Regular readers will know that I am a member of the business network LinkedIn. I’ve spent a fair bit of time there since Easter, getting to know people and making connections. It’s been worthwhile as business has also occurred as a result of developing relationships with various members there.
One of my favourite sections of LinkedIn is Answers – I find it quite addictive. You can place a question there and answer other people’s questions. It’s a great way for people to get to know you exist, how you think and operate, and more importantly (to me anyway), your professionalism. This is one of the places where people can decide if they want to connect with you and get to know more about you and your business. It is often the first place people begin to realise you exist.
Recently a question was asked about the Pros and Cons of Using a VA and the response from one of the members there I felt should be shared here. So, with Holly‘s permission, here is her response.
The only con I can see to using VA services is that he or she cannot bring you coffee in the morning. I am a VA who has 14 years of experience as a corporate administrative/executive assistant. I thought when I started my VA business, that I was aware of the latest technology and computer software and systems. I was wrong. Virtual assistants are far more advanced when it comes to technology and using the Internet to support business owners. I have learned more in the past year about the Internet and web-based systems than I have in all my years working in corporate.
Most VAs use MS Office as a standard. However, there are many who do not use Office for e-mail, CRM, calendars, spreadsheets, or word processing. VAs use systems that are typically web-based such as Google Calendar for calendaring and Google Docs & Spreadsheets for sharing documents. Thunderbird is popular for e-mail and Firefox is a preferred Internet browser for some. Basecamp is one of many systems for project management. Logmein and Gotomypc are used for remote access. These are tools, which I never knew existed until I began researching this industry a year ago. Now, they are tools, which I cannot conduct my business without.
When searching for a VA, my advice is to stay away from those who claim to be virtual assistants but are nothing more than virtual receptionists. There is a significant difference. A true virtual assistant has a genuine interest in helping you achieve your goals and working with you long-term and can do more for you than answer your phone.
Good luck with your search for an ideal VA. Once you find him or her, you will not be disappointed.
May I say that I have seen exactly what Holly outlines above. So many VAs who join the chat forums I moderate say exactly the same thing – that they thought they knew a lot until they began operating as a VA and then they found they had so much more to learn and often they are in awe of those who have been operating for awhile.
If you are looking to become a VA, please do the research and join some of the chat forums, but don’t let those who are more advanced deter you, but rather encourage and motivate you to explore and learn – you will be so glad you did!
And for those clients seeking to use a VA, Holly’s advice is sound advice. KMT