Friday, February 1, 2008

VAnetworking Press Release and My Mistake

Virtual Assistant Networking Association 10,000 Member Milestone.

After writing this press release I learned that VAnetworking has almost 10,000 members, but only just under 8,000 are active members and have corrected this in the body of the press release. I have apologized to Tanwya Sutherland, the founder of VAnetworking for this mistake.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Anonymous Comments - Pet Peeve

If you are going to take the time to offer constructive criticism on a person's blog, leave your name. Yesterday I had an anonymous comment about one of my posts. Even though the person made some great points, they came across in a very negative way and didn't even leave their name or contact info. I made some changes to the post but can't thank the person for their comments because they were to afraid to leave their name.

If you don't agree with me, that is fine. Just don't be chicken about it. Stand up and be counted because there may be other's that will stand with you.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Vritual Assistants With Bad Grammar

I came across this post when Googling "virtual assistants". Even though they are giving away 10 hours for free, you might want to consider the language barrier. If you operate your business in English, hire an english speaking VA, if your business operates in Spanish, hire a Spanish speaking VA. It is too easy for things to get lost in translation and this can cost you time and money trying to sort out. I don't want to pick on any particular company so I have taken out their name. The grammar is probably so bad in this post because it appears to be written in another language and then translated poorly into English.

"Many might be wondering how much would it cost them to hire the services of a Virtual Assistant as compared to hiring a conventional Personal Assistant, Admin Assistant or Secretary. We at ***** Services came up with Very Affordable Plans to be able to cater to all Busy Men for them to Outsource their Tasks to us for as low as USD$17/hour. These tasks could be as simple as data entry, task management, virtual secretary tasks and personal/administrative assistant tasks and complex tasks such as Website Design, Development, Internet Marketing and a lot more.
Most of you might also be thinking why you should entrust those tasks to us? ***** Services has the BEST Professional Backups in the field of Virtual Assistance today. Our Virtual Assistants are all College Degree Holders, Loyal and they are trained by Outstanding Professionals from various industry fields. Among these are; Management Consultants, Lawyers, Doctors, Accountants/Bookkeepers, Information Technology, Sales/Marketing & Customer Service Professionals. This simply means that in whatever field that you might be involved with, our Virtual Assistants are able to cater to almost any tasks that you would like to relegate to them.
Our facility houses Virtual Assistants working in shifts all day and at 24 hours, 7 days a week. These Virtual Assistants are Bachelors Degree holders and are fluent in speaking, writing correspondences or any articles using the International Medium which is of course, the English language. All of them are professionals working in a professional environment in our Offsite Office. They are all trained in various fields by Professional Trainors mentioned above. We anticipated the need of our customers and we at ***** prepared beforehand to meet their demands.
Right now, we have a FREE Ten (10) Hour Trial Promo for All Those Busy People out there who needs assistance in their tasks. Try Us Out and Enjoy Having Loyal Virtual Assistants working for you and live like a Royalty. Ain’t it nice to live like Kings and Queens? Leave Your Worries to Us!"

For the extra few dollars you would be spending to hire an English speaking virtual assistant from Canada, the US, Great Britain, Australia, etc. you would save in the end because tasks would not have to be done over due to grammatical errors.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

You Never Know How Your Name Gets Around

I was searching through blogs today and low and behold, I found my website suggested as a place to go for more information on virtual assistants. It was on a blog called written by Bill O'Hanlon. Bill is a renowned speaker and author and has even appeared on Oprah and has been published in her magazine.

Thank you Mr. O'Hanlon for choosing to put my link in one of your blog posts. You can learn more about Bill O'Hanlon at

Monday, January 28, 2008

Building a Successful Virtual Assistant Business

Having a successful virtual assistant practice takes more than hanging out your shingle and waiting for the clients to pour in. “Build it and they will come” means you have to constantly build your business.

In “Field of Dreams” the Kevin Costner character is told to “build it and they will come”. He worked and worked to build his field of dreams. If you have seen the movie, you know that he was ridiculed and there was a lot of work to do to turn that field of corn into a baseball diamond. But it was all worth it in the end.

What are you willing to go through to see your business become successful? How much work are you willing to do? Some people see becoming a virtual assistant as a get-rich-quick business. If you talk to any successful VA, you will find out this is just not true. They are successful because they have put the time and energy into their business.

I am not trying to discourage anyone from becoming a virtual assistant. I just want people to go into this field with their eyes wide open. Here are a few things to consider before you decide to take the plunge into the virtual assistant industry:

1. Definition – What is a virtual assistant? I like the Wikipedia definition: A Virtual Assistant (or simply VA), is an independent contractor providing administrative, technical, or sometimes creative assistance to clients--usually to other independent entrepreneurs and solo and small business practices, such as that of a lawyer or realtor. Virtual assistants work from their own office (hence "virtual"). Common modes of communication and data delivery include the Internet, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and fax machine.

2. Experience – How much experience do you have in the non-virtual world in the area of expertise you are going to market? Some organizations believe you should have at least 5 years experience before you start your virtual assistant business. If you have the experience and skills then go for it. If not, why not wait another year or two before stepping out on your own.

3. Training – Virtual assistant training does not train you how to use a computer, build a website, or send an email. It does train you to run your own business, create a business plan, and how to market yourself and your VA business. There are a lot of training options available. Make sure you are comfortable with the format of the training as well as the content. Don’t purchase anything you won’t be able to learn from.

4. Web Presence – This used to mean that you would have a website, but now it means so much more. Having a web presence now means to have a website, a blog, at least 3 networking page memberships (like MySpace), and membership in various forums and groups. You have to get yourself out there in cyberspace as much as possible.

5. Marketing – Marketing your business can take many forms. You can do it through your local Chamber of Commerce, newspaper ads, and other traditional methods. Your web presence is basically marketing. You can spend hours keeping up with marketing. Writing articles, press releases, and commenting on forums are great ways to get your business into the minds of prospective customers. Networking is another effective method of marketing. This can be done online or in person, but you have to keep up with it. Experts say your prospective clients need to see your information 7 times before it registers.

I hope you haven’t been put off becoming a virtual assistant. I just wanted you to be aware that it is a lot of work. Not only do you have to complete your client work, but you will have a tonne of stuff to do to keep your business running. If you let either fall behind, you will have no business at all.

Build your “field of dreams” but remember how much work it will take to build.