When you think about the evolution that has taken place in the virtual assistant world over the past several years, it doesn’t come as a surprise that VAs now handle much, much more than their predecessors did when the concept first became popular. Back in the day, a virtual assistant basically did what an office secretary would do. They set up appointments, took calls via a VoIP phone system, and organized files; basically they were doing administrative work all day long, but from a location miles away from the actual office.

Professionalism

If you look at virtual assistants now, you can see that the job description has really changed over the years. Most businesses are establishing an online presence, and they use a virtual assistant to help them manage that online facet of their business. A virtual assistant might write content for their website, perform live chat sessions with customers, reply to or send emails, or even design portions of the website as the client sees fit. In this respect, you have to wonder how the profession as a whole made such  a widespread change over the relatively short course of a few years.

Virtual Assistants and Services

The answer, as it always does, comes down to the few innovative virtual assistants who decided to make a change and branch out into a new niche. Even now there are virtual assistants who are redefining the perception of what a VA can and can’t do for an online business, and if you aren’t doing the same thing yourself you are going to find yourself being left behind. Now, virtual assistants can be called by many different names, much the same way that registered nurses in the medical industry have a lot of different roles and job titles now. A virtual assistant could easily be called a virtual business consultant, a virtual business manager, an online assistance firm, an administrative consultant, and so on, depending on the specific services that he or she offers.

Virtual Assistants act as Internet Marketers

These days, virtual assistants are actually more similar to internet marketers than secretaries, due to the fact that they perform such a diverse set of services for the online business community. However, you don’t have to take that exact path yourself, and in fact if you did you wouldn’t be following the true rule of branching out. Most of the successful “branchers” were people who developed a unique, innovative idea for their business and rand with it. It was up to the rest of the community to follow along in their footsteps.

Branching out Business

To effectively branch out into a new niche of the virtual assisting profession, you have to ask yourself a few different questions. What skills do you have that you can put to use in this arena? What is the ultimate goal for your business? What does it take to be successful as an entrepreneur? How much money will you need to reach those goals? Only by asking these questions will you be able to take the next step in your virtual assistant career and distinguish yourself from the rest of the people in the crowd.