You can have a Professional Email Signature!

People ask me this all the time – How do I get an Email signature that shows my social media icons and has some style to it? Maybe a splash of color, or a hyperlink, even a photo would be nice!

All of this and more is possible and for – Free! Just check out WiseStamp which gives you the ability to set up an Email signature with Gmail, AOL, Yahoo or Hotmail. They welcome these browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome!

In just moments you can create a personal and business signature. You can add color, fonts, sizing and more! It is very user friendly for adding the social media buttons for places like Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and more. As it is simply a matter of adding the url into the box and Viola it creates the icon and inserts it into your signature for you!

In addition there are settings for adding your signature automatically every time you compose a new email. I adore this feature as it makes it super easy to do and not have to worry about it! Visit WiseStamp today!!

If you are an Outlook user, please check out my friend Michelle Mangen’s data on how to add a Twitter (or other icon) to your email from Outlook.  Click here to read Michelle’s article!

And enjoy your day!!


Do You want the new Facebook Timeline? Let us Help!

Have you switched to Timeline yet on your Facebook Personal Profile? Or, are you like many others – waiting until the change is implemented automatically and you are forced to use it? Do you wish you could have this new technology in order to organize all your memories, photos, posts and life experiences, but just do not have the time to upload and get started?

Let our team help!

We will provide you these services to get you started:

  • Upload your new timeline for your personal Facebook profile
  • Create a custom cover image to showcase your business
  • Feed a hyperlink to your business Facebook Page
  • Give training to teach you how to highlight your favorite life events or parts of your new profile
  • Help you capture important business & life events on your Timeline
  • Create your memories to last forever in your Timeline

Fee: $25.00

We will customize your Facebook Timeline Cover Photo to show across the top of your personal profile with your business logo or a collage of friends and family photos! Whatever you can imagine – we can create!

Here’s an example of a few Facebook users we’ve helped –

Laura Strunk’s Timeline

Sally Stevens Timeline

and mine – Anita M Hicks’ Timeline

Begin enjoying the Facebook Timeline experience today! Or tell someone you know who may be interested!

Not sure what this new Facebook Timeline is all about? Check out this video straight from Facebook:

Contact us today via email at or 410-255-2609

Why I love Dragonflies

Many folks ask me, “What is it that makes you love dragonflies so much?” or “Why did you chose a dragonfly to accompany your logo for @Virtual Assistance by Anita? Well, there are many reasons, but one of the main ones is that I’ve always loved the grace the dragonfly has as it flies from land to water to air and never misses a beat!

When I began my business two years ago, I knew that my life was beginning a new, positive transformation. This is more than just a business, a career, or a source of income. My business is a source of joy, energy, and people who care truly about me. I am surrounded with a positive influence on every flight! I am a Dragonfly!

The power of Dragonfly lies in its ability to see around things by looking from different angles. Using its ability to transform colors and lights by reflecting and refracting them, the Dragonfly shows us that life, like light, can bend, shift, and adapt in various ways.  This makes life’s appearance never be what it appears to be.

The Dragonfly’s magic shows us to see through life’s illusions and find our true vision. It calls us to transform within our lives and reminds us to feel deeply so we will have the compassion necessary to help ourselves and others.

May 2012 help you to fly to new heights! 🙂

Facebook for Business – Pages vs Profiles

Do you own, operate or market a small business? If so, you are most likely using social media as a part of your marketing plan. While you are navigating through the multiple social media networks, remember to add a Facebook Page for your business. There are various reasons which I will discuss below why this can be an exceptional tool for your business. It is a different creature – a Facebook Page – then a personal profile at Facebook.

A Facebook profile is the one which almost everyone has and usually is in your name – Jane Doe – or in my case, Anita M Hicks. There are limitations to your personal profile and one is that you can only have 5,000 friends.  A Facebook Page created for your business may have an unlimited number people “Like” it or be a “Fan”.

As part of the Facebook experience, your personal profile – Anita M Hicks – has privacy settings that you can have only friends or friends of friends etc to view your posts. Your limitations and privacy selections mean that your Facebook content on your personal – Jane Doe – profile will never be indexed to search engines.

But, a Facebook Page is indexed to search engines! You must have a ‘username’ or ‘vanity url’.  Your Facebook Page will be indexed to the top three search engines once this criteria and 100 people that “Like” it or “Fans”. Having words like “home” indexed to search engines for a real estate agent is a valuable tool.

At your personal – John Smith – profile on Facebook, you can only add tabs that they supply Apps for and those are very limited now that they are feeding ads to the right of your profile.  A Facebook Page allows Custom Tabs for Welcome or Landing Pages, Testimonials and more!

A Facebook Page is an excellent way to connect with your customers!

A closing tidbit —

33% of Facebook users are “Fans” of brands – more than 132 million people!!

Enjoy your social media experience and get the most out of it for your business!

Facebook “Lists” – Better than Ever!

Well, how are you surviving the new enhancements to Facebook, my friends? The new changes are just about complete and beginning on October 1st, all of us with personal profiles at Facebook will now have the new “Timeline”.

As many of my Facebook friends just stopped reeling from the new changes to our News Feeds and the addition of the “Ticker”, I cannot imagine what will be posted next week as status updates!  My suggestion – just take a deep breathe and accept it! These are the new changes that Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team has been working towards for almost a year now! They are here to stay! From what I have seen on my team’s profiles, it looks fantastic!!

As the News Feeds have changed, many folks have begun to embrace Facebook Lists. A tool many social media folks have been using for quite a while now. Personally it was at Twitter that I first learned how to use “Lists” to limit what person’s content I followed. At Facebook, they are even more prominent now.

See "Lists" on Left Side of my Home Feed - Click on this Image to view Larger

“Lists” appear at your News Feed or Home on the left side (see photo – mine show “Family” and “VC”). Most of us have at least Close Friends or Family now.  Acquaintances will be automatically added for everyone to use as of October 1st!  On the left side if you hover over where the lists appear, a “More” will appear which when clicked on, opens a window to add, edit or create new lists.

Click on this Image to Enlarge

In this window you can create many lists.  I have ones for “Clients”, for my sister VAs (virtual assistants), for “Facebook Info” and even “Just for Fun”.  The lists allow you to see the folks you place in the lists data that they post only. It limits your News Feed to those people or pages you add to that list.  In addition, the “Close Friends” List sends you notifications when that person posts anything!

You can even create a list with just one person; for instance I have one for my daughter as at 13 years, I want to keep a close eye on what she is doing at Facebook.

There is a way to create a List that is titled “Most Recent” and have it feed all of those posts also.  Try working with it; playing with it and if you have any questions, please let me know how I can help!

Stay cool in this beautiful Fall weather!

Moving – A Lesson in Embracing Change

1010 Chestnut Haven Court - Our 'new' home

Moving – Just the sound of it instills an uneasy feeling in my stomach. As renters my husband and I know that this is always just 60 days away at any given time.  We sign leases knowing that with just a single sheet of paper, the person who owns our home can essentially give us 2 months to find another one.  We try not to think about this and have over the past 20 years built roots in our community. As the daughter of a Navy Mechanic and then Railroad engineer, as a child, moving was something we did often; sometimes twice in one year – ugh.  I am proud to say in the past 20 years we have only moved our children 4 times!

On July 22nd at about 4 pm our mail arrived, along with it the certified letter asking us to vacate the property by September 30th.  This is our home where we and our 3 children live, work and grow – not a property.  My first reaction was total fear and anger at our landlord – why is he doing this – we had a good relationship.  Instead of embracing this and thinking of where he might be – I began to fall apart almost immediately into what my husband calls “Eeyore mode”.

Two days of this worrying – My oldest son, Matt, is 23 and home from the Air Force for about a year now -not only with a physical injury he will carry with him for the rest of his life, but with a lack of direction in his life until recently – this move would be very hard on him as he lives with us.  My middle son, DJ, is a Senior in High School, has huge issues socializing and making friends is hard for him.  I worried more – my DJ will be devastated.  My baby girl, Hannah, 13 years old this year in 8th grade and to pull her from the roots she’s just beginning to make would hurt.  I worried about our recently purchase of a rescue kitten, after 6 years of saying “No Pets” to my kids – how would we find a rental with a cat? Now we all LOVE Shadow, a lovable black kitten. I cried, I fussed, I was upset.  Finally, the light bulb went off in my head — and my husband’s stern looks – whipped me into Action mode.  First Action:  Call in some help.

This was a tough one.  I am the first one to say yes to helping others. Giving back to my community is just a part of who I am.  I Teach the kids, if someone asks for help, then try to do all you can to help.  But, when it comes to me asking for help for me – a big knot forms in my stomach every time; no matter that these are folks who I adore and know care for me, it is difficult to ask.  But, I did.  (I admit, looking back, after I asked – I felt so much better.)

Calls for help to a much respected friend to get advice on what to do – my wonderful friend says – CALL the landlord & ask why! In doing so, I find that he is going through a life changing event and needs his home for his daughter and self.  Will give us excellent reference! Next, call my friend who has much expertise in homes and she directs me to the paths needed to proceed. It was her knowledge and guidance that opened the path to our new home.  I reached out for help to my friends who would give me personal references.  These steps of action began to make moving seem less fearful.  Maybe we would be able to do this and quickly before school started.  A little hope was seeping into my soul, as I looked at things for a solution with a positive attitude.

I am pleased to say that by August 6th we had signed a new lease.  The home is much newer, cleaner, a larger kitchen and the children have more space.  My new office for Virtual Assistance by Anita is fabulous!  I have a window!  The neighborhood is fabulous and the kids are still in the same schools! Wow! Even more important to my husband and I is that we have more hope for the future than ever before!

'Our old home'

A note:  My family & I are exhausted.  It is hard work moving; emotionally and physically.  The hours required to actually move and clean the old house; prepare it to give back to landlord, were much more than expected.  My wonderful friend, who is a Realtor, told me recently “Moving is the third largest stress in your life.” – Wow – I would certainly agree, after had just done it.  Now, my business will need a little extra help to get back on track – once again – I have asked for help!  A new young, fresh face will be added to our team to help us back onto a solid track from missing hours to move and internet service, phone service.  This young lady is an intern – more later on that!

It is my great joy to report that my clients are some of the most understanding and caring folks!  Many reached out to me – asking how they could help me! – and here, I was just worried that I might not be able to supply our usual high level of service to them.

Many thanks to all of you who reached out to help me and give my family this new, beautiful home!  We so appreciate you!

The lesson:  Once I embraced the changed, enlisted a little help and found my positive attitude, the world was good!  In the end, this change has been one with many new and better opportunities for my business and my family.  The lesson is to: Be Positive!  🙂


Life is a Rollercoaster

Okay usually when I blog it is to share something of value for social media – a tip or trick to help you.  Or I blog to share with others something positive in my life; like the community who surrounded me last year and gave me a new ‘extreme smile makeover’ but today … this is an Eeyore day.

An Eeyore day defined by me is one where I just feel like my ‘house of sticks is falling down’ – The black rain cloud is only over my head – you get the picture!

I have to say that most of the time life is just like a rollercoaster – sometimes we are climbing, working along towards the top and then we are there and then we crash down straight to an unexpected place that we didn’t necessarily prepare for ahead of time!

This is where I am – at the rushing straight downward spiral, afraid, excited and a ton of other emotions all at one time.  Something very unexpected in my life happened yesterday; it was not a minor thing either; but now I know it will be the way that I embrace it that makes all the difference.  I cannot change it; it is what it is.  Which means – find the opportunity; deal with it and stop letting the emotions carry me along. straight downward…

Life is a rollercoaster and you just never know where you are going to be!  Or it is like a box of chocolates … You all know that one…   Be well – find the opportunity – Enjoy the Ride!!

Using “Facebook as Page” Can Be Helpful!

Recently Facebook added a new feature to Facebook Pages which can be very helpful if you are the Owner or Admin of a Page you are using for business!

The Facebook Pages now show down the right side a place where it says “Use Facebook as…” and the name of your Page.  When you click on this you essentially become the Page.  To go back to your personal name/profile, just click on Account (upper right) and click where it says “Use Facebook as” and your name.

When you become the Page, you can see the recent people who have “Liked” your page or as it used be called, have become fans.  This is useful as sometimes I see the numbers going up and am not sure who was last! 🙂 And you can see notifications of comments, likes etc for your Page.  This is nice.

But what really motivated me to write about this new added feature to Facebook Pages is – Now since you are the Page, if you go visit another Page, you can comment as your business Page.  So my Page, Virtual Assistance by Anita, can then go out to another page, let’s say Village Connector and comment as the page.  You can say thank you or give some positive input.  When you post, it will leave the link to your Page.  This could be very helpful for businesses trying to establish or build relationships!

Take Action! Try it out today and let me know what you think! I love comments!  Find me on Facebook at – Virtual Assistance by Anita!

Sending out wishes to all for a smooth flight in life and social media – from my dragonflies

Branding – in social media, really?

This is just me thinking out loud again, but really – I keep hearing and reading all these articles about branding your business on social media.  Branding seems like a cold, withdrawn word.  It reminds me of branding cattle; I suppose as I grew up on farms and watching westerns.  LOL.

But, branding as a tool to use in social media seems kind of out there to me as I always look at social media as a way to build and strengthen relationships.

But, then I Googled the word branding and here is what I received in search which makes me a much happier camper!

One – Branding for social media means helping people remember your reputation, value and promises.  For instance, I promise to make your social media fly to new heights using social media by creating personalized profiles which use custom details to set your business aside from others.  I love dragonflies, so I help you fly!

Two – Branding in social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and You Tube means creating an emotional connection.  Yes, emotional connection.  Let’s think about this for a moment using a name brand we all recognize  – how about Pepsi and Coke?  I interviewed 6 people and asked which they preferred.  Which ever it was, they had an emotional connection with it.  For instance, I love Pepsi, and first drank it with my grandmom and so there it is – an emotional connection.  This is what folks need to have with your business as they will then remember you and give you referrals to others!

Three – Branding is one of your greatest assets in social media marketing.  By creating a presence in folks minds through valuable posts, interactions and frequent contact, you are obtaining an intangible and very valuable asset for your business.

Branding through social media is sort of like branding a cow, but a lot less painful with a bunch more relationship building!

Wishing everyone a most joyful and safe July 4th holiday! 🙂


Are You Advertising Your Social Media for Business?

facebookWe all have a similar goal when we use social media marketing for business – we want to connect with our potential customers and current customers.

Are you completely advertising your social media campaigns?

twitterDo you have social media icons (buttons)  for your Facebook page, Twitter, Linked In or You Tube at your website?  What about as a part of your email signature?

youtubeHave you had fliers printed or business cards lately?  Do you have the url for any of your social media on them?  Even if you have one of them with a familiar icon – you can direct them to the other social media sites by posting links cross referencing your accounts.

What about that?  Do you post content on your Facebook Page for business asking folks to follow you at Twitter and vice versus?

linkedinAre you advertising to your new clients?  When you send them a welcome email or call, ask them to join you on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.

Remember to have a comprehensive marketing plan for your business.  Have a beautiful day!