Clear Desk Podcast Interview with Stacey Slack

All The Admin VA

I’m so excited to be able to share my Podcast interview with Stacey from All The Admin VA.

Stacey is a VA who I have had the pleasure of mentoring this year and I have absolutely seen her flourish. She’s got a brilliant career story, she used to work in TV production and now runs her own successful business around her family life. She is somebody who goes straight to the point, will tell you the exact answer that you’re looking for, so if you are an aspiring Virtual Assistant or perhaps you are early on in your VA biz journey, this is the episode for you, because Stacey really takes you behind the scenes of what it’s taken for her to grow her business, we discuss all manner of things from growth, to sorting out your services and one thing I particularly enjoyed talking to her about is how she has grown and taken on not just one but multiple VA associates so if you are interested in that part of the job, this episode is one for you, here we go!

Natalia (1:16)

Stacey! Thank you so much for joining me on the Clear Desk Podcast! Please introduce yourself to everyone who’s listening and tell us all about your business. 

Stacey (1:26)

Hello, I’m Stacey Slack from All The Admin VA and my business is mostly geared towards interior designers and I am currently growing my VA family. so if you’re an associate, you can hit me up on my website!

Natalia (1:44)

So exciting, love it straight in with the plugs! Growing your VA family, I know exactly what you mean by that but there will be a lot of people listening who perhaps are starting out as VA’s or who are listening to get to know more about our industry, could just expand on that, what you mean by that and how you came to that term and what it means to you?

Stacey (2:07)

Well I think I came to that term basically refocusing on my business but it was a bit of a light bulb moment when I realised that actually I really missed the back and forth and camaraderie of working in a business and also I took on my first associate, well I’ve taken on two, but my first associate was when I launched into Pinterest services and realised that I really enjoyed just being able to talk to her about things going on day to day and just having support between us and also helping her when she had questions, which I kind of naturally just really enjoyed doing, so that’s kind of where that came from. Then it was actually a discussion between me and you Natalia, that made me realise that I wanted to create more of a family, instead of just a business I actually really wanted that kind of vibe and that’s kind of who I am anyway so it naturally just evolved from that, I hope I answered that properly!

Natalia (3:14)

Yeh definitely I love it, can you explain to everyone listening, what led to you set out in the service provider industry and how did you go about it, so just a bit of background on where you worked before because it’s fascinating and I know you guys are going to love this story and then what led you into this and how you went about starting out because so often I think we see the kind of shininess on social media, we see the presentation of businesses particularly in our industry, but actually the kind of ‘actual steps’, it’s really good to talk about so I’m really keen to do that on this Podcast, so could you share all of that please!

Stacey (3:56)

So I have worked in television for about ten years, I moved into London when I was 19 and I’m not going to tell you how old I am now, so I worked in television for ten years and I worked my way up into production co-ordination which is generally working behind the scenes, sending crews all over the world, establishing studio sets, working with amazing teams but being in a real bubble with these teams, where again they kind of become your family, you know you’re working with these people for six months at a time and you don’t really see anyone else apart from your husband and they literally become your best mates.

Natalia (4:37)

Were you in an office or did you work from home, how did that work?

Stacey (4: 44)

Well I worked for ITV so I was in the office full time, or on location so I went onto studios onto set or I went out on locations mostly around the UK, so from that when it got to the point where I was thinking about having a baby, I moved into a PA role for one of the entertainment commissioners at ITV, very, very transferable skills then realised how much fun it was just working as a PA and then kind of moved around ITV a little bit as a PA and then decided in March 2019 to just crack on and go for it and launched a VA business, I was still working part time at ITV but I didn’t feel that there was any growth for me just doing part time there, I just didn’t feel I could get my teeth into something and naturally being that type of person I wanted to be able to find something I could do with passion and dedication but still be able to be around for Edie which was my daughter.

Natalia (6:00)

You had had Edie by that time, which was the main drive to you working part time?

Stacey (6:02) 

Yeh so I went into part time, sorry skipped a beat there! Basically I did both for a year, pretty much exactly, then came to a point in ITV where I was made redundant which actually was a really, really good thing, big kick up the bum for me to just crack on with this so by that time I had a good amount of clients and I was kind of considering leaving anyway and that happened. I don’t think I would have left at that time, I probably would have tried to keep going and maybe would have led to a crazy burn out and then obviously COVID happened so it worked out really well.

Natalia (6:50)

Wow, what a couple of years though!

Stacey (6:52)

Yeh it was mental and obviously it still is!

Natalia (6:55)

Yeh we’re recording this in a pandemic, there’s a sentence I never thought I would say.

Stacey (6:59)

Exactly!

Natalia (7:01)

So you started your business alongside a part time role and when you were made redundant, did you instantly grow your VA business? Did you suddenly think, ok right I have this extra time I need to create some more income so I’m going to take on more clients or was that quite a gradual thing for you?

Stacey (7:22)

I became very busy at the end of 2019 which was about 8 months into my business, I became very, very busy all of a sudden so actually when I was made redundant I was a little bit relieved because things were kind of ramping anyway but I was too afraid to kind of make that leap myself and I was looking for a bit of stability at that point but that didn’t happen and not to boast, but without me even really trying, COVID happened and everything just kind of ramped up. I’ve had around three new clients and a couple of my clients have increased and they just naturally wanted to do that at that point so actually it worked out really, really well that I didn’t have ITV and pretty much as soon as I left ITV I was thinking of needing to get some extra support in for myself when that happened, so it did all kind of really snowball all of a sudden.

Natalia (8:32)

Wow, what a year you have had, it’s amazing! It’s almost like the universe had this big kind of carnival flashing lights on your head being like “wo-oh, this is where you’re going now, we’re going to make this happen for you!” which is amazing and brilliant. You talked about your clients a little bit at the beginning, you mentioned interior design, you mentioned Pinterest services but could you just explain the type of services that you offer and who those ideal clients are because again something I’m often asked in DM’s is “I want to be a VA, do I need a niche?”, “How do I find my ideal client, how do I know who or what they are?” Could you talk about yours a bit please?

Stacey (9:14)

So my journey to actually finding my niche and my ideal client at the beginning, I didn’t pick one. For the first six months or so, I just wanted to work with really creative people, I’ve worked in television so I’m open to anything but what made me really decide to focus on my niche, which is interior designers, was because I met a fantastic lady called Liz from Biggest Lifestyle Design, who I met at a networking event which was for Mum’s and we both took our children. I met her and I just knew all of a sudden, I really want to work with you. I took that and I rolled with it and tried to kind of focus myself and actually although I didn’t feel I needed to do that at the beginning, when I look back now, I had that drive to focus on that type of person and it just gave me the vision of somebody who in my mind that I could talk to. It doesn’t necessarily mean that all of my clients are interior designers, because they’re not, they are very varied but they all have something in common in the way that they are as people, which to me is really really important and I think because they gravitate towards me as a person, that’s where that kind of ideal client situation comes from that vibe, so although I don’t think you necessarily need to actually have all of your clients as your ideal client, it’s really nice to feel like you’re talking to someone specifically and I just think that gives you a bit of a purpose.

Natalia (10:59)

Yeh definitely, I think it comes back to that thing about relationships being so key and you touched upon it when you were talking about your previous role, about having those relationships, getting that family feel and your ideal client being somebody who you can get on with I guess, you will provide better service when you have better relationships with people aren’t you.

Stacey (11:20)

If you think about it, this is somebody who as a VA, somebody is willing to give a part of their business to you to look after, I mean that’s insane, that somebody is willing to give that up, and as a business owner you and I know how much effort and drive and you know, really, really terrible days making a business so I think that’s really key that you do get on and I probably get that from being a PA and from being a co-ordinator, you have to be in sync with somebody to be able to understand what they’re trying to do with their business and that doesn’t always work either and that’s totally ok. But when it does work, it’s really rewarding and it’s really nice.

Natalia (12:18)

You can almost feel this tangible momentum that comes, when you get that connection with somebody can’t you.

Stacey (12:23)

Yes, absolutely.

Natalia (12:24)

So what have you learned about that benefits of outsourcing, as a business owner yourself but also as someone who provides services to others.

Stacey (12:34)

First of all as a business owner, as I said before, I’m working with a Pinterest associate at the minute which is a new business venture linked to the interior design section of my business, so working with Leanne -who is my Pinterest associate, is just really rewarding and so helpful because for that section I don’t really know that much about Pinterest, I’m making a valid effort to really educate myself but at the same time it’s not my jam, so why kill myself to learn things that I’m not really that passionate about when there’s someone over there who absolutely loves it, knows everything and can help my clients. So that’s a really great benefit, just realising other people’s skills instead of trying to learn everything and stressing out.

Natalia (13:23)

So by taking on Leanne as an associate with that Pinterest focus, that’s bought extra services and value to your clients as well hasn’t it?

Stacey (13:33)

Yes because naturally they feel comfortable coming to me and asking about these new services and they’re not worried because they know that I’ve already vetted Leanne, that me and Leanne have a great relationship and that I know this will work and that I will manage it even though it’s somebody else doing it, it’s kind of that whole thing of just feeling a bit more secure about it, instead of jumping onto somebody else’s band wagon I guess. 

Natalia (14:00)

Brilliant, I love that! When did you get to that point where, could you almost talk through the decision making process of ok I’ve got to this point, were people asking you for Pinterest services and you thought ok I need to find someone, or were you approached by Leanne your associate? I just think it’s really helpful for people listening to understand how these things kind of happen. Is it best for them if they are looking for associate work to reach out to people or do all of those decisions come from the VA? Obviously it differs to everybody but what was your experience? 

Stacey (14:34)

In the Pinterest case, it was a business decision from me. I’ve had clients mention it to me before, but not expect me to provide the service because obviously it’s nothing that I have provided before. So it’s something I had been thinking about for a couple of months and I put a call out on VA Handbookers Facebook page, which is a group that obviously quite a lot of VA’s tend to follow, asking about Pinterest VA’s and if anybody wanted to be considered for an associate role. I made it quite clear that at that point I was really just trying to establish a relationship with someone before I put the services out. So it’s a bit of a different situation for the Pinterest one, but I’ll talk to you about my other associate as well, so you can kind of see from that journey. So that one I established the relationship with the associate first before I decided to wheel out the services and I was led by Leanne as well for that because obviously for me it’s quite specialist so I really did speak to her and we looked through the different packages that she offered and we did it together, then released the services based on her expertise because there is no point in me creating these packages when I have no idea what I’m doing.

Natalia (15:54)

That’s really strategic and collaborative and again just really emphasises that importance of relationship there, doesn’t it. Even in the VA associate role, which then of course when you come onto your clients, or to prospective clients, to market these Pinterest packages that confidence shines through your marketing.

Stacey (16:19)

Well, thanks!

Natalia (16:20)

You’re welcome – talk to us about your other associate and how that’s come on because I know that’s quite a different situation to your Pinterest associate. Can you talk to us about that?

Stacey (16:31)

So, Lucy, sorry to name names but Lucy is my associate who at the moment helps me with social media management and eventually will hopefully help me with future tasks, so that relationship came about through you Natalia, as recommendations and actually I was looking for an associate and the world brought me Lucy. I had spoken to couple of other associates in the process and again had done a call out on VA Handbookers and I think I may have also maybe mentioned it to you at some point and also a couple of other ladies, a lady called Jemma from Virtually Done (who has a Facebook group) so I was holding these contact details and kind of just hanging around with them. For me, it may be different for other VA’s, but for me, people are the reason that I make a lot of my decisions a lot of the time, you’ll probably get that from this conversation.

Natalia (17:43)

That’s a strength of yours! You are someone who leads with their heart and trusts your gut and that’s how you make your decisions and that’s served you so well.

Stacey (17:54)

It definitely has, I followed Lucy for a little while and believe I mentioned her to you in general conversation, had a chat with her then realised she is my doppelganger, she has literally worked the same life as me, she has a child also called Edie (she’s going to hate me for giving away all these details away!) 

Natalia (18:19)

No, she’ll love it. You do have such similar situations but also I just knew, because I knew Lucy so well when she was looking for associate work, I was like here we go done, done deal, you said you started talking to her and you just click, so what are the next steps?

Stacey (18:42)

In terms of setting up, we had an initial conversation and I basically just went away and literally said to my husband, “I have found my social media associate” so I obviously then had to go through the process of asking Lucy if she actually wanted the job first of all, so I sent her an email and she accepted which was amazing and we just asked her availability and her capacity and then from that I kind of had in my mind different accounts that I was going to ask her to look after but from that we just confirmed she whether she would be happy with the role that I was offering and we kind of had that conversation initially in our initial call but it was just to finalise things by email, then I provided her with an associate agreement contract which she signed and we agreed payment dates and invoice due dates. In the middle of this I obviously spoke to my clients to make sure they were happy with this and when they confirmed I then introduced them to Lucy via email and made sure that they were happy I would be included in any conversations to just make sure things were running smoothly but pretty much I just picked up the work and passed it onto Lucy. That’s obviously dependent on the VA and the work but for me, I had a bucket of work I was happy to give her ownership of to roll with and to also help her development and there we are really.

Natalia (20:30)

I think that the process that you just talked through be will be so helpful to people listening because again this is kind of why I’m doing the Podcast because so often you see the success, but it’s the steps that can be quite daunting and also I’m listening to you and thinking, brilliant so Stacey’s got her hiring an associate template down, you’ve got that process now, there’s your Trello card and your checklist, tick tick these are the steps that I need to make. Obviously getting your associate agreement in place is vital but I just really like the way you went from the call, into then the more formal email confirmation and you had those all important conversations so that everything is on the table and then you had the work prepared so you could go. Could you just talk about, you don’t need to tell us the in’s and out’s but could you tell us, but overall, how do you manage your associates? Some virtual assistants that I speak to think, well I don’t want to go down the agency model because I’m scared I might end up having to check every piece of work or spend ages managing an associate, now I know from talking to you and I can sense you’ve got great relationship’s with them and it’s working for you, so do you have any tips on how to manage that or any things that have worked well for you?

Stacey (22:00)

I think generally my advice is, really, really consider who you’re hiring, because this wouldn’t work for me if i didn’t have complete confidence in what Lucy is doing, because I cannot double check the work every single time and I mean for me this is a social media associate, but whatever work Lucy does for me I will always make sure that I discuss with her what is needed and what is expected and I will always provide her with as much information as I have. I will always say to her “please ask me if you have any questions” but the process that we have at the moment for social media is that we have a Trello board together, she has the client Trello board as well which I’m also on because I was working on the client stuff before. Lucy will line up the social media posts, I’ve provided her with a hashtag spreadsheet which she updates and she will create everything but she does ask me to approve it before she schedules it which is literally a five minute thing which I will do and I’m pretty sure that that’s going to end soon but obviously we’ve not been working together too long but my confidence in her is second to none because I trust in my gut and we have spoken properly about what I expect from her and what the client expects from her. I know that if she has an issue she will always check in with me and I think that’s the main piece of advice really is that if you’re going down the associate road, or the agency road, you have to trust the people that you’re working with and you have to just take that bit of faith and there might be a point where you may get screwed over or there may be issues with a VA that doesn’t work but that’s going to come with anything, so there’s no point in being scared about what’s going to happen because if you don’t let somebody flourish and take ownership, they are never going to show you what they can do and I think probably because I’ve been an associate and also because clients outsource to me, sometimes you can kind of feel that from the other side, that you don’t quite get the chance to show what you’ve got if people don’t give you that chance.

Natalia (24:31)

I know it’s early doors having doors having two associates but I know you’ve had one for a while, but do you feel that growth or bandwidth has been provided for you by taking them on, you said when you hired Lucy for social media management that you had that bucket of work ready to outsource, so basically I guess what I’m asking you is, by outsourcing in your own business, what has that allowed you and your business to do, or what will it allow in the future? 

Stacey (25:00)

At the minute I think that I was at a turning point where I had a bucket of work and I had a lot of work that I knew was coming and if I hadn’t of gotten rid of that work to Lucy I’m pretty sure that life would have been a bit unbearable for a while because I wanted that work and I’ve been able to focus and taking that work on means I have been able to get deeper into other clients work and get out what I want out of that.

Natalia (25:36)

I like that so, you could see that these opportunities were coming to you on the horizon perhaps going deeper into some clients work, perhaps getting a new client coming on board, so you invested in the associate almost before that was certain. I think that’s so interesting and it’s so helpful for people to hear whether you’re listening as a VA, as an associate or OBM, or as a business owner standing on the edge of that diving board about to jump into the outsourcing pool and take somebody on, the best advice I can give you and Stacey’s testament to that is, almost invest just before you’re ready because it just allows you the room for growth.

Stacey (26:25)

Absolutely, I definitely narrowly avoided some very difficult months, also I definitely believe Lucy came along at the right time and that’s kind of what happened to me this last year, it has all come along at the right time, but I have been looking for somebody to work with for probably about four or five months so it wasn’t a quick process, it’s always been in my mind and I’ve never jumped into it, but then Lucy came along and I made a decision and I just jumped straight away which is kind of what happens with me all the time.

Natalia (27:05)

That gut serves you well, so keep listening! I ask everybody this, but what have been the light bulb ‘AH HA!’ moments, so far in your business? I probably won’t sing it to everybody but I feel like the jazz hands are here.

Stacey (27: 22)

You can jazz hand me that’s fine – you probably know these already but the first one was meeting Liz my first interior designer client, definitely gave me that ‘ah ha’ moment, the direction. The second one was realising that Pinterest is an amazing thing that I should be adding to my business, and that just kind of adds the texture to the interior design element. The third is somebody telling me that I should consider working as a VA agency, and turning it into a VA family. So those are my three lightbulb moments. 

Natalia (28:00)

We need to be pushing that as a hashtag, if that isn’t a hashtag we need to getting that! I’m on it! Every get searching #vafamily, come join the family! Now what lights you up the most in your work and about owning your own VA business? You’ve mentioned your daughter and I know she’s young but what lights you up the most?

Stacey (28:28)

I think one is I’m naturally I’m a bit of a cheerleader and it makes me really happy when I’m focused and engaged with somebody’s busy and see their wins, that makes me happier sometimes than my own wins – I guess they are my wins, so that really lights me up. I’m going to say family again because in terms of my own family, my husband and my daughter, being able to be a bit flexible and not be – I mean it’s stressful don’t get me wrong, but to be able to adjust things to meet her needs. So in the last few weeks we have had a lot of illness and that’s not been as stressful as it could have been if I was set to work with a company so as a business owner that’s been really helpful and also just being able to present for her when she’s around so I can kind of get on but then when she’s back from nursery or she’s here at the weekend I can really be involved in what she’s doing and I’m not focused on this business and then working as well.

Natalia (29:42)

What have the difficulties been, have you had any difficulties, any that you would like to share or you know sometimes the mindset stuff can be a difficulty or the logistics or you know any difficulties that you’ve had so far in your business?

Stacey (29:59)

I think naturally as a person I’m a bit all encompassing so as a business owner it’s really hard to switch off. Even if you are trying to balance your family it’s not work life balance it is somebody said something the other day, it’s something like “work-life-juggle” or something like that, because it’s not a balance, it’s always moving.

Natalia (30:30)

It’s like a seesaw.

Stacey (30:31)

Yes, yes, so I think that being naturally the type of person that wants to want to make things better and progress, that’s a bit of a difficult sometimes because it’s that switch off time. Also I think having awkward conversations with people, I struggle with, more because I have a lot of empathy, so I think that affects me sometimes and I have to step away and check myself a little bit because if I’m trying to do something to progress, sometimes it doesn’t work for other people, that can be quite difficult. With clients, with family members, with associates, anything, that conversation can be quite difficult, but I guess checking back in and knowing in my gut that it’s the right thing to do is what makes me move forward.

Natalia (31:24)

I think that’s really honest of you and I feel very similar, I think I have that kind of people pleasing thing as well as I don’t like letting people down and upsetting people but sometimes you get to that kind of crossroads in your business when you know have to do the next right thing and make that decision but I think that will be really helpful for people to hear. Do you have any industry specific tips for people working in our industry that perhaps they might not know of or perhaps any digital tricks, I bet you have loads.

Stacey (32:00)

Well let me just scroll down.

Natalia (32:08)

Grab your pen and paper VA’s, here we go!

Stacey (32:10) 

Well I think you should label this Podcast as family because it is literally as I will ever talk about. My first tip is, when I started I tried to find people that I envied, that’s not the right word, people that I wanted to emulate, and I tried to find a community because that’s where I’ve come from so that’s my first, it’s maybe not industry specific but my kind of advice is don’t be afraid to let someone in and ask questions and if you need to pay for that from someone, to make you feel more secure because you’re worried about competition and bits and pieces, you know that’s the natural thing for people to worry about, then I would just say, take that leap because I think talking to people who know a bit more and who have a bit more experience is definitely more helpful and also it makes you feel less lonely. I’m going to look at my industry specific ones now… 

Natalia (33:18)

Just while you’re having a look, I think that’s a really wonderful thing to say because wherever you start from there’s always somebody else slightly further ahead or slightly further behind you and often there’s the kind of glossiness of social media, that imposter syndrome can come to the forefront and what I always try to say to my VA mentee’s is, anybody who is slightly ahead of you, or who you esteem to be slightly further ahead, whether they are or not, don’t think that they are still not experiencing those fears because they are, they are just at a slightly different stage and the fear is slightly different but they’re still taking steps and I think the best thing you can ever do is to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. When you stop and you become stagnant, I think that’s when things can start to go wrong but don’t ever position yourself in your head in some kind of hierarchy of success and then think “oh gosh, I’m never going to get there” reach out, ask people, connect with people, engage, just realise that everyone’s the same basically.

Stacey (34:31)

Absolutely and if anybody ever wants to message me I would always encourage it because there’s so much out there to learn and there are so many questions that people have that I probably don’t even have the answers to but I just think, just ask because if they say no or they don’t reply to you, you’ve not lost anything and if they do respond to you then you get something out of it and at the end of the day that’s fine. In terms of the industry specific stuff, I would just say, everybody is very different and you have to find what works for you but obviously making sure that you’re insured, making sure that you have signed up to ICO for GDPR registration and get yourself some sort of project management tool whether it be Trello, Asana, Dubsado if you’re all fancy, like some of us.

Natalia (35:30)

Some Dubsado love over here is what she’s implying, there’s no shame.

Stacey (35:53)

Dubsado is the bomb, but Trello is also life, if you’re starting out and you have no money to pay out for things you know there’s free apps for things like Toggl for time tracking things, I used Invoicely which is a free website which I only changed three month ago.

Natalia (35:57)

This is it, don’t pay for stuff if what you are using for free works! There’s just no point, I mean, Trello, you don’t need to pay for Trello, you can pay for Trello if you want to add whizzy stickers on and extra power apps but you don’t need to, all of this stuff is so available to us, I think the fear can be when a) you’re starting out and you need to earn some money but you can’t afford to pay for stuff b) where you are just like, oh my goodness, where do I begin?! So even you just name dropping these few things is just really helpful because it’s obviously helped you to grow your business.

Stacey (36:37)

Yes of course, my biggest spend was my contract template which I invested in at the beginning and then when I got to the point where I wanted to purchase associate templates, I think that’s really important. I still use Eversign, which is also a free contract signing website, because it’s free! 

Natalia (37:00)

And it works great, it does the job that you need it to do! Absolutely brilliant. What’s the one thing you wish your clients knew when they outsourced, so when they outsourced to you what’s the one thing you wish that they knew, so I have a lot of business owners to listen to the Podcast who are looking for outsource tips so now flipping it to the other side, have you got any tips for business owners? How can they make it more seamless, more productive, more valuable perhaps?

Stacey (37:28)

What I’ve always said is that I think it’s really important if you are looking to outsource that you start to follow people who you 1) relate to, so if you’re a business owner and you’re looking for a VA or an OBM, start looking at them on social media, get a vibe for them, follow them for a while but also start thinking about this process maybe a couple of months before you actually want to commit, start thinking about the things day to day that drive you nuts that you don’t need to do, just making a list or a piece of paper, anything just chucking it in a draft email and the thing I struggle with the most is getting information out of clients of what they need help with because they could have been thinking about this for a while but they’ve not actively trying to find a style of person that they think they could work with or 2) they’re just not making notes about the bits that are driving them nuts throughout their working day because that’s when you find the things that drive you nuts, I’m going to keep saying it.

Natalia (38:38)

No, no, it’s true, we’ve all been on the discovery call when you ask the client what they would like to start off initially outsourcing to you and they do that think where their eyes go massive and they hand their hands up and go “Woah – I haven’t got a clue… all the stuff, everything!” and to make it a positive, constructive, valuable relationship for them and for you as a VA when you start off, you need to have some specific stuff that you can get going with to start the foundations of that relationship, no absolutely. As a VA, looking to find those clients, I’m just throwing this question in, do you have any tips on where people can find clients, because a lot of people will think, you know, Instagram and Facebook groups, they’re big, big scary things, do you have any tips there?

Stacey (39:28)

I think that if you are specifically searching for clients, if you have an ideal client you can use hashtags, so for example, my ideal clients are interior designers so I follow a lot of interior designers, I engage a lot too, Instagram is more my jam than Facebook, but I engage with a lot of interior designers on Instagram, I guess because I am more kind of geared towards that industry a lot of people tend to follow me now. So we just have that general engagement now, I think just being open.

Natalia (40:01)

You’re really good at engaging, and you mentioned earlier, you are a kind of connector, you are a communicator, and I know from experience that will help hugely with your business. I think the other thing that we haven’t even mentioned, you have talked about creatives and stuff and being a creative person yourself, but your whole branding, your website, your fonts, your colours, your copy, all of it is geared towards your ideal client as well so your visual presentation of your business supports that as well and I think that’s really important. I always say to VA’s, you don’t need a sparkly website when you start out, you need one page, direct outreach to get clients, however there will be people listening who are a couple of years in who perhaps are getting to capacity and who are thinking of taking on an associate and who want to step up, and I think you’ve done that, you’ve done that recently haven’t you with your website.

Stacey (41:01)

Yeh so I had a clunky WordPress website that I’ll be honest, I could not use properly, it was fine and again it was still branded, but I decided to close that and start my own square space because I do a lot of square space work for other clients, I know it, so I created that myself, I got somebody to help with me a web copy.

Natalia (41:25)

So you outsourced your copy writing?

Stacey (41:26)

Yes, I outsourced my web copy, and I think just making that change and taking some pictures, which too be fair, the pictures are not from a brand photographer, I took them myself on an iPhone with a tripod and my three year old in the play room throwing Lego around.

Natalia (41:45) 

That’s real life! It totally can be done you don’t need to.

Stacey (41:55)

The other thing just to say is that naturally I think when I clicked between interior designers it’s not when I look back now at my branding that that actually naturally that was the thing that I chose, and I didn’t consciously do that.

Natalia (42:08)

See I guess for me as somebody from the outside looking in, I can see all of that, that to me comes across, the fact that you offer Pinterest services, it doesn’t surprise me from that initial presentation of your brand which is a strength and I absolutely appreciate how you’re saying it, it almost evolved naturally, didn’t it.

Stacey (42:28)

Yeh it did and I think that’s probably why it worked so well, is because it’s naturally who I am, and I think that’s the other thing, just embrace in who you are and what you enjoy and they types of things you enjoy because I also really enjoy interiors and being creative and my house, and talking to interior designers because if your ideal client is someone you don’t enjoy talking to then how are you supposed to engage and actually get that and somebody to enjoy speaking to you and trust you.

Natalia (42:56)

Finally, if you could share one tip for peoople looking to move into the VA world, what would it be? You’ve shared loads, you’ve been really open and helpful with tips but is there anything else that you would like to add? 

Stacey (43:08)

I think the main thing is just again, just find people on social media, it’s such an open space that you, just start following people and start looking at what people are doing and work out out of those things what can you do and what would you enjoy doing, don’t be overwhelmed, I mean it’s very overwhelming don’t get me wrong, but I think it’s also really valuable. The other thing is to join the groups like VA Handbookers, which I think I’ve mentioned quite a few times now but that group at the beginning, I know that there are a lot of other groups that have evolved since when I started, but there’s a lot of VA group’s and they’re really, really helpful and they’re some mega established VA’s and OBM’s in these groups that will tell you the truth, help you and give you advice and if you’ve got queries they will always, always offer advice, so that’s probably it.

Natalia (44:04)

Really, really helpful, totally agree. So, what is next for your business and can you tell us where people can find out more about what you do?

Stacey (44:09)

So what is next, I think just carrying on, focusing on the changes that I’ve made recently, with Pinterest and working through with interior designer clients and new clients that have just come onboard. Again, increasing my VA family and if you’re interested in getting involved in working as an associate with me, then you can find me at www.alltheadmin.co.uk, there’s a waiting list for clients at the moment because I’m fully booked but there is also a list there to join if you would like more information about working as an associate or just generally just joining me in the family!

Natalia (44:57)

I’m sure you are going to have some ding-ding-ding-ding’s after people listen to this because there’s something about you that is very warm and I remember when we had our first chat, it was like you kind of cut through all the introductory stuff and were just straight in and I just love that and I can absolutely see that’s how you’ve grown your business and you’ve had the year that you’ve had, I mean so much to reflect on, so much to take into 2021. We’re recording this in early September 2020, in the pandemic, I mean and look where you’ve come in that year, so as you go forward I can’t wait to see what happens with All The Admin in the next 12 months.

Stacey (45:42)

Thank you so much, it’s been so fun, I probably could have talked for a good more amount of time.

Natalia (45:47) 

You’ve done really well to keep it this short, I promise, it’s been a joy, thank you so much  

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