Archive for the ‘Terms’ Category

Do You Rely On Spell Check Or Just Use It As A Tool?

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Tallent Agency VA Services

Do you find yourself relying on Word’s spell check or the one in your email client? I don’t and here is the reason why …

As was pointed out by my favorite “go to” authority on spelling and grammar questions, Daily Writing Tips:

Writers need to keep two things in mind about spell checkers:

1. They cannot catch any misspellings if a writer doesn’t let the application run.

2. They cannot be entirely trusted to catch every spelling error.

I agree. I use the spell checking options AFTER I perform my own writings, documents, etc. and when proofreading for others. This checks ME to make sure I notice where there might have been a problem or a question because those references DO stand out or get highlighted.

As stated above, the spell checkers often make a “mistake” as far as the instance or appropriate usage is concerned. Things need to be seen in perspective of what is meant and what is stated. Often the spellchecker might go crazy popping up and suggesting a spelling you KNOW you do not want because it can not tell how you are using it.

Often I have seen my correct spelling suggested as wrong with a recommendation
that I mean, for example:

their instead of there or they’re – I do know the difference and which one to use but occasionally the spell check OFFERS one of the other options and if I went by those suggestions I would NOT be the perfection-driven proofreader that I am.

Do NOT rely on the spellcheckers – if in doubt – and I openly admit that on some words
I often am- I just “google” what I THINK it should be OR even what I think IS misspelled
and use that reference to make my decision.

After all, until I “train” it, every spell checking application insists that I am spelling MY name wrongly, lol.

Remember, I am a Virtual Assistant who LOVES to do editing and proofreading assignments along with research, blog posts, article submissions and social media maintenance!

Tallent Agency
St. Louis County, MO
Phone: (636) 451-6213
Email: jantallent@gmail.com

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Giving Away Virtual Assistant Services to Attract New Clients

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Tallent Agency VA Services

The first challenge to getting new clients is getting them to trust you with their businesses and their money. It’s not an easy challenge to overcome. That’s why the technique I’m going to share with you in this article WORKS and works well. What I’m suggesting is … working for FREE (do I hear a big gasp of horror from the audience?).

Why work for free? Well, it makes sense. Many virtual assistance companies offer a free consultation where the client can ask questions and you can explain your process. You need to stand out from the crowd and win the business.

Here are two reasons why offering a free sample of your services works:

It eliminates the risk factor. Business is risky from all sides of the fence. It’s risky for you and it’s risky for the person doing the hiring. He or she will be trusting you to work for his or her business and get results. They’ll be taking their valuable time and money to invest in your services and they want to choose wisely. You help them not waste their time by proving yourself before they ever pay a penny.

It builds the relationship. Working well together is all about having a good relationship. It’s really hard to do great work for someone who doesn’t like you and vice-versa. If you offer a little sample of your work you can create an instant relationship and they will usually like you already! That’s a great start.

Before I get the fifth degree from some die-hard virtual assistants, I’ll admit that this technique of getting new clients is risky. You just need to be smart about what you’re doing and you’ll eliminate a large part of the risk.

You’ve probably heard the saying “Why buy the milk when you can get the cow for free?” Yes, some unscrupulous marketers may go around getting freebies and never be willing to pay, so that’s why it’s your responsibility to do your research and hand-pick the clients you want to work with.

That’s right. Don’t just take any ol’ Billy-Bob who comes to hire your services. Make sure she is the kind of person you want to work with, will most probably love to work with and who you can create a rewarding relationship with. When I used this technique for my own business I went to online marketers who I already had a relationship with and whose business models I greatly admired. This allowed me to know exactly who I was going to be working for. It also gave me the added bonus of learning what they did in their own businesses to make them great successes!

If you’re thinking giving a sample of your work away for free might be a good idea for you, here’s a bit of a game plan:

 Offer a small sample of your work; one or two hours would be good.
 Offer the work with no-strings attached; they’ll hire you if you’re needed.
 Only offer to people who are interested in hiring and who need the help (research).
 Do an amazing job.
 Ask for referrals and/or testimonials in exchange for your free work.

Finally, this isn’t a technique to do all the time. It’s one you will use for a hand-picked group of highly sought after employers. Try it once and see what happens. You really only need one good high-profile client who loves your work to get great referrals for a long time coming.

I have done this both with great success and the expected wasted effort, you might say.

I love to proofread and edit so did this for several web sites with just the promise to have the caption “Edited by Jan Tallent” with a link to my VA site. So far, of the 5 or 6 I did this for, only one has kept her word but we do live and learn AND I know that I did it.

Plus, to be honest, I turned 2 of them down later for paid jobs because the trust factor was destroyed when they did not keep their end of the bargain and that is the biggest thing with me – my word and yours 

Wishing you all of the best in your client-getting goals.

Remember, I am a Virtual Assistant who LOVES to do editing and proofreading
assignments along with research, blog posts, article submissions
and social media maintenance!

Why not Schedule a Project now?

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10 Words That Don’t Mean What You May Think They Do

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Tallent Agency VA Services

Another great article from Daily Writing Tips that I just had to share.

As English evolves, word meanings shift and turn, sometimes reversing themselves altogether. These ten words have shifted their senses over the years. In some cases, we are wise to likewise be flexible; in others, we relax our vocabulary at the expense of useful distinctions:

1. Decimate

The literal meaning of this word, as all you lovers of Latin (not to be confused with Latin lovers) know all too well, is “to reduce by one-tenth,” supposedly from the punitive custom of selecting one out of ten captives by lot and killing those so selected. But the senses for this rhadamanthine Roman policy have proliferated, so that now it means “tithed,” “drastically reduced,” or “destroyed” as well.

2. Disinterested

Commonly employed to mean “not interested,” disinterested has a precise, useful meaning of “neutral, unbiased.”

3. Enormity

Some people would reserve this word to mean “monstrously wicked,” but, in truth,
it is properly invoked to refer to anything overwhelming or an unexpected event
of great magnitude, and thus it need not be invariably corrected to enormousness
except when it is clearly in reference to a loathsome occurrence.

Refrain, however, from diluting the word’s impact in such usage as “The enormity of the new stadium struck them as they approached the towering entrance.”

4. Fortuitous

This word means “occurring by chance,” but its resemblance to fortune has given it an adopted sense of “lucky.”

For meticulous adherence to the traditional meaning, use fortuitous only in the sense indicated in this sentence: “His arrival at that moment was fortuitous, because her note
had not specified the exact time of her departure.” Nothing in the context qualifies his arrival as fortunate; the sentence merely states that he arrived in time without knowing that he would do so.

The informal meaning is expressed here: “His fortuitous arrival at that very moment enabled him to intercept the incriminating letter.” In this sentence, the time of his appearance is identified as a lucky stroke.

5. Fulsome

This term originally meant “abundant, generous, full,” but that sense was rendered obsolete when the word acquired a negative connotation of “offensive, excessive, effusive.” Conservative descriptivists rail against the use of fulsome in a positive sense, but the cold, hard fact is that this sense has been increasingly resurgent for many years, and the adulatory meaning is now much more common than the condemnatory one.

If you wish to stand fast before the tsunami of inevitability, be my guest, but fulsome as an exquisite insult has been consigned to the dustbin of history. Some commentators recommend that because of the word’s ambiguity, it’s best to avoid its use altogether.
If you insist, make sure the context is clear.

6. Ironic

The impact of ironic has been diluted because many people use it to mean “coincidental,” when its traditional definition is “counter to expectations or what is appropriate.”

7. Literally

Some folks get exercised when this term is used in place of its antonym, figuratively. However, in a hyperbolic sense, that meaning is justified. Unfortunately, that sense is literally overused.

8. Notorious

This term is occasionally used in a neutral sense, but that’s not an error, but the word literally means “known.” However, its dominant connotation is that the fame is a result of infamy.

9. Peruse

This victim of definition reversal literally means “to use thoroughly,” and its first sense is that of careful steady or attentive reading. However, many writers (myself included) have employed it as a synonym for scan — enough writers, as a matter of fact, that its second sense is “to look over or through in a casual or cursory manner.”

Unfortunately, these mirror meanings mean that if you use the word, I advise you to support it with context that clarifies the intended sense.

10. Plethora

Plethora originally referred to an excess of something, but that usage is rare now, and more often the sense is simply of abundance. The medical meaning of swelling caused by an excess of blood is all but unknown.

I love these articles and hope my readers do as well. I love expanding my word knowledge and this is my favorite ezine for spelling and grammar and word usage information.

Remember, I am a Virtual Assistant who LOVES to do editing, proofreading
and transcription assignments along with research, blog posts, article submissions
and social media maintenance!

Why not Schedule a Project now?

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Welcome

Over the past 15 years, Jan Tallent has spent countless hours providing writers and webmasters with free friendly tips on how to correct spelling and grammar errors in their written material.

From the feedback received she decided that since proofreading and editing help was so desperately needed, she should build a business around something she enjoys doing, while at the same time providing a valuable service to business owners and writers.

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Jan Tallent
Tallent Agency
Phone: (636) 451-6213
Email: jantallent@gmail.com
Twitter: @jantallent
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