A New Field
It’s no secret that having a great Assistant will grow your business.
Between coordinating and managing calendars for key people, relaying details that help close deals, and engaging with customers in ways that keep them coming up, Assistants are a key ingredient to both day-to-day business operations, and expansion.
Unlike working with traditional, in-office Assistants, working with VAs frees businesses from maintaining pricey office spaces, and hiring managers to micromanage them. Additionally, working with a VA widens the talent pool significantly, while also creating more opportunity for businesses to find someone with the skill set they need most. All of these reasons culminate to a bigger trend of “Virtual Assistants quickly replacing traditional secretaries and in-office personal or administrative assistants.”
As an outsourcing agency specializing in matching VAs with companies that need their expertise, we frequently get a front seat to the differences and breakthroughs VAs can make in a company. We spend extra time and care enhancing our VAs’ skill sets with training in protecting cybersecurity while offering assistance with administrative tasks, social media strategy and management, public relations, paralegal services, and more.
The positive feedback we receive from business owners who sing the praises of our highly-trained Virtual Assistants help us know that what our VAs do actually works. And because more Virtual Assistants could benefit from training in these areas, we want to share our best practices and hacks for VAs working across industries, and offer them here on our blog.
But before we talk about best practices for VAs, first let’s talk about what they do:
A virtual assistant (VA) may be an employee, freelancer, or independent contractor who works online and performs a variety of tasks to help individuals or businesses. Virtual assistants can offer a lot of the services an in-house secretary would traditionally handle: data entry, transcription, scheduling, copywriting, programming, design, and other services. They usually work at home and in fact, may never meet their clients in-person.
Now that that’s clear, let’s talk about what our Virtual Assistants feel sets them ahead of the pack; one of our resident Executive Assistants, Jacy Bishop, chimes in with her top 3 tips for best practices:
As a VA, creating healthy communication begins from the initial contact. When starting a project with a new client, I introduce myself by setting up a quick video, or phone call by email to allow the business owner to know what to expect from me, and how I can assist the company. During that conversation, I make sure to find out if there are any overlapping duties or skill sets, and if so, we work on a strategy for delegating tasks. Towards the end of the conversation, I also set expectations for response times, recurring meetings, and any other day-to-day communications.
After making initial contact with your client, you’ll want to create systems and processes that make them feel prioritized. The more you learn about them and their business in that first call, the better system you’ll be able to create. To do so, it’s crucial that you understand what your client expects from you, and have a clear plan for how you will meet those expectations.
Within that system, you’ll probably rely on tools and programs (here are some of our favorites) to stay on top of scheduling, but just remember that calendars only work when you use them! My rule of thumb is to always set reminders for calendar events–no matter how small the task may seem. To keep my client updated, I also dedicate time to check in and send updates.
But most importantly, the key to staying booked as a VA is being a team player, and treating everyone with respect. If you’re serious about your career as a VA, you’ll want to make sure that the relationships you build with your client must be built around mutual respect for each other’s time and services. Doing so is not only the decent thing to do, but it will leave you with countless raving reviews, leading to more clients!
High-performing VAs will discover a world of opportunities to grow their own business when they’re able to keep their clients happyWeAssist’s CEO, Sharai Johnson, can attest to that! She came across the profession as a military wife and young mom in need of flexible job opportunities. After discovering that her skills were in demand for several local businesses, it wasn’t long before she was growing her rolodex of clients. When business started to boom, Johnson got the idea to start a VA-outsourcing business that secures virtual roles for hardworking professionals, and especially, military moms and wives just like her. The very profession that she discovered somewhat accidentally has changed her and her family’s life, has helped over 30 businesses in Colorado, and has given countless VAs a start to do the same; and it all started with her focusing on following best practices.
Our CEO’s story proves that when Virtual Assistants invest time in giving their best, they will create the careers and businesses that they’ve always dreamt of having.
Looking for a Virtual Assistant? We’ll match you with one equipped with the know-how to take your business to the next level!
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