We are having a great conversation about yet another dumb article about Virtual Assistants over on our Facebook group page.
One thing I am always trying to get through to Virtual Assistants and Administrative Consultants is to take certain words out of their vocabulary when it comes to their marketing and conversations with clients.
First, the word “assistant.” If you are a business owner, you aren’t anyone’s assistant. You are a professional providing an expertise. In our case, that is administrative support. The only connotation people understand when it comes to “assistant” is the employee kind. If you want clients to approach you as a fellow business peer with a valuable expertise to offer, stop calling yourself an assistant.
Second, the word “employee.” Stop making all those comparisons to employees (how much they save over employees, those ridiculous cost comparison charts, etc.). What we do isn’t about replacing employees. It’s about providing an expertise and a service for people who need it. When you compare yourself to an employee, all people hear and understand is the word “employee” and think that’s what you are.
Third, stop using derogatory words about our work like “menial,” “mundane” and the like. People don’t value grunt work and if that’s how you are portraying your work, they certainly aren’t going to see it as an expertise, much less pay professional fees for it. Words like that only portray you as a flunky and a gopher. If you don’t value and respect your work, no one else is going to either. You will never be able to help clients see and understand your work as valuable in the bigger context of their business if you keep using words like that.
Our work IS important. It is the backbone of every business and it absolutely does help business owners grow and move forward.
Don’t confuse the fact that there might be some mundane tasks and steps involved with the work overall (every expertise has those). Because it’s not about the tasks, it’s about the results–how your work helps clients grow and progress and keeps their businesses humming along smoothly, professionally, effectively and profitably.