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Everything posted by AssistantForYou

  1. Hey Tawnya, I was hospitalized with the same flu. If your fever gets over 102 (with tylenol or the like) get yourself to the doc / hospital. Don't play with it! Hope you get better quick!
  2. Hi Rita, I agree with Kimmer, I was a gold member for a while (over a year) but went back to free membership. It isn't worth it. I recommend the following host: 1and1.com (I use them, they are great and cheap) Great customer service, cheap, great resources, easily accessed. Have fun! -AFYHeather
  3. Hi Anita, I have submitted many articles around the net. I usually submit them as Press Releases in the typical PR style. IT is easy and quick. I found links and emails to the various editors I want to target. I send individual emails to each of the editors as well as PR Web. I had an article read over 43000 times and published over 500 times. That excited me! I even got a few leads from it to make it all worthwhile. -AFYHeather
  4. I have had MANY (almost too many lately) inquiries through my website. They find me in various places (SE, IVAA.org, articles I've written, various directories, ect). I highly recommend that you either pay someone to do the SEO for your or do it yourself and get the most exposure you can. I am at the point where I don't really have to market Assistant For You!. The referral boat, my website, and whatnot are maxing me out time wise. Good luck! -AFYHeather
  5. I have read and re-read the book called "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyways!" by Susan Jeffers. Amazing book! Motivating Inspiring Full of Great info! Check it out! -AFYHeather
  6. If you have access to the backend of your website, you could upload the files, temporarily, to a place on your site, then send a link to the files in an email to your client for them to download. NO unzipping, no filling up email servers with large files, and it's easy! HTH! -AFYHeather
  7. I have created all my sites from scratch and they continue to be a work-in-progress and an obsession - I mean Passion - of mine. If your budget allows for a designer to give you a clean site that will not only attract visitors and take care of your SEO and submissions, I would do that. If not, then do what you can to make your site fit your needs while still looking professional. A good site that has your basic information and is fairly clean (not flashy) and doesn't include the more complex components shouldn't run you more than $200 - $500. If you go for the more expensive sites with more complex components - flash intro/splash pages, forms, forums, shopping carts, ect... those can run you upwards of $1,000 - $3,000. Do what fits you best! Warmly, -AFYHeather
  8. Hi Kelly, I use a combination depending on the client. Windows Remote Access works great. I also use TightVNC and PC Anywhere. All are relatively easy to set up and use. Any there is no such thing as a "stupid question". Hope that helps! -AFYHeather
  9. Well Lisa, You know I do have an "existing VA" program as well. LOL. Thank you and everyone for the kudos. I am thrilled and will give you updates as the program evolves. Warmly, -AFYHeather
  10. Update: Just wanted to let you all know that I have had 8 sign up for my mentoring program! I am thrilled! Each seems to be enjoying the program although find the exercises a bit of a stretch at times. I am excited to be adding "group" sessions in about month. This will allow all those in the program to collaborate and help each other grow. To make this happen, my new goal is to double my mentoring base to 16 and that will give us two great sized classes for the group sessions. If you know of anyone who needs a mentor or would like to revamp their business, I'd love the referral! Warmly, AFYHeather
  11. I agree with Lynne... great way to separate contacts, emails, calendar for each client. You can go further too... you can have a certain sound and color associated with the client as well. It's all in the "Rules and Alerts" on your tool menu! -AFYHeather
  12. Everything I do is by the hour. I use QuickBooks and it's built-in timer to trach my time. It tracks by the minute or I can change it to be y the hour, whatever. It is less hassle fr me and is easy to understand for the client. (They think they are getting a steal - when they are paying the same amount whether it is by the minute or by the hour or even by the call). HTH! -AFYHeather
  13. First, congrats on starting up. I know start-up phase can be the pits. Just know it will smooth out! As far as the 3 in 1 machines - I was considering getting one until I saw that on most of the models there is a slight "glitch". If one component goes... they all go. I can live without my fax and sometimes my scanner... but don't make me go without my printer. I do a lot of component troubleshooting for clients, family, and friends. This isn't something to take lightly. Hardly any of them realized that this could happen. While I like the convenience and space saver these machines offer, I dont' know if it is worth it. I don't know if any of you use your fax all that much for outgoing faxes. I maybe use outgoing three or four times a month (if that). Consider, as I have, getting an eFax or J2 fax service. It is free to receive faxes, comes straight to your email and outgoing is something like $.10 a page. Well... I have only used it once or twice and it was fine for me. And $.20 wasn't much compared to the cost of space, materials (ink/ribbon), phone line cost, and electricity I am saving not having a machine sitting on my desk or counter. Just keep that in mind.
  14. I have used both efax (efax.com) and j2 (www.j2.com). I believe both parent companies are the same... I prefer efax. Both have a "free receive faxes only" account. I believe efax has a lower rate for sending faxes. With J2 you can also receive voicemail. Thought that was neat - but I didn't need it so haven't tried it. HTH!
  15. I generally do a 60/40 split. 60 for the biz and 40 for myself. That seems to work out nicely! It has covered the bills and still manage a profit for the biz.
  16. HI Mary, I always submit my PR to PRweb (www.prweb.com) You should be able to search and find relevant articles and press releases there.
  17. Hi Donna, First, welcome to VANF. You'll get a lot of great info here. My main question to you is this... do you really need further certification? I don't think you do. You have a degree in Design and Journalism... wouldn't that be enough? Don't get caught up in the Acronyms like I have seen others do. I have yet to have a client ask me for my list of certifications. If it would make you feel better to have a banner or two on your site, why not join one of the associations for VAs or one that deals with Small Businesses. International Virtual Assistants Association International Association of Virtual Office Assistants Small Business Association The HTML Writers Guild These are just a few that come to mind. Each has various "certification" courses you could take and all have logo/banners you can post on your site if you want/need that. HTH and
  18. I believe the font for the "The" at the top, left of the logo could be either a font called Heather or maybe Amazone.
  19. This is a MAJOR safety issue for me. PO Box for me! - AFYHeather
  20. Hi Christa! Have fun diving into the boards. Lots of great ideas and people here! - AFYHeather
  21. I recommend Settlement Room. It does just about everything and is email based. I loved in that everything is under one house and when the transaction is completed you get everything (every email, note, copy of paperwork, every contact, ect) on a cd for archiving. No more trying to house stacks of boxed archived paperwork. Hope that helps! - AFYHeather
  22. Hi Michelle, I give my clients at least a 30 day notice that I will be increasing my rates. As for timing, I use QuickBooks Pro and it comes with a fantastic timer. The timer then dumps right into my invoices for me all the charges and for what specific task all figured out for me. I Love it! Easy and quick to use. Highly recommend it. I don't nick and dime my clients for every little thing but lately if the calls are becoming more frequent or if they last more than 30 mintues - that does get added. My time = money. I know... it can be a bear trying to figure out what to charge for and what not too. You'll figure it out! - Heather
  23. NEVER NEVER EVER EVER EVER work without a signed contract. i don't care if you are doing a 10 minute phone call or a 30 page website for someone. Get it all in writing. That way when/if something goes wrong - the client doesn't pay, complains you didn't follow through (and you did everything that was spelled out) or as i have the occasion to experience - they don't want to pay, You can take them to court and easily proove your side and get what's yours. So ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS get a contract! Heather
  24. HI Michelle, I'd be happy to walk you through it. Feel free to contact me. heather@assistantforyou.com Talk to you soon! Heather
  25. HI All! I have been lurking a bit lately, I've been swamped. Just wanted to share what I hope will be a bit of inspiration and what a bit of faith will do for a business. LOL Those that know me, know that I am not overly religious but do have faith and was going through some REALLY painfully slow periods at the beginning of the year. WEll did a little talking with God and asked for a sign that I was meant to do this business. I kid you not.... the very next day the flood gate opened and hasn't shut yet. WOW! Now I don't believe it was all to do with prayer but I am sure that had a hand in it. Why do I tell you this? I guess to tell you to have faith in yourself, our industry, and that what we offer is truly unique and so very much needed! I have just celebrated another anniversary of opening my business. It's amazing how fast time flown by. Watch what you wish for... You have heard this saying. I am so thankful for what is happening in my life. I wished for the flood gates to open and clients to come out of the woodwork. Well it's flooding! I have worked very hard on getting the exposure my business needed and have spoiled my clients enough to get the referral boat sailing. So much so that I am restructuring so I can bring on a few VAs to cover all the projects. I am SOOOOO excited! I do sub out some projects. I am restructuring so that those that come into my mentoring program will get the benefit of some subbed projects. So far it has been fantastic! I am thankful to those who have supported me over the last several months and have encouraged me to "hang in there". It has been worth it! Hope that inspires you to hang in there and keep your chin up. If you put in the effort and processes needed, you'll be busy as a bee and excited with it (hopefully!) Happy Holidays All! - AFY Heather
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