5 Old Marketing Methods That Still Work

In this day and age of relentless social media, emails and Google Adwords, you would be forgiven for thinking that digital marketing IS marketing. Nothing is worth doing unless it is in a digital format. Well, the irony is that whilst most people think that focusing entirely on digital campaigns presents you with a real … Read more

The Continued Importance of Sustainability in Business

The notion of large corporations making up the rules as they go along and turning into hungry, money making machines at the beck and call of shareholders is far removed from the experience of most companies. Sustainability in business has become ever more important over the last couple of decades and has been accompanied by … Read more

Double Your Size: Our Top Tips for SME Growth

If your company has been moving along quite nicely since you started but you now want to implement strategies for growth, the prospect of doubling in size will no doubt be appealing. While SME growth is top of many a business owner’s agendas, there are a number of factors to take into consideration however. These … Read more

Under The Spotlight: Karina Melvin, Artful Eating

Each month we showcase some of the fantastic stories our community of business owners and professionals have to share.

Over the past month or two, the team at Virtalent have been working intensively to support Karina Melvin, Founder of Artful Eating, who recently signed up to use the Virtalent platform. Over this period we are proud to have been able to accommodate all of her requests and truly support her in bringing her new course to market.

Karina has kindly taken the time out of her very busy schedule to participate in this exclusive video interview to give you a brief overview of her amazing new course and how we have been able to help her along the way. Enjoy!

Please introduce yourself and your business

I’m a psychologist and the creator of Artful Eating, which is an online programme to help people lose weight without dieting. It looks at the cause of people’s problems, their psychological struggles with food and their body. Its about changing your relationship with food and feeling good in yourself!

What does a typical day look like for you?

I have my online programme but I also run a clinic here in Dublin, Sandymount Psychotherapy Clinic. I also write and am studying for a PhD in the School of Medicine. I have lots of different things going on so I don’t really have a typical day, but usually its dealing with emails, engaging in the different strands of my work, studying, working with clients and developing my online business. Oh, and also walking the dogs!

Why did you choose to work in your industry?

I chose to work in this industry because I’ve always had a desire to help people. I guess for me this is very much a vocation and setting up the online programme was a continuation of that. The idea behind Artful Eating was an opportunity to help more people get the message out there that you don’t need to diet, you don’t need to restrict the food that you eat, that you can enjoy food and you can still have the body that you desire. This is how I ended up working online, which was a really steep learning curve because I am not the most technically advanced person! It was such a struggle for a long time because everything seems so insurmountable at first, but when you have a team like Virtalent a solution is a simple email away. They have the skills there at your disposal.

What has been the biggest challenge since starting the business?

Moving from being a therapist and being caught up in theory, as opposed to the practical application of WordPress or MailChimp or any of these wonderful tools that are necessary for an online business, there was a very steep learning curve. Initially I tried to do everything myself but it just took so much longer. I suppose its about how you value your time – time is of a premium.

What is your ultimate goal for your business?

That’s a great question! My ultimate goal is to help people feel more comfortable in their bodies, to help people enjoy food and to help emancipate people from dieting and strict regimes that aren’t serving them. So that’s my ultimate goal. Its so helpful to have that purpose because I think otherwise I’d lose it sometimes simply because there’s so much involved in an online business. I’ve no desire to have a massive enterprise. I’m an entrepreneur, but number one I’m a psychologist and a psychotherapist. That’s my mission, so the business side of things online is all about reaching more people and helping more people. I’m not interested in running a business per se; I’m more interested in doing my work, so having Virtalent there to step in and do the things that I can’t do, I don’t know how to do or don’t have the time to do is really incredible.

How did you hear about Virtalent?

My husband! My husband saw me tearing my hair out one day. He recognised that I needed the help but also that I didn’t want to hire someone full-time. Fortunately, he had come across Virtalent in a newspaper. Admittedly, I was wary as I had used other virtual assistant platforms before and really had found them lacking. Fortunately when I started working with Sam, Ellie, Alex and the rest of their team I quickly realised they were very helpful and supportive.

The Importance of Having a Business Mentor

The importance of having a business mentor cannot be underestimated. Most successful businessmen and women will readily admit they would not have got where they are today without good advice and support. A mentor provides more than just helpful tips. They get to know you deep down and can guide you through difficult times to … Read more

Gamification In Business

If you run a business and are looking at ways to engage staff, keep customers and create some of healthy and enjoyable competition, then gamification might be just the thing you are looking for. Essentially, gamification rewards users for taking positive actions. We all like to be rewarded for being ‘good’ and this makes everything … Read more

Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

We understand how you can often become stuck in a rut when trying to come up with marketing ideas for our small business. Virtalent’s team of Virtual Assistants are here to offer their advice and help you out. Our team can help with market research, writing a marketing plan and then carry out the work detailed in the plan according to your … Read more

Sales for Busy Entrepreneurs: Generating Leads

Hello and welcome back to our “sales for busy entrepreneurs” blog series, following the post we wrote last month covering the essentials you need to know before professionalising your sales strategy. Now we’d like to discuss lead generation. In this post we’ll cover the use of directories and listings, as well as the importance of … Read more

Sales for Busy Entrepreneurs: Know the Lingo

Recently we’ve spoken to a lot of small business owners who are great at selling their product/service, but struggle to recruit the right salespeople or understand whether their marketing partners really know what they’re doing. Why is this? Simply because they don’t understand some of the basics about sales themselves. Perhaps you’re one of them, perhaps not, but we … Read more