A Year in Review as a Virtual Assistant – Part 1

A Year in Review - Part 1

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.

As a virtual assistant things are constantly changing. Some clients hire you to pioneer a new trend while other clients seek you out to help get them up to speed. No matter what type of services you offer as a virtual assistant, knowing what is possible for your clients is what it’s all about. In fact, it’s how I built my own business. As a self-professed low-tech VA, I am not the right fit for many clients. However, knowing so many highly tech-savvy VAs and the work they perform, I am able to have great conversations with clients regarding what is possible and assure the client the right virtual assistant for their business exists. 

For the last blog series of the year, I wanted the 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. This is a must-read blog series!

Q. What did you experience with your clients when it came to online learning?

Erin Sturm of The Sturm Agency said, “Clients are continuing to offer and consume online courses and programs, but are also moving more heavily into the podcast space.”  

This confirms what we’ve heard already this year from VAs and clients alike. In fact, online courses are now the new business-standard. Clients still have important decisions to make when it comes to offering online courses. One of the first decisions clients have to make is whether or not they want to have a live online course or go with an on-demand or evergreen course. There is no one right answer and it largely depends on your audience. 

Podcasting is the new blogging

Podcasting is the new blogging so it’s no surprise we are seeing more clients move into this space. Much like a blog, the SEO, content, titles, show notes, and transcripts will still be a factor. This is often more work than the client realizes. Not to mention the backend work of hosting, recording, editing, and intros needed for a podcast. 

Melissa Mosher of Support Savvy makes a very important point, “[This is] where their tech-level or tech-prowess matters! All the concepts in the world won’t do a bit of good if they can’t manage the technology to get the information – leverage tech vs be crippled or held back by it.”

Q. What do you believe the future trend of online learning will be?

“Self-guided video content with corresponding assignments and online facilitators,” says Melissa Mosher. This model is extremely popular with those who want to have “face time” with their online course participants and when the content remains the same. Online courses still remain a great way to scale your business, protect your time, and serve your audience. 

Erin Sturm makes an interesting point regarding audio, “I believe learning will move from visual to more heavily audio-based courses so people can listen when commuting or doing other things.”  In a highly distracted and connected world will your audience having the opportunity or feel compelled to engage? How much is your audience able to absorb if they are likely to be doing other things while listening? More importantly, what are those other things? 

Commuting

For those commuting on trains, buses, and subways video with subtitles is mandatory. In fact, it has been reported that 85% of FB videos are watched without sound!  

Lizabeth Wesely-Casella of L12 Services, makes an interesting observation about audiences to serve. “I think that skills certification, as well as basic VA training, will be important.  I’d LOVE to see training that focuses on disability inclusion (and I’d love to collaborate on this as entrepreneurship in the disability community is my volunteer work focus).”  Online learning is now a way for everyone to reach a new audience. An audience they may not have had the opportunity to serve before. 

What does this mean for virtual assistants? It means that we will all need to step up our online course and podcast game. It also means that we will have a few new specializations to promote and those already offering these services have the opportunity to capitalize on their experience. Here are just a few services and opportunities for VAs to consider offering in 2020 when it comes to online courses and podcasts.

Offering online course services

  • Content
  • Emails/funnels
  • Lead magnets
  • Graphics
  • Slides
  • Transcription
  • Video editing/subtitles
  • Workbooks
  • Webinar facilitation
  • A “done for you” playbook
  • Ebook with a checklist to determine the best platforms and services for a client to use
  • Social media repurposing of content, including testimonials
  • Consulting VAs and clients alike
  • The list goes on and on!

Offering podcasting services

  • Guest booking
  • Sound editing/intros
  • Transcripts/show notes
  • Emails/funnels
  • Lead magnets
  • Graphics
  • A “done for you” playbook
  • Ebook with a checklist to determine the best platforms and services for a client to use
  • Social media repurposing of content, including testimonials
  • Securing sponsorships
  • Consulting VAs and clients alike
  • The list goes on and on!

While you do not have to be in any of the fields if that is not something you or your clients are interested in, the point is to stay informed and know where your resources are. Begin forming relationships now with trusted partners whom you can refer clients to. 

If these are services you’ve been offering for years, having a done-for-you playbook or an ebook with a checklist is a great way to funnel more business. Whether through clients paying for this written knowledge or consulting – be prepared to earn more in 2020!

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!

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