Top 10 Tips for Becoming a Virtual Assistant

SVA put together 10 baby-steps to becoming a Virtual Assistant – a must-read for any aspiring assistant! Continue reading

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Vote for which questions you’d like in the UK VA summary…

Back late last year, we asked you to take part in our massive UK VA survey – the results are in and the numbers have been crunched!  It’s all ready to go.

But to say thank you we’re giving a freebie summary to everyone who took part – and every year we ask what 5 key questions you would like included.  You get 5 different options, use them wisely!

What questions would you most like included in the freebie report?

View Results

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Want featured?

yournameIf you’d like to see your name on our blog, drop us a line!

Articles need to be aimed at UK VAs, 350-500 words long, and original… Other than that, get creative!  You might have a rant about people devaluing what we do, or you might have a really good way of dealing with client objections to having you work remotely… If you think it’s of interest to other VAs, reach the largest number of VAs in one quick step.  We’re happy to post links and your details in the bottom of the article.

Send them here:

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Dot the i’s and cross the t’s!

Punctuation is a (not so secret) code: dots and squiggles that help you make sense of what you are reading.  Crack the code and you have the meaning; encode your writing carefully and your reader will get the message you intended.

Joanna Gutmann, author of the iPhone app ‘Dots & Squiggles’, offers tips for some of the awkward marks.

Most problems with the code are with the marks known to be tricky; the semi-colon is a case in point.  See that semi colon?  I could have put a full stop but I wanted to keep the information in one sentence with a pause.  Because both parts would stand alone as sentences, the pause is indicated by a semi-colon not a comma.

The apostrophe is the mark that causes most confusion.  In fact the code is simpler than many realise.  Ask yourself two questions:

1.  What is owned?

2.  Who owns it? Continue reading

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Why does my website not show up when I google “Virtual Assistant”?

not workingSo you’ve found your name, you have built your website, and eagerly await some emails…  and wait… and then you google “Virtual Assistant” and all your hard work and careful design does not seem to be registering with the giant cash cow of Google.  ARGGH!!! Continue reading

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Virtual assistant insurance claims: what can go wrong?

Jack of all trades, master of some?

Anyone running their own business will agree it’s not a typical 9 to 5 job by any stretch.

It takes a lot of elbow grease and the work can be long, arduous and time-consuming. Resources are sometimes scarce, and finding an extra pair of hands isn’t always easy. It’s not surprising then, that many feel overwhelmed as they battle to do literally everything.

So, more and more businesses are using you, the UK’s army of virtual assistants (VAs) to lighten the load.

While that’s a good thing for your business, it can lead to potential problems. Granted, most VA’s working lives are trouble-free, but with more work comes more risk. And that’s something you need to be aware of.

Without wanting to worry you too much, claims do happen. In the interests of ‘knowledge is power’, we think telling you about them will help – in our experience ignorance isn’t bliss.

Here we go…

Don’t get taken to the cleaners Continue reading

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Project 333

Was at a launch party for a really ace co-working space in Glasgow last night – there was (as ever!!) a little collection of VAs, and I thought I should just pop a small explanation on here as Michelle Smith caught me wearing exactly the same outfit I was wearing last time she saw me at Northern VA Collab too!

Michelle is too polite to say anything, but I thought I’d explain the reason:

I’m doing Project 333!

The theory behind it is that you have just 33 items in your wardrobe, things that you love and make you feel great to wear.  You rotate them every 3 months, so you can change with the seasons, but it avoids having a wardrobe stuffed full of clothes and nothing to wear.  The dress in question is this one:

Me, in the middle with denim dress!

Continue reading

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Social Networking Friday For Virtual Assistants


I hope last week’s social media tips came in useful for you, here are this week’s tips for marketing your Virtual Assistant business through social media:

1. Forums are a great way of connecting with potential clients – use your forum signature to tell people about what you do. Make sure your picture is on your avatar so people can see who they are talking to and create a personal relationship with you.

2. Like answering the phone, responding to online posts is essential to getting business from social media. Make sure you either check each site regularly or set them up to alert you when a post is made to your account. Social networking sites can become addictive though – make sure you watch how much time you are spending on them and monitor the results you get.

3. Blogging and micro blogging is only truly effective if you are posting interesting, amusing or useful posts, so people remain interested in what you are saying. Get used to pre-posting topics and scheduling posts so that there is always fresh content on your site.

4. Would you put it on the front page of the newspaper? If not, don’t post it! The internet is the world’s local newspaper – bear this in mind when you post to social media networking sites. Read twice, post once.

Thank you for reading this series. Hopefully you’ve found the tips useful and have grown your business since we began. Please feel free to leave a comment about those that have helped you the most or your own tips we may have missed.


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Book Giveaway: The Bluffers Guide To Your Own Business

Those lovely people @ The Bluffers Guide gave me a copy of this to give away…

A really fun read and great present for those you are encouraging into the world of self-employment!  (Great present for start up clients too!)

Click here to ENTER PRIZE DRAW.

Usual rules – you must be based in the UK, no alternative prize is available, one entry per person, competition closes on 1st July 2016.

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Social Networking Friday For Virtual Assistants


I hope you got some really useful tips from the previous Marketing Friday tips. This week and next we are giving you 4 social media hints and tips to help you market your Virtual Assistant business:

1. Join LinkedIn groups relevant to your target market and participate in discussions. Get yourself known as an expert in your field and it also gives you a heads up on the issues they’re facing. Connect with all your previous work colleagues; tell them what you are doing.

2. Similarly with Twitter, use it to find out who’s talking about specific issues and then tweet your own knowledgeable articles/snippets as appropriate and relevant. It’s about joining the conversation, not blatant sales! Keep your tweet ratio to 65% business: 30% personal: 5% sales. Don’t forget to follow SVA for the latest VA news, tips and tweets.

3. Use something like Hootsuite to post your articles, links and news to as many social media networks as possible.

4. Facebook pages for businesses need a minimum number of “likes” before getting a “vanity URL” (e.g. rather than Ask your friends to all like the page so you can establish the business online.

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Note on the Approved Virtual Assistant listings

I’ve had a fair few emails recently from newbies asking why they can’t sign up and get straight on the SVA directory… Well here’s why:

When we started SVA, we did it with the collaboration of a number of VAs, and our strength has always come from sharing our experiences, joining together and working with (not against) one another.

Joining just to get listed on the FIND A VA page goes against the ethos of SVA and we had a lot of people doing just that then not contributing anything to the industry at all – that’s not what we wanted, so our delay in allowing people to apply is so they get to know a little bit about how SVA works so they understand that unique spirit of collaboration.

So as a newbie here’s our best advice:

  1. Join in and get to know some of the VAs – post on the forum, join the Facebook groups, etc.
  2. You will get an invite to join, keep an eye on your email!
  3. Meantime you are very welcome to use the community logos and link with us.
  4. Make sure you comply with all our rules for approved members – you will be asked to certify this before being activated on the site.
  5. Be patient – the list is managed by volunteers who usually update once per week, so making sure you fill in all data straight away will minimise delays.
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