With the PA Life Training Day confidently running into the afternoon after a delicious lunch provided by the team at London’s InterContinental O2, our seminars have continued to innovate and educate the nearly 150 PAs as we overlook Canary Wharf.
Talking this morning was Charlotte Wibberley, CEO of VIP VA, who was giving her secret shortcuts on successfully going digital, leaving the office life and becoming a self-employed Virtual Assistant, or VA. Here were some of her insider tips on what pitfalls to avoid when becoming a VA.
Visualise the perfect client
Market yourself to the client you want; picture the boss you would have wanted to work for, and market yourself towards them. Finding clients aren’t always easy, but knowing who you want to attract will help you gain interest. By being too general you’ll find yourself not appealing to anyone, but by understanding a client’s business as well as their personal life, you can address their needs. Find your niche and fill it.
Fix what isn’t working
Don’t waste time doing jobs you aren’t good at and don’t like; this is your job, your business, your career so be true to yourself. Don’t be afraid to learn, evolve and change your personal brand to fit a new client base. Under no circumstances should you simply fit in a box and stay there. Explore and learn about what you feel passionate about, and if it’s not working out with a client, don’t continue to work with them. VAs get a lot of their clients through referral, so damaging your reputation by not being true to yourself will only lead to less work.
Know when to stop
No office doesn’t mean no office times. You choose your hours and you need to make sure not to work for 24 hour days and always be on. Believe in yourself as a valued business owner and you will be valued as such by your clients. Clients want to work with you because of you. You have the passion, you have the strategy, so sell yourself. There will be highs, there will be lows, but you will make it through if you know your limits.
Don’t get stuck in an employee mindset
You don’t need to just say ‘yes boss’ anymore. You are self-employed and you need to understand that you are the CEO of that business. If a relationship with a client isn’t working, you’re doing more bad than good by not taking control and setting your own boundaries. You may not be in an office, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to socialise – in fact it’s more crucial than ever. As such, you need to be able to network. Know your strengths, play to them and outsource the jobs you need help with.