Have you ever thought about how one becomes an independent virtual assistant? The question may already be confusing for you. After all, the very definition of a virtual assistant is that they are independent contractors who provide professional support services to businesses remotely.
By the look of things, the definition already classifies a virtual assistant as an independent contractor. But the truth is that not every VA is independent as the name suggests. So what do we mean by talking about being independent? Please find out in the sections below.
What is an Independent Virtual Assistant?
For tax purposes, virtual assistants' definition as independent contractors may apply. However, in reality, not every virtual assistant is independent. Some even work under VA agencies.
However, there are those virtual assistants that work under their terms. That is what today's discussion is all about. The ability to work under your terms and ensure that your clients are comfortable with your independence. So, how do you achieve this independence?
Manage Your Calendar
You guessed right; your first step to gaining independence is by managing your time effectively. Time is one of the important assets you have as a virtual assistant. How you manage your time will determine the number of clients you can hold and the quality of services you can offer.
Make sure that clients understand you have an existing calendar you respect and are not ready to compromise. Your calendar should allocate time for all activities you perform as a virtual assistant. Therefore, start by developing a daily and weekly to-do list that determines the calendar you create. From the list, which tasks are rigid and flexible so that their scheduled time can be adjusted? That is in case an emergency task needs to be addressed.
As well as maintaining a google calendar, ensure you maintain an offline calendar that includes all your daily events. Also, it does not hurt to have reminders attached to your google calendar. The colored sticky notes are excellent tools for creating reminders in your office.
How often do you manage to complete your daily to-do list? This is a challenge many VAs face today. You want to do it all, and it ends up hurting your productivity levels. However, sorry to say, but this will not get you the independence you desire as a virtual assistant.
However, you can borrow a leaf from some of the world's billionaires' books and employ a time blocking strategy. Now this will set you on a path of independence. It is a strategy successfully employed by billionaires such as Elon Musk and Bill Gates.
Time blocking strategy entails planning your daily events and dedicating specific time "blocks" for certain tasks and responsibilities. That means you dedicate certain hours in your day to specific tasks. The difference is that a to-do list tells you what you need to do, while a time block tells you the specific time you will be doing it.
Time blocking is a strategy to safeguard you against distractions and improve your focus. Being focused on one task at a time helps you improve your level of productivity. Such productivity helps you improve the quality of work you deliver to your clients.
It also means that you can dedicate your focus to certain clients that are crucial to you achieving your independence. Your VA business must know its most important clients and the special attention they need to be accorded.
Review Your Progress with Clients
How often do you take time to reflect on your work? You need to have an allotted time to review your daily progress. Some things you need to review include:
What tasks didn't you complete in yesterday's to-do list?
What caused you not to complete them?
Is it something that can be avoided today and in the future?
Is there a noticeable change to your client's needs? Does it present opportunities or challenges for you?
If you can answer these questions, then you’ll be ahead of your clients in the game, and they’ll appreciate working with you every day.
Make Sure Your Clients Understand Your Schedule
Have you ever faced some of those clients that end up wasting your time? Clients who do not want to commit to you specifically but keep you floating around like their backup plan? If you have, maybe it is because you didn't have a good schedule.
Or the fact that you didn't make the client understand you had one. The first impression you create on your clients can tell them a lot about your level of independence. For instance, how can you afford to schedule more than one free consultative meeting with a client? It shows your client that either you are not a busy VA or are not independent enough to respect your schedule. Therefore, learn how to work with a schedule and respect it unless you need to make some adjustments.
Become an Independent Virtual Assistant Today
Do you want more tips on how to become an independent virtual assistant? You can access them by becoming a member of the Royal VA Community. You will become a member of an online community geared towards helping you grow and achieve independence.