to you with a CTA! Phew. 

 

These things take up a lot of time–time that you could be spending on other tasks, like developing your product or expanding your team.

 

6 Inbound lead generation tasks your VA can handle for you.

 

  1. Content creation- Definitely hire a VA for this. Content creation is time- consuming, but ultimately, not terribly difficult. Allow your VA access to your previous content, logos, and brand kits. Have them create content with your voice. This content can be used on all social media platforms, marketing campaigns, blogs etc. 
  2. Social media management- Many businesses will offload the entirety of their social media to a VA. This VA can create content, come up with a social media strategy, schedule out social media to a variety of platforms, and engage with your customer base, so you don’t have to!
  3. Email marketing- Hire a VA to help you with creating and sending email campaigns.
  4. Basic SEO– Many VA’s are well versed in SEO, which is important to consider in our social media driven marketing world, and take advantage of their skills.
  5. Basic marketing research- You most likely don’t have time to research potential leads and your competition. A VA is a perfect person to spend the hours needed nurturing leads and seeing what your competition is doing. What is working for them and what isn’t? Your VA can help you find out. 
  6. Graphic design- There are a variety of software options available now for graphic design that don’t require a bachelor’s degree in graphic design to navigate. A VA can create and edit graphics for you to use in various areas of your marketing. 

 

In conclusion, businesses should have inbound and outbound lead generation as part of their sales and marketing efforts. It’s a process that begins with generating awareness about your product or service and ends with converting leads into customers, which involves dozens of smaller activities that you simply have no time for.

 

That’s why many businesses delegate their inbound and outbound lead generation to a VA. It’s more efficient and cost-effective to hire someone to fill your sales pipeline with interested leads. 

 

And when you have a VA to help you with generating leads, they can also help with other tasks, like social media management and email campaigns.

 

Think about it this way: would you rather spend hours trying to generate leads yourself or use that time to work on high-level tasks that only you can do? If you want to focus on growing your business, then lead generation is best left to a virtual assistant. 

 

Are you interested in learning more about our virtual assistant services at Life By Design Virtual Solutions? Check out our website here https://lifebydesignvs.com/. Let us do the busy work, so you can get back to doing what you love. 

photo of people near wooden table
business management

How To Get Your Team On-Board With Your Systems

If you have read our previous blog,  Why You Must Have Systems In Place, you know how important they are for your business to continue functioning while you deal with life outside of your day-to-day business operations. And you know, life will happen whether you want it to or not. 

So, what do I mean by “systems?” Systems are the procedures you have in place to keep your business running. Think of it as standard operating procedures (SOPs) you give your employees as checklists so they can implement them, even without training.

You implemented these systems or hired someone (hello! Hire a VA to help!) into your business for better functionality so that you don’t have to be the only person to run your business. But there can still be problems. 

Businesses can experience a few pain points surrounding SOPs.

  1. You don’t have systems in place in the first place! Go back and read the blog mentioned above. 
  2. Your employees aren’t following your systems because they don’t want to.
  3. Your systems are so out of date, your staff doesn’t use them because they are no longer effective or efficient. 

So what can you do to ensure that your staff follows the systems you put into place?

First of all, make sure YOU are using these systems. As a leader, you must commit and lead by example. It trickles downhill!

Secondly, make sure the information for your system’s processes is accessible! Where can your staff find your system’s processes? Are you using a specific software? Do they have log-in capabilities? And does your staff understand all your system’s processes and procedures that you put into place? Are you sure?

Thirdly, if you are implementing new systems for your business make sure that your entire team is involved in the roll-out. 

How do you do that?

  1. Collaborate. Work together to problem solve. Use your team’s expertise, skills, and workflow knowledge to fine-tune your systems. 
  1. Train. Make sure the whole team is available for group training sessions. This might be a great time for some team-building fun as well.
  2. Survey. This is an efficient way to collect honest feedback, opinions, and responses from employees. 
  1. Revise. Use what you learned from surveying your employees to improve your systems and make necessary changes.
  1. Clarify. Make sure everyone is on the same page and answer any system questions your team may have. 

How do you keep your team engaged in following the systems you put into place?

  1. Use your processes and procedures in the daily management of your company.
  1. Regularly review your processes. 
  1. Accountability. This is not only pointing out when someone is not doing their job correctly but also rewarding them when they are. Make sure your consequences and rewards are clear and consistent.

Using these strategies together will ensure that your team follows the systems that you have in place and will continue to do so in the future. 

One of the services we at Life By Design Virtual Solutions offer is to help create and implement systems in your organization. If you are interested in learning more about systems/SOP please reach out to us at https://lifebydesignvs.com/.

business management, businessbuildingstrategies

Top 3 Reasons to Hire a Social Media Virtual Assistant

Social media for a business is no longer a side job or an afterthought. Social media is a mega marketing tool that people can’t ignore. Why? Because there are over 4.62 Billion social media users today on average, people spend 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media EVERY DAY.

So, what is a social media virtual assistant? A social media virtual assistant refers to a contract worker who works remotely. They have the requisite skills, training, and knowledge to drive and guide your brand’s social media tasks. Tasks include managing the social media handles and scheduling posts, researching trends, posting quality content, and engaging your user base.

Here are three reasons you should outsource your company’s social media to a virtual assistant.  

  1. They help reduce costs. Since a virtual assistant is a contract worker, you save by not having them as W-2 employees. There is no overhead like benefits and insurance. You also don’t have to train them since they specialize in specific skill sets and experience. They work remotely, so there is no supplying office equipment for them. You pay them hourly only for the work done. And you can leverage improved business efficiency by delegating everything social media-related to the assistant while you focus on getting new customers, retaining the existing ones, and driving profits.
  1. They can engage your target market organically. Your social media pages need to stay active and have a consistent dialogue running. You are not trying to promote your brand in a sales-y, irritating way. You are trying to have fulfilled conversations with real customers. It’s about being relevant to the user’s everyday life and driving authentic interactions that promote the brand to have an emotional and more intimate connection with the customer (as opposed to having a purely transactional one). This is where the role of a dedicated social media assistant starts. They can respond to each post in real-time and boost engagement rates through the roof.
  1. They can develop a strategy. Posting a series of random social media posts will not fly for your social media campaigns to be effective. You need to move ahead strategically, keeping in mind your business goals, social media goals, user needs, and demands. Social media is constantly changing, and your social media virtual assistant will be well-versed incurrent trends. A strategically aligned social media strategy can have big payoffs. However, it requires plenty of time, effort, and commitment – which you can do by hiring a seasoned social media virtual assistant.

Hiring a social media virtual assistant will make your social media strategy more organized, goal-focused, customer-centric, and results-driven. It will provide a massive ROI in the long run. 

Ready to take your social media to the next level?
Hire a virtual assistant today.  https://lifebydesignvs.com/

business management

4 Successful Customer Loyalty Programs For Your Business

So what are customer loyalty programs?

A customer loyalty program is a system where a business offers rewards to its customers who make frequent purchases. From a business perspective, it’s a strategy used to encourage customers to repeatedly buy from your business as it is generally understood that it costs a company much more to try and attract new customers rather than retain existing ones. 

There are lots of different types of customer loyalty programs, like refer-a-friend programs that offer customers a discount if their friend signs up or makes a purchase, reward points programs, VIP programs, and programs that provide free perks.

Besides keeping loyal customers happy, what are some of the other benefits of implementing loyalty programs?

  • Improving customer retention.
  • Encouraging repeat business.
  • Increasing customer lifetime value.
  • Building stronger relationships with your customers.
  • Increasing customer satisfaction. 
  • Standing out from your competitors.
  • Boosting revenue.

Let’s look at 4 types of loyalty programs that you can consider for your business. 

  1. Customer loyalty points programs

Points programs are wildly popular. I guarantee you have some sort of frequent buyer punch card or more likely an app that keeps track of purchases for a business. The more you spend at a business the more points you earn that you can redeem for discounts, free products/services, or free shipping

This type of loyalty program is so popular because it rewards repeat purchases. Just make sure that the freebies are actually attainable. You don’t want to put off your loyal customers with unattainable rewards. 

  1. Subscription programs

A subscription program often gives customers a discount compared to one-off purchases or offers exclusive products, content, or services that aren’t available to non-subscribers. This is how you build loyalty and repeat purchases. 

If your business sells a product or service that is consumable (think food, beverage, toiletries, or monthly e-services, like email clean-out or social media posting) then this might be a good option for you. 

Subscribers can benefit from discounts, special promotions, a first look at new products, and VIP programs that offer even more freebies. This type of program will encourage long-term customer retention. 

  1. “Make a Difference” programs

These types of programs don’t offer money-saving discounts or rewards, but instead, their purchases go towards donations to specific causes. These help your customers feel that their purchases are making a difference in the world. For example, for every x amount you spend with a company they plant a tree. Or perhaps your purchases are directly related to offsetting the carbon footprint of shipping. You could also, have a percentage of your purchases go to a nonprofit organization that aligns with your mission. These programs are a wonderful way to give back to the world and retain customer loyalty. 

  1. Refer-a-friend customer loyalty programs

Refer-a-friend loyalty programs are exactly that: They reward customers for referring friends, family, or colleagues, giving them discounts or special offers.

These programs are a great way to build trust with potential customers, especially for e-commerce/online companies that don’t have a brick-and-mortar store for customers to visit and check out the product before they buy. Most consumers trust brands that are recommended to them by friends and family. 

*Here at Life By Design Virtual Solutions we give current clients 10% off their next invoice (up to $500) if someone they refer gets started as a new client.

Which loyalty program would work best for your company? Need help setting it up? Reach out to us at https://lifebydesignvs.com/ we’d love to help.

business management, businessbuildingstrategies

Entrepreneurs, Don’t Make These Mistakes!

Mistakes are fine to make, it’s how you learn and grow. But you don’t have to make ALL of the mistakes do you? Especially if someone has made the mistake before you. You can learn from others who have paved the way. 

Here are 7 common mistakes other entrepreneurs have made, so you don’t have to. 

Mistake #1: Making your hiring decisions solely based on cost.

Avoid trying to hire purely based on how much money you can save on compensation. If you want the best candidates, you’ll need to budget for them. Otherwise, you may find yourself facing higher turnover for the role. We all know that high turnover costs a lot more money than just hiring the best candidate in the first place. 

Take a look at what your hiring practices are like. Are they attracting solid candidates the first time around, or is it creating a costly problem in the long-term for your business? Don’t know? That means it’s time to sit down and run the numbers. 

Employees require an investment, not just in time, but also compensation. As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.”

Mistake #2: Being too cheap!

There is a difference between being frugal and being cheap. Frugal is not spending unnecessary funds on things that don’t deliver value to your customer or help improve your company somehow. Being cheap, on the other hand, is not spending money when it would otherwise benefit your customers, your employees or your company.

Don’t get stuck on absolute numbers, you can still be frugal while financially supporting your company for growth and success! Understand your goals, and pursue them without fear.

Mistake #3: Forgetting the competition (you do not have the one and only biz like yours!)

We no longer live in a world where you have the one and only unique business/start-up/million dollar idea! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. There’s just too much competition to ignore that reality. 

Competitors are simply a way to get a clearer view of the customer, their pain points and solutions. The easiest way you can understand customers before you do anything, before you even know exactly what you are going to build/create or the specific problem you are going to solve, is to research competitors.

Adapting ideas from competition can be helpful for your business when you’re looking to gain traction on a new product. It can help you create something truly amazing!

Mistake #4: Expecting immediate results!

We live in an instant gratification world. There is no denying that, and not all instant gratification is bad. There’s nothing wrong with wanting or needing things, experiences, or products in a quick, efficient manner. But, it’s important to balance our desires with a realistic sense of timing and patience. 

Expecting immediate results might cause you to feel demotivated when your efforts don’t yield overnight success. This might deter you from working further towards the goal and cause you to abandon projects mid-way.

It’s easy to get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results for your hard work. 

Don’t obsess over results. Instead, focus on doing your bit daily and sticking to your goals by starting small, showing up each day, improving a little every day! Don’t obsess over results. They will come. 

Mistake #5: Not polishing your skills.

No matter what industry you are in, everyone needs to continue to learn, grow, upskill, and generally polish your skills to help you be a better entrepreneur. Let’s quickly look at a few good examples. 

Finance: You don’t need to be a CPA. If you have an accountant to handle all the number crunching, that’s great, but don’t use them as a crutch to keep you from really understanding where your money’s going. It’s in your best interest to keep an eye on your overall financial situation.

Sales: If you run a business, you’re in sales, even if you don’t feel like you are. Every time you talk about your business, or negotiate with a vendor or recruit, you are using sales skills.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep your skills sharp, even if it’s not necessarily your speciality. 

Mistake #6: Not being adaptable.

Customers are fickle. Yet another challenge for entrepreneurs, the constantly changing customer wants and needs. Meeting customer needs while adapting to changes is one of the most important keys to obtaining and maintaining success. Continuous improvements are necessary as it keeps you changing, innovating and moving in the right direction, UP!

Mistake #7: Thinking you have to do it all.

Entrepreneurs often make this mistake. They take on all of the tasks of starting off and running their business and quickly find themselves in burnout mode. Crashing and burning will not help you achieve your goals. Be open to hiring outside help like a virtual assistant and setting systems in place so when life happens (and it will) your business won’t collapse if you need to step away for a bit. 

There you have it! Learn from those before you and don’t make these same mistakes. Reach out to our team of skilled professional virtual assistants if you need any help with achieving your business goals. Check out our team at www.lifebydesignvs.com

business management

How to Build a Killer Brand Kit For Successful Marketing!

What is a brand? In its simplest form, it’s how a person views a company with their eyes closed. It consists of a style, colors, and logos of a company. It is its identity. 

What is the difference between a brand kit and a brand guide? Functionality. 

A brand kit is something that your company would share outside of your organization. For example, you would share your brand kit if you were outsourcing some of your tasks to a virtual assistant or agency. If your company was included at an event, you would share your brand kit so the event has your logo and color scheme. 

A brand guide is all the things that are in a brand kit, just a little more in depth. Your guide will include information about when and how to implement brand colors, language, fonts, and graphical elements important to your brand. It is typically an internal guide for marketing your company. 

For this article both the brand kit and brand guide will be used interchangeably, since they serve the same purpose. 

So why is killer branding important to a company or organization?

  1.  Customer Recognition

The right branding increases brand awareness, and when people know you, they’re more likely to buy from you. Having uniquely memorable branding means one-time customers could turn into life-time customers.

  1. Improved Customer Loyalty

Familiarity is comforting, and customers will buy what they know and what makes them comfortable. Time and again.

  1. Easily Roll Out New Products, Events, and Services

Having your branding guide in place means that half the concept is already done. Your new idea for a service or product or book is ready to be plugged into the style that you have curated. 

  1. Attract Influencers

This is a sign of the times. Influencers are an undeniable part of business marketing strategy. People who have a large online presence are incredibly influential and businesses small and large are utilizing this marketing tool. The more recognizable your brand is, the more likely you are to tap into this market tool.

So what are the essential elements of a killer brand kit?

  1. A Color Palette (with Hex codes!)

Colors are a CRUCIAL part of brand identity. A signature color palette can skyrocket a brand’s recognition. I’m sure you can think of a few examples of a signature palette immediately (The Golden Arches, anyone?).

  1. Logos

So, so important. Designing a logo may seem simple enough, but there are quite a few aspects that need to be considered. Simple is just fine, as with black and white (think Gucci, Louis Vuitton). Abstract (Nike) or just a simple picture (Apple) works well too. It all depends on what your brand identity is and what sort of message you want to send to your target audience.

  1. Font

Number one rule, it’s got to be readable! The rule of thumb is to use two fonts that complement each other well—although it’s not totally uncommon to have three. Play with different combinations!

Outside of the benefits to marketing, implementing a brand kit and brand guide is simply a more organized and easier way to carry out your branding. It will keep all of your team members and contract workers on the same page.

 A solid brand kit will help you keep the visual components of your brand in one place, thus maintaining consistency on all your channels, whether it’s your LinkedIn profile, website, or flyer.

Even when projects are handled by different people, such as a virtual assistant outside of your company, your communications will have the essential feel of your brand that makes you unique. This will cut down on editing time, endlessly searching for the right logo, verifying fonts, all of which save you time and money. 

Are you ready to build your brand kit? Or do you want the help of a professional virtual assistant? We are here to help you. 

businessbuildingstrategies

Why You Need a Landing Page for Your Business

Some people get confused between the difference in a landing page and a website page. A landing page is a stand alone page that a person is typically directed to when they click on a hyperlink from an ad, email marketing or some other digital location. 

Landing pages are different from other web pages in that they don’t typically live in the navigation of a website. 

They usually serve a direct purpose in a specific moment of an advertising campaign to a target audience. 

There are typically two types of landing pages, either with the goal of generating leads or directing users to a next step. 

“Lead Generation” Landing Pages

This type of landing page focuses on collecting lead data. In other words, it collects information about your customers. The main feature of a lead gen page is a form, which serves as the CTA (call to action).

In exchange for a product or service, it asks users for data like their names, email addresses, and phone numbers. You can even ask for more specific details like their age ranges or occupation. That way you can contact leads and nurture their interest in your business.

Lead generation pages are valuable because they provide insight into who your potential customers are as well as how you can contact them.

“Click-Through” Landing Pages

The main purpose of click-through landing pages are CTA buttons. Clicking the button redirects your users to a page where they can complete your desired action. For example, a button that says “schedule a demo” might take the user to a scheduling page, “order X now” would redirect to a checkout page, and so on. Besides the CTA button, these landing pages usually provide information about products and testimonials. 

So now that you know what landing pages are and what types there are, how do you make an effective landing page?

There are 6 points we are going to touch on today. 

  1. CTA, or Call To Action. Basically the main purpose of a landing page is a simple CTA. A website can contain many CTA’s, but you want a landing page to have a singular purpose. To buy a product, to set up an exploratory call, or to simply get more information. 
  1. Your landing page forms can request specific information or contain short surveys you can use to learn more about your customers. This is one of the other main points of a landing page, to gather information like their names, email addresses, and phone numbers. You can even ask for more specific details like their age ranges or job titles. That way you can contact leads and nurture their interest in your business.
  1. Grow your email list. A landing page is an excellent way to collect target lead email addresses. It can be added with other basic information like name and occupation. 
  1. You can increase your credibility on landing pages by highlighting testimonials. Landing pages are a GREAT way to show potential leads testimonials because the page is simple and basic. Websites can be info overload sometimes. 
  1. Landing pages increase brand awareness. You should be using your branding style, colors, font and voice on your landing page that is cohesive with your website and other marketing. Customers feel more loyal to brands they recognize, know and trust. Stay consistent to increase brand awareness. 
  1. Marketing your landing page. One thing that is a big misconception is that you need to spend tons of cash on a web developer to make a landing page. You don’t. They are simple and you can easily teach yourself how to create one. 

Creating a landing page is also one of the top skills that virtual assistants (VA) have. A VA can help you create landing pages that lead in to your marketing strategy. They can help with landing page templates, design, branding and copy. A VA will save you time and stress with the technical stuff, so you can focus on other things. 

In conclusion, landing pages are a valuable tool. There are no limitations to how many landing pages you can have. The more you have, the more conversions you are likely to see. 

business management, process management

Why You Must Have Systems in Place

Life happens. Whether you are going to have a baby, there is a death or illness in the family, or some other unexpected issue that will pull you away from your business, life does indeed happen.

So it’s really important to have systems in place for your business.

Without systems in your business, you are the business. This means:

  • The business needs you to get things done.
  • This makes it difficult for you to scale up.
  • It also makes it difficult for you to take time off.

With systems, you can step back, delegate and your business will still run without you.

What do I mean by “systems”. Systems are the procedures you have in place to keep your business running. Think of it as standard operating procedures you give your employees as checklists so they can implement it, even without training.

Systems should be set up for the activities that you use to run your business.

If any activity is required to get things done in your business, it should have a system. 

Getting systems in place may seem like a daunting task at first, but believe me, it’s better to have them in place BEFORE something happens, that way your business can keep on functioning while you deal with real life situations. 

Where to start.

  1. Write down what roles are required to get things done in your business.
  2. Write down the tasks that these roles need to perform.
  3. Document the procedures, create checklists or videos that show how these tasks can be done.
  4. Specify the tools and software that are required and how they are useful.
  5. Identify the handover points between tasks done by different roles. Document these as part of the systems.
  6. Test the systems and refine them as needed.
  7. Explore opportunities for automation.

Loom is a great tool to use for explaining systems. We use this tool at Life By Design and think it is a great way to show your team processes. You can make short explanatory videos for processes you follow in your day to day work. That way, if someone needs to step in for a day or two, there are instructions to follow. 

You might also want to consider hiring someone to help you get everything in place. They can be your processes’ guinea pig if needed, help type up processes and give insight on instructions that need to be clarified. 

So, not only are systems imperative for you to personally be able to step away from your business from time to time, but they also prime your business for sale or to scale up. Getting systems in place has GOOD benefits. 

Life By Design Virtual Solutions is a team of experts when it comes to building systems and standardization of your business. Reach out with any questions, we would be happy to help. 

business management, healthandwellness

Dealing With Stressors When Working From Home

Working from home does have a lot of benefits. No dress code, no manager breathing down your neck, no long commute, (thank goodness with these gas prices!) and being able to work wherever you want to are all positive aspects.

Adapting to a home/work environment has its own set of unique stressors and challenges, however.

For example, when working from home you are typically less physically active. This can affect both your overall health and sleep patterns. 

Also, motivation and distractions are biggies. Since you are in the comfort of your own home you are surrounded by things (and people and animals) that pull your mind elsewhere. For example; your tv, your pet, your kid, Amazon deliveries and even neighbors are all common distractions during working hours. These distractions can lead to a real lack of motivation. 

Two more challenges include dealing with a lack of structure (which can lead back to distraction) and difficulty setting boundaries. If you have kids at home, they won’t understand that you need time to work. Pets! The dogs still need walking, feeding and letting to go do their thang. Even friends and family might not totally understand that you are, in fact, at work. 

With these unique work-from-home difficulties  in mind, here are some tips for combating the stress of those challenges. 

  1. Creating a routine is a must. Not only will this help build structure for you personally, but also for the family, friends and pets in your life. 
    1. Create a practice that marks the beginning of your day: This may include taking a walk before you start working, taking a few moments to stretch, and/or enjoying a coffee or tea to start your day.
    2. Mark the end of your work day: Simple tasks like putting your work material away and out of sight, taking an evening walk or prioritizing one-on-one time with a family member who might not have gotten enough attention during the day.
    3. Set a morning alarm: Waking up at the same time everyday can give you enough time to prepare for your workday and helps with establishing your morning routine.
    4. Set a regular lunch time: Taking lunch at a similar time everyday can give you a much-needed break and offer you some time to refuel before getting back to work. Be sure to fully unplug during your lunch time so you can enjoy your break.
    5. Prioritize challenging tasks: If you have the ability to decide which projects or tasks to complete, consider doing the most difficult ones first to reduce the potential of feeling overwhelmed later in the day.
  1. Create a dedicated work space. Try to create a dedicated workspace where you can solely focus on your job. Creating specific work and home boundaries, even if you’re just using a small corner of your home, can help you mentally shift from home life to work. Get everything you need in one place, before you start work – chargers, pens, paper and anything else – and shut the door if you can. Even in a small or shared space, try to designate an area for your work. It may also help you leave your work “at the office” once you’re done with your day.
  1. Reward yourself. Make sure you don’t forget to take care of yourself. If you have a task list, cross off those tasks. That little achievement gives you a dopamine boost. Consider having a post-it note with a relevant positive affirmation to recite during the day. Take a well-deserved break  and move around a bit. This may mean walking around your home or doing some stretches during your breaks. If weather permits, try to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. This can re-energize you.
  1. And my last tip is to prioritize your sleep and practice self-care. Doing so may help you stay connected to yourself and more fully understand what you need in terms of work-life balance. Take your time figuring out how you can best take care of yourself and meet your needs.
    1. Be sure to prioritize unwinding at night and practice good sleeping habits. 
    2. Exercise regularly.
    3. Practice meditation.
    4. Do yoga.
    5. Read during your downtime.
    6. Take naps.
    7. Listen to music you enjoy.
    8. Spend time with friends.

While working from home may provide a sense of freedom and flexibility, as well as a no-cost commute, there are hidden stressors to be aware of. So remember to be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you are learning how to be productive in a new work environment. Be realistic and make sure to unplug and relax when you are done.

business management

How to Write a Newsletter That People Will Actually Open

Newsletters are a great way to stay connected with your customers and audience. They can pack a valuable punch if done right. Don’t miss out on an excellent opportunity to inform, entertain and plug a CTA. So how do you write an influential newsletter that won’t just end up in someone’s delete box or, worse, spam box? 

Here are some tips to keep in mind.

  1. Try to keep to one topic per newsletter. Newsletters read better when there is a purpose. Yes, you have all kinds of events, news, things to promote, etc., happening at all times. But, if you have a cohesive theme. Your newsletter will stand out. Try to keep each month/quarter streamlined. 
  1. Try to keep a ratio of 90% educational and 10% promotional. Newsletters need to provide value. People are going to be more inclined to open your newsletter and read it if they think they are going to learn something new. 
  1. Your subject line needs to be killer! Keep it short, keep it funny, be creative and make it different for each newsletter you send. And don’t make it spammy. Don’t include words like ACTION, OPEN NOW, ACT NOW, LIMITED TIME. People get hundreds of emails daily, and spammy comments are annoying. 
  1. Pick one Call To Action (CTA). Focus on one, don’t overwhelm the reader, or honestly, ask too much of a person’s time with having all these CTA’s bogging down the newsletter. Please keep it to one. Trust me. 
  1. Keep design and copy minimal. Newsletters can feel cluttered. You want to stay clear of that. Keep your copy concise and leave plenty of white space. Keeping the copy minimal will give your readers a taste of your content, and hopefully, they will want to learn more by heading to your website. And white space is key to keeping the look of the newsletter clutter-free. 
  1. Make sure your newsletter can be easily read on mobile devices. You know folks are catching up on email on their commute, lunch break, at the gym, etc. Make sure the design works for both desktop and mobile. So break up the copy, use bullets, use a zigzag pattern with alternating copy and pictures, and don’t forget to make the headline big and bold. 
  1. Don’t forget to make your newsletter easy to unsubscribe. Give the reader the option to unsubscribe easily; otherwise, for sure, your email is heading to the spam box! 

So now that you have some great tips on making your newsletter look good, how about a few ideas on what to include. Try adding new blogs; maybe you have a webinar coming up to promote or add the link to the webinar that just passed. Promotions, discounts, company news, testimonials, how-to-guides, phew! The options are endless. 

So go ahead, have some fun with it. Keep it tidy and informative. And let us know if you still need help writing and designing killer newsletters. We are here for you. http://www.lifebydesignvs.com