You are a resource for your clients because you are exposed to more things. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Test out and mess up on your stuff first. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
The world is at your fingertips to explore. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Hi and welcome. You’re listening to episode number 74. We are talking about the secret of being an exceptional virtual assistant business owner. I have five tips for you that will set you apart from the rest.
Before I dive into that, I want to say to those of you that are listening to this podcast for the very first time, or if you’ve been listening for a while, but are on the fence about getting started as a virtual assistant, my strongest advice for you is to get started.
Use the skills you have right now and start. Somebody is looking for exactly what you have right now.
Everybody has something. You’ve been working a job full-time or part-time. You’ve been doing something. You’ve utilized a skill whether it was learned in school if you’re a new college graduate, or you’ve been doing it on your job for a while. There are a number of things – every single little thing. Don’t take any of what you do for granted. Get started.
I recommend going to Upwork.com and setting up your profile. I’ve heard several business coaches recommend their clients find their virtual team or outsource for individual projects on Upwork. If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, you know I have been shouting Upwork from the rooftops. It was Elance before that.
There are people in the virtual assistant industry that don’t agree. They don’t think that’s the best place to go. However, if you have business coaches teaching their clients, telling their clients go here if you need a virtual assistant, go here for graphics, go here for technical assistance, go here for social media assistance, go here for this, go here for that. What do we need to do? We need to be there. People are looking for us. We need to be there. If you aren’t there and you’re listening to this episode, what are you waiting for?
If you don’t know how, you don’t know what to do, I have a course on my website. It’s the 21 Day Upwork Challenge. It is a ready to go, immediate start course. As soon as you purchase, you get the information to access the course. Just go to TiffanyParson.com, click on Courses. It’s the first one listed. I take you through how to set up your profile, how to determine what to say, what your bid should be, and all this stuff. It’s a two-hour webinar that is a replay of a webinar included, plus the 21 day guide to take you though. You don’t have to do it over a course of 21 days. You can do it all in a weekend. It doesn’t matter. It’s up to you – your pace.
But there’s no excuse for anybody desiring to start as a virtual assistant, not to be getting started because people are being pointed to Upwork.com.
In fact, I recently got a message on Facebook from a previous client, and we haven’t worked together in years. We were also peers in a coaching group years ago as well, and she does training and different things like that in networking marketing and direct marketing. She shared with me that she was in a training session with 30+ marketers.
Guess where they were directing people to go? Upwork.com. They decided to do a little research and guess whose profile came up? Mine. Guess what she was able to share with them? She gave me a plug and let them know that she knew me personally. She said they were really fascinated by the fact that she actually knew me personally.
Again, I can’t recommend Upwork enough. If you just get so many clients from Upwork that you can’t submit proposals often, no big deal. It’ll be waiting for you.
Let’s talk about the secrets of being an exceptional virtual assistant business owner.
Five things. If you’re driving, come back later to write down the five. If you’re a passenger, you can pull out your phone and open up notes. I don’t know how many of you actually sit still and listen to podcasts. I can’t sit still and listen to a podcast. I’m usually doing something else. Like if I’m like listening to it in the house, then I’ll pause and run and, ooh, that’s good. Let me write that down.
This is one of those moments where it’s good – write that down – because it’s a list of five things that will set you apart. The reason why they’ll set you apart is because everybody is not doing it. It may seem like common sense to some of you. It may seem like, duh, yeah, or it may totally be a light bulb moment. I hope this is helpful for everybody.
Actually, it’s six things. One of my bullets didn’t bullet. I said five things. It’s six things.
1) Be Curious. What does that mean? What does it look like when you’re curious about something? When we’re curious about something, we ask questions. We’re interested. We dig a little deeper. Be curious. What that looks like when working with clients.
Let’s go back. What does that look like when you’re on Upwork? You’re looking through the projects and someone mentions something that you know you could do, but then they also mention software you’ve never heard of before. What do you do? Do you go see what that software looks like, what it does? Is it something you can handle, or do you just scroll by and give up, like, oh, I don’t know it? Be curious.
2) Try things out. If you don’t try anything, how do you know it won’t work? I saw that in some form of a quote somewhere. It might have been on my own Instagram. I don’t know, just this morning. How are you going to know if you don’t try it? I don’t know. I don’t know what I’ve never done. I don’t know. You have to try it.
I didn’t know that I could have a podcast, but I just tried it. I didn’t know that I could have a virtual assistant business, but I tried it. I didn’t know that I could live a happy life and make money on my terms until I tried. Basic stuff. Back in the day, learning how to drive. I didn’t know I could drive a five speed until I tried it. What did you try that you didn’t know you could do until you tried? Everything, because we have to try everything from the time we’re born all the way until now, so try things out.
In your virtual assistant business, what does that look like? A client you’ve been working with asks you about a new service. Something maybe you’ve never done before, but you actually have had an interest. But you’ve never done it before. Try it out.
3) Think. A lot of times we operate off of a reaction. We’re just being reactive. Right now, unfortunately, where things are going with the election and all this stuff, people are not thinking. They’re just saying whatever on social media, not thinking about what will happen later. Not thinking.
In your virtual assistant business, don’t ever feel pressured to give an answer right then if you feel like that is pressure for you. Take time to think. If there’s an issue, a technical issue, you try to login, it’s not working, client’s password is not working – think. Don’t email them right away that the password is not working. Double-check yourself. Enter it manually. You know, think of the other possibilities first before you email them that the password is not working.
I’m sure we’ve all been there. Email the password is not working and then realize it was something we did that was causing the password not to work. Extra space, not the whole password, you know. Think. Not being so reactive. It’s easy to do with email. Email comes in. You want to, ooh, respond right away. Think.
4) Explore. The world is at your fingertips. Explore. I’m really surprised how often Google is not used. Last night, I was updating my Virtual Hired Hand blog. I was adding my post for the Tips & Tech with Tiffany episodes, and my Facebook Live video, it wasn’t giving me the option to embed. I’m like, oh, man, why can’t I embed this video?
So instead of thinking I can’t do it, I Googled and I searched, and then I realized it was something really small that I hadn’t done. I did not check to give the video permission to be embedded. But I had to explore different options to figure out what was up. Why wasn’t it working? I didn’t give up. That might be a bonus tip. Don’t give up.
5) Research. Kind of goes with explore, but research. Get some information. All the information is out there for us. Research. What does that look like for your particular service, for your type clients? Do some research. Research doesn’t always include asking somebody else the question. Because while you’re waiting on them to respond, guess what? You could research.
What if I had emailed Facebook Help or tried to call Facebook Help? Most likely, I’d still be waiting for an answer right now. Why? Because I do these recordings on the weekends, so it’s the weekend. They might not be back until Monday, or it might not be until later because there are tons of other people they have to answer. But the information was out there.
When a client comes to you and they contract with you, yes, you are contracted for a particular task, but in a way, you are a resource. They see you as a resource because they know that you don’t just work with them. You work with other people, and you work with other tools outside of what they use, and you do other processes and other projects outside of what they have. In other words, you’re exposed to more things than they are. They just see their thing.
The beauty for us, our business allows us to see a variety of things and a variety of people who think differently, do things differently, and have different ways. We are a resource because of that. Then you add onto it these different tips that I’m sharing with you. Now, you’re even more of a valuable resource. If your clients aren’t asking you questions so you’re not feeling like a resource, it’s okay. Guess where you could be the resource? On your blog, on social media.
6) Mess up on your stuff first. My technical VAs, if you have never updated WordPress, you’ve never updated a theme, you’ve never updated a plugin, don’t do it on your client’s site first. Do it on yours first. Test yours first. If you’ve never created social graphics, or uploaded them, you know, there are a lot of people wanting to provide a service, they’re not doing it for themselves, and one of the things I say is that whatever you want to provide for your client, I think you should do that for yourself first. This is one of the key reasons is because you can mess up your stuff first.
A long time ago when I first started using 1ShoppingCart, one of my clients was starting to use 1ShoppingCart and we were setting up affiliate products. At that point, I had never set up affiliate products. I had done the emails, but not set up affiliate products. So I went and signed up for a trial of 1ShoppingCart and did what? I messed up mine first. Learned how to do it right and then went to the client’s account and did it. Mess up your stuff first. I can’t think of an example where you can’t test out on yours first. If there is one, let me know. We’ll figure it out.
Those are my six tips on how to be an exceptional virtual assistant. Those are secret tips. Not so much of a secret. Just secrets that are not done, and you’d think they would be, but they’re not. You can be that point of difference.
If you didn’t catch them all, I’m going to run through them really quick, and then go back and listen to this again.
- Be curious
- Try things out
- Mess up on your stuff first
I know there was a bonus one, but I don’t remember what the bonus was. So you’d have to go back and listen to it again to hear what that bonus was because that wasn’t in my notes. It just came along as I was talking to you.
Anyway, I want to thank you for listening to this podcast. The fact that you found this podcast says that you’re an exceptional virtual assistant business owner because that means you had to do some research. You had to explore. You at least did a Google search for virtual assistant. Let me know how you found me. I’m curious to know how you find me. If you have not done your iTunes review, be sure that you do that.
Thank you again for listening to this week’s episode. You have a wonderful and prosperous 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!