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Should You Really Do It All?

As a virtual assistant you are probably often asked to do a variety of tasks for your clients, but should you really try to be a “jack of all trades”?

You’ve seen the ads for VA needed that ask for a lot of skills all the way from video editing, to content writing, to shopping cart experience. It’s hard not to try to get that type of position, because it seems like more and more clients are wanting a VA who knows everything about everything. That’s only because people who are new to online business haven’t yet figured out how to step outside the cubicle.

As a VA, it can be scary to specialize because you are afraid you will miss out on job opportunities.

But the truth is, positions with clients who expect you to do everything are probably not positions that you want to accept.

But, you shouldn’t give up and not apply for the job. There is a chance that the person wanting to outsource just hasn’t be educated in the right way to outsource, or the concept of building a virtual team to help them run their business. They don’t yet realize that they can afford to hire experts in each area of work that they need. They can hire someone who specializes in the very shopping cart technology that they want to use. Then, they can hire another person who specializes in writing content specifically for their type of business, and so forth — and it’s not going to cost an arm and a leg because not one person they contract with will be working full time. In fact, most will be working less than a couple of hours a week.

As a sole practitioner who reads an advertisement asking for multi level experience and a vast skill set, you have to over look it, and just apply for the part of the job that you are well versed in.

If you have team you can apply on behalf of your team explaining that you offer a multi virtual assistant team who can fulfill all of their requirements. But if it’s just you, you’ll need to submit a proposal that also offers some measure of education about how to build a team and how to outsource with the best results.

If you’re a person who wants to outsource who is reading this, you should take the time to write down all the various tasks you need outsource, separating them into business areas such as content writing, copy-writing, graphic design, video editing, WordPress updates, web design and so forth.

Remember, these are all very individual skill sets. It would be rare to find one person with all those skills, and even if you did find someone who claims to have all those skills they’re probably not an expert in any of them. They will spend more time doing a particular task if they’re unfamiliar with it or do not perform it very often.

If you hire someone who specializes in each area, you’ll get the work completed faster and have less to teach the VA.

Look at all the things you do each day and pick one area where you really could outsource it today and outsource that one thing. Like video editing, or content writing. Give that to one person who is skilled in that area, and give them nothing else. Don’t be tempted to ask them to do anything outside of the scope of that activity. You’ll be a lot more satisfied if you then move forward with only hiring VAs who are skilled in a particular area until you’ve built an entire team. Seek to hire experts, and you’ll end up pushing your business to a higher level than you ever thought possible.

The other thing that is great about hiring a team of individuals, or a multi VA firm, is that you have less chance of having issues with deadlines or missed opportunities. If each VA is only handling a small activity for you, if one quits or moves on the entire project is not lost. It’s a lot easier to replace a video editor than replace a jack of all trades.

That might seem scary to you, as a VA, but the truth is, you’re also going to be happier if you choose one or two skills that you really want to perform and leave the other things to other VAs. You’ll have much more job satisfaction, as well as become even more of an expert as you keep doing those same tasks over and over. You’ll be much less likely to become frustrated and give up because you’ve picked a skill set that you are passionate about, enjoy learning about, and can do to the very best of your ability for each of your clients.

So what do you think? Should a VA really do it all, or should they specialize?

About Stephanie Watson

Mom | Wife | Virtual Assistant | Content Strategist
Stephanie has been working from home for over 20 years as a virtual assistant, template bender, and content writer. She's currently transitioning to business coach. You can learn more about her at her website

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