A word about becoming a Digital Nomad & How to pick the right VA – Virtual Assistant for you.

I started working as a VA back in early 2009 when the term virtual assistant was relatively new and most people had not quite got their head around how working with an assistant ‘virtually’ would work for them. The term at that time most often referred to an independent contractor working remotely from the client and on administrative or clerical work. When I started My Girl Friday Ltd, we offered a range of services face-to-face and virtually – picking between the two options as and when each would be more effective for the specific scenario. Me and my team of freelancers offered our services to predominantly Creative and Holistic  Businesses and Individuals. This was the area of our experience and expertise. I still offer my services in these areas, working face to face on tours, events, and other projects as appropriate and working virtually, via a range of different tools with Entrepreneurs all over the world. I would if pushed label myself as a Digital Nomad, or a Freelance Consultant.

As time has progressed, more and more businesses have seen the value in partnering or outsourcing parts of their workload.  It is my belief that there is now an accepted understanding that recruiting an individual or team for a specific need is more efficient fiscally and on a very human level, than hiring someone on a salary and having to rewrite their job description on a regular basis, whilst paying them a salary to keep them close at hand. I personally believe that hiring on contract for a specific purpose will become more and more common in all areas of Industry.

Traditional virtual assistance can still be found in the form of executive assistant, office manager/supervisor, secretary, legal assistant, paralegal, legal secretary, real estate assistant, and nearly all areas of information technology support, but now it is also extremely common to find a virtual assistant specialising in social media, online marketing, event planning, content writing, research, development, presentation and portfolio creation, PR,  self publishing, etc, et cetera – the list is pretty exhaustive. If you need or want someone to do something for you, the chances are that there is a freelancer with the creativity, skills and experience in that area available to you on PPH or Elance. Running through your Linkedin connections, putting a shout out on Facebook or Twitter will yield a high level of referral’s or simple doing a Google search will provide you with suggestions of Individuals or Companies suitable for your specific need.

Having a niche is a good thing. Being clear about it is helpful.

That is not to say that there are not GREAT general VA’s offering catch all online administrative assistance, online personal assistance or online sales assistance. But, if you are wanting to step out on your own and offer a Virtual Assistant service, please be clear about what you are offering and if you are looking for a Virtual Assistant, please be clear about what you are looking for.

I am often asked how I started or where people should go to find clients, or get started….

I do not offer training in how to be a VA. There are however some great people and places that do, here are some useful links when looking for information about being or or hiring an excellent Virtual Assistant:

BeMyVA.com – A directory for VA’s – helping you find a VA for you.

The VA Apprentice 2.0 – This programme will teach you, step-by-step, how Michelle Dale created her company, how she runs it, and how she developed the company into 6 figures in the first 2 years of business. In addition to the learning modules, she offers mentorship options. Her team will work with you to build your website, and implement various other creative and technical projects essential to the success of your virtual assistant company – no other virtual business programme provides such a comprehensive, in-depth practical hands-on support service, or unique business model to follow.

The VA Rockstar Programme – The Virtually Anywhere Rockstar” is a mentorship programme that has been specifically designed for established online service providers with an existing client base – This is the mentorship programme that turned VA company, Virtual Miss Friday, from simply ‘ticking over’ into a successful, thriving business. Run by Founder Michelle Dale it is highly recommended.

The UK VA Alliance – The largest searchable online directory of experienced UK and Overseas Virtual Assistants.

The Society of UK Virtual Assistants – Membership is FREE and open to virtual assistants based in the UK. Offering free advice, a forum, discounted products and services and a number of best practice guides

The VA Training Co. – Providing training and recommending VA’s of excellence.

I hope this is helpful to some of you. Please do feel free to ask me questions or leave comments.

love,

Ebonie

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P.s I do not offer secretarial services. I offer very bespoke solutions for Creative and Holistic Entrepreneurs. Terms that could be used to describe the work I do include  Consultant  / Mentor / Trainer / Coach / Writer / Strategist / Marketer / Project or Event manager. Please preface all of these words with Freelance or Virtual if you feel the need to.

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