International Virtual Assistants Day has been observed on the third Friday of May since 2006.
Virtual assistants are independent contractors who work remotely either by themselves or with a team of experts.
What does it mean to work remotely?
Usually working from their home office they provide administrative and/or technical support for clients in a variety of industries.
Virtual assistants own their own business and work independently or assemble a versatile team of other virtual independent contractors. The members of the group work independently, have shared interests and use technology to communicate and collaborate. Virtual teams bring together people with the best expertise, regardless of where they live.
When working remotely or working as part of a virtual team you rely on email, instant messaging, and video chat to communicate.
“As technology continues to evolve, implementing telecommuting policies will become easier—leading your business to save money on overheads, while keeping employee retention high thanks to a better work/life balance.” Global Telework 2016 Survey Results
Getting started can be tough. It isn’t easy trying to explain with confidence what it is you do when you are not even sure what it is you do yet! It can be difficult to sell someone on something you haven’t actually done before.
Until you have some experience or references to back you up, talking to potential clients can be intimidating and challenging.
The importance of choosing a niche or specialty
Having a niche means having a certain skill set which helps lead clients who need that particular service directly to you as the known skilled professional in a particular field.
By choosing to specialize in an area of service that is in high demand and offering efficient and beneficial expertise you, will earn more money.
Define your specialty or services
- Be clear about the services you offer
- Be specific about how your services help your clients
- Speak with confidence
- Provide exact details and information potential clients are most interested to know and will find helpful
When you define your specialty or services be specific and keep it simple. You don’t have to fill in every single little detail. Offer potential clients a general outline of how your services can help them. Shine the light on how you can help them in precisely the key areas they are having trouble with but don’t force it on them. Give them time to think about what it is you do and how you said you could help them. Then let them come back to you after realizing they need your professional assistance.
When adding areas of expertise to your list of services keep in mind that you are looking for things you enjoy doing. Make sure you are working with people you like working with and doing work that you find rewarding and makes you happy. It is not just about making money. It is about doing something you like to do and being fulfilled and satisfied by your efforts and ultimately your accomplishments.
Be clear on your why
Is it financial? Maybe it’s influence – a way for you to leave a legacy. Or maybe you want to have more flexibility.
Being able to work literally from anywhere is certainly something that both of us find extremely appealing.
What inspires you? Get clear on what your inspiration is and hold on to it.
Conquer your fears
You need to conquer your fears and feed your positive mindset. Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people.
Stay in community with other people in your filed. Attend conferences with peers.
Revisit and remember your why and draw on that for inspiration. A lot of people put together a visual representation of future goals with an inspiration board as a tool to help them to stay motivated.
There are always going to be challenges or obstacles that get in the way and threaten your plans for success. The key is to stay focused on what it is you want to accomplish and keep working toward making it happen. Stay the course. Stay true to yourself and you will get there eventually.
To learn more about virtual assistants visit: www.IVAA.org