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10 TOOLS TO HELP YOU (WORK) SMARTER!

Time saving tools and ways to do things a whole lot smarter surround us, if you think back ten years we are absolutely spoiled for choice.  BUT, who has time to find them! I’ve listed below some of the not so well known apps that can make a dramatic difference to your business and how you work.  For more tips I’ve listed some of the better known apps in two previous posts (with, forgive me, a couple of repeats – some apps just deserve it!):

Trello
The bigger it gets, the better it gets. Trello is no longer a simple task management app; it has grown into a tool that can be used to prepare, schedule and edit a wide variety of content, for teams that span unlimited in their size. They’re passionate about what they do, and people are starting to find all kinds of uses for this platform.

Involve your team members in using Trello, and you will quickly see how effective it can be for storing ideas, working on issues, even doing customer care tasks.

BoostSuite
BoostSuite is a tool that helps to optimise web marketing for small businesses. It’s the ultimate tool for beginners and biz owners with little prior marketing experience. By analysing your marketing data, BoostSuite identifies key opportunities for improvement. It then generates simple tasks for you to complete. It’s basically like having a Marketing Director telling you exactly what you should do to best leverage your marketing.
BoostSuite offers two plans – Free Forever and Professional. Their Pro plan starts as affordable as $19 per month.

Drinkle
There is no shortage of tasks that a business of any size needs to deal with, and oftentimes you’re forced to opt for three different tools just to achieve the workflow result you would like. Drinkle is thinking a step ahead, and provides a great list of features in one place; project management, customer relationship management, spreadsheets, global notes, and even stock management.
It’s a great tool for any small business that’s either starting out, or is mature enough to be looking for an all in one management solution.

AccuRanker
Keywords are what help potential customers to find your business through organic search; the better you can understand your keywords, the better you can optimise your content for them. AccuRanker is a beginner-friendly keyword tracking tool that will work just as fine on your competition, as it will on your own sites that you manage.

Buffer
If you work as a business online, social media is going to be one of your top priorities/tasks and, not just because your customers are there, but because potential customers are there as well! Buffer is one of the leaders in managing a transparent company where everyone can get involved. Their social sharing application is an awesome piece of technology, but so are the high-quality blog posts that these guys publish on frequent basis.

Evernote
Evernote is well established as the go-to app for organising just about everything in your life and business. Whether its notes for a meeting or bookmarks from the Web, Evernote can take pretty much anything you want to throw at it. But are you using the platform to its full potential? Here are 10 quick tips for turning yourself into an Evernote power user.

Wufoo
The great thing about Wufoo is that it doesn’t stop at helping you to create forms; it actually goes the extra mile to help you integrate 3rd party services like payments within your forms, helping you to save a ton of time along the way. Whether it is a simple contact form, or a full-scale application form for a new order to be placed, Wufoo can deal and tackle with those requirements quite easily.

MindMeister
Mind mapping can help to unravel loopholes that need fixing. It can also reveal big ideas that are hiding behind small steps. MindMeister is all about collaborative mind mapping interaction, where you can bring in your team and work on aspects of your business together. Get everyone involved for quicker evolution of your ideas.

Prezi
Achieved a new goal? Learned a new way of doing business? Create a presentation and share it with the world! Presentations are such a great way to learn, especially because it involves visual learning. Prezi helps you to create state of the art presentations within a couple of clicks. Help yourself learn by teaching others!

Zapier
This service is a lot like If This, Then That (IFTTT), but for businesses. You can connect the well-known apps you are already using to automate your work process. For instance, every time you are assigned a new task in your company’s project-management platform, it will automatically create a calendar alert to remind you to finish it. The pricing plans for Zapier run from free to $150 per month, based on the number of “zaps” (such as automated tasks) that are needed to run.

Share YOUR top tool tip in the comment below; there is nothing I love more than checking out new tools!
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Here's an inspiring article to start your week with #smallbiztips  - any takeaways for you?
No matter what your job, in one way everyone's day is basically the same: We all have the same amount of time at our disposal.That's why how you use your time makes all the difference -- whether you're bootstrapping a startup or running a billion-dollar company like Jim Whitehurst, the president and CEO of Red Hat, one of the largest and most successful providers of open-source software.Here are Jim's tips for maximizing your time and improving y...
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A great read about how to decide on the length of a blog post - with pros and cons. http://ow.ly/LjOt8
Over the years I've been asked many questions about blogging, but I find there are a few that pop up more ...
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Here's a look at the how and why of giving gift certificates to valued customers: http://ow.ly/LjP2N
Gift certificates can be used in many types of businesses and are an excellent way to create a quick surge of new sales from your existing clients and customers. - New Zealand Herald
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This is a great read on how to create lists that work and create satisfaction! http://ow.ly/LeGTd
How often do you get a sense of complete satisfaction at work? If you would like it more often, let me share a simple, yet delicious idea with you. - New Zealand Herald
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The final piece to my series: "Superheros and Sidekicks" get the most out of working with a VA! http://ow.ly/H7eGm
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This short video has some great tips for how to use humor to engage your audience: http://ow.ly/LdSmm
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Try this
During the last month, I received seven requests to fill out a survey for various companies who I interacted with either online or in the real world. Sorry Terminex, but I am not interested in having you bug me so I can tell you how satisfied I am with your service. But only one company, called me to say thank you and did not ask for anything in return.Let me say it again.They thanked me for my business and didn't try to upsell me, cross-sell me,...
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HOW TO RECYCLE YOUR BLOG POSTS

We are living in a green world.  A world where waste and the throw-away mentality is increasingly frowned upon, so why not apply this ‘green’ reasoning to your blog posts?  Scroll through the posts you have sweated over in the last few years … think about the time you’ve invested in these pearls of wisdom, why would you leave these babies in the dusty archives of your site.  You wouldn’t right!

In order to make sure your blogs do pass the test of time, when you are planning your editorial calendar think about subjects which a) solve your customers’ pain points but just as important, b) that they are everygreen.  Evergreen being timeless, as relevant in 6 to 12 months time as it is today; this maximises the life of your post without a major re-write or redirection of topic.

A tip to decide which posts to use is to utilise Google Analytics.  Look at which posts are most popular and work on an oldest first basis.

How to recycle your blog posts:

Convert them to a SlideShare presentation

Take a series or string of similar posts and convert to a free eBook or white paper

Share as an infographic

Add a ‘popular posts’ feature to your sidebar

Convert to a ‘how to’ video and share on YouTube

Use links to posts in your emails … for example “John here’s a how to
article to help you with your LinkedIn profile banner.”

Link internally to posts (as I’ve done in the bullet above)

Use your content to write your own book!

Take an old article and give it new life before re-publishing

Turn your post into a podcast for your readers on the go

Host a webinar or make a video where you talk through an article

Summarise most popular posts in a blog or newsletter

Use WordPress’s ‘sticky post’ feature to highlight an old post

Turn posts into a series of tip images you can share on social media

Keep sharing old posts on social media channels

Use an old post as a feature for your newsletter

Turn a post into a visually dynamic Prezi

Use posts as content for an online course

Write a part-two follow up for a popular post

Turn your old posts into templates or checklists

Your turn!  What works well for you when it comes to recycling those dusty articles?
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An overview of what diversity means in business - some interesting points here. http://ow.ly/LjPzw
With 213 different ethnic groups living in New Zealand, and 186 of those residing in Auckland alone, embracing diversity in the workplace isn't a 'nice to have' these days - it's a - New Zealand Herald
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How to edit your own emails and why it is important - with some great tips at the end. http://ow.ly/LeFIP
Becoming the Editor-in-Chief of your own digital media platform helps you build strong relationships because you consistently deliver superior content.
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Have you heard about the changes being proposed by IRD? Read about it here: http://ow.ly/LeGj5
The Government is floating the idea of businesses paying their tax on a pay-as-you-go (PAYE) basis, like individual taxpayers, in the biggest proposed shake-up of one of the building - New Zealand Herald
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14 Glenburn Place Takanini 2110 New Zealand
14 Glenburn PlaceNZAucklandTakanini2110
+64 21 177 5137yourva.co.nz
CompanyToday 8:00 am – 5:00 am
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An 'on call' personal assistant service working IN your business
so you can work ON your business.  

By outsourcing to a VA you will realise what many other small businesses already enjoy, that hiring the right Virtual Assistant for your business has enormous benefits.

Almost every small business could benefit from hiring one and in the past five years demand has grown in leaps and bounds.

Having been a Virtual Assistant since 1998, I have the experience and knowledge to assist you in growing your business.

Whether freeing you or your staff from day to day administration tasks or helping you to promote your business through online marketing strategies - my goal is to work with you to make your business grow and run smoothly.

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