The savvy professional assistant will also see themselves as a marketer. 

The VA is looking to find new clients. The Executive Assistant or PA is looking to get their value recognised by the organisation. 

For many, this is not an easy task. Even if an assistant has good communication skills they can find it tricky to talk about or promote themselves. 

That’s because marketing is an art. Creating strong messaging is a skill. 

One way to build up your messaging is to reflect on yourself, review your services and consider the value of what you offer. 

Identify Your Values 

People’s perception of another person is based on many things – including appearance, speech, personality, manners and character. 

Some of what they’re ‘picking up’ relates to the person’s values. 

By values, I mean things that someone considers important – something which underpins how they approach life and work. 

Examples of a value include honesty, integrity, humour, creativity, loyalty, humility, kindness, selflessness, courage, compassion, determination, empathy and generosity. 

Which ones resonate with you? Which ones would people associate with you? 

When you know and understand your values, you can bring them into play in your messaging. 

Sum it Up  

When someone asks, “And what do you do?”, some people freeze. They get tongue-tied, blabber or waffle. 

It can help to think about what you might say in advance. Something short and to the point. 

A framework for that could go something like this. 

“I help (insert your ideal client or market audience) to (insert the challenge you help them with) so that (insert the outcome or difference you make)” 

Try it a few times. Try it in different ways. See what sounds best. Test it out on people and experience how it lands with them. 

Advertisers have an advantage because this is the kind of thing they do every day. 

I remember adverts for Ronseal wood stain and the slogan was “It does exactly what it says on the tin”.  

I thought that was a neat way to present the message. 

Assistants can use this approach to start conversations, either about their career path or with prospective clients – for example, at a networking event. 

Sieve Through Your Services 

Think about the services you offer. 

This applies to PAs and Executive Assistants as much as VAs. What do you do for people? 

Think less about the applications – things like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Think more about what you REALLY do for people. 

You may write documents. But you could say “I create lead magnets that help business owners build their mailing list” or “I write concise reports that give leaders what they need to know at each stage of the quarter”. 

You may create Excel spreadsheets. But you could say “I help small business owners keep their accounts in order, to avoid trouble with the Tax People” or “I help finance directors understand the organisation’s assets and cash flow so they can make better strategic decisions.” 

You may create presentations in PowerPoint. But you could say “I help consultants and trainers to get their message across so people sit up and take notice” or “I help my boss to look good by helping him deliver wow-factor presentations to his peers.” 

Know your services. Know how to position them and relate to what they really mean for the client or organisation. 

If you’re behind where you want or need to be with your Microsoft Office skills, explore your training options

Products and packages 

If you’re a freelance VA, you might have some products or packages you offer. 

For each one, you will want to give it a name, have a summary of what it is, cover what it includes and how it helps people. 

In marketing, they call it the Features, Benefits & Difference. 

A product or package might involve creating infographics. The feature is the infographic.  

The benefits associated with it could include: 

– Turn your data and stunning visuals which make information easier to take in and remember. 

– The work is done for you, leaving you more time to do what you do best. 

– Simplify and share complex data with ease. 

Explaining the difference that the benefits deliver is a way to ramp up the value. It also helps people understand what it means for their work or business. 

For example, sharing complex data in a clear visual form helps to prevent mistakes and reduce the risk of things going wrong. It makes the communicator a hero in the organisation because they bring clarity to the fore.  

The ‘difference’ is more of a bigger picture idea or expression of what the benefit of the product or package brings to the table. 

Start Messaging 

Messaging is a process. It can take time and care to get right. 

But everyone has to start somewhere. 

Use some of these ideas to get the ball rolling. Set aside time in your diary to focus on messaging. 

As a VA you’ll be using it for marketing to the outside world. As a PA or EA, your audience is internal – your executive, colleagues and the organisation as a whole. 

Either way, strong messaging is going to be a friend by your side. 

Share a comment below about how you describe yourself or messaging methods you’ve found useful. 

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