8 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Business Coach

If you’re thinking about hiring a business coach, make sure to ask the right questions to help find the right coach for you. Nothing is worse than hiring the wrong coach because it can be a large expense and you want to get a return on any investment, along with getting the help you need.  Do the research before hiring a coach, to save yourself a lot of problems and missteps.

When hiring any coach, they will be asking a lot of questions to make sure you are the right fit for them, but you should also ask questions. Depending on what your goals are,  more than likely you want a coach that challenges you and pushes you outside of your boundaries.  Otherwise you may not experience the wonderful benefits of hiring a coach. So below are questions you may want to consider and ask during your interview of him or her.

Question #1 Do You Have any  Certifications?

While having coaching certification is not required by law, nor even required to be a good coach, the fact that someone spent the time and money on going through a program to become certified is a good sign that they take their business seriously and are devoted to making this profession their career. Listen to how they answer the question whether or not they are certified; it will say a lot about how they deal with pressure.

Question #2 How Long Have You Been a Business Coach?

This is an important consideration because if you plan to use a brand new coach you should pay a lot less since they are not experienced. But, if they’ve had training, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t do a good job if everything else comes together. The important thing here is to listen to their answer. It’s important to value honesty and hear how the coach deals with your questions.

Question #3 What Type of Business Owners Do You Normally Work With?

The coach needs to be clear on who their target audience is if they want to help you be clear on where you’re going in your business. Find out if the coach works with only six figures and up businesses? Do they work with start-ups? What stage of business do they want to work with to best use their skills?

Question #4 What Size of Businesses Do You Normally Work With?

Do they work with sole proprietors or larger companies? A coach who is used to working with a corporation might not like working with a work-at-home mom, for instance. The answers are really important and if they don’t normally work with your size of business. Also, you should follow up with asking why they want to work with yours.

Question #5 Which Industry Do You Specialize In?

Knowing what type of industry they like to work with is very useful. If your business works with authors, but they normally work with businesses who sell retail merchandise, they might not be a good fit for you. Hiring a coach familiar with your industry and what it takes to be successful is imperative, or they may not be able to advice you well.

Question #6 What Are You Good At?

The answer to this question should be something different than the insight you received from the above questions. They may be tempted to repeat their specialty, but dig deeper and find out what they’re really good at within that specialty.

Question #7 How Do You Quantify Results?

When you are hiring anyone to help you within your business, it’s a good idea to always think about the numbers and which metrics you’ll study to find out what you’re doing is working. If your ideal coach doesn’t know how to help you improve based on your idea or what you want to achieve,  you might want to question whether or not the expense is worth it.

Question #8 Are There Additional Skills To You Bring to the Table?

If you need a lot of guidance in getting your business off the ground or to the next level, having a coach who brings other skills aside from typical coaching to the table can be an additional help to push your business to the next level of success. It really depends on what you need as to which answer you like best for this question.

The important thing is to be clear on what you need prior to interviewing a business coach. You may not be sure at first, but interviewing several coaches may help clarify for you what you want in a coach and what type of personality you work best with. Remember, as they interview you, you need to interview them as well. If you find a coach you think you want to work with, ask about a trial session, to see if you want to continue after 1 or 2 sessions.  Good luck!

5 Good Reasons To Use Social Media For Your Business

5  Reasons Your Online Business Needs Social Media

Online marketing continues to evolve and grow and today social media is as important as having a website for your business.  It takes a front seat in most online marketing strategies as it supports the growth of business. Here are the 5 best reasons you need to use social media to grow your brand awareness and business.

 social media signReason #1: Who You Reach

Why do social media managers spend countless hours planning, posting, testing, and perfecting their social media presence online?

  • There are 3 billion active Internet users and 2.1 billion of them have social media accounts.
  • YouTube has more than 1 billion users, more than a 1/3 of all web users. Each and every day web visitors view hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube that generate billions of views.
  • Facebook has nearly 1.4 billion users, that’s 47% of all Internet users. 4.5 billion.   “Likes” are generated daily and nearly 75% of Facebook’s revenue comes from mobile advertising. Approximately, 936 million Facebook users login in at least once daily and 52% of marketers acquired new customers on Facebook in 2016.
  • Twitter has over 316 million monthly active users that posts 500 million tweets per day!
  • LinkedIn users will more than likely visit your website.  About 64% of social referrals to your company came from LinkedIn. The visitor to leads conversion rates are higher with LinkedIn than from other social media platforms.
  • Pinterest has 100 million users, 81% of which are women. In 2016-2017, 60$ of new sign-ups are men and 40% are women.   There are over 75 million ideas in Pinterest and 72% of winners make purchase decisions using Pinterest.  About 67% of pinned content is from a business site and 82% of Pinterest users would rather follow a brand than a celebrity.

These stats is just one reason to use social media to market your business.  The numbers are staggering and it illustrates the potential of reaching many more customers whether you’re only an online business and/or a brick and mortar store.

Reason #2: Relationship Building

Social media allows you to reach more people on a personal level. Many social media marketing experts believe that social media is about relationships building, that as a side effect brings about conversions for calls to action. When you connect with people and they connect with you, they’re more likely to follow your brand and all it has to offer.

Reason #3: Show Off Your Best Content

Social media allows you to show off your best content, and highlight your brand, culture, sales, specials and everything else it has to offer.  You can use text, images, video, and can tailor your campaign to present plus impress your target audience with the very best content, products, and services that your brand has to offer. Tailoring your campaign through social media allows you to meet many objectives, including, building brand reputation, customer engagement, a better customer experience and any other goals that meet your marketing needs.

Reason #4: Steady and Reliable Traffic

Are you sick of fighting for organic traffic when Google keeps wiping sites off their SERPS with their ongoing updates? Social media can bring a steady, long-term, reliable and ongoing stream of traffic to your sites and blogs, without having to worry that some entity will come along and wipe you out.

Reason #5: Control

One of the greatest benefits of social media is that you have full control of what is presented about your company, brand, and website to your target audience. You can tailor your marketing plan to meet specific goals and not leave anything to chance. The multitude of tracking, and testing tools available, such as, Klout, SumAll, BuzzSumo, and TweetReach, just to name a few allow you to enhance and tweak your campaigns as needed to constantly improve your efforts to boost conversions.

Finally…

There’s no better time than now to take advantage of all social media has to offer. If you have an online business and do not have a social media presence then you’re behind the times, get started and connect globally.

blue twitter bird There are many expert guides online to get you started, and educating yourself on the intricate process that is social media marketing is critical to your overall success.

There’s also an option of hiring a social media marketing expert. Take care to choose a competent professional, it will not be cheap, but may well be worth it when they bring the results your business needs to succeed.

Noble Virtual Assistant is a certified social marketing specialist and will teach you, one-on-one tutoring for social media so you can start getting connected and engaging with your target market. We also manage your social media marketing so you don’t have to!

 

5 Get-It-Done Tips for Writing Your Site’s Content

5 Tips To Writing Content For Your Website

One of the biggest struggles I see my fellow entrepreneurs stuck in is creating content. A lot of emotions are stirred up when it comes to creating quality content, or even just content for their about page.

Maybe you can relate?

You sit down to write your home page content, maybe a persuasive piece of copy for a product or even a blog post. And suddenly you are paralysed by fear.

Fear of making a mistake and sounding like a fool.

Fear of what others will think.

And other times you are just not sure what to write about, what order to write it in and how to write in such a way that gels with your target audience.

But there is hope …

I want to share some tips that have helped me push my business forward. There was once a time when I was in the same situation. I hated writing.

I just wanted to design that darn website – but words have to come from somewhere!
It wasn’t until I started solving the jigsaw puzzle piece by piece that I discovered many ways of increasing the speed of writing, the level of engagement to my writing and even making it fun.

And now I want to share some tips with you!

Tip #1: Create an outline prior to writing

One of the most valuable tips I discovered was to outline my writing. I would simply use bullet points in a word processor and write down a topic per bullet. The great thing about this is that I could just list them.

Then once I had refined that ordered list of things to write about, I could start writing from that outline.

In order to create an outline, it helps to know the topic or reason for the content piece; so you stay on track. I also recommend you use prompts in your outline if you get stuck.

An example of a prompt is if you were learning about karate. You might have some prompts like:
● The mistake that almost all beginners make while practising Karate
● 10 valuable lessons I’ve learned in becoming a 1st blackbelt
● 2 things no one knows about when choosing your martial arts centre

You can learn more about creating outlines on page 8 of my free ebook available here at VA Networking.

Tip #2: Ensure you understand who you are writing for

It’s hard to write on a topic when you aren’t sure who you are writing for. It’s like taking a stab in the dark. Sure, it’s possible but then the writing gets very ME ME ME focused.

I highly recommend you define your personality and also recognise your potential customers who will read what you are writing.

One way of doing this is to create a persona or an avatar of your ideal reader. You can find an example of a quality avatar sheet at Digital Marketer.

Tip #3: Leverage writing frameworks

Frameworks are different to outlines. Outlines are very specific to the content piece you are writing. Whereas a framework can be reused. It’s like a fill in the blanks outline.

An example of a framework for a sales piece that comes to mind is something along the lines of:

1. Acknowledge the problem
2. Agitate the problem
3. Offer a Solution
4. Offer a reason why the solution is best
5. Overcome an objection
6. Finish by closing the reader

As you can see, a framework is very different to an outline. It is like fill in the blanks, rinse and repeat – a very abstract level view of your “outline”.
Sadly there are very few places to get frameworks from. But there is always the possibility of creating your own…

Tip #4: Create your own frameworks

That’s right. One of the ways I created my homepage and about page real fast was to create my own framework based on the sequence of questions I pre-empted my reader would ask.

If you look at my homepage on https://webmentee.com you’ll notice there is a formulaic flow. I cover objections, introduce solutions etc.

Tip #5: Get inspired by reading other blogs

Sometimes you are just not in the mood to write. Then you read something from another colleague or competitor. Suddenly you either get inspired, get angry or think you can do something just as good.

I highly recommend you stay ahead of the game by reading and consuming blogs. The secret is not to consume more than you produce. There has to be a ratio otherwise you can get stuck in no action, all learning mode.

And there you have it. Five solid tips to get your writing gear on. If you don’t know where to start, I suggest you get inspired by reading a blog or two on a similar topic and then outline your blog based on the key points you manage to harvest.

Just be original. Be yourself. And let your personality shine through.

This blog was written and submitted by Mark Hunter.   Mark Hunter is a WordPress and Digital Consultant. He runs a service based business called Mark Of Approval Web & Marketing where he assist clients with WordPress. He has been particularly active in the Virtual Assistant community because he loves these good folks provide great value and customer relations to their clients. As a result he’s helped some of the bigger players, like VA Networking, fine tune their websites. To contact Mark go here.

Quality People Have Excellence

Do you fully understand what excellence means? Here’s a quote from Aristotle that defines what excellence is.

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” 

As  you read that quote, excellence is a habit. The best way to create a new habit is by setting new goals along with creating a plan of attack. How do we do this?

First, you want to define your reasons for wanting to commit to excellence. Does it relate to your business, family or personal life? Think about this for a moment and write down your reasons.

For example, if  your goal is to be committed to excellence for your business there are simple actionable steps that you can put into place. If your business consists of clients, then get into the habit of providing more than they expect from you.

You can easily please your clients by doing any of the following:

  • Giving more value
  • Over delivering
  • Finishing the work ahead of schedule
  • Adding in a bonus

Another way to improve your business with excellence is by portraying a professional image. Is your website, logo, brochure information, business cards, all up to date? If not, then start making the changes to update them.

Customer service is another area where you can offer excellence. Make sure to provide great customer service at all times.  Respond to emails, inquiries or problems in a timely fashion.  Never get angry at your clients regardless of the situation. Always be professional and leave your emotions at home. Don’t use profanity in any business or professional setting.

If you want to excel in your life then start by thinking more in terms of your best image. People will see an air of excellence surrounding you. They will always remember you in a positive light and may even refer you to others. No matter the situation whether it’s in a paid position or if you volunteer for non-profits, your excellence is on the line.

Why Generation Z Matters

This morning, I listened to a podcast from the “Social Media Social Hour with Tyler J. Anderson” on my iPhone.

Today’s edpisode was about “Marketing to Generation Z: What Marketers Need To Know”.   Are you wondering what’s Generation Z means?  Call me silly, but this was the first time I heard the term “Generation Z”.  It refers to young  people who were born in the late 1990s and under 20 years of age as of today.

Tyler’s guest for this podcast episode is Connor Blakley.  Connor is only 17 years old who has a lot to share about how to market to his age group.

Why Generation Z Matters

According to Connor, marketing to Generation Z is different than marketing to millennials and older folks.  Connor summed up why today’s teens are different from the previous Generation Y (aka Millennials).

Since they were cute little toddlers, Gen Zs were exposed to digital information.  They grew with iPads, gameboys and iPhones and have probably started using them since they were toddlers.   I love the term that Connor used and that he refers to their generation as “Digitally Native”.

cartoon of teen with light bulb idea above his head

Most teens today, like Connor, are not at all trusting of any brands.  They don’t mind if their clothes are not “branded” loudly and don’t like to be a walking advertisement for popular brands! They’re not easily influenced with today’s advertising and “don’t buy into all that stuff.”

 

Teens today quickly analyze and form in their heads if a brand is trusting or interesting enough to capture their attention.  And it only takes them a few seconds to make a decision.

Marketing to Generation Z will be trickier because they’re educated and intelligent kids. They are highly skeptical of the way advertising has been used. Let’s just say they need more convincing natively.

Pay attention to the conversations from Generation Z and try to get insight on how they think, the words they use and create a marketing plan around them. As marketers, we need to expand our awareness and relevance for our young audiences.

To listen to the full episode of Marketing to Generation Z, see below.  I’m not an affiliate and no compensation was paid for writing this blog.

Here’s the link for the podcast to listen online:  http://casualfridays.com/marketers-need-know-marketing-generation-z/