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

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

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.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes