I was just recently asked about this (again), so it seems like a timely post to write! I started my virtual assistant business in August of 2015, after my online acquaintance Meg Bateman commented on my post in a Facebook group I was in (for food bloggers) and told me to consider it. I grew my business part-time on the side while I worked a full-time job, and then, in September of 2016, I made the leap and started working from home full-time with my VA business as my main source of income. I’ve been fortunate enough to be doing that ever since!
I’ve been a virtual assistant – and now an editor – for the Teachers Pay Teachers niche since the fall of 2015. I launched my business in August of that year, and since then, I’ve learned quite a bit about what types of services I enjoy doing and am willing to offer clients and which services are not my cup of tea. There’s an interesting dynamic between Teacher-Authors and virtual assistants, because there have been, unfortunately, a couple of virtual assistants who took advantage of Teacher-Authors in the past and who used their position to steal money from clients without providing the agreed-upon services. As you can imagine, this has caused a certain degree of strain between Teacher-Authors and VAs in this niche. I’ve done my best to try to remedy that over the last few years, but I still see some of that tension coming out in the demands that some clients make upon their VAs. That’s why I’ve decided to write this post – to try to educate a little more about what a client can reasonably expect of their VA versus a few things they shouldn’t.
I want to start this post by saying that I come in peace. Really, I do. I want to strengthen the relationships between virtual assistants and clients, and that’s my motivation behind writing posts like this one.
But it drives me a little crazy when I see bloggers and other entrepreneurs and business owners talking badly about virtual assistants. I don’t mean in the sense of, “This virtual assistant took my money and didn’t complete the job.” They’re justified in…spreading awareness, let’s say, about that VA’s unethical handling of their working agreement. What I’m referring to is when people make claims that VAs are “just” stay-at-home or work-from-home moms and imply that they don’t have any real skills.
What is a virtual assistant? *insert hand-on-chin-thinking-hard emoji here*
I used to be like you: I had no idea what a virtual assistant was or what they do. It seems like a vague term at first, admittedly. “Virtual” clearly refers to online, but what about “assistant?” That could mean any number of things, because assistants do a wide range of tasks in an equally wide array of fields.
So…how do we narrow this down?