Document Formatting Best Practice

Document Formatting Best Practice

There is not a one size fits all when it comes to document formatting. Each document comes with different challenges for formatting as well as different specifications. Different types will require specific or relevant styles of document formatting. A news article will demand a different format compared to webpage content. Likewise, marketing articles or SEO content would be different. Official documents, reports or textual presentations, can have countless types of document formatting needs. Tables and textboxes, images and their descriptions, bullet points, numbers and everything from the index to the reference or bibliography, the formatting requirements will vary.

Here are some of the best practices that you can develop for document formatting.

One of the essential requisites of document formatting is to ensure that you set up the styles including headings and use the consistent formats from the beginning. This will streamline your document. The headings and sub headings will also enable an easy set up in the table of contents. In larger documents, the content should be indexed with a Table of Contents.

Pick a font and be consistent with it. You can use bold, underline or Italics. You can colour certain texts or highlight them but ensure a consistent font and sizings throughout the document. Constantly changing fonts will not only make the document look inconsistent but it would also disturb the flow.

Stick to the style you have picked. That begins with the layout. Don’t change the layout on every page and certainly not on the same page. This will keep the presentation of the texts, tables and images consistent. If you have to change the layout or the format due to some unavoidable need, such as opting for a centre text or different alignment than the typical one, then do so in the most subtle manner so the changes don’t appear to be out of place or not consistent with your branding.

If you are using bullet points and numbering, set up the numbering and bullet points from the start. Use the styles at the top or ensure consistency with the bullet points and numbers. By setting these up at the start will make for a much more streamlined document and will make it much easier to add in further down in a larger document.

Use Headers and Footers to ensure consistency throughout the document and will make each page the same. Include a logo, copyright, page numbers, website and other relevant information that is needed. If you are using a title page you can change the Header and Footer so that it does not show on the first page.

For more hints and tricks on formatting word documents, take a look at the Microsoft Word Tutorials here.

Why Hire an Online Business Manager

Why Hire an Online Business Manager

The role of an Online Business Manager is quite different from a Virtual Assistant and you can have both work in your business. It is important to understand the differences between a Virtual Assistant and Online Business Manager. In Australia, most Virtual Assistants are Virtual Industry Professionals or Online Business Managers for the following reasons:

  • they are often proactive rather than reactive and accomplish tasks without you asking.
  • they develop an understanding of your business and keep the cogs turning
  • they understand the bigger picture of your business growth and development
  • they think outside the box
  • they give you ideas for growth and strategy in your business and quite often manage those ideas from start to finish

When you hire a Online Business Manager you get…

MORE TIME: Who doesn’t need more time?

The main goal of an online business manager is to free up your time so that you can work on the things that only you can do or the things that you enjoy most about your business. Now a virtual assistant can free up your time, however you may need to do some further checking and ensure that you have all of the processes in place first, some virtual assistants require an i’s dotted and t’s crossed approach.  It depends on the type of fit that you are after for your business and if you really do want to step away from the day-to-day operations and release yourself from having to oversee every piece of every project.

A TRUSTED PARTNER: Essential to the relationship

Online business managers truly care about their client’s businesses. They normally only work with 3-5 businesses to ensure that they develop the relationship with you as their client. They understand the overall business vision, are excited by the things to come, thrive on the day-to-day operations, they are comfortable with outsourcing and delegating and strive to make the business succeed. They treat the client’s business as if it were their own. In a sense, hiring a good Online Business Manager is like having a trusted partner invested in your business.

A DECISION MAKER: Making all the decisions is exhausting!

Operating a successful business requires a lot of day-to-day decisions and projects are often delayed because business owners don’t have time to handle them all. Fortunately, most decisions don’t have to be made by the business owner. A good online business manager will be willing to make decisions on their client’s behalf. This doesn’t mean they will be making all of the decisions; however, after establishing a guideline with the client, they can certainly handle many issues that arise throughout the day.

COMPLETED PROJECTS: A key component to bigger profits

Aside from the business owner, the Online Business Manager is the workhorse of the business. They spend most of their time planning, organising, and managing the tools, resources and staff within the business. Their focus is to ensure that things are running smoothly and efficiently; answering questions, dealing with unexpected issues in a timely manner, and keeping projects on track so that business goals are met. The seamless transition from one project to the next allows the business owner to stay focused and the business to grow.

Are you considering hiring an Online Business Manager?  Download the full Online Business Manager Guide and give us a call today!

Dominate Email Marketing Today!

Dominate Email Marketing Today!

Email Marketing is daunting when you are first beginning.  So we’ve put together 5 easy steps so that you can ensure that you are getting the best outcome from your campaigns to dominate email marketing!  These top tips are simple but will really help you to dominate email marketing.

Be approachable: When you are in a business mindset, it can be hard to be personable and approachable.  By adding a touch of your story, you can be more approachable and engage your customers to make that purchase from you. Although you want to look cool and all business in front of their audience. In reality, when you are more available and approachable, you will earn your audience’s trust quicker. At the same time, it will help you to grow your business faster.

Engage with your audience: Engage with your audience on every level especially in public. This allows your audience to build a bonded-relationship with you.  Share some of your story and how you came to be in business or what drives you.  Add a personal touch to your newsletters to really engage. REMEMBER: Everything you do in business is all about building a relationship.

Ask questions: Instead of trying to figure out what your audience truly wants to see from you, why don’t you ask them.  This engages the client to reply.  Hearing from your audience directly enables you to tap into what they are thinking when they receive an email from you. It also engages your audience because they think that you care enough to want to hear what they have to say! Always send a reply thanking them for their feedback as well.

Track your links: Be a nerd!  This has to be a favourite because deep down, I love this tech stuff and I am a complete nerd and proud of it! Always test the type of email that will give you the highest click through rate (CTR). This allows you to increase your sales conversion on every product you promote in the future.  Another option is to split test your campaign as well to see which type really generates the highest leads and conversions.

Train your audience to buy your products: Train your audience to buy is the key. If your audience want you to solve their problems, they need to invest in themselves. So, it is important that you always emphasise the importance of that vision on each email you broadcast to your audience. Without conversions, essentially you have no profit!  Profit is key!

Email Marketing if done correctly is not dead!  It is one of the most powerful mediums you can use to build your business. By building a quality list of subscribers that want to hear from you means that you will build a powerful relationship with your audience from the start.  Email marketing will be the most powerful tool you ever need for your business.

Technology and your client

Technology and your client

 

Making a decision regarding the types of technology and software you will be using in your business is an important decision that much thought must go into. There are hundreds or thousands of different software programs out there and many aspects of each to consider based on what the software is, what you need it to do, and what features it has to offer.

I recently held a webinar for 1-2-1 Temps (Virtual Assistant network) discussing many types of technology that a Virtual Assistant can use to help a client in their business.  Here is a replay of the webinar and some of my favourite that I use and recommend to help build a virtual relationship with a client.

In this webinar, I take you through all the different types of technology including Skype, Dropbox, File sharing, basic computer maintenance and a few other technical tips and tricks.  If you are a client, looking at working with a VA (virtual assistant) these are the types of technology that you can use to build your team and work with a virtual assistant. They are also some of the technology that you can expect that a Virtual Assistant should know about and can use.  If you are working with an Online Business Manager, the OBM will be able to advise you on the types of technology as well as show you how to set some of these up, depending of course on their expertise.

The software discussed during the webinar normally has a fantastic help section, videos or you can find a host of tutorials on YouTube that discuss in depth how to use the specific technology.  We hope that you enjoy the webinar as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.

Software links and references from the video

If you would like to attend a future webinar, sign up here for further information

5 Common Email Marketing Mistakes

5 Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Email marketing is far from easy, and if you are new to sending email marketing newsletters there are many potential problems that you should learn to avoid. Some of them could completely ruin your list, forcing you to start over again from scratch.

Here are some of the most common email marketing mistakes that we see often:

Not sending out emails regularly

As business owners and now internet marketers, we’re busy people. We’re usually juggling a bunch of different projects at any given time, and sometimes a few get put on the backburner and sometimes certain tasks get neglected completely. However, you should make sure you never neglect your marketing and part of that marketing should incorporate staying in touch you’re your email lists on a regular basis. At a minimum this should be monthly so don’t let several weeks or more go by without you sending out anything. It’s a common mistake, but one that can quickly cause your list to decay.

The key to good results from email marketing is sending out emails at regular intervals, never letting too much time pass in-between. If you do, chances are your subscribers don’t even remember you once you finally send something new out to them and they will unsubscribe! This will leave you starting from scratch to build a new email list.

Only sending out promotional emails

You’ve probably been on at least one list like this, where the owner does nothing but send out offers on a daily basis until you’re forced to unsubscribe. The reason people do this is because, believe it or not, it does work and it does get results. However, the results are purely short-term, and marketers who follow this strategy need to continually add new subscribers or eventually they’ll be marketing to no one. It’s always better to focus on delivering good value, relevant content and expertise in your emails and building a long-term relationship with your subscribers.

Making it impossible to unsubscribe

This is a very common beginner mistake. For some reason, some email marketers believe that by making it difficult or impossible to unsubscribe, their subscribers will simply be forced to read their emails and buy their products. Well, think again, because it will cause them to click on the ‘Spam’ link instead, which is definitely not good. If enough people on your list, click on this link you can actually get banned or have your account closed by your service provider!

Hammering the list with advertisements

Some marketers who are out to make a quick buck and build a list as fast as possible sell solo ads and do ad swaps with affiliates to accomplish their goals. Nothing wrong with that, if it’s done tastefully and rarely. If it’s all you do, you’re not going to build a good relationship with your subscribers as it’s basically the same thing as only sending out promotional messages.

Importing a list from a social media stream

I’ve seen clients regularly import their list from Linkedin or another social media platform and the results are never good. This is not a quality list because they’re used to seeing you on a social platform with updates, not via email. These types of subscribers normally unsubscribe quickly, wonder how they ended up on your email list and report the list as spam even if they love hearing from you on the social media platform. Just don’t do it!

There are many more mistakes that beginner to email marketing can make. A simple rule of thumb is that if the content is quality content that your subscribers originally opted in for, then they will love your content and stay an avid reader of your email newsletter.