I use Google Alert a lot to keep me informed of the industry and also about things relating to my clients’ businesses. One thing I often see are blogs about where to find a Virtual Assistant or comments on blogs from new VAs who are keen to find work, clients and learn more about the industry they’ve joined.
What amazes me is that a simple Google search will direct people to the Virtual Assistant Networks that are out there and yet so many seem to miss this fact.
Virtual Assistant Networks or Organisations provide two main services: they connect VAs with other VAs and clients, and they provide clients a one-stop-shop for a Virtual Assistant.
For the Virtual Assistant, learning from your peers and sharing information with them is very important. It’s how the industry grows and is shaped, by the members of its industry. Many of the networks or organisations have the industry at heart and have helped it grow over the years. These groups also provide VAs the opportunity of meeting genuine clients as clients place requests for work to be done via the websites of these networks or organisations. Clients do not have to pay a search fee but the VAs do pay a membership fee to belong to the networks or organisations. And getting client contact and peer-to-peer support aren’t the only member benefits. Many of the networks or organisations provide other things such as training and coaching, directory listings, web support, marketing support and so on – much the same as any industry association today.
For the clients they are given a sense of security knowing that the VAs belonging to these groups have been screened, meet certain criteria to be a member and back up support in times of absence of their chosen VA or for bigger projects.