Most important resources for a new virtual assistant

Free resources for a new virtual assistant

Are you a new virtual assistant? Maybe you’re a virtual assistant wannabee? Good! You’re in the right place! I’ve been a virtual assistant for close to 6 years! I’ve tried many-a-tools over the years and I’m going to share my list of most important resources for a new virtual assistant!

Thankfully, there are sooooo many apps out there that are free! I have chosen to pay for a few along the way, but you don’t need to do that getting started.

How do you even begin to figure out what you need?

You’re going to figure out what you need as you go. You’ll start to work on something, you’ll Google it, and you’ll find new potential resources. Maybe that’s even how you found this article!

You’ll figure out what you need, literally based on your needs! If you’re trying to design an image for a Facebook post, you’ll Google something like this: best free image creation apps.

What’s first on the list? Canva. YESSSSSS!!!! I 100% agree! If you haven’t tried Canva, you have to! I used the free version for years. I enjoy the perks of using the paid version, but I promise you’ll be happy with the free version of Canva!

Most important resources for a new virtual assistant

Canva aside, my two favorite resources are Trello and Clockify. Let me tell you about them…

Trello

Trello is an amazing free app that you can use to keep track of your projects and your clients. I have this app open all day long and skip around to whatever I’m working on.

It’s broken down into Boards, Lists, and Cards.

A Board would be your client. Inside each board, you have lists. My lists are titled Credentials, Daily to-do, Ongoing tasks, Brainstorming, etc. Then for each list, you can add multiple cards to fill out the list. Within a card, you can add links to anything with a URL, you can add attachments, and you can chat with people who you’ve added to the board.

Trello also has a mobile app (I’m on android but I’m sure iPhones have it as well). It’s very handy to be able to look things up on the go!

Clockify

A way to track your hours is a must! I used a time clock app on my phone for the first 5+ years of my business!

A couple of years ago, a client suggested I start using Clockify. I looked at it, but I was so used to my time clock app that I couldn’t get into it.

I kept on using the app on my phone until just recently. I was having an issue with the app and my go-to solution when I have a problem with my phone is to uninstall the app and reinstall it.

I don’t recommend doing that!!🤦‍♀️

When I went to re-install it, the app was gone!! I understand that’s probably why I was having an issue, but, I was still quite disappointed that I lost my favorite app!

I tried several other time tracking apps that day, all on my phone. None of them were worthy!

Queue the solution! Clockify!

What I love about Clockify

What I love about Clockify is that it’s a Chrome extension. So I don’t even have to log into the site to start using it! But don’t worry, if you don’t like extensions, you can use the website.

I spend a lot of time on business activities that aren’t billable. Sometimes at the end of the day, I feel like I haven’t gotten anything done. That can be a very crushing, defeating feeling.

But I have this handy timeclock that I can click on and keep track of EVERYTHING! I set myself up as a client and I now know where my time goes. It might not be billable time, but I’m still being productive and it’s important to see that!

I hope you discovered something new and useful! Let me know what you think! Do you have a free resource that you swear by? I’d love to hear about it!

 

 

Branding

BRANDING YOUR BUSINESS

The branding you choose for your business is the distinctive design that you use across all marketing channels. It’s how people recognize you!

In this article, I’m going to show you some resources to help you create your brand from scratch, or to rebrand.

Why create a brand

You choose a brand because you want to be consistent. Brand recognition is when people recognize the product or service because of the brand.

If you’re just getting started,  you might not have any idea what you want for branding. Don’t let this hold you back from moving forward in your business!

Rebranding

We’re approaching the new year, so I’m looking at re-branding my business. My business isn’t just me anymore and I want to consider a fresh brand for my virtual assistant business.

Actually, I just recently worked on defining my brand for my side gig – a direct sales company. As I worked on it, I created a template which you can get here.

TIPS FOR BRANDING YOUR VIRTUAL ASSISTANT BUSINESS

YVA Branding Template

In this template, I walk you through how to pick the vibe, name, colors you like, and potential icons. In this case, I was trying to choose a name for my direct sales team.

But you can totally apply this to any small business! I have a pretty good idea of what I like for my virtual assistant business (Your Virtual Associate, or YVA for short) but I will fill out the template and show you a couple of examples.

Branding Template Examples

First, you see the completed template for my direct sales team. I haven’t chosen a team name yet, so you’ll see in the logo ideas that the text still says “team name.”

Branding my Thirty-One direct sales team

Next, you’ll see my Branding Template filled in with my goals and ideas for Your Virtual Associate. As you will notice, I added an extra color dot. I couldn’t decide so I just added in another space and grabbed colors from the images I used.

Your Virtual Associate re-branding worksheet

When you purchase my Branding Template, you’ll receive instructions to walk you through the whole process!

Free Logo Design

Free Logo Design allows you to, fairly quickly, design a logo and download a low-resolution copy for free! I made a logo that I like and then I popped it into my template.

The logo I designed is in my template above, in the “biz logo ideas,” the first and last images. I downloaded the first one which I received by email. Then I edited it and promptly downloaded the new version without the text.

While we’re looking at the template I created, notice that the first image in the “images that inspire” section is the banner image on my website. I chose the other images searching in Canva for “work from home” and “home office”.

I think I chose the last image because of how clean it looks! Haha! Seriously, choose something that inspires you – either your current environment or the environment you aspire to!

Looka

Looka is another free logo creator.  It’s not free to download though. But you can get a ton of digital materials starting at around $60.

I’ve enjoyed playing with this tool, but I just happen to be happier with what I created in Free Logo Design. Hey, it’s always nice to save a few $$$!

What do you think

YVA re-branding options

What do you like for YVA? I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’m thinking Color group 2, B, and X. What do you think? When I decide on A vs B, I’ll probably go back and spend $39 to get the high-resolution copies. But in the meantime, I’m pretty happy with free!

Thanks for reading! If you haven’t joined my mailing list, please do! I send out weekly business tips geared towards small business owners!

And remember to grab the YVA Branding Template so you can hash out your own ideas!

 

 

 

Intro to Client Portal

Here's why freelancers should use client portal

I want to share a quick introduction to Client Portal. Have you heard of it? It’s a WordPress Plugin that was created by my client (there’s the first half of my disclosure;-)) Laura Elizabeth. You see, I’m a virtual assistant and Laura is my client!

So not only am I using it, but I’m working on the back side of it. I have quite a grasp of how it can be used by all different types of businesses. But since Laura created it for herself to use with her design clients, she has a very large design audience. What I want to focus on is how freelancers such as myself, can make use of Client Portal.

Top 3 reasons Freelancers should use Client Portal

  1. Professionalism
  2. Organization
  3. Convenience

1 – Professionalism

Think to yourself – what does my business process look like to an outsider? That outsider being a new potential client. What do they see? Do you give them a contract? Are your invoices and documents neatly organized? Now think about what your competition is doing.

Impress clients with your organization!

What if you present a portal as soon as you get off the phone with a potential client? Just a follow-up – “thank you for your time” message.

Hey, Potential Client ABC, I set you up in my system just in case we decide to work together. When you get inside my client portal, you’ll see our preliminary discussion, which you are free to add comments to if you feel I didn’t understand something exactly as you intended. You’ll see some grayed out sections which will become active if and when we start working together.

This shows Potential Client ABC that you are a professional, serious about your intentions to work with them, and organized!

2 – Organization

Client Portal will allow you to organize all of the documents that you use for your clients. I am a fan of both Dropbox and Google Docs. But I find I’m using Google Docs more and more. So what I’m doing is linking my doc right into the portal.

I can work on the doc from my Google Suite. But anytime the client wants to look at it, all they need to do is log in to their Client Portal.

I also have a link to their invoices. I’m still using PayPal to create my invoices, just like I always have. But I’m adding the URL to my client’s project.

So again, I look incredibly organized and professional. AND my client only has to go ONE PLACE to see everything that I’m working on for them – it’s so convenient!

3 – Convenience

I have a small handful of clients right now. If you’re a freelancer, you likely have a small handful of clients too, or maybe more. I have them all lined up in my Client Portal dashboard in WordPress. As I work on things for my clients throughout the day, I can easily switch to their project if I need to make any changes, like adding a module to keep track of a new project they just assigned to me.

But for the most part, I’m just working along like usual. The difference is that everything I’m working on is linked to their project. So any time they want to see what is current, all they have to do is log in to their secure project (password protected and private to each of them individually) and they can see the current version of basically everything we’re working on together!

I’m receiving fewer emails because my clients know they only have to look one place to find what they’re looking for. It’s convenient for them and I spend less time out of my day looking for something I sent them two weeks ago!

Do you want a Client Portal Discount?

Lucky for you – I have one! Follow this link to see more details about Client Portal and to purchase your copy today! If you follow my link, I will get a little kick-back for telling you about it, but it doesn’t change your price (and there’s the second half of my disclosure). If you’re gonna try it anyway, please help out a fellow freelancer and use my code!

When you get there, use discount code CARRIESdiscount to receive 10% off!

If you have any questions about Client Portal, you’re welcome to email me at carrie@yourvirtualassociate.com. Or you can send your questions straight to support@lauraelizabeth.co. Maybe I’ll still be answering your questions!