A Year in Review As A Virtual Assistant Pt. 4

This blog series is a year in review as virtual assistants who are at the forefront of client services, experiences, and assisting to share what they have observed and what they are forecasting for the future.

The Year in Review As A Virtual Assistant blog series is now moving to future trends based on what we learned in 2019. Don’t forget to check out Part 1 where discussed online courses, Part 2 was all about social media, Part 3 we dove into videos

Let’s read what AVA members had to say about 2019.

Q. Do you see something that was once “old” becoming a new trend again?

The written words seem to be making a comeback for some. 

For Melissa Mosher, the Support Savvy says it’s email newsletters. 

Lizabeth Wesely-Casella of L12 Services shares, “The ability to communicate/annotate with pen and paper.  I’ve had clients comment that they rarely see people ‘take notes’ anymore but the fact that I do is somehow reassuring.”

Erin Sturm of The Sturm Agency reports, “I see a rise in transcribing as many clients have videos that they want the text transcribed for social media.”

The AVA has seen this a lot with clients, something “old” becoming new again. There are a few factors:
  1. The client never wanted to stop but found they didn’t have the time to keep writing.
  2. Clients often add new tools and resources and forget the news things are in addition to what they are already doing – not a replacement. 
  3. The client doesn’t know how to write in manageable chunks. (I suffer from this!)

Writing is great therapy and it is no surprise writing whether for business or for pleasure seems to be making a comeback. On the opposite side of the coin, reading is relaxing and a great way to disconnect. Clients having something to share with their audience offline is still in great demand. 

Q. What was the trend that surprised you the most in 2019?

There didn’t seem to be a consensus which is great! It lets us know that the VA industry didn’t completely miss the mark in any one particular area. At the same time our members are each growing and expanding in their own professional development and not simply chasing the latest trend. 

Lizabeth was surprised by, “The number of people who are starting VA businesses, and who are succeeding!” Of course, this is thrilling news to the Association of Virtual Assistants as we stand ready to support VAs. 

Erin said, “Speaker specific VAs – TEDx VAs.” The AVA launched this certification back in October with great success! 

Liropeya “Peya” Robbins experienced something old becoming new again, “So many people write books! I didn’t know that until my circles expanded and I knew so many authors.” Books are not dead, they simply take many shapes and forms. 

Melissa commented on one disappointing, and surprising, a trend many of us witnessed,. “The quantity of groups created that were/are so poorly managed and supported. It’s like … because folks CAN create one, they naturally SHOULD — eh? 🙂 #communitymanagementisathing”. It’s natural for your clients (or even you) to want to have a place for your audience to gather. However, what happens after you’ve gathered together. You would never have an in-person event without a plan or agenda. The same goes for online groups. They are essentially online events you are asking people to come back to often. 

Q. What do you believe will be a thing of the past soon?

This question didn’t bring simply one thing to mind either. However, it did provide some insight into how VAs want to be seen, assist their clients, and be successful.

“Not sure, but I hope it’s all references to Ms. Moneypenny in relation to our work.” – Lizabeth
“I believe Pinterest VAs will struggle to find more clients. I think blogging is slowing down and becoming harder to earn a living with monetization. Podcasting is taking its place.” – Erin
“Offices. The Virtual Assistant industry will BOOM and so will coworking spaces!” – Bonnie
“Joining in 50+ groups when a few authentic, meaningful groups can do far more.” – Melissa

History repeating itself is always the trend. The key to success with any business is staying true to who you are, remaining connected to your audience, and making the necessary pivots in business. 

All these predictions are precisely the reason the AVA exists. As stated in our mission:

“The mission of the Association of Virtual Assistants is to be the most trusted source of information in the VA industry. We promote a high standard of excellence within our Association, which not only benefits current and future virtual assistants but those we serve – the client.”

With demand comes educating, teaching, training, supporting, assisting, and staying ahead of the trends. The AVA has quickly become the trusted source for VAs and clients alike to get the assistance and virtual assistants needed at every stage of their business. Through providing resources, a fully transparent pricing guide, free trainings, real-time support, a VA directory, certifications, and collaborations we stand poised for 2020 and beyond!