Top 3 Personal Assistant Tools

Ever feel like your to-do list is never ending? When my to-do list takes on a life of its own, I find myself needing a little push of motivation to get those tasks completed. Truly, I need something extra to help me stay organized! While I am a big advocate for a beautiful, bound planner to hand-write many of my appointments, to-dos and notes, I, like many modern business owners, have succumb to digital means to keep track!

Today, I am sharing my three favorite personal assistant tools that have been a life-saver to help me keep focused on my tasks and goals at hand. Hopefully by including a short description for each tool, you'll find the ideal app or software program that is perfect for you and your business. 

1 | EasilyDo

From flight itineraries and car reservations to organizing receipts and monitoring my social media, EasilyDo has quickly become one of my favorite, interactive management apps. Of course, this app keeps up with all of the standard organizing such as creating calendars and reminders; however, it goes above and beyond in the level of organization. Also, I just love the aesthetic aspect of EasilyDo as it makes everything more fun to compete! The best part? EasilyDo is free!

2 | Quip

If it's good enough Mark Zuckerberg, it is definitely good enough for me! Quip is the perfect collaboration tool that makes teamwork fun. Professionally, this app that has helped me check-in with my clients and keep the both of us focused on important and time sensitive matters. Like Easily Do, Quip is a free app for both Android and iOS! 

3 | 17Hats

I am saving the best for last with this personal assistant tool! To be honest, 17hats grabbed by attention because they sponsored so many Facebook posts that appeared on my newsfeed. For fun, I used their free trail feature and to say that I was pleased does not even cover my excitement over how 17hats streamlined my projects!! All of the multiple documents and software that I use for my business are placed in one easy-access area that is 17hats. I am in love with this program, but since it is not a free software it is not for everyone!

How to Successfully Respond to Inquiries

Many businesses talk a good game, but do they really deliver? With today's consumer demanding a personal, prompt response to inquiries, it is increasingly important to mold your old business practices to match the needs of your millennial customers. The best way to turn a potential client into a current client is by creating a one-of-a-kind initial experience for them through your response to their inquiry. 

Remove Your Auto-Responder! 

For today's consumer, there is nothing worse than initially receiving an email that is dry and is sent back to them so fast that it is obviously computer generated. You would be surprised how many business owners use an auto-responder and never follow-up afterward to add  a little something extra. In many cases, I have even witnessed outdated responders when the business owner has left in a two-year-old date in the message body. If you are using an automated response to inquiries, get rid of it immediately! 

Create a Template. 

Now that you have removed your the auto-responder from your email settings, there is still a way to save time for yourself and be personal to the prospect too! By drafting a sincere, straight-forward template that you can personalize (i.e. add in names, wedding date, etc.) for each inquiry you will be able to respond efficiently and effectively to get your message across. 


TIP: WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR MESSAGE IN THE TEMPLATE, FIND A HAPPY MEDIUM BETWEEN TOO SHORT AND TOO WORDY. TOO SHORT WILL MAKE IT SEEM SIMILAR TO AN AUTO-RESPONSE AND ON THE FLIP SIDE, NO ONE WANTS TO READ A LENGTHY EMAIL WHEN THEY ARE SHOPPING AROUND. 


Respond Quickly. 

Why should you respond as fast a possible? That potential client has probably sent five other emails to business owners just like you to inquire about their business culture and pricing. You want to be the first out of the gate when it comes to responding to all inquiries to increase your client list. 

Prepare to be Flexible. 

Customizing your services, fees and packages will without a doubt help you book more clients. However, know your business worth and never low-ball yourself into doing the same amount of work for a lot less money. Once you have created a conversation and have gotten a feel about where the inquirer stands, being flexible may be the best and only want to secure the client.

Follow-Up! 

If a week has gone by since you have responded to the inquiry and you have not heard anything back, you have two decisions: follow-up or move on. Let's be honest here, who really wants to turn down business without a good fight? Send a follow-up email or phone call around a week mark of your first email or phone call to find out more information about how you can customize your fees or even ask why they went with someone else to better your chances for the next inquiry you receive! 

 

 

 

3 Ways to Network When You're the Newbie!

Whether you just dove into a new industry or you moved to a new area, it is never easy being the new person! Whichever of those aspects you represent, networking is very important to finding your tribe and establishing your company among your peers. While I've covered 3 Reasons You Should Network and How, today I am sharing three ways to network when you're the new kid in town! 


FACT: FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS FOR 21% OF ALL SOCIAL MEDIA REFERRAL TRAFFIC TO WEBSITES.*


1 | FOLLOW, FOLLOW, FOLLOW.

Research which social media tags local professionals are using in your niche, and jump on the bandwagon! Secondly, find business pros like you by typing in a business category and your area into a search engine. For example, "wedding photographers in Richmond Virginia." You'll boost your following, and connect with others who grow your referral base.   

2 | FIND A NETWORKING EVENT!

The age-old trick of turning on your company and (again!) typing in your favorite search engine, "networking events [your city]" or "business networking events [your city]" is the perfect place to start. When in doubt, I suggest browsing the following websites to easily find networking events by zip code: 

3 | DON'T BE SHY.

When you find a fellow industry professional you want to Facebook message or say "hello" to at a networking event, do not be shy! You've done the research, located the event, and drove there, so why toss in the hat now? When it comes to conversations - share your story of how your got started with your company, what sets your business a part, and watch your tribe grow! Oh, and whatever you do, do not forger your business cards!! 


REMEMBER: NETWORKING IS NOT ABOUT COLLECTING CONTACTS, BUT BUILDING RELTIONSHIPS.


*Stat provided by Meltwater

Getting Published Where it Counts!

While direct advertising is a great way to get your company's name in the limelight, there is nothing like getting exposure in magazines or on blogs. While there are many places you can get featured, it is important to get featured where it counts to reach your target audience. Today, I am providing tips that will help you start planning to get published in valuable media. 

Know Your Niche.

The best place to start getting press is through media in your niche. If you're a wedding photographer, submit a wedding to a wedding blog or magazine. If you own a golf course, pitch your upcoming, local golf fundraiser to surrounding news outlets. In comparison to submitting to all encompassing publications, recognize your area of specialty and the right publications relative to that industry will raise your press pick-up.

Do Your Research.

Good press can bring traffic to your website, blog and will customer base. However, if you do not make the right pitch than you are making a mistake. Identify the right publications for your company, and make sure you understand each publication and how/what they publish! The easier you make it on the editor and publisher, the more likely you are to get some free press. 


TIP: IT IS BETTER TO REACH OUT AND ASK FOR ADVICE (IN PERSON IF POSSIBLE!) FROM THE MEDIUM YOU WANT TO BE FEATURED IN THAN TO BE THE 100TH PERSON CALLING TO PITCH THEIR COMPANY.


What Makes Your Company Distinctive? 

Whatever gives you and your company an edge will increase your chances of getting published. Editors and publishers stay hungry for innovative angles and fresh spins. Determining what makes your company unique prior to seeking opportunities to get published will help you outline the best bluepoint for submission. 

Patience is a Virtue. 

Yes, it is true that some publications will pick-up your work faster than others; however, this isn't necessarily a good thing. Unless you have an upcoming event that you've failed to promote, do not settle! Some media will take longer to post about your company than others, but more times than not it will be worth the wait! Have patience, and reach out to the outlets you deem the best for your business.


TIP: ONCE YOU GET PUBLISHED DON'T BE AFRAID TO BRAG ABOUT IT ON YOUR BLOG AND SOCIAL MEDIA, BUT DON'T FORGET TO THANK THE PUBLISHER WHILE YOU'RE AT IT! 


If you want to learn more about how Magnolia Media PR can help you get published where it counts, contact me through the form below. 

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