Lara Nieberding

The Purple Lara

Duped by Marketing 101

with 3 comments

I saw this headline pop up in my blog rss feed:

“A Team of ”Virtual Assistants,” Awaiting Your Command”

The article is on a reputable web site who’s target audience is entrepreneurs. Maybe I should clarify that to say, it is on a site I consider reputable but now am starting to doubt. Did you notice I did not link the article for you to click and go? I purposely did not link it because the “article” is not worth your time. The title lead me to think I would learn about what a virtual assistant is, what services the virtual assistant provides and how I can keep a team of them at my disposal. Silly me. No. One look at the article only to discover it is four sentences long. The whole purpose of the blog post, because obviously it is not an article, is to direct readers to the web site of a fellow columnist of the author of the blog post. The fellow columnist is a “serial entrepreneur.”

Since I am here, I cannot help myself, I click on the link to his web site. I just have to know if this is where there is a directory of fellow VAs. Silly me. No. There is no information about the virtual assistant industry. He wants you to fill out a form. Lead generation. Well, why not? In the name of research, I forge ahead. I fill out the form. Then, my browser jumps to a web site with oodles of words and no substance. This is internet-marketing 101. I imagine the owner of this poorly formatted junk sitting at his desk thinking, “What is today’s hot topic? What is the current buzz word?” He chose “Virtual Assistant.” His material is the three-ring circus dog and pony show. He does offer one link to one virtual assistant company.

Ok, now I am knee deep into it. I am compelled to click on the actual virtual assistant link. At this point, I am curious to know what his connection is to the virtual assistant. Perhaps this link will lead me to the information I thought I was going to get originally. Silly me. No. The business appears to be legitimate but I cannot tell if the information is current. Some of the links are dead. Some of the web pages do not load correctly. I do not recognize any of the names associated with the business. I do not see any industry associations. I swear it is as if these two got together and said let us give these internet marketing and search engine optimization formulas a whirl.

I have no reason to believe anything negative about the virtual assistant. From my heart, I wish her success. If she wanted media exposure, why did the author of the post not directly mention her? Why go through the “serial entrepreneur?” My criticism is of the original blog post. The article was not about virtual assistants, and the fellow columnist is not a virtual assistant nor do they own a virtual assistant business.

Written by The Purple Lara

November 3, 2007 at 12:40 AM

3 Responses

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  1. I am an independent virtual assistant. For those who are looking for a VA, would like to learn about what a virtual assistant is, and what services a virtual assistant provides, take a moment to visit my website or the Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce (VACOC) at

    Shannon Abbott

    November 4, 2007 at 8:26 AM

  2. I agree the VACOC is a very reputable association. In addition to the VACOC The blog post, the serial entrepreneur’s web site and his promotional material failed to mention:

    International Virtual Assistants Association

    Virtual Assitants Networking Association

    Alliance for Virtual Business


    November 4, 2007 at 9:08 AM

  3. I’m always sad to see postings like this. As both the previous comments mention, the VACOC ( is a great source. Another good source to learn more about virtual assisting and to find a vitual assistant is AssistU ( AssistU trains, coaches, and refers some really great virtual assistants.

    Laura Jo Richins

    November 4, 2007 at 11:36 AM

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