What You Can Expect When Joining The Virtual Assistant World

Back in 2008 the world of Virtual Assistance looked very different to what it does today. Being in the thick of things in the VA industry in South Africa, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing first-hand how this industry has matured and evolved over time.

It’s taken the South African market a very long time to warm up to the idea of hiring someone outside of the office to do their admin for them. Yet, over the last year and a bit the Virtual Assistant market has exploded! South African businesspeople cannot get enough of the VA industry and international business people are seeking the services of SA Virtual Assistants. It’s beautiful to see!

Thanks to this growth I’ve been able to establish Africa’s largest and most successful managed Virtual Assistant Agency. It’s my absolute pleasure to work with such amazing clients and VA’s alike! My passion is to help others and through our agency we are able to connect people from all over the globe. Our clients love us, and well, yes our VA’s love us too!

So, if you are new to the VA world, either starting out on your own or wanting to join an established outfit, you probably have a few questions around what to expect.

In this post I’m going to take you, the potential VA (whether independent or not), through what it’s like to join a Virtual Assistant Agency from the Agency Owner’s perspective.

Here’s what to expect when joining my team

Expectation Management

It is important that you note : This is not a salaried job. As a Virtual Assistant in South Africa you are seen as an independent contractor. Because you are not employed you are solely responsible for your own taxes, medical aid, insurance, office equipment, and so forth. If you’re going at this alone, know that you are an entrepreneur, running your own business, managing your business finances, strategising your marketing, filling your own sales funnel.

Should you join a VA Agency you can expect to receive agency rates. Many prospective VA’s approach me for work whilst they are working full-time, and they expect that their salary be replaced by VA work. You and I know that it does not work this way. Virtual Assistant rates, whether you are working for us or for yourself, is calculated very differently to a salaried job.

You are expected to hustle daily, to find clients, and keep your sales funnel filled at all times. As a VA Agency owner it is my job to do that, taking this part of the responsibility off your shoulders.

The marketing of the agency and doing international outreach falls under my watch. You in turn are expected to treat each client with the utmost respect, offering them invaluable support and ensuring that they thrive within their environment with the help of your savvy admin support.

Have the right attitude

Skills can be taught, attitude cannot. I’m a firm believer in this, which is why I think CV’s aren’t a true reflection of one’s capabilities. You can have the right attitude and not at all the skills required to do the task. However, because your attitude is right you will be willing to learn and upskill yourself.

Tools of the trade

Every job comes with certain skills requirement and being a Virtual Assistant is no different. There are a myriad of online tools and apps that will help you do your work better. Not only that, your client may request of you to use a certain CRM software or project management system. Do the research on the most popular types of apps for CRM, lead pages, project management, communication, email marketing, social media scheduling and so forth, and get yourself acquainted as far as you can. It will look good and certainly count in your favour when you are being interviewed as a prospective VA.

What are some of the tools we like to use?

  • Slack : communications tool
  • Trello : project / task management software
  • Toggl : time recording software
  • Zoom : conference calls / video calls / webinars
  • Xero : online invoicing system
  • Vtiger : CRM (Customer Relationship Management software)
  • Social Pilot : social scheduling and analytics
  • Google Analytics : social media and website analytics

Interview like a pro

It’s one thing to be presentable on paper, quite another in an interview. I’ve had the privilege this past week of conducting many prospective client / prospective VA interviews and the one thing that is pertinent – I need to help you improve your interview skills! This is your opportunity to “sell” yourself, give the client a reason to work with you, and not a reason to not choose you.

I can only do so much selling over the initial sales period with the client, punting our services, and truly bringing across how amazing my team is (you have been hand picked after all!), however, if you don’t come across as being strong or assertive or sure of your trade in the interview, well, then my pre-sales work becomes null and void.

Let’s get ourselves upskilled in presenting our brands better, whether online, on paper or in person!

Excuses are not allowed

#noexcuses I think that says it all. To clarify, I don’t accept excuses, not from myself, not from team. Either you can or you cannot. Both are choices. It’s my job to push you out of your comfort zone. And I shall do so daily. Why? Because I want to see you succeed. I want every person I’m surrounded by to be successful and to be the best that they can be.

Bringing it together

Love what you do, do what you love. I certainly do! I’m loving this entrepreneurial journey and my Virtual Assistant Agency truly brings me joy and fulfillment. I want you to experience the same thing. I want you to be excited to “come to work” every day.

We have crafted this business over 10 years. We have aligned ourselves with the right energies when it comes to both clients and our Virtual Assistants. When this is aligned it means one thing : that together we can be great. It means that we’re not working against each other, that we want to share our knowledge and see every team member be successful.

Here’s to you, our fabulous Virtual Assistants in South Africa!