If you don't learn to manage this internal pull to try and educate yourself on everything out there you'll end up gaining a bunch of what I call demi-skills (ones that are okay but not great) and end up doing very little client business.
Being a Virtual Assistant is a challenge in the current age of technology. On the one hand we're spoilt for choice with all the systems and services we can potentially offer clients, because online technology is booming, and on the other hand we can't learn everything, which may cause us to feel like we're alienating a client base.
You need to engineer your services, have a plan for them involving skills and tools, and then know how to execute that plan. The biggest problem is a lot of virtual assistants will think they're selling just services based on skills, when in actual fact it's essential they're selling tools as well. Let's dive into this a bit more....
Find your core skills, Master Them.You're not going to be good at everything, I'm not good at everything, that's why I hire a team to support me and my clients with those things I'm not good at.
The things I'm not good at all have a common thread - I don't really like doing them. That's okay, because I would rather pay someone who does like doing them, and can do them much better than I can to get a better result for my clients.
Whether you choose your skills from conscious choice, or you find them through likes and dislikes, you need to start with a manageable amount of skills you want to learn, and master them, any way you can, to a minimum standard. You don't have to be the best, you just have to get yourself to a point where you can confidently offer the skill without hesitation or doubting yourself.
Find Your Core Tools, Master Them.Once you've (chosen or found) your skills, you need to choose the systems, you can do this in a couple of ways. For example, if you choose to be the 'email marketing virtual assistant' that means you've chosen a skill (email marketing) and now you need to get the tools.
This is what works for me... I'll either choose 1 skill and master different systems to match it, or I'll choose 1 system and master different skills to match it.
So if you only want to specialise in email marketing, and nothing else, you might want to educate yourself and gain experience in Mailchimp, Aweber, Constant Contact etc... BUT, if you decided you want email marketing to be a part of other skills you offer, then you may want to choose one system or tool, like for example you'll weigh up the best tool for you, the one you like the most, the one you believe in the most for example Mailchimp, and then you offer that.
You match other skills to other systems.
I chose to master 1 tool, Adobe Business Catalyst, but my skill is online business operations, so I have multiple skills, in one system. I believe in this system, I've mastered this system, and I'm able to sell services to clients to migrate over from Squarespace, Wordpress, Joomla etc... because I know why they should be migrating, and when I convey this to them, it makes complete sense.
Know your skills and tools, then you'll know your services.So as you've probably guessed, once you've mastered the skills and the tools, you must know WHY you decided to offer the skill and the service, and combine them into an emotional and rational reason why you're the best choice for the client.
For example, why did you choose the skills? Is it a passion of yours, did you have a natural ability, was it something you gained a lot of experience in?
Then, why did you choose the system, was it because it showed the most promise, or fitted in well with your skills, does it save your clients the most money, provide the best quality result or were you able to tackle the most challenges with that particular system?
Whatever it is, this knowledge is what will help you to sell those services.
Remember you're the expert, for example, don't assume a client who's a chef and loves cooking is asking you for Mailchimp and Lead Page services because that's what's best for them, because it may not be, just like if the role was reversed and you were telling the chef to make a sauce a certain way, he would likely know a better recipe - my point is, when you offer an alternative, which could be better for the client - you must speak up.
You don't sell services by expecting the client knows what's best for them.
You sell services by showing them what they need and presenting them with better alternatives, instead of just going along with what they think they want.
Choose to Improve or Expand In TimeRome wasn't built in a day, and neither were outstanding virtual assistants. We have to accept that education is important - but practice and experience is our goal - the more we practice, the more experience we'll get, the better we'll be armed and ready to tackle the challenges that clients have, and how to best sell our skills and tools to them in combination.
I even started offering my services for very low cost and free in some cases back in 2005 when I knew nothing about working online, this was to build on my skills, to learn my tools and to get experience with selling them. It was the best investment I'd ever made into my business, and has clearly paid off.