Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

NZVAs

New Member
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Kimberly LeRiche
JK Virtual Office Resources


Currently enjoying life in a country suburb property outside of Portland, Kimberly lives with her son Max, and husband Jeff and dog Mary. Her company, JK Virtual Office Resources specializes in Social Media Marketing, Internet Marketing and Research, including Web Research, Survey Design and Data Collection.

Kimberly is 100% Pacific Northwestern - having been born in Washington, graduated high school in SE Alaska, and have lived in Oregon for the past 20 years. Kimberly majored in English and was also fortunate enough to travel with a group from college to South America where she spent six months living and travelling throughout Argentina and Chile. Prior to starting her own business Kimberly had a professional background as a Research Analyst.


What values do you and your inspiration share that contributes most to your success?
My husband and my son inspire me daily to be successful and to be the best person I can be. But I'd also have to say that my mom inspires me quite a bit. She would probably be surprised to hear that but often I find that much of the core of who I am and which contributes to my success comes from growing up with a mom who believed in being strong and confident.

While she may not have realized it, she helped me believe that I was able to do anything that I set my mind to and to have the confidence to go my own way and create my own adventures. Life often hasn't been easy for my mom and we have our differences for sure, but the one thing I can say is that she has never given up despite what has come her way. And I know it contributes to my overall success by believing that giving up just isn't an option.


What was it that made you decide to get into social media and virtual assistance?
I decided to go become a Virtual Assistant because I felt I had a skill set that would be marketable to small business owners and solo entrepreneurs. I also wanted the flexibility of being my own boss and working from home. I was tired of commuting almost an hour to work and then an hour home again.

I was ready for a complete professional change. I had been at my job for almost 12 years and knew there was something more out there for me that didn't involve spending a good portion of my life in a cubicle. I really enjoyed using social media to network and build relationships for my own business and I realized that there was going to be a need for social media assistance.


What do you most enjoy about the social media niche?
I enjoy that there are so many different ways you can use social media effectively. Social media is really about engagement and I think that this is a natural fit for someone who works virtually because you have to create ways to be engaged either online, in your marketing or with your clients.

Could you offer some ideas for other VAs on how to decide whether social marketing/networking could be right for them?If you enjoy using the different social media/networking platforms for yourself, then it might be a good fit for offering those services to your clients. Personally, I enjoy doing the research about how a specific platform can and is being used by others. When I look at the fan pages for other business, I take note of what is it that they are doing with that page that makes it engaging. Understand what works and what doesn't. I watch how some people use their Twitter account and think about whether their approach is appealing to me as a follower and as a professional business person. Is it an approach that I'd recommend to a client? A

lso, you need to be comfortable with coming up a specific strategy for each client in relation to their goals, outcomes and where they are currently with social media. There is no one size fits all approach to social media so you need to be able to think outside the box or to be creative about different social media approaches.


For those new to the social media scene, and the multitude of tools available online, where should they start?
It really depends on what your goals are and which medium you are comfortable working in. Twitter isn't for everyone and it is OK to not want to participate there. Yep, I said it, you do not need to feel guilty about not using Twitter. Twitter only works for you if you "get" it or if you enjoy using it. If it is a chore for you then do not spend your precious marketing time there. However, Twitter is an easy one to get started with and it's FREE so there's very little investment up front to check it out and see if it might be a good marketing avenue for you.

There are numerous guides or blogs out there that will help you figure out the most basics of using Twitter. Facebook is another good one to become familiar with to use for business and for marketing. However, it does not have an intuitive user interface so it can be difficult for some people to feel comfortable finding their way around there.

Also, so many people are more familiar with using it just for personal business so the switch to using it for professional business can be a confusing one. As with any social networking platform that you want to use for building business connections, it's important to understand how that platform works and to have a strategy for how you will use it. Forums such as this one also have huge benefits. You not only get to learn and network with your peers but they are also a good way to showcase your own knowledge and to be seen and heard.

LinkedIn or other professional business networks have some really good value for networking. And don't forget the importance of blogging. People often forget that blogging is also considered an integral part of social media. If you love writing and creating discussions, then blogging is for you. If you hate writing, then move on to something else.

One of the most important things to keep in mind about participating in social media is that you need to be comfortable with being you and with making connections with people. This doesn't mean you need to be a social butterfly but be confident in your ability to present yourself as a skilled professional business owner- just as you would with anyone you are networking with offline.



What can you tell us is most important about getting value out of our blogging efforts?
This really varies in that some people find enjoyment and value in having a platform to write about different topics or areas of expertise and others really see it as more of a chore or as something that considered a necessary evil of having an online presence. It's true, there are a great many benefits to having and updating a blog on a consistent basis in terms of your search engine visibility and for marketing your business.

A blog is almost as essential as having as website when it comes to getting the biggest bang for your buck in your online visibility.

But blogging, just like any other platform, isn't for everyone. If you know you are not going to use a blog consistently or in a way that creates value, then don't do it. A blog is a really good way to showcase your talents, your knowledge and your personality. This is another place in addition to your website where you can create a connection with your clients or potential clients.


How often do you recommend posting if social media isn’t our core business or top skill ... and what is the bare minimum we could do without not doing enough?
To really effectively create your presence online and to maintain your visibility with your target audience, you should try to spend at least an hour or two a day working on social media. But it all really depends. The results of one's social media efforts are going to be directly correlated to the time and effort you put into it. It also requires planning and distributing quality content that will be of interest or will be engaging to your audience, friends or fans.

There are definitely systems that one can set up to help maximize your social media impact and help reduce the amount of time working in social media. But if you cannot put at least an hour or two each week into one or two platforms consistently, then perhaps either find a medium that really appeals to you or you concentrate your efforts on face to face networking or another avenue of marketing. However, as "virtual" assistants, clients are going to expect you to have an online presence. Small business owners and entrepreneurs are increasingly going to be doing their research about partnering with a VA online and if you're not there, they won't find you.


Is there such a thing as over-posting? What risks are VAs likely to have by posting too much or too little?
I believe anyone can be vulnerable to over-posting or over-exposure as well as under-exposure. But I think the bigger risk comes from posting inappropriate content or from not understanding the "social" expectations for how to participate. There are any number of example where people have posted something online that has come back to bite them in a big way. If you set up a Twitter account and you blast 50 times a day that you are a Virtual Assistant and someone should hire you or every single tweet includes a link to your website, then mostly likely you find yourself being avoided more than being contacted about opportunities.

Virtual Assistance is still an emerging industry that continues to grow quickly, but there is still quite a bit of education that needs to be done with potential clients. My personal belief is that I am not only representing myself when I'm online but I'm representing the entire industry and I make it a part of my job to contribute to a positive image of Virtual Assistants. There are no hard and fast rules to using social media (at least in my book- and I'm not a big fan of lots of rules anyway), but really it just comes down to common sense. Even though it's easy to write a 140 character tweet, stop and think just a bit before you hit the submit button.

The flip side is that being a wallflower in social media isn't going to be of much help to you either. Get a feel for how a platform works and then jump in.


There are many providers out there claiming to be able to provide ‘certification’ in social media. For those of us interested in refining our social media skills, are there any particular training courses you would recommend?
Personally, I don't place too much stock on being "certified" in social media. However, that isn't to say that there are not courses out there where you can gain valuable knowledge about how to use social media or how to use social media for marketing. There is no industry standard or quality standard since by definition social media and web 2.0 is all about user generated content. But it's the type and quality of the content that's generated which will yield either desirable or not desirable results.

There are some really knowledgeable people out there who share so much about how to use social media and if you just put in the time and effort, you can essentially learn anything you want for free and on your own time. I also think it's important to have direct experience using social media and have a solid online presence before you present yourself as being certified to offer these services.



What recommendations would you have for branding when it comes to social media activities?
I think it is important to brand yourself and your business consistently anywhere you are presenting yourself online. I have made it a point to make my branding consistent from my website, to my social networks, to how I present myself with my contacts. Choose something that works for you.

Early on, I chose to have red in all of my branding since Red is a power color to me. It projects confidence and that's what I wanted. It's also important to choose your profile/usernames consistently across networks so that if someone finds you on network and sees that same name on another network, then you created a branded impression.

You gain familiarity and recognition. It's also a good idea to take stock every now and then of what you have posted online and where. Keep it current and as fresh as you can- even if you are working on re-inventing yourself. I didn't always start out with the Rock Star thing...I sort of moved into and it's worked for me.


What is the one social media tool you couldn’t live without?
Right now it's Twitter and Facebook. Tomorrow? Who knows.

What would you give a million dollars to know now that you didn’t know before?
That working for yourself can improve your quality of life exponentially. When the sole responsibility lies with you to make it a success, then you find a way to make it happen.
 
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

What a great interview and nice surprise to come back to after being away from the forum for a few days! Thank you, Kimberly, for sharing your insight and expertise on all things social media. :)

Most favorite quote of the interview and one in which I agree with 100 times over:

"That working for yourself can improve your quality of life exponentially"
 
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

That is a wonderful quote! Also, I believe that there is greater financial security in being self-employed. Corporate America is no longer the haven it used to be.

I love all of these interviews. I learn so much from them!

Thank you...
 
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

Thank you Kimberly. What a timely interview and I learned so much -- mostly you don't have to participate in a medium if you are not comfortable there.

Thank you again.
 

virtual writing

New Member
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

Kimberly - I just love your confidence and generosity! Enjoyed reading this, and wish you continued success.
 

LeeDrozak

Community Leader
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

Great interview Kimberly, I love your straight forward advice and always look forward the snippets of information that you share with everyone. You certainly are a Rock Star.
 

CMColeman

New Member
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

This was defnitely a great read for me, thank-you! Kimberley, you're one of the people on Twitter that I model myself after for my own tweeting... it's great to learn more about your background and thoughts on social media.
 

CMColeman

New Member
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

Oh my gosh, Kimberly sorry. I defaulted to "my" way of spelling and didn't check properly before submitting. :eek:
 
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

Loved your interview Kim! (and I enjoy our quick catch-ups on Twitter) Congrats on your much deserved business success and I'll tweet ya later!
 

JKVirtualOffice

New Member
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

Thanks to everyone! I'm out on vacation this week, but caught a quick moment to jump on the internet and of course, just had to check in on the forums. I'd actually forgotten that this would be posted while I was gone. Glad so you all found it an interesting read!
 

Tess

Administrator
Staff member
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

Hi Kimberly, what a great read! I really appreciated your honesty and candor regarding social media and blogging, etc. I've always been a big proponent of the same philosophy - so many people are pressured into starting into these directions before they're really ready and it backfires. Great to see our in-house social media ROCK STAR putting all of that straight once and for all :)

Enjoy your vacation :)
 
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

Great Interview!! I loved reading the interview and have truly enjoyed getting to know you. You're such a great resource and a good example of what a Social Media VA is all about.

Wishing you all the best :heart:
 

divineva

New Member
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

Another great interview! Thank you Kimberly!
 

Essential

New Member
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

Thanks for a very insightful and comprehensive interview!

I especially admired you for saying, "My personal belief is that I am not only representing myself when I'm online but I'm representing the entire industry and I make it a part of my job to contribute to a positive image of Virtual Assistants."

Again, thank you!
 

Agnes

New Member
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

Great interview Kimberly! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on social media. Thanks for sharing.
 

Tess

Administrator
Staff member
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

Thanks for a very insightful and comprehensive interview!

I especially admired you for saying, "My personal belief is that I am not only representing myself when I'm online but I'm representing the entire industry and I make it a part of my job to contribute to a positive image of Virtual Assistants."

Again, thank you!
I agree with you - that is such a powerful and important statement.
Kimberly recently posted a thread about VAs who don't necessarily take image and ethics quite as seriously - it's a good read, and an excellent point. Check it out here: Are you an ethical VA?
 

VBSOnDemand

New Member
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

Great interview! I love hearing how my fellow colleagues (I think everyone at the VAF are my colleagues/coworkers :) ) succeed with their business. We are very lucky to have such wonderful careers.
 

virtualgina

New Member
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

great interview and I look forward to hearing more from you
 

Leilani

New Member
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

Absolutely wonderful interview Kimberly.:applause: I have often wondered about you and your business since we are neighbors! Much success to you!
 
Re: 7/2009 Interview with Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources

social media is a great tool that is only just beginning to get utilized in a meaning ful way, its great to know that you have incorporated it into your business.
 
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