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Interview With a Virtual Assistant

<p>Virtual assistants are more and more popular. Since it is a relatively new job, we had many questions on what a virtual assistant is and how you can become one.&nbsp; We then decided to interview Val&eacute;rie La Salle, who is nicknamed &lsquo;&rsquo;the virtual assistant queen&rsquo;&rsquo; to tell us more about her work.&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>A few words on Val&eacute;rie La Salle</strong></h3> <p>Val&eacute;rie La Salle, the &lsquo;&rsquo;the virtual assistant queen&rsquo;&rsquo; is born to become a virtual assistant. Her mother passed on her passion as a legal secretary for 36 years. With her own 20 years of experience, Val&eacute;rie can say that it is in her genetics to be an assistant!</p> <p>In fact, it is with a business just like her that she managed to combine her two passions at work: design and secretariat. As an entrepreneur, she understands well the needs of her large clientele.&nbsp; She is a cheerful, rigorous, and organized person. Her work is always fulfilled with thoroughness and passion.</p> <h3><strong>1- What exactly is a virtual assistant?</strong></h3> <p>My husband likes to compare me to an administrative assistant working in pyjamas; however, you must guess that there is far more than that. In fact, a virtual assistant is an administrative assistant that works remotely. She can do a lot of different tasks or be specialised in some others. She works with many other self-employed workers, SMEs, and businesses.</p> <h3><strong>2-&nbsp; Are virtual assistants mostly self-employed workers too?</strong></h3> <p>Indeed, virtual assistants are self-employed workers. Therefore, they are not attached to one employer, but they have the chance to work with many clients at once. Some virtual assistants have a full-time job, and focus on their business during their free time; however, most virtual assistants work full-time devoting themselves to their profession.&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>3- How can we become a virtual assistant?</strong></h3> <p>Some experience in administrative work or training is required to become a good virtual assistant. I will not hide that this job became very trendy in the last years. Many women want to become a virtual assistant because it seems to be an &lsquo;&rsquo;easy&rsquo;&rsquo; option: we work from home, it is easier to balance work and family, we choose our work schedule&hellip; But do not be fooled!&nbsp;</p> <p>When you become a self-employed worker, whether it is as a virtual assistant or a vacuum seller, the only person that can make your business successful is yourself. You need to work hard to stand out, find customers, and become the reference in your field.&nbsp; The work of a virtual assistant must be taken seriously; one does not become a virtual assistant overnight. We have what it needs, or we do not.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>4- What can do a virtual assistant for a self-employed worker or a freelancer?</strong></h3> <p>The question should instead be what she cannot do! A virtual assistant can do a lot of different tasks like:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Management of your agenda</p> </li> <li> <p>Management of emails</p> </li> <li> <p>Writing</p> </li> <li> <p>Proofreading</p> </li> <li> <p>Translation</p> </li> <li> <p>Page layout</p> </li> <li> <p>Accounting</p> </li> <li> <p>Cold calls</p> </li> <li> <p>Event management</p> </li> <li> <p>Web searches</p> </li> <li> <p>Newsletters</p> </li> <li> <p>Websites</p> </li> <li> <p>Bookkeeping</p> </li> <li> <p>Management of social media</p> </li> <li> <p>CRM</p> </li> <li> <p>Transcription</p> </li> <li> <p>Graphic design</p> </li> <li> <p>Data entry</p> </li> <li> <p>Direct mail campaigns</p> </li> </ul> <p>The main goal of working with a virtual assistant is to break free from the tasks that we hate in order to focus on what we love the most about our business.</p> <h3><strong>5- What do your clients look like?</strong></h3> <p>I currently have about twenty customers. Some are occasional, some are recurring. I work with a speech therapist, a trainer, an inventor, many business coaches, a stylist, a dog trainer, a sewing school, a fitness instructor, a graphic designer, a social media manager, a dance school, a naturopath, a mortgage broker&hellip; The list goes on and on.</p> <p>Most of the time, I work with women, but I sometimes work with men even if it is quite rare. The beauty of my job is that I can collaborate with many businesses and professionals. I am passionate about it.</p> <p>Many virtual assistants will be specialized and will only work with lawyers, mortgage brokers, or notaries, to name but a few. For my part, I like change and what I can learn from it.&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>6- Many self-employed workers diversify their services by being virtual assistants. What do you think about that?</strong></h3> <p>I think that the job of a virtual assistant takes a lot of flack. Although I sincerely believe that there is a place for all, it is a profession, and one does not become a virtual assistant because you are good with a computer, for example. You need to have sharp skills to be a great virtual assistant!</p> <p>A good virtual assistant could apply to any administrative assistant job in a business. It is not everyone that could have that work, as not everyone that can say they are a mechanic. This analogy makes us think.&nbsp;</p>