You don’t want to hit the wall before you decide your next move.#vatip Gotta Tweet!
There’s a lot of work involved in passive income. After you’ve put in the work, then it’s passive. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
The beauty of this industry is that it constantly evolves and changes. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Hello and welcome to episode number 91. All right, in 10 episodes, we’ll be at episode number 100. I’m going to take the time over the next few weeks and figure out how we’re going to celebrate episode number 100. If you have any ideas, send it to me. I would love to hear it. Let me know.
Okay, today we’re going to talk about, I don’t know, let’s talk about your future as a virtual assistant. Where is your business going? Let’s look at this five years from now. If you stay the same, are you going to be happy with how it looks five years from now?
As a listener, I don’t know if you’re just getting started in your business, or you’ve been in your business. I don’t know. Let’s take it this way. The people I’ve heard from, majority are just getting started or they’re at the point where they’re lifting their toe and about to step into the water, but jerk it back and I’m not quite there.
My question to you is in five years – think about this y’all. In five years, it will be 2022. Is that not wild? It will be 2022 in five years.
Okay, so if you’re at the point, about to lift your toe in, but you pull it back, you’re not sure, I know it takes courage to get started. Here’s the thing. You don’t have to quit your job to start taking on clients as a virtual assistant.
There is no huge amount of money you have to have to get started as a virtual assistant. You need a computer and you need the Internet. Those are the only two things you need to get started. Put your toe in.
Okay, now, your toe is in. Maybe as a listener, your toe is in. You’ve got one, two, maybe three clients. You’re at the point where you’re deciding do I like this or do I not like this? If you like it, that’s easy. Go do it some more. Go do it some more until you get to your max. On your way to your max, you’ll figure out what’s your max. You’ll figure out what is a good spot for you, by yourself, as a virtual assistant.
But if you’re leaning more towards the not, I don’t like what I’m doing, is it because of the particular service that you’re providing for those clients? That’s an easy one. Figure out what it is. If it’s the service, there’s a whole bunch of other things that you could provide in your virtual assistant business if, overall, you really like being a virtual assistant. It’s just a particular thing that you don’t like.
This is why I recommend starting out with a variety of things until you figure it out and can narrow it down.
If you’re at the point of narrowing down, perfect. Do it; narrow it down. That changes. It changes your first six months, your first year, your three years in. It does change, and that’s one of the things that I really love about our industry. You choose. You’re not stuck. If you are doing web research and you’re also scheduling social media, three years from now, you don’t have to continue providing web research and social media. You could be doing something else.
We know technology changes. There may be something new that happens in three years that you can just slide right on in and provide support to a client, that we don’t know about. That’s the beauty of what we do. It constantly evolves. It constantly changes.
2008, when I started, Facebook was not a thing for business owners. People weren’t using Facebook for business, so that was not a service. A few years later, here comes, let’s see, 2010 is when I remember I first started hearing more and more about Twitter and, you know, created an account on Twitter. I think by then I may have been on Facebook, but not doing anything really. Things evolve. Think about it. Snapchat didn’t exist. Instagram didn’t exist a couple years ago like, you know, really where people were doing things for business.
Teleseminars was the thing when I got going in ’08. Now, you don’t hear about teleseminars as much. I’m sure people are still doing teleseminars because Instant Teleseminar is still hanging on. I get their emails and stuff. They still do things. So I know people are still doing teleseminars, but the biggest thing now is video. People want to see you.
Or it’s podcast like you’re listening to me now because they’re more portable. You can take me to the gym with you. You can take me on the ride to work. You can, you know, take me to your house and maybe you’re cleaning and listening to the podcast at the same time. I don’t know. It’s more portable.
I remember when webinars started to be the bigger thing before Facebook Live and all that stuff. Because now people wanted to see the presentation, so it was a big thing with PowerPoint and seeing the slides, and then you had a thing where people weren’t on the video. You didn’t see anybody, but you heard their voice and you saw the slides.
I think now if you do that, people probably still do that, but it’s not as personable because now we want to see you unless we’re listening to, you know, straight audio. But if it’s a video with a PowerPoint presentation, it’s not as personal. We want to see the person. I like to see you, and then if you’re sharing your screen, I like it that you’re showing something. Not necessarily a PowerPoint, but like you’re doing a demonstration or something on your computer and stuff.
Whole point in that is that things evolve and change and that’s the cool part about where we are.
Okay, so we talked about the beginner, the one that stepped in. Now, let’s talk about you if you are at your max. You’ve got whatever that amount is. Everybody’s going to be different, and it’s going to be based on you, the service that you provide, and the time it takes and all that stuff as to what the max is for that particular service.
You have to decide should I bring on more VAs and take on more clients and just distribute the work, or should I stop it right here and do something else in addition to it? That’s something you have to decide for yourself. If you bring on a team, you are responsible, still, in the end for the final project, whether it be a team that you consider employees or subcontractors.
If I were going to build a team, my advice to you would be subcontractor and you still be the point person for your client because they like to build relationships with one person. Again, even with that, every client is different. It may not be a big deal, just depending on what their thing is.
Let’s say you’re scheduling social media and you’re at your max, whether it’s because you’ve reached the number of clients you can take personally, or you’re just tired of doing it yourself and ready to pass it on to somebody else. You could pass it on to somebody else. Let your client know that you’ve got a team working on some things with you.
In the end, you are responsible for whatever happens. If something is scheduled, it doesn’t get posted, guess who the client looks at? You. They don’t look at your subcontractor team. They look at you, because to them, you are the company and you’re ultimately responsible.
You have to decide if that is what you want to do.
When I took on my first subcontractor, they were a web development team, and I hadn’t even thought about it myself, but a client of mine, she wanted some graphics done and some other things and she’s like, “Well, just go on Elance and find somebody. We trust you to pick somebody and have them do this and that. You know, we’ll pay you. You pay them, and all that good stuff. That’s when it was like, oh, duh, you know, like lightbulb moment. Yeah.
There were ups and downs with that and working with the team. You know, just like our clients, they’ll find us, you have to go through a few frogs to find the right fit. Even with that, you know, you may have a timeframe in mind, a deadline in mind that may happen or may not happen. You have to be able to adapt to that. Those are some things to decide.
If you have the opportunity to do that, it’s good to test them out on your own projects. You might not have time. It might be a situation like with my client where she was suggesting we do this, and so it was all for her so I didn’t have a chance to test them out on my stuff. But it worked out. It worked out fine.
We worked together for years and years and years until I think what happened is that they were a company and I think their staffing changed, but I didn’t know because I was still dealing with the same person, supposedly. Online, you don’t know. If I’ve never seen your face, I mean, I don’t know. I never heard her voice. I don’t know if I’m dealing with the same person, because anybody can log into an Elance account if they have the access and say they’re the person.
But I could tell because of how the communication started to be, and the results of some things started to look totally different, unlike the things how it was before. So I eased back on some assignments with them, and have since, I don’t send anything their way anymore. That was with the graphics team and then, oh, I think I started off talking about the web development team. But then, let’s see, in that situation, the web development team was a separate group.
So I had a group for graphics and a group for web development, and that went fine until I think one situation they got really busy, so I tried to get another web development team and that was terrible because they racked up hours and hours that were not approved. Oh, it was awful, so I got rid of them quickly. The way I did that, this is what I do. I’ll pay you for your time. It was over. I took, you know, I took the hit, paid them, and never worked with again, so that was that.
But anyway, this is just something to think about. Those were not VAs. Those were a graphics team, web development team. I subcontracted with a VA on Elance. I actually did a couple. I had one that was going to do – I’m trying to think. I think hers was email support and another one was like editing. Testing out some things for me, and the email support did not work because there was one day where I was trying to get in contact with her through email and did not hear anything for a few days. Finally, heard from her and come to find out, it had snowed or something like that in her area and she had no WiFi.
Guys, we have to always have a backup because you need to be able to even communicate that there’s no WiFi. If all you have is your cell phone because your entire area – the library is closed. Panera is closed. Everything is shut down. Because the WiFi is off, fine, but you need a way to communicate that.
Think about that. I mean, how would your client know? They are going to think you are MIA. It was unbelievable to me because you have to be prepared. You have to have that backup. Anyway, needless to say, I had to end that. I had to end that.
The editor was really good. But, gosh, she was really good. I just don’t like my words being edited so much that it sounds like somebody else, and so that didn’t work out [laughs]. I’m laughing because I’m like, oh, this sounds so bad. But, no, the web team and the graphics team, we worked forever, from like ’08 to 2014 just about, and then I only tested the email support and the editor for a short period of time, maybe six months.
But now, the team that I have, we’ve been working together for a long time, social media and transcription. It’s three of us. Our little team, and gosh, social media, we’ve been working together since ’09 on various projects, not just social media. We started out with like data entry, then went to something else and something else. Took a break. Came back. Different stuff like that.
Here’s the deal. You just have to decide, when you reach your max, where you’re going to go.
Now, here’s the flipside of that if you don’t want to expand it into a team. Once you’ve got maybe a small team – maybe you just want a few people like what we have, small team. Start adding some other things. What is it? Can you start teaching people how to do something and charge for it? Can you recommend products to your clients and use affiliate links and earn some additional income in that way?
You have to start thinking what else can I do in addition to this? Because as service providers, we will eventually hit the wall, and we have to decide what’s the next move. You don’t want to hit the wall before you decide your next move. Hitting the wall, to me, is burnout. It’s resenting clients. It’s hating to see an email come through inquiring about a service because you’re maxed out.
You don’t want that to happen, so think about it ahead of time. I wouldn’t start thinking about it if I was just getting going as a virtual assistant. There’s a lot of other things to focus on because you want to perfect what you do. You want to be really good at what you do, and it’s going to take – it may take you a while to get there because if you’re starting out with providing different services, you’ve got to get it down to figure out, okay, what’s the thing that I enjoy most, that I could talk about forever and ever and ever?
Talk about because you’ll have clients calling you, setting up appointments with you to discuss it. If you don’t even want to talk about it, you don’t need to provide it as a service. So that’s what I mean. You’ve got to figure out what is that you could just go on and on about.
Then once you find that, then you kind of go along. It’s smooth, smooth, smooth. Then, along that smooth road is when you’re deciding, okay, what are my next steps? Do I want to expand and have a team or do I want to add on other things?
I hate to call it “passive income” because sometimes passive income is looked at as you can just have your feet up and the money rolls in. There’s a lot of work involved with passive income. Here’s what I can say. We can call it “passive income” in the sense that you don’t have to have your hands on something to generate income.
For example, the 21 Day Upwork Challenge Guide, I put in the work to create that guide. Now, it’s available on the website for $27. If you haven’t gotten your guide, be sure you get it. Go to TiffanyParson.com and click on Products [Courses]. But you can buy that. I don’t have to be present for the transaction. I don’t have to be present to give it to you. It’s done. It doesn’t have to be created. It’s done. That’s what I mean by your hands are off. After you’ve put in the work, then it’s passive.
Anyway, a lot of stuff to think about. I don’t know, maybe I was just chattering today. But just a lot of stuff to really think about where you want to go. Because in five years, remember, it’s going to be 2022.
If you stay on the side and let five years go by, you know how fast five years goes. Ooh, five years goes by really fast. I mean, think about it, it was just 2012. It was just 2012. That’s how quickly time goes by.
Anyway, be sure and let me know – I asked a question at the beginning of the episode to let me know any ideas about how we can celebrate the episode number 100. Of course, if you have any questions, a topic you want to discuss related to your virtual assistant business, send that to me.
Thank you so much for being an awesome and wonderful listener. We’ll chat next 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!