VACOC Monthly Guest Expert Teleseminar Series:

The Top 10 Mistakes That are Killing Your Brand

Presented by Rob Frankel

DATE: Thursday, October 18, 2007
TIME: 5pm PST / 6pm MST / 7pm CST / 8pm EST
LENGTH: 60 minutes (please call in 10 min. early)
COST: FREE!

This class is open to all Virtual Assistants and business owners. Feel free to invite your colleagues and clients.

Branding Expert Rob Frankel“Branding is not about getting your prospects to choose you over your competition; it’s about getting your prospects to see you as the only solution to their problem.” ™ –Rob Frankel

Branding is a lot more than just a name and a logo. It’s how users and prospects are turned into evangelists for your business. But even more important than what you know about branding is what you don’t know. It’s costing you real business and real dollars. Branding expert Rob Frankel will be telling you–yes, you– the 10 ways you are currently killing your brand. He’ll also tell you how to fix every one of them.

Join us on Thursday, October 18, for a special hour with Rob Frankel, author of the groundbreaking bestseller, Revenge of Brand X: How to Build a Big Time Brand on the Web or Anywhere Else.  Rob Frankel has been called “the best branding expert on the planet,” advising, consulting and speaking to Fortune 500 companies, funded start-ups and major media such as CBS, CNBC, ABC, NBC, FOX, WSJ, NYT, LAT and many more.

Branding is relevant to every business, and to every part of your business. Rob is the only branding consultant who can show you how creating and implementing brand strategy directly increases your bottom line revenues–and profitability. Be sure to catch a spot at what is sure to be one of our most fascinating, eye-opening events.

Register Now!

About Rob Frankel

Rob Frankel has been called “the best branding expert on the planet,” advising, consulting and speaking to Fortune 500 companies, funded start-ups and major media such as CBS, CNBC, ABC, NBC, FOX, the Wall Street Journal, New York Time, LA TImes, and many more. (For clips, visit http://www.robfrankel.com/videos.html).

Rob is the only branding consultant who can show you how creating and implementing brand strategy directly increases your bottom line revenues–and profitability.

He is also the author of the ground-breaking best-seller, The Revenge of Brand X: How to Build a Big Time Brand on the Web or Anywhere Else, (ISBN 0967991218) and founder/authority on the revenue-generating Branded Community® via http://www.i-legions.com. Details at http://www.robfrankel.com.

Let us take a moment to remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and all who died that day: the thousands who would be lost forever under the rubble of the twin towers of the World Trade Center; the firefighters who ran into those towers past them who were running out; our brave military and civilian personnel killed and maimed at the Pentagon; the heroes of United 93 who kept that flight from striking yet another target.

Remember all the flags that flew o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave: the United States of America.  God bless America!

VACOC Monthly Guest Expert Teleseminar Series:

The 5 Strategies to Earning Your Worth

 

Presented by Mikelann Valterra

DATE: Thursday, September 20, 2007
TIME: 5pm PST / 6pm MST / 7pm CST / 8pm EST
LENGTH: 60 minutes (please call in 10 min. early)
COST: FREE!

This class is open to all Virtual Assistants, independent professionals, small business owners, micropreneurs and solopreneurs. Feel free to invite your colleagues and clients.

Mikelann ValterraAre you earning your potential? Or are you struggling against an “internal income ceiling?”

In this powerful teleseminar, Mikelann Valterra, founder of The Women’s Earning Institute, explores the psychology of why even successful women undersell themselves and what to do about it.

From having lower pay expectations than other people, to difficulty in asking for what you really want, women who “underearn” deal with complex emotional issues around making money. Learn the five crucial skills to earning what you are really worth, and start making more money today!

Participants will learn:

  • How to make asking for what you want easier;
  • How and why women underprice themselves, and what to do about it
  • How to conquer “The Good Girl Syndrome”
  • How getting in touch with “resentment” can make you more money

And much more… Reserve your seat today!

Register Now!

About Mikelann Valterra

Mikelann (pronounced “Michael-Ann”) Valterra is the founder and director of The Women’s Earning Institute and author of the book, “Why Women Earn Less: How to Make What You’re Really Worth,” and the workbook, “How to Set and Raise Your Rates.” As a specialist in earning issues, she speaks and consults widely on how to overcome self-sabotaging beliefs about money. From KOMO News 4 to the Washington Post, she talks about transforming one’s relationship to money, and how women can earn at their potential.

To subscribe to the free monthly “Earn Your Worth” e-newsletter, go to http://www.womenearning.com.

A Virtual Assistance colleague of mine was on an online networking forum and she posed a question to the group: What do you know about Virtual Assistants?

A response came from someone who had a remote worker from Team Double-Click (TDC). This person was extremely dissatisfied and because TDC promotes their remote workers as Virtual Assistants, he had a bad impression of Virtual Assistants.

Some of the problems this person had with the remote worker:

  • the remote worker was unable to effectively communicate with his clients
  • the remote worker didn’t do the work and then lied, saying that she had done the work
  • the remote worker was hired to take some of the burden from him and instead he was spending more time on the tasks and getting inferior results to him doing them himself
  • the remote worker needed a lot of oversight and was incompetent

Some of the problems this person has with Team Double-Click:

  • all of the remote workers are promoted as being able to do anything and everything under the sun from web design to answering the phone
  • people in his line of business have had to go through as many as four remote workers
  • makes promises that aren’t kept
  • analysis of needs is not thorough

Let’s look at these items from the professional Virtual Assistant’s point of view.

  • Many Vas offer free consultations so that the business owner and the VA can discuss needs and solutions. The business owner can discern the communication skills of the VA during the consultation.
  • A professional VA will likely communicate on a daily basis with their clients, or at least each time the VA completes work for the client.
  • This is unconscionable! Professional Virtual Assistants alleviate burdens so that their clients can focus on generating revenue and doing what it is they love. VAs are business owners themselves and understand the mindset of their clients.
  • Professional Virtual Assistants need no oversight, are highly competent and have at least five years of high-level administrative background in the corporate world. Most of the VAs I know have ten to thirty years of experience.
  • Virtual Assistants are highly skilled in many areas and many VAs are experts in certain areas. No one VA can do everything nor wants to do everything. It’s not profitable – don’t forget that VAs are business owners. A true Virtual Assistant will be honest about what services they offer.
  • A Virtual Assistant will conduct a consultation with a prospective client and both the VA and the prospective client will know whether they are a good fit for each other thus eliminating the need to seek a replacement.
  • If a professional VA doesn’t keep promises that are made, then that VA is out of business. It’s as simple as that.
  • Again, the consultation process can help determine the needs of a prospective client and any good VA will be thorough so as to be able to properly serve the client.

I feel badly for this person who had such a poor experience. I hope I have helped to better define the differences between a remote worker and a Virtual Assistant.

Have you had a bad experience with a remote worker?

Change Your Focus, Multiply Sales!

Presented by Silver Rose

DATE: Thursday, August 16, 2007
TIME: 5pm PST / 6pm MST / 7pm CST / 8pm EST
LENGTH: 60 minutes (please call in 10 min. early)
COST: FREE!

This class is open to all Virtual Assistants, independent professionals, small business owners, micropreneurs and solopreneurs. Feel free to invite your colleagues and clients.

Motivational Speaker Silver RoseFocus has always been a critical component of business success. When facing a multitude of choices and distractions, those who consistently move toward achieving their goals have mastered the ability to focus.

In this teleseminar, Silver Rose will take you on a laugh-filled journey of how she has used the power of focus to double her income every year since 2003, and how you can, too.

You will learn how to gain success quicker and with less effort by leveraging the Law of Attraction (you get what you focus on), and you will be challenged to investigate your own approach to business to find out what you are focused on (you may be surprised).

Participants will walk away with the tools for:

  • Landing clients versus gathering prospects;
  • Qualifying potential clients instead of merely scheduling appointments; and
  • Attracting profit instead of income (she who keeps the most wins!).

By focusing on the results you want instead of the process for getting them, you will achieve results as quickly as you’ve always dreamed you could.

Register Now!

About Silver Rose

Motivational speaker Silver Rose specializes in working with individuals who want work that they love and organizations that want employees who love their work. She has devoted the last 18 years to the study of the impact of optimism in the workplace. During that time, she has worked with numerous organizations committed to fully utilizing the resources of their employees and creating a competitive advantage in their marketplaces.

Silver’s customized programs combine timely information with humor and fun to produce results. Her track record of success in Human Resources has made her the “go-to” expert in the field of business/employee relationships. Happily at work on her fourth book, Silver is committed to all individuals having work that causes them to say, “Thank God it’s Monday!”

Visit Silver Rose’s website! 

It’s survey time again!Virtual Assistant Industry Survey

Last August, the Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce conducted its first annual survey of the Virtual Assistant profession. Over 3,000 Virtual Assistants worldwide, primarily from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia were personally invited to participate, and we had a tremendous response!

Our survey yielded over 71 pages of data. It’s the best representative cross-section taken and most in-depth, comprehensive information available in the industry today.

FREE Copy of the Completed Survey to Everyone Who Participates (you don’t even need to be a member!)

You must participate in order to receive a free copy. Participation is completely anonymous to ensure the highest level of participation and the most candid, forthright responses. The only data we collect is your IP address (which is tracked only by the survey software we use, not by us), and that will only be used to fulfill free survey requests to those who participate (so be sure and submit your request from the same computer that you use to take the survey). We collect no personal identifying information; all information collected is used in aggregate form only.

Membership is NOT required. The survey is open to anyone who:

  • Self-identifies as a Virtual Assistant;
  • Has an open practice (not closed or in planning stages);
  • Has at least 5 years secretary/administrative assistant experience of some form;
  • Works for themselves and is not a member of a virtual staffing agency; and
  • Offers primarily services that are administrative in nature.

There are 97 multiple-choice questions in the survey, and three optional free-form questions. The survey is very fast-paced, should only take you 20-30 minutes tops to complete.

Survey sections include:

  • Individual Demographics
  • General Business Demographics
  • Experience & Credentials
  • Clients/Target Markets
  • Hours
  • Pricing
  • Employees & Subcontractors
  • Services
  • Marketing
  • Training & Continuing Education
  • Success, Profitability & Entrepreneurship
  • Industry Organizations
  • Industry Training Programs
  • Professional Standards & Ethics

Be Part of History; Tell Your Friends

The VACOC is contacted constantly by the media for information on Virtual Assistance. The information collected by our survey has been absolutely instrumental in creating more awareness about Virtual Assistants, getting more accurate articles written about the Virtual Assistant industry and better educating our marketplace–all of which helps YOU get more clients.

By participating in this survey you become part of that history and play an instrumental role in helping us make Virtual Assistance a household term. Please pass the word on to your colleagues by posting in your blogs, newsletters, forums and listservs and direct them to our survey page here. The more Virtual Assistants who participate, the better results and exposure for the Virtual Assistant industry overall!

Request Copy

As promised, the survey results report is available at no cost (yes, FREE!) to any Virtual Assistant who participates. At the end of the survey period (September 1), simply check back here as we will update this page with a request form. Submit your information and a copy will be emailed to you–easy as pie. (Please note that this will opt you in to the VACOC mailing list.)

There has been a sometimes heated discussion this past week across several blogs concerning the definition of a Virtual Assistant.  The argument was between Virtual Assistance business owners and contractors to virtual assistance staffing agencies.  I threw in my dollar’s worth of opinion because I’m convinced that these discussions are making history by defining exactly what is a virtual assistance practice. This industry will be as prominent as any other profession you can think of in five years. It’s the job of Virtual Assistants to make sure that we distinguish ourselves from contractors to staffing agencies just like an accountant distinguishes himself from the folks who train for six weeks to work at Jackson Hewitt or H&R Block at tax time.

One side of the argument is from virtual staffing agency workers.  They see themselves as virtual assistants.   They argue that because they do their work remotely, that makes them virtual assistants.  Many participating in the discussion work for Team Double-Click (TDC).  TDC does the marketing to get the clients and then farms their clients out to remote temps.  TDC’s clients pay TDC; TDC pays the temps.  TDC is a temporary staffing agency employer similar to the famous Kelly Services; however, Kelly Services deducts Federal Income Tax, SSI, etc. from the paychecks of their employees.  TDC does not and there is no doubt that the IRS will have a field day with them at some point.  TDC’s wages are not up to par with Kelly Services either, even without taking the lawfully required deductions as an employer.

One commenter on the side of remote temps stated that everything is relative and a definition depends upon your point of view.  I’m afraid that’s one of the problems with our society today. Many things are seen as being relative. There are few absolutes. I believe that a Virtual Assistance business can and must be defined in absolute terms.

And so the other side of the argument is from Virtual Assistants.  Virtual Assistants are business owners, not simply remote workers.  They take on the responsibilities, risks and rewards of an entrepreneur.  Virtual Assistants set their own rates, do their own billing, find their own clients through their own marketing methods.  They make the decisions about how their business operates.  A Virtual Assistant is the professional who does the work and therefore, is the one who gets paid and not through an intermediary.  Virtual Assistants have no supervisors because they are the business owners.   They pay their own taxes and make their own capital outlays.  They consult with prospective clients to instill trust and to present the value of working with a Virtual Assistant.

Virtual Assistants commonly have resources other than themselves.  The business world is not a vacuum and most companies cannot run effectively or efficiently without outside resources.  As business owners, Virtual Assistants have a contingency plan for emergencies and their clients are not so utterly dependent upon them that they couldn’t run their business for a while without them.  After all, the clients are business owners, too.

Most importantly, the true Virtual Assistant collaborates with the client based on the idea that both the VA and the client will benefit and move both their companies to a higher level.   If the collaboration is substandard, and it’s the VA’s fault, the VA can expect to lose that client.  The other side of the coin is that the VA has the option of firing the client.

Personally, I don’t take on a client if I’m not sure I can give them super-standard service.  I’ve also had to get rid of a client because the client was unwilling to even try any of my suggestions, let alone implement them.  That’s the beauty of owning my company.  I hold the power.

I welcome further discussion of this topic but be warned.  Some of the remarks made on the other blogs were sarcastic and some people resorted to personal attacks.  I will tolerate neither in this discussion.  My position is that once those types of comments are made in an argument, the one hurling invective has lost the argument. Please keep your comments on a professional level and I will be glad to post them.

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