A Year in Review As A Virtual Assistant Pt. 5

This blog series is a year in review as virtual assistants who are on 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 coming to a close. This is the final blog in an incredibly fun and informative series. I’ve had a great time with this! Be sure to read the entire series, Part 1 where discussed online courses, Part 2 was all about social media, Part 3 we dove into videos, Part 4 VAs shared 2019 trends. 

Let’s read what AVA members had to say about the future of VAs and clients in 2020!

Q. If you could predict the next trend for VAs what would it be?

When it came to predicting the next trends I think everyone was correct. For an industry that is rapidly growing, you can bet on a lot of growth changes!

“Collaborative business building and “scaling specialists”.  I think those 2 subjects will become very popular. The first to acquire market share and provide more robust services, and the second because “scaling” is the big buzzword we can market around.” – Lizabeth Wesely-Casella,  L12 Services.

“Podcast VAs. So many clients are getting into the podcasting space and they need virtual assistants who can edit, create audiograms for social media, make graphics, upload, get them seen on the platform, publish, etc.”  – Erin Sturm, The Sturm Agency

“I would predict that many more people will become VAs and that the trend in business, will be to hire a VA before hiring an employee more and more.” Bonnie Schutz, Tandem Resource Solutions.

Melissa Mosher of Support Savvy believes there will be two distinct trends happening in 2020. (1) Specialization – getting your niche service down to a concise art (2) Separation of personal and professional brands – I don’t want to see pics of your dog if I’m shopping for services 🙂 ha!” This is very interesting as clients and VAs make the move to be more authentic and transparent. Will your clients want to show up authentically with their pets and, more importantly, will their audience want them to as well? 

Q. What predictions do you have about VAs entering the industry in 2020?

No one disagrees that there will be more virtual assistants entering the industry in the coming year. 

“We will see the number of high qualified candidates increase by 50% at least. There is an empire waiting for us to build.  We have enormous growth potential!” – Lizabeth
“I think more virtual assistants will continue to enter the industry. Work from home jobs are very attractive and people with a variety of skill sets and schedules can become successful virtual assistants and business owners.” – Erin
“The number will absolutely grow!”Liropeya “Peya” Robbins

There are some things to consider whether you are currently a VA or plan to enter the industry in 2020. Here’s what two of our members predicted.

“Massive increase in numbers and confusing resources.”, says Melissa. 
Bonnie says, “Competition will be fierce! You will have to differentiate yourself in some way!” 

An increase in any industry can be both positive and negative. The Association of Virtual Assistants is already addressing both. Our Industry Standard Pricing Guide has helped VAs entering the industry (and some who were already in business) set prices that reflect the minimum requirements in the United States and Canada. Additionally, our State of the Virtual Assistant survey will be released in January. In our private Slack community we share best practices for working with clients and how to handle situations where VAs have been ghosted by other VAs. Not to mention, have monthly Zoom chats for virtual assistants who want to write books, host a workshop, and are advancing their business in new ways to support the industry.

Q. What predictions do you have about clients hiring VAs in 2020?

No prediction of the future would be complete if we didn’t include those we assist, the client. The prediction was unanimous, clients will be hiring more VAs in 2020. However, it’s not that cut and dry. 

“We will need to remain focused on educating the general public regarding our skill sets and the industry overall, however, those that are ready for support will be looking for metrics like certification in a wide range of areas to identify the right hire.” – Lizabeth
“I believe that clients will hire more VAs in 2020. As VAs become more widely used and talked about, business owners will realize that anyone with a job of any kind could use a VA.” – Erin
Melissa not only recognizes the positive but the negative side for clients, “Demand, and frustration of clients will increase – they know they need help but have no time to do the search-work or even know where/what to seek out.”

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!