How to Keep Your Clients Happy

Most clients want these 3 things from their virtual assistant (VA) - great customer service, excellent work quality and reliability! Conquer those and you should be able to keep your clients happy and long-term.

But how exactly can that be done?

1. Provide excellent response time and clear communication. Determine early in your relationship how your client likes to communicate with you and stick with that, unless you hear otherwise. Some clients will prefer email correspondence, while others will want to talk on the phone or exchange text messages with you. Many clients are also utilizing centralized online locations to share work, like Basecamp or Google Docs.


2. Ask questions if you do not understand what is expected of you, and repeat back what you hear. This is a great way to keep clear communication between yourself and your client and avoid miscommunication.


3. When speaking to your client, always be cheerful and encouraging. No one wants to talk to a...

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Pricing Your Virtual Assistance Services

Pricing your virtual services takes a lot of thought and there isn’t one perfect game plan out there to help you figure it out.

If you ask 5 different people how to set your prices, you are sure to get 5 different answers, so before you determine how much to charge for your service, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • How qualified are you to do the services you are offering?

Don’t offer website design or graphic design if you have no idea about HTML code or working with Adobe InDesign templates .  If you have a portfolio of websites you have developed or graphic design work that rocks, then you are definitely qualified to offer those kinds of services with a premium price tag.

  • Do you consider yourself an expert in the service?

Meaning, have you done this particular service successfully and can you really walk the walk and talk the talk with confidence? Never over promise and under deliver on what you can do.  That never ends well, and can ruin...

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Can I Work as a VA Without Having Strong Technical Abilities?

So, you are not a tech guru, is there still virtual work that you can do?  The simple answer is yes.

Many small business owners need help with tasks that will require someone with a background in web design or web maintenance, social media management, graphic design or even email marketing, however there are still plenty of outsourced tasks that require administrative experience.

To be successful as a virtual assistant, you don’t have to offer everything to a client, but you do need to offer what you do best.

Below are some administrative tasks that many small business owners outsource that won’t require strong technical abilities.

  •         travel planning
  •         database management
  •         event planning
  •         ghost writing
  •         making phone calls
  •         organizing lists
  •         updating curriculum
  •      ...
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Basic Technologies To Use When Working With a New Client

A virtual assistant is a very valuable resource to a busy entrepreneur.  Getting your working relationship off to a good start is important in securing a long term assignment with your new client.

Working with anyone – real or virtual – is a dynamic situation where adjustments need to be made as the working relationship evolves.

With hundreds of mobile applications and cloud-based technologies, working effectively with your client should include using various electronic technologies.  Having a virtual workspace for communicating with your client is essential for success.

Below are 3 basic technologies that should be implemented as you start to work with you new client:

  1. Email – be sure to find out if your client will be setting up a specific email address for you that has their business extension, or if you will use your own email address to communicate with them.  Determine a response time that is acceptable to you and your client.
  2. Live Chat–...
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3 Ways to Add Gratitude Into Your Day

The month of November is always a time when we remind ourselves what we are thankful for. In business it may be a strong loyal client base, a contract win, or even the fact that we enjoy doing what we do. For personal gratitude, it may be our family, our friends, or even the barista who makes our morning coffee exactly to our liking every time we stop in.

The thing about gratitude that is important to remember, is that it really should be something to think about and demonstrate all year long, and not just when the calendar reaches the month of November.

It is easy for all of us to get wrapped up in our daily lives. With the stress of deadlines, bills that need to be paid, phone calls or emails that need to be returned, and demands on our time, it is easy to forget about being grateful.
Here are 3 ways to add gratitude into your day:

  1. Keep a daily gratitude journal – at the end of the day, write down at least one thing you are grateful for.  Look back on the this journal...
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A virtual assistant is an entrepreneur!

Are you familiar with the definition of entrepreneurship? Did you know a virtual assistant (VA) is considered an “entrepreneur?”  Definition:  Entrepreneurship is the process of starting a business, typically a startup company offering an innovative product, process or service. 
 
A lot of VAs have either had a shift in their career plan or left a previous job.  VA’s can continue to share their expertise, experience and knowledge with others by starting their own business doing virtual work.
 
There are some amazing benefits that come with working as a virtual assistant. First, start-up costs are generally pretty low when working out of a home office, and you have the freedom to set your own schedule.  Second, you get to determine the type of work you want to do, and last but not least, you determine what you are going to charge your clients for your services.
 
With all of these positive aspects of being an...

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10 Must-Have Small Business Software

We are sharing content by Jennie Lyon of Jennie Lyon, Virtual Assistant Services for Your Business
Jennie is a virtual assistant that has had much success in her career choice.  She recently sent out this list of 10 Must Have Small Business Software in her newsletter.  We agree with all her suggestions so decided to post her recommendations. Here are her top 10, can’t-live-without software applications for small business (in no particular order).

10 Must-Have Small Business Software

1. Harvest 
Harvest is an intuitive, easy-to-use, cloud-based time tracking system. Features include an on-screen stop watch/timer that can be started and stopped multiple times within a job and/or project, which allows accurate tracking even when interruptions occur. Harvest also generates time reports and has a time approval system, and can be accessed from the Internet, smart phones, and other applications.


2. Asana 
Asana is a web and mobile application designed to enable...

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Work Option When Caring For An Elderly Parent

Being a stay at home Mom or Dad is not the only reason to consider becoming a professional virtual assistant. Caring for an elderly parent, grandparent or friend is a growing responsibility in many households. There is a large number of middle-aged professionals (referred to as the Sandwich Generation) who are simultaneously caring for children and parents — that have left their normal 9am-5pm job to become an at-home caregiver.
According to a Pew Research study, most caregivers are women, about 45% are men. AARP research says most caregivers have jobs, but 70% are obliged to “make workplace adjustments”—coming in late or leaving early, for instance. (Forbes 7/14). This can hamper your job performance and add stress to an already overloaded day. Many who are working and caring for an elderly parent or grandparent eventually end up having to take a leave of absence or will decide to quit their job as health situations change.
Working as a virtual assistant is a...

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The Technology Tether

Do you find yourself constantly checking email, text messages or social media? Is your smartphone or tablet the first thing you reach for in the morning, or the last thing you put down at night? If this sounds like you, then you are tethered to technology and probably missing out on what is actually going on around you.

Below are some tips on how to disconnect—so you can connect with your family, friends and with your kids from Working Mother Magazine.

  • Customize your notifications. Give important contacts (your husband, boss, nanny, etc.) their own ringtones and text tones. Only respond to key contacts when you’re trying to have uninterrupted time with your kids, family or friends. Everyone else can wait.
  • Create tech-free zones. Make a pact that you’ll stay off your phone during key “connect times”. Those should include meal times, when you’re in the car with your husband, wife or kids, and an hour or so before your child’s bedtime. Kids...
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