Time to EleVAte

As part of the grand expansion for this year’s National Freelancer Day, IPSE introduced a brand new Ambassador of the Year Award. The ambassador scheme was created to recognise and reward those who are working to overcome the inherent risks of freelancing by building communities and support networks for the people whom they represent.

Among the three finalists for the inaugural award was Charlotte Wibberley, a business success coach who runs VIP VA. VIP VA is a organisation set up to champion, support and nurture the Virtual Assistant industry. A VA is a highly skilled, independent and professional business owner who provides remote administrative, technical and creative business support to their clients. 

Unfortunately, however, outside select entrepreneurial and VA circles, few people are familiar with the profession or are aware of the expertise and value they can bring to a business. The VA’s role and the term itself is widely misused, misunderstood and undervalued - even from within the industry itself.

VIP VA has already lead a pioneering campaign to create and implement key minimum industry standards in the UK. Now, to smash misconceptions and raise awareness of what is an exciting, important and rapidly growing industry, Charlotte is running the #timetoeleVAte campaign.

The campaign and surveys, which hope to redefine the role and challenge these pre-conceived perceptions, has three aims:

  • Re-engage with the VA industry and bring them together as a community to stand together for true industry standards
  • Redefine the Virtual Assistant (VA) profession, inspire VAs to realise their own potential and champion the true worth of outsourcing to a high-performing VA
  • Raise the profile of VAs, the value/worth they bring and changing perceptions in and around the industry.

“In the past few years the VA industry has grown rapidly in conjunction with the increase in the number of online businesses and other businesses seeking flexible freelance support versus costly employees,” Charlotte said. “Many online businesses rely heavily on the support of a VA for day to day running and key servicing of their clients.

“Unfortunately, we have found that too many business owners - and even VAs themselves - have a real lack of understanding of our skills and potential, and don't value their vast professionalism and experience.

“This campaign seeks to educate those trying to tap in to our growing industry by defining industry standards, highlighting our value now and setting future precedents. We need to stand together as an industry to challenge perceptions, redefine the role and create our own story.

“We'll be interviewing existing and aspiring VAs, clients and strategic alliances about their perceptions of our industry. Following the research, we’ll offer solutions and suggestions on how, as an industry, we can support VA business owners and raise awareness of our capabilities. Our industry has a very exciting future and now is our opportunity to redefine and EleVAte!”

VIP VA hosts their inaugural conference, EleVAte, in October.  The conference brings together a comprehensive line-up of leading industry speakers and targets existing and aspiring VAs, helping them run high performing online businesses.

The first part of the survey, for VAs, is open until the end of August can be completed here. VIP VA will be hosting a secondary survey in September, which will target non-VA business owners who are considering outsourcing to highly skilled and trusted VAs.

Research, Affiliate News

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