Black History Month & Virtual Assistants-Celebrating Latrice Prater
Black History Month is an annual celebration recognizing the achievements of Blacks and African Americans in U.S. history. The Association of Virtual Assistants celebrates Black History Month and is taking special consideration to recognize its members during the month of February.
The AVA is proud to support all its members in what they want by doing the work they love from wherever they choose. Each Association of Virtual Assistants member is making history and setting a new path for their lives and the lives of their families.
The first member we are highlighting this month is Latrice Prater, CEO of The Digital Solutions Team. Last year the AVA highlighted Latrice during Black History Month and Latrice was just getting started as you’ll find out in our interview. It’s been exciting to watch as Latrice has quickly grown her company, her team, and made a name for herself in the VA industry. (You can read her interview from last year here and listen to our podcast interview with Latrice here.).
Please share some of your background so our readers can get to know you better.
My name is Latrice Prater and I am the CEO of The Digital Solutions Team. I am a wife and a mother of 3, who currently resides in the Austin, Texas area. I am a Multipotentialite! I have many passions and I have started various businesses. But the one thing that has been consistent is my passion to help other women in any capacity that I can.
Why is Black History Month important to you?
Black History Month is important to me because it shines a bright light on the history of my people. There is so much power, strength and resilience in what my ancestors had to overcome for me to even be here today. Knowing where you come from is what keeps you grounded and knowing that I am rooted in so much power and strength keeps me aiming high.
Is this year’s Black History Month more significant to you? If so, why?
Every year is equally as significant in my opinion. But this year we have experienced one great triumph! That is having the first Black female vice president in the White House. That signifies just how far we have come but there is still quite a bit of work left to be done.
What steps did you take to start your business?
When I started my business, I surrounded myself with people in the VA industry. I joined AVA and various Facebook Groups to learn from those who were already doing what I wanted to do. Then I created a website and updated my LinkedIn page and started promoting myself as a Virtual Assistant. I made sure to apply to opportunities that aligned with my values both professional and personal. It did not take long before I started getting referrals and regular traffic from Facebook and LinkedIn.
What has been your best strategy for getting clients?
Authenticity! I am very transparent in who I am and what I stand for. I am at the point in my business where most of my clients find me or were referred to me. But I am very honest with my clients about what I can and cannot do and what I will and will not do. I always assure them that working with me is a partnership and their success is my success. Their vision and their goals are just as important to me as it is to them and when they see this in action, they understand the real value behind what I do.
Tell us about your services and what kinds of clients you enjoy working with.
I currently offer administrative, operations and HR support to female CEO’s. I love working with other women in business and assisting them in growing and scaling through streamlining and automation. Most of my clients are moms and wives so we connect on many different things. My business has given me the luxury to form lasting professional and authentic relationships with such dynamic women.
You have grown your business and team in record time! What do you attribute it to?
Two things – authenticity and being a jack-of-all-trades. Since my professional background is so broad, I have a number of skills that are useful to a wide variety of clients. Also, most of my clients love that I have a team because it allows them to get most of their business needs met within one space. It also means, more can get done in less time because it is not just one person but a team of 7.
When it comes to the VA industry, do you feel you are provided the same opportunities as others? Why or why not?
Absolutely! My skillset gets me in the door every time, and my passion and transparency will close on average 3 out of 5 prospects that I speak with.
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge has been the transition from solopreneur to small agency. Learning how to delegate, which is crazy to say because, of course, that is what I preach to my clients. But it is hard to let go sometimes. I have learned, and I am still learning how to properly delegate and structure a business that I want to continue to grow and scale. I have invested in a coaching program that has helped tremendously.
How has the AVA made you feel welcome or how did you know you belong and are valued in the AVA?
The AVA is like the best friend you make in elementary school that you never outgrow because they seem to grow with you. The AVA provides a ton of value in resources alone but what really seals the deal is the community that you become a part of. The people that are so ready and willing to help you, promote you and tell you how awesome you are. The AVA is like my best friend, we may not talk every day but when we do, we pick up right where we left off.
How do you want to be remembered in history?
After almost 1 full year as a full-time business owner, supporting some of the most amazing women and working alongside some of the most talented and driven ladies on this planet, I can say that I want to be remembered as a Servant Leader. That will never change.
If you are as inspired by Latrice’s story as the Association of Virtual Assistants is, be sure to connect!
Want to know more about being authentic to attract your ideal clients? Latrice has a resource for you! How Authenticity Attracts Your Ideal Client
The Association of Virtual Assistants’ mission is to become the most trusted source of information in the VA industry. We provide resources, education and training for virtual assistants at every stage of their career, and for clients as well in a like-minded community.