Five reasons to invest in an email signature

There are many ways to obtain a professional email signature. You can create the basics or fully customize your email signature using your email platform, or you can commission a design from a graphic artist. I decided to subscribe to a monthly service which allows me to design and install a beautiful email signature at the click of a button.

email signature monthly subscription

I decided on this option because it required only a small upfront investment. Even though a subscription is a recurring cost, the software allows me to edit my email signature and use other features throughout the month, as many times as I want. It saves me the hassle of having to contact a designer everytime I need an update, and frees me up to do income generating work instead of struggling for hours to create my email signature from scratch.

Here are five reasons I invested in my email signature:

 

email marketing email signature

(Pin this image to read later)

Branding

When you are bootstrapping your business, every detail counts in achieving the look and feel you desire at a price you can afford. Even though I can’t book a luxury and custom website design, I can get an attractive email signature which encourages recipients to stop and read the information.

Systems

I have important information to share with people I communicate with on email. This information helps me set boundaries and manage expectations. I decided that this information needed to be immediately visible to new contacts and regularly seen by people I talk to all the time. I wanted my presentation to be seamless. I didn’t need anything intrusive, bulky or aggressive. It needed to be part of our conversation anyway.

And so I had the idea of adding all need to know info in my email signature!

Detail-orientated people will take a look anyway, and I can refer people to it if they’ve never glanced in that direction.

Marketing

As a virtual assistant and content writer, I  spend a lot of time on email. After overlooking this platform for as long as I’ve been using it, I now view every email I send as a marketing opportunity. Sending a kind response, replying promptly and organizing my information well have a positive effect on my brand.

And since l’m on email a lot and communicate with many people this way, punting a new service or product ever so often can’t be bad for business. Simply linking a new blog post in my email signature can get more eyes on my content!

When it clicked to me that my ideal client spends time on email just like she spends time on Instagram, a new world opened up to me. I will never perceive my email account as an inanimate, dead object. My client is already in a work mindset when she reads her emails, so it is the perfect opportunity to present work-related information!

Repeat Business

I identified my email account as a platform to procure repeat business. Having to email a past client with news of your latest offer can feel awkward. By adding this info to my email signature, I can have a natural and polite conversation with any client and get my new products or availability infront of their eyes. Here are some cool things to know about repeat business:

– Sixty-one percent of SMBs report that more than half of their revenue comes from repeat customers, rather than new business. [BIAKelsey]

– On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10x as much as their first purchase. [Marketing Tech Blog]

– It can cost 5 times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones. [The National Law Review]

These statistics were originally published by Five Stars.

Confidence

When you are a one woman show, you take all the help you can get to excel in your field. I may sometimes need to email important people or people in formal, old-fashioned industries within which an email signature is still well recieved and relied upon. My email signature is so snazzy that I have the confidence to communicate with whomever I need to, even though I’m just a gal working from a computer in her corner of Cape Town.

I’ve already received so many compliments on my email signature and I cannot wait to add a professional headshot.

If you would like to invest in an email signature and think a subscription service will work for you, I can highly recommend my provider, NewOldStamp.

Try them out and let me know what you think.

In my next post on email signatures, I will show you the information I added to my email signature so that you can replicate my formula or create your own.

*I’m on a monthly plan which costs $9 per month. I plan to upgrade to the annual plan at the end of the year for only $24.  Thi is sufficient if you need only one email signature.

**This post contains affiliate links. By making a purchase at the link provided, I will receive a small portion of the sale. Affiliate links help me generate a passive income and create free content on this blog. All opinions are my own and all affiliate products are products that I use and pay for with my own money.

Images by Chad Madden & Though Catalog. 

How do I become a virtual assistant?

how to become a virtual assistant

I received this question on Messenger recently and decided that I would compile a short list of things I would recommend you do if you would like to become a virtual assistant or find yourself wondering how to start a virtual assistant business.

1. Invest in office equipment and a reliable internet connection

Every work from home position will require a laptop and internet connection, for the least. You don’t need to wait until you’ve got all the office supplies to start a virtual assistant service, but you may want to start with a working computer and a means to connect to the world wide web!

2. Do freelance work

When you decide to start a new venture, it can be tempting to make it all official with a business registration and a matching bank account! I say hold off on the paperwork until you’ve spoken to your bank and an accountant (who is a good fit for you and your business). Freelance for a bit before deciding which business registration is suitable for you and your estimated income in that first year of business, at least. These days banks make it easier to organise your finances within one bank account, so you can always separate your personal finances and other income that way.

Freelancing is also a great way to learn what you are good at and find out what you enjoy doing. There’s no use in becoming a virtual assistant if you do not love the work! The long hours behind a computer screen with no company or employee lounges will require that you be motivated and find joy in your profession.

Speaking of finances, you may want to set up a PayPal account if you will be accepting international payments. Xoom is also a great service.

3. Know your worth

Virtual assistants (and many other service providers) tend to undercharge in the beginning stages of their careers. It is true that a virtual assistant with five years of experience may charge more than a virtual assistant with one year of experience, but you still need to determine a reasonable rate for your services. If your virtual assistant service will be your primary or only means of income, you can start by determining your preferred monthly income (within reason) and dividing that by the number of hours you wish/want/can devote to client service per month.

With that figure in mind, research market rates for virtual assistants in your area, and in your prospective client’s area, as well as market rates for virtual assistants with similar skills to your own. You may need to adjust your figures accordingly. Remember that there are many pricing models out there and you are within reason to choose one that works for you and the value you provide.

I think it’s so important to price yourself correctly in the beginning because it is incredibly difficult to come back from a low rate when your business is in full swing.

4. Determine your services

It’s nice to dip your feet in unknown waters every once in a while, but after some time, you may need to buckle down and determine the key services you provide and advertise to the public. Knowing the services you offer, as opposed to deciding if you’ll take on a project when it’s thrown into your lap, will allow you to market your virtual assistant service consistently (because you know what you are selling) and give you the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your field. The VA market is oversaturated, so it’s useful to know where you fit in.

5. Speak to a business coach

I did not do this and I wish I had! When you’re young and ambitious, you think you can make due with the knowledge you have instead of reaching out to a professional who can offer added perspective on your situation and ideas. I highly recommend speaking to a business coach because there are a million and one things to do when starting any online business. A business coach should be able to work with you to create a suitable (and attainable) business strategy. This person can keep in mind your budget and really tailor the general advice you find on the internet today!

Now that I read over this list, I think that it’s relevant to any online business. There is so much more to say and though these answers are probably not what most people want to hear, I know from experience that it is a great place to start.