Does your job require you to track the time for tasks and projects? As a Virtual Assistant this is how I generally bill my clients based on an hourly rate or project. So how do you keep track of it all? There is a program called Toggl, Google it if you’ve not heard of it, it’s brilliant. I’ve been using Toggl for nearly 3 years now and it hasn’t let me down.
Toggl is a free program allowing you to set up projects, and clients helping you manage your time effectively and account for all your time. One of the reasons I have stuck with Toggl for so long is it’s capability to work with so many different programs.
With the free version you can;
Delete time entries
Add time manually
A timeline or you time worked
Use Keyboard shortcuts
Different time formats
It has an offline mode
Summary, detailed, weekly reports
Easy to use dashboard
Different project colours
Unlimited projects & clients
Mobile app IOS and Android
I use Asana for managing my projects and tasks, with the Toggl Google Chrome extension I can time directly from my task, no having to type it in and I can time directly from the Google Chrome Browser bar as well when needed.
Another bonus is if you use Gmail within Google Chrome you can time directly from your emails especially if you have a client that has sent you a task to do, when you open up an email you will be given the option of the toggl timer button. There are so many integrations for this great time tracking program and it will make you be accountable for all your time.
If you want to see what other programs Toggl integrates with have a look at this page, you will find more than 85+ integrations.
I hope this helps you stay accountable for all your time and it makes it easier to track.
Not everyone knows the in’s and out’s of Facebook especially for those just starting out using the platform to boost their brand awareness. One of the more simpler practices for building brand awareness and advertising your products and services on Facebook is to promote in the groups. If you are new to all this you’re probably thinking what groups are they? Well on Facebook there are various groups – Business Community groups where you can promote your products and services, it’s really an online directory like Gumtree and other sites except there are over 2 million users on Facebook.
Before promoting yourself in the groups you need to take note of the rules that state the do’s and don’ts as some groups are more relaxed than others and may have a strict 1 advertisement per week only rule. The best way to find some groups is to;
Type ‘business community’ into the Facebook search bar this will generally bring up a list of Business Groups.
Try typing in the suburb this will also list any groups with that suburb name in it.
From your news feed on the Left Hand Side click on ‘Groups’ under the Explore heading
Here it will list your favourites, groups you manage, groups you’re in
Click on the next tab over which is ‘Discover’
Along the top you have the option of a few headings as well as groups your friends may be in, local, recent interest, business, buy & sell, professional networking and many others.
Click on the join button to join. Most groups you will need to be approved by an admin first some will accept you straight away.
From time to time you may want to tag your own business in a post or another business so I’ll explain how it works. Tagging a business in a post brings that particular post to the attention of the person/business you are tagging. e.g. Someone is asking for a painter and you know of someone and want to bring this post to their attention. You can write you post like you would but include the @theirbusinessname, make sure to leave no spaces when typing it. You can either start to type their business name which will normally bring up a drop down list from you to choose from or if you know their tag you can type that. For instance this is mine below. So as you can see my username (tag) is below the profile picture on my page.
Tagging a business in a post also allows others to click on that tag to take them to that businesses page to have a look.
If you want to put your business page link in the post then you need to type the address which is usually www.facebook.com/tlbadminsupport. You can find this by checking the address bar once on your page.
I hope these facebook tips help you with creating a simple yet effective post next time.
Starting your business can be a daunting process and you find yourself in unchartered waters. What do you need do to become a registered business? How will you invoice your clients? And then how do you find those clients to begin with?
I’m coming up for my 3 year Business Anniversary this November and it has been a wonderful journey but I didn’t start getting leads until about a month of advertising and trying to get my name out there. Let me tell you it won’t happen right away it may take several months but it will happen.
My first client I signed up a month after launching my business and he found my advertisement through Gumtree. Never under estimate the power of free advertising on sites like Gumtree, True Local, Hot Frog, Locanto and other free sites. Doing a Google search and typing ‘free advertising sites’ in is a great place to start. Also when you place your advertisement on these sites I found that you increase your chances of being found in a Google search too providing you use the right keywords.
Now it took a further 4 months to get my second client. In the space of that 4 months I thought I was doing everything possible however it wasn’t until I launched my website that I got my second client. It wasn’t by simply launching my website that I got this lead it was the name of my business and the keywords used for my SEO that enabled me to be one of the listings on the first page when he did a Google search. Two and a half years later and I am still working with this client.
Your website doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg or even be professionally built (however if you can afford it great go for it!), but just having an online presence by way of a website will help you build trust with your customers. They can see who you are and what you do. When you think about it anyone can open a Facebook page and say they are running a business but by adding a website to the mix you are showing them you are the real deal.
Fast Forward to the present and I have found that networking is the best tool for growing your business. Join your local chamber of commerce, mine is the Wanneroo Business Association attend networking events and coffee catch ups get to know the local businesses in your area. They may not have a need for your services now but that doesn’t mean they won’t in the future and by getting to know them you are always at the forefront of their mind. Another networking platform to look at is Meetup.com on here you can find heaps of local networking events that you can attend.
If you don’t know the power of social media then you need to get started. With so many people using smart phones, tablets and computers you need to be on social media. You don’t need to sign up for every platform just the ones you know will work for you. Personally I would recommend Facebook and LinkedIn for any small business as they are both great online networking platforms.
Within Facebook you have the power to promote and educate your followers by posting content to your Business Facebook page. Try to follow the 80/20 rule which is 80% valuable content that your followers would want to see against 20% self promotion.
Join some of the Business community groups and promote your business to the local market however like your facebook page choose the optimal times to post. That being when people wake up early morning, lunch time, dinner time and when people are usually sitting on the couch relaxing. For an indication check your Facebook Page insights and see when your followers are most online.
Both networking groups on Facebook and LinkedIn are valuable as you can share you blog posts, tips and tricks and allow people to get to know you online. If they can see that you are adding value to the groups and get to know you and your work ethic you are half way there.
I’m hoping by sharing my experience that other start ups can get some valuable information from here to help them promote, educate and grow their customers.
With so many changes happening in Facebook land and new features popping up everywhere it can be hard to keep track. This is a recent guest blog post I wrote listing 5 facebook hacks that you can use for your business.
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