… were the words that greeted me in one of my web stats. I frequently check my stats to see where people are coming from and how they find me. That includes searches made on search engines.
Are we truly in an age where people think they can get everything free or as much as possible? I know there is a lot of ‘stuff’ on the web that you can get free but often it comes with other items that cost, or limited use till a full copy is paid for, or advertising that someone has paid for (like those annoying banner ads on some free programs), somewhere along the line. Sometimes the programs can actually be a part of another program (like Adobe Reader is related to Adobe Acrobat – you can read the PDF files with one but have to pay to create PDF files with the other).
But free training? If someone was seeking to become a VA then it’s reasonable to expect that they need to come to that vocation with a fair amount of experience in the services they plan to provide and let’s hope some business knowledge too. They should also know that to run a business there are going to be expenses incurred – expenses that are tax deductible because they are part of running our businesses. And often that will include training too.
And what about those providing the training? Who is going to pay for their time and the materials they put together to assist those who want to learn how to become a VA? Oh, I forgot, everything is supposed to be free on the web. Duh! I don’t think so.
But I will tell you a way you can learn a lot of information without paying for it, other than with your time. It will require a lot of reading, surfing on the web and taking notice of what other people say. And that is through joining some Virtual Assistant forums. Or, if you’re in another business a forum relating to that industry. They are a great way of learning from your peers, others in the industry who already have the knowledge and experience and are willing to share with others that knowledge. The many VA forums have heaps of experienced, knowledgeable VAs willing to answer questions and help set you on the right path.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re going to give you a copy of what they worked hard on – their brochures, agreements, templates, etc. You need to do that for yourself. But they will give you guidance that will help you stay on the right path and let you know if you’re starting to stray in the wrong direction. I’ve found the forums excellent – even with years of experience behind me; there’s always someone who knows something I don’t. After all, we can’t all specialise in every niche for the industry.
And if you’re someone who is looking to get training and pay for it, then I’d be happy to point you in the right direction. I run a 10 week course, suitable for VAs in any country (providing they can read and write English) and there are other courses listed at VANetworkNews.com.