Sure, we all make our fair share of mistakes in life, but isn’t better when we can learn from ones that other people have made, so we do not have to repeat them? Well, you are in luck! Here are two common blunders that virtual assistants make that you will want to avoid.
1. “Cross Your Fingers” marketing. This happens to many new virtual assistants. They know they have the skills and motivation to be an outstanding VA! They have the business name, website, and service offerings all in place. Then they sit at their computers, cross their fingers, and wait for clients to find them. That is a marketing strategy that has failed for everyone who has tried it. Successful VAs know where and how to find clients. They have an effective marketing plan created, and they do the activities needed to meet prospective clients.
2. Undervaluing your services. Just because you think it’s easy to do the responsibilities you do for your clients, doesn’t mean you...
Working virtually is usually as seamless as working down the hall. For times when sharing information with a virtual team member is more complex than what email will allow, there are virtual workspaces. For situations when you need to share files, timelines, calendars in order to be most effective, consider using one of the more popular and user-friendly options: BaseCamp, ClientSpot, and iMeetCentral.
Most have free versions and then different payment plans depending on how robust of a system you would like, and the number of users you will have. A virtual shared workspace is an excellent solution for virtual work teams.
The good news: Virtual assistance is quickly growing in popularity.
The bad news: A large part of the population doesn’t know virtual assistance exists.
The opportunity: You can help educate those people and may be just the solution they need!
Try this. Tell new people you meet that you are a virtual assistant. Chances are many of them will have a blank smile on their face. Their eyebrows may raise a little, and now and then you’ll get a little nod of the head. That seems to be the universal look for “Huh. That sounds interesting but I wonder what it is.” Guess what… That’s also the look of opportunity. You can be the person to introduce virtual assistance, and if they realize that they or someone else they know could benefit from a virtual working relationship and the services you provide, you have found a new client or referral source.
Of course you will need to be able to explain what a virtual assistant is in a way that they can...
A backbone of any business these days is a website, especially home-based or virtual businesses since there is not a physical location for people to get information. If you are like most new virtual assistants, you are deciding what your business name will be, and will soon be purchasing a domain name that matches.
My favorite place to buy domain names is GoDaddy. The prices are low, and it really is a one stop shopping experience. In addition to getting your web address, you can get web hosting, assistance building your website, your email addresses set up, you can add an e-commerce store to your website, and just about anything else website related you can dream up. There customer service and tech support are top notch, and you can expect a call now and then from a representative who noticed you are paying for a service that you are not using. It’s rare a company calls you to say you are spending too much with them these days, but that’s what you can expect with ...
HootSuite is designed to let multiple people share responsibilities for managing multiple Twitter accounts, as well as other social media accounts. Using HootSuite, you designate one person to be the administrator of the accounts, and that person can give other people the authority to edit and make changes to individual accounts. This is a great tool if you are a VA managing a client’s account, and/or if you or your clients have multiple social media accounts.
Virtual assistants have the ability to choose who they want to work with. In the beginning, many will work with anyone who comes their way in order to generate income, get experience, and establish themselves, but the virtual assistants who are most fulfilled are the ones working with clients who bring them joy. You are not an employee anymore and do not need to work with Jane or Joe just because they are down the hall.
During each interview I ask virtual assistants who their ideal clients are. Many new virtual assistants don’t know how to answer this question. Do you? Take a minute right now and see if you can verbalize who your ideal client is. If you are taking part in the VA Quickstart program, there is a section that walks you through identifying your ideal client.
Why is this important? Working with your ideal clients will allow you to work from a place of joy and strength. You will have the skills they need, you will be performing duties you enjoy, and your work styles...
The news is full of doom and gloom in the economy and work world. Even conversations with friends turn to stories of layoffs and reduced paychecks. Although it may seem that everyone is being affected in a negative way by the economy, virtual assistants continue to thrive.
Virtual assistants (VAs) provide administrative assistance to a handful of clients, and work from home rather in their clients’ office. They do anything from basic secretarial duties to more advanced functions like project management, online marketing assistance, or bookkeeping. VAs primarily serve entrepreneurs and small business owners, although larger companies are also choosing to work with them in increasing numbers.
During a down economy, individuals who cannot afford to work with a full time employee anymore are choosing to work with a virtual assistant. They get a talented professional to produce high quality work, and they do not have the extra costs of providing supplies or technology, of paying...
Looking for a great tool to help you organize your business and clients, and just be more efficient in general? Smartsheet may be your answer. They have created an online program that feels like Excel, but allows you to do so much more.
You can access your Smartsheet anywhere, use it as a collaboration space with your clients, and personalize the look, feel and functions of your files as much as you want.
To get a better feel for what is offered, check out some VA-specific starter templates at http://www.smartsheet.com/assistantmatch. The basic account is free.
The founder of Smartsheet led a webinar for VA Quickstart Network members recently, and we were all impressed with how in-tune they are with virtual assistants, and how easily Smartsheet can increase efficiency for a VA. Experience it for yourself!
How you present yourself to potential clients can make or break a relationship. First impressions are always important, and in a virtual world, those impressions are often phone and email.
If you are promoting yourself as a professional service provider, have your email address reflect the same. Having a business domain name as your email address is best ([email protected]) but if you do not have a website yet, at least have a professional email address. [email protected] or [email protected] may be descriptive of you in your everyday life, but for clients it is better to have a business address.
So what’s more professional? Use something like [email protected] or [email protected] until you have a domain purchased for your business. Stay away from aol addresses, or an email address that you may have to change if you move or change internet providers.
I know this may seem minor to people, and there may be questions of if an email address is...