Um, excuse me, my name’s not Siri or Alexa but don’t you worry, I can still use google like a mofo!
On occasion when I tell someone that I am a Virtual Assistant they get a slightly puzzled look on their face and say something like “Oh, like Siri or Alexa?”
Whilst I take a moment to pull myself together and endeavour to remember that it’s really only obvious if you know the answer. I look at their glazed and slightly weirded out expressions and dutifully explain that I ‘The Amy Johnson’ help people manage their businesses by leveraging all things powerful about the internet.
It pleases me to say that those conversations are becoming fewer as the industry itself, as well as the surge in online service providers becomes more well known.
I do think that we sometimes get stuck on these monikers that we more often than not give to ourselves (I know I do!). Especially when it comes to a business that is ever evolving but, it’s also a necessary evil because it’s the way people will search for us online.
In the UK particularly it’s a fairly common discussion within the industry that VA (or Virtual Assistant) doesn’t really fit with what we do and in fact can reduce us in terms of the expectation regarding the scope and level of quality of our services.
I’ll be honest I don’t always associate myself with the VA title. I spent 22 years building a career in customer service management and one of the measures of my success in those roles lay in the title I held. My job title is meaningful to me and it’s taken a little getting used to saying I’m a VA. Especially (as I recently realised) my actual title is entrepreneur or business owner.
You see Virtual Assistance is the type of business I’m in but entrepreneur or business owner is really my title now because in actuality I don’t have a job.
I own and run a business.
Are these monikers really just vanity plates? Or are they strategically used in the hopes of attracting a specific type of client. I wonder, since I don’t resonate with the title ‘virtual assistant’ will people come to me if I don’t use it? Or is it as I suspect all about the audience I have and the marketing I do.
Virtual assistance is a limited business too, and that’s not something I want for mine. This isn’t because VAs themselves are limited, it’s because in any business where you solely and specifically exchange time for money – your business earning and growth potential is limited, as is your available time to expand/grow and evolve beyond your current space.
After all once your work hours are up so is your earning potential and as we all know those are pockets of time you can never get back.
It’s one of the reasons why so many of us VAs branch out and start supporting, training and educating new VAs.
It’s a particularly common move in the industry and one I have certainly felt the benefit from. There is more to us than you having your own personal google and we know how tough getting on that ladder can be so we share our knowledge.
I have learned a lot from others in this industry simply by following their journeys and reading their experiences and content on their blogs/facebook groups etc. Many of them provide great trainings for newbie VAs too and if that’s something you’re looking for as you start out in your own VA journey then you should check out Delegate VA and VACT. I haven’t personally trained with them but having been in the circles they’re in for sometime, I have come across their students and people who have found success and quality on their programmes/webinars etc. These are the only guys that I gravitated towards which is why I mention them but there are others so definitely do your research.
I am of the mind that business owners (especially very new business owners) would not only get value from outsourcing to someone like me but that, dependant on their income levels could really use some help learning how to get set up in business and learning all the tools and tricks to do these jobs for themselves until they’re in a more stable financial position and not just other VAs either, but other entrepreneurs and small businesses – particularly service based.
Excitingly, as my own business model changes to really enable you to get organised, free up your time and have your own pocket rocket business support on speed dial for a suitable cost, I too am going to be launching some support directly aimed at those in the above categories.
If you are thinking of setting up a business or have recently started out then click here and drop your details to be one of the first to hear about it. Don’t worry, I’m not sale pitching you on the blog, just letting you know what’s happening.
Today I really just wanted to remind you that whilst us online assistants in whatever capacity we may be work ‘virtually’ we are not like Siri or Alexa.
FYI though, (and I can only talk for myself here) I do have a complicated algorithm and yes, from time to time I may blurt out a song lyric randomly associated with something you just said but I also laugh with you (a lot) and I’m there to support your business through those crazy wonderful moments and help you through the tar too. After all, I happen to run a business dedicated to helping you run yours better.
Don’t forget, your likes, comments and shares help small businesses like ‘The Amy Johnson’ stay visible and I appreciate it.
Thanks for reading,