Valerie Eaton

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Smart VA Blog

6 Ways to stay focused on your projects when you feel like giving up

Posted by in Time management

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt since setting up my own business is that ultimately it’s all down to me.  As a business owner, you may have a network of people who can help you along the way but ultimately it’s your decision and responsibility how you run your business and whether you take on a project and complete it. Now this can be a blessing as well as a curse.  It’s great that you’re in control of your own work rather than at the mercy of some ‘pain in the ass’ boss.  However, it can also be a burden because you carry the final...

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The only tool you need to write your next Ebook

Posted by in Ebooks

As I mentioned in my blog, How to Use Ebooks to Promote Your Business, Ebooks are a great promotional tool for your business whether you put them on your website or sell them on Kindle or iTunes. But for many people, getting started with their ebook can be a real challenge.  They may have a great topic and some interesting content, but putting it altogether can feel like an uphill task. There is one tool that I have found to be invaluable in helping me write my free guides over the last few years – and that’s Evernote.  By using Evernote to...

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Email marketing is dead? Yeah, right!

Posted by in Email marketing

I recently did a talk to a group of business owners on how to use email marketing to get more clients. I started off by asking why I was even talking about email marketing when we all know that emails are dead!  It raised a laugh but it’s true.  I hear it so many times – email marketing is dead because everyone gets so many emails already; why would any sane business owner send their online contacts another email?! And yet…everyone in that room had an email address. They may not have been on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, but they had...

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11 Common Misconceptions about WordPress

Posted by in Websites

WordPress now powers around 23% of all websites online, with business sites being the most popular type hosted by the platform. Yet when I talk to clients about setting up their websites on WordPress, I notice that many of them don’t really understand what it does or how they can use it to build their online brand. Personally I love WordPress – I used it to create my own website and think it’s the best platform for business owners to build their online brand. So I always jump on my soapbox when I meet other people who question its worth and...

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Why reading blogs is killing your productivity

Posted by in Time management

I was reading a great blog the other week which detailed what CEOs do each day to help them stay productive. Sounds great, right? Well no, because it left me feeling depressed. The first tip was getting up at 6am. (Are there any successful people that don’t get up at the crack of dawn?) As soon as I see that, my heart sinks because I’m a night owl not an early morning kinda girl. I know there’s people who will brag that they’ve done 2 hours’ work before most people have had breakfast, but that’s not me and never...

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Why You Will Never Succeed at Ebooks

Posted by in Ebooks

So you’ve heard about ebooks, you may have even downloaded a few in your time, but when it comes to your own business you either dismiss them out of hand – too much hard work; what do I write about?; everyone is doing ebooks; come on, they’re so last year! Or you see the benefits but you just never get round to putting one together. Yes you’ve got the content saved somewhere in various blog posts, workshop notes etc but you’ve never had the time to collate them into one coherent message that you can put in an Ebook. And every time you think...

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10 Essential Design Tips for Your Email Newsletter

Posted by in Email marketing

To make email marketing really work for your business, you need to have a newsletter that promotes your brand effectively, gets noticed by your subscribers and is full of valuable content that they look forward to receiving. Sounds hard, right? When I talk to clients and prospects, some of the main challenges that they have about using email marketing to promote their business are around designing a professional looking template and finding relevant and interesting content to include in their newsletters. From my own experience of using email...

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15 Things to Consider When Choosing a WordPress Theme

Posted by in Websites

I was having a conversation with a client the other day and she asked me a question that I often get asked when people are looking to update their WordPress website. Can you help me find a new theme? Now obviously I can search for themes – that’s not the hard bit. But finding the right theme? Wow, that can take a lot of effort. I know because I’ve been there myself – sitting up til 2 in the morning trawling through sites like Themeforest and telling myself I’ll check one more theme before I go to bed! And no – I don’t have much of a social...

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Do your events raise the roof or fall flat on the floor?

Posted by in Event planning

Having recently been involved with organising an event for a client, I was completely amazed by the feedback that I got after the event. People said things like… “[We] were really impressed with the way that you handled the invitations to the drinks reception and everything around the guest tickets.” “Thanks for all your hard work in helping make the event a great success – we really appreciate everything you did behind the scenes.” … it really made me realise both how much I can take my event management expertise for...

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Is this the real reason why you’re not getting things done?

Posted by in Time management

“I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse” – Florence Nightingale What’s the biggest time management challenge for business owners? Juggling several roles and projects at once? Struggling to balance work and personal life? Having so many tasks that you don’t know what to focus on next? One of the major projects that has been sitting on my to do list for the last 18 months has  been to create a paid product and I’m happy to say that I’m finally getting round to doing it.  But I know full...

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