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how to become a rock star virtual assistant

How to create VA service packages that sell

It’s all in the packaging. Your perceived value. Let’s talk about how to create your very own virtual assistant services package(s).

First it’s important that I mention that most virtual assistants trade their time for $$$. This isn’t a bad business model but it does make it hard to scale your business. Your earning potential will be directly related to how much time you can work during the day.

Imagine this.  You hire a graphic designer to create a website. Would you expect your graphic designer to say “I will work on your site for 30 hours and I will charge you $3,000 for your site.”?

This scenario would never happen.   Graphic designers quote you a price for a product, your website.  Whether it takes them 3 hours or 30 hours, that’s their business, not yours.  You are paying for a finished product….results.

It’s up the graphic designer to know how to price his websites so that he can run a successful business that won’t end up owning him.

What do I mean?

We don’t go into business for ourselves to become a slave to our desk.  We don’t go into business for ourselves to stress out over our work on the weekends when we should be relaxing.

No, we go into business so we can create the kind of lifestyle that we want.  That’s why it’s important to recognize as early on as possible that trading hours for cash isn’t going to be a scaleable business.  The sooner you try to figure out how to package up your offerings, the better.

Because once you start selling a package for your virtual assistant services, you can actually start scaling your business.

But creating packages isn’t always so easy.  You need to know how much time it will take you to complete the services within in package.   This way you can say, “if someone purchase package x, it will take me roughly 10 hours to complete, no more, no less”.

Some VAs do this very well, while others struggle to understand how to create packages to market to their prospects.

Remember, people don’t buy virtual assistance, they buy solutions. So I’m going to show you some great examples of how virtual assistants are packaging their services by highlighting the solutions they offer.

But how do you sell solutions?  Ask yourself these questions.

What problem does my ideal client have?

What does my idea client want?

How am I going to help them solve their problem or get what they want?

Don’t just think about the questions. Write out your answers. Brainstorm what your ideal clients really want and look at the world from their perspective.

To help you out, take a look below at some rock stars who started out as VAs but now market themselves using a different title (because titles really don’t matter).

Jamie DuBose of ZenplicityNow has it all figured out. She started out as a VA that exchanged hours for dollars and now Jamie works on a flat rate only and has plenty of package options to offer her clients. Well done.

New Services   ZenplicityZenplicity

 

 

Next up is the amazing Val Geisler and her business baby, Aspire & Grow. I am a HUGE fan of Val. Take a look at the way Val is packaging up her services to her clients. She has a Business Booster and Community Concierge and that’s IT. Clients can choose from one or the other and if I know Val, I’m sure she is busy concocting more amazing offerings as we speak.

Work With Me   Aspire   Grow

 

 

Last but certainly not least is Vickie Nickel & Associates, a virtual assistant business that supports the public speaking industry. Check out how Vickie has put together some awesome packages.  I couldn’t add all of them in this screen shot, so make sure to click over to her site to see all the packages she offers.

Packages   Pricing — Vickie Nickel   Associates

 

Want my help in coming up with some awesome service packages to market to your clients?  Get in touch with me today.  You will walk away with a killer offering (or two) that will wow your prospects so much that they will be clawing over one another to get the opportunity to work with you. 

Now that you have a little bit more knowledge about how others are packaging up their services I’d love to see what you come up with. Leave me a comment below.

Rock on,
Reese

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Should You Call Yourself A Virtual Assistant?

Have you ever felt uncomfortable with the thought of calling yourself a virtual assistant?  Have you been told that using this title means you’re subservient to your clients?  Not an equal, not an entrepreneur?

I’ve been getting asked this question a lot lately.  I have decided to record a video blog to give you my opinion on why you should or shouldn’t call yourself a virtual assistant.   Whether you choose to call yourself a virtual assistant or not you’ll want to check out my video below to hear what I think about calling yourself a virtual assistant.

Click on the video below and after you’ve watched all the way through this super quick video make sure to leave me a comment below.

YouTube Preview Image

I look forward to seeing you in the comments, friends!

Rock on,

Reese

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Untitled

I took a walk down this swanky gentrified street in Jerusalem known for it’s cafes and restaurants. Most of the joints on this street have given their storefronts a total facelift while others, well…haven’t.  Like the falafel joint. Now I love a good falafel and in these parts of the world we have some of the best.  But what happens when a tourist comes to town and walks down this swanky street.  Do you think he/she will be attracted to the hole in the wall falafel joint?

I’ve got a point here. Stick with me.

What would you do? Would you go into the dowdy looking falafel joint  or would you be attracted to the joint with the beautiful awning and gorgeous windows with pretty people sitting inside the cafe sipping their cappuccinos?

My guess is you’ll overlook the falafel joint. So what does this have to do with your website? Well if you haven’t put two and two together yet let me enlighten you.

Your business is working online, right? And this business of yours….it’s sole purpose is to attract customers so you can sell them your stuff right?

Ahem. RIGHT?

Right.

So it goes without saying that without a beautiful store front, you’re not going to attract clients. Period.

One of the biggest problems I see in my online community of virtual assistants is that many new VAs and some more experienced VAs don’t realize just how important good website design is and why bad website design is bad for business. I say this because as a virtual assistant coach it’s my job to review my clients sites and I can tell you that 70% of the VAs I work with don’t have the kind of websites that will help them build a profitable business.

Here are some examples of bad website design.  Do not be one of them.

A smart website design can make a huge difference for your business but design alone won’t do the trick. You have to combine great design with great content.

Okay, hang on a minute. You’re thinking “Reese, you’re overwhelming me over here. I need a beautiful website, killer content…I don’t know where to begin!”.

Well, what can I say, I like to get people out of their comfort zones and push you to do things bigger and better.

I want to get you thinking about your online presence because guess what people? You’re doing business online and with the competition out there if you’re website isn’t attracting attention than you’re just another fish in a vast ocean.

Ask yourself this.  Is your website just another same-sy. What’s a same-sy? It’s a word I just made up. Here’s the definition from the Reese Ben-Yaacov International Dictionary:

same·sy
adjective

1. Identical, not different.
2. Copies another’s dress, ideas, or behavior
3. Imitation, like Spam

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of VA websites that look like they were thrown together in a day.  Virtual assistants are saying the same thing and their sites, while “slightly” different are all sort of the same boring set up and same boring content.

It’s shake up time.

Since most of us are bootstrapping our start up process it’s important to know where to find affordable resources to help with websites, copy writing and graphic design.

Below I’ll introduce you to some of the best online resources I’ve found that will help you build a killer storefront for your virtual assistant business . With the help of the below tools you will attract prospects to your virtual doorstep. Once they are at your doorstep your content needs to hold their hand and invite them in.  Good Design/Good Content = WIN.

Don’t believe me?  Maybe you’ll believe Forbes?  They’re preaching the same thing.

Here’s that list.

Website Creation

Strikingly

Super simple and fun website creation that will make it look like you hired a designer.

SquareSpace

Another great website builder that’s gaining a lot of popularity. I see more and more SquareSpace sites popping up and they are beautiful to say the least.

Wix

One of the most recognized website builders.  Quality sites with good support.

Rocket Spark

Amazing company, amazing founders (I met one of the founders recently) and amazing offers.  They are a website builder plus you can add on logo design, copy writing, SEO help, and if you need your own photographer, they’ll even recommend one depending on where you are in the world.  Rocket Spark is great for those in the UK and New Zealand as they are a New Zealand based company with offices in the UK.

Elegant Themes

Choose from thousands of beautiful themes at a very low price. Want to know my personal favs? Let me know in the comments.

Copy Writing Help

A Course About Copy

AWESOME free tutorial vids on how to write one of the most important pages on your site.  The about page.

CopyBlogger

One stop shop for all things copy writing.  Has a free copy writing course and tons of information on how to persuade with writing.

Graphic Design

99Designs

Crowd sourcing design. Create a contest for your project, set a price and a dozen or more artists will submit their work for your review.  Pick the best designer for your project.

Fiverr

Great for getting logos or graphics for your site at a super low price as well as a ton of other offerings (my hubby bought me a happy birthday song sung by a guy in hot pink bikini bottoms – umm, weird)

Canva

design your own stuff, for free!

PicMonkey

another DIY design site

And last but certainly not least……..

Brandgasm

This is an awesome course that is a DIY design and copy writing kit that makes your website look like you hired a pro.  This kit was made for beginners in mind.

A Splendid Start

This option is unique from the options above.

A Splendid Start is an amazing option for those that  just don’t have the time or energy to do it all alone.  This option is half DIY and half designer created.  It’s catered to business owners like us VAs who are just starting out and have a tight budget.  A Splendid Start is part branding class and part web design service and as a result you’ll be getting the best of both worlds.

Did this blog post incite you to make some changes to your website?  Tell me about it below in the comments.  I want to hear from you.

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PayPalAlternatives

When working virtually you need to be able to offer your clients convenient payment methods. Most people know and trust PayPal because it’s one of the oldest online payment providers and the most widely used for millions of people around the world.

There are however, several alternatives available.  Read below to find the the best alternatives for PayPal for virtual assistants.

Dwolla

Dwolla is attractive because it offers free transactions for $10 or less or a $0.25 transaction fee for anything over $10. You can send money to anyone even if they don’t have a Dwolla account but they will need to create an account to collect the funds.  When you sign up for Dwolla you have to connect your bank account as the transfer of money is solely from bank to Dwolla and vice versa.  In other words, no credit cards. What’s unique about this service is that if both parties have a Dwolla account, then money can be spent easily through their name, Facebook ID, Twitter handle, LinkedIn profile, telephone number, or email address. This is the only drawback of using Dwolla because it means having your clients create an account in order to pay you and this is another step for them.

Stripe

Unless you live in the U.S and Canada you can stop reading right here as it’s only available in these countries (Stripe is coming to the UK soon. Stripe is comparable to PayPal across the board.  They both take a 2.9% plus $0.30 processing fee for each transaction. If you need to refund money to a client PayPal takes a transaction fee for the refund and with Stripe there is no refund transaction fee.  Stripe’s users claim that Stripe’s customer service is far better than PayPal and because Stripe financially backed by former PayPal founders you can bet they will continue to up their game and strive to offer the best service that continues to compete with PayPal.  In short Stripe has the same pricing as PayPal but you can process credit cards right from your site unlike PayPal which sends you to their site for processing. Last but not least unlike PayPal, Stripe holds your money for 48 hours before it will become available.  Consider this when making a decision.

Payoneer

Payoneer is an Internet-based financial services business that allows users to transfer money and receive payments through re-loadable prepaid MasterCard debit cards. Payoneer works as an alternative for wire transfer services and online payments that provides users with refillable debit cards. The cards are issued through Mastercard and can be used at ATMs or at the point-of-purchase. You can withdraw money from your debit card directly to your local bank account.  This is a great option for virtual assistants who live in countries where PayPal is unavailable.  There is an annual fee of $29.95 and transaction fees of $3.15.  While expensive if this is your only option, it’s better than none at all.

Paymate

Paymate is an option for Australians and New Zealanders. Paymate works by crediting funds directly into recipients bank accounts. Paymate enables sellers in Australia to accept payments in AUD, USD, GBP, EUR and NZD while sellers in New Zealand can accept payments in NZD. With Paymate you get your money in your account within 1 business day.

Payza

Payza is offered in over 200 countries worldwide and accepts 22 currencies.  You can invoice your clients directly with Payza.  You get paid directly into your Payza e-wallet account.  You can withdraw your money to your bank account either by bank wire, bank transfer or with Payza’s prepaid card that you can use anywhere in the United States where Visa is accepted.  To receive funds into your Payza personal or business account you will be charged a fee of 2.50% +$0.25.  Starter accounts pay no receiving fees on up to $400 USD or equivalent/month or $2,000 USD.

Venmo

To use Venmo you need to download their smartphone app.  Users transfer money for free from one account to another and sending money is as easy as it gets. Venmo is only available in the United States and if you’re funding your account with a credit card there is a 3% fee.

Square

Like Venmo, Square requires you to download their smartphone app.  Creating an account is easy.  Once you’re account is open Square will send you their Square reader (credit card swiper) and then you need to download the Square Register.  These two work together so that you can swipe credit cards using your smartphone and the money is applied to your bank account minus a 2.75% processing fee. While this option is incredibly useful for many things, I think that as virtual assistants we won’t benefit from the ability to swipe credit cards.  This is a great option to offer our clients, instead.

What online payment processor are you using and why?  Also if you’d like to see a PayPal alternative added to this list leave it in the comments below.

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