As I have been a Virtual Assistant for several years, I have been approached by many up and coming Virtual Assistants who want advice about how to grow their business and get clients and experience. I am happy to share my experiences and knowledge.
I provide information on joining groups and sharing links to sites that will provide lots of information, strategies and templates. Some of those sites include:
Canadian Virtual Assistant Connection: http://www.cvac.ca/
Virtual Assistant Networking Association: http://www.vanetworking.com/
International Virtual Assistants Association: http://www.ivaa.org/
I have also suggested that new Virtual Assistants consider subcontracting to other Virtual Assistants. It is a great means of learning, obtaining assignments and experience. It also provides a chance to show their skills and expertise.
In this turbulent economy, the Virtual Assistance industry has marked a significant gain in clients as businesses re-evaluate their expenses and are considering outsourcing their administrative work on an as-needed basis since it is such a cost effective alternative to on-site employees. Established VA’s are experiencing such a growth that they are forming alliances with other VA’s and form “teams” to distribute their projects.
For example, I have a strong customer service background and have done much work in B2B and B2C telesales. A lot of VA’s do not have this experience or prefer not to do telephone work. I enjoy it and have produced leads and prospects for many clients. At times, I have subcontracted to other VA’s and been a member of “teams” of VA’s whereby all the customer service and telesales calls have been passed to me, not only by the leader of the team but also by other VA’s within the team. As well, I have significant copywriting experience and that is specialty that many VA’s don’t have.
In subcontracting, I gained knowledge, experience and established my skills and expertise with many other VA’s in the industry. It was a win/win situation.
One further note: Make sure that you have been provided with a Subcontractors Agreement that is signed by both parties. Pay close attention to the Terms, Conditions and Rate of Pay as well as the specific duties and tasks expected. Clarify with the Virtual Assistant or their team, what their policies and procedures are. Remember, you are working on their behalf just as you would an employer, and you need to familiarize yourself with the criteria they follow when dealing with their clients.
So if you are new to the industry, consider subcontracting to get your business off the ground.
Diane L. Coville