Show Notes


Welcome to Virtually Amazing – The Podcast for Virtual Assistants.

Tune in as Jo and I chat about our work, interview our expert guests and VAs and talk about our tool or tip of the week.

We are thrilled to have Amanda Johnson, of VACT with us for our inaugural interview. You are in for a treat with lots of useful information as we talk through what a new or existing VA needs to think about.

In our inaugural episode we discuss the world of work, will it ever get back to normal? Amanda talks about the three main things new VAs should think about when setting up a VA business and perhaps not surprisingly it is not that much different now!

We also talk about relationship building, knowing your clients, and why you need to go to work and come home and get out of your PJS.


[03:04 ] Find out what Amanda says to new VAs setting up right now and at any time

[05:04] Will the world of work return to normal?

[08:40 ] PWC study – looks interesting

[10:18 ] Should you work in your PJs?

[11:23] Do you have a go to work and come home from work activity?

[13:56] Is Jo diciplined?

[15:46 ] Where are your client’s emails?

[19:49 ] Why boundaries are important.

[20:39] Should you have a domain specific email address?

[22:22 ] Shelley says know your customers

[22:59 ] The evolvement of Jo

[24:23 ] To niche or not to niche – that is the question

[26:44 ] Shelley asks whether you need to enjoy what you do

[27:07 ] Relationship building

[29:26 ] Amanda’s last word

[31:59 ] We talk communication

Our Guest - Amanda Johnson

Amanda Johnson of VACT Limited, is a multi-award winning Virtual Assistant Coach, Trainer and Mentor who offers a hybrid of coaching, training and mentoring to individuals with an admin background to become Virtual Assistants or established Virtual Assistants to have better businesses.

Amanda and VACT recently launched the new VA Training Academy® which has 3 main offerings; the long established VA Mastery Course, the VA Membership both accredited by the CPD Standards Office for professional development and one to one coaching – where she helps clients her clients to brainstorm brilliance, bounce ideas off one another, to be accountable and to receive guidance/training.

Anyone who has met, Amanda either online or in person, will agree she is passionate about “Creating Exceptional VA’s.” All of the VACT training courses and mentoring options, are underpinned by Amanda’s core values and are designed to support and fit around you, your current work commitments, your individual circumstances including family commitments and your budget.

Amanda would describe herself as “I am at my happiest when I am inspiring, challenging and supporting others” however, her clients love her for her “no-nonsense, honest and direct approach to helping others.” Her brand may be magenta pink and battle ship grey but she is not pink and fluffy in the slightest!

A military veteran, Amanda is an ex-Royal Navy Logistics Officer, whose military career spanned 23 years and covered a wide range of secretarial and logistic duties. Married to Andrew and  mum to 2 gorgeous boys (James and Jacob), she is based on the outskirts of the New Forest in Ringwood, Hampshire, UK but supports her clients across the world.

If you would like to learn more about building and growing an awesome Virtual Assistant business or connect with Amanda – you can do so by reaching out on any of the following links:

VACT website to answer all questions VA related including lots of freebies to help you build and grow

You will learn

  • Why working in your Pyjamas is a NoNo
  • The three things you need to focus on as a new VA
  • The same things you need to focus on as an existing VA

Watch on Youtube

I find Shelley’s training easy to follow and the very best thing is that you can do it all at your own pace and revisit modules if it doesn’t quite sink in the first time round! I have learned so much from her training and continue to do so! She is responsive to my questions and I learn something new with each module. I find Iam hardly ever having to Google or YouTube information now, so it really is saving me time in my work day. Time that can be better used by learning more about the business I operate in!
Thanks Shelley!

Tracey Whitehouse – Executive Assistant

I have been following Shelley on Linkedin for several years, and always loved her hints and tips. In May of this year, I had the opportunity to recommend Shelley as one of our workshop speakers at the annual HMC Heads’ PA Conference in Sheffield.

On receiving the brief Shelley quickly produced content for two IT Microsoft Skills Workshops covering nuggets from Outlook, Word and Excel. Shelley then delivered (virtually) these two fantastic workshops to over 60 PAs at our conference.

From initial enquiry to delivery Shelley is the consummate professional and it was my pleasure to have had the opportunity to engage with her.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Shelley to any individual or group.

Michaela Fletcher – Heads PA

Shelley is THE guru on all things Microsoft.

I love Outlook, use it every day, and think I have a pretty good understanding of it. But every time I attend one of her sessions I learn a lot more. Her knowledge is remarkable. And she delivers her knowledge in a really clear, engaging way.

Thanks Shelley

Kathy Soulsby

I have just spent less than an hour at one of Shelley’s presentations and my mind is truly blown! I thought I was fairly proficient in Outlook, but I had no idea it could do so much more! So many time saving tips and shortcuts to help me – I can’t wait to get stuck in and implement them all! Thank you Shelley – I would highly recommend!

Hayley Rose – Executive Assistant -Dalcour Maclaren

Shelley joined us for the annual HMC Heads’ PAs conference in May 2023, where she delivered two hands-on practical IT skills workshops for over 60 PAs in attendance. Both sessions were warmly received by all participants, and from a personal perspective it was an absolute pleasure for me to work with Shelley both offline in the extensive prep phase ahead of the sessions, and online during the day itself – sharp in subject knowledge, flexible in content delivery and everything executed with a really affable manner and “can-do” approach throughout. I would recommend her services wholeheartedly.

Gareth Johnson – Leader GRE Education

Heads PA Conference

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn. It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney