For me, a Virtual Assistant is a business owner (just like you) who provides virtual/remote support services to their clients.
We have an array of qualifications, skills and expertise to help any type of business owner, online and offline!
I specialise in working with Coaches, Entrepreneurs and Consultants by helping them to get online or scale their business online. There is a VA for practically every type of industry, every type of business and every type of work.
The term is more generic than any of us would like it to be. Virtual Assistants find it difficult to be found in their niche and business owners find it difficult to find a VA to suit their business.
Even the good guys get it wrong sometimes. Michael Hyatt wrote about his experience using a VA and how she has not only helped his business but became an invaluable member of his team.
Along with the huge cost savings in working with a VA as opposed to hiring a part-time, full-time or contracted employee, hiring a VA will bring so many extra qualities, skills and positive traits to your business that you will wonder how you ever managed without one.
So what’s so great about a Virtual Assistant?
#1 We possess a strong work ethic
A Virtual Assistant is a business owner and experiences the same pain points in their business as you do in yours. Most VAs make the conscious choice to be self-employed or run a business (perhaps a partnership) because they want to control how they work and what work they do, just like you.
A choice of lifestyle (or greater pull) encourages us to work hard when we do work, because when we are not working (and writing blog posts like this one) we are enjoying the other things that we love to do.
We’ve been through the graft, we’ve done our time, so to speak. Helping others is a big driver in what we do and this pushes us to work hard, work smart and work ethically.
#2 We have a good business acumen
Without knowing how to run a small business, we simply wouldn’t survive! Simple as! I know you understand this concept because in business you sink or swim. There may be a lot of treading water at times, but ultimately we get to the other side of the pool (or ocean!) and get the necessary jobs done. This helps us understand your business (phew!), your current predicament (needing support) and your possible solutions (yaay!)
#3 We are highly motivated
OK, I’ll be honest here. I want and need to finish my work for you today at my allotted time because I have a hike or a motorcycle trip planned. If I don’t get the work done and dilly dally around on Facebook, I’ll not get to wear down some thread on my motorcycle tyres. I cannot have those tyres perishing from lack of use! It’s sacrilege in the world of biking!
#4 We strive for excellence
Why would I become self-employed or a business owner and not demand excellence of myself? Our excellence is rewarded in many ways. We have become adept at self-praise. When a job is well done and done to standard, we congratulate ourselves and reward that good work with a bike ride or some other treat.
We don’t need to wait to see if our ‘Manager’ is happy with our work and make do with their feedback. We strive for good testimonials and recommendations and referrals! So don’t forget those referrals if we have done a great job!
Top 3 skills of a Virtual Assistant
A Virtual Assistant possesses skills that go beyond the call of duty. Employees should have these skills too but because our main motivation is to help other business owners, we are not only generous with those skills but weave them into every task we take on. An employee is paid to create or manage something for a set period of hours in a set way.
A Virtual Assistant has the benefit of being a business owner to push these skills out to the max:
Being able to effectively communicate with clients ~ writing, speaking, active listening, reframing, and paraphrasing in order to understand the true needs of our clients.
We are efficient and well organised to manage different clients while being really present when working with a specific client. This is not multi-tasking, this is managing the different aspects of each client in an organised and ethical manner.
Not only managing the work of different clients but self-management also. A Virtual Assistant may have a mentor or coach to work with but they have no manager to go to for support or answers. We need to manage that well so that our workflow is seamless.
Top 3 traits of a Virtual Assistant
Oh yeah, baby! If we don’t deliver on our promises, we become unreliable, therefore ‘unhireable.’ But the thing is, we want to be reliable! We want you to love the fact that you feel safe working with us, that we will deliver on time and provide the best possible work that we can.
#2 Attention to detail
I proofread the menu when I go to a restaurant. I notice every typo and grammatical error in a Facebook comment. When someone asks me to critique their website for design, the first thing I notice is the number of typos and punctuation errors, adding them up in my head. That kind of appreciation OF detail provides the ability to pay attention TO detail. Disclaimer: I am my own worst proofreader 😉
Micro-managing? What’s that? We manage ourselves, our time, our projects, and our communications. It allows us to deliver our work to a high standard and manage our work-life integration. The reason I do what I do is to achieve a work-life integration that suits me.
I also work best when allowed to focus at my own pace, in my own way. This doesn’t mean I don’t work well within a team. I am constantly part of a team of some sorts but do not need supervision to deliver my work to specification. We have figured out the autonomy secret!
Skills and traits are so important when choosing a virtual assistant to work with, I will cover these in more detail in a later post.
Over to you!
If you would like to learn more about working with another professional virtually, I challenge you to shoot me a message and let’s have a virtual coffee 🙂