Blog

Red Desk 10

Red Desk 10 – Celebrating 10 years

Red Desk is 10 years old! We actually had our milestone birthday in November 2018 but in the run up to Christmas we decided to save the celebrations until 2019. This article celebrates the successes of running a small business for 10 years.

Small Beginnings

Back in November 2008, Lindsay was flying solo. Having undertaken a Virtual Assistance course with blue umbrella, Lindsay is one of the few that attended the course that is still running her own VA business.

Local Clients

Despite being a Virtual Assistance company, we pride ourselves on the fact that many of our clients are local so that we can pick up any paperwork or have a face to face meeting when needed. It was in fact one local client who needed help back in 2012 which led to Red Desk expanding from a solopreneur to a partnership.

Mel Joins Red Desk

Back in 2012 Mel was hoping to return to work after maternity leave and was looking for flexible work to fit in with childcare. Having seen Red Desk’s advert and column in The Muswell Flyer, she thought that being a Virtual Assistant might be the answer. After a chat with Lindsay, this led to helping out a local client with getting their printer to work when Lindsay was on holiday. The rest they say is history!

Red Desk 10Networking

One of the things you soon quickly learn about running your own business is that you have to work hard at getting clients. All the VA s at Red Desk have been to a networking event in their time and both Lindsay and Mel were members of networking groups which were responsible for obtaining a key number of clients and contacts. Although we are no longer members of a networking group, we still see the merits of networking.

Local Mags

As well as networking, another way of business exposure for Red Desk was our relationship with North London magazine editor Becky Beach. Having advertised and had columns in the magazines for a number of years, it established our expertise as support to freelancers and small local businesses. The magazines are read by busy executives who often didn’t have time to look at our website or online marketing campaigns.

Social Media

Over the years both Lindsay and Mel have developed a talent and passion for running social media campaigns from recruiting new beginners for sports clubs right through to advertising international book fairs. This is now the main focus of our business although we still have virtual assistants to take on other tasks when required.

Training

As our confidence in our social media expertise grew, we have been asked to work with a number of organisations including the Islington Youth Council and London Grid for Learning.

New Virtual Assistants

Although Red Desk remains at two directors, we have a number of Virtual Assistants that we call on for various projects, enquiries matching their skillsets or holiday cover. This does make us more unique as most Virtual Assistants work on their own but our model allows us to bring in additional help when needed.

Good Contacts

We have made some great contacts over the years, people that have become an important part of our extended network. For webdesign we always turn to Andy Kinloch of N8tive, we also have a wonderful graphic designer – Tracey Goodland of Design is Good.

Community

Red Desk has also been very much involved with the local community of Muswell Hill as part of the community group Friends of St James Square . We have helped bring several events to Muswell Hill, bringing some fun & community spirit to the local area, to celebrate this wonderful part of London.

We’d also like to say “Happy Birthday” to Creative Writes who are also celebrating their 10th birthday this year.

Red Desk and SEO

As well as social media and content writing services, Red Desk also offer SEO for small businesses. SEO incorporates many areas that all need to be working and optimized to ensure your business is being found online.  We offer a tailor made SEO plan that best reflects the needs of the client’s business.  This could be a one off review, an ongoing strategy or a specific campaign.

Google Analytics

We take a look at Google Analytics to see where your website’s traffic is coming from.  We can also gather data on your audience (location, optimum search times) and assess your website’s functionality.

Keywords and Hashtags

Keywords are a vital part of SEO for your website but will also feed into a definitive list of hashtags for particular use on Instagram and Twitter.

Keywords and search terms are picked up by search engines to match up websites and online searches.  We use a variety of tools to find the best keywords for your website and SEO campaign including Google’s keyword planner and www.keyhole.co.

Hashtags can be specifically picked to help identify your brand or support your marketing campaign.

Take a look at our article on our social media training session with Islington Youth Council for how keywords and hashtags were developed for their campaign.

Website

If you have a WordPress website then we advise you install and use Yoast which is a free plugin which helps analyse your webpages and posts’ SEO. 

With the help of Yoast and our keywords list, we can optimise your website by adding tags, keywords to your pages and tweaking the content.

We will also check the page speeds and website functionality. 

Do take a look at our basic guide to SEO.

SEOOnline Review

If you have social media, we will check that the accounts are fully optimised and link correctly to your website.  Social media is an important part of pulling traffic to your website organically and shouldn’t be overlooked.  

We will review your Google Local entry as this can be the first place a potential customer comes even before the website.  You can read more information on Google Local here.

Google Ads

We can set up, run and monitor Google Ads campaigns on your behalf.  We have worked with clients who have a small campaign running daily, and others who run larger scale campaigns at certain times of the year.

Other Strategies

Depending on your budget and focus for SEO, we can suggest other ways to improve your SEO including:

  • Monthly blogs – we can write articles for your website
  • Directories – we can add your business to free online directories
  • Back pages – we can add extra pages to your website with keywords

To find out more, please email mel@reddesk.co.uk

A How-To Guide To Digital Marketing – Client Checklist

Online or digital marketing is now essential for all small businesses, schools & organisations.  As well as your website & social media it is a wider approach to marketing a business online.  With this in mind, we have created a simple step-by-step guide of...

read more

Instagram for Business

Instagram is fast becoming the platform of choice for small businesses.  Its users have increased to more than 400 million, making it one of the top social networks. The visual nature of the platform makes it easier for customers to recognise your brand...

read more

Using LinkedIn Productively

If you are looking to do B2B marketing then LinkedIn is probably the social media platform for you.  According to Quora, 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, and 79% of B2B marketers say that LinkedIn has been an effective avenue for lead generation.  With...

read more

How a VA (Virtual Assistant) can help small businesses

Sometimes work can get a little overwhelming. That’s when a VA can help.  We are used to taking on short-term projects to help ease the burden of local small businesses.  Here are some examples of how we could help you. Recruitment You’ve done the hard...

read more

5 Reasons Why We Love Being Virtual Assistants

Many Virtual Assistants (VAs) have had a career change and look to becoming Virtual Assistants as it fits in with their work-life balance better. The world of VAs attracts personal and executive assistants right through to business managers. Some may have been made...

read more

What Makes a Good Red Desk VA

Over the years Red Desk has built up a number of loyal clients; we tend to work with our clients across several areas of business support, and may begin by offering them social media but then spread our services depending on their needs. As with all SMEs growing your...

read more

Google Local Entries for Schools

Following on from our Social Media for schools blog post recently we thought we’d look in a little more detail at Google Local Entries.  We were surprised at the number of schools who attended the training that had not actually claimed their Google Local Entry....

read more
Share This