VAs Help You Take Care of Business
IT’S YOUR BUSINESS
advice for enterprising speakers
You probably didn’t become a professional speaker because you enjoy creating marketing cam- paigns, coordinating travel schedules and managing client databases. You chose a
speaking career because you love to get
on the stage and inspire people.
How do you get back to doing what
you do best—speaking The answer:
Outsource your non-speaking responsibilities. Get the logistics, marketing,
sales and administrative tasks off your
plate by hiring a team of virtual assistants (VAs) to do the work for you.
The Benefits of a VA
Think of VAs as business partners
working behind the curtain. They
enable you to command center stage
with peace of mind. View them as an
investment rather than an expense.
With VAs, your business can become
scalable, growing at a steady pace.
Without them, you’re back to square
one, burning the midnight oil as you
juggle each aspect of your speaking
Although a stand-alone VA might be
sufficient for up-and-coming speakers,
more established speakers usually
employ a team of specialists. When you
have a marketing strategist, copywriter
and technical coordinator on your
team, for example, you can do more—
faster and with greater satisfaction.
Finding Quality VAs
It can be challenging to find VAs whom
you can trust to do the job and excel at
leverage your resources to their fullest
potential. If you’re having trouble iden-
tifying VAs with the right credentials,
ask respected peers with similar busi-
ness models for recommendations.
Building a Successful Relationship
Once you’ve hired your VA, it’s
time to lay the foundation for a solid
working relationship. Start with communication. Be clear about what you
want and make sure your VA understands your expectations.
Scheduled weekly calls are essential
for maintaining regular communication. Confirm that both parties
are communicating effectively by
having your VA send post-call recaps
that include clear action steps and
Use a shared project management
tool, like Asana or Basecamp, for the
status of any project. If you aren’t
ready to invest in these tools, ask your
VA to send you weekly work recaps
to ensure tasks are on track.
VAs may work behind the curtain,
but they can make all the difference
in getting you out of the office and
in front of your audience!
Vickie Nickel is the owner
and founder of Vickie Nickel
& Associates, an online busi-
ness management firm pro-
viding specialized marketing
management to speakers, authors and
coaches. A marketing and communications
manager-turned-entrepreneur, Nickel excels
at helping professionals and businesses con-
quer complex business challenges.
it. These people represent your brand,
so hiring competent, motivated and
experienced professionals is critical to
You might be tempted to start your VA
search with Google, but the keywords
“virtual assistant” return more than one
million results. A search for “online
business manager” nets more than
50,000. Where do you start?
Your time comes at a premium, so
forego the broad online search and try
International Virtual Assistants Association and Leapfrog VA Network, which
are client-to-VA matching services.
There you’ll find all levels of VAs and
online business managers with a variety
of backgrounds, so ask for references
before making a hire.
A final tip: Go with someone experi-
enced at working with speakers, knows
the ins and outs of the industry and can
“Think of VAs
as business partners