A Virtual Assistant (VA) will support businesses, consultants or entrepreneurs with tasks they may not like or are not good at.
Amethyst has been a VA for the last 14 years, having finally launched “The Infinite VA” last December.
As she puts it, there are VAs that can assist you in organizing your life (from your agenda and travel planning to manage the projects for you), managing Social Media for you, customer service, or any other service that you do not like or do not have the time or skills to do it, can be performed by a VA.
A VA differs from a given dedicate expert by offering a wider range of expertise, not limited to just one area or specific scope.
Having several contacts within the VA community, sometimes Amethyst channels a given client to a partner VA upon assessing such client to be better served by another VA profile. In other cases, what the client really needs it not a VA, but some specific skill or set of skills for a limited time period and in that case the approach is to speak to the client and convey exactly the case while offering support in finding the specific profile that the client needs.
What is not the appropriate job to hire a VA for?
Amethyst explains that telemarketing activities or other commission based ones are not the best suite jobs for VAs, since a VA activity is based on performing regular business operational tasks and therefore getting paid for it, when one is expected to work and only be paid if there is a sale, that it is not within the scope of a VA job description.
What about Outsourcing Marketplaces?
Here Amethyst is very clear, the VA offering in such platforms (like Upwork; Freelancer or other) is subject to competition from geographies where people are able to practice such lower rates that it makes it impossible to compete when nearshore based in the US. Competing need to be based on value creation towards clients and not the cheapest offering.
Competing takes ambition and copycatting the best of the best.
Getting clients involves investing in social media by releasing free adding value content and constantly fine tuning one’s brand to meet the market expectations and needs. And keeping momentum as well as being able to manage business and family demands a high focus or organization, having everything properly planned and scheduled.
Communication (via Skype or Zoom) is vital for establishing trust and creating empathy as well as work momentum. As also facilitating the contact; the Infinite VA website enables prospects as well as clients to schedule an appointment with Amethyst by using the Acuity tool where she has permanently updated her schedule and availability.
As in other services it is advisable to start with a trial task and evolve from there. The VA should enable “check in” time frames (not separately billable, so included in the agreed pricing) where the client regularly may contact the VA and go about the work done, forecast, issues and so on.
Want to become a VA, here to start?
Start by having clear notion that, it takes time. You need to get training (and there are tons of available online free tools and materials and not only) and acquire the habit of writing down proper helping notes (that will assist you in most relevant future topics).
Set a proper contract in place with your client, making sure that do’s a don’t are crystal clear as also the payment and refund policy, this protects both parties.