Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Expect a Bright New Year Ahead

As the year ends, we can only look back at the things that occurred and hope to improve everything as we go and start another year.

Looking back, we can only say thank you to everyone who has allowed us at Cybersages Online Solutions to make a difference in their lives.

It really takes more than just passion for the work.  Your continued support and trust to us is what keeps us going and striving to improve ourselves.  We value your continued patronage and do hope that we'd have a chance to serve you more.

Here's just a few more things to expect with us this coming year.

  • A BIGGER AND BETTER CYBERSAGES FAMILY -We've just grown bigger with more qualified and competent Virtual Assistants to help you with your ever growing needs.
  • MORE AFFORDABLE SOLUTIONS - Get more for your money's worth.  It's like getting two VA's at the price of one.  Imagine how it feels like having someone handy to ask from any time you're in need.  Pay only for tasks done... Talking to us is FREE!

With Cybersages Online Solutions you're not just a client but a valued friend as well.  

So... still feeling low?

Be pampered by someone who isn't just there to get paid...  

At Cybersages... we CARE!!!


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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Virtual Assistants: Jack of All Traits

I've been involved in the field of virtual assistance for quite a while and it has truly proven to have brought out the best in me.

Why do I say that?

A lot of times I am either a secretary, personal assistant, bookkeeper, web designer, copywriter, blog writer, appointment setter, call handler, project manager and all other things that may come along.

I've had a brush of almost everything, ranging from the most ridiculous to the most mind boggling side of virtual solutions so to speak.

Of course I always tell my clients what I can and cannot do.  It's only a matter of them being aggressive enough to want to let me try odd things out for them.

Why do I click on this craft?

I believe it's always on the way we deal with clients... letting them know that we're in this not just for the money we make out of it.  But for the values that we get to learn from it.  I level with them making them feel they're important to me and letting them know that I have that much passion for this craft - enough to make them feel at home.

Looking back, I graduated at a time where computers are just beginning to come out into the open.  Who would ever think that I'd land on something like this?

I enjoy interacting and getting to feel that they are satisfied with what I do for them.  Surely any virtual assistant feels the same way.  

I may not be a total master of anything... but to be able to say that I know a little bit of almost everything is good enough for me.

One should enjoy what they're doing enough to last on this trade.  So keep your heads up high... we're not "just" virtual assistants... we "are" virtual solutions...

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Should you lose your identity by being a Virtual Assistant?

I went to the mall today and had the chance to sit beside two strangers at a coffee shop.

I didn't need to ask them where they were working because by simply looking at them, I could very well identify them to be working with a call center here in the Philippines.

Our country has slowly followed India's footsteps when it comes to providing virtual assistance services. Everywhere you look, you'd find call centers springing up like mushrooms.

Not that I do not like the idea of being able to generate more jobs for my fellow Filipinos. I provide the same services myself. I just felt a bit sad while I was sort of eavesdropping on their conversation. Not only did they dress like foreigners... (Kind of weird considering that our climate did not support the kind of wardrobe they wore... no offense)... but they were talking like people not from our land.

Should it really be like that? Is it a sacrifice that we all have to make simply because we are employed by foreign counterparts?

I know I'm a bit new to this business and I still have a long way to go. But I've always made it a point to try and keep my orientation. Being a virtual assistant is just like any other job that I would perform locally. It is really a plus if you are able to flaunt to others that you are earning considerably with this trade but to actually lose yourself and think that you are American or European was simply too much for me to bear.

I am Filipino... and a very proud one at that. I believe that with all my dealings with my clients, I've managed (in my own special way) to prove that we could level with them. Be sincere enough and show them that we're not merely paid labor but that virtual friendships can and may exist amongst us.

Why do we need to hide our origins if we can speak and understand the same language. It's more on the comprehension of words spoken, is it not? Would it be a negative point deducted to foreign employers if ever clients find out they're outsourcing?

I'm very thankful for the opportunity that is being bestowed on me and my group. We may be referred to by some as "thick accented VPA's" but we always try to prove that we're really worth each penny spent on us. It is a good thing that part of our role playing doesn't involve mimicking... or pretending to be someone we're not.

Now tell me... should we or should we not be like this?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ghostwriting and Client Satisfaction

One of the hardest things to do in order to get yourself heard is putting your thoughts into words. You must have the right tone and just enough kick into your piece in order for you to be able to grab that audience you intend to capture.

It is never easy to create that "start with a spark" so to speak. So much harder when you're writing in a different pen name.

So you'd ask yourself... is it really possible to put oneself into somebody else's shoes?

Being a ghostwriter is not that easy especially if you don't have a feel of the person you're writing for. I've come across several virtual friends who sought my assistance in this regard and it was a truly difficult but rewarding experience for me.

The first issue that comes in between is gender. What if I'm writing for a male? What about culture and language barriers? Communication plays a big role in all this. A few chat conversations and discussions on trivial things could well get things rolling.

An effective ghostwriter should also be sensitive enough to the character of the person he or she is writing for. One wouldn't want to blow away his cover just because he failed to sound natural enough for his client.

Of course it always feels better if you were writing for your own. Nobody would know you better than yourself. But in the absence of time to do it... being able to get the right kind of ghostwriting services would truly help loosen the pace and allow you to do other things.

At Cybersages we are able to break this barrier by creating a friendly relationship with our clients and thinking of endless possibilities that our clients might find or see something. We believe that in doing this, we have a better chance of getting in sync with our clients minds and in the end deliver excellent results.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

How to find the right Virtual Assistant?

Have a lot of things to do but don’t know where to start?

Finally, just as a friend of yours gave you an idea on how to cope, you go to your computer and try to make a search for a virtual assistant… what do you get? I know… a search result generating about a hundred pages of companies that offer the kind of services that you need.

So, where do you go from here?

Most of the time, people back off from the idea of outsourcing because of the fear that they’re about to lose more than they’d be gaining. It’s really a gamble especially when you’re a beginner or a first-timer as we all call it.

You should never be ashamed to ask your peers or people you know before venturing into this kind of work space. If you’re the type who is used to working alone, having someone to work alongside you could prove to be quite difficult for starters. A referral could possibly land you on a good deal as they have already experienced services from that virtual company.

If you’re the type who likes to find things for yourself, you can go on and inquire with those companies that you see online.

Here are some tips that could be helpful with your search:

  • Don’t be fooled by long and extensive CV’s. You are looking for people whom you want to outsource work to. Though extensive CV’s are a plus, it would help if you’d be able to scrutinize the person for what he could offer. It’s fairly easy to put up anything on one’s resume just to make it look appealing.
  • Get a feel of the person you’re talking to. The only way you can tell if you’re talking to someone real is through conversation. You could easily assess the capability of the person with the way he or she writes. When you’re impressed by his or her writing, you might want to talk to them over the phone to find out more. Their bearing should be able to jive well with the CV that they’re presenting.
  • Stay on top of things. You might be looking to outsource but this doesn’t mean that you’re asking them a favor to help you. Virtual Outsourcing is really a two way relationship. While you are at their mercy because you’ve given them tasks that are really important for you, you should, in turn, be treated how you are placed within that bargain. You are the boss and you have the right to demand.
  • Looking at the Long Term Side of Things. Your virtual assistant should be able to understand the concept at which you are outsourcing work. Though they are not really employed by you, each relationship should be looked upon as a long term one. Why keep you for a week if I could keep you for a month and on and on? You should be able to feel that your virtual assistant sincerely cares and values the work you provide.
  • Affordability and Quality Combined. Who would want to turn their backs to those companies who already have a name? Of course, it’s everyone’s dream… These skills are learnable and if you’re one who really couldn’t afford their costs at the moment, you could find a lot of virtual companies out there who could accommodate you for what you can afford. Beware however. There’s a low end and there’s a high end on everything. You may want to stay somewhere around the middle for reassurance.
  • Flexibility to your need. They’re all offering the same thing. “Quality and On-Time Service” and keeps on saying that their package rates are affordable. The virtual assistance company you choose should be able to flex their package plan to fit your need. Payment terms, payment modes should be well accessible and within your terms as “you” are the client… and you get to have the last say.

It’s really a big risk to go and outsource. You may be wondering how others get to enjoy. If you’re one who would like to try it out, these are just tips that you could use in the process.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Quality and Affordability: Key Points of a Cybersages VA

The culture of virtual assistance is no longer confined to a few and selected number of places in the world. It's really funny how the Philippines could fall back on such a race considering that it is considered to be one of the best English speaking places in Asia and yet we are among the late bloomers in the industry.

Some would often call us thick accented or perhaps inferior in terms of skills gained. But it doesn't mean we cannot catch up to par.

One thing about Filipino virtual assistants is that we take pride of what we do. Earning a living is hard and being given a chance to prove our worth and show how competitive enough is a blessing to begin with.

Are we competitive? At Cybersages, we're not just newcomers in the field. We are experienced secretaries, receptionists, writers and all sorts of trades. We are not newcomers or fresh graduates seeking for learning grounds so you are assured that you are not being practiced upon.

It's easy to create a company but one would always have to consider the lifespan of that project that he pours his efforts on. Cybersages on the other hand goes by name and quality and prefers to broaden the reaches of its market through referrals gained from satisfied clients.

It sure is nice to have a client stay with you not because he has nowhere else to go but because you've earned his trust enough for him to keep on subscribing with you. One should learn to create a relationship that is not totally based on money but rather gained through respect. You keep clients satisfied that way.

There really is no need to pretend to know something that is totally new to you. Being honest and vocal enough to admit your shortcoming could, most of the time, prevent unnecessary arguments that come along the way.

That is why we always stress on these words: "Tell us what you want, how you want it and when you want it... and we'll get back to you with the best solution possible."

It should always be a harmonious relationship between client and the VPA (Virtual Personal Assistant)... a relationship that is based on trust and integrity.

Seldom would you find people who would be willing enough to take that risk on someone who's halfway across the globe. And more often than not, there will always be one who would prove true to their word.

The reason why these people, companies prefer to outsource is because they want to maximize the value of their money versus the performance or production. Virtual Assistance has, lately, become cost driven to the point where costs are dropped just to book a client.

It would be unwise to go so low... and very illogical to take the most expensive bid as one would like to save and at the same time earn. Keep costs right with the assurance of quality service tends to make lasting relationships rather than those who drop prices. Where is the pride in it? Where is the value of the trade? It would take the same amount of energy and effort to fulfill the job. The only difference that one would see is the passion and dedication that is put into one's work.

We may all be the same... or we may be viewed inferior among the pack of virtual assistants all over the internet. We can never dispute that as every one is entitled to his or her own opinions regarding things. One reality however that can never be denied is that we offer a more passionate approach to virtual assistance.

We may be called "Thick accented VPAs" but we deliver what is needed and makes our client feel the warmth and care of any concerned employee - even on a virtual side of things.

It takes quality and affordability... which is usually somewhere around the middle. Just like the saying goes, "Not to hard, not to soft... but somewhere in between." That is what Cybersages is all about.

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Cybersages: A Passion to Perfect a Craft

Online solutions companies have been springing here and there for what seems like decades offering different kinds of skills and specialties... surely for first time outsourcers and interested ones it would really be difficult to choose.

Cybersages Online Solutions is not what we would call a typical virtual assistance company. Of course the service offering would be the same: virtual assistance, web hosting, web design, personal assistants, data entry, SEO, copywriting, blog writing, ghost writing - simply anything that you can come up and doable online.

Why we're not typical?
  • We don't boast to be the best... Rather, we allow you to find out for yourself. It's really very easy to say we're professionals. With degrees of this and that. More often than not, you would come across one or two who are claiming to be something they're not? In the end, you feel robbed for money not well spent. We provide our clients with personal portfolios of our virtual assistants and allows them to choose which one matches their specific requirement. I'm one who's not particularly impressed with the vast credentials presented to me and would rather vouch of what I know the VA could do. It's really very easy to put in things that are more of fiction rather than fact.

  • It's not the amount of hours spent. Instead, we're more focused on the quality.We have clients who are subscribed to monthly plans but still get accommodated even after the subscribed hours. Allowing each client to find a package that would best work for them is our ultimate goal and we simply aim to have our craft and accommodation speak for itself. Nobody's too special... Everyone is.

  • We are not big... But our experience can speak for ourselves. We are only a group - not a big company at that. Virtual Assistants are trained on a one to one basis to ensure that clients get quality results.

  • Flexible and transparent... which is what the concept of Virtual Assistance really is. Clients are always kept abreast of what the actual work progress is. No qualms, no hidden agenda. The last thing we ever want to have is a dissatisfied client. We create online friendship aside from the online assistance that we provide.

  • You actually get two at the price of one. Each virtual assistant is supervised by a team leader who sees to it that there is continuity of service when the client needs it the most. You can drop in extra tasks, reminders or requests without ever having to feel that you're going to be charged extra for it.

You might be wondering why?

It's more of the passion that we have in doing these tasks that keeps us going rather than the earnings that we are able to derive from it. Our concept of virtual assistance is more of a desire to bridge the gap between the boss and his need. Time can never be pegged a price. Knowing that we are able to respond in the right way and at the right moment is rewarding enough.

You can look on and see different advertisements of how people can help. If you want to see something new, I invite you to visit our site at http://www.cybersages.org and find out for yourself how you could maximize your money to its limits.

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