Last week I received an email from another business and I was rather surprised. The email had a texting-style language - extra letters in words and exaggerated punctuation.
This is a business that has always upheld a more traditional style of communication, following standard language protocols and using formal salutations. To receive an email from a new staff member in a format I would save for text messaging my friends and teenagers, was unexpected.
In today’s business culture, there are numerous areas where a more relaxed format is necessary or expected. However, it needs to be used in the right context.
I have talked to people interested in seeing what it takes to become a Virtual Assistant and something I’ve heard over and over is, “I am just…” or “I just do…”. This is the wrong approach when brainstorming a business idea.
You are so much more than “just” anything - You are a Master, an Expert.
You have mastery and experience in some service skill - whether it is mailings or letter writing or customer service - you are GREAT at something. Don’t sell yourself short. Be honest about what you have mastered. Being an expert in a service will provide you with the tools necessary to help others and build your service-based business.
Undermining your skills is not an endearing quality revered by others. It comes across as though you lack the confidence it takes to be a success. You want to portray yourself with the confidence to lead others looking for help with your services. You aren’t out to be led but show that you have the capabilities to complete the work and take responsibility for the successful results.
With more and more work done remotely or with virtual contract employees, are you prepared for this change in the corporate climate? Do you have an Outstanding Virtual Presence?
The ability to stay in control of your business by having a professional, inclusive, and effective virtual presence provides key leadership to your virtual team members. Whether you are hiring a contract employee or you are that contract employee, having a clear set of standards and expectations will serve both of you in the long run.
Sharing the skills important to you and finding a method of sharing that is pertinent to what your intentions are takes work. You need to be clear about your message and what you want someone to take away from your messaging. Taking the time to research your topic(s) and prepare them in a manner educating your audience will lead you to be a credible source of information.
What do you want them to know, feel and do?
What is a Virtual Assistant?
Do you know? Can you explain it? If you say it to someone else and they give you the blank stare, can you clarify it for them?
Wikipedia defines Virtual Assistant as:
It is 9 p.m. on a Friday night and you get an alert - it's an urgent message from your highest paying client - they need you ASAP. You aren't home, your date night has been interrupted. Yes, you have your phone on, in case a family emergency arises, not this. They know you have read it - there is no way to disguise this fact. So, now what do you do?
You continue your date night without worry. But, How? Easy - you have established business practices that explain how you handle such issues.
Yes, establishing clear boundaries of your working hours, and after-hours contact is part of running a successful business. There are times where emergencies do come about in business, and you need to have an action plan in place. Just because you work virtually and at non-traditional hours, sometimes, does not mean you are on call.
Last time I talked about how important it is to effectively communicate with your clients. Providing tips on how to establish communication methods is great, but offering HOW to put those methods into action is even better.
I have found there are certain apps and programs allow me to meet those communication expectations easier and more effectively. Starting my business as a side gig, funds weren't easy to come by, so these are FREE, at least a the lowest level, and provide great service.
One of my amazing clients reminded me recently why open communication is key to success in business. After some misunderstandings, we were able to keep the lines of communication open to find a result that met the project needs, the client's needs. It wasn't about me showing her how what I did what going to work, but rather understanding that it was not done in the manner she wanted.
What I offered was positive customer service.