How to Run A Business While Travelling For Six Months Every Year

How to Run A Business While Travelling

Thank you to Start Blogging Online for their guest post/infographic on Virtuadmin.

A lot of successful business owners would suggest that running your business while far from your actual business location is effective. Even if you are far away, you can still keep things running. It is just a matter of time management and division of tasks.

As the owner, you can make major decisions or think of creative ways to boost your business. You can leave someone to manage the day to day activities in your store. The point is for you to not get burnt out. If you are affected by the pressure of running the business well, everything else could fall apart.

Making the business work while you are away is easy. The difficult part is being away from your family. Of course, you can’t bring them with you. They also have to go to school or work. To solve this problem, divide your time within the year.

Perhaps, you can spend 6 months away from home and 6 months at home. This also helps you manage the business in different locations. While you are home, make the most of your time and spend it with the people you love. Make up for the time that you are away from home.

Just be positive. It can be done. It is even easier than running the business on location at all times. For more tips on how to make it possible, check out the infographic below. It provides useful information that you can also try.

How to Run A Business While Traveling For Six Months Every Year

21 Common Grammar Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

This post first appeared on Business Insider on 25th March 2017. 

Grammar rules can seem like a nuisance. Honestly, do you really need to check every single document for appropriate hyphenation?

According to CUNY Journalism Press editor and writing coach Timothy Harper, the answer is a resounding “YES.”

“The whole point of grammar and punctuation is clarity,” he told Business Insider. If you write that a woman has “dirty-blonde hair,” for example, people know that you’re referring to the color. “It doesn’t mean that she needs a shampoo,” Harper said, which it would if you’d written “dirty blonde hair.”

We asked Harper about the most common grammar mistakes he sees, and added some that drive us crazy on a daily basis. Read on for a list of tricky – but super important – rules that get broken way too often.

1. Confusing ‘fewer’ and ‘less’

Harper said he winds up correcting this mistake pretty often.

He explained that “fewer” is appropriate when you’re discussing countable objects. On the other hand, “less” is appropriate when you can’t count the thing you’re describing.

Here’s an example of each word in a sentence:

“Fewer than 20 employees attended the meeting.”

“I spent less than one hour finishing this report.”

2. Confusing ‘amount’ and ‘number’

Again, it’s a question of whether you can count the thing you’re describing.

Harper gave examples of how you might use each word:

“There is a really large number of books in that library”

“There’s a huge amount of water going over the dam right now.”

3. Confusing ‘it’s’ and ‘its’

Normally, an apostrophe symbolizes possession. As in, “I took the dog’s bone.” But because apostrophes also usually replace omitted letters – like “don’t” – the “it’s” vs. “its” decision gets complicated.

Use “its” as the possessive pronoun: “I took its bone.” For the shortened version of “it is” use the version with the apostrophe. As in, “it’s raining.”

4. Confusing ‘who’ and ‘whom’

When considering whether to use “who” or “whom,” you have to rearrange the sentence in your head.

So the question, “Whom did you give the letter to?” changes to “You gave the letter to whom?” “Whom” suits the sentence instead of “who” because the word functions as the object of the sentence, not the subject.

It’s not always easy to tell subjects from objects but to use an over-simplified yet good, general rule: Subjects start sentences (or clauses), and objects end them. In short, who does it to whom.

For reference, “Who is a hypocrite?” would be a perfectly grammatically correct question to ask.

5. Confusing ‘him’ and ‘he’

Harper said he often hears people say something like, “Him and me went somewhere.” That’s incorrect. Instead you should say, “He and I went somewhere.”

Things get slightly more confusing from here. It’s incorrect to say, “He gave it to she and I.” Instead you should say, “He gave it to her and me.”

If you’re having trouble with this rule, Harper suggested taking away the “and.” For example, you can probably tell that the sentence “He gave it to I” sounds weird, so you can figure out that “He gave it to she and I” is also incorrect.

Read the remaining grammar mistakes by Business Insider here

10 Reasons Why Social Media Is Good For Business

Business and Social Media Are Good for Each Other

Thank you very much to Tom Duffy at Strategy Social Media for agreeing to let me post this, their latest article, in full on Virtuadmin.uk.

You can create a buzz – Get the word out about your products and services in a way that promotes online conversation and increases engagement.

Build relationships and become more personal – (expanding on the first point) Use a variety of social media, and you’ll build relationships with customers and potential customers. Trust comes through honesty and sincerity.

Branding – It is extremely important for a small business to create a recognisable identity for your product or service. This is the way the customer perceives you, and what better way to do this than the use of social media?

It opens up the line of communication between business owner and millions of potential customers – Millions of people who could possibly become customers? You could not have this easily in the offline world. Thank you social media!

Social networking with potential clients and customers from all over the globe – With social networking sites such as Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter (among many, many others) you can hold personal conversations with each of your customers. Tell them about new products, sales and coupons, suggestions and tips – the topics are endless!

Small businesses can compete with the large companies – In the past, this was very difficult with the advertising and marketing budgets of large companies. With the right type of viral social media, you could potentially get an immense amount of traffic which keeps coming for a long time.

Online reputation management – Social Media is a good way to keep an eye on what other people are saying about your name, company, or brand online – and if any problems or complaints arise, they can be dealt with.

Social media is much cheaper than traditional marketing and advertising – Social media marketing shouldn’t cost a small business nearly as much as traditional advertising. If you do it yourself it might not cost anything at all. It will, however, cost you time. This is why it is a good idea to hire someone to help with the social media marketing.

Find out exactly what your customers want – Social media is amazing in so many ways, as you can see from the last 8 reasons. But, maybe one of the most amazing things about it is that you don’t have to wonder what your customers want. Do you want to know what they want? Just ask them!

It provides another way for potential customers to find you – If you’re not high enough in the search engines for potential customers to find you, don’t worry they can still find you through social media. Even if you’re not on the front page of Google, it doesn’t mean you can’t receive traffic.

So there you have it. All small businesses should take advantage of the benefits social media can provide you with, it’ a no-brainer!

Follow our Twitter for more tips on Social Media @StrategySMedia

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What is a smartphone virtual assistant and how to use one

What is a Smartphone Virtual Assistant and how to use one
Image credit: http://wccftech.com

What is a smartphone virtual assistant?  This is the question that immediately popped into my mind when I started reading the article ‘How Do People Use Virtual Assistants on Their Smartphones?’

As a virtual assistant, I immediately presumed the worst, digital technology is automating more of the services I offer virtually.  I was relieved to read further and discover that actually, a smartphone virtual assistant, or defined on Wikipedia as an ‘Intelligent personal assistant’, are satisfying users in their search for information. 

Another key aspect of an intelligent personal assistant is its ability to organise and maintain information, making it quick and easy to access.

A search for information by text or voice command, answered by a software agent via your smartphone is a smartphone virtual assistant.  But they can also be used for other things, not just answering questions, listening to and downloading music, reading books. 

Google Now, Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Samsung S-voice are all virtual assistants that are currently being underutilised in the new technological world.  Digital virtual assistants on our desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones are there to instantly help and assist.

E-Marketer attributing this to the generation of the which the users come from and their reasons for using them are different.  Taken from E-Marketer’s post on the 17th February 2017 the reasons and generations are:-

Millennials were most likely to manage alarms, play music, play audiobooks and search for movie times.

Gen Xers were most likely to look up someone’s phone number, search for a song playing on the radio, create a shopping list and check news headlines.

Baby boomers tended to use smartphone virtual assistants to play voicemail messages, look up measurement conversions, search calendar events and discover recipes.

Although the statistics in the article, based on an American survey by Higher Visibility SEO company, found that 28.7% still do not use smartphone virtual assistants.

So the next time you get out your smartphone here are just a few of the more customary search queries conducted via these assistants that you can perform, including requests to play music, manage alarms, find a weather forecast, search for a contact’s phone number or ask a fun question, the era of smarter smartphones is upon us!

In the meantime, if you smartphone virtual assistant can’t help you with those laborious tasks such as typing, or replying to emails, get a human virtual assistant such as Virtuadmin, where you can chat directly with me to discuss your virtual assistant requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Value of an Audio or Video Transcript

The Value of Audio and Video Transcripts

Today, in May 2016 advancements in technology have progressed very rapidly over the last 10 – 20 years.  Being from a time before computers and mobile phones, I am very glad for the progression of the internet.

For me it has meant I no longer travel out to work in an office transcribing, I can now freelance from home turning recorded audio into a digital Word document or Text file for videos.  It is not easy always writing proposals for transcription work on freelance sites like People Per Hour and Fivesquid.  It’s also not easy requiring to be paid in pounds and not dollars.  Audio or video transcription is usually charged by the audio minute or audio hour.  Some transcription companies charge by the line or page, but for me, it is easier for potential customers to know what they are going to be paying for their audio or video to be transcribed.  Charging by the line or page it is not possible to know what you are going to pay until the audio or video has been transcribed.

Because of advancements in technology, it is there much easier to record speech, seminars, interviews…well just about anything really.  Anything that is recorded that contains speech, or videoed and contains speech can be now transcribed digitally.  It takes a matter of minutes for the transcriptionist to download an audio in mp3 format or a video even in mp4.  They will upload this digital file to their professional software and start producing your transcript.

The value of a transcript

One of the advantages of a transcript giving it value is that you then have a permanent digital record, or if you choose to print the transcript off, you have a permanent hard-copy of the recorded audio.  The audio may get corrupted or accidentally deleted for example, but by having a transcript you will always have the information from the content of that audio or video.

Another valuable aspect of a transcript is that you have something to refer to, make notes on, instead of trying playing and fast forwarding trying to find that certain part of the audio that you are looking for.

You can add a transcript produced in a .txt text file format to your video.  This is an especially economical “do-it-yourself” method of enhancing your video’s search engine optimisation.  Why?  Because the transcript will be keyword rich and full of content that is relevant to you niche because of the nature of the speech contained in that video.  Search engine bots and crawlers have a lot more information from the text transcript that has been uploaded to your video.  It doesn’t have to rely on just a headline and possibly sub-headline, it has a whole transcript to know what your niche subject area is.  Because of the transcript SEO bots will then rank your video higher in search results in your niche.

If you are a mentor or coach, a transcript is something that could be offered as an incentive for potential clients.  They would be able to build up the mentoring or coaching session transcripts as a course for themselves to have and always refer to, for whatever reason they hired your mentoring or coaching services in the first place.

A transcript is a great way to get new blog post ideas from or social media posts.  Say you listened to a great podcast, if you go that podcast transcribed you would always have that knowledge from the podcast to refer to.  It’s certainly easier visually to find a certain part of the audio than playing back and forth.

Meetings that are recorded and then transcribed are a fantastic way of ensuring that what was discussed in the meeting is carried out in full.  No excuses for the participants to say they didn’t make the notes correctly of what they were supposed to be doing.  Everything from that meeting would be in a transcript to enable the better efficiency of duties to be undertaken.

Transcripts are especially helpful for the partially or totally deaf community.  They are so valuable to be able to also understand what was in the webinar, podcast, interview along with everyone else.  A text file added to a video with then automatically produced closed captions.  These can be turned on during any part of the video; very helpful for deaf people.  You may have created a marketing video with a voice over, having the option to have closed captions not only gives the deaf or hard-of-hearing community the opportunity to read what your video has to say, but at the same time it will automatically rank high in Google’s search results because the information gives the crawlers more information, as I described earlier.

Conclusion

Those are just a few examples of the reason why getting your audio or video transcribed is so important and it shouldn’t cost you the earth.  See my infographic 7 questions to ask your prospective freelance transcriptionist.  It’s an infographic to help anyone out there considering using a freelancer.  The aim is to help you filter out the amateurs that could potentially cost you time and money, to hire a professional and get value for money.

Digital transcription is a growing industry, but there are people out there trying to make extra money typing and not really understanding that transcription is a professional skill and art.  It takes many years of touch typing practice to be able to type at the same time as what is being spoken.

Transcripts can take certain formats; a one speaker audio would be set-out in a Word document differently to say an interview with two or three people.  A professional will know from the start of the audio or video how to set out the document, whereas an amateur may not.  If you get a poor, inaccurate transcript then it is going to be pretty useless to you, it will also have been a waste of time and money.

As a freelance transcriptionist working as Virtuadmin Transcription service my rates start at 50p per audio minute for up to 2 speakers in the audio or video.  So an hour’s audio or video would cost you £30 to be transcribed.  What the freelancer charges per audio minute or audio hour is entirely up to them and how they value their skill.  I type at 70-80 words per minute with 98% accuracy and could charge more, but I’m here as a freelancer to be fair in my pricing whilst delivering the most accurate transcript in the best turnaround time possible.

One hour’s audio that is of good clear audio quality, no more than 2 speakers and no background with good speech clarity, would take me approximately 4 hours to transcribe.  So I would advise any potential customers that it would be delivered in 24 hours.  If I have queued audio’s I communicate this straight away to you so that you are not left wondering when to expect your transcript.

I love my job helping anyone and everyone either enhance their SEO for their video or producing a transcript from audio, I really do enjoy listening and typing.  If you would like to get a quote for an audio or video, or even hire my transcription skills directly please click here>>>http://bit.ly/1TqN9j1

Can you think of any other valuable uses for an audio or video transcript?  Please feel free to comment below this post.  Thanks for reading and hope it has helped put the value of a transcript into some sort of perspective.

 

Written by: Virtuadmin

Date: 10th May 2016

 

7 Tips to Outsource to The Best Freelance Transcriptionist [Infographic]

Outsourcing Transcription to a Freelancer

If you have never outsourced your recorded audio or video to a transcription service or hired a freelance transcriptionist before, this Infographic should be of some help.

Many people think they can type and it’s easy to listen and type what is being spoken, take it from a freelance professional transcriptionist, it’s not.  Transcriptionists also have to insert the correct grammar and spelling at the same time as intelligently paragraphing and making sure everything reads sensibly.

Equally, anybody that thinks they can type and that it’s going to be easy to earn extra money transcribing, either directly with clients or via freelancing websites, is probably going to end up costing their client requiring the audio or video transcription, time and money.

For entrepreneurs or small businesses, for example, that are on a tight budget, hiring a freelancer can be very attractive due to the economical costs.  Established transcription services have websites with reviews from satisfied clients you have used their services.  These services can be expensive and not so easily affordable for entrepreneurs or small businesses.

Established transcription services have websites with their reviews from satisfied clients you have used their services.  These services can be expensive and not so easily affordable.

Freelancing to a professional freelancer can help you cut costs and retain the quality that you need and expect from your transcript.  By outsourcing your transcription requirements to a freelance transcriptionist, that is professional touch typist with experience in listening and typing and what is spoken, hopefully not someone that is trying to scam you.

To guide you through your journey of outsourcing your recorded audio, video, podcast or webinar for transcription, I have created this infographic to help you find the best freelance transcriptionist, for a budget you can afford.

I am a freelance transcriptionist outsourcing my skills and 20 years of experience, that also helped me create this infographic.

With the advancement of digital technology, audio and video transcription has grown in demand significantly.  If you need a transcriptionist that is reliable, fast and accurate then please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Mentoring or Coaching for Success with Audio Transcription

Benefits of Audio Transcription for Coaching and Mentoring

Are you an experienced and knowledgeable business mentor or coach?  This article is going to be very useful to you for your clients.

Mentoring or coaching start-ups or small business owners is about sharing and helping others with less knowledge than you to achieve their aims and goals for themselves or their business, right?

You advise from your wealth of knowledge and experience and help starts-ups choose the right routes for their new business and helping them gain success.  You share your business experience and knowledge with business owners less knowledgeable than yourself to help them achieve their goals, right?  So what form of communication do you use for coaching?

The communication of your knowledge in coaching

Mentoring or coaching can take place person-to-person, via email, video or voice chat on Skype, even a video call on Facebook.  But apart from email how is your client that you are coaching going to remember what advice and information you gave them?

If that conversation is not recorded what happens when it finishes?  They could have taken notes, but they don’t always make sense after the event!  How is your client going to accurately remember what was spoken about in the valuable advice you shared in that unique call or meeting you had with them?

This is where the answer is audio transcription.  Transcription is the skill of typing what is spoken into text.  A valuable service used by many industries such as medical, insurance, journalists to mention a few.

How impressive would it be to offer your client a copy of the entire meeting or conversation in the form of a transcript for a point of future reference?  If you yourself have a lot of clients it is an ideal way to recap before your next session.

They would receive it in digital form as you would from the transcriptionist, but it allows them to print off the transcript and make notes; refer to what advice was given at certain points of the challenge in their own business and probably the reason for hiring your expert services in the first place.

It would be very impressive for any new prospects clients that you converse with via Skype, or meet with in person for them to have a copy of the entire conversation in a transcript within a few days of that call or coaching session taking place.

If mentoring, you may not know the next time that you will be called upon by your client, but having a transcript of the last time you spoke or met is beneficial to refer to for a refresher with that particular client.

This would be a great incentive for any new prospective clients too.  To offer a transcript after the event that they can build the course up and always have it for future reference.  No worry for them to take notes when you have that call, or make notes during the meeting and maybe miss some important and valuable points.

I believe that all person-to-person meetings, video chats or voice calls on Skype, a landline telephone call, offering a full transcript of what was spoken, for them to always have to refer to so that nothing is forgotten, could well tip the balance to gaining new clients.  Of course, if you understand how useful transcription could be for your business by recording calls or meetings, this should be well discussed in the preliminary conversations.

Which route to take for your transcription service?

Specialist Transcription Companies

Specialised transcription companies can give you very good rates and turnaround time but the process is very impersonal and involves a self-process of which to upload your audio onto their site and pay for your audio transcription.

That’s fine if it’s a straight forward audio to be transcribed;  audio with two people recorded, an interview for example, with very good speech clarity and low to no background noise, but what if the audio is a bit more complex than your average straightforward transcription?  What if you want to speak directly to your transcriber with questions?

The is very much a “self-process”.  You upload and pay for your audio transcription digitally via their websites.  That’s great if you experienced at using transcription services from big organisations, but what if you have never used a transcriptionist before and would like to ask some questions?

Some of the specialist transcription companies offer a “live chat” to answer any questions or queries.  The problem is that person will not be the person transcribing your audio, they are in place to promote the company and answer your queries.  Why are they not the transcriber you ask?

Because specialist transcription companies that offer great rates and turnaround times break down your audio into five minute or so piece-meal bits for several transcriptionists to transcribe at once.

That is what enables them to offer a great turn-around-time, but not always the best price because they have higher overheads to consider than a freelance transcriptionist.

They have the transcriptionists to pay for the transcription work they have done for you.  They have very expensive websites that they have to maintain on an annual or monthly basis.  Website name registration costs; possibly office space as well to conduct the time-consuming digital delegation of audio’s to the transcriptionists they employ.

A Freelance Transcriptionist

A freelance transcriptionist will operate from home, but just because they do does not mean they are any less professional and will not produce any less quality transcript than a specialist transcription company.  Freelance transcriptionists are what professional companies are made off, but choose to offer their skills directs to those that need them.

You deal with them directly, they make the decision quickly as to whether they can or cannot transcribe your audio.  If they can and are willing to undertake the transcription for you, they will give you a quote for transcribing that audio or video.

A freelance transcriptionist with plenty of experience will not commit to an audio unless they are sure they can produce you the accurate and justified transcript for the quality of audio you give them.

Having a direct contact with your transcriber from the outset is a lot quicker than transcription companies themselves.  They have departments for this, departments for that, but at the end of the day, you want a professional, accurate reading transcript, quickly.

What if there’s background noise because the call was conducted via Skype or in a car?  Or it is a focus group meeting with a lot of cross-talking? A three-person interview; or a video where there is one clear speaker but music in the background?

These are all typical questions and more of the benefits of dealing with a freelance transcriptionist that will help you answer your questions quickly.  Specialist companies with their fancy websites want you to submit a support ticket, or even with live chat they may not be able to answer your query immediately.  This is all time consuming and not helping you get your transcript complete within a few days to get to your client as promised.

Ask Questions

Specialist companies as we have established will have a nice fancy website with all the information that you want.  Who they are, how long they have been established, where their transcribers are from, the experience they have and hopefully answer any questions you have if that is the route you are thinking of taking.  Seems a little safer, doesn’t it?  An established company with testimonials from previous happy clients; secure payment system etcetera.

If you choose the freelance transcriptionist route, there are things you can do to safeguard yourself from hiring a complete fraudster who thinks they can type and oh listening to someone speak and then type what they say, yes that’s easy I can do that! It’s not that easy so here a few tips to find a great freelance transcriptionist.

Ask questions.  Here is a brief list of the things you would want to ask your prospective transcriber:-

  • How many years have they been transcribing?
  • Are they a native English speaker?
  • Do they use professional transcribing software such as Express Scribe?
  • What is their touch-typing speed and accuracy?
  • Do they use a foot-pedal?
  • Do they use a specialist headset?
  • To prevent repetitive strain injury do they use an ergonomic keyboard?
  • What is the rate per minute or hour of audio?
  • What would be the prospective turnaround time for your audio?
  • Do they use and have an active Dropbox or Google Drive for sharing audios?
  • Is proofreading included in the price?
  • Can they add time-stamps to your transcript for you?

Asking questions of this nature will help you immediately indicate between a professional or amateur transcriptionist   If, they have never done this kind of work before, they just “think” they can type quick enough to meet the speed required to successfully complete an audio or video transcription they are wrong.  A professional will know immediately how to confidently answer your questions

If you think an experienced freelance transcriptionist will be more costly then you may well be pleasantly surprised.  They have far fewer overheads than the specialist companies that hire several transcribers to transcribe your audio piece-meal.

The freelance transcriptionist should be passionate about what they do, and this should come across when communicating with them.  They should want to deliver you the best accurate transcript possible.  They will gladly answer your questions and discuss finer details highly in the points above.  This will ensure you get the transcript that you paying for.

Some will operate through professional freelance websites: People Per Hour; Fivesquid; Guru; just to mention a few that I have or are currently available on for work on as Virtuadmin.

Cost

According to Transcriptionwave.com, their pricing starts at just $0.99 per audio minute.  At the time of writing and doing a direct exchange rate from United States Dollar to the United Kingdom British Pound (Sterling) that would be 68p per audio minute.

Another transcription company www.gmrtranscription.com (not a freelance transcriptionist) that I researched, their rates for a clear quality audio  general transcription audio for a 3-4 week turn around was $1.25 for up to a two-person audio and $1.50 per recorded audio minute for multiple speakers with the same turn around time.

Rates for a freelance transcriptionist can vary vastly depending on how valuable the transcriptionist thinks their individual skill is worth,  Their turn around times may vary also, so it is worth asking questions.

When I Googled "average freelance transcription rates UK" I found www.uktranscription.com a UK based transcription service.  Again, this is not for a freelance transcriptionist but it gives you a good idea of what the specialists companies are charging for their transcription services.  This is their pricing guide below.

RATES & PRICING

Each batch is quoted individually. Rates may vary between orders. Please upload your audio for a quick quote within one hour.

The table below provides approximate estimates only. Surcharges are applicable for quality issues, enhanced security options, complex requirements and faster turnaround times.

Turnaround Time Rate / Min (Simple) Rate / Min (Difficult) * Volume Limit (Mins)
2 Weeks £1.00 £1.25 15000
1 Week £1.10 £1.35 5000
3 Days £1.20 £1.45 1500
2 Days £1.30 £1.60 1000
1 Day £1.50 £1.80 500
Same Day £1.80 £2.00 150

* Estimated rate for 'difficult' audio, distortion, complex formatting, focus group, or multiple speaker ID. Files are assessed individually, and rates vary between orders.

** All rates are exclusive of VAT, payable at 20%. (Overseas customers may be exempt.)

So, for a two-week turn around on your clear audio that was recorded with your client would take 2 weeks to deliver back to you for you to forward to your client.  Not really what you want or need for your client when you are offering them an accurate transcript included in your fee to assist them with enhancing their skills.

As a guide to our rates at Virtuadmin Transcription Service, I am very fair on my pricing.  You get a low cost, a much quicker turnaround time but that does not deter from giving professional service and an accurate transcript.  I give you great value for the years’ experience that I have.

For transcription as myself offering my transcribing skills and experience as Virtuadmin, my rates start at just 50p per audio minute for a single person audio that is of very good audio and speech quality.  For a two-person interview or recorded audio that has two people, it is 60p per audio minute and for a three-person audio it would be 75p per audio minute.

Difficult quality audio I will consider, the professional software Express Scribe Professional from www.nch.com can very often clear up background noise and interference so enable me to transcribe the audio more accurately.

The cost then gets a bit more expensive the more speakers there are; the amount of cross-talking that is in the audio if more than two speakers because this slows the transcriptionist down.  A lot more replay is required to be able to transcribe accurately all of what is spoken by each participant to that audio.  A single speaker or two-person audio that is of clear clarity enables a flow of typing.  The mores speakers, or the poorer the audio quality, more time is required for the transcriptionist to produce an accurate transcript for you.

Adding timestamps, poor audio quality, background noise, cross talking, one person being clearer than the other are all aspects that are more time-consuming for the transcriptionist to type.  You should bear this in mind when asking for your audio to be transcribed into text.

At Virtuadmin I do use a foot pedal for transcription; professional transcribing software (Express Scribe); an ergonomic keyboard to prevent repetitive strain injury (needed after over 30 years of typing!) and a professional headset.

I have many years transcribing in an office setting before transcribing digitally recorded audio from home.  Passionate about what I do, I would really like to assist you with your recorded audio to assist you and your clients get the best out of your advice in your mentoring or coaching sessions.

Conclusion

As a very experienced transcriptionist, it is not easy to gain the skills and experience I have.  It is the same for you as a coach or mentor.  You want to help others succeed and I want to help you do that by providing you with an additional asset to for your clients.

Transcripts are so valuable in their entity.  The information that they contain will always be in that written format.  Notes taken by you and your client will never reflect what has been spoken as accurately as a transcript from the recorded audio or video.

To offer a full comprehensive coaching or mentoring relationship transcription is just an additional resource to assist you and your clients.  Your clients have a record of what was discussed and they have this to refer to at any point in time; digitally on a computer screen or print it off to read as a text document.

They have that information to hand, they can undertake more accurately, instead of trying to remember what you advised, or trying to figure out the notes that they took.  The expert advice that you have given them enables your client to achieve their goals and aims when they agreed to their coaching or mentoring with you in the first place!

Audio or Video Transcription is undoubtedly a valuable service to coaches and mentors.  It will be the most accurate way of retaining the information that resulted in your conversation.  It’s there to refer to for the next time you have a meeting if you have several clients this would be especially helpful.

In itself, audio transcription is a valuable service.  So many industries use this service; insurance; law courts; medical dictations; journalists; students.  Webinar and podcasts are also required transcribed.

So, why not get into the 21st century and start getting your coaching or mentoring calls transcribed.  Join all the other industries that have been using transcription even before the digital age.  Technology has come a long way and with the many different ways of recording audio these days, getting it transcribed should be the only next step to take to offer this as an incentive to your prospective clients.  A benefit to your existing clients, they would always have a copy of your expert advice and information given in each session that you had.  An accurate account of what was discussed is surely far better than notes? How have your survived without transcription?!

Contact Me / Hire Me

Are you interested in hiring me to transcribe your audio or video for you?  I freelance my transcription skills on www.peopleperhour.com and www.fivesquid.com.  These are two very reputable companies among many out there that offer professional freelance digital services.

To hire me on www.fivesquid.com the link is: http://bit.ly/1J3gxgE

To hire me on www.peopleperhour.com the link is: http://bit.ly/2ea88NK

My profiles on both of these established freelance websites have positive feedback from happy satisfied clients that are a testament to my skills and experience.  Any questions please do not hesitate to email me at cyberspaceayuda@gmail.com.  For more testimonials about my skills and experience please visit www.virtuadmin.uk/testimonials.  This hasn’t been updated for some time but it does testify to my excellent skills and experience as a transcriptionist.

References

Header images: www.ficde.org

Edited with text by www.virtuadmin.uk

 

Audio Transcription Time Guidelines [Infographic]

When people ask what I do and I reply a Transcriptionist their face goes blank for a second. I then explain that I produce transcripts from recorded audio, video, podcasts or webinars.  Ah, typing people think, typing what people are saying yes that’s easy once you can type. Contrary to popular belief audio transcription is a skill and takes years of touch typing practice and experience to be able to turn around an hour’s audio in four.

The Infographic created by Virtuadmin I hope puts into perspective that even the most professional and quickest of touch typists cannot type at the average spoken rate. I have used 15 minutes of recorded audio for simplicity but hope that it illustrates that typing at the spoken word rate is virtually impossible.

There are also other factors to be taken into consideration:

  • Number of Speakers
  • Audio quality
  • Speech clarity
  • Is there any background noise
  • Is this an intelligent or strict verbatim transcription?
  • Is the transcript to be time-stamped?

All these affect the average turnaround time of your transcript.  Taking these things into account when hiring a transcription service will help you understand the complexities of what goes into producing an accurate transcript.

To conclude that with just one speaker, with good audio quality professional transcriptionist that types 80 words per minute (that’s fast but that’s our average typing speed) would take approximate 30 minutes to transcribe and a professional that types 50 words per minute would take 45 minutes.  That therefore on these statistics would mean than an hour’s audio that was just one speaker and straight forward intelligent paragraphing would take the professional 4 hours.  For 2 speakers because each time a speaker changes a new line is started, therefore that takes extra time.

Audio transcription is a skill, you must love typing and a love of hearing people speak.  If you love what you do, have a passion like we do, you will want to produce the best transcript possible.  This isn’t always possible but I always aim to never insert an “inaudible”.  Again, that is time-consuming replaying a part of the audio that you just cannot hear.  You’ll probably get it in the end, but that’s another 5 minutes or so added to the completion time.

Hope the Infographic helps put things in perspective for audio transcribing and putting into text the spoken word is just not as easy as you think!

Transcription - Is it as easy as you think?
Transcription – Is it as easy as you think?

195+ Perfectly Optimized Design Templates for Email, Social Media & More [Free Templates]

We all know visual marketing works. Visual content is 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. Not to mention, infographics are Liked or shared on social media 3X more than any other type of content. 

The problem is, it can be hard to actually create these visuals — especially when you’re a small marketing team with too much to do and no designer on hand.

So when it comes to creating a cohesive set of campaign visuals — from Twitter graphics to blog images — what’s a marketer to do?

Well, to make your life easier, we worked with Canva to put together the ultimate set of 195+ design templates for every visual marketing need.

There are 10 visual design types and multiple themes that are carried through each design type, making it easy for you to quickly spin up a visual marketing campaign across multiple channels.

This set of 195+ designs includes:

  • Infographics templates
  • Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest templates
  • Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter cover photo templates
  • Email header templates
  • Blog featured image templates

Ready to take your visual marketing to the next level this year? Get your 195+ design templates from HubSpot & Canva today.

download 195+ free design templates

 

Written by Niti Shah | @nitifromboston

Source: 195+ Perfectly Optimized Design Templates for Email, Social Media & More [Free Templates]

Freelancing – Two Popular Freelance Sites Analysed

Freelancing and procuring work on a regular basis to keep the cash-flow circulating in on the context of submitting proposals, quotes, or setting up gigs or services is hard to do. I’ve been freelancing as Virtuadmin on a variety of sites for the past few years but work has suddenly come to a halt and wondering why.  I’ve been marketing Virtuadmin regularly the best way I know how; posting to our website by sharing great tools and information and generally being active on Social Media platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ to name a few.

The most success I had was on Fiverr.com, unfortunately, the exchange rate of ‘$’ to ‘£’ doesn’t make working in a professional niche viable sometimes. To explain further, my success was transcription and was getting regular orders. It takes the average transcriptionist with touch typing speeds in excess of 70 words per minute 4 hours to transcribe one hour of good quality clear audio. To transcribe say 30 minutes for ‘$5’ would give the freelancer, me, ‘$4’. At the time of writing the exchange rate would convert that $4 into approximately £2.82. Break that down even further and it works out to £2.82 divided by the 30 minutes of audio is 0.09 per audio minute.

After discovering Fivesquid.com and the British equivalent to Fiverr.com in as much that it is working in £’s and not $’s suited me better. This would make £4 and not $4 for 30 minutes of audio to be transcribed (An example for ease of explaining and this would then make the audio 0.13p per audio minute. Other freelance sites offer multiple currencies to pay or receive payment in.

Fiverr.com and Fivesquid.com are two very similar sites with the same objectives of providing quality low-cost freelance services. This got me thinking why I’m not getting the views of my services on Fivesquid as I was getting on Fiverr.com (my account is closed on Fiverr). My ‘gigs’ are active on Fivesqid.com but even after cross promotion on various platforms, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Digg, Flipboard some days I am just not getting the views or orders.

A quick search on Google to see if there was a website out there that would show traffic rates and comparisons of traffic; hey presto I found www.similarweb.com. These two graphs have been generated by this wonderful website and show the difference in volumes in traffic and their sources.These two graphs are a comparison of estimated monthly visits website traffic between fivesquid.com and fiverr.com. To clarify this is the estimated number of internet users who visited fivesquid.com compared to its American competitor fiverr.com.

Estimated Monthly Visits

The reason for my comparison is to ascertain if Fivesquid as a freelancing website is actually growing in popularity or are regular users maintaining it? Are more people actually looking for and hiring freelance services via Fivesquid?

To look at the graph above for the last 3 months looking at the first two indicators, ‘Direct’ and ‘Referrals’ the answer would seem to be no. However looking at the results of ‘Search’ which is Search engine traffic is that traffic that comes from visitors clicking on links on a search results page this would change my opinion a little. There is a significant number of more clicks from search results for Fivesquid as opposed to Fiverr.

Engagement

Fiverr has a much higher engagement rate to that of Fivesquid, it would appear that Fivesquid is remaining steady in popularity and Fiverr is decreasing in popularity. Certainly, over October, November and December their visits have fallen by approximately 10 million. In referrals, they are much pretty neck and neck but with the decrease in visits and referrals staying the same Fiversquid is getting a more trustworthy site to hire freelancers on. Their rate of conversion at roughly 9.58% compared to Fiverr shows that Fivesquid has a much stronger email marketing strategy and therefore better conversion rates.

 

Conclusion

This is only my opinion as an experienced Professional offering digital services as Virtuadmin Services working with years of experience working in an office and freelancing.  Our conclusion and belief are that Fivesquid has a lot to offer small businesses and organisations or businesses or anyone looking for cost-effective digital solutions.  Fivesquid has an awful lot to offer where benefits are to be gained outsourcing in the currency Great British Pound but unfortunately are not promoting.

It is encouraging that ‘Search’ results and ‘Mail’ initiatives provide much higher traffic sources and conversions hoping that one day they will increase their hundreds of thousands of visitors to millions like Fiverr.

Entrepreneurs, Solopreneurs, Small and medium sized businesses, organisations, self-employed are turning more using the professional services offered by freelancers that ever before.  Outsourcing to a freelancer is a cost-effective solution and hiring freelancers via freelance websites ensure security for both parties in the buying and selling of a service, flexible that you can hire them to do a one-off job or long-term pretty much hassle free. The only drawback to a site like Fiverr for freelancers where the exchange rate is not favourable to their native country’s currency they cannot work for any decent amount of money without severely dropping their working rates of what they are willing to accept for a certain task. Many, many freelance professionals produce high-quality work and this alternative of compromising working rates does not seem at all fair.

I hope in the future that contractors using freelance sites will consider the currency aspect and appreciate that the digital world operates in different types of currency values and unfortunately, therefore, some parts of the world can outsource their quality services cheaply and work happily on sites like Fiverr whereas others like myself have to remain on less popular websites like Fivesquid.com that haven’t got anywhere near the same volume of visitors or traffic but the buying and selling of services are conducted in the native country’s currency.  The quality of services is not to be doubted in any way, they are absolutely top quality and professional.  It needs is recognition in countries that can operate on a sensible valuable level to the contractor and freelancer operating from their habitual residence.  What would you want for £5?  What would you do for £5?  Visit www.fivesquid.com or visit fiverr.com for the alternative and see for yourself what works best for you, your wallet and your business!

If you are interested in hiring our professional freelance services please feel free to drop me an email or visit our profile on https://www.fivesquid.com/freelancer/Virtuadmin. Quality low-cost transcription service and Construction (CnDM Manual compilation.

What’s your experience of working on Fiverr.com or Fivesquid.com?  Let us know your experiences as a buyer of freelance services or seller of skills and knowledge, we’d love to hear from you.  Thanks for reading. – Virtuadmin

The Ultimate List: 70+ Best Tools For Skyrocketing Business Growth in 2016

If you want to be an effective business owner in 2016, you can’t manage everything on your own.

In order to scale the progress you’ve already made, or simply experience real growth for the first time, you have to be willing to delegate responsibilities, standardize processes, and use the right tools.

The problem is, there are a lot of tools out there to choose from. Knowing where to start or which tool to try is not always easy.

This collection of tools can help you narrow your search results and quickly find the right tools for your business—the ones that are really going to help move the needle and take your business to a whole new level.

The tools are separated into eight different categories:

  • Marketing
  • Conversion & Lead Generation
  • Business Management
  • Project Management & Communication
  • Customer Service & Retention
  • Outsourcing
  • HR, Employee Engagement & Appreciation
  • Social Media Marketing

As you go through this list, think about your business goals for this year, what your plan is for achieving those goals, and whether you think any of the tools listed could help you get you to where you want to go.

Here are the 70+ tools you should be using in 2016 to grow your business:

Marketing

1. CuratedCurated is a tool that allows you to quickly find and save content to share with your email list in the form of a beautifully simple weekly email digest. It’s a great tool for providing extra value to your audience. Pricing: Starts at $25/month

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2. Referral SaasquatchReferral Saasquatch is a great tool that can be used to build and manage customer referral programs for your business. Referral tools like this one make it incredibly easy to incentivize and encourage more word-of-mouth advertising of your business. Pricing: Starts at $99/month

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3. Content MarketerContent Marketer is the best tool on the market for promoting content, building links, and connecting with influencers. It’s the tool you want to use when you’re ready to take your content marketing efforts to the next level and start seeing more ROI from your efforts. Pricing: $19/month

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4. QuuuQuuu provides you with hand curated content to increase your social media activity. After selecting a few categories that represent the type of topics you’re interested in, Quuu automatically sends hand curated content to your Buffer account. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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5. CanvaCanva is one of the easiest tools out there for creating compelling, original images for social media and blogging. The tool offers a wide variety of backgrounds, icons, and fonts to fit the needs and dimensions of any platform you’re using to connect with prospects. Pricing: FREE

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6. Campaign MonitorCampaign Monitor is one of the top email marketing platforms on the market. The drag-and-drop email builder allows you to create a customized email campaign in a matter of minutes. It also offers a lot in terms of personalization, segmentation, and A/B testing. Pricing: Starts at $9/month

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7. BuzzsumoBuzzsumo is the top tool for performing content marketing research. The tool makes it easy to evaluate the performance of any blog post, website, or competitor. It’s a great tool to use when you’re ready to start investing in advanced content promotion and outreach. Pricing: Starts at $99/month

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8. Death to the Stock PhotoDeath to the Stock Photo is a site that offers fresh, inexpensive, and non-cheesy stock photos that can be used in a wide variety of marketing campaigns. You can sign up to receive new photos each month, or you can go premium and get access to all photos at once. Pricing: $15/month

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9. SEMrushSEMrush is a top tool for performing advanced advertising, keyword, baclink, and competitor research. The tool provides powerful analytics reports that can give you valuable insight and help you decide where to take your strategy next. Pricing: Starts at $69.95/month

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10. Sticker MuleSticker Mule is a tool that can be used to create and order custom stickers and graphics for your startup. The tool is relatively inexpensive and provides fast delivery and free shipping. Pricing: Varies depending on quantities

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Conversion & Lead Generation

11. SumoMeSumoMe offers a suite of tools that can be used to drive conversions and engagement on your website. Examples include the Welcome Mat, the Scroll Box, the Smart Bar, and others—all of which can be added to your site and customized to fit the look and feel of your brand in a matter of minutes. Pricing: Starts at $10/month

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12. OptimizelyOptimizely is one of the top tools for easily and quickly building and running A/B tests on your website. A/B testing is an important tactic when it comes to influencing more engagement and conversions, and with Optimizely, you can test everything from color, copy, button placement, entire landing pages, personalization, and more. Pricing: Varies

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13. LeadChatLeadChat (shameless plug) is a tool that you can use to insert sales staff right into your website. The tool makes it incredibly easy to add their ready-to-go live chat agents to your site who can chat with visitors and convert them to customers. Sound interesting? Ask for a trial now. Pricing: Starts at $99/month

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14. Import.io – Import.io is a tool that allows you to scrape the web for relevant information about products, businesses, and competitors. The tool automates the data collection process and presents it in an easily digestible manner for business owners looking to quickly identify and take advantage of gaps in their market or industry. Pricing: Varies

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15. Datanyze – Datanyze is a sales intelligence tool that allows you to uncover, research, and reach the right prospects. Alerts tell you which websites have started or stopped using a particular provider’s tool, Research helps you understand your prospects better, and their predictive modeling helps you determine which leads are worth pursuing first. Pricing: Request a demo to find out

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16. LeadPages – LeadPages is one of the top tools available for building customized landing pages on your site. The tool offers hundreds of templates that can be used to drive conversions and nurture prospects. Pricing: Starts at $25/month

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17. ConvertKit – ConvertKit is a tool that can be used to nurture leads down your sales funnel. The tool allows you to easily make customized opt-in forms that can be placed in content and around your site. You can also design landing pages, create drip campaigns, and send important one-off emails to your subscribers. Pricing: Starts at $29/month

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18. Crazy Egg – Crazy Egg is another tool that can be used to gain more insight into the actions and experiences people have when they land on your website. With this tool, you can analyze where people are clicking, how far down they’re reading, and where people are coming from when they land on your site. Pricing: Starts at $9/month

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19. Drip – Drip is a tool that you can use to create simple drip email courses. You can use the tool to easily repurpose your best blog content into a compelling email course that educates, nurtures, and converts your website visitors. Pricing: Starts at $49/month

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20. FullStory – FullStory is an amazing tool that allows you to actually record, replay, and analyze the experience people have when they land on your website. It’s a great tool to use for improving customer support, making decisions about development or product updates, and empathizing with users. Pricing: Starts at $199/month

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Business Management

21. Recurly – Recurly is a tool that automates recurring billing for subscription-based businesses and products. The tool is incredibly easy to set up and seamlessly integrates and connects with your existing merchant accounts and website. Pricing: Starts at $99/month

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22. Xero – Xero is a beautifully designed online accounting tool. An alternative to QuickBooks, this tool can help you manage invoices and quotes, inventory, purchase orders, bills and expenses, employee payment, and more. Pricing: Starts at $6.30/month

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23. Chartio – Chart.io is a cloud-based business intelligence tool. It’s a tool that you can use to quickly organize, visualize, and analyze complex data related to your products and business. It’s a great tool for any business looking to become more data-driven in 2016. Pricing: Sign up to get pricing information

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24. TradeGecko – TradeGecko is an inventory management tool for business owners looking to automate painful and repetitive tasks. The tool can help streamline order management, stock levels, tracking at multiple warehouse locations, multi-channel sales, and more. Pricing: Starts at $39/month

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25. Segment – Segment is an incredibly convenient tool that allows you to collect customer data with one API and send it to hundreds of tools for analytics, marketing, and data warehousing. Pricing: Starts at $39/month

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26. Google Analytics – Google Analytics is an essential tool for any business owner looking to gain a better understanding about website visitors. With Google Analytics, you can track metrics, set up goals and events, and find ways to optimize your website in order to boost conversions, engagement, and repeat traffic. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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27. UpCounsel – UpCounsel is a tool that offers on-demand legal help for business owners who don’t necessarily have the funds to keep a full-time lawyer on retainer, but need legal assistance from time to time. The tool can help with agreements, trademarks, patents, labor and employment, and more. Pricing: Varies depending on work

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28. Toggl – Toggl is a time-tracking tool aimed at helping business owners boost daily productivity. The tool streamlines time-tracking and makes it incredibly easy to identify where time is going and how to become more productive throughout the day. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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29. Zirtual – Zirtual is a tool that can be used to find U.S. based virtual assistants. The tool now falls under the Startups.co umbrella, and is a great resource to take advantage as you continue to scale your business in 2016. Pricing: Starts at $398/month

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30. HelloSign – HelloSign is a tool that can be used to send and receive legally binding electronic signatures for business purposes. It integrates with familiar apps like Gmail, Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, and more. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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Project Management & Communication

31. Trello – Trello is a fantastic project management tool that can really bring your projects to life. The tool creates a visual representation of your projects in the form of cards that can be moved from column to column as a project progresses. It’s a great tool to use for managing freelancers. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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32. Basecamp – Basecamp is another tool that can be used to manage projects. It’s different than Trello in that it’s less visual-focused and more centered around team collaboration. The tool just launched a brand new version, which can be explored here. Pricing: Starts at $29/month

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33. Asana – Asana is a project management tool that works well for teams that are moving a lot of projects through the door at a given time. It’s one of the most flexible and customizable project management tool available. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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34. Evernote – Evernote is a great tool for managing personal projects and to-do lists. It’s a cloud-based tool that can be accessed from the mobile, web, or desktop. It’s a particularly useful tool to use when you want to pull in various types of media (photos, screenshots, notes, etc.). It does also offer the ability to collaborate with others. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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35. Slack – Slack is one of the most popular real-time messaging apps available today. It’s incredibly well-designed, and easy to implement across multiple teams. The tool can also be used to manage specific projects by setting up different channels within a chat group. It’s a great option if you have or plan to grow a remote team. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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36. Google Apps For Work – Google Apps For Work offers professional email, online storage, shared calendars, video meetings and more. It’s also a great alternative to the Microsoft Office suite—it has a word processor, a presentation tool, a spreadsheets tool, and a form builder. Pricing: Starts at $5/user/month

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37. Wrike Wrike is a versatile project management tool that can be used by marketing teams, product development teams, department heads, and more. With the tool you can easily create tasks, mention team members, collaborate in real-time, and seamlessly integrate with your other tools. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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38. Projects by GrowthHackers – Projects is still a bit of a mystery, but early previews make it appear to be an incredibly user-friendly project management tool. To try this tool, you’ll need to request early access to join their beta program.

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39. Join.Me Join.Me is a simple tool that can be used to host video and audio conferences, share your screen, record meetings, and more. It’s a great tool to use when you need to quickly pull up a presentation or reference your screen while on a group call. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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40. Dropbox – Dropbox is one of the top cloud-based file storage tools on the market. It’s a convenient way to store and share important documents with team members, customers, investors, and anyone else involved in the growth and success of your business. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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Customer Service & Retention

41. SatisMeter – SatisMeter is a tool that helps you gather customer feedback through NPS surveys. Net Promoter Score surveys are an incredibly effective way to gauge how loyal and happy your customers really are. The tool can be installed onto any website or app in less than 10 minutes. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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42. Intercom – Intercom allows you to easily communicate with your customers through targeted in-app and email messages, triggered by time or behavior. The tool can be used to collect customer feedback, chat with customers in real-time, create marketing lifecycle email campaigns, and provide support. Pricing: Starts at $49/month

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43. Packs By Startup Threads – Packs By Startup Threads offers a convenient way to create and send customized swag packages to your customers. The tool is incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is build your pack, order a reserve amount to store at the Startup Threads warehouse, and use their API or dashboard to send out to customers in an effort to boost loyalty and retention. Pricing: Varies

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44. MailLift – MailLift is a handy tool for sending handwritten thank you cards to customers. Handwritten thank you cards are a great way to boost customer happiness, but as your business continues to grow, it’s important to take advantage of tools like MailLift that can help you automate time-consuming tasks, while still keeping things personal. Pricing: Varies

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45. Zendesk – Zendesk is a web-based customer support platform. The tool allows you to accept and manage support tickets from a variety of channels—web, email, social, chat, or phone. It also provides the ability to create and manage a Help Center for your website. Pricing: Starts at $5/agent/month

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46. UserVoice – UserVoice is a tool that allows you to collect and prioritize feedback from customers, partners, and teams that can influence future updates to your products. The tool makes it easy to collect feedback right in your app (web or mobile), from your website via a private forum, and in real-time chat. Pricing: Starts at $499/month

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47. GoToMeeting – GoToMeeting is a top tool for coordinating and hosting webinars. It’s a great tool to use when you’re ready to start educating prospects and customers about product benefits, protips, and other topics that can help them use your product successfully. Pricing: Starts at $24/month

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48. Snagit – Snagit is a tool that allows you to easily create screen captures and videos that can be used to create tutorials for customers. It’s another great tool to use when you’re ready to start spending more time and resources on educating your customers. Pricing: Starts at $49.95

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49. TypeForm – TypeForm allows you to create visually-compelling survey forms. The tool makes it incredibly easy to design custom forms to use for social media contests, customer feedback, hiring, and more. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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50. Customer.io Customer.io is another tool that you can use to send targeted messages to users and customers. The tool allows you to leverage user behavior data in order to send more effective messages. With the tool, you can A/B test, build campaigns, track conversions, segment messages for specific audiences and traffic, and more. Pricing: Starts at $100/month

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Outsourcing

51. Upwork Upwork is a tool that you can use to find freelancers to help you grow your business. This site can connect you with developers, creatives, customer service agents, virtual assistants, and other consultants. Pricing: Varies

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52. ScriptedScripted is a tool that you can use to scale your content creation efforts. It’s a tool that can connect you with on-demand writers to help you produce content for blog posts, landing pages, white papers, social media updates, product descriptions, and more. Pricing: Varies

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53. FiverrFiverr is comprised of an incredibly vast network of freelancers who can help you complete almost any task, no matter the size. Categories on the site include graphics, marketing, writing, video and animation, video and audio, and more. Pricing: Starts at $5, then varies depending on project scope

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54. 99designs99designs is a site that primarily focuses on helping connect designers with business owners looking for help creating brand-specific collateral (logos, brand identity, t-shirts, etc.). Pricing: Starts at $299/month

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55. Toptal Toptal is a site that connect business owners with the top 3% freelance software developers and designers. Pricing: Varies

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56. PeoplePerHourPeoplePerHour is a site that connects you with freelancers who can help with design, development, content, and promotion. It’s a great tool to leverage when you need help fast. Pricing: Varies

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57. WriterAccessWriterAccess is another tool that you can use to find freelance writers. Pricing varies, but can be as low as two cents/word for content. 

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58. GuruGuru is a site that can connect you with admin support freelancers, engineering and architecture freelancers, legal freelancers, and more. Pricing: Varies

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59. Gun.ioGun.io is a tool that you can use to connect with and hire the best freelance developers in the world. The site offers a unique concierge service that matches you with a representative who can help you find the right person for the job. It’s a good site to go to when you’re looking for help building apps for mobile and desktop, when you need help scripting, building a UX strategy, and more. Pricing: Varies

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60. GigsterGigster is a site you can go to when you need to hire an entire freelance development team. Pricing: Varies 

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HR, Employee Engagement & Appreciation

61. TinyPulseTinyPulse is an employee retention tool that allows you to create surveys for your team to anonymously answer each week. It’s a great way to sync up with your employees and make sure they’re getting everything they need in order to be successful in their roles. Pricing: Starts at $5/user/month

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62. AnyPerkAnyPerk is a convenient tool that allows you to show appreciation and offer rewards to employees who go above and beyond in their roles. The tool offers a wide variety of perks that employees can choose from based on their interests—such as travel discounts, gym membership deals, restaurant coupons, subscription services, and more . Pricing: request a demo

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63. KinKin is a tool that allows you to completely streamline your human resources department. The tool makes it incredibly easy to onboard new employees, keep track of important employee information, manage communication with employees, track time off and vacation, coordinate employee performance reviews, and more. Pricing: $5/user/month

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64. 15Five15Five is a tool that allows you to keep track of what’s going on at your company week by week. The tool allows you to send customized surveys to employees in order to celebrate wins, identify challenges, and determine what people need in order to keep moving your company forward. Pricing: Starts at $49/month

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65. GlassDoorGlassDoor is a site that you can use as a tool to recruit top talent. As a company, you can create a presence on the site to attract job seekers, advertise jobs, and promote your company against competitors. Pricing: Request a quote

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66. Zenefits Zenefits is another tool that you can use to streamline your HR tasks. The tool can be used to manage payroll, benefits, time, talent, compliance, and management. Pricing: Free

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67. KudosKudos is a tool that allows you to give recognition and appreciation to team members in real-time. The tool makes it easy for managers to give praise to peers and for peers to give kudos to peers. It’s a fairly robust platform, and definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a way to boost employee morale at your company. Pricing: Starts at $2/user/month

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Social Media Marketing

68. CoScheduleCoSchedule is a top tool that marketers use to build editorial calendars, manage social media updates that relate to content, and manage the content creation process. Pricing: Starts at $15/month

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69. BufferBuffer is the top tool that marketers use to schedule social media updates. The tool makes it easy to schedule and share updates when your audience is listening in order to boost engagement, grow your following, and get the most out of your social media marketing efforts. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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70. GleamGleam is a popular tool that allows you to create and manage social media contests and reward campaigns. Examples of the types of contests and campaigns you can create include 1-click entry competitions, refer-a-friend campaigns, coupon offers, and more. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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71. GrammarlyGrammarly is a tool that you can use to identify and eliminate common spelling and grammar errors in your content. The tool also offers content optimization features aimed at improving your content and your writing abilities. Pricing: Premium plans start at $29.95/month

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72. FlareFlare is a tool that you can use to create a social media share bar on your website content. Social share bars can boost engagement and brand authority. The tool allows you to track social and engagement analytics in order to determine the effectiveness of your blog content. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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73. MentionMention is one of the best ways to monitor your brand, your name, and the names of the people you work with (executives, coworkers, partners, etc.). The tool helps you keep track of mentions from the web and from social media, making sure you never miss an opportunity to engage with a fan or prospect. Pricing: Starts at $29/month

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74. NarrowNarrow is a tool that makes it easy to grow your Twitter following. The tool helps optimize and automate the process by working with you to identify the right types of followers you’re looking to connect with on Twitter. All you have to do is enter target keywords, and Narrow does the rest. Pricing: Starts at $9/month

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75. Notifier Notifier is a tool that you can use to boost traffic and engagement on your site. You can use the tool to scan your latest blog posts in order to automatically find and organize the influencers you know you want to reach out to. Once you scan your post and build your list, all you have to do is compose your social media outreach message template, select the people you want to reach out to, and send or schedule your tweets. Pricing: Starts at $0/month

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What other tools would you add to this list? Leave a comment below and tell us what tools you’ve been using to grow your business! We’d love to hear from you.

30 Content Marketing Tools You Need to Reach Your Persona by Bob Ruffolo

www.virtuadmin.uk
30 Content Marketing Tools You Need to Reach Your Persona by Bob Ruffolo

Do you ever wonder how the best content marketers get so much done in such little time?

Sure, they have a team of people helping out, but that’s not all.

They use tools that help them plan content, manage content, and improve the performance of their websites.

These tools save content marketers hours of time and provide valuable information that you just can’t find with a Google search.

The following are 30 of the best content marketing tools available, including the tools we use for our business and our clients.

Content Planning Tools

1. SEMRush

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What it does: SEMRush tracks over 95,000,000 keywords and over 56,000,000 domains to provide a complete competitive analysis of websites in your industry. You can find out how they rank for keywords and get an estimate of their traffic.

What it costs: Starts at $69.95 per month.

2. Ahrefs Content Explorer

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What it does: A simple tool that helps you find the most shared content for any topic.

What it costs: Free with limited searches; plans start at $79 per month.

3. Google Trends

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What it does: Helps you find trends based on topics, location, and other variables. You can see historical trends and trends happening in real-time.

What it costs: Free

4. Content Strategy Helper Tool

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What it does: This tool consolidates trending news from across the internet to provide inspiration for content topics.

What it costs: Free

5. BuzzSumo

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What it does: BuzzSumo lets you find what content performs best for any topic or competitor website.

What it costs: Free with limited data; plans start at $99 per month

6. Tweak Your Biz Title Generator

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What it does: Type in your topic, hit enter, and then this tool spits out hundreds of share-worthy blog titles for you to choose from.

What it costs: Free

7. Inbound Now Blog Title Idea Generator

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What it does: This tool is slightly different than the previous one. It randomly shows you a blog title idea where you can fill in your topic. You keep clicking to see more ideas, until you find the one that grabs your attention.

What it costs: Free

Content Management Tools

9. HubSpot

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What it does: HubSpot is the best end-to-end Inbound Marketing platform that allows you to manage your blog, social media, email marketing, list segmentation, lead generation and scoring, landing pages, and more.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $200 per month

8. DivvyHQ

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What it does: DivvyHQ is an entire platform that helps you plan, schedule, and publish content, as well as manage the entire workflow.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $1,000 per month

10. Kapost

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What it does: Kapost is a content management framework that allows you to create content, distribute it on social media, and view analytics.

What it costs: Plans start at $1,000 per month

11. Siege Media Content Marketing Checklist

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What it does: This is a helpful checklist to make sure you’ve done everything you can to create the best piece of content.

What it costs: Free

12. WordPress Editorial Calendar

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What it does: Allows you to easily manage your blog posts with a drag-and-drop interface and schedule publishing.

What it costs: Free

13. Trello

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What it does: Trello is a visual-based organization tool that allows you to manage separate projects or “boards” at once.

What it costs: Free

15. Google Drive

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What it does: Google drive is a cloud storage software that allows you to create and collaborate on word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and drawings.

What it costs: Free

14. Evernote

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What it does: Evernote is like Trello and Google Drive combined.

What it costs: Free with limited features; plans start at $24.99 per year

Tools to Improve Your Content Marketing

16. Inkybee

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What it does: Provides insights about websites to help you identify influencers for outreach and PR.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $79 per month

17. BuzzStream

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What it does: Research influencers, manage your relationships, and conduct outreach that’s personalized and efficient.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $29 per month

18. SocialOomph

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What it does: Allows you to schedule social media posts, track keywords, manage multiple accounts, and more.

What it costs: 7-day free trial; plans start at $6.97 every two weeks

19. Outbrain

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What it does: A service that lists your blog posts under “relevant articles” or “promoted stories” on major websites such as CNN, TechCrunch, and ESPN.

What it costs: Minimum daily budget of $10

20. GetResponse

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What it does: It’s a more advanced version of Aweber or MailChimp for email marketing.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $12.75 per month

Measuring Progress and Tracking Metrics

21. Google Analytics

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What it does: Measures your web traffic and provides insights into traffic sources, demographics, user behavior, and more.

What it costs: Free with premium options for big websites

22. Advanced Web Ranking

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What it does: Provides SEO audits, tracks rankings, keyword research, content optimization, and more.

What it costs: Licenses start at $199

23. Moz

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What it does: Moz is a comprehensive tool that provides analytics, competitor research, and tracking for a variety of metrics.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $99 per month

24. Share Tally

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What it does: You type in a URL and this tool shows you where it’s been shared and how many times.

What it costs: Free

25. ShareMetric Chrome Extension

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What it does: A Chrome extension that compiles link data and organic search visibility from several popular marketing tools.

What it costs: Free on Google Chrome

Tools to Increase Conversions

26. OptimizePress

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What it does: Allows you to easily build landing pages to drive sales of your product or service.

What it costs: Packages start at $97

27. Visual Website Optimizer

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What it does: Run split tests, track user behavior, and optimize pages with minimal technical knowledge.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $49 per month

28. Optimizely

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What it does: A simple tool for running A/B tests and tracking user behavior without using code.

What it costs: Free with limited features; plans start at $17 per month

29. Crazy Egg

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What it does: Creates heat maps of your website that let you visually analyze user behavior.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $9 per month

30. Leadin

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What it does: A free tool from HubSpot that lets you track user behaviors, convert visitors into email subscribers or leads, and provides detailed contact information.

What it costs: Free

Bob Ruffolo

Bob Ruffolo

Bob is the founder and CEO of IMPACT, an agency he formed in 2009 to help people and their organizations succeed by changing the way they market themselves online. Since its founding, IMPACT has achieved its status as one of HubSpot’s first Platinum Partners in less than 2 years, and secured its place as one of the top inbound marketing agencies in the country.

Follow Bob: Bob Ruffolo on Twitter Bob Ruffolo on Linkedin Bob Ruffolo on Google+

3 Tools to Finding The Perfect Keywords for SEO

3 Easy Steps to SEO by Richie Contartesi January 4, 2016

Finding keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) that have the right balance of search volume, popularity, monetization potential, and competition might seem like magic to some people.

You might think that an SEO professional just taps his magic wand on a hat and out pops the best keywords, just like a rabbit out of a real magician’s hat. The reality, though, is that there’s no magic involved, just pure science and statistics. Let’s take a look at how you can leverage a few free tools to find the perfect keywords for SEO for your site or blog post. It all happens in three easy steps, with three free tools.

Tool 1: Check Google’s Key Word Planner Tool

The first thing you want to do is log into Google AdWords and see what the Key Word Planner Tool comes up with for your site or blog post. When you log into Google AdWords, just navigate to Tools and Analysis > Key Word Planner > Search for Keyword and Ad Group Ideas and put in a few keywords relevant to your site. You might enter in a few keywords related to your site as a whole and then, if you already have an idea in mind for your blog post, a word or phrase related to that concept. Once done, click on Get Ideas and check the tab labeled Key Words Ideas. Here, you’ll see keywords related to your idea, and you can begin to mine those for gems that you might use to center your new page or blog post around. That’s not the end of the story, though, so keep reading.

Tool 2: Making sure your keywords are relevant with Blog Social Analyzer

You might get quite a few keywords from the Key Word Planner Tool, and you want to make sure that the keywords you’re targeting are relevant to your particular site. After all, the more relevant your keywords are, the more people are going to share them on social media. Relevance will also determine how often people will link to the post or page, and the more likely it is that people who research for these keywords and end up on your site will be the perfect customers.

One way to check the relevance of the keywords is to see which content has shown the best performance on your site, and try to find similar keywords for the new page or post you’re working on. Using the Blog Social Analyzer tool, you can easily find out which of your current pages or posts are the most popular. Once you know what relevant content has performed the best, you can work to ensure your new content is focused around keywords with a track record of great performance.

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Within the Blog Social Analyzer tool, you can determine what kind of topics performed best on your particular site. Is your blog or website more attuned to basic users looking for introductory information, or do your users seek knowledge about advanced topics? By looking at which pages or posts were shared the most on social media, you can get a hint of that. Once you’ve gotten a few ideas for relevant keywords, it’s time to look at search volume.

To check out search volume, we’re going to go back to the Key Word Planner Tool that Google provides us with, and find out what we’ve got to work with. With your keywords entered, you’ll see the average monthly searches in a bit of a hodge podge of results, because Google automatically sorts by relevance. This means, unfortunately, that you’ll often see results that have very, very competitive keywords that have a ton of search volume, like “social media site” with 18,000 monthly searches. That’s way too competitive to try centering your blog post around, though, so you want to look at the long tail search phrases that are relevant to your proposed content.

So, target those long tail search phrases and click one time on Average Monthly Searches, then click again to see the keywords with the lowest search volume. Avoid those keywords like the plague most of the time, because there just isn’t enough search volume to make them worth your while. Scroll towards the bottom of the page, looking for keywords that have more search volume but not so much as to be far too competitive. Fine tuning this really depends on how often you plan on posting, or how much content, but remember that if you find 10 keywords with 70 searches per month and incorporate those keywords, you’ll be looking at 700 monthly searches.

Within this same search of keywords, you can also check the commercial value of the keywords. Obviously, you want people to come to your site and buy what you’re selling, so you want to check the traffic you might get that will convert. One way to see that ahead of time is to look at the commercial intent, and see what the Average Cost Per Click is. This shows you the average cost per click of someone bidding on that key word in AdWord, which tells you which of your keywords will have the most commercial value.

Just by way of example, let’s say from your Blog Social Analyzer digging you found that people really liked basic content about “SEO” as well as deeper content about “Business SEO.” You might find that “Business SEO” has an average cost per click of $9, while “SEO” is closer to $0. You’d want to center your post around “Business SEO” in this case, because it has stronger commercial intent.

Tool 3: Checking competitiveness of your keywords with MozBar

Finally, you should find out how competitive your keywords are. Sometimes, even a long tail keyword with low search volumes is still too competitive to try ranking for. The MozBar, available for either Firefox or Chrome, will help you out here. Once it’s installed, search Google for your proposed key word and you’ll see Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA) listed for each of your search results. If you see a lot of page authority of 50 or above in the top 10 results, then you might be looking at a keyword that’s too competitive to rank for. On the other hand, a mixed bag of Page Authorities in the 20s, 30s, and even higher (as long as there are some lower numbers in there) can be good to try ranking for.

The next thing to look at, though, before you get too excited is the Domain Authority. If the Domain Authority is really high across the entire top 10 list, this might also be something difficult to rank for. Again, a mixed bag of high and low results is what you’re looking for to find just the right balance of competitiveness.

Source: 3 Tools to Finding The Perfect Keywords for SEO

How to Create a Twitter Holiday Schedule

By Lauren Dugan - Dec 5th 2105
Rather than leave your Twitter-based Christmas, New Years, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other celebrations to the last minute, we’ve got some ideas for you

Rather than leave your Twitter-based Christmas, New Years, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other celebrations to the last minute, we’ve got some ideas for you to help you create a holiday Twitter schedule – so you can take some much deserved rest knowing that your tweets are all queued up.

Step 1: Make a list of the celebrations

December is a big month for celebrations around the world. Make a list of the specific holidays that you’d like to acknowledge on Twitter. Try to gather some insight into what your audience celebrates, and incorporate that into the list as well.

Celebrations can range from the obvious, like Christmas, to the more personal, like your company’s office party, end-of-the-year milestones or recognizing the charitable work of your employees during the holidays.

Be sure to note the date and time, if applicable, of all of the celebrations on your list.

Step 2: Write your tweets

Now it’s time for a little creativity. Spend a few hours brainstorming the tweets that you will send to mark each date. You’ll want to keep your brand voice consistent, but also write tweets that will stand out – everyone can tweet “Merry Christmas!”, so why not add a little personality to yours?

Don’t forget to leave room for an image!

Step 3: Make your images

Since images improve engagement and reach, it’s a good idea to include them in as many tweets as you can. Once you have your holiday-themed tweets all written up, find or create images to match.

There are some neat tools out there that can help you design images if you don’t have a graphics background, such as Snappa and Pablo by Buffer. These tools enable you to choose stock photos, add text and graphics, and download in a Twitter-friendly format.

Step 4: Use a Twitter scheduling tool

If you’re already using a tool to schedule your tweets, now’s the time to open it. If not, try looking into one of the leaders in this space: HootSuite, Buffer and TweetDeck are all great choices.

With your tweets written and images created, it’s simply a matter of plugging each one into your scheduling tool and setting them to go live at the right dates and times throughout the holidays. Easy!

(Optional) Step 5: Add in the right hashtags

It’s always a good idea to do a little hashtag research if you want your tweets to earn more exposure. However, this step is optional because often the most popular hashtags surrounding a live event like a holiday aren’t apparent until the day-of.

If you are able to quickly check in on Twitter’s Trending Topics on each day that you’re celebrating and include one or two in your related tweets, you’ll earn yourself more exposure.

And that’s all it takes to set up a holiday Twitter schedule! This method works for any holiday period, so don’t limit your scheduling to December alone. Happy holidays and happy tweeting!

Source: How-to Create a Twitter Schedule – Social Times