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Irene C

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About Irene C

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  • Birthday November 28

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    reading, sewing, organic gardening, dietary fitness

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  1. Good advice all around, thanks! Just changed the password, didn't even think of that! Danielle, I saw some information on WordFence yesterday. I think I'll have another look at that, too. Worth a try. Tawnya, when this happened to you, was it for real with your server? After searching online for 26.UNOFFICIAL FOUND, I'm seeing that some people are saying the host server I use is among several from the same company that infect your site(s) and then offer SafeLock to clean it all up and protect your site, denying the whole time that they do this. It's scary and infuriating, and now I'm thinking I might need to just switch to another server and start over. (That's kind of why I wanted to know if your experience was a real live hack.) But there goes my Google ranking probably. ACK! At least I don't have pharmaceutical ads showing on my site ... yet. Will let you know what comes of this. Thanks again!
  2. Thanks so much, Danielle. I did the Sucuri site check earlier today, and it showed no problems. I'm glad you didn't find any problems on the Google safe browsing site status; I'll try that one on my own as well. I don't have Google Webmaster but will get it installed and try that too. I didn't open any links in their e-mail. I had just separately gone to the file they mentioned, the one inside my website hosting file manager. That's the one that listed 50 files that were "26.UNOFFICIAL FOUND". My website is up-to-date, and I've been working on it recently. I guess my next step will be to contact the website hosting service to find out if they really sent the message. Thanks again.
  3. Today I received an email that went to my junk folder. It's from my website hosting company (Fat Cow), and it states that their security team "discovered infected files" during a routine scan, and I can find a list of those files in my websitescan.txt file. I looked at this file and there are 50 infected files on the list!! All of them on the list say "26.UNNOFFICIAL FOUND" at the end of the entry. My website is working perfectly, links and all. Is it possible the email I got is a scam? It recommends that I contact their "preferred partner, SiteLock" to "find out about their security solutions at https://....." Honestly, I feel like this could be a scam. I ran a scan using Sucuri's site check and it came out clean. I've downloaded a backup of my site, and I'm going to contact my host server. But I wanted to find out if anyone has advice before I do that. Something I read online said the host could delete all my content if I tell them it might've been hacked. Has this ever happened to you? Do you have any advice for me? Thanks!
  4. "My 'WHY' is my focus, not the scary thing I have to do..." I love that! And I can relate so well to the ups and downs of confidence versus fear. So, so true. Thanks, sd, for this post. It encourages me.
  5. Hi Leisa, Please forgive my very late reply to your question above. Yes, by all means, join VA Insiders if you've got the ability to do so. When I started my VA business in early 2014, I attended the VA Virtuosos Seminar (VAVS) and then joined VA Insiders shortly after that. I can't tell you how many hours I spent watching webinars from the Vault or how many downloads I did of helpful forms, protocols, and such. The Vault alone is like an encyclopedia, or a library--a real treasure trove! If you need a resource, it's bound to be in there. Apart from that, my two favorite things are the RFPs and group coaching. I set things up so that the RFPs are emailed to me automatically, and I attend the monthly group coaching headed up by our wonderful mentor, Tawnya Sutherland. When I can, this site is where I hang out with other VAs, and the support has been wonderful. (I see you've been here a little while, so that part you already know, I'm sure.) That's my two-cents worth. Hope it helps.
  6. The verdict is in. My client downloaded the Word 2007 patch and it worked!! She was thankful that I took the initiative to research and find the solution and is going to contact me again for my services in about a month. Phew. I can't seem to copy/paste in this area, so I'm going to type out the link for the patch: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5 The web page has the 2007 MS Office Service Pack 2 (SP2) at the top. That's the one that fixes this issue.
  7. I finally heard back from my client. She has Word 2007. So I googled "compatibility issues between Word 2007 and 2010." It turns out 2007 had some issues with documents received from other computers ... spaces missing, for one thing! Just like what happened between us. Microsoft has a patch to fix these issues, and I sent her a link for that. (I was going to paste it in here, but I can't get that to work.) She's going to have a look at it and probably download it. I hope so because she still wants to have me do a little more editing for her soon. I'll let you guys know whether the patch solves this completely.
  8. She hasn't replied again other than to thank me for trying to figure it out. That was after I sent the PDF versions and resent the first versions just in case. She hasn't answered my question about which version of Word she's using. I'm starting to wonder if it's a PC/Mac issue, too. Although I've never gone back and forth between the two, your comment confirms for me that it might be that reason. Thanks, and I'll let you know what hat happens.
  9. Thanks for the suggestions, Tawnya. I had already sent it in PDF, so she could at least read it in the finished form without a problem. After editing something, I send back one copy with all changes accepted and one copy with tracked changes that can be reviewed one by one and each change accepted or rejected, as the author sees fit. So she does need to be able to edit in order to accept/reject the changes I made. I use the button to view the hidden formatting from time to time while I'm editing, but I didn't look at that one more time when the spacing issue came up. I was out of town this weekend and only had access to an old computer, so my access via Dropbox was limited. I just now had a look to view the hidden formatting, and there was no problem with the spacing. It was definitely worth a look at that, thanks for suggesting it. I'm in limbo at the moment, waiting for her to get back to me since the long weekend. I'll follow up with her again later today if I haven't heard from her. She's incredibly busy. If it goes well, she'll probably use me again for her upcoming projects. I'll let you know how everything turns out.
  10. Help! I've had issues with this twice. I've been editing books (large and small) for clients. I get everything just right and send it back to the client and WHAM! something's not lined up right when they open it. I'm using desktop Microsoft Word 2010 (and occasionally the 2013 I can't get off of my computer since I tried it for "free"). Both are used in compatibility mode. When I send the documents to the clients, it's through Gmail. Client 1: Images that are perfectly spaced between the paragraphs on my end come out a couple lines above or below where they're supposed to be, when client opens the document on his end. We finally found a formatting that would keep them from shifting. Done. Client 2: Current (VIP) client. I just sent her an edited e-book that I slaved over all week. She says she's having a "formatting issue" and sent me a screenshot that shows there are spaces missing between words; two words become one. Three times in that one paragraph! My computer reads it fine (desktop Word 2010 & 2013). Opening the attachment on the email that sent it, I see no problems either. I'm a little stumped, but I did read online that the review/editing functions don't all work if you're using the Word Online version. I just sent her an email to ask which version of Word she's using. ANY IDEAS you can come up with will be so helpful! There's a lot riding on this one. (And why does this happen on Friday!? Going to take a deep breath now.) Thanks so much, Irene Chambers It's About Time VA
  11. Michelle, I hear you loud and clear. When I was thinking and dreaming of starting a VA business, I was so excited I couldn't think of anything else most of the time. Then when it became a reality by getting a business license, the fear of falling flat set in. Soon after that, I handed out some business cards at a local networking meeting, only to come home and just about have a panic attack because, "What if they call me?! Am I ready enough?" (No one called after all that worrying anyway.) I've gotten my feet wet and had a couple of successes now, but what if is a nagging companion at times. What if I don't get the client? What if there's no client to get?! Am I charging too much? Am I able to do enough? On and on sometimes. As a matter of my faith, I pray every time I sit down to work, and I trust that God knows what I need, and what I don't need. It helps me a lot to leave things in His hands, but it's really hard if I'm having a down day (or two...). But I try to. If you hang out with the virtual assistant community, I think that will help your confidence, too, because you won't feel alone, and you'll meet others at the same stage that you are along with others who remember it all too well. It sounds like you really want to do this, so I recommend moving forward with it, one baby step at a time.
  12. Excellent resource, Tawnya! As are the many, many resources on this site! Julian, in answer to your exact question: yes, you can charge what others charge. I wouldn't expect a trained plumber to work for minimum wage either just starting out. No matter what you charge, the trick is helping clients see that you're capable of doing what you say. Both training and experience help with that. I recommend setting your prices in the low-average VA rate range and use this rate when responding to new client inquiries and job board positions. (Membership in VA organizations is great for job board access, but also for the companionship and vast knowledge that's shared among members.) At the same time, you can continue building your experience doing work on Fiverr at whatever rate you have to, as long as you can survive on that for the time being. Ask for referrals from satisfied clients and get testimonials that you can quote on your social media profiles and/or website. That's as close to word-of-mouth as you can get, I believe. Once you're established and have a good flow of prospects, I'd bump the rate up a little at a time. Hope this helps! Irene
  13. Hi Julian, It sounds like you've gotten some experience freelancing. If you've done that remotely, at home or whatever, then you've already got virtual experience and can consider that virtual assistance. So that's great! The types of work virtual assistants do include freelance editing, website design, and SO much more. Just about any virtual job can be considered virtual assistance. If you're looking on oDesk or eLance-type sites to gain experience, you'll probably make a lot less than the average at first. But you would be able to use that for references and hopefully, testimonials if you ask for them. (I haven't worked from those sites yet but might do so to gain experience in targeted service areas.) At the same time, you can be marketing yourself online (through networking, social media, etc.) and charge your desired fee to the clients you gain that way. Most advice I've seen says that charging for the results you can produce is the way to look at this. If you're doing what someone else can do, you should be paid similarly, although you might want to charge on the lower average to start with. If you google "average virtual assistant rate," you'll find some help determining what the average is and go from there. If your rate is reasonable, clients will be more concerned about whether you can deliver results. As you build your credibility and gain more clients through word of mouth, you can raise your rates, maybe with the new clients first. There can certainly be other ways to view this, and I look forward to hearing what others will have to say on this. Sincerely, Irene Chambers It's About Time Virtual Assistance
  14. Thanks, Tawnya, that's very helpful. I watched the video, which is really nice. It helps me to be able to watch someone demonstrating.
  15. Fantastic list, Mark! I'm printing it out for future reference. Thank you for taking the time to put this together and share it with us. Tawnya, you make such good sense. We really are fortunate to be able to use social media for business networking, too. I haven't signed up for a business LinkedIn identity, mainly because the budget is tight for me. I was surprised to find out that Facebook isn't charging for business pages. BTW, I've heard that statistics show that LinkedIn is more successful at getting your posts into the "hands" of your intended audience. Any thoughts on that?
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