Choose clients that you believe in their message and what they’re doing. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Have the courage to be you when you’re interacting with clients. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
If your website does not fit you, run now and go change it. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Hi! Welcome to The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant. I am your host, Tiffany Parson, and this is episode number 94. The special thing about today’s episode, it is the first video episode that we are doing for the podcast. Now, you’ll have a choice between listening to the audio via iTunes, Stitcher, directly from TiffanyParson.com, or on YouTube. Do a search for Tiffany Parson and you’ll get me.
I cannot remember what my YouTube link is, which I need to make a note and grab a domain just for YouTube. But then I can tell you that domain going forward and I won’t have to remember what the specific YouTube address is. That is a tip for somebody that was paying close attention.
All right, today’s episode, this is episode number 94, and I’m just going to title it “The Courage to Be You.” You’re a virtual assistant business owner. You may feel like your business should look a certain way because you provide a service. You may feel like you need to be available all the time because you provide a service. But your life and your personality do not fit the 24/7 guideline and neither should your virtual assistant business.
I’m here to tell you, hey, have courage to be yourself.
Here’s the deal. You’re not a suit wearing person, naturally, outside of a dress code. If there were no dress code – let’s say you work a corporate job right now and you’re doing a virtual assistant business. If there were no dress code, how would you dress? Would be in a business casual look? Would you be in a casual look? Would you be really casual? Would you be in yoga pants? Would you be in your pajamas?
How would you be if there were no dress code?
Do not feel like you have to be all suited up if that’s not your natural thing. What professional looks like for you could be completely different for someone else. If that’s not you, why are you using stock photos on your website with someone all suited up in a suit if it doesn’t fit you? Have the courage to be you, both when you’re interacting with your clients, when you’re on social media, when you’re talking to your clients on the phone.
If you feel like you’re a little too rough around the edges, things haven’t worked out before, that means there’s room for improvement, right? So just improve that. You don’t have to turn into a totally different person to satisfy someone else or this idea of what they think a virtual assistant is.
I had a client once that was surprised by what I looked like because a previous virtual assistant she worked with pretty much painted a picture of her being in her pajamas and bathrobe all the time doing work for her. I’m not sure how she painted that picture. I’m not sure if she actually told her that.
Personally, I can’t work in my pajamas because I feel like you can see me if I’m in my pajamas, even working virtually behind the computer, no one seeing me. I’m on email. I’m working on websites, podcast, doing different things. Without the camera, I still feel like you can see me. I don’t feel comfortable in PJs.
But that might be you. That might be how you, you know, you might be very relaxed. I don’t know necessarily if you should communicate that to clients, especially if your client is more on the other end of being super professional. It’s good when you and your client are a nice match. Not that you’ll always know how they are. You could do a little search on social media to find out.
But the point is, I want you to have the courage to be yourself. If there’s no dress code, how would it look?
You get to create the culture and environment for your business. I want you to create an environment where you can thrive in. Not just be all comfortable and totally laid back, but really thrive and succeed to the level that you want your business to succeed, whatever that looks like.
That also means it does not have to be boring. To me, what’s boring is being in my office all day every single day doing client work. That is boring. So excitement for me might be going to sit outside, sitting at the dining room table, being at the sofa. Just, to me, that changes it up a whole lot for me. I am introverted so I enjoy being by myself. I get energy being by myself.
Years ago, I did this media fast. It was a 21-day media fast with our church. Years ago, and it’s probably been at least, I would say, maybe eight or nine years ago. Before this fast, I was the type of person that as soon as I walked in the house, I had to turn the TV. I had to have the noise of the TV whether I was watching TV or not. At night, fell asleep to the TV. Just had to have that noise there.
But we did this 21-day fast, no media, like no TV, and ever since then TV has not been a big deal. This was before there was Netflix, Roku, On Demand, DVR, you know, all that stuff. This was before that. Now, it’s perfect because I still like TV, but I watch it on my terms. Like I don’t even know what time the shows I enjoy watching come on, or if I see them on, I’m like, oh, I don’t want to see it yet. I want to just watch it on Hulu with no commercials. That’s how I am now, all on my time.
But that fast made it so that I don’t need the noise in the room from the TV or anything like that. When I’m working, my environment now, I can have it totally silent and it be just fine, and it’s like, ahh, wonderful for me and it’s not boring.
But for you, you may need some music. You may need the TV on, all these other things so that it’s, you know, more exciting for you. Set up the environment how you want it to be. It is your business. Again, you set the tone. This is having the courage to be yourself. What fits you best? Not what fits somebody else.
Stiff – doesn’t have to be stiff. I’m using professional, boring, stiff because if you’ve ever worked in Corporate America and you knew at some point – you realized wait a minute, I really want to have my own thing. I want my own business. Then, you probably were suffocating, especially if you worked in insurance, banking.
These are places that I think are boring: insurance, banking. In don’t know, anywhere where there are a whole bunch of cubicles and not many people talking to each other. Where there’s not a whole lot of fun going on, but people are all suited up handling business.
Yeah, your virtual assistant business does not have to look like that. I have bright colors in my office. I’ve got fun pens, like this is a pen that I had made a long time ago, like I would say probably 2009 maybe and it still writes after all this time – still writes. I’ve got a bunch of them in a little pot. It looks like flowers, but they’re all pens. Totally cool. Just, I need to have color around me. What else do I have close by? Nothing else close by for me to just pull from.
But anyway, point is make it you, make it fun, make it engaging. It’s your office. It’s your time to really enjoy what you’re doing.
Here’s something else I want you to consider is when you are selecting clients, and yes, you have a choice. You don’t have to accept everybody that comes through your doors. Just like the clients get to choose which VA business owner they want to work with, you get to choose what clients you want to work with.
Choose clients that you believe in what they’re doing. You believe in their message. You believe in their business.
If they weren’t your client, you might be a client of theirs. Meaning you would buy their coaching. You would buy their book. You would buy their workshop. You would want to be a part of that learning. The reason why it’s helpful to believe in what your client’s business is, because when they outsource to you, when they contract with you, you all become partners in a sense.
They’re depending on you to provide whatever service it is that you provide for clients, whether that is email support, social media, bookkeeping, WordPress, blogging, editing, transcriptions. Whatever it is, if you believe in your client’s business, you will approach it as though it were your business.
For the clients that you don’t, you’re just doing it, you need a project, need money, or you just want to help somebody, you just want to help them, but you don’t believe in what they’re doing, it will show. That may have already happened to you.
Have you had a client – have you worked on a project that you were like, hmm, I’m not really sure, or they’re not really sure, which is making you not really sure. That affects the results of the project. It really does. Now, I’m just speaking from experience, and if you are watching or listening and you’ve experienced this as well, you know it’s true. It’s true.
As best you can, you can decipher what your client does and do a little digging. Figure out ahead of time, especially if you’re using job boards like Upwork where it’s not so obvious. It’s completely different when clients come to you directly. You’re able to see their websites and social media and get to know them. But on the job boards, we don’t always have that benefit.
So you can get a little peek. Find out ahead of time. Do your research. It’s more than just about what the bid amount is. Do a little digging. Learn about who they are, what they believe in, what their business is. Does it match up with you? Then, go from there. You’ll find you enjoy those projects.
This is where, again, it takes courage to be you, courage to determine what’s a good fit for me as a business owner in regards to the clients that I take on. Is this a good fit for me or not? Then, to be able to let them know in a professional way that it’s not a good fit.
Sometimes we know right away. Sometimes we have a conversation, whether it’s via email or chat or phone or Skype of whatever it is, and then we find out that way, or hopefully, it’s not the third one where it’s after the fact and you realize down the road, ooh, it’s not a good fit.
It’s happened to me before, and then what I do is pray about it. God works it out where something happens and then we end up not being able to work together after all, or there’s an opportunity where maybe they want to extend the contract or add on something else and then that gives you a chance to kind of close it out and end it in a nice little bow in professional way there.
The whole point of today’s episode is just to let you know be yourself in your business. It’s yours. What you do in it is perfectly fine.
Now, if you’ve started out trying to be this professional business owner, but you’re more casual, you’re more relaxed, you can change it. It’s not stuck. It’s not in cement. It’s not done forever. You can now change it. If your website does not fit you, run now. Go change it. Fix it. Take the stuff off until you can figure out what is a good fit. I don’t mean your blogging, but I mean pictures.
Perfect example, if you’re more of like a jeans kind of girl, maybe you like, you know, you’re more bohemian style but the stock photos you picked look like people who work at the bank, hmm, totally mismatch. You can go fix that today.
Anyway, this is the end of episode number 94. Let me know your thoughts, especially if you’re watching the video. I would love to get your feedback. I’m always interested in what you have to say and any comments. If you have questions, let me know as well. You can post your comments on Facebook.
Head on to Facebook.com/TiffanyParsonBiz. You can find me there every single day. Just share with me and I will be able to connect with you directly there, or if Twitter is your game, you love Twitter, you can catch me at Twitter.com/TiffanyDParson on Twitter. I’m also, on Instagram every single day. TiffanyDParson on Instagram.
I am getting into Snapchat. Right now, I’m just an observer on Snapchat, and I think I’m TiffanyParson on Snapchat or it might just be TiffanyDParson. Not 100% sure. But anyway, I’m not there every day, so don’t worry about for Snapchat. But every day, I am on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
You have a wonderful and fabulous day and I will see you next time.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you like what you heard, stay tuned. We’ll be back. Tell me what’s going on with you. Come on over the Facebook page: facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz, or if you prefer a little shorter message, come on over to Twitter: @tiffanydparson.
See you next time!