For the Aspiring Virtual Assistant

April 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Virtual Assistant Business

 

The recent market conditions and massive lay-off’s  has caused many of my friends to reconsider their career paths.  Recently several of my friends asked me about my business as a virtual assistant.  I told them that a Virtual Assistant is someone who offers his or her expertise to a specific target audience on an hourly basis or a monthly retainer fee.  A Virtual Assistant is administrative at it’s foundation, but a person can specialize in event planning, website design, content/copy writing, internet marketing and advertising, or as an Online Business Manager. A Virtual Assistant is a business owner and not an employee or contractor.

When a client decides to purchase my services, they do not have to worry about purchasing new equipment ( laptop, printer, etc.); pay my taxes nor provide me health benefits.  This is strictly a professional relationship, hopefully a long lasting, collabortive one.

My friends expressed a tremendeous amount of anxiety about quitting their jobs, and felt alittle uneasy about becoming a Virtual Assistant business owner.  My recommendation for anyone is to KEEP your day job, but to leverage your time and finances to get your ducks lined up in a row:

Assess your current skills Take a Myers Briggs Test and understand your working style Review your resume and write down the common theme – which will tell you what you love to do (and don’t like to do) Write down the type of work you enjoy – tailor it towards a particular type of client: this can be a coach, speaker, event planner; online business (retail) owner, real estate, legal, marketing, public relations or advertising Get plugged in with at least 1-3 virtual assistant sites such as: IVAA.org or VACOC.com.  These sites offer resources and list seasoned and professional VA’s who are very helpful and insightful You still need to get some kind of training or coaching, because it will help your “mind-set” when you transition to becoming a business owner.  There are a number of resources and Virtual Assistant training available through AssistU, EA to VA by Sydni Craig-Hart, or  Virtual Assistant Training by Patty Benton, JERPAT; Hot Skills VA and VA Classroom have excellent self-directed courses on E-commerce, Internet Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Blog for Marketing I highly advise training in internet marketing, social media marketing and ecommerce – even if you don’t want to offer these services to your clients, you will want to apply some of these tools to your own business Once you get through at least 6 months of training and certification courses then you will want to hire someone to build and design your website offering your services; submit your URL  to directories such as Yahoo, Google, and BING; Virtual Assistant directories, and sites like Ning, BizNik, E-cademy, LinkedIn and as social networking sites.

I highly recommend that you hire a Virtual Assistant who specializes in website build and design who can whip out a tasteful, classy website that will reflect your personality, professionalism and attract the right type of clients. Their prices are affordable and because they’ve “been there and done that”, would be able to provide you excellent advice about your site.

If you would like to learn more, please feel free to email me at ana@cyberqueen.net and I will be happy to help spare you time and resources and point you in the right direction!

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