Social Media Management? Here’s Experts Help

I have never heard of a local government unit being so concerned about social media marketing. So I said YES to the invitation!

I have never heard of a local government unit being so concerned about social media marketing. So I said YES to the invitation!

Weeks ago, I received a Facebook message from Sophie, one of Jomar Hilario’s VAs. Jomar was invited as a guest speaker to the Social Media Management Seminar organized by the Local Government Unit of Carmona, Cavite. She asked if I would be willing to join as a guest sharer.

My answer: YES, OF COURSE! :) I have never heard of a local government unit being so concerned about social media marketing. And as a former government employee (and daughter of two former government employees), I always felt the need to give back.

So I immediately filed my leave (my second to the last for the year).

I again took my old college journey going to Dasmariñas that very cloudy Thursday morning. It again felt the “I-need-to-be-on-my-first-class-at-8AM” rush, hahaha! I arrived early at the meeting place at Dasmariñas. A few minutes earlier, I met Joanne Bawalan, the Information Officer of the Local Government Unit of Carmona.

The ride with Joanne was like having a tour of Carmona! She knows her stuff (Carmona rakes a big revenue for Cavite and it’s the industrial hub of the province). She said she initially wanted to learn about social media marketing by herself. But since she’s doing it for the local government unit, she instead helped organized a seminar for co-LGUs and private sector as well so many people will learn! The woman is very generous and a real public servant, I may say.

We arrived at the unusually quiet municipal hall by 7:50AM. Boy, this is going to be exciting!

Take a look at some of the photos from the event (courtesy of Jonas San Luis):

Jampacked! More than 50 people from the local government unit and private sector attended!

Jampacked! More than 50 people from the local government unit and private sector attended!

 

Joanne Bawalan, Local Government of Carmona's Information Officer.

Joanne Bawalan, Local Government of Carmona’s Information Officer.

 

Jomar sharing his story on how he started his online marketing journey.

Jomar sharing his story on how he started his online marketing journey.

 

Participants during the seminar activity.

Participants during the seminar activity.

I took the mic a few minutes before lunch. I shared with the audience about the skills that a social media manager should have. As I shared, I also told them about how I do my work.

 

My turn! :)

My turn! :)

 

Hhmm, I think I need to run more. I look fat... LOL

Hhmm, I think I need to run more. I look fat… LOL

The seminar was a blast! There were people who approached me during the break; some told me they wanted to be a virtual assistant, while some asked about social media-related concerns.

 

Thank you, Local Government of Carmona!

Thank you, Local Government of Carmona!

The best part? Learning from Jomar as always. I got to ask him questions and some concerns. I also learned points for improvement on my presentation.

 

Thank for tagging me along in Carmona, Sir Jomar!

Thank for tagging me along in Carmona, Sir Jomar!

I thank Sir Jomar for inviting me to share my story, as well as to Sophie for arranging the meet-up preparations with Joanne. Thanks to the LGU Carmona, headed by Joanne for taking the leap of maximizing the power of social media to educate and inform your citizens. I hope more local government units (and government agencies) will follow their lead!

 

My post-seminar Instagram photo. :)

My post-seminar Instagram photo. :)

Yesssss!

It’s been a long time since I posted a rock star moment. So here it is.

I got this humbling message from one of our former clients today:

“It has been a great pleasure working with you. Have always told Khim (one of our awesome Account Managers) that you are such a great Social Media Manager, chasing me for things so that I will not forget. I must add: you are so organised, too. Very systematic. It has been great working with you! Truly!”

Of course, I share this with my team mates. I would totally not be able to get this praise if not for them. We work together to make sure that clients rock their business.

I hope this will push you to become better at work everyday!

Made in Bitstrip and Canva.

Made in Bitstrip and Canva.

 

Are you a virtual assistant who wants to level up skills PLUS get a chance to meet business owners all in one seminar? I’m inviting you to attend the VA202 : Wealth Creation Strategies for Virtual Assistants and Online Entrepreneurs on October 3 to 4, 2014. My mentor, Jomar Hilario and best-selling author Jay McLean will teach all the skills a Virtual Assistant needs to have to get hired and become valuable. Limited slots only! Click here to register.

2015 Long Weekends

Our government recently released its Proclamation No. 831, also known as “Declaring the Regular Holidays, Special [Non-Working] Holidays, and Special Holiday [for all schools] for the year 2015.”

To make the holidays easier (and more fun) to read, I decided to re-arrange it to make a list of long weekends next year. You may share this photo with your friends!

 

Start planning your to-dos! Share this photo with your friends, too!

Start planning your to-dos! Share this photo with your friends, too!

So, what are you planning to do on these long weekends next year – travel, staycation, move that bookmark on the book you’ve read for ages, learn a skill, or share a laugh with your family and friends?

It’s up to you to make memories or become more valuable – maybe both!

 

Photo done in Canva
Photo credits:
summer bubbles
summer cupcakes
cocktail drink
funfair at Bangor
globe map suitcase travel
weekend pleasure
a love for the arts
family playing a board game
happy three friends

Internet Wars: A New Hope

No Internet connection? That's not good if you're a VA. You need to do something about it. Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/noii/2327713880/in/photolist-fA1on3-4xG9eW-8yBd-gg8Jt6-4J8DCD-5pnm2t-fsByM-95eKs-kdovHU-5NB4K-e3Xq11-2z249e-3FjPcz-aTTZkv-97aq7h-amamRU-gVcwCP-5pnm4v-2vdHqH-cz5Rm-7efbqT-bpzeQ2-tq6MH-9Mcwzt-4JcPGs-5XSxr7-qdhVU-8CwN8z-7mzBYT-qh37i-7A6MZA-6zUJsE-metF8m-8JPib7-84yYwn-aAdC87-9SaRSm-4qETvU-5VSm5h-g2Jwmp-4J8A6v-6wo5vG-iotsX-2aCeyG-9F1eQx-dmQRk-e1B5yx-e1GK2J-dmQRp-6Skz2/

No Internet connection? That’s not good if you’re a VA. You need to do something about it.

“You must be living in a rich village because you got Fibr,” Jomar told me minutes before the February 10, 2014 webinar where I shared my VA story for the second time. He was referring to my Internet connection.

Let me make this clear: Yes, I live in a village. But it’s not called Ayala Alabang (but my proximity in that area is one commute only). I live in a simple village that just luckily is slowly getting Fibr-d.

I am no longer having Internet connection concerns (just a few minor hiccups now and then) since I signed up for it.

I was too far from seven months ago, where I had sleepless nights and zombie-like days just to get the best connection.

Here’s a story of why an exceptional Internet connection is a GREAT MUST-HAVE if you want to be a VA.

For two years, my Internet service provider depended on a mobile signal.

If you’d get to visit our house, you’ll see a tall metal stick in the roof (it’s there until now; my former Internet service provider has not returned to take it down). It was set up so I could get a better signal.

My previous Internet provider served me well. I was able to update my VA portfolio, apply to many jobs until my ODesk job application list reached it quota, and I got to be a guest in Jomar’s webinar. Hey, I even got my first part-time VA job with it!

Then, late last year, I was hired as a part-time VA (social media manager) for Social Metric Pte Ltd.

My Internet connection could not keep up.

During the last few months before I got the VA gig, I observed that it was connection difficulties were just so, well, difficult, during nights. The only time I can connect well is either day (which is I could not do because I still had my full-time government work during that time) or after midnight.

When the social media manager tasks demanded focus and time, I had no choice but to work at early midnight or dawn.

At first, I thought I could catch up sleep during lunch break and on weekends. Somehow, I survived.

Later on, I couldn’t keep up anymore. The Internet concern was no longer just a concern. I felt like a zombie and I couldn’t focus. I remembered asking my former co-workers to repeat what they said because not a word entered my brain.

I found myself up banging my mouse on some days and frowning at each re-setting of the router on other days.

The last string happened one night in January, when my conversation with my colleague was suddenly cut off. I never got back on the line after impatiently re-setting my router for close to one hour.

It was embarrassing! To think that he’s in Singapore totally made it humiliating (my VA gig is based in Singapore, the land of fastest Internet connection in the world).

That was it. I declared an Internet War with my earlier provider.

I had to do something. If I don’t win the war, I’d lose my VA gig. During that time, I already took their offer to work full-time.

I know I can win this war. I just had to act immediately.

So even with less sleep, I frequented the nearest PLDT office to apply for a new Internet connection. I felt it was just prompt, as my old Internet service contract will end in a month.

The woman in the PLDT office told me that what is offered in our area is PLDT Fibr. I told her that I was not applying for that; I preferred MyDSL. She said that I could no longer get that because eventually, MyDSL will be phased out to give way to Fibr connection in our area. Later on, I learned that three neighbors recently got Fibr-d, too.

I don’t have much of a choice, do I?

I also thought of my VA work, the turnovers and paper works that I started doing after I sent my resignation letter at my government job, plus the preparations for the home office. They were taking my wits.

So I signed the application paper for Fibr.

I had to endure two more weeks of sleepless nights. Finally, on the first Sunday of February 2014, I got Fibr-d.

Since then, I got to sleep well at night.

I can watch YouTube videos of the Backstreet Boys without the buffer (sorry, I’m a big fan).

I can talk to you on Skype for hours.

I no longer have to tell myself that I need to download some learning stuff because I can listen to them while working. All I do is hit the Play button.

The Internet War was over. I won.

Let me make another clearance: this is not a promotional story for Fibr. It just so happened that it’s the best Internet service provider in my area.

What I want you to take from this story is this: if you want to have an exceptional VA career, you need to invest on an exceptional Internet connection.

It would take some research such as surveying the neighbors and asking important questions to each potential service provider (yes, visiting every provider’s store in the mall!), but it’s sure worth it.

One more thing: you may say that I’m paying a premium for my Internet. I am. And I can honestly tell you that it hurts to pay a premium for an Internet in the Philippines. Guess what, it’s another worthy topic. But if you would always think about the hurt, you’ll lose many chances on earning big in the Internet.

Especially if you declared war against financial woes.

 

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1ksH7n9

Meet my home office team!

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I was able to complete my list of home office equipment. Boy, was I surprised to accomplish them in just two weeks!

Meet my team. :)

My whiteboard.

My whiteboard.

I bought the whiteboard at National Bookstore. I couldn’t remember its size (it’s at the back of the board), but when I saw it, I knew it’s enough to write my VA tasks on. Later, it also had a special corner for my ACT NOW nights.

 

My anti-fatigue mat.

My anti-fatigue mat.

I ordered the anti-fatigue mat from Amazon. I tried looking for mats in the local stores but couldn’t find any. As a VA with a standing desk and an over pronator, I need to make sure that my feet are not that stressed while working. After I got this mat (it arrived 3 days after I ordered it), I felt the aching pain on my right foot gone. That pain started when I was standing without a mat. The mat is wide enough for me to dance, just in case the files are still loading or it the Spotify playlist is just too irresistible to stomp my feet.

My chair

My chair

I got this chair at a local store in Paco, Manila. Pass by the Paco Catholic Church and you’ll see an array of furniture and office shops left and right. I ordered it on Labor Day then got back to get it the next day. I wanted a chair that is comfortable to rest if I get tired sitting, but not too comfortable that I will not longer stand up.

And lest I forget…

My brother gave them to me.

My brother gave them to me.

My brother bought these from the local variety store near our church. Unfortunately, they imitations of the famous toy brand, but every time I see them, my imagination soars to new heights. Well, like the song says, everything is awesome (okay, you can sing it)!

What do you think of my office team? What do you think I still need? Send me your thoughts!

Snippets from Day 48 to 100 – My First 100 Days as a VA

Super late post. Sorry, I got caught up with the VA work and storm Glenda. Okay, they are decoys. Of course I blame myself for not just posting. :)

Reunited – I got to meet my friends in my former workplace. We call ourselves Clinic Gang because our lives got intertwined by hanging out in the company’s clinic. Most of us resigned from the company since but the friendship stayed. We spent time eating and laughing (our favorite past time). The best of all, we got to do a groupie shot with everyone in the frame.

All clear – I underwent tests as part of my post-thyroid operation. I was instructed to undergo a blood test called thyroglobumin to determine if there were traces of cancer in my body (a tiny portion in one of the thyroid nodules had papillary carcinoma. But it was so tiny that I need not to go for radiation, but enough for the surgeon to decide to remove my whole thyroid during the operation). The results were out – and I am a clear! Still on my way to great health!

Buffet – eat is the highlight of our team’s monthly meet up. I learned how to just get tiny portions of each food I see. That’s hard when you’re in Dad’s and Saisaki, but I learned the tricks of the trade. Still, I always leave the restaurant having a big tummy.

30-minute walking – I was finally able to drag myself out of bed at 6AM to walk around the village. After giving up a 5K race in April, I thought of what I needed to do to get back into running. My game plan was to consistently walk for 30 minutes for 2 weeks then focus on a 5K in 5 weeks plan. I made it to the first phase. I’m looking forward to he 5K in 5 weeks training. But then, the lazy me came back. I haven’t walking again. The sun misses me, I guess.

Summer was just HOT – I dreaded working between 1PM to 4PM. It’s the time of the day when I feel my sweat is drawing works of art at my back. The summer is just enjoying itself. I drank every hour to beat the heat.

Home office wish list complete – I was able to purchase a white board, an anti-fatigue mat, and a tall chair in a span of two weeks! Now it’s easier to track my work tasks with my white board (my VA contract is posted there too, aside from my ACT NOW nights, which I’ll discuss after). The pain that I feel at my right feet is now gone, thanks to the anti-fatigue mat. And I feel like a lounge singer with my chair.

Last full show with my mom – It’s been years since I’ve watched a last full show movie, and ages since my mom watched a movie. We got a chance to do both during Holy Tuesday when we watched Son of God. Too bad a local channel ran The Bible later on the week, but here’s what I know: my mom rarely watches a movie because she really prefers radio, and yes, Jesus is hot – always and forever.

ACT NOW Nights – one Jomar’s webinar made me re-focus on what I needed to do. I was having times when I was finding it hard to juggle the full-time VA work and the other plans that I have. The Jomar’s webinar had this message: ACT NOW. There is no other time to fulfill my dreams now. Life is going to make me forget, but I should never forget. As an action plan, I used my white board to write my weekly schedule (Mondays – attend Jomar’s free webinar, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are for Online Marketing Club 3.0 lessons, Thursdays and Fridays are for Virtual Assistant 101 output preparations, and weekends are for blog and book writing). There’s still some nights that I’m missing my ACT NOW activities, but I’m trying to keep up.

CANVA Convert – Thanks to Canva, I am able to practice my design skills by changing my social media covers (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+) every month.

33rd birthday – Yes, I am 33! I realized Jesus started His ministry at 33, so I really thought that I should really do something really remarkable. So I’m announcing on this part that I’m going to publish a book (this is to put the pressure on myself, too). I also planned my remarkable 34th, 35th, and 36th year on earth (Jesus preached for three years. If that’s the case, he went to heaven at 36). But that would need a different post.

I survived Frozen – I got a godson as a neighbor and they live next to the house. He and his younger brother watched the movie Frozen EVERY WAKING DAY. At first, it was fun listening to the songs (you know what they are). But weeks after, I found myself mumbling “Frozen again?”, “Oh no, it’s that intro song again”, until “Do they have another favorite movie?”. I reached saturation point and the songs lost their power on me. Slowly, the songs were never cute. Eventually, the hype died down. I know Disney will always cook up something for the kids. But until then, I’ll be at peace because summer made the frozen ice melt (pun intended).

VA 101 – I attended a higher level of Virtual Assistant Seminar – the VA 101 Seminar. This time around, Jomar taught us how to become a content marketing strategist, someone who thinks awesome marketing for companies. It’s a thinking job, but taking this challenge would mean more help to business owners because they don’t have time to sit down and take a look at their marketing plans. I also met new and Facebook friends. It was humbling to see my name in the list of Jomar’s successful students.

Sococo – it’s Social Metric’s latest communication tool. It’s like a virtual office where anyone can see who’s present. We can talk clearly, share screens, hold meetings, call clients, and have cool cubicle names (my room name is Awesome Ann). We look like Pacmans in Sococo, less the eating part.

So what did I do on Day 100? I ate a great lunch in house. My mom cooked food as always (I’m always the Chief Eat Officer). I’ve always thought of my Day 100 as something special – like an eat out plus a movie. But then, my Day 100 fell on a weekday. Still, I had my full!

Get marketing lessons from my Medium blog!

I am currently attending Jomar Hilario‘s Unlocking Success Secrets : Marketing Mindset Webinars. It’s a two-part webinar series that will hopefully change my mind into a full marketing droid (just kidding).

One of its assignments is making YouTube an ultimate hangout for learning and posting the lessons on our blog. For a change, I tried putting the marketing lessons on Medium.

The site’s cool – and so are the lessons that I have learned so far:

1. Gary Vaynerchuck‘s take on social media;

2. Jack Canfield said writing a book is good, but you need to market it;

3. Ted Rubin on return on relationships.

After a week, I got surprising results: one from my VA gig, and one from Ted Rubin himself!

This is my recent share of how my recent learning experience has paid off.

This is my recent share of how my recent learning experience has paid off.

I hope to populate the blog within the next few weeks.  Check my marketing musings here: https://medium.com/@annexceptionalva

The truth about my VA journey and the World Cup

Happy to have witnessed an awesome sporting event at the comforts of my home!

Happy to have witnessed an awesome sporting event at the comforts of my home!

 

Four years ago, I was in an 8-5 job. I just finished my VA assignment and looking for a VA gig. At the same time, the World Cup is everywhere on the Internet and the news.

Four years later, I’m happy to be in a different state: I’m now a full-time VA, catching up with my Online Marketing Club and VA 101 assignments (I’m trying!).

This time, the World Cup in on – and I have totally fallen in love with soccer.

Many people do not like the sport because it takes a while (90 minutes – and added extra times in case no goal was done) to make a score. Others say they are already asleep once a player scores a goal. But for millions of fans across the globe, soccer is in their blood. Indeed, the game takes patience, hard work, skills, and a lot of dedication.

 

My intention was to just watch the opening ceremony. I ended up updating myself on the World Cup games.

My intention was to just watch the opening ceremony. I ended up updating myself on the World Cup games.

 

You need patience - lots of it - before you see a goal.

You need patience – lots of it – before you see a goal.

 

The World Cup memes  - just like this one - were just hilarious!

The World Cup memes – just like this one – were just hilarious!

 

As it was my first time to get to know the game, I relied on history as to who is the best team to cheer for: Brazil. Unfortunately, they missed to win their important games. It took me half a day to sink in Brazil’s 7-1 loss to Germany. Oh well, like what they say in Filipino, “bilog ang bola” (the ball is always round).

I am glad I kept myself updated in the matches, the players (eherm, ok I’m admitting here that Julio Cesar of Brazil is my #mancrushWorldCup), the fans (they are simply creative and passionate), and the game through the official site of FIFA, Facebook, Mashable, Twitter, and Google’s Doodles.

 

So heartbreaking. The Germany-Brazil game took a while to sink in.

So heartbreaking. The Germany-Brazil game took a while to sink in.

 

Four years ago, I was just trying to find my way to become a VA.

Four years later, I am now a full-time VA.

Hhmm, I wonder where will I be in four years’ time.

An online marketer?

Chief Marketing Officer of the next best thing that ever happened in the universe?

A best-selling author?

The cutest marathon finisher?

Wow, I’m excited for the next four years.

 

I'm excited to the next four-year journey of World Cup - and myself!

I’m excited to the next four-year journey of World Cup – and myself!

My Spotify is now filled with wisdom.

I got my Spotify account early this year, just in time when I became a full-time VA.

So far, I got 20+ playlists. In fact, I was able to alphabetized my playlists.

But then, I got bored today. So I mindlessly typed the name JIM ROHN in the Search Area.

Let the images continue the story.

 

post_june10

 

 

jim_rohn

 

 

top_3

 

I’m happy because the curious kid in me found gold. :)

If you are a member of the Jomar Hilario Mastery Group, VA Group, and the OMC 3.0 Group on Facebook, you should see these images, too.

So, who’s on your playlist?

My 6-year old self can beat me into Marketing.

Jomar concluded his 2-part series on “Are You Smarter in Marketing  than a Six-Year Old?’ last night.

Boy, I was dumbfounded. My 6-year old self can really beat me into marketing.

Here are my learning posts from last night’s webinar.

 

The game is Marketing.

The game is Marketing.

 

The secret of financial success is marketing mindset.

The secret of financial success is marketing mindset.

 

How honest are we on our life on earth? We say life is short. But we live life like it's in our hands.

How honest are we on our life on earth? We say life is short. But we live life like it’s in our hands.

 

To my 6-year old me: please let me amend my ways (some of them).

Click on this link to watch the webinar replay here: http://jhilario.com/betterthan6yearoldpart2webinar