Virtual Hired Hand - Website Maintenance and Support

Ever feel the need to take a step back and re-introduce yourself?

At times you jump right into the meat of what you’re doing without taking a breath.

Once you’ve completed your spill you look at the other person expecting them to be excited or give a response. It’s not until then you realize you lost them some where along the way and they’re looking at you as though you’ve got one-eye and come from the planet Ork.

This can easily happen on your website, being so eager to talk about your services that you lose the prospect within the first few seconds. The beauty of blogging changes that and gives you an opportunity to greet visitors and welcome them in.

When this blog started we jumped in full force excited to have somewhere to share all the great information we were using, learning, and implementing for our clients.

Today we’re turning the clock back in order to spring forward as we head into a new season and re-introducing ourselves.

Hello my name is Tiffany and welcome to the Virtual Hired Hand blog. This is how it all began…

I first heard the term Virtual Assistant (VA) in 2007. I was taking online classes for a second bachelor’s in Sports Management: Wellness and Fitness. The assignment was to select from several different podcasts and write on how it would relate to a fitness business. Of the 4 or 5 listed there was one in particular that caught my eye. It was an interview with Ali Brown, who was, at the time of the recording, the ezinequeen.

I was interested for several different reasons.

  1. Ezines were a familiar concept from when I was in direct marketing selling paintings. Only the company created and sent the ezines to our lists.
  2. She was the only female on the list.
  3. And she owned her own business.

It was on this call she mentioned how great her VA was and that she worked from home in a different state. That was the light bulb moment for me. At the time I was collecting unemployment and working part-time at a gym. I’d always wanted to work from home.

When I was working my corporate job, my line to my friends at work was “I’m ready to take it to the house!” I knew what I wanted, I just didn’t know how. This podcast was the turning point. I had to learn everything I could about what a VA was, what they did, and how.

My online search brought me to the Virtual Assistant Chamber of Commerce website. Being very traditional in my thought process about business, I thought this was the perfect website for me. However, I immediately discovered that I was not eligible to participate in this chamber or even call myself a VA according to their definition.

*Virtual Assistant has at least five (5) years administrative experience earned in the real (non-virtual) business world working in upper-level capacities such as administrative assistant, executive assistant, secretary, legal assistant, paralegal, legal secretary, real estate assistant, office manager/supervisor, etc. – Source:

Note some things have changed since I did my research a few years ago.

You see my background is computer programming and program management. I learned programming when everything was a black screen with neon green writing. JAVA hadn’t come on the seen and programmers were just getting into GUI (Graphical User Interface) which is mostly used today.

The closest I’d gotten to being an administrative assistant was for 3 weeks when an assistant program manager position opened on my previous team. It was the favor of God that allowed me to boldly step into my new bosses office of 3 weeks to explain the situation. She obliged my request and wished me luck. She also provided a reference for me as well. I got the promotion and eventually was moved up to program manager. I had long forgotten the pleasure I got from my work as a programmer.

Back to story, in 2007:

I continued my search regarding VAs and came upon another reputable site I thought maybe if I got some training I could call myself a VA and then join the chamber, etc. Wrong! I didn’t meet their qualifications either. You had to show proof of your work history as an executive administrative assistant.

Looks like they also may be changing this.

I didn’t let that stop me and decided to take a different route and would eventually get back to my roots of programming in conjunction with many other projects. As I began finding clients online I realized from the client perspective VA was a fairly loose term for someone helping them with their business that was not in the same location.

While we no longer provid services related to what the industry defines as a VA, our clients still consider us as so. It’s not about the title, but the service provided.

What challenges you most when it comes to your online presence? Does the thought of converting to WordPress make you want to cover your ears and make loud noises? It can’t be avoided if you want a stake in this online game you must be in WordPress.

Have you attempted to host a teleclass but got lost in the details of planning combined with the technology of it all? Or you just feel silly “talking to yourself”?

Maybe you’re in WordPress but haven’t connected the dots to how it relates to your eNewsletter?

As program managers of web businesses, we manage the design and development of websites, teleclasses, and enewsletters. Our blog offers technical tips for biz owners looking to makeover their websites, plan a teleclass, or create an enewsletter. We offer ongoing web maintenance and technical support to those who have little time to manage technical details of their business.

Let us know what your challenges are below in the comments. We’re here to serve you all.