Susan Guinto is the founder of The Virtual Assistant’s Hub, which aims to provide industry news, training and quality information to Virtual Assistants not just in the Philippines but anywhere in the world.
Susan was interviewed as a featured V.A. in Virtual Staff Finder’s Live Google Hang Out a few years back where she shared her day-to-day life experience as a Virtual Assistant and more.
She is also a regular article contributor to Business2Community where she writes about online marketing, customer experience, blogging and SEO.
Find out how she started and how she grew as a professional in this blog post where I interviewed her and asked her these 5 questions:
- How did you get started as a Virtual Assistant?
- What for you is the most effective way to get clients as a VA?
- Do you invest in your own learning? If yes, how?
- How would you define your ideal client?
- Marie Forleo or Chris Ducker? Why?
How did you get started as a Virtual Assistant?
I used to write articles for some fellow Filipino VAs as a part time job. I really love writing and I was doing it as a hobby back then. I was employed in a large software company. I loved my job, but the daily commute to and from the office took a toll on me. I had to leave home at 5:00 am to reach our office by 8:00 am. And leave the office at 5:00 pm to reach our house at 8:00pm.
I was spending almost half of my waking hours commuting. When the opportunity to work from home opened up to me, I know I have no choice but to grab it! I’ve been thankful for that decision, and for my fellow Filipino VAs who has opened this wonderful world to me.
It was a bit scary to take the leap then, but I guess the scary part is not really in doing something, the scary part is the anticipation of what lies ahead – not knowing the unknown. But I guess that’s what makes things more exciting.
What for you is the most effective way to get clients as a VA?
Referral is my main source of clients, followed by LinkedIn.
I’ve been blessed to work with awesome people who are all very generous to refer me to their contacts who are also looking for a VA. This only proves that it pays to build good relationships with people you come across with.
LinkedIn has also proven to be a great platform for discovering other professionals who are looking for the skills set that I have. It’s not about having a PRO account there. It’s more of making sure that you provide value by sharing useful stuff.
Virtual Staff Finder was a huge help when I was just starting though. I find it a great place for newbies who are looking for clients.
Do you invest in your own learning? If yes, how?
Yes, I do. I believe that when you’re working in an industry that’s very dynamic, you have no other choice but to keep on learning. What’s hot today may not be important tomorrow anymore. So, you have to keep yourself abreast of these changes in order to remain relevant.
I have a list of blogs I follow and I’ve subscribed to their RSS feeds. I check them daily, and if there’s something new, I know it’s going to be there.
And lastly, Google is my bestfriend!
How would you define your ideal client?
My ideal client is someone who has set his objectives clearly why he wants to work with a VA. It somehow makes my job a lot easier. But if I’d encounter someone who wants to hire a VA, but is quite unclear yet about his goals, I’d be happy to talk with him via Skype and ask him questions to find out if I can uncover any pain points where I can be helpful.
My ideal client is also someone who has no issues delegating tasks and giving up control. I want a client who knows how to let go and trust that when I say I can get the job done, he will trust that I really do.
It’ll also help if the client sees the work I do as an investment, rather than a cost. It’s really hard to see social media ROI, or the value of a blog. It takes some time before you realize any gains out of these of marketing activities.
Choose 1. Marie Forleo or Chris Ducker? Why?
I’m a Chris Ducker fan. Chris’ Virtual Staff Finder has been very helpful to me in getting started as a VA – in terms of finding clients. Up to now, I’m still wondering if I could’ve found the courage to leave my “secured” corporate life if not for VSF.
I know I can be emotional when it comes to my choices, but I really value the things which have helped me achieve what I have today. And he is one of them – through his business.
If you’d want to get started working from home, read the Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Virtual Assistant.
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