As employment figures begin to take a turn for the better, Notaries nationwide are discovering innovative ways to expand their services and increase their income potential. One way — which allows Notaries to use the skills and tools they already possess— is to become a virtual assistant. What Is A Virtual Assistant? Virtual Assistants (or VAs), according to the International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA), “are independent contractors who (from home or office) support multiple clients in a variety of industries by providing administrative, creative, and technical services.” VAs provide services to their diverse clientele, depending on their own professional background and strengths, thereby allowing organizations to outsource certain tasks and increase efficiency. Below is a small sampling of services virtual assistants can provide, taken from the IVAA’s publication “101 Ways To Use a Virtual Assistant”: Bookkeeping Database management & Data processing Event planning Internet marketing, social media, and marketing support Human resources support Project management Real estate assistance Secretarial services and administrative phone and email support Website design, development and maintenance “The qualifications that you need to be a successful Notary — attention to detail, executing documents in a timely manner, and continuing education — are some of the same qualifications needed to be a successful virtual assistant,” says Florida Notary Susie Black, owner of My Reliable Virtual Assistant. Black loves the flexibility of being a virtual assistant and highly recommends the career field to Notaries looking to expand their career and income opportunities. How Does One Become A Virtual Assistant? To get started, Susie Black recommends joining the International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA), which offers member access to practical resources, including training information, forms, and sample contract agreements. The association’s website, offers access to databases that members can use to apply for projects. “Another key way to get new business is to join online groups via LinkedIn or Facebook,” says Black, who uses her own website, social media platforms and membership affiliations to brand her own company and build her client base. Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.