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I used to think there was something wrong with me.

I find shopping extremely exhausting, and I usually need rest and quiet time afterward. Chit chatting on the phone with a friend can zap my energy like crazy, and while on vacation, I need time to write and be alone.

I enjoy all these activities, so what gives? Why do I feel so drained and overstimulated?

One day I stumbled upon the reason. I don’t even remember where or how I figured it out, but I did and it has changed my life.

I am an introvert.

I also discovered that I’m not alone and that a lot of people are just like me.

WHAT’S AN INTROVERT?

Introversion is not the same as shyness. Yes, an introvert can be shy, but he or she may not be.

Basically, an introvert is energized by being alone and feels drained by certain activities like talking, multi-tasking, and doing anything that requires leaving the house. They wonder why anyone would ever call rather than text. They typically enjoy hanging out with one or two people rather than a group, and they’re normally better at writing rather than speaking (you know what a mean, introvert friend!).

They’re deep thinkers, great at observing people, and prefer to think before they speak or make a decision. They can easily become overstimulated by their surroundings, which is why shopping for a couple of hours is fatiguing. An introvert can feel wiped out after a party where an extrovert will normally feel energized.


YOU’RE NOT FLAWED

Being an introvert is not a flaw. It may feel like it is at times, especially when it seems like everyone around you is outgoing and social. The truth is, at least 50% of people in the world are introverts! And introverts have the ability to become extroverted for small amounts of time. So someone you think is extroverted may, in fact, be an introvert.

MANY celebrities, leaders, and speakers are introverts. In fact, they make wonderful entrepreneurs and virtual assistants! Running a home-based business gives you the freedom to use your energy levels wisely and the option of creating a business that works for you.

Below I’ve listed a few tips that I’ve learned over the years as an introverted VA, to help you navigate your own VA biz.

Tips for Introverted Virtual Assistants #virtualassistant #introvert
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TIPS FOR INTROVERTED VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS

1) Match your daily tasks with your energy levels. Keep a journal of your energy levels throughout the day and week. When do you feel most energized? Creative? Tired? Inspired? Take advantage of these different moods and match your work with your energy levels. Here are a few more productivity tips for working smarter (not harder).

2) Change your mindset about marketing. Introverts hate coming across “salesy” or pushy, so promoting your business can feel really scary and uncomfortable. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. Focusing on helping people instead of selling to them makes a big difference. Keep in mind that there are people out there looking for what you offer and make it your job to get out there as much as possible so they find you. Many VAs, including myself, have reached out and offered their services to people who were ECSTATIC that they contacted them. Business owners are out there thinking about hiring a VA and don’t know where to start! Here are some fun and unique ways to find clients (introvert approved!).

3) Create space in your day before and after your client calls. Take a few quiet minutes to prepare for your meeting with a client and make sure you have any points you want to talk about listed in front of you. After your meeting, take a few minutes to unwind. Also, create a script if needed (my VA’s Guide to Getting Clients has more tips, plus scripts you can use.)

4) Protect your time. Block out time to focus on what needs to be done and let people know you shouldn’t be disturbed unless it’s an emergency. That way you don’t get interrupted constantly (a total energy buster.)

5) Take lots of breaks to rest your mind and eyes. I tend to keep going a little further than I should. I know when I need to stop but for some reason, I think that doing a little more will be worth it. Instead, I feel completely drained and unhappy. I recommend getting up at least every hour to step away from the computer and walk around, pet your dog, or get a drink. And quit working when you just start to feel fatigued. Trust me, it makes a difference.

6) Take on fewer clients with more hours. Some VAs like to work with lots of clients for just a few hours each month. Others, myself included, prefer to have fewer clients who purchase more hours. That way, we deal with fewer people overall and we get to be really involved in just a few businesses, which can be really fun! It’s also easier to get to know your clients when you aren’t juggling 15 of them at once. Also, consider working with retainer clients (clients who work with you on an ongoing, monthly basis.) That way, you just work with the same clients long term instead of constantly working with new people. Another advantage is steady work which means steady money, and you won’t have to constantly find new clients!

7) Get advice and support from other introverted VAs. Nobody knows how to run a VA business as an introvert better than an introverted VA. Come join us at Introvert VA Club where you can make friends, grow your business, and be yourself. Join the waitlist and be notified when the doors open!

I feel blessed to have discovered that I’m an introvert because it has helped me make sense of my requirements for downtime and being alone. I now know how to manage my energy levels and what I need in order to feel happy and healthy (without feeling guilty.)

Not all introverts are alike. My best advice is to take note of when you feel the most drained and what activities cause fatigue. Then figure out ways to build quiet time around these activities in the future.

Don’t be afraid to inform people what it means to be introverted and what your needs are. The more we communicate to those around us the better we can all relate to each other.

RELATED ARTICLES:

6 Tips for Overcoming Fear and Putting Yourself Out There

10 Ways to Reduce Stress and Feel Happier Right Now!

How I Became a Virtual Assistant and Quit My Job in 3 Months

The post Tips for Introverted Virtual Assistants appeared first on Desire to Done.

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You snagged a new client, did an amazing job for them, and now the project is complete…or is it?

Before you say thanks and adios, there’s one more thing you need to do. This one step often gets overlooked by VAs, and yet it has the potential to help you land even MORE clients.

This important step I’m referring to is asking for a testimonial. Gulp.

Asking for a testimonial can bring up fear and self-doubt in a lot of people. You may think, “Who am I to ask someone to say something nice about me?” or “How embarrassing! I can’t do that!”

Well, I’m here to tell you that you and your services are valuable and that you have the right to ask for a testimonial. And yes, you CAN do it!

THE IMPORTANCE OF TESTIMONIALS: 

You can talk all day long about how great your services are, but a gushing testimonial from another human being about how great your services are is more convincing. It’s called social proof and it works!

Imagine something you’ve recently purchased, perhaps on Amazon. Did you check out the reviews to decide whether the item was worth spending your hard earned money on? The reviews are one reason why I love shopping on Amazon. You don’t see them when you’re shopping at Target (I still love you Target!).

Besides helping you land more clients, which I already touched upon, testimonials help you look legit. It signals that you’ve worked with other people and that they value you enough to put their name on something they say about you and your services.

Don’t Miss This Step After Working with a Virtual Assistant Client (it could bring you MORE clients!)
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TIPS FOR GATHERING TESTIMONIALS:

1) Get permission before sharing someone’s testimonial that includes their full name.

2) Add a headshot to your testimonials to give a face to those kind words. It’s more persuasive.

3) Make gathering testimonials part of your post-service process and do it every time you finish working with a client. (Grab a free Client Processes Trello Template here.)

4) Create survey forms with Typeform. (Learn how to use Typeform and which questions you need to ask in my course Systemize Your Biz.)

5) If someone in a Facebook group or other social media site recommends your services or gives you praise, take a screenshot. Ask the person if you can use it as a testimonial.

6) Create testimonial images easily using Canva. (You can post them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.)

HOW TO ASK FOR A TESTIMONIAL:

You can ask the client directly for a testimonial, but my favorite way of asking is sending a feedback survey. I combine the survey answers together to create a uniform and authentic testimonial. I then share the edited version with the person to make sure they approve before sharing.

Another way that you can gather testimonials is to piece together things your client has said in emails. This is a great way to get a testimonial from a busy client who doesn’t have time to write something up.

DON’T FORGET TO ASK!

Asking for a testimonial is common practice for businesses and your business shouldn’t be any different! Don’t be afraid to ask for it after completing your project and don’t forget! You want to share those enthusiastic reviews to grow your VA biz!

From collecting money to getting testimonials….Systemize Your Biz will show you how to set up the basic systems in your business. It’s organized in a step-by-step fashion so you can simply go through each module, set up your systems, and be DONE.

Click here to learn more.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Four client processes you need before bringing on your first client

How to build your virtual assistant business before you have a website

How to deal with difficult client questions the right way

The post Don’t Miss This Step After Working with a Virtual Assistant Client (it could bring you MORE clients!) appeared first on Desire to Done.

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One of my favorite ways to add a special touch to a client’s experience with me is to give little gifts for special occasions like Christmas, birthdays, or as a simple thank you!

I think this is a great way to set yourself apart as a VA, because it shows that you care about your clients not just as clients, but as people!

One of the best parts of being a VA is that we often get to work directly with a business owner instead of with a big company, so giving a thoughtful, personalized gift is a wonderful way to celebrate that relationship and show your client how much you appreciate them.

The following gift ideas have a “classy” theme. If you’re looking for more of a unique or fun gift, perhaps you’ll like these suggestions.

Let’s get to the list, shall we?

This article may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through the link, I get a small percentage at no additional charge to you. See my disclosure for more info.

CLASSY GIFT IDEAS FOR CLIENTS:

Tea Forte Handcrafted Teas – These teas are not only delicious, but they also come in a beautiful presentation box, perfect for gift giving. You place the tea forte (a pyramid tea bag that has a stem and tiny leaf at the top) in the tea cup and pour boiling water on top. The little leaf sticks out over the cup and is so cute. They have sample packs from a variety of green teas, black teas, herbal teas with fun cocktail names, and even blue tea!

Classy Sassy and A Bit Smart Assy Mug  – This mug is perfect if your client is a classy lady with a side of sass! I love the subtle, soft design of this mug. A mug like this will help your client caffeinate in style!

Balance + Harmony Candle – This candle is the perfect addition to a calm, harmonious home office. Your client can burn this while she works or while she unwinds to feel balanced, happy, and enlightened! It contains natural essential oils, which is a plus!

Eco Friendly Journal – I love journals, and this eco-friendly notebook is beautiful! It’s made of sustainable, recyclable materials with a durable cover and thick paper. The cover is made of cork and has a beautiful, almost wood-like texture. Perfect for the avid journaler, or someone who wants to start journaling.

Classy Gift Ideas for Clients (Under $25!)
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Bullet Journal – Bullet journaling is super popular and a beautiful way to keep your life organized. This journal comes ready to go with gridded dots on each page. It also has a ribbon bookmark, an inside cover pocket, and lays completely flat when you open it for easy doodling. If your client is a visual thinker and maybe on the artistic side, this is the perfect gift.

Luxury Tea Infuser Bottle – This elegant tea infuser tumbler is perfect for the tea aficionado on the go. You can brew hot or cold drinks and the double glass wall keep the temperature of the drink stable. It’s also beautiful! I love the streamlined design, and you can watch your tea as it brews. The glass and stainless steel also ensure that the tea brews without leaving behind any weird aftertaste.

Stainless Steel Ballpoint Pen – Who doesn’t love an amazing pen? This pen is a dream to write with and comes in a lovely gift box. You can even choose your client’s favorite color! (Makes a great gift for your male clients too!).

Aprilis Bath Bombs – This gift set of organic bath bombs is the perfect gift to help your client relax! The individually wrapped bath bombs come in a lovely gift box and feature light, floral scents like lavender, marigold, and rose. They also contain pretty dried flower petals for an extra luxurious experience.

Dead Sea Mud Mask – Everyone loves a good face mask! This dead sea mud works well for all skin types. It cleanses, exfoliates, and balances the skin’s oil production. Help your client feel relaxed and gorgeous!

Burt’s Bees Classic Gift Set – Gift your client this collection of some of Burt’s Bees most popular products like hand cream, foot lotion, lip balm, and hand salve. Winter skin doesn’t stand a chance with this stuff! Extra great if your client lives in a dry climate.

Treating your client to one of these goodies is a great way to show them how much you value your working relationship and friendship. I guarantee that any of these gifts will be a hit and that your client will send you good vibes while enjoying it.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Fun Gift Ideas for Clients ($20 or Less!)

My Favorite Tools to Reduce Carpal Tunnel Pain

Client Organization Tips for Your Virtual Assistant Business

The post My Favorite Things: Gift Ideas for Clients (Classy Edition) appeared first on Desire to Done.

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When you’re a new virtual assistant, it can be confusing and stressful trying to figure out everything you need for your business.

On top of that, money is tight, right? You may not have snagged your first client yet so free is sweet, sweet music to your ears!

I’ve been a VA since 2014 so I’ve tried tons of different programs and tools. Today I’ve gathered the best free tools out there so you don’t have to waste your time finding the right ones.

This article may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through the link, I get a small percentage at no additional charge to you. See my disclosure for more info.


1) COLLECT MONEY

PayPal is the way to go when collecting money from clients.

  • You can send customized invoices for free (no need to buy fancy software with a monthly fee).
  • You can set up recurring invoices and send reminders for unpaid invoices.
  • Your client can pay with their PayPal, credit, or debit card.

You’ll have to pay transaction fees when you get paid (2.9% of the transaction within the US +$.30). Why pay a fee when a client can send a check for free? Because it’s easier, faster, and more secure!


2) CREATE FORMS

Typeform is what I use to create the online forms that I send my clients.

You simply create the form, send the link to your clients, and they fill in their answers.

Forms you’ll need for your business:

  • “Work with me” to get details about their business needs before chatting with them.
  • “Intake” to get details you’ll need to do their work.
  • “Feedback” to hear what they thought about working with you, see if they have any suggestions to make your service better, and to get testimonials.

3) SCHEDULE CLIENT CALLS

Acuity Scheduling is what I use to eliminate the frustrating back and forth “what works for you?” emails between me and my clients.

You’ll set up your availability and send your scheduling link to your clients. They choose a date and time that works for them and BOOM. Done.

  • Time zones are automatically adjusted for you (this is a biggie!)
  • Clients can cancel and reschedule appointments themselves.
  • Easily add scheduled appointments to your Google Calendar.

9 Free Tools Every New Virtual Assistant Needs
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4) STORE PASSWORDS

LastPass is where I store passwords for my own business and my clients’ businesses.

  • It’s a secure way for clients to send you private info.
  • It makes it super easy to log in to all the sites you’ll need to access.
  • There’s an app that you can install on your phone so that you have access to everything.
  • Clients have the option of making their login details visible or not.

5) CLIENT MEETINGS

UberConference is similar to Skype, which is what I used to use. Someone I hired for my business uses this tool for our meetings and I really like it!

  • You choose whether you want to do a video call or a non-video call (I got you introverts!).
  • You can record meetings.
  • You can share your screen.
  • You can share links, etc. in the chat box.
  • You’ll get your own meeting link that doesn’t change meeting to meeting.
  • Having meetings through UberConference solves the problem of long distance phone calls.

6) SEND CONTRACTS

HelloSign is what I use to send my contracts. Under the free plan you can send up to 3 contracts a month. If you send more than 3, there’s a monthly fee.

  • Upload your contract, sign it, and send it to your client to sign.
  • You’ll receive notification when they sign it.

Not sure what your contract should say? I have templates for you!

Not sure how to use HelloSign? I have a video for you!


7) CREATE DOCUMENTS AND SPREADSHEETS

Google Drive is what I use to store my SOPs, client notes, quotes….the list goes on!

  • Everything is saved to the cloud automatically (you don’t have to hit save constantly).
  • You can share files and folders with clients or vice versa.
  • You can collaborate with a client and everything is updated on both ends, unlike a Word Doc.
  • You can save images and files.
  • There’s an app so you can access folders on your phone too.

8) PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Trello is my life, yo! I use it every day to keep tabs on my to-do’s, client work…everything!

  • Organize and prioritize your to-do’s in an easy, visual way that’s fun.
  • Create boards, lists, cards, checklists – it’s an organizers dream!
  • Link to your Google Calendar, upload images and files, and more!
  • There’s an app for your phone too, so you can view your to-do’s on the go.

Want to learn more about Trello? I have a mini-course for you (with templates!)


9) FILE SHARING

Dropbox is what I use to save my files instead of saving them directly on my computer.

  • You can sync Dropbox to all your devices and when you make a change on one, it updates all the rest.
  • You can easily share files and folders with clients and vice versa.
  • You can share large files (instead of sending them through email and having download issues).
  • Sending files is much more secure than email.
  • It’s a popular file storage tool that lots of businesses use.
  • You can send files to anyone, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account.
  • You’ll have 30 days of file recovery and version history.

I use it so much that I’m on the Plus plan, but the free Basic plan offers 2GB of space which held me over for a while. If you sign up through this link, you’ll receive 50 MB of bonus space (up to a limit of 32 GB). Whoo hoo!

See! You don’t need to spend a ton of money to start or operate your VA business. All you need are a few free tools to get you started! You can always upgrade later, but I’ve used some of these for years, because they meet my needs perfectly.

 

 

From collecting money to getting testimonials….Systemize Your Biz will show you how to set up the basic systems in your business. It’s organized in a step-by-step fashion so you can simply go through each module, set up your systems, and be DONE.

Click here to learn more.

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

Programs You Want to be Familiar with as a Virtual Assistant

Video Tutorial: How to Create and Send Contracts to Your Clients

How to Build Your Virtual Assistant Business Before You Have a Website

The post 9 Free Tools For New Virtual Assistants appeared first on Desire to Done.

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