Interview with Jane Anderson | Personal Branding Expert

In this interview with Jane Anderson, Australia's leading branding expert and award-winning blogger, she talks about how virtual assistants can be a great value addition to budding entrepreneurs and startups.

Interview with Jane Anderson | Personal Branding Expert

Spanning a career of over 2 decades, Australia’s leading personal branding expert Jane Anderson packs a powerful punch.

An award-winning blogger and author of 4 books, a leader in personal branding and the host of “Jane Anderson Show” podcast, she is a force to reckon with.

With incisive and brilliant insights, she has helped over 20,000 busy executives, professionals and individuals build their personal brand.

Jane has been featured on Sky Business, Sydney Morning Herald, The Today Show, BBC, Management Today and The Age and many more media channels.

Reaching people and helping their brand to find a strong voice, she is a nominee for the Telstra Business Women Awards for 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Telstra, IKEA, LEGO, Mercedes Benz, International Rice Research Institute and Shell Energy are just some of her clients.

Jane also mentors solopreneurs, women leaders, coaches and service professionals to actualize their potential.

She is also Australia and New Zealand’s leading LinkedIn influencer, and among the top one percent of most viewed LinkedIn profiles across the globe.

Jane’s blog has also been voted among the top 25 business blogs globally.

Let’s dive deeper into Jane’s take on the virtual assistance industry and entrepreneurs when it comes to boosting productivity.

1. Are virtual assistants beneficial for business?

Virtual assistants are definitely beneficial for business. 60% of small businesses fail in the first three to five years, and in the past, the challenge was that we always had to look at the local and full-time staff.

The challenge with that is a lot of your funds go into the support that your practice or business is not necessarily ready for; so that creates a lot of overhead very early, and it creates a lot of risk in a business.

Today, though, having access to virtual assistants means you have a lot of flexibility.

You can look at them for casual part-time, just blocking a certain amount of hours per month.

The options are endless to work with virtual assistants.

The second is flexibility in your cost base.

Depending if you’re having a quiet month if you’re working with a virtual assistant whose business isn’t impacted by that, if they’re able to work with people who need flexible hours, they can do that.

And another thing is you get access to expert support without having to pay the expert cost.

You can pay for a small amount of support, and the knowledge that they have is high, compared to having to pay for that full-time person. So they’re definitely beneficial for business.

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2. As an entrepreneur how viable are remote workers for meeting your requirements?

They’re definitely viable for working with our business.

I guess some of the challenges in working with remote teams as a leader is you have to have an understanding of the cultural differences between the country that you’re based in versus the country that your team is working out of.

You have to have really strong communication.

You have to make sure that the personalities are right so that the team is openly sharing with you, and that you can get the information to them and from them that you need.

So that means prioritizing those people, and seeing them as an integral part of your team, not necessarily just an add-on.

They are an integral team member.

It also requires a strong understanding of your own business needs.

So that means really knowing what problems you have, what specific challenges you have, and knowing what you’re after.

My experience has been that lots of business owners don’t necessarily know what they need, and so the challenge is getting the person at the right level who can help them.

So somebody who’s strategic versus an implementer is generally the challenge.

Also, the next part is about training.

Finding somebody who has, perhaps, a certain level of knowledge.

If you have specific things that you need to train, teach them in, you have to allocate the time to do that and make sure that they have tools and resources available to be able to do that.

3. How do you manage productivity as an entrepreneur?

I’ve created a tool called Memo Mailer and it works particularly well for entrepreneurs and virtual support in other countries.

The purpose of that is to speed up communication and to delegate quickly.

That’s definitely had the greatest impact for clients we work with, who are experts working with virtual support, and it sends a voice memo immediately to the email address of the person they have set up in Memo Mailer.

Other tools that are really valuable are things like Trello to use for task management and it improves communication between you and virtual support.

And obviously leveraging things like Skype to open up communication and productivity as well. Other things can be training videos.

You can use technology tools like Jing video.

They’re short five-minute videos.

If you’re working in different time zones, Jing is a great way to be able to get information and walkthroughs of how to do certain processes without having to chew up time, particularly if you’re on a different time zone.

The benefit of that is that everybody gets to be clear about what they need help with.

The person supporting you gets training, and everybody wins.

So these are the insights Jane had about virtual assistants and how they add to your productivity.

She is also the creator of Lead Generation Indicator, the first diagnostic tool of its kind to identify and locate missing gaps in the marketing arena.

Her Expert Influencer program has helped professional clients double their practice in under a span of 12 to 18 months.

Know more about her amazing work and powerful insights in her official website.