Editor’s Note: We are pleased to welcome Billie Gardner, an Online Business Manager and Pinterest Strategist. Billie is very happy to share her experience and tips on how to set up your own online business, being a virtual assistant. Follow Billie’s pinterest for entrepreneur and virtual assistant tips. You will love her inspiring Pinterest boards!
So many of us are tired of the same old nine to five. We’re sick of cubicles and commutes. We want freedom! We want to work from home doing what we love! I was able to do exactly that by becoming a virtual assistant. Now I love what I do, and I get to do it from anywhere! Instead of working in an office, I get to work from home in my pajamas with my snuggly puppies all day.
Does that sounds like heaven or what? So what the heck is a virtual assistant, and how can you become one (and have the freedom to work when and where you want?)
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a freelancer who provides services remotely, which means they work from anywhere! You can offer services that are administrative, creative, technical, or a mixture of any of these. Basically, if you have a specific skill, there’s probably someone willing to pay for it.
Who hires Virtual Assistants?
Small business owners and entrepreneurs all over the world are looking for people to help them with their day-to-day tasks and special projects. Hiring a Virtual Assistant is a more cost effective solution than hiring an employee because the business owner doesn’t have to pay employee taxes or benefits. It’s also a great solution for small businesses that can’t afford to have a part or full-time employee and only need someone to help occasionally or only a few hours a month.
A small sample of businesses and people that hire VA’s:
- Event Planners
- Graphic Designers
- Web Designers
No matter what your skills are, there’s an industry out there for you. You’d be surprised how many people need your help!
Step One: Find Your Niche
To put it simply, your niche is your speciality. It’s your unique set of skills, the types of services you offer, and the industry you work with.
So what are you good at? What do you like to do? What could you help people with? Are you good at writing, editing, managing social media, working with customers, organizing, graphic design, or technical tasks? Make a list of what you like to do and what you’re good at. Someone out there is looking for a ninja just like you!
Tip: If you don’t feel like you have any valuable skills yet, there are a billion online courses (free and paid) that you can learn from! Everything you need is just a Google search away!
Step Two: Find Your Ideal Client
An ideal client is your dream client. If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be? What do they do? How do they act? What are they passionate about outside their business? What are their likes and dislikes? How do they make you feel? Figuring out who you want to work with will help you design your services and marketing plan just for them so you can attract the clients you want!
Step Three: Design Your Services
Now that you know what kind of work you want to do and who you want to work with, it’s time to package your skills! What can you help clients with? How could you combine your skills into an awesome service package?
Here are some ideas to get you started!
- Editing and formatting blog posts and newsletters
- Managing social media accounts (creating content, scheduling, etc.)
- Creating graphics for blog posts and social media
- Managing email accounts
Step Four: Test Drive Your Services
Beta testing is super important for any entrepreneur. A beta test is when you give a sample of your service for low or no cost in return for feedback you can use to improve your services or add more value.
Beta testing is awesome because it helps you gain confidence and experience as a VA. Your beta clients might also turn into paying clients, provide testimonials for your website, and even refer others to you, which means less marketing and more clients for you!
Step Five: Get Clients!
You’ve got the skills, the experience, and the confidence, now all you need are paying clients!
This is where understanding your ideal client can really come in handy! Design your marketing approach for the person you want to work with. Where do they hang out online and offline? What kind of things do they enjoy? How can you get in touch with them?
Also, don’t rule out contacting people directly through email! I also recommend telling everyone what you do. You never know who needs your help or if the person you’re talking to knows someone who could use your help.
Once you’ve found your clients, make sure you have a client intake process. This involves having the proper contracts, a way to send invoices and track your hours, and policies for communication with your client. (I’ll talk about some tools in my next post ‘Tools You’ll Need for Your Virtual Assistant Business.’)
Want to learn more about starting your own VA business? Grab a copy of the ebook, Start Your Virtual Assistant Business!