Take note of how you’re feeling as you’re working for different clients. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Turn a learning experience into content to empower future clients. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Your business is something you created. You should get excited about it. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Hi and welcome to episode number 71. Today, we’re going to talk about the importance of knowing yourself in your virtual assistant business. This will come into play as you are interviewing prospective clients, as you’re working with clients. It will help you in knowing what to agree to and what not to agree to. When you first start out, you may not even know what that is.
It’s important to take note of the experiences and how you’re feeling as you’re working through different projects for different clients.
This week, an email was sent. It was an email inquiry for someone about webinar services, and everything she was asking for was something that we provide as a service. Then, I got down to the date of her event. Her event is less than a week away. The list of things she needed was at least 15 items, if not more – less than a week away.
Now, I’ve learned from past experience, even if this event was two weeks away, I’ve learned from past experience and knowing who I am. Some people, they would have gotten excited in working under the pressure. For me, I really dive full in to my projects, and in order for me to give everything that I have, I have to have time, like I don’t work well under strict time constraints.
Based on past experience with other clients where I’ve accepted a short timeframe, it was a high stress situation. The client was stressed out and their stress affected me, because if I needed to ask them different questions about different things related to their event or their project, it became too much. I’m sure it was because they were getting email questions from me as well as whatever was going on on their end in preparation for their event.
You have to know how you operate naturally, like how would this work out for you. Again, you might not always know. You might think, hey, I know how to do all 15 of those things. I can get that done for you. But when you don’t know, you don’t know to take into consideration all the other stuff that comes with it, because someone that’s waiting until the last minute to come find a virtual assistant has a lot of holes in their project, holes they know about and holes they don’t know about. Guess who that falls on? It falls on you. Now, if you love that kind of stuff, perfect, great. You would just dive in. But if that’s not you, it’s good to know that.
The way I responded after reviewing everything is to let her know that, “Yes, this is something that we provide, however, based on the timeframe, this is not something that we’re able to do, and we can’t even take on another project until…” and I gave her what the timeframe was. Then I also let her know that for webinar events, we start working on those weeks in advance. I’m saying weeks, but it’s like two months.
So you’re looking at eight to ten weeks to get prepared so that on the day of, or week of depending on how long it is, everybody’s relaxed. Everything’s been tested. Everything’s ready to go, and my client, as the presenter, has tested everything. We’ve done that together and they’re ready to go. You can see this kind of got to me because I just couldn’t understand why wait for such a short time period.
It’s so important to know who you are in your business and what you can handle.
When I’m working with my virtual team and I’m sending them something new or adding something to what they do, I ask them if this is something that they can take on. I don’t assume because we’ve been working together that they can automatically do this too. I ask questions because they have other clients, and they have other things going on besides what I’m doing. So I take that into consideration as well.
Don’t be afraid to push back and do what you need to do because you’re better off in the end.
Every time I took on something, in this scenario, in a short timeframe, it was a ticking time bomb that blew up by the end. The ones that didn’t blow up right away eventually blew up, and there were things I should have said no to. There were things I should have said no to. You learn this by experience.
Here’s a hint if you’re not sure. When you are reading someone’s request, if you start to feel hesitant, already frustrated by just reading what they have to say, those are no’s. Those are flags to tell you no. That is you telling you no, no, no, no, no. This is not for us, no, no, no.
But here’s the neat thing about things like that, and even after saying your no or yes, depending on how you operate. Guess what this is going to turn into? It’s going to turn into a conversation either on my blog or conversation on my Facebook Live show. It’s not just going to fizzle because I had to say no. It’s going to help me refine how I communicate what I do and also what is needed beforehand so that I can serve clients in the best way possible.
I don’t know, you know, she may have seen webinar services on the website, got excited, and jumped to contact us. But there’s no information there to lay out what all it takes. Guess what else this could end up being? It could end up being – you know how you’re searching for what can I give away as a service provider? What can I have as a free offer so I can build my email list? Something like this could turn into a free offer. It could be a checklist, a video, a report, you know, whatever.
Put yourself in this scenario. I’m sure if you’ve had your virtual assistant business for a while, it’s happened to you. It’s already happened to you. Whether you said yes or no, it’s already happened. Take that experience, take that learning, that information, and turn it into content to empower future clients. By you empowering them, they’re ready when they come to you and it’s a pleasurable experience for both of you. If you have to say no, it doesn’t matter what the response is on the other end.
You’ve got to take care of you, and you’ve got to know, hey, if you want me to provide an exceptional service, this is how it works.
Oh, man, just the thought of having to do that. If you’re reading an inquiry and the thought of having to do something, whatever it is they’re asking, whether it’s a short period of time or it’s just a massive amount of stuff they want for a low rate – that’s another thing that happens. Oh, I want 50 things but I can only pay this much. If that’s something that you’ve experienced, you can pull from that and help people learn how to work with you as a virtual assistant business owner, because they don’t know.
A lot of people are reading that book The 4-Hour Workweek and misunderstanding how it all works. Some of the postings on the job boards want people to build their social media community for them or build their email list for them. As a VA, those aren’t things that we do. We help you and support you in that, but it’s not our responsibility to increase the numbers for you.
If you’re providing a service and you’re saying you can increase your clients’ numbers, you’ve got to make sure you have proof that you can do that. Not only with yourself, but several clients, and that really is outside of being a virtual assistant. Now, you’re more into the role of being a consultant and those kinds of things, and more or less providing marketing service versus virtual assistant services.
Anyway, that’s not what – we kind of went down another road. Not where exactly we were going for the episode, but I really want you think about identifying who you are, like what gets stirred up when things happen. When there’s a client that comes through that you love, like, oh, I would love to work on this project, you know, pull from that as well. That is a good thing. Those are signs that, yes, you’re right where you need to be.
Before I close out, last episode I talked about the changes from summer to fall. If you’re experiencing a slump, and I don’t mean in clients, I mean, a slump in energy, motivation when you think about your virtual assistant business. If the thought of serving your clients is causing you to feel anxiety or regret or any of those things, it’s time to evaluate whether you’re really supposed to be a virtual assistant business owner. A lot of people have jumped into this pool and should have never been here. They should be somewhere else. It should get you excited whether you’ve got a full roster of clients or not.
Every business has its highs and lows, and if in the low you don’t feel good, you feel like maybe this isn’t it, something is wrong. This is your thing that you created. You should get excited about it. If it’s time to revamp your services, do that. If it’s time to learn something new, do that. If it’s time to read a new book, do that. If you’ve been doing those things and none of it’s working and you still feel like, ugh, then hey, maybe being a virtual assistant business owner is not for you.
You guys know now it’s eight years. 2008 to September 19, 2016 marks eight years for Virtual Hired Hand. I’m still celebrating that because this is something that grew from zero. It didn’t matter how many clients I had going from one season to the next. Not one time, as things progressed and started moving, did I want to turn back.
Now, at the very beginning, because I didn’t know, you know, nobody that I knew ever started a business from home, and I mean like something they created. So, yeah, fear creeps in, and I told you about visiting Monster.com and all that good stuff. But once you know that you know, you don’t look that way anymore. You just go forward and move and ride in it, and work your tail off. [Laughs] Work your tail off. It’s yours, right?
If you have any questions for me, come post them over on my Facebook page. I give you all that at the very end of the show.
I do want to share with you, in October I’ll have a table set up at this writers’ conference. A writers’ conference and I will be the virtual assistant representative there at the writers’ conference, and I’m playing around with different ideas on how to include you in on that. I’m thinking about a referral directory. That’s probably one of the things.
We did the Premier VA Summit earlier this year and I’m thinking about doing a virtual version incorporating this writers’ conference. The conference is October 21st and 22nd, and I already know that there will be some things that the writers need that I don’t provide, and so I would love to already have an arsenal of virtual assistant business owners with me virtually that I can provide information on that. So I’m thinking about doing a referral directory. Almost like where you would be doing paid ads to participate in that directory.
Anyway, right now I’m just kind of playing out ideas. But if that’s something that I decide to do, if you know that you’d be interested in participating in that, let me know as well. Also, what type of services you provide. But I’ll be giving more information and whether or not I decide to do it. But if there’s an interest already, you know, you perked up by me saying that, let me know.
Writers need the same services that everybody else needs.
It’s just that people are in their world, just like we talked about last week with direct sales people. Whatever services you provide, writers need that as well. They need social media. They need blogs. They need editing and proofing. They need everything that we provide, transcriptions, and all that good stuff. Anyway, I will keep you posted on that on the podcast.
I can’t remember what episode I mentioned it, but the Facebook Live show has started. I’ve done episode two. Woo Hoo! I talked about social media content and your virtual team. Now, if you have not seen that episode, you want to go and watch that. It’s on the Facebook page, and we’ll link it up here in the show notes. Because I’m sharing my screen and the information that I am giving applies to you, both for your business and for you if you’re providing social media services, so be sure and check that out.
As always, thank you so much for listening.
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!