BBC Radio Interview – Listen here

Well it’s been a day now since I was sitting in the BBC studios in Glasgow being interviewed by Fred MacAulay for the “MacAulay & Co” radio show on BBC Radio Scotland and the feedback I have had from all who heard it, out of the people I know like other virtual assistants, to clients, to other small business owners I’ve “met” via Twitter etc – the response and feedback has been fantastic.

I wasn’t too sure at the time how I came over live on air. I must admit, I do feel very self conscious about public speaking and before and during the interview, the nerves were jangling.  But I’ve been told I did very well, which is great to hear.

I arrived early at the studios and, not having been on that side of the River Clyde before, was really surprised at the size of the place.  It’s huge! Really impressive new building. After being given my pass, I waited in reception, then I was taken through security and upstairs to the studios.  Whilst I waited, I took this photo out of the window.  This is the view from the studios looking onto the SECC Clyde Auditorium – or “Armadillo” as it’s affectionately known in Glasgow – and along the River Clyde towards the city.  Not great quality as it’s from my phone camera and it was a rather grey dreich day outside!

I was then taken into the studio and it was all over far too soon.  Unfortunately the interview was cut short as they had Andrea Corr, of the Irish band The Corrs, being interviewed after me.

I won’t spoil the surprise of what was actually in the interview, save to say that my 2 objectives of raising awareness of the virtual assistant industry as a whole and raising the profile of Secretary4hire were achieved.  And I had fun, even if I didn’t get a shot on the typewriter!

Please feel free to comment.


We’re on BBC Radio Scotland! – online poll

I have been asked by BBC Scotland to go into the BBC studios tomorrow and participate in Fred MacAulay’s radio show “MacAulay & Co”.

The subject matter in the show about typing. The gist of it is, they were doing an item about Edinburgh University now allowing students to use laptops in their exams and day-to-day instead of writing and most people aren’t properly trained to type. The BBC surveyor asked me all sorts of questions over the phone and I mentioned some funnies including the fact that I was “old school” in that when I learned on a manual typewriter with a wooden box over my hands so I couldn’t look at the keys, learned to touch-type slowly that way and when the box was removed, if the teacher caught you looking at your hands, he hit you over the knuckles with a ruler. He wants me to provide some tips to the listeners who aren’t properly trained on how to improve typing skills and share some experiences.

I said I would conduct a quick poll amongst as many VAs and also non-VAs/business owners as I could before the radio show.

The link to the poll is here

Also, if any of you wish to share any tips on how to improve typing skills it would be good to hear yours, as I’m in the middle of compiling my own.  Fill this in in one of the text boxes in the poll please.

Really excited about this as it’s great publicity not only for my business going out to a massive audience but also the VA industry as a whole.

Update as of midday 24 May: They’ve just been back on the phone firming everything up and apparently they have sourced an old manual typewriter and they want me to give a demonstration.  I’ve not even SEEN one of these for 25 years never mind used one!! Maybe it’s like riding a bike. Let’s hope so!

Thanks in advance for completing the survey and don’t forget to tune in to the show tomorrow at 10.30am


Medical Emergency – Newspaper Story Here

Newspaper Article Below on the recent medical emergency of Patrick Johnson

News Article - I Saved Man from Paralysis via Twitter

If for any reason this does not show or you cannot read it, you can download the story from the newspaper

How I helped in a medical emergency – via Twitter!

As a Virtual Assistant and as a businesswoman, social media plays a huge part in my day-to-day activities.  Working in an environment where, physically, you are alone every day, it’s important to have contact with people.  And even more so, it’s important to build and foster good relationships – could be with your clients or potential clients, other virtual assistants or generally just chatting to people.  It’s good to talk, as the old advert for BT used to say. Nowadays in business, the talking is done online.

There are still some cynics out there that say social media is a waste of time.  Well what I say to that is, they just don’t “get” it.  As I said, it’s not about bombarding people with sales info about you or your product, it’s about building relationships.  And to do that, you communicate with people the way you would in “real” life. Talk to them not only about their business, but about them – if they’re watching the footie or the tennis, what their favourite tipple is, how they’re planning their weekend, what sort of app do you need to do whatever on your phone. Anything and everything.  

And, as one conversation I had this week unfolded, a whole other side of social media came into its own.  I was chatting to Patrick Johnson, a graphic designer from Cornwall on Twitter (@PMJtweets) and he mentioned that he felt like he had had a stroke as half his face didn’t work properly.  I firstly thought, it’s some kind of joke and was waiting for him to tweet the punchline. No punchline came and I got worried. I tweeted back that if he was serious, he should visit A&E urgently as the symptoms of Bells Palsy can mimic a stroke. 

I know about Bells Palsy as one of my friends (a drummer in my band) was diagnosed with this a few years ago.  He thought he had had a stroke. Left side of his face totally dropped and it was very debilitating.  I also knew that if you caught it early enough, it could be treated but if you left it, there was a chance of permanent disfigurement. 

A couple of hours later, I got a message from Patrick that he had indeed been diagnosed with Bells Palsy at A&E and he wouldn’t even have gone to the hospital had it not been for the info I gave him. 

So, for all the cynics out there still not convinced, this is proof that it is has got enormous value not only in the virtual workplace, but for the human need to communicate – and could maybe even help you in a medical emergency! 

If you want to read Patrick’s blog “How Twitter Saved My Face”, read it here

I wish him a speedy recovery. 

Thanks to you for reading. More power to you all if you already communicate with me on Twitter (@Secretary4hire), on Facebook (“Like” me here), on Linked-In here or by reading my blogs here on WordPress. Or Skype me on Secretary4hire. 

If you haven’t communicated with me yet, fancy a natter? 

Tel: 0844 884 2818

March Newsletter

Working on this month’s newsletter which will be sent out by the end of this week.

March’s special offer will be included which will give a massive discount on our service.

To be eligible to receive our discounts, you need to subscribe to the newsletter.

Subscribe here:-

Audio Typing for FREE

Click the link for a coupon and code to have a FREE TRIAL of our audio transcription service.

Offer ends 31 December 2009

Twitter and Facebook eating into your time? Help is here

It’s Monday morning. You sign into your Facebook profile to update your status and start browsing through your friends’ profiles. You’re looking at their photos from the weekend when you see a friend was tagged in an album of someone you don’t know. You click around a few more times and before you know it, you’re looking at wedding photos of total strangers. Does this seem all too familiar to you? If you have a social networking profile, it probably does. While many job seekers heed advice on joining social media sites to use them as networking tools, they are also warned not to invest too much time — especially at work — in these all-consuming, often-addictive online vehicles. But times are changing. Social media have become a place where people communicate and interact with each other. This makes it a place where companies, businesses and brands shouldn’t be missing. Consequently, a lot of jobs in online marketing all now require some level of social media expertise. Social media on the rise more companies are utilising social networking efforts by Twittering, blogging and creating profiles on sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to gain exposure and increase customer service. Many companies see their presence in social network as an opportunity to communicate better with its associates and candidates on topics like employment, market issues and internal events. Plus, having an active Facebook page helps candidates find them and increase visibility. For example, NHS Professionals Special Health Authority, the leader of temporary staffing provision to the NHS, and the world’s biggest online betting community Betfair are very successful with Facebook. The pages allow them to connect with potential candidates and increase their brand recognition. While these organisations clearly figured out an effective strategy, not every company is in the same boat. Many firms know they need to get in the space, but once they’re there, they have no idea how to leverage their existence. As a result, employers need people with social networking skills — like Secretary4hire — to come on board and take over.

Contact us TODAY and let us create and maintain your online social networking presence without all the added distractions.
Tel: 0844 884 2818




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How Can a Blog Help My Business?

You shouldn’t be asking yourself how a blog can help your business but more importantly when you will be launching a blog for your business. We talk to many people who can’t seem to understand the value of a blog for their business which I find just fascinating. If you are going to be serious about driving an online business you will have to be serious about incorporating every aspect of online marketing into your strategy, including blog marketing.

One thing you have to realise is that a blog is more than just a journal, it is a communication tool between your company and the outside world. There are many different ways you can really optimise the use of your blog posts to drive in new traffic and create much needed business for yourself. By simply incorporating keywords into your blog posts you can quickly see your blog posts ranking for many different targeted keywords. It is important to always write blog posts for humans but there should always be elements of blog marketing and search engine optimization in all your posts. A blog can be used in many ways to pull new traffic and business in. You could use it as a how to guide, new products or simply just a way to give your audience any new information on your industry or your business.

Make sure your blog are interesting and inviting. Cater your blog so that you stand out from your audience a bit. Blogs don’t have rules, it is OK to go against the grain and put anything you want in them.

 For help with Blogging, Online Marketing in general or setting up/keeping up your online Social Networking presence, get in touch.
Tel: 0844 884 2818


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