Jemima B. Franco – Administrative Assistant, Sales and Marketing
1. When and how did you get started as a Virtual Assistant?
I heard of it back in 2016 when I started working in a BPO Company located in Clark. I worked there as an Executive Assistant. I was curious about how the VA works and wanted to give it a try. And then one day an opportunity came. The person was also one of our company clients and I raised my concerns to my boss to persuade him to hire me as their Virtual Assistant. Then I met Rob Claridge, the CEO of the ASMI (Australian Skills Management Institutes). I took his course in 2017. Since then, I didn’t stop learning about it and finally landed my first official online gig.
2. What challenges did you have to go through to become a successful VA?
It was really hard when I was starting because I had no idea about virtual assistants.
The top 3 challenges I can share:
- Acquiring skills and confidence – I had to study a lot to acquire new skills and learn new tools. I watched a lot of video tutorials and read a lot of books and articles. And also of course with the guidance of my client who took the time to train me since it was similar to my previous job.
- Problem solver / quick thinking and effective in decision making – I worked remotely in the office so the only way I can talk to the CEO is via email and SKYPE, but that’s very rare since he was busy all the time. Sometimes, there were multiple issues with my tasks so what I did was solve the problems in a quick and timely manner. I have proven my ability to my client so they promoted me to be the manager of their branches not only in Australia but also in other countries like the United Kingdom, China, Middle East, and the Philippines as well. Because of this, I was able to develop a strategy for winning clients almost instantly – I call it the Prime Pitch.
- Time Management – It was difficult being a newbie. It took a lot of persistence and discipline on my part to overcome that. And believe me, even now that I’m successful, I still have those instances when I feel like I should be doing something else or should be somewhere else. 🙂
3. What are the 3 most important things to consider before working with a client?
First, I check if I can deliver what the client wants or needs. It’s more about asking myself if I am fit for the job and if it suits my purpose (do I love working on it), goals and lifestyle. So, ask yourself, “Am I fit for the job? Does it suit my purpose, goals, and lifestyle? Would I love working on the job?”
Second, I consider time. It is essential to me that my working time is flexible and that I’m not required to work on weekends and/or holidays.
Lastly, the rate and what I can gain from it (training, commissions, additional skill, etc.)
4. Describe your ideal client.
My ideal client is someone who is aligned with my personal and career goals. It is someone who wants to grow his/her business as well as the people under his/her organisation. It is someone who takes pride in great work and who values quality more than quantity. I want someone who is easy to work with even if we have a not-so-easy project. When you’ve worked with a lot of great and not-so-good clients, you’ll be able to spot the good ones right on.
5. What books do you read?
I love reading books so it can be anything about management, marketing, and motivation/leadership like Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad and Poor Dad, The Product Launch by Jeff Walker, Today Matters by John Maxwell, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, and many others.
I also love to read novels, fiction, adventure/fantasy books like The Alchemist, The Gift of Acabar, Have a Little Faith, Twilight, Hunger Games, The Da Vinci Code, etc.
For a copy of Jemima’s resume please click here.