Lately, I’ve been bombarded by administrative professionals, who want to work for me as a virtual assistant. While I’m flattered that they contacted me and offered their skills, I’m absolutely flabbergasted by the fact that they don’t understand the first thing about the virtual assistant business.
Some of them are downright demanding and don’t understand why I don’t want to share any of my work with them. They forward their resumes to me and I’m expected to just dole out my clients’ work to them.
It’s not that simple, so here are a few tips to help anyone land placement with a virtual assistant.
- Take time to check out the virtual assistant you want to work with. Get to know the virtual assistant’s niche and determine how you can assist with your skills.
- Take time to introduce yourself and focus on your personal skills as well as your professional ones. You need to convince the virtual assistant that you’re a perfect fit for her business.
- Do your research! Find out what the virtual assistant business is all about: how you find clients, how to bill for services, what’s in a contract, etc. This will help you to bond with the virtual assistant and enhance your chances of getting work.
- Be flexible! Answer any questions the virtual assistant may have and elaborate on anything she talks about. The more you have in common (personality, professionalism, knowledge of the business, etc.) the better your chances are to secure placement with her.
If the virtual assistant isn’t forthcoming with an offer:
- Don’t ask her why she doesn’t have enough work for both of you.
- Don’t discuss your salary requirements for future work. Every client and project is different.
- Don’t imply that you have more or better skills than the virtual assistant has and that’s why you should work with her.
If the virtual assistant asks you, if you need a mentor, take the offer. The best way to break into the business is to connect with someone, who has gone through the process and can help you avoid the pitfalls. By connecting and getting to know you, the virtual assistant would be more willing to hand work over to you. Don’t forget, the virtual assistant has a professional relationship with her client and most virtual assistants are extremely reluctant to hand over any work to someone they know little about.
Times are tough! For most virtual assistants, their clients are their only means of financial support, so they need to nurture them and provide the best service, so they can retain their clients. Sometimes, a client may require skills that their virtual assistant doesn’t possess. That’s when the virtual assistant will reach out to the community. If you’ve positioned yourself with knowledge, skills, and connections, and understand how the virtual assistant business works, then some virtual work should come your way.
Approach any virtual assistant in the same way you would approach a potential employer.