January 2018 - Work at Home Trust
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January 20, 2018

How to Work with Your Clients as a Virtual Assistant - Work at Home Trust

January 20, 2018 0
After finding out what a virtual assistant is and the types of services you can offer as a VA, you decide that this may be the business for you. Now what? Well, you may want to start by having an idea of how to work with clients. Although you'd be working remotely, it's not completely different from physically working with clients. Of course, you'd be working with people from different parts of the world without necessarily seeing them, but the work ethics will remain the same as working face to face with them.

It may be a little intimidating right before working with your first client, but don't worry, it's a completely natural feeling for most people. Just take a deep breath and know that there is absolutely nothing to worry about as long as you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and make sure you're working with trustworthy clients. Before I get into explaining how to do that, please remember that as a VA, you are NOT an employee. You are a business owner providing services. You make your own rules, your own prices, and work with clients you feel comfortable working with. So, how do you work with clients as a virtual assistant?

Start with a consultation
Many virtual assistants set up a consultation before working with their clients. After the initial contact through email, this is the phase where clients ask any questions related to the services that they need. If you have a website/blog (and you should), this is where you showcase some of your experiences and why clients should choose you as their VA. You shouldn't have to share your CV/resume because again, you are NOT an employee. Just share your portfolio on your blog/website and that'd be enough. You should try to also have a social media presence where you interact with potential clients and other VAs. This is the time to clarify everything, ask and asnwer questions. Every VA works differently, so be sure to communicate your method of working with clients. It'd save you time, money, and may even prevent headaches on both sides. Most VAs offer 20-30 minutes of free phone consultation, but you can also offer 10-15 or even one hour for free or charge a little. You're the boss, so do what works for you.

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Sign a service agreement before starting any work
Professionally speaking, it is very important to set up an agreement before working with anyone. It is not only a protection for you, but also for your clients. Everything is clear and documented before starting any work. This is where you should write about the names and contact information of the two parties, the date they enter into an agreement, information of the service requested, the deadlines, rates of the services, what happens in case of problem, backup solutions, and confidentiality. Both parties would then sign the agreement. Obviously there are more than just what I have listed; this was just to give you an idea. There are many free samples of service agreements online, so explore and make your own.

Communicate with your clients
Communication is CRUCIAL, crucial and crucial! Did I mention that communication was crucial? Oh, yes, I just did. So you get the point... Please make sure that you and your clients set up various ways of communicating throughout your work relationship. You can communicate by email, Skype chat, Google Hangout, or whatever other ways you find easy. However you do it, just know that communication is the KEY! But please, keep a written record of everything.

Ask for clear instructions
This is related to communication. If your client doesn't, make sure to ask for explicit instructions for specific tasks you're supposed to work on. You can't read minds, so you can only offer the services you've been clearly asked to offer. Making everything clear from the beginning makes it less stressful for both of you.

Set up a way to share files 
As technology advances, so does the world of virtual interaction. Since you'll be remotely working with your clients, cloud sharing would be the best and easier way of sharing files. The traditional way of sharing files through e-mails isn't always ideal. It limits the size of files you can send. There are better alternatives to make it easier. Your client may share with you his/her preferable way of sharing files, if not, share yours. I've talkied about tools for synchronization on a previous post, but you can also use the same tools to share documents. You and your clients may also choose to work using project management (PM) tools to work together depending on the type of services you offer. PMs are software/apps/open sites that enable and facilitate planning, organization, collaboration, task management, and serve as file sharing tools as well. Examples of PMs are: Asana, BaseCamp, Redbooth (formerly TeamBox), and Paymo.

Ask for honest feedback, testimonials, and/or referrals
If your client doesn't give you feedback, ask for one. It would be very helpful for you to know what your client thinks of the way you worked or the service you offered. This is where you find out if your client was happy with your work, if he/she may come back, and/or if he/she would be happy to recommend you to others. Based on feedbacks, you may have ideas of what you're doing well, what needs to change, or what you can do better. It helps you as the service provider to better your work and lets your clients know that client satisfaction is important to you.

Additionally, you can ask for testimonials and even referrals from happy clients. A testimonial is when your client writes a positive note of how satisfied he/she was while working with you. In testimonials, clients can  also write that they recommend others to work with you because of the positive experience they've had with you. Make sure to create a Testimonial page on your website/blog and post all the testimonials you get. Potential clients will often read your testimonials before deciding if working with you may be best for them. A referral is when you ask clients to recommend you to their friends/contacts or whether they are happy enough to recommend you. Don't be ashamed to ask for testimonials and/or referrals. You'd be surprised at how happy many clients would be to recommend you. You'd never know till you ask.

Send a Thank You note/letter
Make sure to always end the work journey with a Thank You note. Send a simple email letting your clients know that you appreciate their business and professionalism. Everyone appreciates a little thank you, and it may encourage them to work again with you next time.

I wish you all the best. If you have further questions about how to work with clients as a virtual assistant, be sure to comment below. I'd be more than happy to answer your questions to the best of my abilities.
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January 12, 2018

30 Services You Can Offer as a Virtual Assistant - Work at Home Trust

January 12, 2018 0
A Virtual assistant is a remote business owner who assists other business owners to accomplish certain tasks. Virtual assistants are often referred to as VAs for short. There are many tasks that VAs can do to help grow other businesses. You can help with various tasks that they find overwhelming or help them accomplish their business goals in a more efficient way. As a business starts to grow, so do the responsibilities. Outsourcing becomes a crucial part of any business that wants grow faster. Spending too much time on tasks that someone else could have done prevents businesses from reaching their fullest potentials. And, instead of hiring full-time employees, by only outsourcing tasks that they need help with, business owners save lots of money. They can work with anyone, anywhere, and don't have to provide an office space.

So, as a VA, you can offer countless services from the smallest tasks to the more complex ones. You can offer multiple services or go with what you're more proficient in. I've listed thirty services, but keep in mind that there are way more than just thirty services you can offer. Let's get right into the 30 services you can offer as a virtual assistant.

1. Administrative Services
2. Bookkeeping
3. Online Research
4. Database & Data Analysis
5. Email Management
6. Travel Arrangement
7. Project Management
8. Social Media Management (FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc)
9. Internet Marketing
10. Customer Service (Call Agent; Outbound/Inbound Calls)
11. Chat Agent
12. Proofreading
13. Editing
14. Real Estate Assistance
15. Word Processing (Editing, content writing, blog, etc...)
16. Graphic Design
17. Blog or Forum Management
18. Transcription (medical, legal, general)
19. Webinar Support
20. Video Editing
21. Audio Editing
22. Online Shopping
23. Press Release Creation and Submission
24. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
25. Event Planning
26. Appointment Setting
27. Translation Services
28. Calendar Management
29. Book Publishing
30. Facebook Ads

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How to start
You can start by making a blog and showcasing your expertise. If you're planning on providing editing services for example, write about editing, why editing is important, or write about anything business-related. If your writing is excellent with little to no errors, that would prove that you're good at editing. Don't forget to make a 'Work with Me' page on your blog to let potential customer know what services you are offering.

Job boards
You can also offer your services on job boards. Job boards are platforms where you can offer your services to people looking for someone to help them with various tasks. You may have to lower the price of your services because of the fierce competitions. But, do NOT lower it too much because people now know that you get what you pay for. You can still get clients who value your time and are ready to pay for better services. So hang in there. You may even find some of your first recurring clients from job boards. Ultimately, the goal should be to break away from the middle man (job boards) and start offering services directly from your website/blog.

Pitching businesses
Another thing you can do is to contact your local companies directly. Let them know what a virtual assistant is, how having one would help them boost their business while still saving money, and how you can help them as a virtual assistant. You'd be surprised how many companies still haven't caught up with the online business world.You don't only have to contact your local businesses. You can do this with any business; even those on the other side of the ocean. My advice would be to focus on small businesses and non-profit organizations.

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Now that you have an idea on what a virtual assistant is, how you can be of benefit to others, and how to start, if it interests you, take notes and START NOW! I hope this post was helpful.
Feel free to comment below if you have any additional suggestions or questions.
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January 03, 2018

5 Benefits of Synchronization for Entrepreneurs and Bloggers - Work at Home Trust

January 03, 2018 0
As an entrepreneur, running your business as smoothly as possible is what keeps you going. It saves you time and maximizes your profit. If you can achieve tasks with little time without compromising quality, you'd be adding values to your overall business. One of the most crucial way of doing that is how you store and manage your files.

Having the ability to store files online and synchronize them is an asset to businesses and even bloggers. This may be true for all entrepreneurs, but it is even more relevant to those with online businesses. Virtual business owners find find themselves working with countless files. It comes with the territory. Thanks to technology, managing files no longer has to be as difficult and time-consuming as it used to be. Today, business and technology seem to work hand in hand. It is for your business's best interest that you stay aware of the technological advancement around you. Awareness is part of the success of your business. It is also very useful for bloggers who either blog as a business or just for fun. After creating all the content on your blog, you wouldn't want to lose it all. If you hadn't heard of file synchronization, then now is the time to start looking into it.

File synchronization or otherwise known as syncing is the process of obtaining updated files in two or more locations. Basically, it allows you to have identical files in multiple locations even after making changes in just one. For instance, if you have File Z saved on your computer and used a file synchronizer to synchronize it on your cell phone as well as online, any changes you make in one location will reflect everywhere else.
So what are the benefits of file synchronization?

1. Take your files on the GO!
Like never before, you have the chance of taking your files everywhere you go. Even if you choose not to take one of your devices (i.e. cell-phone or computer) with the synchronized files on it, you could still have access to your files as long as you have internet access. You can always go to the nearest library if you need to.

2. Back-up storage
You may not have enough space on your mobile phone or PC, so having extra storage space online would be an option. Cloud devices such as GoogleDriveSugarSync and DropBox also enable you to save extra files online. They are alternatives to USB flash drives. As long as you remember your password, you are good to go. There is no need to carry flash drives wherever you go.

Synchronizing also gives you back-up in case of device loss or theft. If you save all of your files on your computer without synchronizing them, you would be at risk of loosing all of your files if you loose your computer. So, synchronization is your best friend if you want to rescue your files.
3. Changes are quick
Making changes is not only easy, it also updates almost instantaneously on all the synchronized devices. It saves you a lot of time.

4. Save files on multiple devices
If you have multiple devices such as PC, cell-phones, and tablets, you could synchronize all your files on all your devices if you prefer to. And guess what? You can do that at the click of one button!

5. Stay organized!
You can organize your files in your cloud storage by labeling them accordingly. And of course, we all know that staying organized could make a difference of success and failure in any business.

As you can see, synchronization is an innovative way of storing files youdefinitelyy want to encorporate in your business. So what are you waiting for? Start synchronizing now!
What cloud storage do you use to synchronize your files?
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