A Virtual Assistant Title or any other title in the entrepreneurial world doesn’t mean as much as they do in corporate America. Also, Virtual Assistant is not a title – it’s an industry! Many of us make the mistake to take on VA as a title when we start out. Which is really not a good thing.
When I was in corporate America, my title was Senior IT Project Manager. Well, a lot of stuff hung from that title. For example, what I did, who I worked for, which department, how much money I made, and so much more.
Your Virtual Assistant Title Doesn’t Really Matter To Your Clients
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. Nobody really cares about your Virtual Assistant title or whatever you call yourself.
No disrespect but 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 that your Virtual Assistant title doesn’t help your clients understand how you can make their life easier.
Why You Should 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, your answer – “I’m a Virtual Assistant”. You’ll most likely get one of two reactions:
- You get the deer in the headlights look. In other words, they really have no idea what that means.
- They assume you’re an 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 back-end systems and techie services. The types of services that gave me the freedom I wanted and didn’t keep me tied to my desk for certain hours a day like admin work does.
So when I talked to somebody and they’re like, “Oh, Virtual Assistant. You can answer my phone or you manage my email.” My answer was, “Uh, no. That’s not what I do.” I quickly realized that using the Virtual Assistant title 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 use the Virtual Assistant title but it’s time to move on. 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.
Why It’s Time To Stop Spending Money On Business Cards
Business cards 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?”
That’s why I dropped both the business card and the Virtual Assistant title and went with a flyer that says, “Here’s how I can help you.” Going forward you want to focus on how you help people and the results they will get when working with you 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.
The Simple “Who-Results-How” Formula
Use this simple formula: I help, WHO (who do you help, your target audience) RESULTS (what results do they get), and 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 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, 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. Remember, clients are more interested in results NOT what you’re called. Focus on that!
Please also read my blog post, The 12 Virtual Assitant Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs – Especially If You’re A New VA! if you want to know more about some of the most common errors a lot of new Virtual Assistants make.
What’s your title? Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading – Susan
P.S. If you're ready to invest in yourself and a professional future, please check out my VA Success Training. It's for people that are serious about running a successful Online Business. It includes everything you need from business set-up, getting clients, client management, service packaging, a WP website, coaching, a supportive community, and so much more.