Many VAs do not know what goes on in the background of a network owner – or in fact anyone who owns or moderate a network of some type. So I thought I’d share my day with you.
I had expected to get some client work done today but very little has been done. Instead, here is what I have filled my day with.
Received a membership application but the person who filled out the form did not follow through with their resume or subscription. I logged into my autoresponder system to make sure they were set up in that so they would have received my follow up email.
Emailed 4 others who have filled out application forms over the past week but haven’t completed their applications.
Processed another application that is complete and entered the new member into the database, added them to two mailing lists, sent them a welcome email, stuck a label onto an envelope and handwrote their name and address, printed off their welcome letter and tax receipt, placed it all with their members pack into the envelope and sealed ready for posting next time I’m at the postbox.
Checked on registrations for a coaching club webinar I have coming up next week and then contacted a couple of the registrants to query something.
Responded to several emails from various members about different things and also spent time on the phone with a member who is having problems with her computer.
Followed up my IT guy who was installing a new mail list system on my server – we’re shifting from Ning to my server and I’d been investigating possible software solutions over the past few weeks and finally decided on one. Andrew responded to my email this morning and the rest of the day was spent mainly on testing the system. I logged in and tried out some messages, added half a dozen email addresses from team members who have been with me for sometime and then emailed them to let them know what I was doing.
I then spent 2 or 3 hours going over the whole system, reading documentation, testing things, changing settings and retesting. Couldn’t get the email function to work so contacted Andrew so he could look into it for me. More tests.
Then I was worried about the archived messages being publicly viewable so we switched that off while I researched how to get it so that members only could view it and then switched it back on. After that I had to register as a new member with a different email address to see what members could or could not see and check what messages they receive on sign-up – more tweaking and changing default messages to reflect what I want them to show.
Between bits and pieces, approved several messages to go to the forum – new members are moderated till they’ve settled into the system, and to assure me they’re really not spammers.
Add to that following up some members whose renewals are due or overdue, posting jobleads from clients as they fill in the form on our website, let alone anything else that came in by email or by phone.
Granted, a VA Network owner doesn’t set up new software systems every day but there are some days when you get little time for client work because you’re spending time with your members – who are also your clients. Some need more hand-holding than others, some need affirmation about things, guidance, a listening ear and a virtual shoulder. There are days when I’ll have 3 or 4 members who just need to spend time with me, asking questions, seeking advice or wondering how to deal with a client, or even another member of the network. Or they may be having a computer problem that they feel I can resolve. Or perhaps they don’t understand our jobleads system and need to learn how it works.
Each day is very different and often very full. So, when you’re looking at joining a network and wondering if the owner is sitting doing nothing much but getting paid for handling membership subscriptions, give some thought to my day outlined above. This is just one day out of many in running a VA network.
NB I don’t want any team members feeling guilty for emailing me or ringing me – I’m here to support them and help them. But I do know there are some who may be considering joining either this network or another and wondering why they’re not free.