3 Tips to Fun & Easy Networking

November 24th, 2014 by Sue L Canfield

let's meet for coffee"Let's meet for coffee." Have you heard those words when you've met someone new at a networking event or business mixer? Is your first thought, "Oh no, they want to pitch me about their business!" If so, you may be reluctant to accept their offer. Perhaps this is one reason you don't find networking fun and easy. Because you're afraid that other people are thinking the same thing when you hand them your business card and offer to "meet for coffee."

Networking should be fun and easy! Here are three tips to help you make your next networking experience fun and easy.

  1. Ask a fun question! People want to talk about themselves and asking questions gets the ball rolling. Their answers will also tell you a lot about them and their interests. That's very important so you know how you might be able to help them in their business. Try one of these: "What's your favorite way to use Facebook?" or "Do you use Pinterest to find new recipes or fun activities to do?"
  2. Wear an interesting scarf, tie, or piece of jewelry. Wear something that will catch people's eyes. It might even be a name badge you've had made up that's unique. This is a way to get people to notice you and ask you about your scarf, tie, jewelry, or name badge. Once a conversation is started, networking is easy and fun. Sometimes the hard part is getting a conversation started. Look around and see if anyone else is wearing something interesting and comment on it. It may lead to a great conversation. So give it a try!
  3. Be the first to ask for their business card. Everyone wants to hand out and collect as many business cards as possible. Though I don't think this should be your number one goal (ask me about that), you'll have more fun and networking will be easier if you don't try to hand out the most business cards you can. You'll end up collecting a bunch anyhow if you ask first for their card. They will be delighted to give you their card and in return will ask for yours. When you ask first, you show that you are interested in them and what they do. It's not all about you!

Those are just three tips for fun and easy networking. There are tons more!

Please share your tips in the comments for fun and easy networking.

It's Raffle Time!

November 21st, 2014 by Sue L Canfield

It's Raffle Time!

Who doesn't love a raffle?

Here at Chief Virtual Officer we're always looking for new ways to help promote our clients, their books, and their businesses. Since we have several fiction authors who need help promoting their books, one strategy we use online is giveaways. I recently learned of an online raffle tool and decided to give it a try myself before offering it as a service for our clients.

It's called Rafflecopter. The basic version is free. So here's my test using it for the first time. I'll be giving away a copy of my book, Succeed as a Chief Virtual Officer: Setting Up a Successful Virtual Assistant Business. All you have to do is "Enter to Win" below and visit our Facebook page for a chance to win a free copy of this book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

After this raffle I'll be able to determine if this is a tool we can use for our clients successfully. Have fun!

How to Pin to Pinterest

November 17th, 2014 by Sue L Canfield

Google Chrome Pinterest Extension IconIt's quite easy to pin an image to your Pinterest board from a website. Since I use Google Chrome as my default browser (which I highly recommend), I added the Google Chrome Pinterest Extension to make pinning images to Pinterest even easier. Below are simple instructions on how to Pin to Pinterest using the Google Chrome Pinterest Extension and additional instructions on how to pin without using the Google Chrome Pinterest Extension.

Adding Pins to Pinterest Boards with Google Chrome Pinterest Extension

  1. Log in to Pinterest.
  2. In upper right hand corner click on your account.
  3. Choose the board to pin on.
  4. In another tab on our browser open the web page that has the information you want to Pin.
  5. Click your Pinterest icon.
  6. Choose the correct image and click Pin It.
  7. Add an appropriate description.
  8. Pin It. You’re done!

Adding Pins to Pinterest Boards w/out Google Chrome Pinterest Extension

  1. Log in to Pinterest.
  2. In upper right hand corner click on your account.
  3. Choose the board to pin on.
  4. Click add a Pin.
  5. Choose The Web.
  6. Copy and paste the link from the website.
  7. Choose the correct board
  8. Add a description
  9. Click Pin It. You’re done!

If for any reason these simple instructions don't work for you, please let me know!

A Few Basic Truths About Selling

November 11th, 2014 by Sue L Canfield

a few basic truths about selling

1. People don’t buy needs, they buy wants. If you’re positioned as a ‘need’, they buy on price. Selling at the lowest price is rarely a good way to do business.

2. Businesses don’t buy based on quality, or the best presentation, or even, who’s a friend of the boss. They buy what will fit into their existing infrastructure with the least amount of red tape and politics.

3. People don’t change from what they have to a competitor. They’ll change to something entirely new, if it fits #1 and #2 above, but convincing them simply to switch phone services means that first you have to convince them that their previous choice was wrong. This is a losing battle.

4. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. You must earnestly believe that your product or service is going to change the world, or why should anyone bother?

So, to summarise: whatever you’re selling must be sexy and irresistable, something you believe in deeply and passionately, something fundamentally different from what they’re doing now, yet which will fit into their existing infrastructure without pain.

And that’s why selling things like phone systems or services, office supplies, cleaning services, and the like, is so very hard.

Selling luxuries, specialties, boutique niche whatever? People expect to pay a premium price, even change how they currently do things, in order to bring in the best.

Think you can't be the best? "Best" isn't about top quality, low price, most options. It's about making them feel like they're the best.

You can do that. Anyone can do that.

It's just that so few people try.

Which gives you quite the professional edge, doesn't it?

Post by Joel D Canfield

My Meeting Time Web App

September 2nd, 2014 by Sue L Canfield

One of the greatest advantages of being a virtual assistant is the freedom it gives in terms of location. You can literally sit anywhere in the world as long as you are connected and have a place to work from! But in the same way that assistants are more mobile, so are clients. Meetings are as likely to be scheduled with Cambodia as Kansas these days, and not to mention the business travel that goes with it.

With this increasing mobility also comes the increasing complexity of managing multiple time zones. Scheduling a meeting with more than two time zones can be a real pain, trying to find a time that is not in the middle of the night for anyone. Fortunately there are plenty of handy little apps to help with that, one such addition is myMeetingTime.com which makes scheduling meetings across time zones a breeze.

mymeetingtime

Features

  • Ability to add as many locations as you like
  • Works with cities, countries and the most common time zone abbreviations
  • Automatically recommends you the best time for your chosen locations, to adjust it you simply drag the bubbles along the time line
  • Highlights if the selected time is within the "business hours" for all participants (no more call suggestions!)
  • Makes it easy to share the selected time, either by copying it to an email or sharing a link to the view

How to use it

Using myMeetingTime.com is very simple:
First, set the host location by starting to type in the input boxes. The system automatically guesses which location you are trying to type so just hit "enter" when the right one shows up. Then enter all the participating locations, you can enter as many as you like. myMeetingTime will now recommend you a time that works for all the chosen participants. If you would like to adjust the suggested time, simply drag the big blue bubble along the timeline until you find a suitable time.

Once you've found a set of times you like you may either share it via email by clicking on the "Share via email" button and copy the text to your email, or you may share a link to the view, using the "Share as link" button. Sharing a link means that your recipient will see exactly the same time suggestion that you have on your screen, making it easy to communicate about. If you often need to convert times between the same time zones, you can add those times to the timeline and then create a link and bookmark that link. That way you don't have to keep entering the same locations over and over!

This information was provided by David from myMeetingTime. David came across my Twitter profile and noticed I offer a lot of good advice for virtual assistants. He wondered if his new little app for managing meetings across time zones would be valuable for my network. I asked him to provide us with more information so we could write a blog post about his app and share the link to it.

I'm excited to have such a quick, easy way to manage meeting times now. Give it a try and share your thoughts below.