As a VA how can a quiet summer help you increase your income?
Summer is here and so nearly, are holidays. As a virtual assistant, will it mean less work than usual, or is it your busiest time handling all that holiday cover?
If summer’s a quiet time for you, it can be a great opportunity to brush up on training, reading, networking or learning a new skill.
With a multitude of communities and training courses for Virtual Assistants, how can you be sure you choose the right one? Should you pick one that’s specific for VAs or do you head to the relevant industry sector for skill training?
Because there doesn’t seem to be any regulatory body for UK virtual assistants, it’s hard to work out who’s credible and where you’ll get the most value.
I’ve put together some resources about communities, publications and training. I’m not endorsing any of these, but they may just provide a starting point or inspiration to get started and help you decide.
Before you sign up for any, I recommend you do some research and dig out the background on any course or conference you want to attend, especially if there’s money involved. Like, who is the organiser, who’s speaking, what are they speaking about and what credentials or qualifications make them an authority or an expert in that field?
Maybe the first step is to attend a conference or meeting as a delegate, ask the other VAs for recommendations.
uThe International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA)
Based in the USA, The International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA) is dedicated to the professional education and development of members of the Virtual Assistance profession, and to educating the public on the role and function of the Virtual Assistant.
Alliance of UK Vitural Assistants
All about increasing awareness of virtual assistance in the UK. A non profit organisation with a searchable database organised by skills and location, although it’s hard to find any date stamps on here, so hard to tell how up to date the information is.
Society of Virtual Assistants (UK)
Formed in 2005 to raise the general awareness of virtual assistants to the UK business community, and provide a searchable database for clients looking for a virtual assistant with specific skills and act as a resource base for member virtual assistants.
Manchester PA Network
The Manchester PA Network is a not for profit organisation, founded in July 2011, designed to give EAs and PAs the opportunity to meet, network and develop meaningful long-term professional relationships and personal friendships.
PA Life is a media outlet dedicated to PAs and EAs. It covers professional development, expert advice and how to improve core business skills as well as showcasing high profile interviews with established PAs sharing their tips for success.
Executive Secretary Magazine
“Brain Waves” is a new offering from Executive Secretary Magazine and All Things Admin, set up to help Assistant Networks and Forums, whether internal or external, to share learning from some of the world’s top trainers and speakers at a price so cost effective that even the smallest networks can afford it.
Souters Business and Office Skills Training
Virtual Assistant course to provide a prospective Virtual Assistant with the necessary knowledge and confidence to establish themselves in their own VA Business.
They offer a Virtual Assistant diploma which aims to help you get the skills required to work as a Virtual Assistant and make use of your entrepreneurial spirit that is required to run your own business.
The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs
The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs was formed in 1990 by a group of like-minded legal professionals with the mission of promoting the excellence and professional recognition of Legal Secretaries and PAs
Social Media Training
A course is aimed at Executive PAs, Executive Assistants, PAs, VAs Office Managers and other support staff that are looking to take on their company’s social media campaign. However, it can be suitable for anyone who is looking to start or maintain a Social Media Campaign, either for their own business or their employer.
TRAINING FROM REGULATED AND RECOGNISED ORGANISATIONS
It’s worthwhile exploring the Chartered bodies. You don’t need to be a member to enrol on a course, it’s not as expensive as you may think and your certification is widely recognised.
Chartered Institute of Marketing
Offer a Digital in a Day workshop that will give an introduction to marketing effectively in a digital world, raising your awareness of the importance of a strong online presence and how to use social media to your advantage.
Chartered Institute of Public Relations
The two-day Content Management training course provides a thorough grounding in content management. It will show the importance of valued content as a constituent of any PR programme, as well as providing guidelines on developing a content strategy framework, content curation, creation and distribution, available tools and the measurement and evaluation of any PR-driven content marketing efforts.
The art of copywriting is an interactive two-day course looking at how copywriting differs from press release and business writing and provides you with a new set of skills. You will learn to focus on messages, audience and style to produce effective, memorable copy.
Of course, once you’ve honed your skills, trained in your niche and invested for the benefit of your customers, you will need to review your pricing and then make sure your contract covers everything you are now offering.