Time on Task Virtual Assistant Services
A seed which took root less than a year ago is starting to virtually blossom as Kathy Colaiacovo, owner of Time on Task Virtual Assistant Services, shares her social media expertise with clients in Canada and the United States.
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia-based Time on Task helps its clients understand the innovative worlds of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media channels and works on their behalf to identify potential ties.
“I go online and find them the connections,” Colaiacovo says. “Then my clients spend their time participating in conversations so their personality is getting out there. Basically, what it comes down to is by joining in these conversations people get to know you, people get to trust you, and people do business with people they know and trust.”
Take, for example, her Twitter work on behalf of an online trainer. “I was looking through her followings trying to find people in her target market …Somebody that we followed who would be interested in her topic sent a reply to her online to the effect of, ‘I love your topic. Would you be interested in coming on my radio show?’ I sent my client an e-mail and said, ‘You need to answer this immediately.’”
Colaiacovo, who recently completed VAClassroom.com’s social media marketing specialist training, will lead a seminar on Twitter through VAnetworking.com this summer.
Colaiacovo says many of her clients engaged with social media have businesses which are also virtual. “Those are perfect types of businesses to use social marketing as a support to other marketing tools….Social marketing allows them to get out there and actually connect with other potential clients, customers, joint-venture partners.”
Donna Toothaker is CEO of 1st VA in Massachusetts. Her business offers business owners from around the globe online marketing support, consulting and services to help them establish an effective online presence.
Toothaker received a referral to Colaiacovo, and they have formed a working relationship. She says there is currently a waiting list among her clients for Time on Task’s social media services. “Her company is sort of an extension of ours now,” Toothaker says. “Our clients are used to excellent customer service and our commitment to meeting their deadlines. Kathy fits right in.”
Networking is key for social media and for business growth. It’s one of the skills Colaiacovo developed as a participant in Service Canada’s Self-Employment Benefits Program delivered in the Halifax area through the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED).
Colaiacovo will have the opportunity to do plenty of networking in June when she attends the Forum on Virtual Assistance in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The gathering, which attracts international participants, is a chance for “VAs to get to meet and connect and learn and share,” she says. “I’m very excited to meet all these people that I’ve been networking with, talking to and working for online.”
In addition to social media expertise, Time on Task offers administrative support in a variety of areas including office work, desktop publishing, website development and event planning. Colaiacovo honed these and other skills through 15 years in the banking industry and six years as a community and school volunteer.
“The biggest benefit that most people see from virtual assistants is that you don’t have to provide any office space or office equipment so it cuts down a lot on your overhead,” she says. “The majority of virtual assistants use a time-tracking program. My business name is Time on Task, because I like to say every minute I work for the client is actual time spent directly on their task.” When her hours become filled, Colaiacovo hopes to eventually subcontract work to other virtual assistants.
Her work offers her flexibility both in terms of scheduling – she values the fact she’s there when her school-age children come home – and in terms of where she operates Time on Task. She is glad to be connected to the world from Nova Scotia. “Nova Scotia’s my home. I have moved all over Canada, but I consider myself a Nova Scotian,” Colaiacovo says.
“What I really like about Nova Scotia and being in Dartmouth-Halifax in particular is you’ve got everything you need in a big, big city, but you don’t have what I would call the headaches of being in a big city,” she says. “We have the theatre, we have concerts, we have hockey, we have basketball, we have all the minor sports that we need for my kids.”
She adds, “And the people around here are great. Everybody appreciates everybody.”
Feature story written by Marie Weeren