The most anticipated conference of the year! By VAs FOR VAs

Now I have to preface this article with “I don’t enjoy conferences”… I find that listening to a bunch of different speakers over a day or two can be holy-moly exhausting. But I’ve known the vivacious Rosie Shilo, Mother Duck, VA Advocate and just all-round All-Star of in the incredible Virtually Yours Virtual Assistants network for a lot of years now, and I knew this would be no boring old “been there done that” conference… and man, was I right!

Day 1

We started early Friday morning with a general welcome and housekeeping chat. This was definitely no ordinary chat. When you pair Rosie Shilo with our glorious MC, Kate Toon, you know you’re in for fireworks! These two are like the naughty schoolgirls who bounce off each other like Bruce Lee playing Ping-Pong with nunchucks. They’re quick, they’re witty and they don’t miss a beat. And they’re frikken hilarious! And we haven’t even started the conference yet!


Surviving the VA Client Dating Game with Kate Toon

Kate Toon
We kick off the conference with Surviving the VA Client Dating Game with Kate Toon. Can I tell you, I have never heard of any business theory displayed like this. What an absolutely mind-blowing experience. Now, Kate, she’s a ripper. She’s all sass and fun and jokes to keep you engaged, but the way she translates the whole client/supplier relationship into a dating game and how to navigate that experience, it’s sheer brilliance. And that’s Kate, isn’t it? Brilliance wrapped in sass wrapped in fun all tied neatly with a smarty pants bow. What an incredible start to the day.


Time Management & Planning with Carly Reading

Carly Reading - InkBlot VA
Next up we meet Carly from InkBlot VA with Time Management & Planning. Now you might remember Carly from such webpages as our “About” page right here on our site! We are lucky enough to have worked with Carly for several years now, and I am so excited to hear what she has to say! She knows how unorganised I am, so I’m secretly pretending this is Carly’s way of whipping me into shape. Whoa, boy Carly knows her stuff! It’s the little things you don’t think of that can make a huge difference to your business, and I took a lot from Carly’s session; and if I don’t follow up, she’ll know!

And if you haven't grabbed it yet, you simply cannot go without her planner, It's a Scheduled Life


Should I Niche My Services? With Lyndal Harris

Lyndal Harris - Podcast VA
Next on the agenda, we heard from Lyndal Harris at Podcast VA on “Should I Niche My Services?”. Now Lyndal is one of the warmest, loveliest, most real people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. And she’s a VA who well and truly knows the value of Niching. We heard about Lyndal’s journey and experiences that drove her to become Australias #1 VA for all things podcast, and what an inspiration. To be able to learn from someone who has seen so much success by niching into an area she loves is truly beyond valuable.


Lunch Break!

We were then on break, but the fun didn’t stop there! We may be doing this virtually, but the connections ran wild over the break! Amazing VAs in the delegates Facebook group couldn’t resist snapping photos of their lunches, backyards and views and sharing them. What a unique insight into the lives and personalities of your peers. It was such a wonderful experience to see each other in that light and to be able to connect on a personal level.


Who’s Who in the Zoo with Rosie Shilo

Rosie Shilo - Virtually Yours
Fittingly, we returned to the conference with Who’s Who in the Zoo with Rosie Shilo, so now we get to meet and speak with some of these VA attendees, and learn about their businesses, what they love (and what they don’t love) and learn about each other as human beings, not just the images and words we so regularly see in the network groups online.


Modern Marketing with Rachel Allan

Rachel Allan
Rachel Allan was next up to speak with us about Modern Marketing and how you can implement incredibly useful strategies in your own business. The extremely generous Rachel also included a copy of her book, Authentic, Dynamic, Savvy – and starts the day quite literally blowing my mind with a magical QR code within that book that leads us right into her ever-loving marketing funnel. Holy moly! That was easy, and not intimidating, and I didn’t feel like I’d been sold to… what is this? MODERN Marketing is what it is. Within the first couple of minutes, I was captivated.


Elevator Pitches with Rosie Shilo

Rosie Shilo - Virtually Yours
We then dived into Elevator Pitches with Rosie Shilo, or as Kate likes to call her, Rosie Shalooloo, Rosie Shalielow and any other muck-up you can think of for a surname…, and what even is an elevator pitch anyway. Gone are the days of shoving yourself in front of your audience and selling at them. Rosie showed us all the important bits we need to know about ourselves before we can pitch to the right people in the right way. Talking about yourself and your business is hard, but with Rosie’s ideas and suggestions on how to engage our prospective clients, and the general public around us, we’re all going to be masters of our universes!


Speed Dating

We then jumped into a speed-dating session. Wow, this was such a fun idea! Using the platform, Airmeet, for the conference (thanks covid!) we were able to click and match with other attendees of the conference. Who ya gonna get? Nobody knows! You’ve got 4 minutes. FOUR minutes to have a chat and learn as much about each other as you can. I’ve connected with so many people I’d never spoken to before and was even lucky enough to meet with Sam McFarlane from Sam Says. Now Sam and I have been working together for many years; she’s the genius that makes our Facebook page such a fun, interesting and pretty page to look at. She’s my social media star and I don’t think we’ve ever really sat down and just had a chat! Working in such an online world, you tend to connect with people via phone, email, text, messenger – anything to avoid the face-to-face, but what I’ve taken from our speed networking session, is that we need to bring the human interaction back into the online workplace. It was fabulous speaking with you all, and popping in online for some face-to-face chats will definitely be high on my priority list going forward.


Wrap Up

And that wraps us up for the day – we’re back with Kate who amazingly, is still just as full of energy as she was at the start of the day, even though she says she’s not. She’s funny, she’s inspiring, and she leaves us all chomping at the bit for more! Bring on day 2!


Day 2

Day 2 and we know we’re in for a treat! Day 1 was such a blast! As I mentioned earlier in the piece, I’m not a “conferency” person – I find them boring with just a few little gems along the way, but this was anything but boring! I was glued to each and every speaker throughout the entire day, so what’s day 2 going to be like? Well…

We kick off again with Team Shi-Toon (yeah, gotta put that hyphen in!). Seriously, put these two in an actual room together, and there’s bound to be mischief, giggles and all-round hilarity. We couldn’t have asked for a better pairing of hosts to keep us all motivated and interested. They truly are the dream team.


Balancing stroke, a motorcycle accident, part-time work AND a busy Copywriting Biz with Shauna Upson

Shauna Upson - Copywriter
First on the program is Shauna Upson, who walks us through how she balanced a stroke, a motorcycle accident, part-time work AND a busy Copywriting Biz, and came out the other side thriving. Shauna, you are an inspiration. How you have overcome your setbacks to build where you are today will stay with me, and remind me of what I’m capable of as a human and a VA. Thank you for sharing your story.


Instagram - everything you need to know for business with Sam McFarlane

Sam McFarlane - Sam Says
Next up, we hear from the gorgeous Sam McFarlane of Sam Says, to learn all about Instagram - everything you need to know for business. My word is Sam a wealth of knowledge, and the attendees couldn’t get enough of her, with Q&As popping up everywhere. As I mentioned earlier, I’m lucky to have Sam on my side for all our social media, and after seeing what she can do, we might be bringing Insta into the mix too!


Networking and Business Building Strategies for VAs with Ingrid Bayer

Ingrid Bayer
Ingrid Bayer was next in the lineup with Networking and Business Building Strategies for VAs. Unfortunately, the weather was playing havoc with the interwebs, and we weren’t able to hear from Ingrid live, but I wait with bated breath for the recording! I’ll update you all the minute it comes out.



Lunchtime already!

Time does fly when you’re having fun, and if there’s anyone that knows how to throw a fun party, it’s our Rosie!


Being The Opportunity Seeker For Your Clients (and for yourself) with Korryn Haines

Korryn Haines
Back on deck, and we get to hear from the incredible Korryn Haines from Encore Admin Consulting, on how to be an opportunity seeker for your clients (and yourself). Now I have to admit, I have a major business crush on Korryn; she’s the techy, nerdy, super-smart process queen that I aspire to be one day, so hearing Korryn speak was a bit of a highlight for me. She spoke not just about how to find connections and opportunities, but where to find them, what to do with them, and how to make them a MASSIVE benefit to both our clients and our own businesses, which in turn would make us one of the most valuable assets to our clients.


Insurance for Savvy VAs with Philip Watson

Philip - Insurance Made Easy
Next up we have Philip Watson from Insurance Made Easy with his talk on Insurance for Savvy VAs. Now I’ve heard in the networks from VAs before how have never really grasped the importance of why some insurances are needed, as, well – why do I need insurance if I never see my customers face to face; they’re not here, I’m not there… Philip provided examples of out-of-the-box reasons that could occur within a business that could land you in trouble, and how having insurance can protect you, your business, and your assets. I’ve always loved the saying “You don’t need insurance… until you do”, and Philip gave me the assurance that my investment into adequate insurance within my business has got me covered.


Why all VAs should answer their clients' calls with Hanna Finlay

Hanna Finlay - Off-Site Reception
And then (drum roll please)... it was ME! I was absolutely honoured to be chosen as a speaker for the BEST conference on the planet! Holy moly! They wanted me! My talk was on Why all VAs should answer their client's calls. But, I must have run over a black-cat carrying a mirror under a ladder holding an umbrella inside, because that was the exact moment, that my internet decided it was time to crap itself. Oh, the horror!!! But, that is the life of the virtual world – we rely on our tech to get us through, and sometimes, these things happen. Chris Alleyn of AMC Biz Solutions stepped in to cover my spot and talk to the incredible attendees about the importance of bookkeeping, while I jumped offline to record my session for later viewing. With that done and dusted, uploaded and sent off to Rosie, I was able to pop back in and catch the end of her final session of the day.


Fear of Failure with Rosie Shilo

Rosie Shilo - Virtually Yours
Our final act of the day is the one and only, most passionate VA Advocate on the planet, our very own Rosie Shilo, with The Fear of Failure, or more importantly, the Fear of Success! It was amazing to see the chatbox light up with each attendees’ responses to that question, what do you fear? Is it failure, or success? To see a complete and total variation on each person as to what it is they’re dealing with, and how they can overcome it, I’m confident that the VAs that attended this conference are now well equipped to take on the world and beat their fears, whatever they may be.


And that's a wrap!

And with that, I say goodbye to the most anticipated conference of the last 2 years (again, thanks covid!). What an experience, and what an absolute pleasure. I simply cannot wait until the next one. But for now, it’s a rainy Sunday, and I’ve got Kate’s e-book, “Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur” at the ready, with a warm cup of coffee in front of the fireplace. Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you at #VYVAConference2022