Archive for March 17th, 2009

On This Get-a-Free-Hour Virtual Assistant Nonsense

There is an effort going on this week where a small group of virtual assistants is trying to educate clients about virtual assistance by giving away a free hour of time.

This effort doesn’t do anything to better educate people about virtual assistance.

In fact, it doesn’t help our industry at all, and it’s a really poor business example.

Anyone who asks you to work for free is exploiting you, be that a client or a fellow virtual assistant.

And if you’ve been in business for years and are supposedly established, why then are you still thinking you need to give it away for free? Hmmm, doesn’t sound so successful to me.

Giving away free work doesn’t educate clients in any way.

And the people it attracts, they’re are only there for the free buffet.

“Yeah, thanks, when I’m ready to hire a virtual assistant, I’m totally gonna call you!”


I call this dangling carrot syndrome. Don’t fall for that.

It’s a misguided effort and all you’ll be doing is frittering away your time, energy, hopefulness and resources focusing on entirely the wrong-minded people.

You don’t need to give away your value to educate clients. Giving away your value does nothing to attract clients who are serious about their business and your services.

Further, giving away one simple hour of tasks doesn’t in any way show clients the value of working in ongoing partnership with an administrative expert.

That’s because the value isn’t in the tasks, it’s in the equity of knowledge, quality, understanding and forward-moving synergy that is only grown within the dynamic of an ongoing, collaborative relationship.

In fact, the conversation doesn’t even need to be about money.

Virtual assistants make it about money because they don’t know how to have any better communication about their value. And that of course is when they then feel they have to resort to bribery and enticement.

Now a smart virtual assistant, one who has done her homework, studied her target market and clearly knows exactly what her value is to that group of clients, she never has to give it away or bribe people with freebies and discounts to try it out.

That VA gains the knowledge, direction and focus in order to have a different, more effective conversation with clients, one that attracts instead of bribes. She knows the difference between a commodity and a professional service.

Don’t train clients to devalue you from the get-go. They’re going to expect you to bargain with yourself forever more from that point forward.