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    Happy 100th International Women’s day!

    I wanted to ask for peoples help/opinions on the best way to advertise my Virtual Assistant business? What would you recommend?

    I was looking into SourceBottle.. but before i jump in and spend $$ i’d like to know how other people have advertised and what has worked best for them.



    • Total posts: 1,741

    First time I have heard of source bottle, looks like it could be a good avenue for me to promote the upcoming Young Entrepreneurs Event.

    Anyway, back to you – Have a good think about your target audience and the type of person that uses you. Is it fair to say that these are time poor individuals, who don’t necessarily have time to trawl website and read lots of gumpf? (please accept I am not expert in your line of work, am just generalising from my own perception)

    With the businesses I deal with; Real Estate, Accountants, small business owners you need to pin them down to listen to you. Ways I have and do this:

    1. Direct Mail (of course) – they don’t have to go searching for it, it is addressed to them, and if written correctly will not be ignored.
    2. Telephone – Pick up the phone and get them on the other end – difficult for them to ignore you here too
    3. face to face – some people hate canvassing or ‘hawking’ whereas I love it. 99% of people are generally nice people, and so when you turn up on their doorstep, they will give you some airtime (although it may only be a little, so have some info handy to leave with them) – The 1% – yeah they’re out there, but just apologise for the intrusion and walk on.

    Hope this helps somewhat

    • Total posts: 25

    Hi Corinne,

    Microsoft adCenter (http://bit.ly/ea33a1) is a great way to advertise your business and its products online. Here are some fantastic tips on how to advertise and sell online. Hope this helps you.

    1. Match your ad to your business. Make sure that your ad is in keeping with your business and include the top benefits your customers are looking for. Direct your ad to unique landing URLs, so that searchers can easily find your offer.

    2. Choosing keyword and phrases. Select words and phrases that describe your product, service, brand and location – including plurals, abbreviations, and common misspellings.

    3. Keep reviewing and updating your keyword list. If your business or product evolves then your keywords need to change….but…

    4. Make sure your ad is up to date. As you change your keywords, remember to ensure that your ad stays relevant and still attracts your target customer. Consider using dynamic text in your ad to make the ad more relevant to the searcher’s query.

    5. Monitor and prioritise your keywords. Set your traffic reports to run frequently and prioritise the keywords that bring you the most visitors and are most relevant to your business.

    6. Test multiple ads. Microsoft adCenter allows you to create up to 20 ads per order and automatically display the best performing ads more frequently.

    7. Word limits. Make sure titles are between six and 25 characters, descriptions are between six and 70, and the display URL is no more than 35 characters.

    8. Use adCenter’s suggested bids – but remember that they are estimates. When you start your bidding, use adCenter’s suggested bids as a guide. Review and adjust your results accordingly after one week.

    9. Bid on individual keywords rather than entering one bid for your whole list. Focus your budget on specific phrases and keywords.

    10. Use incremental bidding to help target your core customers. Incremental bids add an additional amount beyond your original keyword bid to target customers by location, time and date, age or gender. AdCenter’s reports can determine the demographic profile of your visitors; you can then set your bid accordingly.

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    • Total posts: 34

    I know someone who works for a virtual/serviced office company and to promote she comes to places where small businesses owners congregate – chambers of commerce meetings, networking events, BNI groups etc.

    This is perfect because I am assuming that you are aiming at small-medium business owners who are getting so run off their feet that they need help BUT can’t afford a salary for someone just yet?! Small-Medium business owners are often in networking groups and chambers.

    • Total posts: 1,097

    Are you a member of the Virtual Assistant Forums?

    There’s loads of VA-specific info over there… :)

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