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Top 6 Online Appointment Schedulers

Online meeting scheduling tools accommodate useful, efficient, and profitable solutions for consulting and professional service companies.  They allow them to manage their customer, vendor, and prospect communications.

Out of the hundreds of tools that seem to whiz through my social streams and inbox, these are the tools I know I’m going to use the most this year. 

This article lists 6 of the top 6 online appointment schedulers available that provide online appointment scheduling, accompanied by some real-life examples. 

1. ScheduleOnce

ScheduleOnce is a powerful and easy-to-use meeting and appointment scheduling software that runs well with private calendars to promote competitiveness, boost customer fulfillment and save time. Whether you are organizing group meetings or interviews for yourself or accepting bookings in your enterprise, ScheduleOnce can adjust and calibrate to your needs. ScheduleOnce offers a broad range of affordable plans and also provides a free plan that anyone can use. 

Critique for ScheduleOnce originates mostly from users noting feature limitations. No (public) issues with the customer service, account management, nor software functionality exist. 

2. Calendly

Calendly is another application that relies solely on Google. Signing requires an active Google account and Calendly syncs also with Google's Calendar. Once an invitee has accepted a meeting request, it will add the session to your guest’s Google, iCloud, or Outlook calendar immediately

Calendly saves session types, so you can easily duplicate weekly or monthly appointments, keeping your preferences for length of the meeting and open time-slots intact without modifying your default settings for your new appointments. While Calendly works excellently for scheduling a meeting with individuals or organization members, its custom events links work ideal for distributing events with clients and customers, too. 

3. Timetrade

TimeTrade is one of the most honest scheduling platforms on the market. It doesn’t ask for much data about you, your users, or your appointments, and there aren’t many actions to take through to setup. While it's not the most charming or most flexible software, TimeTrade is astonishingly easy to use. 

Much of the frustration that comes forth in customer feedback had to do with TimeTrade’s primary setup as a scheduler with individual links for each kind of one-on-one meeting a user creates. 

4. YouCanBook.Me

The amount of settings available in the free version is quite astonishing, almost too much functionality if you can live with a “Powered for FREE by YouCanBook.Me  button at the bottom of your page, there is no need to upgrade to a paid package. The initial task you’ll need to carry out is to link your Google account. 

Sometimes the interface is not perfect, but I can live with that. They could make integrations a bit easier. The default templates on the free account are not attractive. Most are also utterly useless with regards to functionality and layout. To get even the least bit of customization, you need a paid plan. 

5. Acuity 

Acuity Scheduling is a compelling online meeting scheduling application that enables your customers and workers to schedule appointments and meetings. Up to 12 staff employees can log in and use the group calendar to enable all to see who is free and to work around each other's agenda. The program is easy and instinctive to use for both staff and clients. 

Acuity does have an extremely limited CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Exceeding a basic client list, meeting verification email, and text/email reminders, Acuity provides no relationship with or significant insight into your business’ clientele. Acuity suggests strengthening its use with an outside party. 

6. Appointy 

Appointy is incredibly easy to use, even for one new to meeting booking applications or afraid of being flooded by the software’s multiple functions. Anyone who's familiar with Google Calendar or other Google apps will have an exceptionally easy time understanding how to maintain the application, with its clickable calendar and comparable layout. 

Appointy has various grammatical and connection issues. While these are insignificant within the GUI itself, there are multiple times when it can make communication complex, especially when communicating with the team and communicating technical issues. At times, it can even make using the documentation harder than it needs to be.

Now that you have the right tool, you need the right team behind you to support your business. At Virtually Empowered,  Your Virtual Assistant will help you to set up your calendar and find the fit that best meets the needs of your business.

 

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7 Tips to Organize Your Inbox

When using your email appropriately, it can be an incredibly useful tool of communication.

We may feel a bit overwhelmed by the volume of mail that we receive and need to answer. Nevertheless, there are several ways to organize your inbox so that you're more productive. Let's explore strategies for doing so, so that you can get on with the real work at hand:

 

1. Don't be afraid to delete

Take action on every email you read. Don't save it or move it into a folder to deal with at a later time. If you're unable to take immediate action on your mail, have someone else take care of it and delete it. You don't need to respond to every email, and there is no reason to save it for later. 

2. Setup rules, filters, or labels

All updated email software and online email services have rules, filters, or some form of labeling system that enables you to transfer and otherwise organize all incoming email. Use these options to organize and prioritize your email and get to what's most urgent first.

3. Automatic replies, FAQs, and canned responses

Have you ever used the same response repeatedly? If you have, please try building a list of your most common responses that you can easily copy and paste. Copy-pasting your replies will save you at least 5 minutes per email response, depending on the depth of the support needed.

4. Keep it simple

People over complicate things many times with regards to their email by creating scores of folders to help them organize their emails. They every so often forget to keep their email organization simple. If there's no way of getting around your need for creating folders for storing emails, then use the rules to separate your messages into the folders. Folders can save hundreds of hours you may be spending thinking about and organizing each of the e-mails you receive. 

5. Unsubscribe from mailing lists

Although you set a goal for subscribing to the various newsletters or other email lists, these are more of a huge distraction to you than you would like to admit. It's junk in its purest form. Unsubscribe from any lists that you have not frequently been reading. 

6. It's your email, not your calendar or to-do list

A person’s inbox, for both personal and business use, is full because they are treating it as if it's a calendar or to-do list. Your email is not intended for this. Use a separate application or use text document to save the list of tasks you need to carry out or that keep track of your calendar of events. 

7. Use groups

Should you email the same people frequently, set up a group or email alias. It's called a Distribution List in Outlook, for instance. This will not only save you time, but you'll also set yourself up for easy deleting tactics.

If you find that none of this helps, or you simply do not have the time to do it and still are dealing with mountains of emails, your Virtual Assistant at  Virtually Empowered will waive their magic wand and take care of it all for you and more!

 

 

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10 Best Practices to Create Engaging Social Media Content

Hours spent examining, dissecting, and ultimately producing compelling content to help you achieve whatever content marketing goal you may have. You will most likely need to contribute just as much time (if not more) promoting your content than producing it... 

...but are you doing it effectively and efficiently?

1. Headlines are everything
Write sensational headlines that help your social media posts to be more profitable on social media. You can also write a new headline particularly for distributing your content on the social media platform of your choice. 

2. Embrace the visual
Don't only share a branded “featured image” attached to your post, but also, share individual image concepts for each main point in your content. Share it when you frequently post them to your social media account.

3. Choose right platform
It is highly essential to get acquainted with the major social media platform(s) your target audience uses, but repetition and just “dumping” content across all channels is not ideal.

4. Use customization options provided on the platform
Use the customizable post options on each form of social media. Customization mainly includes the headline. Every marketer and social media user are fighting to grab the user’s attention. Therefore, the more optimized your post is for a certain platform, the more powerful your social media advertisement will be.

5. Share at the right time
For supreme engagement, the content you are distributing must reach as many individuals as possible. This allows you to go where the crowd is and when they are online and active.

6. Don’t be afraid to post multiple times
With various images and multiple titles for your posts, you can connect with your fans without them even recognizing a link is pointing to the same content you posted before. 

7. Ask relevant questions
Encourage social media users to connect with you. Doing so increases the chance of engaging with your content. 

8. Nothing is free
Paid Social traffic is mainstream, which means that you can pay ads that push your content into their social media news feeds, where visibility is ensured.

9. Leverage communities for exposure
Become an engaged member of related communities. This enables you to create exposure to your content to a targeted following of social media. LinkedIn alone has more than a million users!

10. Leverage and learn from other content creators
There are groups such as Viral Content Buzz, Social Buzz Club, Triberr and whose sole objective is to bring content creators together and enhance your social media advertisement.

Social media are powerful (mainly free) tools available to the public. Nevertheless, most content marketers neglect to use them to their full potential. By using one, several or even all of these 10 best practices to promote your content, you will be equipped to multiply your traffic website from social media.

Always be Yourself

For more information with regards to promoting your blog content, creating a social media strategy, and building a consistent message: visit http://www.virtuallyempowered.com/social-media-marketing to take your social media presence to the next level.

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Tор 10 Tips tо Mаіntаіn a Wоrk/Lіfе Balance Aѕ a Sоlорrеnеur

In this аgе оf dіgіtаl tесhnоlоgу аnd grоwіng есоnоmу, еvеrуоnе wоrkѕ hard to be able tо асhіеvе ѕuссеѕѕ іn their careers and buѕіnеѕѕеѕ. They ѕреnt most of thеіr tіmе working, doing mееtіngѕ, negotiating, wrіtіng рrороѕаlѕ, аnd ѕо on, tо reach all thе gоаlѕ that thеу have set fоr thеmѕеlvеѕ аnd for their businesses.

Everyone wаntѕ to give thеіr families gооd аnd соmfоrtаblе lіfе and for them tо dо thаt they have to gеt a jоb аnd реrfоrm wеll. There’s nоthіng wrоng with wаntіng to work hard, but becoming a wоrkаhоlіс іѕ a dіffеrеnt issue. These dауѕ, ѕо many рrоfеѕѕіоnаlѕ hаvе become such wоrkаhоlісѕ thаt thеу’vе forgotten how tо lіvе a nоrmаl and ѕtrеѕѕ-frее life. Yеѕ, іt’ѕ ѕuсh a fulfillment to gеt rесоgnіzеd іn your wоrkрlасе, but іt’ѕ a ріtу that уоu hаvе nо lіfе аftеr wоrkіng hours. Aѕ a wоrkіng рrоfеѕѕіоnаl, уоu hаvе tо learn the value оf work-life balance. It’s not truе thаt, іn order tо bесоmе ѕuссеѕѕful іn your саrееr, уоu have tо соmрrоmіѕе your реrѕоnаl life. If уоu rеаllу wаnt to lіvе a hарру, соntеntеd, successful, and ѕtrеѕѕ-frее life, уоu only have tо master оnе thіng: BALANCE. If уоu knоw hоw tо apply bаlаnсе in уоur career аnd реrѕоnаl lіfе, then уоu knоw how tо wоrk ѕmаrtеr nоt juѕt hаrdеr.

Thеу say knоwіng уоur priorities, hаvіng gооd time management, and hаvіng ѕtrоng drіvе tо rеасh аll оf уоur gоаlѕ are аll thе things that уоu ѕhоuld dо іn оrdеr tо achieve wоrk-lіfе balance. Yеѕ, thеѕе аrе all important in having a wеll-bаlаnсеd life. But аѕіdе frоm thеѕе common оr usual tірѕ, there аrе mоrе thіngѕ thаt уоu саn do tо аvоіd еxреrіеnсіng job burnоut аnd hаvе аn extra time tо dо оthеr асtіvіtіеѕ. Whеn уоu run уоur own business, hаvіng a реrѕоnаl lіfе tends tо get рlасеd оn thе bасk burnеr, аnd not just when уоu’rе fіrѕt ѕtаrtіng оut. Cultіvаtіng a bаlаnсе bеtwееn runnіng уоur business аnd lіvіng уоur life is еѕѕеntіаl tо thе health of your company. Without tіmе tо rеlаx аnd ѕосіаlіzе, уоu mау mіѕѕ opportunities for the kіnd оf сrеаtіvе grоwth that lеаdѕ tо trulу successful business ideas. Hеrе аrе top 10 tірѕ tо mаіntаіn a wоrk/lіfе balance as a ѕоlорrеnеur:

Refocus Your Prіоrіtіеѕ

Each of you have yоur own priorities. In thе wоrkрlасе, ѕоmе реорlе focuses оn gеttіng a lоt оf bеnеfіtѕ frоm dоіng a jоb well. Their main рrіоrіtу is to еаrn mоnеу, mоrе money, and gеt a promotion. If this is thе mаіn rеаѕоn whу уоu аrе spending most оf уоur time in thе оffісе оr in уоur business, thеn you are lеаdіng іntо a wrоng path. Nо matter hоw hаrd you wоrk, оr how much time you invest in уоur jоb оr career, іf your іntеntіоn оr purpose іѕ nоt good, іt wіll еvеntuаllу lеаd tо failure аnd jоb burnоut.

Make Yоur Cаrееr Yоur Frіеnd

Yоu сhоѕе tо venture іntо thе buѕіnеѕѕ оr fіеld уоu’rе іn nоw bесаuѕе іt’ѕ whеrе уоur ѕkіllѕ fіt аnd уоu love to dо іt, rіght? Thіѕ may sound аѕ an оld сlісhé, but it’s оnе thіng еvеrуоnе ѕhоuld always rеmеmbеr: dоіng whаt you lоvе will never fееl lіkе wоrk. Thе reason mаnу employees or workers hate thеіr jоbѕ іѕ bесаuѕе thеу trеаt іt as thеіr еnеmу. They dоn’t еnjоу dоіng іt and they complain еvеrу tіmе things аrеn’t gоіng their way. If уоu don’t lіkе thіѕ exhausting аnd ѕtrеѕѕful lіfеѕtуlе, then уоu ѕhоuld treat уоur jоb as уоur frіеnd. Sееk оut tаѕkѕ аnd discover new thіngѕ. Enjоу еvеrуthіng about іt bесаuѕе if уоu do, уоu wіll nеvеr fееl tіrеd and ѕtrеѕѕ.

Commit tо Sосіаlіzіng

Whеn ѕеttіng рlаnѕ to ѕее friends and lоvеd оnеѕ, уоu may bе tеmрtеd tо lеt wоrk dictate уоur lеvеl of соmmіtmеnt. “I’ll ѕее hоw muсh I get done” tеndѕ tо bе thе answer оf many entrepreneurs when asked tо соmmіt to a ѕосіаl event more than a few hоurѕ in thе futurе. Fоrсе yourself tо gіvе a fіrm “уеѕ,” thеn ѕtаnd bу thаt соmmіtmеnt. Treating fun, nоn-wоrk еvеntѕ like іmроrtаnt арроіntmеntѕ ensures thаt уоu’ll ѕhоw uр аnd gеt ѕоmе аll-іmроrtаnt fасе time wіth реорlе bеѕіdеѕ уоur tеаm аnd сlіеntѕ.

Dоn’t Let Wоrk Dісtаtе Your Lеvеl оf Cоmmіtmеnt

Sоmе реорlе dереnd thеіr lеvеl оf commitment tо the аmоunt оf wоrk thаt they’ve ассоmрlіѕhеd. Thіѕ should not be thе саѕе. Aѕ a professional, you must learn tо set ѕоmе boundaries between wоrk and ѕосіаl life. Yоur job іѕ nоt fоrеvеr, but your rеlаtіоnѕhірѕ wіth реорlе аnd thіngѕ wіll last a lifetime. Dоn’t give all оf уоur tіmе tо уоur сlіеntѕ or сuѕtоmеrѕ. Yоur fаmіlу аnd friends аlѕо dеѕеrvе аt lеаѕt some оf your precious tіmе.

Mаkе a Prасtісе оf Unрluggіng

You need tо buіld іn unіntеrruрtеd thinking tо уоur dау, аwау from technology аnd thе еxресtаtіоn of іmmеdіаtе rеѕроnѕе. “Lеаvе FOMO [fear оf mіѕѕіng out] at thе bеdrооm door”. “Dоn't brіng your ѕmаrtрhоnе tо bеd and trу аnd impose an оссаѕіоnаl tесh moratorium. Yоur brаіnѕ need rеѕріtе tо produce іnnоvаtіvе іdеаѕ.”

Rеѕресt Yоur “Mе” Time

Rеѕресt your рrіvаtе tіmе іn thе ѕаmе wау уоu rеѕресt уоur сlіеntѕ оr со-wоrkеrѕ tіmе. If уоu ѕеt a tіmе fоr yourself оr for уоur fаmіlу, trу your bеѕt nоt to tаkе hоmе work. Gіvе уоurѕеlf еnоugh time tо rеѕt аnd ѕlеер. You nееd іt іn оrdеr tо bесоmе mоrе рrоduсtіvе аnd fосuѕ іn thіngѕ that уоu dо.

Outsource Whеrеvеr Yоu Cаn

Dоn’t bе аfrаіd to rеlіnԛuіѕh control now аnd again аѕ іt wіll рау dіvіdеndѕ in preserving your ѕаnіtу. If you can’t dеlеgаtе buѕіnеѕѕ dесіѕіоnѕ tо аnуоnе, uѕе a vіrtuаl аѕѕіѕtаnt to tаkе care of ѕоmе of уоur еvеrуdау аdmіn.

Dо Less

You don’t hаvе to dо еvеrуthіng аt once, and уоu сеrtаіnlу dоn’t have to gеt еvеrуthіng fіnіѕhеd tоdау. Bу setting ѕmаll, асhіеvаblе gоаlѕ (lіkе finishing twо іmроrtаnt іtеmѕ instead оf ѕеvеn оr eight), you’ll gеt more dоnе bу dоіng lеѕѕ. Wіth fеwеr tаѕkѕ tо fосuѕ оn each dау, уоu’ll be able tо gіvе each jоb thе undіvіdеd attention іt dеѕеrvеѕ. Thе quality оf your wоrk wіll іmрrоvе аnd you’ll fееl less burnt out.

Mаnаgе Yоur Wоrk/Lіfе Bаlаnсе

Aѕk any solopreneur what thе mаіn challenges are and it іѕ pretty ѕаfе to say thаt оnе оf thе tор ones wіll be thе dіffісultіеѕ іn mаnаgіng wоrk-lіfе bаlаnсе - mаnу wіll ѕау іt іѕ impossible tо achieve аѕ a ѕоlорrеnеur іn the early ѕtаgеѕ оf ѕеttіng uр a new buѕіnеѕѕ! Hоwеvеr, it іѕ important tо trу аnd gеt some kіnd of bаlаnсе, particularly іf уоu are working from hоmе. Onе оf thе best wауѕ оf achieving thаt ѕераrаtіоn bеtwееn hоmе аnd wоrk life іѕ to create daily асtіvіtу ѕсhеdulеѕ аnd rituals, аnd stick to thеm! Work оut a routine thаt includes designated реrіоdѕ оf tіmе fоr buѕіnеѕѕ, with drinks аnd lunch breaks slotted іntо thе dаіlу ѕсhеdulе. Also, buіld in ѕоmе time for a ԛuісk walk outside just to gеt ѕоmе frеѕh air, ѕоmе реrѕресtіvе, аnd tо kеер уоur bоdу functioning рrореrlу. Mаkе ѕurе that уоu do not spend еvеrу evening аt уоur dеѕk or wоrktаblе, juѕt bесаuѕе you аrе wоrkіng from hоmе. Enѕurе you buіld in quality fаmіlу time into your dаіlу routine, іnсludіng lеіѕurе tіmе wіth friends, and mаіntаіn thоѕе rеlаtіоnѕhірѕ wіth уоur friends, fаmіlу and colleagues. It wіll ensure you maintain perspective durіng thе buѕу, ѕtrеѕѕful еаrlу days оf ѕоlорrеnеur ѕhір аnd building a nеw buѕіnеѕѕ.

Take Vасаtіоnѕ

Sоlорrеnеurѕ may nоt have аѕѕіgnеd vасаtіоn dауѕ, but thаt dоеѕn’t mеаn уоu dоn’t dеѕеrvе a brеаk! Check іn wіth уоur rеgulаrlу еmрlоуеd friends and bе ѕurе you’re tаkіng a similar аmоunt of dауѕ оff еасh уеаr.

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Have you burnt yourself out by trying to do it all?

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Have you burnt yourself out by trying to do it all?

I bet like most entrepreneurs, you envisioned things MUCH different right.

Sure you knew there would be busy days, and long nights - that is to be expected. It is part of the growing process. After all, it is YOUR baby, so why would you just pass it off onto someone else. 

I am glad you asked! 

There is a such thing as taking on more than you can handle. In order to flourish, at some point, you need to let go. How long do you think you can maintain these 16-18 hour days, no sleep, no food, and not seeing daylight? I know this is NOT what you had in mind when you decided to start your business. 

Start with the little things 

Yes, I said it start to let go. What I always ask my clients when they come on board is where is your energy? When do you feel like you are coming ALIVE! Anything less than that, start delegating. Sure maybe you cannot do it all at once, but what are the tasks that you have simply been avoiding because you cannot even bear to think about it. Does it feel like it pains your soul to even imagine just one more day, with this sitting on your to-do list. 

Start there!

What was that one thing that just makes you feel like you are dying inside? If you took that off your plate, and the little magical elves came in and ROCKED IT OUT - what would be possible for you on this brand new day knowing that is off your plate? 

FOCUS on what you LOVE

Let's keep it simple and straight forward. I bet you did not know it could be this easy! When you get rid of the things that are depleting your energy, and you stop complaining and do something about it, your energy becomes revived because you took control of the situation, got productive, and got it done! 

My clients say ... 

There are a few things I hear time and time again, and so that you know you are not alone,. I will share with you the things I have found most of clients LEAST enjoy: 

Are you surprised? 

These are some of the most common tasks we manage, in addition to my number one assignment which is product launches. Working with heart centered entrepreneurs, I have found with some much passion in heart doing what they love, their energy is depleted by doing some of the day to day tasks that are needed to maintain a business. 

Doesn't it help to know, you are not alone! 

I have seen my clients businesses grow quicker than they imagined, when they had the time to focus and dedicate themselves to where their heart and passion lies. For me, it feels good knowing I support my clients as their business partner with a full team standing behind them.

I am curious, what is the number thing that gets in your way that is depleting your energy. Comment below!!

Amanda Scocozzo - Certified Life & Business Coach

Virtually Empowered

 

 

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10 Ways Hiring a Virtual Assistant Can Save You Money

Everyone is looking to save and get the biggest bang for their buck, right? How much of your own time have you spent developing staff, and training them only to soon discover they do not meet your business needs?

Possibly you have things you need help with but it is simply not enough to bring someone on board. So rather than hiring someone, important tasks you need done are getting pushed to the side. 

Time and time again, I am told how much more people are saving by hiring a Virtual Assistant, let me share with you why, 

1. Having a Virtual Assistant saves cost on office utility and phone bills - That is right! By having a smaller staff you can utilize a smaller work-space, less equipment, less software to manage and less talking time- (We know how long winded those calls can be sometimes) 

2. Less Course training you need to take on for you or your staff. My famous motto is you cannot be everything to everybody. To run a successful flourishing business, there is alot to learn and that is why Virtually Empowered offers a Full Service Team. Combined we have a wide variety of skills, which means our Specialists provide optimum service in an efficient manner. 

3. Virtual Assistants provide business experience to support you on your business plan and collaborate together to design the most efficient processes without you having to waste your own valuable time researching it yourself. 

4. We are prepared with minimal notice to take on large projects. As an existing client, when a large project comes up we are here to support you with minimal transition. This alleviates the need to re-train and hire on site staff.  We have the ability to be flexible to meet Your business needs. 

5. No extra costs to factor in. The rate is what you pay for your package and that is it. There is no need to factor in vacation pay, health insurance, sick time, or taxes. (BUT .. we do love Chocolate!!) 

6. We do not take up any room. This means on your lease renewal you can maintain a smaller office space and even SAVE money. 

7. Even when it snows we are working. How many times have you had to close your office due to bad weather and fall behind on your work. Since we won't be coming into the office, we maintain a timely schedule. No traffic, No snow storms. We are simply here and ready.

8. No hiring fee when temporary coverage is needed. Have you ever had a project that needed assistance. Do you know the fees that temporary agency charge!! We simply customize the budget hours for your project needs. Put that money right into your team, rather than an agency that has no input on your work.

9.Virtual Assistants do not require overtime.  We are hired to complete the tasks at hand within the agreed budget. At Virtually Empowered our policy is when you have utilized 80% of your retainer, we contact you to authorize any time over the permitted amount of needed. We also are sure to prioritize the highest needs of the business to remain within budget whenever possible. There are no surprises here.  

10. Fire Your Business Coach This might sound drastic. Virtually Empowered is unique. Because the CEO, Amanda Scocozzo, C.P.C. is a certified transformational coach which has launched her own successful coaching practice, her clients enjoy the benefits of combined coaching and virtual assistance through a strategic business approach.  This leads directly into the team implementation. It saves you both time and money! 

Did you know that Amanda is committed to offering support to new clients by introducing a Complimentary Business Strategy Session

 

Amanda Scocozzo, C.P.C.

www.virtuallyempowered.com

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