Are you a mind reader?

As I write this it's the hottest day of the year so far (Tuesday) and it's getting late in the day so my brain is getting a bit frazzled.  I therefore thought I'd cheat and find a funny video to share with you for this week's email and so I popped onto Google and typed in "hot office videos".  Suffice to say, I won't be sharing any of the videos that came up in the results!

But it got me thinking, do you know what your prospects are looking for when they're looking for your service?

What are they typing into a Google search and will your website come up in the results, either natural or paid?

What do they need to hear when you're doing your 40-60 second spiel at a networking event that will make them sit up and think, "I need to speak to that person"?

We all know our businesses inside out and it's easy to assume that everyone knows what we do, or to describe it in a way that involves too many technical or industry-specific terms that doesn't mean anything to anyone else.

I remember many years ago, when VAs where not common, thinking that describing myself as "a secretary who works from her own office instead of yours" would made it more understandable for people.  What I eventually discovered was that unless you'd had a secretary in a previous 'life', nobody really knew what a secretary did, so it didn't help at all!

So if you're struggling to get people to buy into what you can do for them, have a real think about how you're putting yourself across.  Try and put yourselves in the shoes of your prospects - what are they actually looking for and how would they describe it, not having inside knowledge of your industry?

A big part of this is the features vs. benefits issue that many people struggle with:

  • Features are what you actually do, ie. "process all your receipts and invoices and make sure your accounting information is up-to-date"


  • Benefits are what it means to the prospect, ie. "you will have valuable information on which to base decisions in your business; you will not get fined for late submissions; you will have more time to spend with your family & friends"

I'd love to hear what you think you do for your customers and I'll happily feedback what I think that means and see if it's what you actually do.


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I'd like to introduce you to Maia

b2ap3_thumbnail_Maia.JPGMaia is our newest recruit to the team.  She is not shy about getting out there and revealing the secrets of remote office support so she's the ideal person to accompany me to networking events.

The reason for 'recruiting' Maia is to grab people's attention when I'm out and she's certainly doing that!  However, she's only been with me to a couple of meetings so far but already other 4N members are saying that they need to work out their own version of Maia.  You see it's not just about grabbing attention (which flashing your bra certainly does), it has to have a point and help people understand easily what you do.  

Our new tag line is ...

"Invisible but Essential - Remote Office Support is like a bra for your business"

and along with our accompanying literature and website Maia is not only helping us get the message across but she's helping us keep that message in people's minds for longer.

Do you have a Maia in your business? Something that helps get your message across and stay memorable?

It's great timing as well because we're about to embark on a 9 week 4Sight tour of 4Networking, so if you're a 4N member take a look at my post on the forum and see if you can come and meet us both over the next few weeks.



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I really am that sad *blush*


Over the weekend, for some unknown reason, I started singing the old Harpic advert from the mid-80’s – I know, you didn’t think I was that old, or that sad, but unfortunately it’s true, on both accounts.

I have absolutely no idea where it came from, but it did get me thinking about our marketing and advertising.

I often see adverts now-a-days that I don’t even know what they’re advertising or what on earth the advert was about!  I know that there’s so many things vying for our attention that companies have to think up more and more wild and wacky ways to get us to notice them, but surely the point of an advert or piece of marketing at the very least is that you know what it’s advertising?

The Harpic “song”, whilst short and annoying, at least made sure you knew what the product was and it was catchy enough for me to have remembered it nearly 30 years later!

So, have a think about the marketing you send out.  Is it clear to your prospective client what you’re offering? 

For years I would tell people that a Virtual Assistant is just like a traditional secretary, but we don’t work in your office.  It took me ages to realise that anyone younger than me had no idea what a traditional secretary was/did, as technology has changed the role significantly over recent years.   So bear in mind that there’s a big difference between what you think is clear and what your customers understand.

And just to put you out of your misery, here’s a link to that advert!                           



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