So you want to work from home ey?
Let's face it, you want a nice living, to be able to have control over your own schedule. You want to travel more. You want more freedom. You want to forget that annoying 9-5 job (which these days seem more like 7 am-4 pm now.) In a nutshell, you want to do something that is going to make you happy. Em I right?
If you are wanting one or more of these things, whatever your reason may be. Let me help you out and just feed it to you simply. When you first enter this world it's not as easy. Even if you have the skills.
At the start, what it takes to become a Virtual Assistant, you need knowledge of how to market yourself, who you want to serve, what type of skills you want to offer, and have the correct knowledge of these skills. Another thing? Figuring out those darn pricing and packages you want to compile. Don't even get me started on what kind of programs you should download and pay for to help you run a smooth business.
So where does one start?
Let me tell you a little bit about how my journey went a year ago...
In the beginning, I was showing up, I was following potential clients I wanted to work with. I was engaging with them. I was following people to who's personalities aligned with mine. Although this is the correct way to find clients if you are starting off on Instagram, but behind the scenes, I was making mistakes, that at the time, I didn't know I was making.
My mistakes? I didn't know my niche, I didn't know what specific client group I wanted to work with. I was learning some new things while already offering them as a service. I didn't have any packages. Worse, I didn't know my pricing. Far worse? I didn't know where to send a contract or how to get paid. The horror? I was legit already accepting in my mind if a client wanted to pay me through apple pay or Venmo I would be ok with that. WHO WAS I?!
Ewww just thinking how lame I was running my business in the very beginning grosses me out! Oh, how I've learned.
I know in the beginning since I didn't have a cent to my name since it was covid/quarantine time, it was way harder for me to invest in a business coach. But, if I'm being honest with you, if you ever reach that level of being able to afford one, DO IT. They have so much knowledge, and can give you so much motivation! Although, my advice? Make sure you vibe with them, make sure you do your homework, and see that they are legit and have real results.
Anyhoo...so how can I help you to not commit the same mistakes I made? Well, let me give you the basics that will really help you in the long run.
One, Find your niche. Really. Like really. This is important. Know who exactly you want to work for because things seem much smoother when you have a handful of business owners who are in the same line of work. This will help in the long run because when you are working with people who are in the same line of work you start getting a groove of knowing what they are looking for, what services and strategies best help them. You basically become a pro to helping them out.
Second, know your skills before you offer them. Don't ever offer something you are barely learning. Not only does this make you look like a wannabe or imposter, but it just makes you feel a sort of way when you are asked "how long have you been doing this?" When you learn something beforehand you can then answer confidently that you invested in learning this skill and you are ready to offer it to them. There's no harm in that, that's how I gained one of my first clients because I knew this skill and was confident in giving it to her. I'm proud to say it went amazing and she was happy with the results.
Third, pricing and packaging. I was having such a hard time with this in the beginning. It wasn't until someone put it in perspective for me. "Know your worth." This is something personal, that we all must think about and do. So write down all your bills, then make an hourly rate that you feel fits you and your expertise. Again, know your worth and keeping in mind what kind of bills and what kind of money we want to invest in our business helps us decipher that. (Don't forget about that play money girlfriend!)
Fourth, marketing yourself. Instagram is a great platform but it wouldn't hurt for us to branch out and try another form of social media. (Ehem Facebook?) Use your voice, share your personality through not only your posts but video as well. People really like to put a face to a name. No, you don't need to show up every day, that's such a myth. You need to show up enough where they feel they are getting to know you, and eventually, like you to the point they trust and want to work with you.
How to grab their attention with your post or videos? Make sure you do your market research, you can always ask a business if they have time and have a questionnaire to figure out what their pain points are, what task they hate doing, etc. Heck before you even offer any services you can do your research first to find out what your ideal client's pain points/struggles are. I can honestly tell you, having some business owners do some of my market research questionnaires has really helped me get to this point of services I am offering now. So...make sure you always start with a hook in your post/video, then talking about the pain point you know they are going through, and lead to how you can fix that and end it with where they can reach you. That's the format you always want to go by.
Last, the programs you should use for your business. *sighs* There is honestly a buttload, it's not even funny. This has been such a journey trying to find the programs that help me with my needs and to have a smooth onboarding client process. In the beginning, I used Adobe to distribute my contracts and used Wave for invoicing and payments. I'm past that now, and I'm glad I am. Honeybook honestly saved my life when it came to onboarding clients. It has it all in one place. I really do suggest paying for Honeybook or Dubsado for a smooth, easy onboarding new client experience. It also makes you look so profesh *sunglasses on, air flowing through hair* You honestly feel like Elle Woods.
As far as my favorite programs that are helping me in my business this is the list (I still recommend doing your own research, for we all have different needs and visions for our businesses.)
Honeybook - For managing client projects, payments, contracts, Questionnaires, Scheduling
Canva - For all my graphic needs
Wix - For my website
Preview - To schedule all my content ahead of time on Instagram when I'm too busy working during the week
Toggl Track - Helps me make sure I don't go under or over my client work's hours
Last Pass - For holding all my client's passwords (also my own heh heh)
If this is the start of your journey I would recommend you try free versions of different programs and figure out which ones are to your liking. There are so many that can be beneficial and sometimes to this day, I am getting introduced to new ones and I try them out to see if I want to use them.
The very last piece of advice I have: when it comes to research, don't try to take the easy way and ask other Virtual Assistants how to do something. What I mean by this is asking how to do a skill they are offering, for example, Pinterest Management. There's nothing wrong with asking for a tip, but going out of your way to learning skills from other Virtual Assistants for free is not ok. Many have worked so hard to perfect their skills/methods and it's your job to find yours. Don't know how to manage a certain task but you really want to learn it to offer it? Go on youtube, google it, or invest in an expert to teach you so you can offer it. I really do feel that putting in my own time and dedication and investing when I needed to learn something was such a rewarding factor. So do this for yourself too chicklet!
So these are some of the things that have helped me get to this point where I am now. Being happy to have worked and am working with amazing artists/creative business owners. I hope to continue to grow and along the way offer some free tips and advice for new Virtual Assistants and help them in the areas I wished someone helped me in when I was limited on monies lol. If you enjoyed this blog and actually made it to the end...THANKS, you are a rockstar!