Before I started working as Virtual Assistant, I faced a lot of challenges trying to prove and improve my working skills, my experience in this field and line of working business has made me to put up this article as a guide to help on how to work more cogently as a Virtual Assistant with the usage of online networking. The precedence of online networking as a virtual assistant keeps you virtually updated to technology improvements as such to high-speed internet, document sharing and other advancements.
According to Dictionary.com networking is a noun which means a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having common interest while online is an adjective meaning connected by a computer to one or more other computers or networks through the Internet. Online networking simply means the use of a computer via the Internet to connect and share information with other computer users with a common interest.
Networking online is done through social media. But, what is social media? It consists of two words which are social and media. Social is a process of interaction by exchanging information such as images, videos or texts. Media are computers or mobile devices used as an instrument of communication. Social media are online tools that enable people to interact with each other by sharing and consuming information.
• Personal – Networking with people who personally know you or whom you know. This includes your family, relatives, friends, classmates, colleagues, etc.
• Social – Second level of networking with people whom you just met online such as acquaintances or friends and/or acquaintances of your “personal level of network”.
• Professional – This can be a personal or social level of networking in which it involves a list of people you want to network with that will help grow your business, profession, and skills.
There are many types of social media groups’. If you’re looking for a potential date or you just want to watch videos or perhaps share your own, we do have this type of social media. Below are some of the popular ones. Try to search any of these on your online browsers.
• Dating - OKCupid, Tinder, eHarmony, Match, Plenty of Fish, Taste buds, How About We, My Single Friend, Zoosk, Lavalife, Speed Date
• Video – YouTube, Metacafe, Veoh, The Internet Archive, Crackle, Screen Junkies, MySpace, The Open Video Project, 9GAG, TED
• Photo Sharing – Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Imgur, PhotoBucket, Picasa, Twitpic, Pinterest, Photoshop, Imageshack, Onedrive, Yfrog, Tinypic, Shutterfly, Snapfish
• Profession – Linkedin, Beyond, Black Business Women Online, Data.com Connect, E.Factor, Gadball, Gust, Meetup, Networking for Professionals, Opportunity, PartnerUp, PerfectBusiness, Plaxo, Quibb, Ryze, StartupNation, Upspring, Viadeo, Xing, Twylah, VisualCV, Zerply, AngeList, BranchOut
• Blog – Tumblr, WordPress, Medium
• Forum – Quara, Digg, Reddit
• Review – Yellow Pages, Home Advisor, Insider Pages, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Zomato, Amazon, Angie’s List, Demand Force, Better Business Bureau, Dex Knows, Bing Places, DoneRight, Citysearch, Epinions, Judy’s Book, Consumer Reports, Google+ Local/Google Places, MerchantCircle, Yahoo! Local
• Shopping – Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Fancy, Polyvore, WalMart, Alibaba, Target, Flipkart, BestBuy, NewEgg, Overstock, Shop, Groupon, Ikea
• Interest-based – Houzz, Last.fm, Goodreads
The adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is still relevant in today’s online networking era. So, why should you start networking? With your network of contacts increasing day by day, your chances of creating a good business relationship, connecting with the “right” market, and eventually making profitable product/services sales, or securing an office-based or online job will increase considerably well.
You will need tools such as devices and apps. Devices are computer aided gadgets. Computer (laptop or desktop) and mobile devices (phones, iPad, tablet) are the devices you will need. Besides these gadgets, you will also need apps. Apps or applications are online tools freely downloadable to your devices via online stores on Android and/or iOS enabled devices (Google Play and Apple Store).
• Download the Apps - Try downloading one app at a time. Start exploring ways on how to use it. Search online on basics of using each of these apps. Better ask a friend who already knew how to use these apps to teach you the basics. After downloading these apps to your devices, each of these applications requires for you to create an account. To create an account, you will need a valid email address, simple or unique username and strong password that you can easily remember. A little tip, create a document on MS Word or Excel sheet and enlists all the username, password, and email address. Save this list to your Google Drive or computer folder. Use this as a reference in case you forget them.
• Know Basic Buttons or Keys – Sign up, log in, posting buttons (videos, texts, images), links, hot keys (comment, like, follow, message) and much more are the common buttons or keys you must know when using any form of social media.
• Be Prepared – Doing social media is easy and fun, but you need to be prepared. Prepare on how to express yourself through photos or selfies, videos, and most important texts. You can almost post anything, but it is advised to “think before you post or share”. Why? Because anything you post or share can be viewed by people online, we call “netizens” anywhere around the world anytime especially if you post/share it on a “public” status. Words and images are forms of media that may affect your personality or cause an effect to other people positively or negatively.
• Know the Law - You need to prepare your emotions especially when dealing with “haters” and “bullies”. Ignore is the best defense you have when it comes to haters and bullies. So, learn how to ignore their messages or comments. In case, they wreck your overall being by posting incorrect information, too much hate and bullying then you can report them to the authorities such as the police or your solicitor lawyer to sue them which is according to “Cybercrime Law.” You can block their account on your list of followers or mark their account as “spam”. You can even report them to support/help desk of that social media app.
• Know Your Goals – Most people use social media to easily communicate with their peers, friends, etc.
As a virtual assistant, using social media serves as a free reference online publication to connect with prospective clients. It serves as a free online portfolio as well. Facebook Page and Google Plus Page are on the popular social media pages that you can use. Netizens online are very aggressive positively and negatively when it comes to what content or form of media you share on social media. So, I advise start sharing a little about yourself but more on how your skills and services can help your prospective clients.
Updates are part of online networking; new things are being introduced to make works easier and faster. This is very paramount you can’t work more efficiently when you are outdated, or the tools which you use in providing your services are all outdated which will jeopardize your work. The sole duty of a virtual assistant is always to provide the latest information because information is power.
Managing online networking business as a virtual assistant requires a lot of inputs and commitments. As a virtual assistant, you need to develop a strategic plan for handling your business and maintaining your clients. A virtual assistant should always clearly define what it is you are trying to achieve your social media and then set goals and guidelines accordingly. A virtual assistant should always keep track of the statistics by watching the online growth as well as additional leads of potential customers through marketing.
Hi, I'm Paul. If you enjoyed reading this article you might like to read also:
Or check Notes from a VA - The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Virtual Assistant Career for more helpful tips.
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