Virtual Assistant Leah


Is a Facebook Messenger Bot Right for Your Business?

Have you heard of these Facebook Messenger bots or seen them in action? It’s a very interesting technology that allows a brand to connect directly with their consumers to help them with a problem.

You can order a Domino’s Pizza from their bot or select a bouquet of flowers to be delivered from the 1-800-Flowers bot. Or you can look up a quick recipe on the Whole Foods bot and know which ingredients you need after work. Other big name brands that use bots include Uber, Lowe’s, Volkswagon, and Budweiser.

While you may be intimidated by these big name brands using these chatbots, don’t be. Dozens of companies offer a specialized platform that creates these bots for nominal monthly fees.

While they all have basic free accounts you can start with, if you want more robust features you’ll have to pay a monthly fee, anywhere from $10 – $99 per month. These platforms and these costs are also for do-it-yourselfers who will customize their own bots.

Each company has a support team waiting to help you and answer questions, but keep in mind this is a DIY project unless you have a larger budget to pay one of their specialists to do it for you.


Analyze If You Need a Bot

Before you sign up for a free chatbot account, determine if a chatbot is necessary for your business.

Bots primarily handle customer service and sales inquiries, so first examine how many customer service calls or emails you handle.

Do you receive multiple calls a day or just once or twice a month? Do you get other calls or inquiries that are not customer service or sales related? You can probably create a bot to handle those calls.

Can you afford a monthly fee? Again, you can start for free with most of these companies however you’ll have access to fewer features and some companies place a watermark on the messages associated with a free account.

So, what features do you really need and how professional will it look to clients or prospects to have another company’s watermark on your chatbot? It appears that each of these companies have tiered pricing and allow you to upgrade as you need it.

Do you have the time to create these conversations? You’ll have to play mind reader a bit to anticipate what questions your prospects will ask and you’ll want to craft a warm welcome message.

All this takes time unless you hire a ghostwriter to do it for you. Writing will also take you away from your coaching and marketing tasks so you’ll need to determine if writing your bot conversations is the best use of your time.

Can you see the value in having a bot or is this “bright shiny object syndrome?” In other words, are you drawn to purchasing products or trainings because it’s the latest and greatest thing or because it will add value to your business? Investing in a bot – no matter how big or small the price tag – is only worthwhile if it gets used.

Almost Like Email Marketing

I find having a Facebook Messenger bot similar to email marketing. You will be building a list of subscribers and you will need to build a relationship with them. Send them different types of messages, not just promotional ones. 

You can’t keep promoting and trying to sell to them or they will unsubscribe and may even consider you a spam bot. This may even get your account into trouble and possibly have your account blocked for a period of time or banned.

And like with email marketing you want to build interest and a relationship with your subscribers. 

For example, have a welcome sequence that can go over into a week. The first message is welcoming them and giving them access to a free downloadable as you would for a opt-in on your website. The next message can be two days later that offers a tip or motivational message. The next or final message that is sent in another two or three days can be another tip, resource, or something about you. 

Another message that can be sent weekly is a conversational one or ask your subscribers a question.


Do you use messenger bots for your business or website?

Work At Home Mini-series

This is a mini series that I will be publishing in seperate peices in my FB group that you can join here 🙂 
Welcome to the online business world 🙂
It’s always a good idea to have more than one source of income, and there are many ways to make a source of income or just extra money from home. 
But to succeed you need to:
  • know which is true or false
  • which ones are scams
  • know if you want or need a website
  • benefits of having a blog
  • continue learning new things
  • business and Internet jargon
  • invest time, energy, and money
  • what tools and resources to use
  • online etiquette
  • legalities when making money online
  • strengthening and or changing your mindset
  • avoid or overcome burnout
  • be patient and not give up
Sometimes you will see that some people succeeded in a short time span, but that is not always the case for everyone. It can sometimes take months or even over a year before you earn any money from your efforts. 
You can do this the fast way, but it’s expensive, and I mean hundreds or thousands of dollars. The other way may be a little slower, but it’s totally okay to go at your own pace because it’s not a race. 
Everyone started at different times and with or no resources. I started with a really small budget and everything was pretty much self-taught and I didn’t earn any money until about a year and a half in my online business journey.
I learned a lot and and have a few binders of my research
(insert image of binders)
And I’m going to share my knowledge and help others who want to make extra money from home. 
We all want extra money for various reasons, I wanted extra money because when I started this journey, I was unemployed and had little money to spend with. I wanted more money not just for my needs but for my wants, like video gaming and traveling. 
If there is something you want to know, post in the group 🙂 I will answer to the best of my ability or show you where you can learn more about the topic if I myself am unfamiliar with it. 
What’s true and what’s false?
You know that saying “if it’s to good to be true it probably is”? Remember it when something does look too good, like “earn hundreds of dollars doing nothing” or “earn a full time income (insert something supposedly easy)”, because it’s usually a scam or the pay is very low like a few cents an hour. Seriously, I’ve tried a few just to test them out, it was time-consuming and I didn’t even make a dollar in an hour. 
Or it turns out to be a poor multi-level marketing (aka mlm) tactic where they trick you into signing up through their referral link to something. I quickly spotted some of them when I clicked on them and it led me to a survey site or something. 
You may even get spam emails from others or sob stories to get you to give that person money or do something for them like linking back to their website to improve their SEO (search engine optimization). Somehow they find your email address or phone number and try to spam you. When that happens you can block or report them.
Speaking of spam, their are spam bots too. Their sentences seem off or copied and pasted over and over. Do not click on their links, it’s usually a virus of some kind. Some of them might actually be hackers and have hacked into someone’s account or trying to impersonate them. If this happens to a family or friend of yours, it’s a good idea to notify them that someone hacked into their account or created an account of them and trying to impersonate them. When it happens to another person that you know is not the real person, you can block them and send a warning about them to others.
Be careful when you click on links left by others, it can lead to a computer virus or malware. Checking the URL sometimes helps, especially when it has https:// in the beginning.
Do some research before you invest into something that you never seen or heard of before. Some websites that can help with this is Survey Police, Glassdoor, blogs that you know and trust, or other Facebook (aka FB) groups about working from home or blogging.
When you are earning money online, you are going to be doing a lot of research, it can get overwhelming and you can get what is called “shiny object syndrome” where you want everything. Everything looks like a good price or might help you down the road and you just have to check it out.
Just take one step at a time, list your goals and create step by step tasks to accomplish them.
If you have any questions, post them down below. Thanks for reading and have a great day 🙂 
Which ones are scams?
There are a lot of scams in the online world and through telephone. Some of them even sound like threats to scare you into cooperating with the scammers. 
It’s difficult to know which ones are scams because they seem or look legitimate. 
Reading a tool or resources terms of service or other policy on their website (even though they are incredibly boring) it’s important to read them and you will find that some of them will not phone call you or email you for more information. 
For example, you might get an email from a tool you use but it’s not actually from them and they’re asking for more personal information like credit card numbers or log in info. Look at the email info of where it’s coming from, if it has a hotmail, yahoo, or other email address, it’s definitely a scam.
Another real example is someone calling to tell you that you won something or that your computer is full of viruses. I got a call once that my computer was full of viruses or something and that I needed the caller’s help. I’m not a professional about computers but I do know that my computer is working well and that I shouldn’t be a target for hackers because I’m not that popular lol. 
If someone calls you and says you won something though, think back or check if or when did you enter a contest or giveaway of some sort. If you did, than congrats! If you didn’t, then hang up, block, or just plain ignore them. Just make sure that you research and not fall for these scams.
Hackers seem to target those that are more popular in the online world. 
And if you are a Virtual Assistant (aka VA) like me or a freelancer, you see opportunities to work with potential clients. Some of these potential clients have little info on their profile or ask you to do something shady. Other VA’s and freelancers sometimes screenshot these and warn others about these potential scammers. If you are unsure about someone, it’s best to ask others you trust or in a VA group.
Have you seen or fallen for a scam? Share them in the comments below, help others avoid scams or potential scammers.
Do you need a website?
It is possible to build a business without a website and succeed with social media. But if you do want a website there will be a bit of a learning cure if you do it yourself (DIY) and maintain it. It will involve the things listed below:
  • Will you be going the free or paid route?
  • If going the paid route, what kind of website do you want? The more popular ones are WordPress (aka WP) and Squarespace.
  • There’s choosing which hosting to go with (I like to think of it as paying rent on the Internet).
  • theme (the appearance of your website) 
  • plugins (if you go with WordPress)
  • keeping things updated (theme and plugins)
  • security to prevent hacking
  • backup files of your work, you will want a copy in case you accidentally delete everything.
Having a your own websites has many benefits as well:
  • It shows that your serious about your business goals.
  • It gives a feel of professionalism.
  • You can sell physical or digital products on there.
  • You can offer your services on there.
  • Create a membership site.
  • You’re own rules.
  • Use it as a portfolio to showcase your work.
  • To blog on.
  • Use it to build multiple sources of income (like blogging and affiliate marketing)
So, do you need a website? Well that’s entirely up to you. But do know that with the free route, there will be more restrictions to design, monetization opportunities, and ads that you have little control over. With the paid route it doesn’t have to be super expensive, I’ve invested roughly $200 on my website.
Have any tips or advice I might of missed, leave them in the comments down below 🙂 
Starting a blog? Here’s what you need to know about blogging
There are several benefits of having a blog and you can even earn a full time income from it. It’s not a get rich quick scheme though, it takes a lot of  work in the beginning.
You will be setting up a website and learning about:
  • hosting
  • theme
  • plugins
  • Google Analytics
  • blogging legalities
  • where to find stock photos
  • marketing
Then there are the blog posts themselves, what will you be writing about? Do you like writing (I have a love and hate relationship with it)?
When you’re finished writing you will need to proofread it and make sure all the links (if you added any) work well. Grammarly makes it much easier to spot any spelling and grammar mistakes. There is a free and paid version of it. 
I’m not going to go into much more about blogging though, there are hundreds of tips, tutorials, and resources about it online that can better explain it than me. 
You can find them in a resource list that I will be creating soon for this group. 
If there is anything I missed here or want to know more about, let me know 🙂
Continuing to learn new things
Things and information that involve technology or the online world change and can become old quickly, It’s difficult to keep up on everything and you can get shiny object syndrome (where you want and hoard everything). You start to feel overwhelmed and procrastinate. 
Just remember, everyone started their online business journey at different times and in different circumstances. It’s not a race where you feel like you need to keep catching up. Go at your own pace, take things one at a time and step by step. 
Keep a journal to help keep track of your goals, it also helps to look back at your accomplishments, even if they seem small, celebrate them 🙂
You can learn almost whatever you want, and I think it’s a good idea to learn a little about:
  • how to run a business
  • website development (WordPress)
  • design for websites and social media graphics
  • social media do’s and don’ts to keep your account from being suspended
  • how to use a certain tool like Tailwind
  • strengthening your mindset (sometimes we all experience imposter syndrome)
You can learn about them on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) websites that have free courses on almost anything. Although they are free, their certificates are not. If you want a certificate of completion to have proof that you completed the course and add it to your portfolio or resume, that is something that you will have to pay for.
You can learn from other bloggers and entrepreneurs from their content on their website, social media, ebooks, courses, and programs. Some are free and others are not. The ones that are not free can be at an affordable price (under $20) or quite expensive (hundreds or thousands). You may even find some in affordable bundles like the ones at Ultimate Bundles. I also found great deals in newsletters I’m subscribed to.
What else do you think others that are starting their online business journey should be aware of or learn more about?
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