Submitted by: Diana Ennen
We all realize how Virtual Assistants have revolutionized the way we work today. Most businesses now count on their Virtual Assistant the same as they used to count on their secretaries, only so much more. VAs are a prized and respected part of their client s team, and unlike secretaries, who often were taken for granted, Virtual Assistants are praised for their professionalism and skills. Most businesses today can t imagine where they would be without their VA. And as the potential for success in a virtual assistant business continues to explode, so does the need for good Virtual Assistants.
Today s Virtual Assistants need to take pride in their business and also to learn as much as they can about their niche, which is the specialty they have chosen to specialize in. One niche that I highly recommend is to offer publicity and marketing services to clients. This is an area that is growing in leaps and bounds as more and more authors, businesses, and other professionals realize the need to market their business to get good publicity. A business can expand tremendously when hiring a Virtual Assistant to help them spread the word about their products or services. Also, authors today aren t aware that once they write a book, that s when the real work begins. They need to get the word out about their book in order for it to be successful. That s where a good Publicity VA comes in.
Publicity and marketing is thrilling to say the least. There s such a great rush when your client gets recognized in national magazines, or a TV station wants to do a segment on them and you helped them achieve this success. Or better yet, when your efforts start resulting in substantial increased sales for them. Clients will not only keep using your services, but also tell others about this new positive addition they have to their business. And best yet, you too get to feel that satisfaction as you are helping them achieve their goals.
One of my most successful tips is learning how to effectively use any publicity that a client receives. When clients get national attention in a magazine, newspaper, or TV Segment, or even on a popular website, it s important to make sure that everyone is aware of this. A press release should immediately go out to announce their accomplishment. This release should be added to their website and also should go to all their local papers, radio stations, and TV networks. Media loves to highlight a success story of their locals, so make sure you get this out there as soon as you can. And you don t have to wait for the publicity to happen. If your client lands a major TV segment, you can start sending this press out beforehand in order to get more media for when the event happens. You just want to make sure that the client is fairly confident the segment will air. Also, don t worry if the segment gets bumped back, that often happens as breaking news takes priority. This can almost be a blessing, as then you get to do more publicity before the airdate.
It s also important to follow-up with the reporters and let them know how much you appreciate the acceptance of your quotes for an article. When you go the extra step to show them your appreciation, they remember you when the next article comes up and they need help with more expert advice. Many reporters work for multiple magazines so one good ally can lead to lots of media exposure. Always keep your PR hat on. Learn to take any situation and turn it into good press for your clients and your business as well. Stay on top of current events and see if you have anything to offer. Whenever a story hits the press that any of my clients would have a connection to, I ll send it right away. Having press releases already prepared for clients on their business is always a great help. How do you know about these events? Sign up for Google Alerts under the topics of interest and then whenever a story is written, you can follow-up with your press release or article to the reporter. It works! I also use ProfNet from PRNewswire, which allows me to get daily leads from major news outlets. You can also consider PRLeads.
It s also important to learn how to write a good press release and article and also where to send those. Make sure that your press releases and articles are newsworthy and also something that interests the readers. When I write a release, I always think would I read this release? Would it interest me? If not, I doubt your target audience would be reading it either. Plus, be careful to sound too promotional. You can easily get your message across without sounding like an ad.
Publicity is a great niche for VAs. Want to learn more, join us May 17th, as we do a teleseminar with Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound http://publicityhound.com/teleseminar.htm at 1:00 p.m. EST. Also, this teleclass will be recorded and make available afterward as well.
About the Author: Diana Ennen is the author of numerous books including Virtual Assistant – The Series, Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and accompanying Workbook; Corel Word Perfect Office Ready, Virtual Assistant Solution Pack, and Words From Home, Start, Run and Profit from a Home-Based Word Processing Business. She specializes in publicity and book marketing and is president of Virtual Word Publishing