We all do! And if your family is anything like mine, they will shoot you the evil eye every time you slide out the laptop or start madly texting on the iphone while you’re supposed to be ‘playing’ on the beach. So how on earth are you supposed to keep your business running, draw new visitors to your website and still enjoy some down-time? Here are my tried & true tips for solo Virtual Assistants:
1. Write your blog posts and schedule them to post automatically while you are away. Super easy-peasy if you’re a WordPress user! Fresh content will keep your readers interested and keep your website ranking higher in the search engines.
2. Pre-schedule some emails to send to your subscribers. Using a contact management system you can easily have content ready to go and choose the date you want it to send. Your subscribers will assume you’re hard at work while in reality you’re basking in sunshine and sipping fruity umbrella drinks. (pssst: my personal favorite is Aweber you can check it out here.)
3. Have a bunch of Social Media updates pre-scheduled. Using a tool like Hootsuite, you can set up posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. so that your fans and followers see posts from you several times a day. I would caution against using too much pre-scheduled junk (you won’t be actually having conversations and making real connections) but it’s a great way to keep your name out there while your vacationing.
4. Hire a Virtual Assistant! Seriously! We spend so much time promoting our services to others – but let’s not forget that we can use the services of other VA’s to. By getting a Virtual Assistant to handle your social media and monitor your email you can rest assured that anything crazy-urgent will get attended to. Make sure that VA is the one person who can contact you in case some dire emergency crops up while you’re away – otherwise, she can handle your inbox so you don’t come home to 8000 emails!
Last week I was away with my family, staying at my Dad’s beach house, I planned to pull out the laptop for about a half hour each night and ‘take care of business’ from the beach. What I didn’t count on was a bolt of lightning knocking out our internet (and television too!) for the entire week. I did manage to sneak off for an hour and borrow some wifi at the local coffee shop – but otherwise, I survived an entire 8 days with absolutely zero technology. And you know what? It was awesome. There is something to be said about charades, skits and the first annual ‘Wasaga Beach Idol’ Competition. I would definitely do it again – (we all work hard and deserve good vacations away from it all). Just plan ahead before you leave and your business can manage just fine for a week or two while you rest and re-charge.