How To Become a VA and Travel The World
I have invited Michelle Dale to write a post about how to become a Virtual Assistant and how it’ll allow you to travel the world, if you choose. Without further ado, I’ll hand you over to Michelle.
Virtual Assistant – these are 2 little words that I heard back in 2005, and I had no idea how much they would change my life. In fact, I also had no idea how they themselves would change over the years. The meaning of ?Virtual Assistant? is no longer a role, or a job title, or a way for mums to make a bit of money from home – that is a common misconception which is slowly phasing out as the months go by. Virtual Assistance is now an industry, it?s an entrepreneurial endeavour and it?s the most flexible and in my opinion, the most versatile online business pursuit out there on the Web today.
I started off in the industry as a freelancer, after quitting my job, getting rid of everything I owned and deciding to see how the world treated me, I went to Egypt with a couple of suitcases and a notebook laptop. Living in a country with a poorer economic climate meant what little money I did have, would last much, much longer.
I started researching business opportunities online. First looking into the world of affiliates, products sales, blogging – it was all totally alien to me, then one day I discovered the term ?Virtual Assistant? which back then meant providing office style administrative support online to clients, mostly via a back and forth on email – this was up my street given my background and work history. The one issue I found was that a lot of the virtual assistants worked with local business, exchanging files and documents in the ?real? world, which wasn?t an option for me, so I made my ?local? the Internet.
After studying and teaching myself programmes like Photoshop and Dreamweaver, and building my website from scratch, it dawned on me that I had developed a new skill, and why could that skill not be part of my service business? And this is where the journey to expanding my services began, later morphing a ?Virtual Assistant? website into an ?Online Business Consultancy and Virtual Assistant Services? one – a complete one-stop-shop for online business owners.
Some folk will be more than happy to set up a business and focus on one particular skill or service, for example writers, website developers, graphic designers, administrators, social media marketers – but the virtual assistant industry allows you to expand and offer pretty much anything you want, one skill or talent, or many… and as you evolve, so can your business. I am one of those people who constantly likes to try new things, I am an experimental junkie when it comes to working online, always trying to improve on the possibilities of what can be achieved under the virtual assistant umbrella, and that?s why this industry really suits me, my business can be whatever I want it to be, without restriction, and I love having that freedom.
I have been ?on the road? since I left the UK in 2005, I met my husband in one country, got married in another, we had 2 children, in 2 different countries. Once I became pregnant we decided to do a southern European circuit, and I am currently writing this article from Italy, with my 3 and 4 year old outside playing on the terrace of our apartment, with panoramic views of the ocean, the countryside and the snow capped mountains in the distance. So all I can really say is – Thank You, Virtual Assistance!
So how can you achieve this same kind of existence – I promise you it?s not as hard as it seems, and really the only thing restricting us is the limitations we put on ourselves. Once you open your mind and let go of conventional thinking, the world becomes a candy shop where you can pick and choose where you want to go, whenever you want to go there. The reason you?ll be able to do this is because the only thing you?ll really need to operate a virtual assistant business is a computer and an Internet connection – everything else can be done online, and no paper is involved – well, not the way I run my business anyway!
The most important thing to now consider is that the industry is competitive in terms of numbers, but not really in terms of how business is conducted and done. Focus on offering quality services and keep your skills current. As a digital nomad you?ll need to consider how you?ll work with your clients online, and you?ll need to put a lot of effort and focus on the customer service element of the business which is the glue that will hold everything together for you. Really good customer care I feel is what is lacking in the industry due to the digital nature of the relationships, so the more humanity you can bring in, the better placed you?ll be for referrals and recommendations, which is now for me a primary source of new clientele.
So you have 3 things to focus on:
1. Quality Services.
2. Cutting-Edge Online Technology for delivering these services.
3. Taking ?real? care of your clients online.
If you would like to learn more about how to get started in the industry, and in particular, how you can take your business around the world with you like I have, please visit: www.TheVARoadmap.com – my free guide to starting a ?Virtually Anywhere? online service business.
Possibilities are endless, and it can very easily, all be done online. Check out my blog for more free information, insights and tips into how to conduct business as an online service provider. To learn more about me, and my journey as a digital nomad, you can check out MichelleDale.me where I would be happy to connect with you through my various social media accounts and answer your questions about getting started! I would say good luck, but really luck has nothing to do with it – work hard, be confident and love what you do, and you?ll soon be on your way around the world, both the online world and the offline one!