Continuing Education: Improving Your Skillset and Services as a Virtual Assistant

Continuing Your VA Education, Part 1Offering social media management and consulting services to clients is one of those things I sort of fell into. When I started working online as a virtual assistant social networks were in their infancy. MySpace was dying with Facebook and Twitter quickly gaining traction. Facebook spoke to the extrovert in me; couple that with working from home and social media soon became close to an obsession for me. It was a client’s prompting that had me looking at my near obsession through a different lens and started making money offering my social media knowledge and experience to clients as a service.

As an entrepreneur and freelance virtual assistant it is important to keep up to date not only on the latest programs, software and, in some cases, social networking sites. It’s important to also be up to date on the latest trends and advances within one’s industry. The following is how continue my education regularly.

Online Groups – There are a few virtual assistant groups that I have connected with and regularly follow. Interaction with other virtual assistants is a great way of picking up other tips, tricks, and even skills.  Facebook and Google+ both have excellent virtual assistant groups to join. A couple that I am a part of include https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107047731077747818341 and https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/102056525750200758843. (Google+ calls their groups ‘communities.’)

Blogs – Each week I set aside one full hour to read up on specific blogs. For me, with regards to my particular niche I read blogs of other virtual assistants, social media marketers, copy editors and publishers.  Some virtual assistant blogs I read include The Naked Blog, Virtual Word Publishing, Step It Up VA, and Next Level VA.

Books – There are several good virtual assistant books out there right now. One specific resource which delivers above and beyond is Virtual Assistant – The Series by Diana Ennen & Kelly Poelker.

Webinars & Teleseminars – Whether you call in on the phone or log into a site online, there are tons of webinars out there.  I keep a spreadsheet of the webinars and teleseminars I take part in with the date, title, link, presenter and topic. Oftentimes people give updated versions in preceding years and all of us can use a refresher course from time to time. On VANetworking.com you can find numerous free webinars about being a virtual assistant.

In my next post I will share more ways you can continue your education with more links to get you started. But in the meantime, I want to hear from you. What online groups, blogs, books and webinars do you enjoy and would recommend to our readers? Be sure to share in the comments below.

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Pebbles Jacobo

Pebbles Jacobo, A&P Virtual Enterprises, began working from home as a VA (Virtual Assistant) several years ago. Jacobo enjoys working with clients in various fields, but specializes in working with Christian speakers, authors, and ministries.

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