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It was last spring when I first learned what a virtual assistant was. I was listening to the Side Hustle Nation podcast when the guest, Gina Horkey was mentioning what a day in the life was like as a virtual assistant and the income potential.
As I was listening, a switch flipped and I realized that it was actually possible to make money online as a freelancer and that there were lots of people successfully making a living from it.
So I ventured to Gina’s website and signed up for her email course at the time and binge read her blog posts.
Her email course has since turned into an excellent mini-course titled: Jumpstart your virtual assistant business in only 4 steps.
After devouring her free content, I was settled on becoming a VA and decided to take her comprehensive course: Fully Booked VA. Long story short, within a month I had made my investment back and more. It was awesome, and one of the best investments I’ve made in my freelance career to date!
And you know what? The demand for virtual assistants is just getting bigger with the increase of bloggers and online businesses starting up. So if you’ve been thinking about starting your own VA business, now is the perfect time to do it. There’s always a need for talented VA’s that can help take businesses to the next level.
Okay, so now we’ll be going over the 3 essential steps you can take to become a virtual assistant in under a month. Plus, a few resources that you might find helpful as well.
Let’s get into it!
1. Create a website to host your services & ‘work with me’ page
But first—what do you want to offer? In other words, what do you want to help others with? Graphic design? Blog management? Email management?
After you’ve decided on your main services, it’s time to create a ‘work with me’ page.
So you can either create your freelance website on a free platform like Wix or WordPress.com, but there are a few downsides to using these:
- The URL won’t look super professional since it’ll be a subdomain (like site.wix.com)
- It’s not sustainable in the long run if you plan on growing your brand
- Hosting can be pricey when you decide to upgrade your hosting plan on a free blogging platform
Within this last year, I actually purchased the domain name for this blog and hosted it on Wix. It was fine for about a month, but I believe I was paying $5-10 per month for hosting, while you can get much lower rates when you website is self-hosted.
Once you’ve created your website, it’s time to create your: about, contact, and ‘work with me’ pages. With these elements, you can share your message and services with your ideal client and show them how they can get in touch with you.
Work With Me Page Tips
On your ‘work with me’ page, it’s important to mention what benefits your client will receive when they decide to work with you.
Will they be saving time or money by working with you? Let them exactly how you’ll be able to help and also be sure to include your prices.
Typically the starting rate for a virtual assistant in North America is $25 per hour, but you can also create packages for your clients and set special prices for your packages. I’ve noticed that setting tiers for clients to choose from can be a very effective strategy.
You’ll also want to include a couple of testimonials. Now since you’re just getting started as a virtual assistant, you may not have any reviews of your work yet, but you can get some relatively easily.
Here are a few ideas:
- Offer x amount of hours of client work in exchange for a testimonial
- Work at a reduced rate for a small client project
- Ask family & friends if you can help them with anything for a review of your services
When you have a few testimonials, post them throughout your blog as it will help build trust with potential clients and show them that you’re an awesome person to work with.
2. Market yourself + Find your ideal clients
Now that your website is ready to be seen, it’s time to promote it!
Regressing a bit, go back to your list of services. And take note of the kind of people that might need the services you’re going to be offering. Where do they like to hang out?
Facebook groups, twitter, Instagram, online forums?
Knowing where your ideal client hangs out will help you know where to focus your marketing efforts. For example, I see a lot of beauty bloggers on Instagram & Twitter, so you may be able to gain more traction promoting to beauty bloggers on those social media channels.
One thing I really want to share with you guys is to join a few blogger, entrepreneur and freelancer groups on Facebook. Personally, I was able to find most of my clients from Facebook groups, Twitter messages and cold pitching bloggers I wanted to work with.
When I was getting started, there was an abundance of people looking for a skilled virtual assistant in the Facebook groups I was in. Nearly daily, I would see requests from people or people’s friends looking to hire a good assistant.
Also, when you introduce yourself in these groups, you’ll be promoting what you do and establishing yourself as a VA in the group, which can be great for getting clients and possibly even referrals.
Side note: Try to focus on growing one social media account at a time when you’re just starting out. Each platform has a different algorithm and way of growing your account, so it’s important to give attention to growing one and building it at first. This will help keep you from getting overwhelmed, confused, and quitting early on in the game.
3. Set boundaries from the get-go
This last step is more of something to keep in mind as a new freelancer. As a freelancer, it’s likely that you’ll eventually run into scope creep. In other words, spending additional time on tasks that you aren’t being paid to do.
One thing will turn into the next and before you know it, you just spent the last 2 hours doing unpaid work. Not fun.
So it’s important that before you start working with a new client, that you set a few boundaries in your contact.
In your contract, you’re going to want to go over your office hours, or the times you’ll be easily reached by email/phone. You’ll want to mention payment details, like how long before you add late fees to invoices and info on partial payments.
The goal here is to always stick to your guns, and refer back to your contract if things start going south.
I’ll admit that I don’t always use a contract for smaller gigs, but I 100% see the value of them. They offer a sense of clarity and security between VA and client and allow the two to see eye-to-eye before money starts changing hands. It’s also a very common and professional practice amongst freelancers to write up contracts to save you from working with unclear and/or overwhelming clients.
Now is a great time to become a virtual assistant with the demand of skilled VA’s rising. Not to mention, most new VA’s can hop right into the game with a great starting rate as well – typically $25 and up. So if you love helping others, learning new skills, and making an income while doing so, then I highly recommend you take the steps above and try your hand at becoming a virtual assistant.
It’s not as hard as you think! And if you need any help, here are a couple resources I found extremely helpful when I first got started as a VA.
This course walks you through starting and growing your VA business from the ground up. And I couldn’t have asked for a better course to start with. It took about 2 weeks for me to complete and I was pitching away! And within my first week, I landed my first client in a Facebook group. Best part? I felt confident in my skills and client communication. All because of this course. So I can’t recommend it enough, it literally goes over everything you need to know about becoming and thriving as a virtual assistant.
This is perfect for a new virtual assistant on a budget, but who still want to learn about getting started as a VA and how to handle important procedures.
The course covers some essential topics like:
- Standing out in Facebook groups
- What to include in your contract (+ an example of a new client contract)
- How to send a quote email
- Creating your onboarding system
- And more
Allie also shares the exact post she used to book 2 new clients and 8 client leads – how cool is that? With your first client, you can essentially make your investment back and more.
Are you working on becoming a virtual assistant? Let me know how it’s going in the comments! 🙂