Further to my post on Friday, I recently received an email in my spam filter thanking me for my enquiry and application for this:
VA CERTIFICATION APPLICATION
I had never heard of the group sending the email, I don’t know who they are and I certainly didn’t apply.
Just so everyone knows (especially those new to the industry) – it’s you who approach networks and training groups to do things for your business – not the other way around. If they approach you they’re either desperate for members or students or are a scam and are trying to take you in and get your money.
This does not apply to training groups that promote via the VA networks – they are generally known to the networks and are supported and encouraged to assist with the personal and professional development of members of our industry.
The email I received gave no background information to explain who they are, what their experience is and how they are placed in this industry. Neither does their website. If I were to send out an email approaching people to do my VA Trainer course I would certainly be explaining who I am and what my background is to verify my knowledge and expertise of the industry. Frankly I don’t have the time to collect email addresses and then start spamming people – which is what this was. I didn’t invite the email or ask for information about their course.
This also goes for employment offers. Real employment agencies advertise for people to fill roles – they don’t spend/waste time emailing all and sundry in the hope that someone might fulfil a role and why should they? People come to them, not the other way around.
Real clients will approach you however – not in a blanket email 99% of the time, but usually an individually addressed email or phone call to find out if you can help them, how much you charge and so on.
Incidentally there are no contact details for the people I mention above and when I do a Google search on the two women’s names mentioned on the website and in the email, there comes up rather odd information about one of them being male and born in 1898. I expect the perpetrators just used names that are fairly ‘normal’ to appear real.
If anyone else has any knowledge of this group would be useful to know and if I’m wrong, I’m happy to be corrected, but having been in this industry for a long time it rather surprises me to be approached and thanked for contacting them to do their course – they obviously don’t know my experience and background at all!
Kathie is the owner of VA Directory and is former past President of the Australian VA Association. She founded the Virtual Assistant industry in Australia in the mid 90s, having already been operating a home-based secretarial service. Today the VA industry covers a multitude of office-based services for clients worldwide.