You Need a Trusted Parter in Your VA Business To Keep From Losing Clients

You Need a Trusted Parter in Your VA Business To Keep From Losing Clients

If you are a solo Virtual Assistant, having a trusted partner or partners is a must.

First… a little bit of background on what they are and why you need one (Trusted Partners).

If you’re a service provider and you’re a solopreneur… you are the business.

You’re a one-person shop so to speak.

Nobody else in your business does what you do or can do what you do.

Now, maybe you have a team that supports you, but they’re not the ones that go out and make the money for the business.

If you’re a Virtual Assistant, chances are you’re a solopreneur.

You’re the one that does the work and delivers the services.

If you have a team of Virtual Assistants or Freelancers that work with your clients – you’re not a solopreneur!

Even coaches are considered solopreneurs!

So… What’s a Trusted Partner?

A Trusted Partner is someone who can step into your business and essentially be you when you want or need to take time away from your business.

Why do you need one?

To help your clients when you are unavailable.

What happens when you get sick or have an emergency and need to be out of the office for more than a day or two?

Your clients business doesn’t stop because you do.

They have tasks that need to be done + delivered even when you’re out of the office.

Do you currently have someone who can step in and assist your clients while your away?

I didn’t… and this is what happened to me and how the Trusted Partner was born.

I had all these wonderful clients.

I was always busy, always had a lot on my plate, always had a lot of to-dos.

Then… I got sick.

In fact, I got pneumonia, and I wasn’t able to complete my daily to-dos or meet my deadlines.

And… you probably can guess what happened next.

Because I didn’t have anyone who I trusted and had similar skills as myself to do the work, I lost a few clients.

They had to go elsewhere to get their stuff done. And, I totally get it!

(Some of my other clients could wait until I got back to work but several of them were in the midst of a launch and couldn’t afford to wait).

I couldn’t work… I was just that sick.

And… on another note I don’t advocate for working when you’re sick or on vacation or need to be present for a family member.

You need time OFF – it’s that simple.

I didn’t take a vacation for the first three years of my business, which is not healthy.

I realized that I needed to have somebody who could back me up when I was unavailable and that is how the Trusted Partner was born.

Essentially a Trusted Partner becomes you when you’re unavailable for any reason.

So… what if you have a family emergency or you just need a mental health day, or, you get really sick?

How will you provide coverage for your clients?

A quick side note for those of you that are brand new to the VA Industry, this is something that you should start looking into as soon as possible. You want to take care of your clients, even when you’re out of the office.

It gives them a sense of comfort, plus this is something that not everybody does – have a Trusted Partner.

How do you find one?

In order for them to become you while you’re away, they need to have similar skill sets as you so they can do the work that needs to get done.

That way you can truly relax or get healthy while your business is in good hands.

They should be someone you know and trust.

You can find them through colleagues and even Facebook groups.

Facebook groups are a great place to start, but you have to build a relationship with someone, because you are trusting these people to run your business while you’re unavailable.

So you want to make sure that they’re a good fit for you and understand how your business works.

Bottom line is it takes TIME to find the right person.

As I mentioned they need to have similar skills, but they also need to understand how your business is run since this is NOT a cookie cutter industry.

Every business is different.

I reached out to a few colleagues that I had worked with in the past and asked them if they would be interested in being each others Trusted Partner.

These were Virtual Assistants that I had worked with on a team or who had done sub-contractor work for me.

The most important thing is to find someone you know and trust who has similar skills to you.

That way they can handle any of the tasks that may come their way.

Look at your friends, at colleagues, at people that are in groups with you, whether it’s a paid group or a free one.

Reach out to people and say, “Hey, I need a Trusted Partner and I need somebody that does X,Y, Z.”

You have to make sure you’re really zoned in on what type of skills you want. They may not have the depth of knowledge, but they should be able to do the work that needs to get done while you’re away.

How do you use them?

Once you’ve found your partner(s), be sure to let your clients know about them and how they work.

This should be part of your Business Policies and Client Kick Off call process – to introduce the concept and how they work with your Trusted Partner.

I introduced my Trusted Partners to my clients and explained that they were only available when I was unavailable for extended periods of time (3 days or more) and not for any other reason.

They’re not for emergencies when they can’t reach you for some reason.

Unavailable means you’re out of the office, on vacation, you have a family emergency, you’re sick.

That’s when the Trusted Partner would step in.

You would let your clients know the situation – that you’re on vacation, sick or otherwise unavailable and remind them about your Trusted Partners and how to connect with them.

Be sure to add the exact process for working with your Trusted Partners to your business policies document and discuss it with your clients. This way they are clear on how and when to use them. Also, add your Trusted Partners contact information and skills to your business policies document.

How do you pay them (Trusted Partner)?

That’s something that you have to figure out – but they should be paid for any work they do for you.

Remember, they are providing a valuable service for you and your clients.

It gives you peace of mind and time to unplug while you’re unavailable AND it gives your clients peace of mind knowing they have help.

My Trusted Partners and I kept it simple.

We decided to be subcontractors for each other and charge a lesser rate for the work that we did while acting as a Trusted Partner.

Since we were each others, this kept the whole thing simple.

One more quick thing…

I would set up a business email for them at your company.

For instance, [email protected].

That will keep it simple for them and your clients when reaching out to them.

So by having a trusted partner in your business, you have somebody that can step in and help them do what they need to do while you’re unavailable. It’s going to give you peace of mind while you’re out of the office, and give your clients peace of mind that they know if you’re unavailable, they have someone they can go to that can help them. And so that’s a trusted partner.

Having a Trusted Partner gives you and your clients peace of mind.

Your clients have someone they can reach out to if they need anything while you are unavailable.

And you can unplug, recharge, get healthy or tend to whatever you need while you’re away.

It makes a huge difference between keeping and losing clients.

Here is a quick checklist to help you get started finding your Trusted Partners!

Trusted Partner™ Checklist

  1. Reach out to people you trust. These can be people you have worked with on a team, met on social media or were in a course together. I recommend finding two or more.
  2. Be sure they have similar skills as you. Remember, they are going to be stepping into your business and acting as you while you are unavailable. This means that they need to understand how you run your business.
  3. Decide on whether or not you are going to pay your partners. Sometimes we paid each other, other times we just bartered for each other’s services. This is something you need to work out together. And, be sure to get it all in writing!
  4. Work with your trusted partners to create the process you use when an emergency happens and you have to be out of the office.
  5. Train your trusted partners in how you work with clients and the tools that you use (great time to have an operations manual). 
  6. Add the trusted partner process to your business policies document and share it with your clients.
  7. Make an introduction to your clients and make sure they understand the process for working with your trusted partners.
  8. Create an email for them at your company to help keep it easy for everyone involved.
  9. Decide how much and when to pay your Trusted Partners for providing this invaluable service to you and your clients.

When was the last time you truly unplugged from your business without panicking or worrying about everything that wasn’t getting done? I’d love to know.

Do you have a Trusted Partner?

I’d love to know!

All comments + questions are welcome.

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to find a Trusted Partner for your business.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Getting Organized
  2. Changing Your Employee Mindset
  3. Start Working With Clients

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

What’s The Difference Between Front-End Services + Back-End Services

What’s The Difference Between Front-End Services + Back-End Services

Front End vs. Back End Services

What You Need to know! 

Believe it or not there is a difference in the type of services you offer in your VA business.

I call them Front End Services + Back End Services and I want to take you through what they are in this blog post.

Now… this post is actually related to a post I wrote on why you want to stop calling yourself a Virtual Assistant.

If you haven’t read it yet, you can do so here.

The main point of that post was to point out that SO many people get hung up on what they call themselves instead of focusing on how they help their clients.

When you call yourself a Virtual Assistant people assume (right or wrong) that you’re an admin.

But what if you’re not?

I wasn’t an admin and I didn’t offer any type of administrative skills.

It’s not that I couldn’t – I didn’t want to because admin skills keep you tied to your desk or computer during certain hours of the day.

I started my business because I wanted FREEDOM an admin skills would not give me that.

You see… when you offer administrative type services (aka Front End Services) you usually need to be available during specific business hours for your clients or their clients.

You’re basically like the front desk for their office – you’re just virtual.

I didn’t want that – I wanted to do the work on my schedule.

I wanted flexibility and that is what Back End Services gives you.

The ability to work when you want, on your own schedule.

You just need to meet your deadlines.

Besides… when I started my business I wasn’t available during so-called business hours because I had a full time job.

So… the only work I could do, needed to be deadline driven and around my schedule.

Besides, I’m a systems junkie + techie and those are the type of services I wanted to offer – what I call Back-End Services.

So… just to recap the differences between Front-End + Back-End Services…

  • Front end services are administrative type services where you need to have “office hours” or availability during the work day for your clients or their clients.
    • Services such as answering phones or email, scheduling appointments, anything customer service related would be a front-end service.
  • Back end services are the techie + system type services where you can work when you want and just meet your deadlines.
    • Services such as WordPress, Mail Chimp, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing or really anything under the Digital Marketing umbrella.
    • Anything technology or systems based.

My focus is on teaching the back-end systems and skills which is different from most other VA Trainers + Coaches in the VA Industry.

I do this for a couple of reasons:

  1. It’s my passion – I love it!
  2. It’s what online business owners aka clients need.

I would estimate that somewhere between 75 – 80% of the people starting a VA business have an administrative background of some sort. Like a PA or EA for instance.

While those skills are valuable, clients are looking for MORE than admin skills.

They are looking for people that can set up the tools, technology and systems that run + automate their business.

Clients can do their own admin work (answering their phone, schedule appointments, take care of their own customers) but they don’t know how to work the tools or systems that run their business.

Now, I’m not saying clients should do their own admin work – they shouldn’t – they should focus on what they do best.

But… push comes to shove and they don’t have the budget to hire help, they can do those things themselves.

What they can’t do is log into the back of their WordPress site, or send out an email using Mail Chimp or edit a video.

These are back-end skills that most clients don’t know how to do or are afraid to.

There is a much larger demand for back-end skills and they pay more!

Plus… it’s much easier to specialize in a specific skill or system which makes it easier to market your service and get clients.

One other difference between offering front-end + back-end services is how some of your clients might view you.

They may look at you as more of a consultant, someone they can brainstorm with as they grow their business.

It’s just a perception – I’m not saying that admins aren’t consultants.

But for some reason the word “assistant” has less value than “consultant” – especially to those of us from the corporate cube farm.

Oh… one other quick thing, just to clear up any confusion.

I’m sure you’ve heard the term OBM – it stands for Online Business Manager and they are NOT the same as Virtual Assistants.

They’re more what I call an Operations Manager – they help run a client’s business, focusing on the day to day stuff.

Many of them focus on back end services + skills but they don’t usually do admin type tasks.

You can find out more about OBM’s at onlinebusinessmanager.com.

I hope you now have a better understanding of front-end and back-end services and the differences between them.

Keep in mind, that these are my definitions or categories.

So… if you’re looking for skills that will give you the freedom to work when you want from where you want, then I’d recommend specializing in back-end services.

If you’re not sure what is considered a back-end service, feel free to comment and I’ll be happy to help.

Thank you for reading my story!

All comments + questions are welcome.

I’d love to hear from you.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. What Skills Are Needed To Be A Virtual Assistant
  2. Setting Up A Virtual Assistant Business
  3. Your Virtual Assistant Business Plan
  4. Virtual Assistant is NOT a Title

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

Virtual Assistant is NOT a Title…

Virtual Assistant is NOT a Title…

Why You Need To Stop Calling Yourself a Virtual Assistant.

It’s an Industry.

Like many of us, when we’re first starting out, we become part of the VA industry and we take on the title of Virtual Assistant.

Which, is really not a good thing.

First off, titles don’t mean as much in the entrepreneurial world or the solo-preneurial world as they do in corporate America.

For instance, when I was in corporate America, my title was Senior IT Project Manager.

Well, a lot of stuff hung from that title, like what I did, who I worked for, which department, how much money I made, and so much more was actually rolled up into my title.

Now when you become your own boss, titles really don’t matter. They don’t carry the same amount of weight as they did when you were an employee.

But now…  nobody really cares what you call yourself (no disrespect).

What clients want is somebody who can solve their problems. You could call yourself Queen of Sheba as long as you solved your client’s problems.

The point is titles don’t really matter to your clients.

Now back to why you need to stop calling yourself a Virtual Assistant.

When you’re talking to people, whether it be family, friends or even prospective clients at a networking event and they ask you – “What do you do?”.

And, you answer – “I’m a Virtual Assistant”.

You’ll most likely get one of two responses.

One – you get the deer in the headlights look. In other words they really have no idea what that means.

Two – they assume you’re and Admin in one way, shape or form.

I didn’t want to be known as an Admin – because I wasn’t one.

I was not offering admin type services  – I was offering backend systems + techie services.

The types of services that gave my the freedom I wanted and didn’t keep me tied to my desk certain hours a day like admin work does.

So… when I talk to somebody and they’re like, “Oh, Virtual Assistant. You can answer my phone or you manage my email.”

I’m like, “Uh, no. That’s not what I do.”

I quickly realized that using VA as a title or as a business owner wasn’t working for me.

I had to spend too much time trying to explain what the heck it was that I did. So, I changed my strategy to thinking about Virtual Assistant as an industry NOT a title.

And… really that is what it is, it’s not a title, but I know for most of us who’ve come out of corporate American or any JOB with a title, that’s what we kind of glob onto.

We want to call ourself a Virtual Assistant.

But… it’s time to move on and away from being a “VA”.

Remember people, don’t know what it is, they assume you’re an admin.

Start looking at VA as an industry and focus on what you do for your clients. How you help them – that is where you need to shift your focus.

If you need a title for your business card or an event, use something related to the services you offer. For example Email Marketing Manager, Transcriptionist, Social Media Specialist, etc.

Oh and before I forget… stop spending money on business cards.

They don’t work!

Instead use a Benefits Flyer™. It’s something I came up with myself many years ago because when I handed someone my business card (especially if it said VA on it), we had the same old conversation. “Well, what is it that you do? Can you explain that to me?”

So… I dropped both the business card + the title of VA and went with a flyer that says, “Here’s how I can help you.

I’ve included a link to “How to create a Benefits Flyer™” at the end of this post just in case you want to know more.

Going forward you want to focus on how you help people and the results they get and not on a title.

For instance, let’s say that I am a social media manager and my focus is the travel industry.

So when someone asks, “Hey Susan, what do you do?”

I answer, “Well, I help family-owned travel agencies manage their social media.”  Then people immediately understand what I do.

Use this simple formula: I help, WHO (who do you help – your target audience) RESULTS (what results do they get) + HOW (how do you help them – what do you do).

A few more examples to help you are…

I help Business Coaches (WHO) get in front of their audience (RESULTS) by managing their social media (HOW).

I help Yoga Studios (WHO) get more clients (RESULTS) by writing great copy (HOW).

I help Virtual Assistants (WHO) launch a successful business (RESULTS) by teaching them how to create and implement systems (HOW).

I know it takes time for many people to come up with these – to summarize them in one sentence.

It took me a long time – it’s part of getting clear on who you help and how.

Be patient and practice – it will come.

Play around with it.

It may not roll off your tongue immediately but it’s really something that you want to start focusing on.

Oh and on a side note… I know many people think that the VA industry is made up of nothing but administrative assistants and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

As I mentioned, I’m not an admin, never wanted to be, never was one. I’m not knocking admins they have great skills but it just wasn’t something that I wanted to do.

The VA industry is very, very diverse just like a business. There’s people here from HR, IT, like myself, people who do sales and marketing, systems and technology and many more.

So…  don’t think that you have to be an admin if you don’t want to be.

You can learn the skills and the systems that you need to make a difference and that help you quit your soul-sucking job or do whatever it is that you want to do.

Remember… clients are more interested in results NOT what you’re called. Focus on that!

What’s your title?

I’d love to know!

All comments + questions are welcome.

Here is another article talking about why you need to ditch titles and switch to talking to what you do and how you help your clients.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2019/08/13/the-law-of-specialization-in-personal-branding/#33295d0e1951

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Virtual Assistant Certifications: Why You Don’t Need One
  2. 5 Ways to Find Clients For Your VA Biz
  3. Creating Your Virtual Assistant Business Plan
  4. Creating Your Benefits Flyer.

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

Top Skills For Virtual Assistants To Know

Top Skills For Virtual Assistants To Know

The Top Skills For Virtual Assistants

What You Need To Know!

These in-demand skills make it easier to get clients + earn a great living!

Welcome to part two of this three-part series of blog posts focusing on the skills you need to be successful as a Virtual Assistant.

If you haven’t read the first post all about Soft Skills you can read it here.

In this blog post, I’m going to talk about the top in-demand skills clients are looking for.

The ones they want + need.

What I call “Hard Skills”.

These are the skills that make it easier to market your services, get clients and earn more money.

First… you may be wondering how I know what skills clients want.

Good question.

Well… it’s because online business owners come to me every week asking for referrals for skilled professionals.

These are the skills that I’ll be covering in this post – the top in-demand skills I’m asked for the most.

But, first I want to address a few things I see happening all the time in the VA Industry.

Things that make it more difficult to market your services, get clients + earn great money.

Many people start out by trying to be a “Jack or Jill” of all trades. (Also known as a Generalist).

This is when you offer everything but the kitchen sink to your clients.

It sounds good in theory… you know the more I offer the more successful I could be.

But… it’s actually the opposite.

First… it’s not about QUANTITY it’s all about QUALITY.

In fact, the more services you offer the more confusing it can be for your audience.

They’re not quite sure what you do – or what you do well.

If you’re struggling to get clients or market your services, you might want to start by looking at how many services you’re offering.

Is it clear what you “specialize” in by looking at your list of services?

If it’s not clear to you – then I can bet it’s not to your potential clients.

Start by cleaning up your list of services.

Go through them one at a time and ask yourself if you actually enjoy doing it.

If you don’t like it, then don’t do it.

Remove it from your list of services.

That’s the beauty of having your own business – you only have to offer what you truly enjoy doing and nothing else.

When you shift your focus to specializing in just a few services something happens.

It becomes easier to market your services, for potential clients to understand what you do and to earn more money.

You want to be a Specialist NOT a Generalist.

Plus… specializing makes it easier to scale your business!

If you’re offering ONLY administrative type tasks – it’s going to be harder to get clients + make good money.

Why?

Because the VA Industry is flooded with EA’s, PA’s + AA’s.

Now, don’t get me wrong, having admin skills is a great asset to you.

BUT…. client’s don’t want or need JUST admin skills.

What they want and need is help with the systems + tools that run their online business.

The ones that help them be successful.

You’ll need to move away from offering all admin type skills and move towards the skills that clients need.

The ones that are in demand and can earn you up to twice as much as admin skills (not a guarantee).

So… how do you know what to specialize in?

Well… you can specialize in one of the services that you already offer, or you can learn one of the top in-demand skills clients want.

Here are the skills I’m asked for the MOST:

All things Digital Marketing. It is the hottest set of skills right now in the industry.

  1. WordPress Websites + Management
  2. Project Management
  3. Copywriting
  4. Graphic Design
  5. Systems + Processes
  6. Techie Skills
  7. These are in no particular order except I would say the Digital Marketing is the one most people want + need help with.

I’ve detailed a few more as well broken down what skills are considered Digital Marketing in my FREE Top 10 Skills EBook. You can grab your copy below.

You can use this EBook to help you move from Generalist to Specialist.

If you’re wondering what skills I would recommend – I would say Mail Chimp + WordPress.

In fact, in my opinion I think ALL Virtual Assistants should know them both.

Why?

Well, Mail Chimp is a tool that many new online business owners use for email marketing and it’s an easy tool to learn and use. It is one of the most requested skills I get! If you want to learn more about Offering Mail Chimp as a service in your business, join my FREE VA Training Vault (button below).

And, WordPress is a great skill to have since 95% of your clients (and potential clients) either have a WordPress website or need one. You don’t have to know how to build a website in order to help your clients – you can learn how to manage it for them. 

In order to be successful as a Virtual Assistant, you need to have the skills that clients want + need.

If you don’t, you’ll struggle with getting clients and earning money.

It’s all about supply + demand.

If you’re interested in learning in-demand skills AND how to offer them as a service, check out my new Techie VA Training Vault here.

What do you think?

I’d love to hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

For the next blog post in this series all about being a Professional Virtual Assistant click here.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Why You Should Offer Audit Packages In Your Business
  2. Why You Need To Have Referral Partners
  3. How To Create Your Virtual Assistant Packages
  4. How To Set Your Rates

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

 

What Skills Are Needed To Be A Virtual Assistant

What Skills Are Needed To Be A Virtual Assistant

What Skills Are Needed To Be a Virtual Assistant

Do You Know Which Ones You Need To Be Successful?

I see this question asked on social media all the time.

So… I thought it would make for a great series of blog posts.

There are going to be 3 blog posts in the series, each one with a specific topic on skills needed to be successful as a Virtual Assistant.

This first blog post focuses on what I call the “soft skills“.

What are “soft skills” you ask?

Well.. they’re the skills you need to master when working in a service-based business.

Because remember, the VA Industy is a service-based industry, where we work one on one with clients.

It’s all about building + maintaining strong relationships with our clients.

They are NOT “hard skills”.

Hard skills are expertise based skills such as:

  • WordPress
  • Transcription
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Copywriting

Don’t get me wrong hard skills are a MUST but so are soft skills and they seem to be overlooked.

These are the skills you need to master to be a service professional.

You can have the “hard skills” but if you don’t have the soft skills too – it’s hard to keep clients!

(Hard skills will be covered in the next two blogs in this series.)

So… let’s dive into the top 5 soft skills you need to embrace + master.

The Top 5 Soft Skills are:

  1. Communication
  2. Teamwork
  3. Problem Solving
  4. Flexibility
  5. Time Management

Let’s break them down one a time, starting with Communication.

Communication 

This is the most important soft skill to master.

If you can’t communicate effectively it’s hard to meet your clients deadlines + expectations.

Especially since we’re virtual.

It’s important to ask questions so you fully understand what you’re doing for clients.

If you don’t understand ASK.

There are NO stupid questions, except the ones you don’t ask.

Don’t worry about looking silly for asking questions – it means you’re listening and trying to gain an understanding.

Since we’re virtual we communicate in different ways.

Know what the best method of communication is for YOU.

Let your clients know.

Remember.. communicating clearly involves listening and speaking, be sure you’re doing both.

And… always be honest if you made a mistake.

We all make them, the worst thing you can do is try to cover it up instead of own up to it.

Teamwork

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to know how to work well with others.

Realize that you might need a combination of soft skills to be effective at teamwork, especially if you don’t have any experience being part of a team.

It’s important to listen to others, and inspire your clients + team to work together for best results.

It also means you need to do your own part. Recognizing your part in the team, and acknowledging others’ contributions is important.

You are part of your client’s team even if it’s just the two of you.

Problem Solving

You need to be okay when it comes to dealing with unexpected issues or problems – it’s going to happen.

You can’t freak out – well you can but don’t let your client know <grin>.

Problems + issues are just part of life and business.

The best thing is to know they’re going to happen from time to time and if possible have a plan B.

Technology is a blessing and a curse… sometimes things blow up or don’t work as expected.

It’s just part of having an online business.

You need to be ready to solve any problems that come your way.

This requires creativity and good analytical skills.

When it comes to problem-solving, you should be able to analyze the situation and look at it from different angles. Plus, it’s important to find different, sometimes out-of-the-box solutions to problems. This is where you can reach out to team members or even your client to help find the best solutions.

This is one of the best soft skills you can have if you’re looking to be more than just an assistant.

Flexibility

Are you able to change direction + think fast on your feet?

Are you willing to try new things?

Flexibility is a skill that can help you survive as an entrepreneur + Virtual Assistant.

Business changes… technology changes.

Change is part of life – you need to embrace it or at least be willing to bend.

With this skill, you are more likely to be open to learning new things and moving forward.

If one thing doesn’t work (or stops working), you need to be flexible enough to try something else.

Your ability to have an agile mind and thought process can pave the way to success.

Time Management

This is a BIG one.

If you want to be successful you need to know how to manage your time.

Time management is key to being successful in this business.

Why? Because we complete tasks or projects for clients and they want them delivered on time.

Understand which tasks are vital to your business, and which you can do later, or delegate.

Revenue generating tasks are the ones you should spend 80% of your time on – because that’s what pays the bills.

The other 20% should be spent on your own business – the day to day stuff that keeps your business running.

Knowing how to use your time — and developing the discipline to stick to a timetable — can help you make better decisions and maximize the work you do.

I use a combination of tools to be sure I get done what I need to. All of my client tasks go into my Task Management system (Teamwork) and I use a planner to keep track of my daily to-do’s.

This system works for me – find one that works for you!

Soft skills are important to the success of your business.

When you develop them, you have the chance to push yourself to the next level.

They will help you stand out as a professional in the industry.

What do you think? Do you have experience with these soft skills?

I’d love to hear from you.

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking to improve your soft skills.

All comments + questions are welcome.

Click here for the next blog post in this series all about “hard skills” or in-demand skills.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Virtual Business Operations – Setting Up Your Systems
  2. 5 Must Haves When Starting Your Business

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

Why You Need To Offer Audit Packages In Your VA Biz

Why You Need To Offer Audit Packages In Your VA Biz

Why you should be offering audit packages in your VA biz.

they’re a great way to earn extra $$.

Do you offer them?

Audits are a great way to sell your expertise to help solve your client’s or prospective client’s problems.

Have you ever had someone want to “pick your brain” because they had a problem and thought maybe you could help them solve it?

Or… they’re having issues with (fill in the blank) and wondered if you could take a look at it for them. In other words, you’re troubleshooting the problem for them.

I know I have.

Now, I’m all for helping people but there should be a limit on how much time + expertise you give away for free.

Discovery Sessions are a great way to find out if you can help prospective clients but they should not turn into Solution or Troubleshooting Sessions.

When you’re either troubleshooting an issue or giving someone the solution to a problem, you should be paid for it.

And… that’s what Audit Packages are for.

An audit is where you sell your expertise as a consultant to either troubleshoot an issue or figure out the solution to a problem.

Let me give you an example of what I mean.

I had a prospective client reach out to me because they were having issues with their Infusionsoft and wanted to know if I could fix it.

So, during the Discovery Session, I asked as many questions as I could to try and diagnose the problem.

But… they didn’t know Infusionsoft well enough to answer my questions.

I’d seen enough messes when it came to the set up of Infusionsoft that I knew it was not something I could diagnose without getting my hands on their system.

I explained to them that I would need to have access to their Infusionsoft to troubleshoot the issue and then offered my Audit Package.

You see, my business coach explained to me in no uncertain terms that if I didn’t value my time + expertise then how could I expect anyone else to OR how would I make living?

So… I created an Audit Package and stopped solving problems for FREE.

It’s the answer to the “can I pick your brain” questions.

This is the package I still offer today when I need to troubleshoot issues or solve problems.

  1. 2 hours of Consulting time
  2. A detailed report of the issue.
  3. A proposal to fix the problem.

I sell 2 hours of my time as a consultant so I have the time to diagnose the problem, create the report and put together the proposal for how I can fix it for them.

When it comes to Audit Packages you can get paid twice for the same problem.

  • Once to diagnose it!
  • Once to fix it!

I have one package that I use for all the services that I offer since it’s the same rinse + repeat process no matter the expertise.

By adding Audit Packages to your service offerings you’re creating another revenue stream that will earn you more money + help your clients.

So…

  • Stop giving away your time + expertise.
  • Stop letting people pick your brain for free.

Create an Audit Package and start selling your expertise as a valued consultant.

Are you ready to create your Audit Package?

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to create yours.

I’d love to hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Discovery Sessions
  2. Sales Funnels The What + The Why

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

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