Understanding Virtual Assistance – Part 2 – Knowing What Services to Offer

Updated on: by Amy Kennedy

Written By: Leisa Good

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In my last article in this series, we talked about six tough questions to ask when considering if virtual assistance is right for you.

Obviously if you are going to be a virtual assistant, you will need to decide what services you’ll offer.  You will want to decide before a potential client asks and throws you off guard.  So will it be typing, transcription, writing, web design or another skill set altogether?

The simplest way to decide which services to offer is to make a list of the services you know you do very well.  What did past employers say about your skills and abilities?  The bottom line is that most of us know what we do well and what we don’t.  The real test in virtual assistance is to admit what you do well and not let the desperation for clients persuade you to take work you cannot do.

No one needs the pressure of trying to “pull it off” when offering newly learned services to clients.  No, you “put it off” until you feel confident enough to offer that skill.  If a client requests a service you don’t offer, inform the client that you do NOT offer that service but will refer him/her to someone who does.  Once you begin networking with other virtual assistants, you’ll be able to refer clients or set up joint ventures (contracts or subcontracts) with other VAs.

Occasionally, a client will request a skill or service in which you may be only vaguely familiar.  However, if you feel this is something within your scope of services that you could learn in a reasonable amount of time—I’d say do it.  For example, I once had a client request that I write a catchy voice message for her business’ answering machine.  While I had never written a voice message script before, I had written radio commercials scripts before.  I felt that I could do it when weighing the similarities between the two genres.  And I did it!

I always advise future VAs to take a sheet of paper and make three columns: “Services to Offer”, “Services  Not to Offer”, and “Services to Learn”.  “Services to Offer” are those skills that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can offer.  “Services Not to Offer” are just that.  The ones that make you cringe just thinking about.  “Services to Learn” are those skills that you would like to learn and eventually offer.  Just thinking about learning those new skills has you excited.

Still not 100% sure about what you do well?  Do a Google search and see what other virtual assistants are offering. Then go to Brainbench and take a few tests.  There are personality assessments, aptitude tests, and skills tests.  See what your score is and decide from there.  No one needs to know your score but you.  There are also places online to take a free typing test such as Typingtest.com

Anything from typing to web design, you decide what to offer.  But no matter what skills you offer, you be proud of those skills.  Because no one can offer them quite like you.  You are unique and special, and so is your virtual assistant business.

Did you miss Leisa’s last post, Part 1 of her Virtual Assisting Series? Find out, through Six Basic Questions if Virtual Assisting is for you.

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Leisa Good

December 15, 2011 at 10:20 am

Thanks again, Miranda. It is a pleasure to be here.


December 16, 2011 at 5:53 am

This series of virtual assistance was so incentive, Leisha! The links you are sharing are amazing! Thank you, I enjoyed your posts and feel inspired now!

Leisa Good

December 19, 2011 at 9:47 am

Thanks, Anna. Glad it was helpful. I have many more articles planned, but if there is a particular topic that you’d like covered. Just let shoot me a quick email. Glad to help.

Leisa Good

December 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm

For those of you who have emailed me privately, stating that you’d still like additional help with getting set up in your own virtual assistant practice. I do offer coaching now. So, just let me know.


January 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I found the entire series very helpful and informative, Leisa. What I do well is document creation (letters, memos, reports, specifications, proposals, tables, spreadsheets), but in researching what other VAs offer, I feel I have to also offer other services to be competitive. I also write and blog, so I suppose I could offer something in that realm. What do you think?

Leisa Good

January 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Connie, thank you. You absolutely could offer those services. Really there are so many VAs offering web design and blogging skills, that I hear clients are relieved when someone offers more “traditional” administrative services as well. Plus some clients will want more than one VA: one for web design, one for blogging, and one for what you offer.

You absolutely do have something to offer. And remember, no one can offer exactly like you offer it.

So, go for it Connie