Every day, for at least 90 days, I’ll write on this blog on the topic of how to start a virtual assistant business and how to become a virtual assistant. I will share my experience of aspiring woman entrepreneur. I’m based in Paris, France. Being bilingual, I want to reach out to a global clientele and I am currently on the planning phase of my international online business, a virtual assistant business. I plan to launch it in March 2012.
This post evokes the resources I visit frequently (almost daily) online to get high-quality and value-packed information on the virtual assistant industry.
As promised in my last post, today is all about sharing the top resources I use on how to start a virtual assistant business and how to become a virtual assistant. When it comes to this topic, I generally try to focus on blogs that are updated regularly and from people who have a proven track record for what they share (or at least openly say that what they share is mostly experimental.)
Here are my top 3 Virtual Assistant Online Resources:
#1. Michelle Dale: http://www.virtualassistant-live.com/
I think Michelle is probably the woman entrepreneur who understands me the most because she is a nomad entrepreneur. She travels a lot and as such she makes it clear that the information she shares is not targeted for a country in particular but that it is more geared towards international business and this is what I love about her blog. She publishes regular, meaningful posts and has a following that I find to be like me, aspiring and new VAs who are eager to get to 6 figure income.
I joined her kickass monthly membership program, the VA Passport. I hesitated a lot before joining but I don’t regret my choice – I’m now getting a lot of insight in the private forum and Michelle really delivers oustanding value.
Michelle also has an on-going “how to start a virtual assistant” business program, the VA Apprenctice, that I have seen past graduates praising.
The mind-blogging fact I’ve learned from Michelle: Thinking about forming an IBC, since virtual assistant businesses ran internationally are e-businesses and have specific rules that apply to them. I’ve never considered it, never read this on any other blog and the fact she evokes it as something to consider for an international business completely changed my vision of how I’d like to start my virtual assistant business. Click here to read more about it.
Plus: I like the fact she started her VA Business at 23 and made it successful right from the start – she definitely inspires me!
#2. Danielle Keister: http://administrativeconsultantsassoc.com/
Danielle is definitely a role model to me. While as I explained in the previous posts I do not have an administrative background, I had a lot of administrative tasks to deal with when running my first virtual project. I personally have more of a “freelancer to virtual assistant” entrepreneurial path, but I am glad to find women of all life and career paths in the industry which includes Executive and Administrative Assistants (I believe they are the most represented in the VA industry.)
What I love about Danielle is that she has “Q&A” types of posts in her blog every few days that makes it so easy to put myself in the shoes – should I say heels – of her blog readers. They ask questions that I sometimes find myself wondering about and I am thrilled when she shares her insiders’ secrets and top tips on her blog.
The mind-blowing fact I’ve learned from Danielle: Bring outstanding value to your clients and charge what you are worth. Danielle is an advocate for value-based pricing and I really love the arguments she puts forward. I purchased several of her products and definitely recommend her for anybody struggling for pricing strategies. Click here to read more about it.
Plus: I like the fact that she strives for VA to brand themselves “administrative consultants” or similar terms that set them apart from the now-confusing “virtual assistant” term.
Check out her success store here (this is an affiliate link: I have personally purchased Danielle products in the past and that’s why I decided to promote her products, I know that she strives for quality information and presentation for anything she does)
#3. Caroline Wylie: http://www.societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk/
While this blog is clearly geared towards UK assistants, I have found many amazing business principles in the posts and I love the fact that Caroline Wylie, the founder, speaks with authenticity and constantly questions the new trends she sees emerging in the VA industry. I checked this blog primarly because due to my timezone, I’m likely to work mostly with UK clients at the very beginning and it’s good to connect with fellow VAs in the UK.
One of my favorite features of the blog and the most original I’ve ever seen is the “special niches” blog category where Caroline interviews people who decided to specialize in a niche for their virtual assistant business. It’s really fun and eye-opening. I remember sitting there and wondering “would I like to do that too?” It definitely gets you to consider whether or not you should target a niche because you get to see how difficult or enjoyable it is for those who did it. Caroline knows what she talks (blogs!) about since she is herself a VA since 2004.
The mind-blowing fact I’ve learned from Caroline: Reaching 6 figure is all about the currency! 100,000 US$ equals to about 66,000£ and is a much more realistic profitability goal. Click here to read more about it.
Plus: I really like how she puts confidence back in new and aspiring VAs by sharing her own and showcasing other people’s experiences. I look forward to connecting with her and other VAs in the forum (I personally picked a premier membership.)
BONUS RESOURCES: TOP 2 VA Forums
1. The Virtual Assistant Forum: http://www.virtualassistantforums.com/
2. The VANetworking Forum: http://www.vanetworking.com/forum/
They are the first places I’ve found when researching the industry and both have awesome resources from and for VAs from all around the globe. I also love the fact that they are extremely active forums, where dozens of questions that I am asking myself as I launch my business have already been asked or are being asked every day.
So that’s about it for the top resources – there are literally dozens of valuable Virtual Assistant Business Resources on the web but the ones above are where I personally hang out almost daily and try to keep in touch with all the time (quick tip: join their newsletters so that you never miss their updates! You can also sign up to my own newsletter to get all my blog posts delivered to your inbox every day.) I’ll evoke more virtual assistant business links in my future posts, depending on the topics evoked.
The original post was too long for today (1600 words!) so I promise you that you will find in-depth information tomorrow on my 7 steps to a successful, professional and profitable virtual assistant business.
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Tell me in the comments below who are your role models in the VA Industry and why?