Google Groups Will No Longer Support Pages and Files Features

October 16, 2010

Google announced last month that they will be discontinuing the page and file features currently supported with their Google Groups functionality. Apparently, their goal is to improve customer experience by utilizing their other services for sharing and storing files, like Google Docs or Google Sites.

Starting in January 2011, their groups won’t allow creating or editing any files or pages. You’ll want to export anything you are sharing within your Google Groups to another solution before February 2011 when they turn the features off. Luckily, they are allowing zip-download to make the process easier and faster. You’ll find the Google Groups original announcement here

Intuit Small Business Town Hall on Using Social Media

June 23, 2009

I am happy to say Intuit, makers of QuickBooks software, is continuing to improve. They are building their Small Business Community with town hall events, webinars, training, conferences, Ask the Expert events and more. This Thursday, June 25 at 9am PT (12pm ET), the Town Hall topic will be Using Social Media to Grow Your Business. Join Michelle Long, CPA and the following guests as they discuss how to use social media such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, for effective marketing.

  • Scott Wilder – Small Business Group at Intuit
  • Chris Kim – Senior Marketing Manager with Intuit
  • Dante Layton – Owner of Dante Layton, Inc.
  • Ruth Perryman – Owner of the QB Specialists

Cost is free and there will be a Q&A session following the discussion. Hope you can make it!

Networking In Person at IVAA

May 10, 2009

I recently attended the International Virtual Assistant Association live Summit in Montreal, Canada. What a fabulous experience, I had! First off I was able to visit a city I had never been to and that is always a treat. A group of us had the wonderful opportunity to take a bus tour of the city and that certainly was a highlight. I especially enjoyed overlooking the city and could image it a beautiful sight at night with the city lights and stars glowing.

My favorite part of the trip was actually meeting and greeting others, in person, who absolutely understand what I do and the challenges I face working on my own. The blank stares of my husband are understandable when I begin speaking in techno-geek or trying to problem solve challenges with my business.It was a tough to commit the resources for attending but the networking and knowledge I gained was money very well spent. I met and networked with fabulous fellow VAs and opened doors of possibility. I came away recharged, solidifying the vision I have for my business. I highly recommend attending a live event with your professional organizations and networks. You will truly never be the same. [tags]networking, events, IVAA, kellywilliamsva, kelly williams, virtual assistant[/tags]

The Importance of My Network

April 7, 2009

After several years of owning and operating my small bookkeeping business from home, I have to say the most important key to my success has been the value of my networks. Being connected with various virtual assistant organizations such as IVAA, VANetworking, and A Clayton’s Secretary, has given me the amazing opportunity to interact with seasoned industry veterans and fellow newbies, alike. The discussion forums are full of advice, resources, and answers to any question I can imagine. As a work at home professional, I realize how important it is to cultivate relationships bigger than myself. In reflection, if I had started my business today I would’ve been much smarter in my organization because of what I have learned. I still believe I am better off with the knowledge I’ve gained in trying different phone/fax services or online collaboration sites, for example. But the difference today is that I have confidence in the tools I use daily, and the benefit is that I am increasing my productivity.

When reaching out to a network, it’s important to remember local organizations that can also provide support and knowledge on a more personal level. Our southern California VA group has monthly lunch meetings and the camaraderie that has been built is truly unmatched. Relationships will blossom and trust is developed. I am so thankful that our founder, Paula Farthing of Admin at Your Service, has stayed committed to this non-profit group. Just this week, I sought her advice about purchasing a new computer system. Her input is invaluable to me as is her willingness to stop what she is doing and offer assistance. Remember that you are not an island! Feel free to leave a note about what you are doing to combat this in your daily work life.

[tags]social networking, ivaa, vanetworking, a clayton’s secretary, bookkeeping, kellywilliamsva, kelly williams, resources, virtual assistant, web & technology, admin at your service, paula farthing[/tags]

My New Twitter Hashtag

February 10, 2009

I created my first hashtag on Twitter today. Of course I know this means nothing to those around me, but I felt like an innovator and was very excited  nonetheless. I decided to tweet a tip about the QuickBooks software I use and thought it would be nice to have a place to search for tips by other users as well. The Twitter hashtag allows you to basically mark the tweet with a hashmark and quick tag that becomes searchable, for example #QBTip. I was amazed that no one had created this particular tag yet considering all the tweets about various accounting software options.

What makes this tagging so great? It is actually possible to search the tweets using Twitter’s own search feature, and subsequently through the search engines. This is a great way to create real-time conversations about a particular topic and follow them through RSS. I also use the popular hashtag #TCOT which stands for Top Conservatives on Twitter. Users can tweet about an event they are attending, too, and this is a wonderful way to connect with those you wouldn’t otherwise meet.  I’ve seen chats about the Super Bowl, the Inauguration, and even Girls Night Out #GNO which is extremely popular . There are a few male Tweeters that crash those chats, if you can believe it.

We’ll see where my new hashtag leads. The cool news is that it was immediately noticed by Tweeters at Intuit. I can now look forward to their tips on how to better use my QuickBooks software. What Twitter conversations are you following?

The Power of Social Networking For A Cause

January 7, 2009

Daniela's Family

If you ever doubted that one person can make a difference in our world, I’d like to show you how David Armano did just that last night. I was working late with my trusty Twitter companion by my side (my favorite social network), when the following post came out from an Australian fellow I follow:

@problogger: I love when social media makes an impact like this and this on people’s lives

David Armano, VP of Experience Design with Critical Mass, wrote a compelling post on his personal blog entitled “Please Help Us Help Daniela’s Family.” The purpose of which was to enlist us ALL to help a very brave woman, Daniela and her 3 precious children, move forward from domestic abuse.

It really does take that one person to stand up for the cause, someone to take the lead for us. And then we feel empowered to stand with the cause and together we become a village. Many of us gave last night, far exceeding the original contribution goal, bonded to our cause. I’ve never been to David Armano’s  blog before and am truly amazed at the power Twitter has to virally spread the word. I am even more amazed at the compassionate responses from our community to help a stranger in need. We are living in difficult times and each one of us has our stories to tell, but we gave what we had to be part of a solution that is so much bigger than ourselves. It was extremely moving to visit David’s blog and refresh the screen to watch the ChipIn! counter grow. Thank you for letting me be part of this important cause. Twitter Power!

You can still make a difference for this courageous family … go now and give what you can!

Proud Recipient of VAccolade

November 19, 2008

I am so very proud to have been selected this week to receive the VAccolade Business Entrepreneur Award from the Virtual Assistant Networking Association (VANA) for demonstrating professionalism on the Web. To qualify for this award, I would have been nominated by one of my clients, colleagues, or peers which is very exciting and I am truly honored.

I was able to make my start as a Virtual Assistant after hours of perusing the VANA forums for knowledge. The community is very warm and extremely helpful. The posts, seminars, resources, and RFPs that Tawyna Sutherland shares are unmatched which is also why I decided to upgrade my free membership to become a VAinsider. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out VANA, this is an amazing social network of virtual professionals with over 10,000 members. AND it was just announced that VANA is the 2008 winner of StartUpNation’s top ranked home-based business contest in the Boomers Back in Business category. Woo Hoo!

What IS this Twitter buzz?

November 11, 2008

A few months ago, a colleague of mine asked if I was on Twitter. Dumbfounded, I went searching to find out what the buzz was all about. At first, I didn’t quite get the point of micro-blogging in 160 characters or less — what could be the value in that? Well, now I’m hooked and think it’s a cool concept. I will say Twitter can definitely suck up huge chunks of your time. As with any social media network, it takes time to build a following and find other interesting people you’d like to follow. Ultimately, that’s what makes it so much fun! Reading all the tweets as I work from home is like having an office full of chatter. I get hot tips for my business, links to awesome blogs, websites and contests, keep up with the news, as well as having daily laughs and inspirational quotes. The more Twitter peeps you follow, the more enjoyable it is (peeps is slang for people).

Here are some great resources to get started on Twitter:

  • Twitter Revolutionby @WarrenWhitlock and @CoachDeb.
  • Mashable posts on How To and How NOT To Build Your Twitter Community by @PRSarahEvans.
  • Visit the TwiTip blog by @problogger and learn how to use Twitter more effectively.
  • Know your Twitter Lingo as noted by @MariSmith. A must have to fit your tweets in 160 characters.
  • Check out TweetBeep and setup keyword alerts by @mdjensen. They’re like Google Alerts for Twitter.

And the best news yet for this Twitter addiction? I recently found a fabulous new client for my project management and bookkeeping services. Twitter rocks! Come follow me at @KellyWilliamsVA.

Developing a Strong Focus

September 24, 2008

It was over 1 1/2 years ago when I began planning for my virtual assistant business. At that time, I wasn’t sure about the technology to make the “virtual” happen or what skills I would be most comfortable marketing; it all seemed overwhelming. Since then, I’ve scoured the internet, learned to network, and have also taken quite a few courses to expand my knowledge. I LOVE learning new and exciting things. Now, I’ve comfortably settled into bookkeeping as my niche and enjoy working as a subcontractor on several virtual teams. I was very lucky, and thankful, for my past proposal preparation skills as they helped me successfully answer several RFPs.

I confess, I’ve been dragging my feet in preparing to market work for myself. When summertime ends, I naturally feel the need to increase my business focus … it’s sort-of like the new year, for me. It’s always important to put those “resolutions” in writing so here are my goals to develop a consistent part-time bookkeeping support business:

  1. Redesign my website
  2. Become a QuickBooks Pro Advisor in 2009
  3. Take Andrea Kalli’s Social Marketing Success in Under 30 Minutes a Day elearning course, so I can:
  • Join the Twitter buzz
  • Update my LinkedIn profile
  • Create a Facebook profile and jump in
  • Blog actively

My list of things to do goes on, but I don’t want to become overwhelmed before I get started (did I SEE my list yet?). Oh, and maybe I’ll figure out how to open a Yahoo! Store someday.

Back to School and Back to Business

September 17, 2008

What a relief summer has passed! This was a hectic one and I’m happy to be refocusing on my business. We’re getting into the groove of school drop-off and pick-up, and facing the fact that my precious 3 year old boy has started preschool. Shoot, I even decided to take another accounting course locally, ONLINE, as I work towards my bookkeeping certificate. You gotta love the convenience of that! I’ve decided to reinforce my bookkeeping foundation because as a QuickBooks user, you really need to build on the accounting essentials when the computer software does so much for you. This is my first step in strategizing the expansion of my business in the coming months.

Looking back over this first strong year in business, I realize I’ve been working diligently in support of a handful of clients. But with my nose to the grindstone, I’ve neglected to keep myself active in a variety of networking forums and blogging here. With a fresh new fall on the way, I’m ready to get back to business!

  • Recognition

    Shopping Cart Queen VA Certification Seal

    Certified Shopping Cart Master

    VAccolade of Virtual Assistant Networking Association (VANA)

  • Helpful Resources

  • Why Hire a Virtual Assistant

    • Increased productivity
    • Zero overhead costs
    • Peace of mind
    • Flexibility
    • Expertise
    • Increased profitability
    • Higher job satisfaction
    • Time to grow your business