Last month, I had the pleasure of attending Inverurie Rotary Club as a guest speaker. It was a presentation I had delivered before, “An introduction to Virtual Assistance”, but it’s always a bit daunting presenting somewhere new, particularly as there is always the potential for technological disaster! With this in mind, I arrived in plenty time to get set up and, as it turned out, I had lots to spare to meet my audience.
My host, David (left), kindly made the introductions. With many of the members being successful local businessmen, it was great to put faces to the names of well-known businesses in the area and hear a little about the members’ backgrounds.
Knowing that I was there to present to them, during the course of these conversations I was asked “what are you going to be talking about this evening?”. To this, I replied “I’m going to be telling you a bit about my industry, virtual assistance”.
The reactions were fairly similar across the board: “Oh I’m no good with computers! I hope you’re going to keep it simple!”. Instantly, the word “virtual” had conjured up images of something that is extremely technical and complicated. “Oh dear”, I thought, “I’ve lost them before I’ve begun!”.
The truth is that what I do isn’t very technical at all. In fact, most of the projects I work on don’t require me to use anything more than email, phone and Microsoft Office. Not exactly the frontiers of technology!
We call ourselves “virtual” because we work remotely from our clients and not in their office.
Of course, there are more technical aspects to the job. Yes, I can help set up and manage cloud-based CRM software and, yes, I do know how to maintain a website and social media presence. But not every client wants that and, frankly, not every client needs that.
Hopefully by the end of my presentation it was clear that, despite the terminology, the work of a virtual assistant is something that many of the members could understand and relate to. Even so, next time I might stick to “business support service”!