The Trouble With Virtual Assistants

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3 years ago, an idea sparked the Internet business community, and spread like wildfire. The idea was based on the premise that individuals, small businesses and corporations alike could take advantage of advances in technology by sourcing out much of their administrative tasks to “Virtual Assistants” (VA’s).

The idea certainly was a good one. After all, the VA would work from their own office, provide their own equipment, pay their own taxes & insurance and much more. Basically, the VA would take over administrative tasks for the client, as well as relieve the client of the strains of hiring an additional employee or employees. Even better, the VA would be the clients personal success coach, not only helping them get on track in their personal & business lives, but helping them stay on track and even succeed beyond their initial personal & business goals.

Since the dawn of the Virtual Assistant idea, however, many formerly successful VA’s have been relegated to the title of online freelancer. While a few VA’s remain focused on the task of providing solid administrative services to their clients, most now work on smaller, less personalized services. Many of the VA’s that I know who once handled contracts for clients on an on-going basis are now struggling just to find one-shot projects that will help pay the bills.

The problem is not that the VA’s services are not useful. In fact, far from it. Hiring a Virtual Assistant has many, many advantages, particularly for the small business owner or individual. With a VA by their side, these types of clients can make major advances towards acheiving their goals in their business, as well as personal lives. The best part is that because a VA works entirely over the Internet, and by fax & phone, they allow the client to get back to what’s important – business!

Unfortunately, many would-be clients tend to shy away from the services of a VA simply because, even after 3 years on the scene, the client fails to see exactly how the Virtual Assistant process works. In addition, they remain hesitant because those in the VA industry have not been able to get their message across in a manner that relieves the client of their fears of working with a VA.

So, how do VA’s overcome that fear? A proven formula has yet to be found, though some have found success with a variety of client based ‘offers’, such as discounts or freebies until the client reaches a goal. Others have begun offering a trial period that allows the client to get a ‘feel’ for the service before actually paying for it.

Unfortunately, these can have a negative effect on the VA industry by painting the VA as being less than worthy of the client’s time or effort. For those that would use these ‘gimmicks’, I would strongly suggest that you place a little more faith in yourself & your abilities before giving your services away.

There is no doubt that there is a huge market for the services of a VA. I have had the opportunity to discuss this issue with a number of marketiing and branding ‘gurus’, and their response is always the same: until the potential client is properly educated and their fears addressed, many VA’s will continue to struggle.

David Ware is a Virtual Assistant, successful freelance writer, husband & father. He can be contacted at dave@24hourassistant.com, or at http://www.24hourassistant.com

The Trouble With Virtual Assistants
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About David Ware
David Ware is a Virtual Assistant, successful freelance writer, husband & father. He can be contacted at dave@24hourassistant.com, or at http://www.24hourassistant.com WebProNews Writer
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