Do you know what makes me different to most other Virtual Assistants out there?
There’s a side to me that I don’t keep secret per se, but I tend not to advertise. Why? Because I feel that I should be judged and valued for the services I provide, not for something I have no control over (even if it gives me an advantage).
Virtual Assistants are ten a penny these days. Almost anyone can set up as a VA after doing a course that promises the world, or not even that! For example, me: I didn’t do a specialised course to set up as a VA, I relied purely on my extensive experience with the Office suite and a natural knack for compartmentalisation.
I know exactly what I can help people with, and what I can’t help them with, and I won’t waste someone’s time or money pretending otherwise.
I’m not your average VA, who is in effect a Virtual Personal Assistant or a Virtual Administrator, I’m something a little different. Part of what makes me different is that my brain works differently to most other people’s brains.
I can spot spelling and grammar errors that slip past the nets of spellchecks and even Grammarly. I can see at a glance where you’ve accidentally hit the space bar twice in a sentence on your website. You might think it’s nothing, but it’s enough to jar someone who is reading and put them off their internal monologue as they digest your copy, and that can often cost you a sale.
I know that when you typed “for all intensive purposes” and that passed the spell check, you meant “for all intents and purposes”. This isn’t just attention to detail and it’s not just because I’m a trained proofreader, it’s because my brain picks up on the little things that most brains will autopilot over.
This difference makes me a more effective person in my role.
It’s also the main reason I don’t currently work for anyone else as an employee, because the differences in my brain mean I have a tough time navigating office politics, sub-plots, other nuances that most brains can identify and process with relative ease.
Noise, office hubbub, fluorescent lighting, strong smells – these can all prove distracting or even discomfiting to an extent that it stops me from working effectively. People not meaning what they say, and not committing to a work ethic they are paid to uphold, confuse and annoy me to the point of actual mental anguish. Having to put on a persona for the purposes of customer relations is exhausting and has almost caused breakdowns in the past.
That shouldn’t mean I am prevented from being productive, though. It shouldn’t mean that I am prevented from providing value, assistance, the benefits of my experience and training. I’m open to job opportunities, but they have to be the right opportunities for me as an individual, and I will pass on a seemingly great package if I feel it will be harmful to my mental health to work there. I’ve spent too many years protecting and conserving myself so that I can provide my services to others just to have it compromised by the wrong work environment.
It’s why I’m self-employed. It’s why I’m a Virtual Assistant, a remote freelance operative who works from home, where I have all the software and equipment I need to do my job, in an environment that is safe and effective for me to work in.
You get the best of me every day because I have been able to ameliorate all the issues I might be confronted with if I worked in a physical agency.
When I answer the question of “What do you do for a living?” the questions: “What’s a ‘Virtual Assistant’ anyway?" and "What do you actually do?” almost inevitably follow.
My ‘elevator pitch’ goes something along the lines of:
“I help people set up or make sense of their Facebook Business Page. I create professional logos and imagery for stationery, websites and social media, as well as the occasional spot of admin; but from my own computer at home in a virtual capacity."
I am a Cat of all Trades. I am efficient and organised, with design flair and a sense of pedantry that ensures excellent results.
I provide a competent and efficient Virtual Assistant service to those in need of unpredictable support. When you pay for my time, I guarantee you will get my full attention for your project. I track my time meticulously and you can request minute-accurate reports with your invoice. Realistic forecasts for completion form your estimate, taking into consideration your deadlines and agreed-upon expectations.
Excellent communication is essential to my business practice, calls or meetings are always followed up by email for clarity.
The common theme here is helping people, because I am a #HelpfulCat.