How An Accountability Partner Helps You Grow Your VA Business

Did you reach the last goal you set in your business?

Good Virtual Assistants set goals, just like all good business owners. It's how we grow, and it's how we get better at what we do.

Whether it's business or marketing related, there is nothing like achieving a goal you set for yourself to help you celebrate your success!

But if you are setting goals and then just not reaching them - then, honestly there is no point in setting them. You have to do what you say you want to do!

However, all is not lost!

All you need is someone to help you stay on track - an accountability partner.

An accountability partner is someone you choose to partner with in your VA business, that becomes your confidant/e, your cheerleader, your butt-kicker, and even your strategist.

When you start a partnership with someone else, you help each other with moving ahead in your business - and helping you to get done what you say you want to get done.

Just like we do for our clients!

Our own VA business 'stuff' often gets left by the wayside as we focus on client work - but our business can't grow if we don't nurture it.

Here are a few tips for you to find and work with an accountability partner:

Find an accountability partner. 

Look for someone who understands the VA industry or business. You don't want to spend your time explaining everything all the time. Ideally another VA might work - but it's not necessary, as long as your partner understands how the VA industry and role works. You can look in CAVA for one - just reach out to your colleagues!

Build a partnership with structure.

Don't keep it casual. You want to have a structure - a regular check in call is going to be essential to your success. Figure out how you keep your records of what your goals and actions are (I suggest a shared Google Doc you can both access and update). And be sure to schedule and structure your phone call so you both stay on track for reporting your updates.

Help each other build better habits and routines.

The hardest part of getting things done in your VA business is thinking you have more time than you do. We are all busy, so that's why we don't get things done to begin with. Try to help each other move slowly but surely. If a goal is too lofty (ie get 10 new clients in a month), you won't reach it. You want to set goals that you can reach (especially in the beginning). If you think your partner's goal is too big, challenge them to break it down so it's more manageable.

Set each other up for success.

Make sure that you are both at the same place in your business - both committed to doing the work to help yourselves and each other. Commit to being present and supportive on your check in calls. Schedule them and be honest with what you have done and what you haven't. Your partner can't help you if you are not being honest. 

Accountability is an essential piece of your business. Getting a partner is simplest way to get started. If you want support from a group, be sure to have a look at my Inspired Action Mastermind Group for VAs - a low-cost, high value coaching program centred around monthly goal setting and weekly accountability. 

Get more details here: www.YourVAMentor.com/inspired 

Freshen Up Your Social Media Content with These Tips

Do you get stuck when it comes to social media content?

Many Virtual Assistants say they don't know what to post, and so they end up either wasting time, or posting nothing at all.

But social media is one of the best tools you can use to market your VA business.

I don't know about you, but when I come across someone that I might want to work with, I immediately check out their online presence, and that includes their social media profiles and content.

No matter what your service offerings are, I want to see that content in your social media posts.

If you are struggling with what to put out there, here are some tips to help you get unstuck, and getting your profiles to work for you.

1. Plan ahead

So many VAs try to just post spontaneously, and then they say they don't know what to post or write. Your social media is marketing - and you need to present a cohesive message to your audience that lets them know what you do and how you can help them. Without a plan, you will not be able to make sure that your message is consistent and clear.

2. Focus on 1-2 platforms

It is tempting to be everywhere and do everything, but the more you try to do (especially without a great plan), the more you will dilute your efforts - and your results will reflect that. Focus on 1 platform at a time, and really do it well. Facebook or LinkedIn are usually the two biggest places that VAs post. Clients are generally in one or the other, and you will have the time to interact with people better when you don't have to go 5 places. Master one platform, and then start to work with another.

3. Schedule and Be Spontaneous

Some people will tell you to never schedule any social media, but it helps to make sure you are consistent. Don't rely on scheduling everything, however. The idea behind social media is to be social. Schedule one post a day to Facebook, and make an effort to be present at least once a day to share and be social. When you aren't present, your content will reflect that.

4. Curate Great Content

Your social media channels don't have to be all about you. Find content that others are posting and share that with your audience as well. Of course make sure it is congruent with your own marketing message. But you don't have to reinvent the wheel with every post. If you see some great information that someone else has shared about a topic that your audience will be interested in, share it. They will appreciate it!

5. Check Your Messaging

Make sure your messaging is consistent with what you are talking to clients about on a regular basis. If your service offerings have changed, or if your target market has changed, make sure that your social media has changed too. It's important that your marketing message is consistent across your online channels. You sometimes don't know how a client finds you - so you want your message to be the same no matter where they are finding you.

6. Create Your Own Images

Sharing other people's images is easy - but it's not always the best idea (or even legal!). Creating your own images helps you to ensure that you have original content - and you can brand them to suit your business. It is a fact that posts with images garner much more interest that posts without them. Do yourself a favour and have some images made or make your own with a software like Canva.

7. Educate, Don't Sell

Many VAs get challenged by the ratio of content to sell their services versus those that don't sell. You will hear percentages like 20% or 25% sales posts. But what you really should be focusing on it educating your audience. When you do that, you are seeding your service offerings without providing a link for them to buy something. Focus your posts on providing information and your audience will get the message that you can help them.

Whether you are new to social media, or stuck in a rut of 'I don't know what to post', it's about strategy and congruency. 

Freshen up your social media by taking these two things into account. Sell less. Educate more. Make things look nice, and branded for your business. Share relevant content always. Schedule but be present.

To make sure your marketing message is congruent and working properly for you, check out this blog post:   Get The Most Out of Your Marketing Message

Don't Be Wendy Whiner! Get Better at Networking with These 5 Tips

Are you good at networking?

Networking is really just talking to people about your VA business, either in person or online.

But when I ask VAs if they are good at networking, they tell me it is something that they dread.

So instead of networking with potential clients, they hang out in the VA forums and online groups with their colleagues. And they develop terrible networking habits!

You've seen them - maybe you even are 'them' - Wendy Whiner. Always complaining, or looking for someone to agree with what they are complaining about. (apologies to any Wendys out there!)

You really need to be networking with potential clients.

But even if you are spending more time in the VA forums, then I have some tips for you on how to practice your networking there, so that you get better at it (and then move to business groups!).

I see VAs talking to each other ALL DAY LONG in Facebook groups and other online forums.

I shouldn’t have to tell you that you will never get clients by spending your days in VA groups.

But it’s not just the time being spent there. It’s what I see being posted there.

Do you know what they are talking about? How crappy their clients are. Or how uncertain they are about their skills. Or how they can't even find clients because Upwork refused their profile.

These posts bother me so much.

Why? Mainly because they are not a good use of anyone's time. And some of the groups even have potential clients in them which makes VAs look even worse.


If you are going to seek out support from - or give support to - your colleagues, you need to start to develop the right attitude and skill - to do it well, so it supports both of you. You might even find a great collaboration or referral colleague!

Here are 5 tips to get better at your networking:

Find a Great Support Network

Where do you find support for your business? Many business owners seek it out through their colleagues - and VAs are no different! If you want to be successful, you need to surround yourself with others who are working towards success as well. Fresh ideas, advice and camaraderie is important as a business owner, but especially one who works virtually - alone - all the time. A free VA group with thousands of members is not always the best place for you to grow, or to get the best support. If you can't find a support network that gets you excited to share and support the others in the group, keep looking. There is one for you!

Offer Advice Only From Experience

One of the things I see VAs do all too often is offer advice they are not qualified to offer. That's not a dig - it's a simple truth. You should only offer advice when you have had experience with the exact situation that is being discussed. If a VA is asking about business advice or advice about a client situation that you have no experience with, simply don't respond. Don't guess at what you think you would do. Think of your VA colleagues as your clients for a moment. Would you offer your client untested advice in a similar conversation? Probably not. 

It's Not Personal, It's Business

Keeping emotions out of business is challenging at times  - especially for women. But if we don’t learn to separate the business from the personal, that makes for difficult conversations with people. When you are networking with colleagues, look for the opportunities to lift everyone up by focusing on the business impact of the discussion - not on how it makes you feel. Business is business and when you remove the emotion from decision making and how you handle certain conversations (like money!), it is often so much easier. Sounds easier said than done – until you try it and you’ll love it!

Come From Abundance

When you are struggling to find clients, it is hard to stay positive. It gets difficult to watch others celebrate getting new clients if you aren't. You might even feel that other VAs are somehow taking your clients. Having a poverty mindset will take its toll on you. It's important to remind yourself every day that there are plenty of clients for everyone. You just need to find and connect with yours. Creating and maintaining an abundance mindset - where you know that there is enough for everyone - is so worthwhile.

Keep a Positive Mindset

Stop complaining! As a VA, you are a business owner. You must act like one everywhere you go. A negative mindset will soon take over your thoughts and will reflect in your actions. Work on reframing your thoughts when they go to the negative side. If the forums suck you in and drag you down, stay away from them for a week (or forever!). Focusing on a positive mindset not only helps you, but it helps those around you. Connect with other excited business owners – who need your support! You might even get a client!

Simple advice, right? I know it’s difficult to do. That’s why it takes practice and good daily habits to help you maintain it.

I urge you to try it.

Focus only on positive messaging for a week – in what you post yourself, and in what you respond to. Skip over everything else.

I think you’ll find that you are in a better frame of mind. And that’s the vibe you’ll be putting out there for your potential clients. They’ll notice!

For more tips on how to think like a business owner, check out this free training video Creating a Business Mindset. There are over 30 free training videos for Virtual Assistants on my Youtube channel. 

7 Tips to Get the Most Out of a Live Virtual Assistant Conference

Attending a Virtual Assistant conference often come with expenses – registration, of course, and sometimes travel costs. So many VAs shy away from going to them when they see them.

I recently attended the IVAA Live Summit in San Antonio, Texas with 40 other VAs. Getting together in person with your fellow VAs is not just fun, but it helps you grow as a business owner.

Attending a Virtual Assistant conference is different than any other business conference you will attend because all of the content and event activities are focused around our industry – VAs. The attendees are all VAs, and the whole theme is how to help you make your VA business better.

Here are 7 tips to help you get the most out of attending a live VA conference:

1. Deepen Relationships

Just like you build more know, like and trust with your potential clients when you meet them at in person events, the same is true for VAs. But at a VA conference, the relationships you are building are with your colleagues. They GET what you do. You can be relaxed and connect with others, ask questions about problems you are dealing with in your business, and just make friends!

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Share

Many conference hosts and speakers will have ice breakers in their talks or events that help you to share some information about your business that you might not have otherwise put up your hand to share. Don’t be afraid to share when asked to. You are always in a safe space at a conference with your colleagues – and you might just get the advice you need from VAs who really understand.

3. Don’t Sell Yourself Short

You know more than you think you do. Many VAs struggle with their own value, or focus on what others are doing instead of what they should be doing. When you gather with a group of VAs – many of us have been in your shoes – trying to find a way to make money and not feeling like what we already know how to do is adequate. Successful VAs will show you that you have special skills right now, and that should be what you focus on right now to get clients.

4. Focus on One Takeway

We have all gotten conference brain-freeze at one time or another. There is so much information that comes at us in a short period of time, it can often be overwhelming. To manage what you are taking in, at the end of each session, focus on just one thing that you can implement in your business moving forward. Virtual Assistants often think we have to do it all to be successful, but it’s better to find one nugget from each speaker that you can use – and then build a plan to implement the other stuff at a later date.

5. Social is Essential

One of the biggest reasons to attend a live VA conference is to socialize with your peers. Usually there are breaks so that you can network – but don’t forget to also change seats after each speaker or break – so that you can connect with new people throughout the event.  If there are meal breaks, get together with others to deepen your relationships with them. And if there are after-hours social events, be sure to take part. Many VAs are introverts but the social aspect is an essential way to help you realize what an amazing camaraderie Virtual Assistants have.

6. Ask Questions

Never be afraid to ask questions when you are at a VA conference.  Sometimes the speakers or the hosts are trying to fit their information into a box of time – and they can leave out details you need to process their advice or information. If something is unclear or you need further explanation, ask. You are probably not the only wondering – and you will get more out of the session when you completely understand what is being taught. And – by standing up to ask a question, you introduce yourself and your business – and the others will remember you when the event ends.

7. Take Pictures

Long after you are back home, you will have memories of your time with your VA colleagues. But pictures are worth a thousand words. Be sure to take some photos of the event. Not only can you savour your memories of time well spent, but you can also use them on social media and in your blog, and help you remain excited about the connections you made and the learning you received.

If you have not yet attended a VA conference, consider doing so.

You will grow relationships with Virtual Assistants that can turned into accountability partners, strategic partners, trusted colleagues, and even some of your best friends.

You will learn how to make your business better – topics vary from event to event, but often cover things like business foundations, mindset, marketing, skills, and so much more… the same things that you learn at other business events, but they are all tailored to Virtual Assistants at our conferences.

The VA Conference Live in Ottawa

I invite you to check out our upcoming live VA conference in Ottawa on June 7-8, 2019. This is our third annual VA conference in Ottawa, and every year we make it better for you! This year we have introduced a theme of Confidence - and will have expert speakers teaching you how to improve your mindset, branding, value, message, content, marketing strategies, and more. For more details and to register, visit:  www.TheVAConference.com