Natalie Reeves was awarded VA of the Year 2020 at the PA Life Christmas Party incorporating the Star Awards.
Natalie is a Virtual Assistant who has managed to grow her business NJR Virtual PA during the pandemic. Natalie has done this whilst juggling a 4-year-old starting school and a 1-year-old who is with her full time.
PA Life spoke with Natalie about her role as a VA and how she felt when she won VA of the Year 2020…
What inspired you to start a career as a Virtual Assistant?
I’d investigated becoming a VA back in 2009 but there wasn’t a lot of information around and I felt I wanted a more corporate experience first. I didn’t consider the idea again until 2016 after I had my first daughter and saw first-hand the difficulties and challenges that working mums face in returning to the corporate world.
I loved the idea of being able to have the flexibility to work around my family and not miss out on the important things, but also be able to continue with my career. I wanted a career that I loved whilst being able to challenge my brain and contribute towards the family income.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The thing I love most about my business is the flexibility. Not just in the hours that I can work, but being able to pick and choose what work I want to do and who I want to work with. I’m at a position now that if there’s a particular task I don’t enjoy, I either don’t take the client on or I outsource to an associate.
I’m also selective in who I will work with to ensure that I work with clients who I feel are a good fit for myself and them. But also, that they can see the value in what I can bring and that they are ready to help move their business forward.
And the most challenging?
The most challenging thing for me is finding the time to spend on my own business. I prioritise my client’s admin and marketing activities over my own. My goal for 2021 is to change this and spend time on growing and developing my own business further.
How has the current pandemic impacted your job?
I have been very fortunate during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the very beginning I lost 30 hours of monthly work within the first couple of weeks. However, I’ve been very lucky that I managed to fill this space very quickly and even grow my business substantially to the point that I’ve had to take associates on to keep up with demand.
I found my clients actually needed more support, from those who weren’t online and were moving to get online to keep their businesses a float, to the clients already online who were finding that with their clients and potential clients being at home more there was more demand for their services.
What websites/apps are invaluable to your job?
I’m a bit of a techy VA so I have a lot of systems I couldn’t live without but a few favourites at the moment would be:
- Active Campaign and Convertkit for email marketing
- Kartra for things like landing pages, sales pages, membership site, CRM and email marketing
- LastPass for storing and sharing passwords with clients
- Toggl for timing everything I do
- Leadpages for landing pages
- Trello for managing projects with clients
- Dropbox for file sharing
- Flock for communicating with clients
- Canva for designing images
- Thinkific for managing course content
How did you feel when you won Virtual Assistant of the Year 2020?
I was absolutely delighted when I found out I’d won. During my corporate career, I was the one who used to organise the awards and events so I was often overlooked and never on the receiving end.
I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved with my business over the past 4 years, and in particular the juggles and challenges I’ve faced, like many other businesses this year. But to see how much my business has developed and grown and the reputation I’m gaining from clients, I’m so proud to have won an award to recognise the efforts I’ve made.