Speaker’s Assistants FAQ

If you are asking these questions about the course, we have the answers you need to decide if this is right for you.

QuestionMarkWhat is a virtual speaker’s assistant?

Virtual speaker’s assistants are people who work behind the scenes to organize and coordinate many of the aspects of the speaking engagement and back office for the professional speaker, particularly for subject matter experts who have businesses to run or professional practices which take up much of their time.

The world of the professional speaker can be frightening, overwhelming and frustrating. A speaker’s assistant is the administrative aspiring professional speakers and professional speakers turn to to guide them step by step through the processes of working with speakers bureaus, meeting planners, getting and coordinating speaking engagements, organizing the speakers office and marketing.

Typically, speaker’s assistants are administrative experts on the 35-plus services speakers ask for most.

QuestionMarkWhat is it like to work as a virtual speaker’s assistant?

From their homes, virtual speaker’s assistants organize the process for speakers anywhere in the world.

A typical day might be on the phone, coordinating the activities of the speaker and several other professionals, doing research on the Internet and answering and sending emails.

Other important parts of the job are to keep track of your time so you can bill your clients correctly, invoicing clients and of course making changes to your web site and making calls to continually market your business.

Nothing feels better than fulfilling someone’s life long desire to be a highly-compensated professional speaker, seeing an speaker’s gratitude and appreciation for your work, and doing something fun and rewarding for a living.

QuestionMarkWhat tasks are part of a virtual speaker’s assistant’s work and what skills are required to do the job?

As we said in the question above, the main tasks you will be providing are the services speakers ask for most .

The only skills required are use of the telephone and reasonable ability to use a computer, utilizing word processing software (probably Microsoft Word) and preferably an ability to use spreadsheet software (probably Microsoft Excel). If you don’t have pretty good skills on both, you might consider taking an online class or two.

You will also need to access the Internet and do some research. In most cases we give you the main links you will need, but for each individual speaker there may be research to do on facts that need to be checked, places to market and more where you will benefit from knowing something about how to use Google. Again, you might want to take a simple online class on doing research on Google.

We teach you everything you need to take these basic skills and apply them to providing these tasks, so don’t worry – all materials, checklists, training, language to talk to speakers- everything is included in the course.

You do not need advanced skills computer skills to work as a virtual speaker’s assistant and you do not need to have worked with speakers or to have a specific background or knowledge to do the tasks required.

QuestionMarkWill I need any special equipment or material besides what you provide in the course?

To provide these services to speakers you need only a telephone and a computer with Internet access and word processing and spreadsheet software (like Microsoft Word and Excel). We provide all the materials you will need to work with speakers as part of the course – no additional books or special equipment to buy.

QuestionMarkWhy should I specialize and not just be a generalist VA?
Bottom line… you can charge more for your services!

According to a survey done by the Virtual Assistance Networking Association (www.VANetworking.com), 43.4% of virtual assistants have a specialty they have developed so that they can target a niche market, such as authors or speakers.

As a certified professional virtual speaker’s assistant you will become the ‘go to’ person for your clients.  Specialists are always more under greater demand and can charge more for their expertise.

QuestionMarkWhat if I’m not a virtual assistant, but have an administrative or background working virtually or with professionals – would this class still be right for me?

Yes, definitely. There are, unfortunately, many people who have lost jobs at companies due to the economic downturn, but want to put their experience to good use and have become consultants and subject matter experts working on their own. Becoming a speaker is a way to sell their product and services. This course will give you the practical information you need to perform important tasks that speakers need and pay for every day.

Having the Professional Virtual Speaker’s Assistant certification can be one of many that virtual professionals in publishing attain. This is your business, so you can do with it what you enjoy.

QuestionMarkDo speakers really hire speaker’s assistants and how easy will it be for me to find clients?

We know and work with many, many full-time virtual speaker’s assistants every day. Virtual speaker’s assistants run their own businesses and while we do recommend speaker’s assistants to speakers (especially through the directory of trained professionals), we can’t guarantee that this training program will result in full-time work.  Just as with any entrepreneurial business, much rests on the initiative of the person doing the work.  We only want you to take this training course if after reading everything on this web site you feel it is right for you.

We encourage you to visit the SpeakersAssistants.com directory and contact anyone in that directory or call us directly if you want more information.

We do not have a referral service, a job board or an RFP process, but we have not found those things to be necessary for speaker’s assistants to find clients. In fact, we are concerned that having those things might make speaker’s assistant services into commodities and actually reduce the prices authors are willing to pay over the long run. We’ve found that if you personally describe your services and prove your value (and the course has lots of material on how to do that), that is a better way to establish a relationship with clients than to have them try to post a job and have speaker’s assistants bid against each other for the lowest price. Attorneys, coaches, therapists and other professionals don’t RFP processes to work with individual clients. They rely on word of mouth, published articles, speaking and web sites to attract the right clients who will recognize the value of their services.

Your best potential clients are individuals who are professionals (medical professionals, attorneys, therapists, financial planners and other coaches and consultants) or entrepreneurs who have the budget and sales expertise to market themselves, their products and services.

The virtual assistant industry is a thriving one. There are approximately 7,000 virtual assistants in the US, 3,000 in Canada, 2,000 in the UK and 2,000 in Australia, with estimates of 20,000 worldwide. People hire and retain the services of virtual assistants every day.

QuestionMarkWhy do you offer the course as just one total package? Why don’t you break it up into individual courses so I can learn (and pay) a little at a time?

If we thought that individuals could learn best that way we would do that. But assisting speakers is a more complicated group of skills that overlap.

We think taking a few courses at a time will not give you the big picture you need. And we start providing after-the-training support from the first minute so if you have a new speaker client today, you can go right to the information you need to work with that speaker without having to wait until you can take a particular course.

QuestionMarkThis course seems expensive.  Is it really worth the money?

This is always a good question to ask about any course – will you really get your money’s worth.  We think the answer is yes, and if you visit some of the virtual assistant forums you will hear independently from many of our past students who say that this was one of the best career investments they have ever made.

The price of the course is $498US, but to make it more affordable, we offer it in 3 payments, 30 days apart, of $166US.  You can start the course as soon as you make the first payment.  We never charge interest, so you will see that the three payments equal the total price of the course – no extra charges to make payments.

The value of the course is threefold: First, the course is comprehensive – you will learn everything you need to assist speakers and we provide you with marketing tools, checklists and more so you can get to work right away.  Second, we keep your training up to date through the members only web site for the life of your business at no extra charge.  Finally, we provide personal support with a professional speaker consultant when you have questions as you work with clients, again at no extra charge.

Once you pay the fee, you’ve invested in everything you need to assist speakers, no additional materials, no membership fees, no fees for additional training or coaching.  We think this is an extraordinary value for the money.

And here’s a final way of looking at it:  If you charge the equivalent of $30US or more an hour (and the vast majority of our graduates charge more than that), you will be able to pay yourself back for the cost of the course in fewer than three days.  Isn’t a better future and more interesting work worth three days of new clients?

QuestionMarkWhat do you mean you support me for the life of my business? How can you do that?

We don’t just hand you a certificate and wish you well after the course like some classes.  Our VSA Online Headquarters will be there for you as your business grows supporting you, answering your questions and celebrating your success.

We are constantly adding to and updating the information on the VSA Online Headquarters every time there is a change to in the industry. When you need the latest information, it will be as close as your computer screen.

We send out updates whenever there is an urgent change you need to know about.

We have a forum where you can pose questions and look for resources that your fellow virtual speaker’s assistants can provide from their own experiences with author clients.

Finally, you can contact Jan King via email any time. She often just picks up the phone if there is an urgent issue you need help with. If you have an situation that you haven’t dealt with before, we will help you do that, whatever it is.