Someone bragging about you is the best kind of networking you could ask for. If your clients brag about you, you probably are not having a problem keeping your practice as full as you want it. If your VA practice is lacking, and no one seems to bragging about you, then perhaps your virtual assistant technical skills are not meeting the requirements that most entrepreneurs need. This message was in an email I received a few weeks ago: "After desperately looking for some high quality virtual assistants to recommend to my clients, I am finally taking things in my own hands." What is this person saying? He could not find virtual assistants he could turn to for any or most of the projects he had and for the projects his clients need.
From this statement, doesn't this appear that virtual assistants are letting some great opportunities pass by because we are not skilled enough to handle the projects these successful entrepreneurs need? Just imagine if your car develops a mechanical problem, you want to take it to your local garage, you expect them to diagnose the problem and to fix the problem. You don't want to go back and hear, "oh, we don't do that, you'll have to take your car to Dan the mechanic." And then what happens? You need to go to Dan, make another appointment, and spend more time without the car. Pretty soon a whole day is gone and you have to do it all over again tomorrow. If you are an entrepreneur who has projects that need continuity and that require one system to work with the other, for instance, a product attached to a shopping cart that results in an autoresponder being sent - you, as the entrepreneur, would love to turn the whole project over to your virtual assistant.
If you are that client's VA, you will be more efficient by being able to work through the process yourself rather than relying on someone else to do parts of the project. Understand how pleasant it is for your client to hear, "okay, sure, I can do that." Wow, they LOVE that statement. How would you like to start turning clients away because there is no more room in your practice? You can by being the virtual assistant that clients brag about.
And why do they brag? Because you have the skills they need to run their business. There is a gap between learning the "business" part of getting your Virtual Assistant practice off the ground and the technical needs of the people out there who need great VAs. When skilled virtual assistants cannot be found, business people search for individuals who do the specific projects, like setting up a hosting account, setting up the shopping cart, customer service, learning some software - looks like this person will be managing four people. Not much "time saving here.
" They could subscribe to a service that provides a "Team" of VAs. The problem with this solution is that the client is either communicating with the specific member of the team that is working on a specific project or only gets to communicate with the coordinator. The true Virtual Assistant Partnership is a VA who can do almost all of what the client needs and is a true entity in their business.
As a virtual assistant, you should be able to say, "yes I can" more times than, "I'll find someone for you to do that." You should always be in the process of broadening your skills so that you can help take your clients from an idea to a viable business. You should be able to show your clients ways to enhance their businesses. You've already learned HOW to become a VA, now you need to add value (and $$$) to our virtual assistant practice by focusing on increasing your technical skill level. You can create a WOW image and have your clients brag about you. By increasing your value, you can increase your rates.
Don't fall into the "box" of low paid Virtual Assistants who know only how to type a letter or work on a spreadsheet. The technical gap between learning how to be a VA and actually being able to execute the things our clients need to help make their businesses successful can be closed with technical training. Skills entrepreneurs constantly ask for are the ability to maintain a web site, manage a shopping cart, set up autoresponders, send broadcast emails, find joint venture partners, distribute articles, how to use Assessment Generator, help them develop products, set up a teleclass and marketing their site, teleclasses and products. Valued VAs have a wide variety of skills.They know when, where and how to apply those skills.
They know the best way to apply them for their clients. They know the best options and solutions for the problem at hand. Adding to your technical skills is a win/win for you and your client. You win because you add value to your business and your client wins because now they get new ideas and they can count on you to do the job.
Kathy Sparks, VA Technical School, is a ten year veteran of a full Virtual Assistant Practice. Visit VA Technical School to learn more about how to add value to your VA practice.