I came across an article a few weeks ago at SBInformer about someone who had read Tim Ferriss’ book and he thought he’d try it out and get a VA of his own. Trouble with this is the majority of people who read this book don’t do the research – they just read the book and go to the sources quoted without really understanding our industry or even realising that if they Googled ‘Virtual Assistants’ they would come across our industry associations and learn what a true VA is. They would also get a much better idea of the true value, both in monetary form and in support.
My response to the article is below.
Mr Ferriss neglected to mention all the Virtual Assistant networks that are available for sourcing VAs – true professional VAs. A Virtual Assistant is someone who has previous corporate experience and usually was a PA or similar, i.e. they have good business experience and are equipped to carry out PA roles for their clients. Generally they do not charge the rates he quoted in his book and this has been quite misleading for the industry in general and has proven to be a challenge or perhaps a disappointment to many who thought they were going to get cheap labour to run their businesses.
The Virtual Assistant industry grew out of corporate secretaries and PAs bringing their skills back home in the mid 1990s and using the Internet and other technologies to provide quality and professional support to their client base.
If you’re seeking a VA that is based in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and other similar countries then you need to expect to pay rates commensurate with the services you are receiving. After all, would you seek an Accountant, Lawyer, Business Coach, etc via the same sources as you tried out? I expect you’d want to seek a professional through their professional groups or via qualified referrals and it should be the same for Virtual Assistants. More details about our industry can be found at http://www.vadirectory.net/blog.