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Could Dolly The Sheep Be Sabotaging Your Chances With Potential Clients?

Michelle Dale - Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I did a website review recently for a Virtual Assistant who was using a generic description of “What Is A Virtual Assistant” on her home page as a focal point. This was really common several years ago, and it was actually well placed back then, after all, not many people had heard of the concept of a VA, we were trying to educate the world as to what a VA was, and there were not that many of us back then compared to now.  But, as the industry has evolved and times have moved along, using this description as a means to sell your services won’t really do you any favours. I will explain why, it’s really simple.

We aren’t clones of one another, we have unique skills, abilities and business models, to match individual client requirements. A generic description doesn’t separate you out from the rest of the “5,000-8,000 or as many as 25,000 virtual assistants worldwide” (according to Wikipedia) – and considering now that most people doing business online have heard of a virtual assistant, can sort of understand why they need one, and what a VA can do for them – what they really need to know is why they need YOU and what YOU can do for them.

What I believe we should be doing is now using our unique selling points to educate potential clients on what we can do as individuals, because in all honesty, you can’t speak for other virtual assistants, you can’t box those virtual assistants in, and the way they run their businesses.

When To Use Generic Descriptions

I feel generic descriptions are fine to be used in places such as FAQ pages or as basic education areas of a website, perhaps in a blog post or slideshow, but be sure to add the source or organisation where the description came from. They won’t do you any favours being used as a selling point or primary focal point of your VA company or service, unless of course you offer a fairly generic, nondescript, non-unique service, that folk can find in any other VA online. My instincts tell me if you read my blog, then you are a not a Dolly The Sheep clone of other virtual assistants, you are a cutting-edge, alternative, purple cow VA, who is anything but ordinary.

The Reality Of The Present Day VA

I am sure loads of people would get upset or disagree with my idea of what a VA is, but if we look at this without emotion, and base it on the facts of how the industry has evolved, and you can’t stop progress as they say, this would be a more suitable description on what a ‘present day’ virtual assistant is.

A Virtual Assistant is someone who provides services online. There are various types of virtual assistant, and various levels of service provided, from the most basic of task processing, to the highest degree of professional consulting and business support, which means as a client you need to consider your options and choose what’s best for you, very wisely.

In all honesty, the industry has grown and evolved to such an extent, that there is not one single description that would cover everyone who chooses to call themselves a Virtual Assistant. One size doesn’t fit all.

“What Is A YOU” (Ewe… boom boom)

Sorry – I couldn’t resist the Ewe line.

Focus less on the “We” and more on the “I” – There are plenty of Virtual Assistants out there who are educating people on “What Is A Virtual Assistant” but I think the way clients are going now, potential clients would rather learn about you, and the benefits of your service than read a generic description of a VA. Generic descriptions don’t provide that all important “What’s in it for me” that the client will be considering when landing on your site. Do yourself a favour and don’t use a VA description as the focal point of you website, use a description or interesting piece of text, slideshow, video etc… about what your business is set up to do for them, and don’t forget to have a call to action, something people can look at, click on, sign up for etc…

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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.

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