Why should a virtual assistant join a VA forum or network

Why being part of a va forum or network is a good choice.

Virtual assistants are fast becoming the resource of choice for entrepreneurs, professionals and small businesses. Virtual assistants have proven themselves to be invaluable in many ways throughout the various industries, and are therefore becoming more and more widespread and commonly used.

A virtual assistant in this competitive VA market must therefore be competitive and on trend by keeping up to date with new resources, ideas, trends and scams that can help or hinder them from being profitable and providing a rewarding service.  As virtual assistants that provide services to various industries and businesses it is our responsibility to ensure that we provide the best of what our businesses have to offer, this is why a VA should look into joining a VA forum or network.

The world of the virtual assistant is one that is highly competitive, there are many assistants that offer their services whether general or specialised.  One of the ways that a virtual assistant can stay current in this highly competitive market is to join a forum for virtual assistants or any kind of VA network.

VA networks and forums are a good place for a VA to express their thoughts with fellow professionals, share trade ideas, stories and successes and to get help when needed.  Being part of a forum or network can open up a VA to a number of opportunities both professional and personal.  As part of a VA forum or network a virtual assistant will find valuable information and resources to help further their business, or if they are new to the industry or thinking of becoming a VA, will find the encouragement to make the leap and be their own boss, even on a part time basis.

VA forums provide the new VA with a ready source of information, insight and advice that is relative to their new industry and career choice.  Any VA whether new to the field of virtual assistants or not, will find that a VA forum will be of benefit to them.  Forums are a great place to learn and pick up best practice ideas and also to build your own network of trusted VA’s that you can turn to for help when the time comes.  There are many VA forums and networks our there that are free to join and some that have a membership fee attached, there are some really good ones that provide members with the opportunity to train to improve their VA skill and also offer their members access to clients that are in need of a virtual assistant.

Which ever forum you choose to join as a VA there is always a place to go, and once you join a forum or network you will definitely experience the benefits.

Benefits of a VA forum or network

  1. Access to projects that are posted on forums
  2. Be able to pass on proposals to prospective clients that are trusted by other VA
  3. Have a safe environment to discuss business matters
  4. Help is always available when needed
  5. Feedback on ideas from fellow like minded VAs


Transcriptions – are the costs too low!

As Virtual Assistants there are many areas of work that our duties cover, one such area that seems to get overlooked or abused is providing transcription services. Are the cost of transcription services soo low that VAs are giving away their services.

TranscriptionAs Virtual Assistants there are many areas of work that our duties cover, one such area that seems to get overlooked or abused is providing transcription services.  Are the cost of transcription services  low that VAs are giving away their services.

I personally do a  lot of transcriptions and enjoy doing them. Some of the topics can be very informative and interesting and at times quite fun to just listen to. I have transcribed for meetings, Ebooks, seminars, and teleconferences. However not all jobs come from my current client list so I have to go out in search of work, which brings me to the topic of this post.

Very recently while going through a freelance sites, which is one of the many places or ways that VAs get their projects, I came upon a startling trend, buyers requesting VAs to transcribe 60 minutes of audio for $5.  Another I saw stated “a premium of $10”.  Now as an experienced transcriber of more than 5 years this rate is unacceptable. Do prospective clients or buyers really know what goes into creating their transcripts? The time, research, and skill that an experienced transcriber brings to the table to ensure that their files are created as required.  Clients who request the services of a transcriber should be made aware that although this service can be found for those prices in some places, to have an experienced english speaking, experienced transcriber will require more of an incentive than $10 per hour.

In addition to the low service cost they seek, they also want a VA to provide the files within a certain time frame, which was unrealistic.  VAs please when using freelance sites try your best to vet your prospective clients and check out if they have used the site before, or worked with other provides and read the comments left, they are always good indicators to show if  you can or are willing to work with that client.

Remember transcriptions come in many forms and grades and if you can provide your service for $5 or $10 then that’s great for you but be realistic about the resources you used to provide that transcript and weigh the costs then.

Happy prospecting and enjoy the weekend.

Althea  @ VYPA

 

Thank you for your comments. I feel that as VAs we should sometimes just make these buyers aware that such rates are simply not acceptable.  I’m pleased to see that I’m not alone in feeling this way about some of the rates being offered.
Thank you for reading.

Should you allow new clients to test your services?

To test or not to test? That is the question for virtual assistants to ponder.

There are always interesting blogs and articles about the VA world.  I find this one quite interesting and I hope it helps you to make a decision on what you offer your new clients when it comes to testing or samples of work.

Enjoy

Althea

To test or not to test?

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That is the question.

A discussion at one of the VA forums I belong to raised a query about being ‘tested’ by doing small jobs for free at a site before being accepted as a VA for potential clients.

I find that sometimes clients come via my job leads request form and attempt to do the same thing. Give 4 or 5 (or more) VAs a small portion of the task to be done just to ‘try them out’ and before you know it, they’ve gotten the whole job done free and not paid anyone.

That’s not on!

As was mentioned at the forum, you don’t tell plumbers or electricians or other tradies that you want to ‘test’ their abilities first before you’ll give them the job.  You expect that they know what they’re doing, you find out their fees and then either accept or find someone else.

The same applies to VAs.  No client or VA membership site should be asking you to do something for free to test your abilities.  There are intern programs out there where new VAs can be taken under the wing of an experienced VA in order to gain knowledge and experience and usually for low payment or in return for training, but otherwise no VA should be expected to do something for free just to show what they’re capable of doing, at the risk of being exploited.  There should be some sort of value returned for the effort the VA has put in.

Do the research and ask questions at forums. Join VA networks or organisations that you know are reputable and if you can’t find that information, then research the founder or owner of the group.  If they’ve been in the industry for a few years they will show up on the web.  Their reputation should speak for itself.