About Doris Holleufer
Doris is the Regional Director for the NE Hampshire & Surrey Borders and the Guildford & Woking Regions of The Athena Network.
The Athena Network is passionate about helping women to grow stronger, more profitable businesses and create opportunities for career success. Launched in October 2005, they are a community of inspirational leaders, corporate high-flyers, passionate entrepreneurs and influential executives dedicated to collaborating for professional success. Their focus is to provide members with specialist training, inspirational talks and expert advice in the form of meetings, events and programmes relevant to women in business.
With the move over to the virtual world in 2020, Doris was looking for some extra support in marketing and co-hosting her monthly networking meetings as they had moved from face-to-face meetings to virtual meetings via Zoom.
Firstly she needed some training in finding her way around Zoom, setting up meetings and what tasks she could delegate to a co-host so that she could focus on engaging with her members. She would then be looking for someone to be the co-host to help each meeting run smoothly, setting up breakout rooms and managing the chat box.
Doris was also looking for some support in marketing her current groups and setting up and launching new groups in the future. She was looking for someone to do some market research, creating content for promotions and supporting on social media.
How we solved the problem
Having her initial discovery call with Michelle at First Rate PA, Michelle produced a bespoke guide to using Zoom for Doris to help her find her way around the app. By finding out what support Doris needed in each meeting, Michelle went on to create a support package for each meeting based around the meeting agenda. Doris was then designated her own VA to support her with each of her monthly networking meetings.
Her VA also undertook market research for a new networking group that was going to be launched online. Researching local businesses to the target area, her VA also helps to research online and social media opportunities for promotion. Being given access to the groups social media accounts, her VA created social content and images to be scheduled across the platforms.
Providing support to Doris during the Zoom meetings allowed her to concentrate on the meeting itself, knowing that all the admin was being dealt with in the background. By setting up the breakout rooms as the attendees arrived, this provided a seamless progression through the networking meeting.
Through attending the meetings this also allowed her VA to make helpful suggestions to Doris that would benefit her further with her time management. By helping to create the monthly newsletters and the pre and post meeting emails in Mailchimp, which also helped increase Doris’ skill set in managing campaigns in Mailchimp.
Doris’ VA also proposed a way for them to communicate their monthly tasks, by setting up an account on Asana. This allowed them to list the monthly tasks required, so they could see when each action had taken place, allowing them to both complete their elements of the work that needed to be actioned. The Asana app was added to their Microsoft Teams site where they were able to share files.
Her VA also provided support in streamlining her social media platforms, so that she had fewer platforms to maintain. Merging her Facebook pages, she also created an Instagram account to reach more of her target markets. Setting up a Zoho Social account, they have been able to manage all the social media content from one place, saving a lot of time and duplicate content creation. This also helps Doris to target her markets on the right social media platforms.
Doris is now looking to further develop her networking groups, launching another group within her region. Her VA is helping her to develop a marketing plan to target her client personas, allowing her to grow The Athena Network further within her region.
When I purchased The Athena Network franchise in January, I was overwhelmed with the task ahead to say the least! Engaging with First Rate PA was a life-saver for me. My VA has enabled me to focus on my members and my business. The Athena Network has a monthly structured meeting which includes networking, training and member participation – in order for the meeting to run smoothly and create the best experience for my members, I am dependent on my VA.
In addition, I readily confess that I am not well-versed in social media but understand the importance of it to the success of my business – having someone take the lead in creating and maintaining my social media platforms has been invaluable. Finally, for me to succeed, I need to increase and grow my groups for which marketing is essential – again my VA has stepped in to provide support. Working with First Rate PA has been one of the best business decisions I ever made and I look forward to a collaborative working relationship going forward.