Virtual Assistance 101: What’s in a Name?

Admin AssistantSo far in this series we talked about a Virtual Assistant Really Is, What a Virtual Assistant Isn’t and How to Become a Virtual Assistant.

When I talked about How to Become a Virtual Assistant last time, I started using the Term Administrative Consultant.  I promised that I would explain why.

You see, there are a lot of internet marketers, bloggers and small business owners over the years who have made themselves self-proclaimed experts of the VA Industry. They have spread their own ideas of what a Virtual Assistant is, how much they should charge, what they should do and how they should run their businesses – all of it wrong.

And their have been many Virtual Assistants who either have come to the profession disillusioned from the corporate world or lacked experience who have allowed others to define the profession for them – usually unintentionally because they didn’t know better.

Let’s face it. In the corporate world Administrative Assistants are usually over-worked and under-appreciated (like many other professions). They often are not seen as equals and aren’t always treated very well. So, when a woman comes to the Virtual Assistant profession, it can be difficult to change the mindset from employee to equal business owner. And for those looking for assistance, they often have the same blindness and regard many Virtual Assistants as employees rather than equal business owners.

There slowly has been, over the last couple years, a shift from using the term Virtual Assistant to Administrative Consultant or Administrative Support Consultant, thanks largely in part to Danielle Keister who has coined the term. The term Administrative Consultant better states what a Virtual Assistant is: an expert in administrative support; whereas, the term Virtual Assistant often gives the image of a subservient employee.

There are many, many wonderful Virtual Assistants who have chosen to keep the name Virtual Assistant. Most of the Virtual Assistants in the Assistu community have chosen to keep the term Virtual Assistant and they are a group of extremely skilled Virtual Assistants and amazing women. There are also more and women switching to the Administrative Consultant or Administrative Support Consultant (as I have) which is why I wanted to do this post.

Sounds a little confusing, doesn’t it?! It’s not really. I only explained this so if you see (like on my other website) or hear about either term, you will be familiar with both of them. For now, consider both terms (Virtual Assistant and Administrative Consultant) as interchangeable. The most important thing is to have a correct understanding of the Virtual Assistant (and Administrative Consultant) profession.

Starting next time, I am going to switch gears and start talking about some of the things you need to think about if you are looking to hire an administrative professional, such as a Virtual Assistant.


  1. I am enjoying learning about your occupation as an Administrative Consultant and visited your other web site. It’s really easy to navigate and very clear as to what you offer.

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