Virtual assistants are taking the world by storm. With sites like Upwork and Remote, it’s becoming easier than ever to find work from home. But, what can you do if you’re just starting out? Here are the best tips we’ve collected from successful and experienced Virtual Assistants:
I started my Virtual Assistant business with lots of hope and fairy dust. Now that I’m an experienced Tech Virtual Assistant Coach at Quitting Corporate, they’re a few things I found out later in my career that I teach my students to establish earlier in theirs. Here are 2 of them:
I missed out on a lot of social proof because I was never asking for it. By the time I realized I needed client raves, months had elapsed since our final project. For the client, writing one now seemed like a burden, however, I would have gotten the testimonials if I’d written a draft to help them get started, sent it to them and asked them to make tweaks as they saw fit.
Ask your clients if they’re happy with your work as you progress so that you can improve along the way and testimonials are a no brainer at the end of your time together. Write one for them if you have to so you can get it sooner. Be sure to confirm if it’s ok and give them permission to update what you’ve written if you take that route.
Communicating when projects went off track
We hesitate to reach out to clients when projects go off the rails. I’ve learnt over the years that sometimes it’s not intentional for the CEO to dump more on you than they paid you for.
Composing a well written email which outlines the initial project scope and highlights the things that were added to your task list which were never discussed gets the problem fixed. In that lovely email, propose a chat to discuss the changes so you can either be paid for your time or relieved of the task if you don’t enjoy doing it.
I am a Virtual Assistant Coach, Matchmaker, and Founder of one of the largest and longest running VA training platforms, Digital Nomad Kit. I’ve trained over 12,000 VAs who go on to work with top entrepreneurs and thought leaders.
I focus on creating standards of excellence in the remote work space with regards to ethical pay, diversity, and creating meaningful communities. This has elevated my position as the go-to person for hiring ethically and intelligently.
After 13 years of continuous travel, I am a staple in the digital nomad scene and I have been featured in Forbes, The James Altucher Report, iNews, Thrive Global, DNX and numerous other media outlets and stages on travel and entrepreneurship.
When I became a VA I didn’t even know that what I was doing had a proper name. I was picking up gigs and kind of fell into supporting people longer term. I wish that back then I had known what a vast community there was out there, that way I could have avoided a few pitfalls in those early days like:
- Charging too low
- Not setting boundaries with clients (hello 3am Slack replies)
- Learning some helpful tools to be more efficient
I also wish that I had documented more processes in some of my client’s businesses, doing things because I knew how to do them and not telling anyone else how was not empowering to my clients when I fell ill once. Needless to say, I learned my lessons at every turn and became very successful as a Virtual Assistant, being adaptable and confident in my ability to figure it out worked in my favor.
Virtual Assistance opened up many doors and new opportunities for me and I eventually transitioned into training new VAs. This has been such a great journey and I love supporting people in those early stages when things can and do get messy from time to time! If anyone reading this is right at the start of their VA business, my number one advice would be to treat it as it deserves to be treated, as a business. Not a side hustle, not like you’re an employee. Take full ownership early on, wear all the hats and advocate for yourself. You’ll get there!
While there are amazing tools, programs, and resources that have helped me start my VA company, the biggest growth in business has been a direct result of working on my mindset.
STEP into a business owner mindset
“He said he’ll only pay me $XX an hour and expects me to work nights and weekends.”
Many of us have previously worked for other individuals and companies, and we are used to having our bosses tell us what to do. Work on your business owner mindset and be ready to call ALL the shots in your business. This will relieve you from unhealthy client boundaries and stressful working relationships.
KNOW that there is enough business to go around
“How will I land clients with so many VAs already out there?”
Knowing that there is plenty of work to be had will allow you to think clearly about who you want to work with, how you will be present for your target demographic, and what you want to offer them. There is SO MUCH work out there for everyone!
You MUST be willing to market yourself!
“I like to be in the background, doing behind-the-scenes work. I don’t feel comfortable putting myself out there!”
Unless you already have a great contact sphere of business owners, you’re going to have to put yourself out there. The truth is, when you start your VA business, you will spend more time marketing yourself to establish a brand presence than doing the actual work you get hired for. Find what works for you, be willing to step out of your comfort zone, and go get ‘em, tiger!
May these tips bring you success in our amazing industry!
You should be proud of yourself for taking the first steps to a better work-life balance!
Whether you’re starting out as an experienced VA or just looking for some side income, there are plenty of ways to get your foot in the door and start making money from home! If this post has been helpful, please share it with friends who might also need help finding their way on Upwork or Remote by clicking one of our social media buttons below.
We would love to hear about how these tips have helped you find success either as a new VA or someone looking for additional virtual assistant jobs. What’s your favorite tip? Let us know in the comments section at the end of this blog post and check our blog post about the best courses for Virtual Assistants.