Working Virtually with Speakers Gaining in Popularity Worldwide

Date: 9/16/2012

Working Virtually with Speakers Gaining in Popularity Worldwide

There are an estimated 20,000 speakers worldwide and at least 12 international organization that represent them. Many speakers have heard about virtual assistants, but may not be aware that some specialize in working exclusively with busy speakers. Especially new speakers need someone who knows what to do, when to do it and how to effectively promote their speaking businesses.

According to Karen Reddick, MVAA (Master Virtual Author’s Assistant), “I’ve always loved books and it is so rewarding to help authors get books published. As soon as I became certified as an author’s assistant, I found seven new author clients in two months. I work with authors almost full time at this point.”

Speakers are grateful for the kind of help that they used to only be able to figure out themselves. One of Janine Heydrick’s clients, training director and speaker Saralyn Collins says this: “I constantly refer Janine to others. Everyone who knows me professionally already knows that Janine is due a great deal of respect and recognition for her role in my success. You will make a very wise business decision when you hire her to help structure, organize and run your business.”

The primary market for virtual speaker’s assistants are subject matter experts in their own professions and businesses, and who speak at least twice a month and are anxious to increase their fees. The typical client is a working professional coach, therapist, attorney, physicians, financial planners or might be known as a celebrity or author.

The virtual assistant industry is a thriving, even in a tough economy. There are approximately 7,000 virtual assistants in the US, 3,000 in Canada, 2,000 in the UK and 2,000 in Australia, with estimates of 20,000 worldwide. Since more and more of the 20 million small businesses in the U.S. are outsourcing, there is plenty of opportunity in this growing business segment.

The virtual assistant concept was developed in about 1995, following the mainstream use of the Internet. The combination of telephone, email and file sharing allows for many types of work to be done virtually.

There is good incentive for individuals and organizations to hire virtual assistants, especially in this economy. There is the:

1. Flexibility of just getting the expertise and execution of work when it is needed without having to hire a full-time person to be ready.

2. Cost reduction of not having to provide a physical office space, benefits, or pay workers comp or pay overtime.

According to a survey done by the Virtual Assistance Networking Association (, 43.4% of virtual assistants have a specialty they have developed so that they can target a niche market, like working with authors and speakers.

“There are about 400 trained, professional virtual author’s and speaker’s assistants today worldwide, so this is a huge opportunity,” says Jan B. King, creator of the Professional Virtual Author’s Assistant Certification and Training Program and the Professional Virtual Speaker’s Assistant Certification and Training Program. “We expect that number to be almost 2,000 in another year because the demand is great. Many businesspeople are taking this downtime in workload to write books and they need virtual help to get them written, published and promoted well as speakers.”

Jackie O’Neal, President, Virtual Assistance For Speakers,