Assistants are their organisation’s influencers

Over the last few weeks I have spent quite a bit of time reviewing my social media strategy for 2018 which basically means I’ve been reading a lot about how to be an influencer on all the different platforms. There are a ton of articles on this very subject and while I was reading and writing notes all of the advice really got me thinking about how Assistants are their orgainsation’s influencers. I know this sounds super trendy and trust me, I’m not going to ask all of you to nip outside your office to take a selfie in your latest work outfit (who takes these photos of the fashion bloggers, that’s what I want to know!?) but I do want you to think about this for a minute.

Let me break it down for you real quick…

What does it mean to be an influencer?

In terms of a social media influencer, this is someone who has influence over others to make decisions because of their following, knowledge or position with their audience. We all know and probably follow social media influencers and we’ve probably bought something based on their opinion.

So where do Assistants come into the picture?

You are asked your opinion a lot and you have influence over very senior members of your organisation and the business as a whole. You are seen as someone with a lot of knowledge, you know where stuff is, you make stuff happen and you know all the great suppliers to call up when you need something quickly. Which makes you an influencer! High fives all around.

Knowing how to influence those around you is a brilliant skill to have and actually we do this on a regular basis. Up until this point you probably haven’t thought of yourself as an influencer so, here are a few tips that will help you hone your influencing skills.

Assistants are their organisation’s influencers

What do you want to be known for?

Have a think about your area of expertise, what are you really good at and what sets you apart from other member’s of your team and other Assistants in your organisation? What is your area of influence? This is the stuff that you know inside out and back to front and can help other people with and make decisions on.

Can you do things a little differently?

Some of the best loved social media influencers are in positions of influence because they didn’t follow the crowd. Take for example, The Unmummsy Mum. She started writing a blog about the ups and downs of motherhood (in all its undignified glory) because she couldn’t find any other mum blogs to relate to, they were just that little bit too perfect. Fast forward a few years and she is one of the most popular ‘mummy bloggers’ on the world wide web.

Have a think about how and where you can challenge the status quo at work, are there any systems or tasks that could use a fresh pair of eyes. Can you breathe a bit of life into a project that could use your expertise? If you are seen as someone who does things a little differently, you will have a group of followers who like your way of thinking in no time.

Who are the other influencers in your organisation?

Networking is the number one tool for influencers and one that you should certainly use to increase your circle of influence. Have a think about some of the other influencers in your business, who are they and what makes them so influential? Get in touch, meet for coffee and pick their brain. Perhaps you can collaborate on something together. There is always strength in numbers.

So, now you know that Assistants are their organisation’s influencers, it’s time that you own that status.

The Future Assistant Conference: What went down?

I have just arrived back in Barcelona after a pretty roller coaster week in the UK, which included running the two day Future Assistant Conference in Camden and an overnight stay at the Royal London Hospital with my one year old. He is fine, me not so much! Life can throw a lot at you sometimes, but as one of our speakers said at the conference you have to ‘proceed until apprehended’, which is my new life motto by the way! So what can I tell you guys about the Future Assistant Conference: What went down? Here are just some of the highlights…

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Well, we are a few weeks into 2018 and I have seen a ton of articles, opinion pieces and social media messages about technology, specifically Artificial Intelligence, taking over the role of Assistants. I can understand the cause for concern because so many of us are still battling with the perception of the Assistant role. Who wants to be explaining the difference between our role and what Siri can offer Executives? Urrrggghhhh! And of course there are going to be organisations that think they can downsize their administrative work force and replace it with chatbots and scheduling tools. We have to be prepared, to firstly have these conversations, because as far as we have come, we are still having to explain what we do and where we offer return on investment. Secondly, we have to be ahead of the game. The technology is already in place and it is getting better and better. We have to know what the technology is, how to use it and where it adds value for our Executives and also for us. This is a subject we are talking about extensively during the Future Assistant Conference in February and we will be writing a lot of articles on Practically Perfect PA over the next year. So, I thought today we would take a look at scheduling tools that Assistants can use to help arrange meetings. Here are 4 scheduling tools to try in 2018.

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Starting your own VA business and becoming a VA may currently be a dream for you, but you can easily make it your new reality, if you’re willing to put in the focus, time and effort. However, before you make the decision to make a leap to self-employment and your new VA business, you need to take time to consider these 10 things:

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