What Is a Virtual Assistant?

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People always came up to me and asked what I did for a living, and almost on reflex, I answered, “Na ko’y afam.” (I have an American boyfriend.) Of course, I was joking. But I did have an Australian boss whom I talked to almost every day. I was a virtual assistant, or a VA.

Now, what exactly is a virtual assistant? Resources on the web say that a virtual assistant is an administrative professional who provides immediate professional support, services, and skills to busy entrepreneurs and business managers via the Internet (source: www.vanetworking.com).

It’s become huge in the Philippines, and you wouldn’t believe the demand from clients abroad! Most of these clients who hire VAs are just starting out, so it’s incredibly cost-efficient to hire offshore assistants. And Filipinos are becoming the leading choice of VAs because of a) how well we communicate in English, b) how hardworking we are, and c) how well we handle stress.

Clients hire VAs, most of the time, for the same reason: to free up time that can be used on other more important things, or tasks that need their urgent, personal attention.

VAs do a wide range of tasks. Among the tasks that a VA does are:

  1. marketing support – this involves social media marketing and other forms of digital marketing
  2. web design
  3. search engine optimization or SEO
  4. proofreading, editing, typing, and rewriting a client’s copy, blog post, or any other content used in his business
  5. general administrative tasks such as calendar management, appointment setting, email management
  6. accounting and bookkeeping
  7. keeping clients on track with everything they need to do to grow their business and expand their reach

But no single VA can do ALL of the tasks a client wants. Some VAs specialize in writing, others in web design. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to virtual assistants. So if you’re a client looking to employ the help of a VA, think of the tasks that you need most help with and hire someone with that skill set. If you’re a VA, don’t feel bad if can’t do some things your client asks you to do. Be honest. Ask questions. Ask to be trained if possible. The greatest roadblock in reaching your full potential as a VA is failing to communicate with your client.

Feel like you have what it takes to become a kickass VA and enjoy a rewarding career right at the comfort of your own home? Let’s talk! Email me at hello@leanfernandez.com or add me on Skype: leanfernandez_.

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