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!

5 Hacks to Build Business in the Off-Season

If you own a seasonal business then today's blog post is just for you! Running a company that thrives one season and comes to a halt the next is not an easy task. Yes, checking out (mentally and/or physically) when things slow down would be the easy solution during the off season, but that would not benefit your business! Enjoy my five ways to build your business during the off season that will help you enter the peak season with confidence! 

1 | Perform Maintenance 

Whether you need to revamp the look of your storefront or contract a designer to create a much needed website update, performing maintenance to your business where it needs it the most is always best during the slower business months. It takes a lot of time and energy to devote to either of the above, and you will need to give that time and energy to make certain your business stands out above the competition in every shape and form. 

2 | Educate Yourself.

Update your certification, take a new photography class, research the newest marketing trends, sign-up for a workshop - all of these are great ways to educate yourself and ultimately benefit your business. Clients are more likely to seek your service if you can showcase your talents by continuing your education and expertise by staying on top of trends as it relates to your industry! In addition, this will give you an ego boost and credence that will carry into the busy season. 

3 | Build Your Online Presence.

Having an online presence has become just as important as owning a telephone. From this point forward, consider your blog, website and social media accounts as another form of your portfolio. Not only are you able to showcase your work, services and products but also you are able to become a storyteller by sharing daily and weekly updates! 

4 | Attend a Trade Show or Expo.

Going to a trade show or expo as a vendor or attendee is another great way to build your business during the off season. Once you sign-up to be a vendor at an expo, you are taking on a marketing strategy that is tried and true. However, make sure that you are prepared to meet and greet expo attendees with a look that will draw them to your booth! By going to industry specific trade shows, you'll be able to learn where your industry's future is headed, receive discounts on products from participating vendors and even network! 

5 | Collaborate Other Professionals!

Now that you are a networking feen after reading my last networking blog post, you are ready to collaborate with other professionals in your industry or near your storefront. Create a styled shoot to submit for publication or host a meeting with business owners near your company to plan for the upcoming season. Either way, by collaborating with others shows that you are a team player and ready to further your business by working with your fellow peers. 

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! 

 

 

 

Staying True To Your Brand in a Trendy Industry

It should come to no surprise that having a strong brand means that your branding is consistent. However, how can you be consistent in an industry where trends are ever changing? From fashion and weddings to beverage and technology, it can be exhausting to stay true to your brand where the needs and wants of consumers seemingly change overnight. Today, I am bringing you three easy and simple ways to help you stay true to your brand especially for those of you in a trendy industry. 

1 | Find Your Voice. 

Your most effective marketing tactic will forever be your voice. Once you ensure that your brand and message are understood by your target audience, you can create a tone that embodies and expresses your brand's personality. Not only does your voice become your message, but also it helps your audience know what to expect and how to recognize your brand!

2 | Be Organic! 

In an image drive culture, it is easy to blend in with stock images and share content of other industry leaders. However, this is will not help the longevity of your brand. Be creative and maintain an image/video archive for your products and services to make sharing content easier during the busier season. 

3 | Don't Be Everywhere.

Being anywhere and everywhere will give you a oneway ticket to brand dilution. Whether it be a new advertising outlet or signing up for a new social media account, review and research what makes the most sense for your brand and company. (Even if it is the latest, greatest social media platform!) By controlling where your brand is and how it got there, you can still be trendy and keep your branding consistent. 

Want to learn more about branding tactics? We'd love to hear from you!

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