I often meet up with a local VA called Rachel Brown. I’ve known her for years now and we get together for a coffee and discuss how our businesses are doing, our plans for the future and just to see how each other is getting on, really. So, when Rachel told me she made an absolute killing from just one service, I wanted to know more… much more!
Rachel is a traditional, ‘old-skool’ secretary and taking minutes is one of her most popular services. I couldn’t believe it when she told me that, because it’s such a highly-valued and sought-after skill, she can charge £30+ an hour for doing it – and people in London charge up to £40!
Apparently, loads of organisations as well as charities and community groups need to have their minutes taken by an impartial PA and many others including right to manage (RTM) companies legally need to record theirs.
The demand for minute takers is so high because hardly anyone knows how to do it or offers it on a freelance basis.
Rachel says the demand is so high that she could do this one task day and night. No other VA in our area offers it as a service so we all pass any enquiries we get on to her.
She told me that one of her regular clients stopped using her when she last put her prices up but came back 2 weeks later because they couldn’t find anyone else!
Rachel receives enquiries from businesses all over the UK looking for a freelance minute taker and members of my trainee-only Facebook group regularly post minute taking jobs they don’t have the capacity for.
“It’s my niche. I love minute taking! Still a huge demand for Zoom minute taking (I attend the Zoom meeting) and in-person meetings. I’ve offered minute taking as my niche service for years – never out of work.” Sharon S
It’s clearly a popular service!
Minute taking Q&A with Rachel Brown
As I often see questions on the subject in my VA Handbookers Facebook group and because, since lockdown, the (already popular) minute taking course has been flying off the shelves, I thought it might be a good idea to hold a Q&A session with Rachel.
In addition to answering the group’s minute taking questions, we discussed many other VA-related subjects including starting a business in a recession, confidence and the difference between an employee and a business-owner mindset.
In our call Rachel talks about:
- The types of businesses that need freelance minute takers and why
- How and where to find work
- Why some industries are now holding even more meetings than before
- How minute taking and transcription are two different things
- What to do when you can’t understand an attendee, some technical jargon or an acronym
- How to manage and control a large meeting
- The importance of liaising with The Chair
- Whether to write in freehand/shorthand or use a laptop – and why
- Whether you should record a meeting
- How to take minutes virtually
- Why minute taking skills never date
- Whether to write verbatim or summarise a meeting
- Whether to charge a set fee or by the hour
- How to work out how much time it will take to type up meeting notes
- The benefits of going to client offices
- Why AI can never replace a real-life person
- Backup and storage
We also talk about Rachel’s long career as a Freelance Secretary offering traditional admin services and why you don’t need to offer social media or have advanced tech skills to be successful.
It’s a pretty long video but damn, is it valuable!
(Looking for a particular subject? The video has timestamps in the description box here on YouTube)
Because I knew that many of my readers didn’t want to offer techie or social media services, I asked Rachel if she would create a minute taking course for me.
It took her about a year to agree but finally, she said yes!
About the minute taking course
- It’s been tested by experienced and new minute takers alike and then perfected based on their feedback.
- Rachel created it specifically with Virtual Assistants in mind.
- It’s perfect for non-techies who want to offer a premium secretarial skill.
- It’s online so you can do it anywhere and refer back to it time and time again.
- It covers how to take minutes remotely and in-person.
- It tells you where to find potential clients and even comes with a customisable prospect email template to send to them!
Minute taking skills never date, so whatever you learn in the course will serve you throughout your entire career and wherever you are in the world.
Interested in the course?
If you’re looking for a well-paid, highly sought-after traditional skill that brings in a regular income and will never date, minute taking could be just the thing!