What can you support me with? – FAQ

The list is vast! I am proactive, capable, learn fast and am good at using my initiative. I can assist with one-off projects, or provide ongoing, long-term support.

Generally speaking, I can support you with the typical office support (day-to-day tasks) such as:

  • Email
  • Making appointments, keeping your schedule
  • Personal/business paperwork
  • Research
  • Planning meetings and events
  • Making travel arrangements – business and personal including:
  • Renewing passports
  • Dining reservations (local and while travelling)

I can also provide support for the projects that will move your business forward (this is the stuff I really enjoy), such as:

  • Managing your social media & marketing – monitoring your online (and offline) reputation and helping you improve it
  • Updating your website (WordPress support – although if you use a different platform, I’m a fast learner!)
  • Helping you to plan and then execute a product launch
  • Systemising your processes
  • Providing a weekly update on all the news you need to know, but don’t have time to seek out and read yourself
  • Attending networking events/seminars on your behalf

For a list of popular services please see here.

Please note I am not an Accountant, Bookkeeper, Graphic Designer, Sales Representative or Telemarketer. I can offer a multitude of support but you should always seek out a professional to help you in specialist areas. I will always be honest with you if the support you require is not within my remit.

I want to build a strategic partnership with you…

As your virtual assistant, my wish is to build a strategic partnership with you.

A common misconception is that VAs are merely “hired help”, once the assignment is finished, they will leave you for the next one. This is far from the truth. I would much rather work with you longterm, assisting the growth and development of your business.

Shared interest equals a strategic partnership. When working with me, I ask that you bring me into your business. Indoctrinate me in your culture, and allow me the opportunity to share my ideas. Collaboration is a powerful tool that will take your business to the next level.

A virtual assistant, then, is not just a person contracted to complete a project. I pride myself on being an asset to your business.

Happy Birthday to the Internet – 25 years

It feels like it’s always been there. Most of us couldn’t live without it; it’s shaped our careers, how we communicate and even our culture. I’m talking about the King of the World who’s just turned 25; the Internet.

This invention re-shaped the culture of the entire world. It took only 4 years for 50 million of us to be on the web, it took our second best friend the TV over double that amount of time to reach the same mile-stone.

If you look back even just a few years you’ll be amazed at the leaps technology has made. Just think back to the turn of the millennium when the majority of the world stopped using dial-up. Most of us remember mum yelling at us to get off the Internet so she could use the phone before you’d even managed to get MSN to load. Now mum is yelling for you to help her figure out how the 4G on her phone works.

Not to mention that the internet has given birth to some of the most profitable industries in the world; gaming, dating, social media and web design to name a few. It’s also breathed new life into older institutions such as journalism, radio and TV. And of course where would any of us be without email, Google and Youtube?

The world was a lot simpler once and people would say that ignorance was bliss. The general public relied on journalists to know what was happening in the world and it was all a bit ‘out of our reach’. Then along came the Internet. A constant stream of free flowing information to keep us informed 24/7. We now have a generation of people more in tune with what’s happening, not just in their local community or country but around the world. They have the tools to get involved and engage with current news. 

It’s never been easier for everyone to have a voice and air their opinion. Not that this doesn’t have a down side too. People can now publicly share their concerns about current events, films and global news with like-minded people. Whether it’s through blogging or engaging with posts on social media, these discussions and opinions can resonate around the world and genuinely effect change in our society.

Not only can people find their voice online, they can find a community. Whether you’re into knitting buttons or bass-jumping, there’s a Facebook group, forum or chat room out there for you. Ultimately, the online world is a true democracy. It’s ruled by the people and never before has there been a place to exchange ideas and open up discussions so freely.

For a creative like myself, the Internet is a necessity. Back in the dark ages we’d have to rely completely on other people for our work to see the light of day, but now we can all have a blog, a YouTube channel or an online portfolio to show off our talents. There really is no denying the wealth of creativity that the Internet has sparked from Apps, games, web series, artwork, journalism and a whole host more. And yes maybe now the competition is steeper and the industry is over saturated but everyone has a chance. The Internet has made it an equal playing field, we can now make new connections via social networking, collaborating with other like-minded creatives across the world.

It’s one thing for an invention to change methods of communication or even create whole new industries but to change our language? Well, if you think of the Internet as a country and each country has its own language, all languages around the world are constantly evolving. English for example is a language that has always amalgamated words from other parts of the world. The Internet is no different.

When it first started to evolve we called it text speak. The first development of common tongue ‘Internish’. Us 90s kids remember the boredom cure that was MSN Messenger and teaching each other what BRB meant. That’s where it started; now we have LOL, Tweet, Hashtag and Selfie all worming their way into the Oxford dictionary never mind the “enter at your own risk” Urban dictionary. These words are so commonplace; it’s hard to remember a time when they weren’t common use.

It would be difficult to speculate on how the world would be now without the Internet. I daresay we’d be massively uncultured and certainly more ignorant. Times perhaps would not have changed quite so dramatically.

With all that it’s done for us let’s raise a glass to say; Internet you are the life-support that keeps our creative juices flowing and boredom at bay. You keep us connected to each other and personify freedom of speech. Happy Birthday.

Post by Holly Rihan, Social Peanut Copywriter

4 Free Marketing Methods for New Businesses

Marketing can seem like a daunting and pricey task for a small start-up business.

Here are four tips to help you market your business for free.

Home Grown

Brand awareness starts in your community. Local newspapers, coffee shops and neighbouring websites could all be a potential marketing platform. Getting a mention or a feature through one of these outlets can go a long way to getting more customers at your door. Yes, the competition may have the flashy PR guys on board, but why do you need them when you can DIY it?

A great way to start is to open your local paper to the business section, find out who is writing about business in your local community, then put finger to keyboard and write a nice concise pitch. With Google as everyones best friend, finding the email address for your resident journalist has never been easier.

The Direct Route

Most of us can’t go an hour without checking our emails. It’s hardly surprising that email marketing is one of the most effective methods of reaching people.

Install a section on your website thats provides opportunity to enter competitions or sign up to a newsletter. You need to provide some value for your customers; offer something worthwhile in return for an email address.

It’s not just promotions that keep customers coming back. Although they are a good incentive for people to subscribe, but nothing beats a good newsletter. By keeping customers updated with your business’ news, you can keep it at the forefront of their minds.

Where we all Live

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn… Never mind emails, these are the notifications we’re all looking for. And what’s better? It’s free.

Although a procrastinator’s dream, Social Media is the easiest place to learn about your customers and gain their feedback and support. By providing your followers with intriguing content they’ll want to share amongst their peers, you can generate more customers for your brand.

You need consistent, curated content to have a genuine impact, however in the beginning there’s no need to post everyday until you have a clear grasp of what your followers want. This is the best way to learn.

More than Profit

Customers buying your product or service is great, however profit alone is not what keeps a business afloat. It’s no secret that customers talk to each other; reviewing that new restaurant on the high-street and discussing the latest gadget. We all do it. Swapping stories about the next big thing.

Positive stories from happy customers can sell things in a way you can’t. So why not invite your customers to share? Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, it can be your greatest marketing tool.

Customer tailored marketing is a key component to any business’ survival, large or small, but it doesn’t have to swallow your wallet. There are helpful services out there to keep your business visible so potential customers can find you.

Hello from Social Peanut!

It’s all coming together! Our social media presence is growing and the website is complete hurrah! So it’s a big HELLO from the Social Peanut team, we hope you’re all having a super bank holiday weekend and have stuffed yourself silly with chocolate ready for a scrummy Sunday lunch tomorrow!

Keep your eyes peeled for lots of great social media tips and articles from us down in (not so sunny today) Bournemouth. We look forward to working with you soon!