Provide services that you are naturally drawn to learn more. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Knowing your capabilities contributes to your confidence. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
If you are not confident, then you lose your competitive edge. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Hi! You are listening to or watching The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant, and I am your host, Tiffany Parson. Welcome to episode number 96. That number is just creeping up. Episode number 100 will be here in no time. I’m really excited about that for a number of reasons, and the number one reason is because of you.
I have to say there were many times where I wanted to give up the podcast because I felt like I don’t know if I have anything to say. Is it valuable? Is it helpful? I promise you every single time I have wondered that over the course of the last 95 episodes, especially early on like within the first 20 episodes, I would get an email, a comment on Facebook, a Twitter message or – I’m trying to think of the right way to say it. Not private messages, but posts. But I would get emails. I would get a question.
Basically, you were letting me know that you were listening, and I’m so excited about that. I’ve always felt like as long as I am able to help one virtual assistant business owner, then, hey, this podcast is doing its job. I’m happy to say that there are more of you than just one. Anyway, thank you so much. The new switch, or new addition versus a switch, of adding video has added an extra element of excitement for me as well.
If you are a new watcher, a new listener, a new viewer and this is your first time checking out the episode, I have to tell you I do a straight run. I don’t stop and start. It is straight so you get the whole thing. I was thinking about what to talk about this morning and I’m like, you know, I like the podcasts doing it live in the sense that I don’t stop and start. Once I know what I’m going to talk about and I’ve jotted down a few bullet points and I am ready to roll, I fly and, you know, already know what we’re going to talk about and I just let it roll.
You are very much a part of my life and what happens, and so that’s it. We just do a straight run. No take tens and all that stuff, except for last episode when I had all those technical hiccups. But once it ran, it was running and we were off to the races. Anyway, I want to thank you for being a viewer and for listening to the podcast how often you listen. I want to thank you so much for that.
For my new viewers, the podcasts go live every single Thursday afternoon. I try to get it out around 3:30 p.m. Eastern. If you’re wondering does this podcast – does this video podcast have a schedule? Yes, that is the schedule.
Today’s topic is about confidence and your competitive edge.
There are three things that will help in regards to being confident in your business. The reason why it’s important is because you will be speaking with your clients. You may get pushback, especially regarding your rates. You may have people asking you questions. If you are not confident, then you could lose your competitive edge, especially when you know they’re looking at other vendors, which is cool. I want prospective clients to look at other vendors so they will know that they are working with the best.
The first thing – and I’ve got my notes here close with me. There are three things that will help with your confidence. Three things. Those three things are knowing what your capabilities are, your limits, and your skills. You get those down pat and you will be able to confidently speak with any client. Write it out via email, Skype, phone, whatever the case may be.
Let’s talk about your capabilities. Why is it important that you even know what you’re capable of?
Here’s why. Because you are offering a service to clients so you need to know what your capabilities are. Sometimes we overstretch ourselves, especially at the very beginning. Maybe your virtual assistant business is not full blown yet, meaning you’re still figuring out what services to offer, so maybe you’re learning what you’re capable of.
Maybe you’re not sure if it’s social media, if it’s blogging, if it’s bookkeeping, if it’s graphics, if it’s technical. You’re still figuring it out, which is fine to be in that figuring out stage. Because even at that point, you know what you’re capable of at the level you are today, right, so being aware of that.
Also, you may be asked about some software or a system or something that maybe you’ve heard of but never tried. If you know, hey, I know I can look that up real quick and catch on fast to that, then that is part of knowing what you’re capable of. That contributes to your confidence and speaking with your client.
If they’re asking you about something new, maybe it’s MailChimp and you’ve never used MailChimp before, but you’ve heard about it. You did a quick Google search. You know MailChimp offers a trial. This is how I recommend to quickly get familiar with software. Google is our best friend, so head to Google. Look it up. See what it is. Oh, it’s an email marketing system. Okay, great.
If you’re familiar with some other email marketing systems, say AWeber, Constant Contact, iContact and some others, MailChimp falls in line with those. They all may have one or two things they do differently, but pretty much it all boils down to the same thing. They will let your clients send out broadcasts, newsletters, autoresponders, so on and so forth, and some of them have their limits.
Knowing what those are will help in your confidence in discussing what that’s all about. Knowing that one little secret to go what? Research it on Google to find out. That contributes to what you’re capable of.
I love learning new software because once I figure it out, then my mind goes into how can this be most useful not only to my clients, but to me as well? It might be helpful in my business also.
So knowing what you’re capable of, not just limited to the service you provide, but capable of as a person.
This kind of leans into limits as well. For me, I know I can do three tasks max every day, and that doesn’t mean three clients or three projects. That means, for example, if I have errands to run, I don’t go to eight stores in one day, or eight different place in a day because I’m pooped by the third time. If I’ve got to go to the post office, Target, and Kohl’s and then there’s CVS and the grocery store, something is getting cut out because I know what my personal limits are.
I used to not understand where that all came from and why I would be pooped even though I had written my list and knew exactly what I was going to do, and I felt like it was going to be quick. But that is just what would happen. I would be zapped. Part of that is being out and around so many people. Ooh, my energy gets – it’s like being pulled and tugged and pulled and tugged just being in the store, not even if no one is even saying anything to me. I just feel it – pull, tug, because of the people around me. Anyway, I know three is my max, so that’s the limit.
When it comes to working with clients, do you know what your max number of clients is? Now, you could easily throw out a number and say, “Okay, Tiffany. Five is the max number of clients. I know because I had seven all…” Let’s say you had seven social media clients and it required you to be hands-on. It’s not just the number of clients, it’s what the task is because you could have 20 clients.
For example, I could have 20 WordPress maintenance clients and that is manageable for me because it’s not hands-on every single day. The odds are very slim that all 20 are going to have an emergency at the exact same time unless it is an emergency specific to WordPress, which in all of nine years or so that I’ve been working with WordPress has not happened.
But let’s just say that happened. It was all something that happened at the same time. I just thought of a perfect example that’s better than the WordPress example, and that is social media. Let’s say you have 20 social media clients. You schedule their posts. Maybe you schedule them every week. Something that could happen and that has happened in the past is with Hootsuite. I’ve seen Hootsuite not send out posts. Then you have to figure out, okay, why didn’t that message go out?
Yes, it would be your responsibility as a social media virtual assistant to figure out why didn’t it go out, and you want to figure it out before your client even notices that something happened. You want to be the problem solver, checking it out, seeing what happened. You want to be on top of it.
If you notice, oh gosh, you know, so and so’s post didn’t go. Why not? You want to go, check in Hootsuite, see what happened. It may be something specific to the software overall where it affects all of your clients. Actually, that makes it easier because then once you figure out what the one problem is, it applies to everybody. But if it’s related to, you know, a misstep on your part, then that makes it totally different.
You have to figure out what are my limits? Not just in the number of clients, but as far as what I’m doing for a client.
Here’s another example. I limit phone conversations because I find phone conversations are a waste of time when it comes to projects. People will shoot the breeze, and I’m not talking about initial consultation getting to know you kind of thing and finding out what they want and all that stuff, or a quick touch bases call.
But if I had a client that I would have to talk to every single week about their project, and let’s say it’s something that is more monthly like website maintenance, there isn’t anything to talk about every single week for website maintenance. Nothing happens like that every single week.
In all honesty, it would drive me absolutely nuts if I had to be on the phone every single week to talk about website maintenance because I don’t know what I would say other than, “Everything is all good.” [Laughs] and you can’t just say that. You got to have, you know, got to have more than that, and some people just like to talk.
So I know what my limits are. There are only so many clients I can have that fit that particular category. My absolute favorite would be the ones that love email and they’re so busy themselves they don’t have time for a phone call, especially a phone call every single week about website maintenance.
Anyway, when you know what your limits are, that contributes to your confidence when you are speaking to prospective clients. You already know how many can fit into a certain slot based on your services and based on the type client that you are.
How do you even find out that they’re an email versus a phone call type client? You’ll know that at the very beginning of the interaction. You’ll know as far as how the relationship starts. Do they communicate mostly through email, or do they ask you to schedule a phone call? You’ll get the feel for that.
The last thing is knowing your skills. Easy peasy, right? Knowing what you can do…not so quickly. There are a lot of things that I can do, but there aren’t a lot of things that I do exceptionally well. There also aren’t a lot of things that I could do with my eyes closed if it just required me to tell you how to do that specific thing. I like to stick to things that come natural – I am naturally drawn to learn more, to want to figure out more. Those are the type services that I provide, and I recommend you do the same.
If you’re still in that initial phase I talked about when I was talking about capabilities and figuring it all out, you will get the feel of what those things are. If I had to do bookkeeping, I would enjoy entering in the numbers and all that stuff. But I would say after about the third month, I would be sick of it. How do I know? Because that’s how it is when I’m doing my own stuff [laughs]. The excitement wears off after like the third month.
When you are confident and someone wants to know, “Why are your rates so high?” you can discuss it in confidence because you know your capabilities, you know your limits, and you know your skills. Guess what? It gives you a competitive edge over the next person. It also demonstrates that you are aware of who you are. You know who you are as a person and also as a business owner.
You will get clients that love you and you will get clients it’s like, oh, no, she’s too much. Either way, the clients that are meant for you are the ones that you will have if and only if you put yourself out there.
Thank you for listening and watching. This is episode number 96 and I appreciate you listening. If you have a question, put it in the comments. If you are listening, then you find me on Twitter or Facebook and I will be happy to help or add it to the next episode.
I will see you next time. I’m off to have some fun with my family and I look forward to recording for you next episode. Anyway, have a great week.
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!