WPElevation The Long and Winding Road

WPElevation The Long and Winding Road – Dreams, to Online Business Realities

I am sure that most online business owners can relate to that song title “The Long and Winding Road” by the Beatles and with little Billy from the comic strip ‘Family Circus’…

https://www.virtual-partner.com/ online business course

Early Business Beginnings – My ‘Virtual’ Reality

For ‘me’, my reality started back in 1997 with the ‘spark’ of easy access to the internet and a few interesting tech-related courses at my university.

Fast forward to 2008 when I seized the opportunity to actually have an online business and make money doing something that I really enjoyed – creating an online presence building websites for small businesses and churches.

Then along came WordPress.org, opening up a huge opportunity to expand further into related services that encompassed the areas of e-commerce, social media, videos, and supporting clients needing not just a better online presence, but full-fledged support. I loved the idea of working for myself and helping others achieve business success.

It then came to a point where I thought to myself, ‘I can do this and more’…. So, I took every course that was offered through different ‘VA schools’ and then did the Online Business Manager certification.

That all sounds great, doesn’t it? And with all of those skills, I was on the road to building a great business vision, wanting to be like (insert your own role model here). My dreams were big but scattered… I became a ‘Jill of all Trades & a Master of None’! I was a ‘Billy’. I had so many offering, so many price points, and a whole lot of non-ideal clients!

Man, what to do – what to do?

What I did was just continue to plug away. Yes, I was making money, but I was spending it fast – wasting time and money on more and more courses, high-priced ‘mastermind’ programs and still not making traction. (I honestly do not want to even add up all the money that I’ve spent over the years!)

Growing Pains then Striking Blueprint Gold

Moving forward to 2015 and I kept seeing this very interesting course being promoted in my Facebook feed – The WP Elevation Blueprint.

Of course, I had to investigate, heed to my FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and see what it was all about. I signed up and got the Blueprint, but I didn’t start the course (yet)… I was too busy, of course, with all the ‘other’ stuff that I had downloaded and joined. I was in the realm of full overwhelm – not a fun place to be!

The Breaking Point

Overwhelmed and not making traction I (finally) took a deep hard look at both my personal and business life. I started by creating a list of what I love and then a list of what I am good at – you see the two don’t necessarily overlap. This helped me reach the decision to break the business into two specific offerings. I created the WordPress specific business of virtualpartnerwebdesign.com and kept virtual-partner.com as the ‘service provider’ business.

Time to Grow Up – Again

As life happens, I kept seeing ‘WP Elevation Blueprint’ in my Facebook feed and ads (you know when one is ready you’ll start seeing what you need!). I thought to myself, ‘hum I have the download and hadn’t really taken it to heart.’

So I opened it and started going through it. Once I dug deep and really got into the Blueprint, I was, ‘WOW, I so need this course!’ I was convinced. I signed up for the WP Elevation course as soon as I could and haven't looked back!

I made the commitment to jump in and dig deep. Once I started digging in, I was able to start setting up effective and consistent strategies. Slowly but surely, my business started to grow up.

Here are a few things from the WPE Blueprint that I either didn’t know that I needed to know, or that I knew, but didn’t really have the tools to bring that knowledge fully into my businesses:

  • Identification of MY Market
    I had no idea that I had not identified my Virtual Partner Marketplace, ie. what were my BIG 3 offerings?
  • Qualify Leads
    I’ve always had leads, but no system in place to identify (qualify) them.
  • Educate and Nurture
    Say what? What a concept… I, like you, do this naturally (to some extent) but having the process laid out like the WPE Blueprint was mind blowing – a huge ‘A-ha’ moment for me which really helped me up-level the quality of clients and the entire process from onboarding to the final product/service.

Having an efficient and streamlined system in place to qualify leads will save you so much time, frustration and money.

That was over 20 months ago and I can honestly say that joining WP Elevation has been the best business decision that I’ve made to date. The growth of my businesses has been beyond my expectations, and I feel that I’ve gone from jumping from one ‘shiny object’ to another to really understand myself, my work style, and what I want. I love to adapt and grow with technology; and by understanding this, I can incorporate it into everything I do – without getting sidetracked on the way!

Taking a moment to step back and document my journey has allowed me to see how much I have grown my businesses and my authority with what I love to do; always stretching to keep reaching and refining my full potential as a business and a person.

online business course

Added Bonus – Since my clients have such a great experience with working with the Virtual Partner Team, they are more than happy to refer me to their own clients. That speaks volumes to the WPE Blueprint Process and to how I am able to adapt it to my own Virtual Partner systems and processes.

Now, with the support of the community in the WP Elevation private Facebook group, the five coaches, mentors, and a fabulous community of like-minded online business owners, I feel that my businesses are where they need to be. Plus, I get the value of a ‘Virtual Co-working Space' without having to drive somewhere!

I have a handle on keeping the balance of creative ideas and executing them in a manner that is both efficient and effective – no more Long and Winding Roads! So join me and…

Go Elevate and Embrace the Billy in you… just keep reaching to your full potential. 

As with any journey in life or business, we have (hopefully) learned the lessons and have taken the experience(s) to heart. The experiences are, of course, things that we should adapt to be our own and allow ourselves to really take ownership of.

My experience with going through the WP Elevation Blueprint journey took me on a fantastical ride that incorporated tons of learning, tools to implement everything, and an incredible community of support with all of the members, coaches, and mentors.

I am often asked the following questions about WP Elevation. I hope these answers will help you if you've been thinking of joining an online business course like this:

Q: “What is the one thing that you value from your experience in the WPE Blueprint program?”

A: Easy, that would be the whole concept of the ‘Anti-Follow-Up’… Say What?!?

Yes, the Anti-Follow-Up took on new meaning for me. Not familiar with that concept, then you’ll need to join me and all of the WPE Community to find out (or, just ask me, really hit me up!).

Q: Next, “What is the one thing that you value from your experience in the WP Elevation Facebook group?”

A: By far it is the entire WP Elevation community and level of expertise, questions, support that everyone gives each other!

Q: And, “How would you describe the WP Elevation Blueprint experience?”

A: First off, it’s not just one course it is many courses, webinars, live calls and more.

My experience has been both life and business changing. Not only have I learned a lot, I’ve actually confirmed that I do know a lot already. Not to mention the community and the co-creative relationships that I’ve been involved in. The bottom line is that WP Elevation is a program, a community, a virtual co-working space, a whole lot of support, tested processes and methods.


Why Website Maintenance is Key to a Successful Website

Why Website Maintenance is Key to a Successful Website

Just like any software, websites require maintenance to keeping the site working properly. Avoiding website maintenance is like not having regular oil changes on your vehicle. You wouldn’t drive your car very long if you didn’t look after its maintenance, would you? Well, the same process is true for your website. Your website should always be live, ready for customers and presenting your business at its finest.

Websites Are Not “Set and Forget”

If you don’t have website maintenance carried out monthly, you may actually be throwing money out the window. When visitors go to a website and find things wrong with it, they often don’t stick around. Many website owners never check their website to see how it’s functioning. Missed website issues or downtime can lose you, potential customers.

The Benefits of Maintenance

Many people don’t realize the benefits of site maintenance:

The website performance, it’s load time, downtime and uptime are all dependent on the WordPress software and plugin functioning as they should ( and on the recent version).

The website growth, it’s fresh content, analytics monitoring and design changes are all dependent on you having someone making sure all updates to the website are done in a smooth and error-free fashion.

Maintenance Workflow

At Virtual Partner, we take great care to first backup the website and check the website after the updates for any issues. Our software keeps a record of plugins we update so if there is ever an issue we see what plugin version was changed and revert back. Also included in our monthly maintenance report are the performance and security scans. If in the event we ever catch a plugin issue, it becomes a support ticket and we address it before you ever know there’s a problem.

Dangers of Do It Yourself Maintenance

Maintaining your site yourself could cost you more than you may think. If you just update from your WordPress admin, you wouldn’t have a record of what was done. If an update to a plugin created an issue a couple weeks later, it would be difficult to know what changed and how you should revert back without restoring a very old backup (and possibly losing content changes, sales orders, contact entries, you name it).

It Costs More to Fix Than to Maintain

Inexperience and neglect can damage the look and functionality of your website. When that happens, you have a choice to make. One, you try and fix it yourself, in which case you may do further damage. Or two, you can then pay the (sometimes hefty) price for someone experienced to fix it. Just like your car, it costs more to fix it than it does to maintain it properly. Regular oil changes help keep your car running properly, regular site maintenance helps keeps your web site running properly.

Call in a Professional

  • Why not deal with what you know best and let us deal with what we know best?
  • Would you try to fight that court battle without a lawyer?
  • Then why try to maintain your own website if you’re not a web professional?
  • By securing an experienced web professional to update and maintain your site properly you are actually saving potential lost sales and visitors.  

If you’re interested in securing a maintenance contract for your web site, contact us to learn how we can keep your site in proper working order. Click Here to learn more about Virtual Partner Website Care & Maintenance!

Plan Your Day – Be Productive – Get Out of the Overwhelm

Plan Your Day – Be Productive – Get Out of the Overwhelm

Here's a great tool that I use…

Asana helps you tackle your work day and make it productive. Here are our tips to plan your day so you can start strong and finish your day ready for what’s next.

Follow along with the steps outlined in the video:

1. Visualize your day’s work in My Tasks Create new tasks for any other work that you need to get done. Use Today, Upcoming, and Later to prioritize.

2. Forward emails to Asana to start actioning them Send emails to [email protected] and they’ll be sent to your My Tasks list. CC any teammates you want as followers on the task. Change the email subject line to whatever you want the task to be named in Asana.

3. Focus on Today’s tasks by using full screen mode Add comments, attach files, or update the custom fields as needed. And when you’re done, complete the task!

4. Use Inbox to get caught up on the work you’re following Without leaving Inbox, you can respond to comments and status updates so everyone can keep work moving forward.

5. If you have meetings, create an agenda project for each one You can create your own or use a template. That way, you can have a clear agenda, link to relevant work, take notes, and quickly create tasks to capture action items. If it’s a recurring meeting, use the same project and update it.

6. Star projects you use often If you have projects you own or work in a lot, click the star next to the project name to favorite it. Favorites are quickly accessible in your sidebar and on your mobile device.

7. Use our mobile app If your commute home or to the office permits…you can use our mobile apps to stay up to date on any notifications so you don’t miss anything.

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Too Embarrassed to Ask: What’s a Webinar?

What’s a Webinar?

Let’s clear the air.

A webinar is a web-based seminar. It’s essentially the business-based equivalent of Facetiming with your grandma. (Only you won’t have to spend the first 30 minutes hearing about her growing list of ailments.)

With a webinar, you can hold digital presentations and conferences with clients, new employees, or customers.

It may not sound like the most interesting way to spend your time, but the beauty of the webinar is that it eliminates having to gather everyone in one room, while still allowing people to experience face-to-face communication in real time.

Another perk: While the meeting is in progress, all the participants can look at the same documents on their computers. No one can say, “I didn’t get that memo!” when the memo is shared right in front of them.

If you’d like to hold a webinar, abide by these tips:

Keep it short.

40 minutes is the maximum time anyone wants to stare at a screen. Even quicker is better.

Encourage participation.

Engage with your audience. Don’t lecture like your least favorite college professor.

Prepare your remarks.

Now is not the time to wing it.

SEO For WordPress

SEO for WordPress

If you’re like the rest of the Internet, odds are your website is built through WordPress. And for a pretty good reason: it’s flexible, with a myriad of templates and plugins. Plus, it’s fairly easy to use.

But perhaps more importantly, WordPress is a solid SEO (search engine optimization) platform.

Since almost half of the top sites out there — from BBC America to Flickr — use WordPress to power their content, Google pretty much has no choice but to ensure its search engine can effectively crawl and index millions of WordPress templates.

So as a small business owner, how can you fine-tune your local SEO strategy with WordPress?

  • Make it easy for customers (and the search engines) to connect your services to a location. This is low-hanging fruit, but you’d be surprised how many of your competitors don’t do this. Say, for instance, you’re a financial advisor with multiple offices across the Midwest. An Illinois customer may want to know if your team gives retirement advice at the Chicago location. So, the Chicago page should include a full list of services available there. Make it super obvious what you offer and where you offer it.  
  • Make the most of your SEO plugin. First, check your settings to confirm you’ve named your site and written a brief description. Then, be sure to check that your URLs are correct and that they match the URLs in your Google Webmaster Tools.  

Easy tweaks with big results. You’re welcome.

Rand Fishkin: Why Your Business Needs SEO Now

Know the top three reasons you need SEO?

Hint: it doesn't matter if you own an auto repair shop, a law firm, or something in between. Moz.com co-founder Rand Fishkin gives us the SEO scoop.