Question of the Week
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What online networking groups and forums have you found to be most useful? Is it worth it to pay for the groups that charge a membership fee? (Submitted by Suzanne D.)
There are so many VA
groups out there - how do you determine which ones are the best, or "worth
it"? The answer to this question will be different for everyone, as how you
define what is valuable, is up to you.
There are, however,
a few things to consider when choosing to join a Virtual Assistant Group.
Whether you pay or not for the group, start to consider your time as
valuable. You don't want to waste your time in a VA group that is not giving
you anything of value any more than you don't want to waste your money. Now
that you are an independent business owner, "time is money" is no longer a
Of course, money is
always a factor. When it comes down to it. you either have the cash, or you
don't, or it goes on the credit card. You are the only one who can determine
whether or not to join any organization. Figure this - if I get at least one
client (or, get advice that aids me in obtaining at least one client), will
my membership be worth it? What about two clients? I use that as an example,
because that is what most VAs are after. What else could you obtain that
would make the value of the cost of joining worth it to you? After you
determine that, figure out if this group can help you get what you are
Time is money! How
much time will you have to put into the group to get what you need out of
it? Can you just lurk in the background of the message boards and gain
value? Or, do you have to be active participant? Does the group require that
you perform certain volunteer tasks, or can you just freely participate?
Will being a part of this group seem more like a job, than a perk?
opportunities does the group offer? Are there teleclasses to listen to?
Newsletters to read? An open forum where you can post your questions? The
Virtual Assistant industry is continually growing and shaping itself. Is
the group actively keeping up with the changes?
Who is in the group,
and how active is the group? Is the group filled with all "newbies" to the
VA industry? If so, it might be good for moral support, but you may receive
no good guidance backed up by experience. You want to look for a group that
has a good mix of VA industry veterans, new VAs, and everyone in
What resources does
the group provide? Are the group members willing to openly share their
knowledge, or is everyone hording what they know for the fear of "arming
the competition?" If you need it, look for a group that provides sample
contracts, letters, checklists, spreadsheets, and other resources that you
may need as a new VA.
So, there you go -
I've now armed you with more questions than you came with, but now you know
what to look for. Tell the group owner what you want, and ask her if that
is what the group can provide for you. Then, determine if it's "worth it"
for you to lay down your hard earned money or precious time to be a
To find a list of
groups we recommend, and for more information on VA membership groups and
organizations, check out The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Virtual Assistant.
a question about starting or running your VA business?
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