Joanne Munro can help you become a Virtual Assisant

FAQs about my DIY VA course and why I’m the right person to help you become a VA

If you’re looking to set up your own VA business then you may be thinking about buying my DIY VA course. The course not only shows you how to become a Virtual Assistant, but also provides lifetime support and advice once you are one. Here are some FAQs about the course and why I’m the right person to help you.

FAQs about my DIY VA course

Although there are many FAQs on the course sales page, I wanted to use the additional space a blog post allows to answer some of your questions in a bit more detail as well as outline my suitability and credentials as a VA coach.

Is the content specific to the UK?

No. There are many people from all over the world on the course and the content is not dependant on the location of each trainee.

Does it cover tax and other legalities?

Yes and no. I explain that you need to find out how to register and pay tax in your own country but I don’t provide links or information on how to do so. This is because:

  1. There are a lot of countries in the world and I can’t keep on top of each countries tax processes, nor do I want to be liable for any country-specific legal information.
  2. A VA needs to be resourceful and, because a great deal of the course is teaching you how to think and act like an independent business owner, it’s important to find some things out for yourself.
  3. There are loads of people in the trainee-only Facebook group from many different countries so it’s easy to find answers to those types of questions there.

Can I see what lessons are covered?

Sure. If you click here you’ll be taken to my Munro Courses website where the DIY VA course is hosted and you can see all the different modules and lessons.

How long it takes to complete the course?

It’s entirely up to you. Some people plough through it and are up and running with clients within a few weeks, and others go at a much slower pace and complete it over a few months.

The shortest time someone has completed the course and been up and running with clients was three weeks (they were off work at the time), but I also had a trainee with a small daughter who was working full-time and she was at (her self-set) capacity within six weeks.

Some trainees mention how long it took them to finish it on the sales page. I also have lots of interviews with trainees (link in the resources section below) and some of them mention how long they took to complete the course as well.

However, because nearly everyone who buys the course is setting up a VA business alongside their full time job (you need to do this to see whether you even like being a freelancer!) I advise trainees to take their time and not rush each stage.

It’s vital that you set up a solid business and that means making careful, deliberate decisions.

Do I need to have been a PA to do the course?

My own background was actually hospitality and events and, although I had basic admin skills, I didn’t have advanced secretarial skills. A VA is a freelance administrator however so you do need to have solid organisational and admin abilities. Many trainees have worked as PAs but other business backgrounds are equally represented.

Does it cover how to do social media and tech stuff?

No, because there are as many types of VAs as there are types of business. The course does not show you how to become an administrator, it shows you how to set up a freelance business and use the skills you already have to find clients.

What docs and downloads are included?

The course comes with all of my smaller downloads and templates as well as my Guide on How to Get Clients and the marketing course. It does NOT include the minute taking, WordPress, pricing or email marketing courses (or any legal contracts), but you do get exclusive discounts on all of them if you want to buy them later.

I’ve heard the course comes with Facebook group, can you tell me more about that?

The private Facebook group is called the Rock Stars and is for trainees only. The group is a mix of both newbies and VAs who completed the course a long time ago and who are now at a really advanced stage. This is great because the newbies get the benefit of their advice and are inspired by their next-level mindset.

Loads of things take place in this group:

  • Friday “Coffee Mornings” where you tell the group what happened in your business during the week. I then record a video where I provide personal advice and feedback to every comment.
  • The monthly ‘Buddy up’ scheme where you get to chat with another member of the group. Having another freelancer to talk to and hold you accountable is invaluable and also makes the group feel more like a family.
  • The Business Book Club where we read and discuss a new book each quarter.
  • Local meetups so you can put faces to names.
  • Free access to a marketing expert and a lawyer including exclusive live Q&A sessions.
  • Work enquiries – any job opportunities I receive are posted to this group and members regularly outsource work to each other or take on other members as associates.
  • A monthly live group Q&A session where we all virtually get together for wine and a chat. I tell you what I’ve been up to, update you on any new things, answer questions and then impart some useful business advice to keep you on track.

The Rock Stars is a place where all the members are committed to the success of their business. You will receive solid advice, as well as referral and collaboration opportunities. This group is also where I hang out and focus the majority of my time and attention.

I’m not British, how do I find out how much I will pay in my own currency?

The course is priced in pounds sterling but you can find out how much you’ll pay by checking the exchange rate on the website xe.com. When you click to buy the course you’ll also see the amount you’ll pay in your own currency before you go through with the transaction.

As mentioned, there are people from all around the world on the course. 

Can I pay in instalments?

You sure can. It works out a little more expensive but I have options to suit every budget. You can see all my instalment plan options here.

Can I speak to any of the trainees?

You can indeed and you can do this in a few different ways:

  • You can ask if anyone has done the course in the VA Handbookers Facebook group.
  • You can watch one of the trainee videos and then contact them through their website or via the Facebook group.
  • You can read one of the trainee interviews and then contact them through their website or via the Facebook group.

* Links to all of these are in the Resources section at the bottom of the page.

I have a few more questions

No problem. It’s a big decision and should not be taken lightly. Email your questions to support@thevahandbook.com and ask away. I am also happy to have a private call with you if you have multiple questions and would prefer a chat instead.

My credentials as a VA trainer

In the early part of 2019, the Society of Virtual Assistants (SVA) asked me and other “industry leaders” to contribute our thoughts and suggestions to a guide on the types of questions you should ask when choosing a Virtual Assistant trainer.

They decided to create the guide because of the rising number of poor quality training courses and unethical practices by inexperienced VAs passing themselves off as “experts”.

There’s a link to download the guide in the Resources section below but here are my own answers to the questions you should ask when choosing a Virtual Assistant trainer.

Experience

Q. Does the trainer have 5+ years’ being a VA OR worked with 20+ different clients, 3+ different industries, offering 3+ different skill sets as a VA (not as an employee)? 

A. I have been working as a Virtual Assistant since November 2008 but I left my job to be a full-time VA on 10th June 2009. I have worked with at least 50 different clients in numerous industries and can offer way more than 3 different skill sets. Although I prefer one-off project tasks, I have retained my longest client since 2010.

Q. Does the trainer have 5 years’ experience training other people (as a VA or as an employee) OR a recognised teaching qualification?

A. I trained people throughout my 15-year career in hospitality and events and provided one-to-one social media training to clients as a VA. I started one-to-one personal VA training in May 2015 and created my online DIY VA course in October 2015.

Marketing ability

Q. Can the trainer demonstrate at least 10 different ways to attract new business?

A. I have a blog post on 25 ways to market your business as well as a free marketing course and numerous blog posts on how to find clients – so yes!

Privacy compliance

Q. Is the trainer registered as a Data Controller with the ICO?

A. Yes. My ICO registration number is ZA239193.

Accuracy

Q. Do all learning and marketing materials show the source of any data quoted?

A. I rarely quote any data but when I do, the origin is always clear.

Q. Do all learning and marketing materials include what VAs will require to complete the course – such as time, resources, pre-existing skills, commitment etc?

A. Yes. I explain what is required of trainees in the FAQs above and you can also see what lessons are covered in the course before you buy.

Changing careers is a serious business. You need to know what’s involved before you decide to set up your own VA business and part with any money.

Complaints procedure

Q. Does the trainer have a written complaints procedure in place which is publicly displayed?

A. Yes. My complaints procedure is on the Legal Policies page of this website and my Munro Courses website too (this is where all my courses live). Links to both Legal Policy pages can be found at the bottom of each website.

Integrity

Q. Does the trainer recognise intellectual property law and not encourage plagiarising marketing materials or software etc?

A. All the content in my training course is my intellectual property. I definitely do not share, nor do I condone sharing intellectual property or software that belongs to someone else without their permission.

Q. Does the trainer demonstrate #CollaborationNotCompetition in their business?

A. I hope that being asked to contribute to the SVA guide on how to choose a VA trainer shows that I believe in collaborating with other figures in my industry. I am also one of the judges of the UK VA Awards, speak on panels at the annual PA Show, and run a huge global Facebook group providing free advice and resources to anyone considering setting up their own VA business.

Legal

Q. Does the trainer understand the legal responsibilities of running a business – including Distance Selling Regulations, PECR, GDPR, MLR, employment law, contract law and reasons for/against being a limited company?

A. Yes. I either know enough about each individual subject to advise you directly or I can direct you to an official source for further information. My VAT number is displayed on the bottom of this site (and on my Munro Courses website), and my company details can be verified via the Companies House website.

Continuing professional development (CPD)

Q. Does the trainer commit to continuing professional development (CPD) themselves – either formal or informal training of at least 10 hours per year?

A. Yes. It’s hard to count the total number of hours I spend on CPR because it’s pretty much constant. I attend conferences and mastermind events as well as online educational webinars. I have also been invited to speak at the annual PA Show since 2016.

I am part of Chris Ducker’s Youpreneur membership group and I ensure I stay abreast of VA industry news as well as developments in social media, marketing and tech. I always have a business book on the go and run a business book club in my VA training group.

Q. Does the trainer engage with latest industry research such as UK VA Survey, small business statistics etc?

A. Yes. It’s important to keep abreast of changes in both the business and VA world. I also ensure I’m updated on any technological and HMRC financial developments too.

Insurance

Q. Does the trainer have the appropriate professional indemnity insurance to cover their coaching work?

A. Yes. I have professional indemnity coaching insurance with Policy Bee.

Resources

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