Virtual Assistant: Why I Offer Free Consultations

You’re great at what you do but the time-consuming tasks of being a creative entrepreneur are bogging you down. You know you need help but how do you find the right person?

Photo by: Negative Space

It’s scary. I get it.

You have questions but how do you get them answered unless we talk?

From my persepective, at first I thought it would be risky to offer free consultations (lose my time = money). But I’ve booked almost every potential client I’ve spoken with.

And those I didn’t book, I think I left a favorable impression with and hopefully we’ll work together someday. Or they’ll refer me to their contacts. Or I made an online friend and we can support each other with Retweets, Likes, and Shares :)

I have yet to speak with anyone but amazing entrepreneurs.

With a free consultation, we get to feel each other out. Do we have the same work ethic? Do we “click”? Do we laugh at the same jokes? Do you mind if I sometimes quote 80s movies?

What about my rates? Is there room for negotiation? Are there packages? Yep. But we need to talk it through.

Do I believe in your mission? Do you believe I can effectively help you?

How are we going to know unless we talk? So don’t be shy. If you’re serious about working with a VA, give me a shout out via my contact page and we’ll get a 15-30 minute chat scheduled.

I look forward to speaking with you!

Ask VACreatively.com: “I Need a Virtual Assistant. Where Do I Find A Good One?”

I’ve heard this many times from small biz owners: “I really need a virtual assistant to help with my business but I don’t even know where to start looking.” And there it stalls. They continue to be overwhelmed with the daily tasks to keep their business running, rarely having time to move it forward, spend time on special projects, or just relax.

Sound familiar?

Yep! And that leads to the question I’ve been asked repeatedly:

“I need a virtual assistant. Where do I find a good one?”

Sites like Elance and ODesk are options, sure. But they’re not where you should be looking, in my opinion. There’s a real battle for work there based on the “low bid” system. Is that who you want working with you – the person who’s clawing with the masses to accept the least amount of pay? When that’s the criteria for hire, I don’t understand how they can possibly have your best interest at heart and provide top-of-the-line service for you.

I think you’ll have much better luck with virtual assistants (like me) who have their own website, their own established business, years of demonstrated experience, a sound education, and expect a decent rate for their hard work.

The problem is, it’s hard to find virtual assistants of this type with a simple Google search. For instance, I just Googled “virtual assistant” and did not find a link to a “solo” virtual assistant until page 4. Prior to that were: Books on how to become a virtual assistant, blogs about becoming a virtual assistant, ODesk and Elance listings, VA forums, etc. (Yes, indeed, there is a whole industry based on BECOMING a VA that’s making a lot of money in itself, LOL).

So you need a virtual assistant but don’t know where to look? Please let me suggest VirtualAssistantville.com. {If you need to come back later and find the link, I have a clickable icon in my right sidebar ->}

Not only can you browse a huge listing of available virtual assistants, but you can submit an RFP or Request for Proposal detailing the services you’re looking for. Then VAs will submit bids and you get to choose the best fit – pretty cool!

VirtualAssistantville is run by Tess Strand who also administers VirtualAssistantForums.com.

“VAF” – as we VA’s call it – is an EXCELLENT resource for new and experienced virtual assistants to ask questions, find free resources, and take paid classes. I’ve been lurking there for years and have been an active member since November 2013. (HERE is my VAF profile).

Both VirtualAssistantville.com and VirtualAssistantForums.com are excellent places to look for a virtual assistant. These 2 sites are loaded with experienced, solo-business owner virtual assistants ready to help with whatever you need done.

It can seem like a big risk to hire someone online who you’ve never met – and may never meet – in person. One of the things I like about VAF.com is that you can check out the virtual assistant profiles to learn a lot about them. In addition, check out the forum posts they’ve made and maybe you’ll like what you see. A virtual assistant whose posts are friendly, inquisitive, business-like, and helpful would be a great one to hire. You can also tell by how long they’ve been posting at VAF.com whether they’re a “fly by night” VA not taking it very seriously or one who’s been around for a while and is a stable business owner herself with more on the line.

So if you or a fellow business owner would like to hire a virtual assistant (VA) but don’t know where to start, please check out those 2 resources. If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them in Comments below!

PS: If you’re a virtual assistant yourself, come on over and get yourself listed at VirtualAssistantville.com! As you now know, that’s where all the SMART business owners are looking for virtual assistants ;)