Most successful business people start out with a vision. But if you spend your days toiling for a wage you are working to fulfil somebody else’s vision, rather than pursuing your own dream. Are you happy with that? Because it doesn’t have to be that way.
It is too simplistic to look at the world in terms of service providers and customers, or producers and consumers. In actual fact business needs services too. Few office managers could function without a personal assistant or a secretary, and the bigger the business becomes the greater is the dependence upon others to provide specialist skills which the company boss lacks either the time or the expertise to handle alone.
Role of a Virtual Assistant
This is where the freelancer or virtual assistant, working from home, is able to score. The list of services which an assistant company can provide to an enterprise can be as long as its payroll. Website design, provision of fresh content, administrative services, graphics, accountancy, market research for customer profiling – much of this can be and sometime has to be contracted out to specialist providers.
For somebody setting up in business as a freelancer the challenge to begin with is to get the message about what it is you have to offer out into the world, and this means having a web presence. With at least 85% of consumers using the Internet to source business (Local Consumer Review Survey, 2012) it is very important, indeed critical, that you can be found online.
These days building a presence on the web usually means having an array of platforms rather than depending solely upon a website. Create a Facebook page and be proactive in building its follower base, and remember to tweet regularly too so nobody can forget you are there (it works for the President, after all!).
Find a Niche and Build Your Blog
For the benefit of those who lack the time or the energy to read, a YouTube channel can also be an invaluable resource. A lot of information can be crammed into a five-minute talk and if it is interesting and there is a hint of more to come, you will build up a portfolio of loyal followers which in turn will raise your profile.
Finally, ensure that you have a blog with regularly updated content. Make sure it looks professional and reflects well upon you, as both you and the service you provide will be judged on it. Find a niche, populate it frequently with new, fresh and exciting material to keep your visitors coming back for more.
Setting yourself up in business as a virtual office assistant delivers the best of both worlds – good, reliable work without the burden of having to clock in every morning and be answerable to someone else. If you have a laptop, a phone, a printer and a bit of imagination working from home has never been so easy.