The Demand For Admin Virtual Assistant Services Is Declining – Focus On Back-End Skills Instead!

There are different kinds of Virtual Assistant services you can offer in your business. However, it’s always better to go with the higher-paying back-end services – aka techie or Digital Marketing services. Because they will provide you with more freedom, flexibility, and money.

This post is part of The Ultimate VA Success Guide: 4 Truths About The Most In Demand Virtual Assistant Services. In this series, I talk about the importance of moving away from admin and toward offering Digital Marketing services instead. Here is an overview of all posts.

When I started my business because I wanted FREEDOM and admin skills would not give me that. You see when you offer admin Virtual Assistant 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 give 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 still had a full-time job. So the only type of Virtual Assistant services I could do, needed to be deadline-driven and around my schedule.

The 2 Types Of Virtual Assistant Services

#1 – Frond-End Services

These are administrative-type of services where you need to have “office hours” or availability during the workday for your clients or their clients. Services such as:

  • Answering phones or email.
  • Scheduling appointments.
  • Anything customer service-related.

#2 – Back-End Services

Are Virtual Assistant services like techie skills and Digital Marketing where you can work when you want and just meet your deadlines. Services like:

  • WordPress
  • Mail Chimp
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Or other services related to Digital Marketing.
  • Or anything technology or systems-based.

I focus on teaching the back-end systems and skills which are different from most other VA Trainers and Coaches in the VA Industry. 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 you have a look at my Techie VA Training Vault.

Why You Should Switch To Offering Back-End Services Now

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.

  • Clients need people that can set up the tools, technology, and systems that run and 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.

#1 – Clients Can Do The Admin Work Themselves

Now, I’m not saying clients should do their own admin work – they shouldn’t – they should focus on what they do best. But if push comes to shove and they don’t have the budget to hire help, they can do those things themselves.

#2 – Clients Usually Need Help With The Technology

What they can’t do – in many cases – is log into the back of their WordPress site, or send out an email using Mail Chimp, or edit a video. These are the Virtual Assistant services that most clients don’t know how to do or are afraid to.

#3 – Higher Demand + Income

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 Virtual Assistant services and get clients.

#4 – You’re Seen As A Consultant

One other difference between offering front-end and 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.

FYI: An OBM Does Not Do Admin-Type Of Services

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 and skills but they don’t usually do admin-type tasks. You can find out more about OBMs at onlinebusinessmanager.com.

 

I hope you now have a better understanding of the different types of Virtual Assistant services and the differences between them. Keep in mind, that these are my definitions or categories. 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 – Susan

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Written by Susan Mershon

Susan Mershon started The Techie Mentor™ in 2013 to teach her no-fluff approach to the strategies and skills that Virtual Assistants need to create, build and grow a profitable and sustainable business.

With a strong base in project management, Susan brings her love of systems and teaching to offer in-depth training and mentoring to new and experienced Virtual Assistants.

She’s taught thousands of Virtual Assistants her proven strategies and systems for getting started, getting clients, and charging premium rates that can earn them 4x more than typical admin skills.

To learn more about her, how she’s different, and what she offers, please go to The Techie Mentor website.

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6 Comments
  1. Hitesh Sharma

    Indeed, this is a useful and helpful information. Thank you for mentoring.

    Reply
    • Susan Mershon

      You’re so welcome – thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Reply
  2. Sarah

    Hi Susan, this is really great info. Thank you. I would like to learn more on the backend skills. Where can I go?

    Reply
    • Susan Mershon

      Hi Sarah, thank you, I’m glad you found it helpful. If you’re looking for techie type training, I’ve got that. In fact, I’m getting ready to launch my Techie VA Training Vault in the next few weeks. Let me know if you’d like more details.

      Reply
  3. Debbie Neil

    Susan, thank you for this post. It helped me to get a little clearer on the services I want to offer and why. This information has never been explained as clearly as now. Thank you. This has given me inspiration to keep working toward my goals.

    Reply
    • Susan Mershon

      Hi Debbie, thank you for taking the time to comment and I’m glad it was helpful. It is confusing since there is no standards in the VA Industry!

      Reply
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