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That big ball of stuff that can stand in the way of you accomplishing and living out your dreams.
Maybe someone told you that there's no way you can do something so you just shut down and do nothing.
Maybe you compare yourself to others and start telling yourself you don't measure up.
Maybe not knowing what steps to take keep you from taking any steps at all.
I feel you.
But here's the deal: you are in control of what you think.
Instead of believing that person who tells you that you can't launch your business, that you don't have what it takes, that it will never work - prove them wrong. Don't believe the hype. Something my grandmother used to stay still rings true: I can show you better than I can tell you.
Instead of comparing yourself to others in the industry - don't! Real talk alert: there were days I wanted to quit my business, there were times I Googled the heck out of something because I didn't know how to do it and it seemed like everyone else was moving full speed ahead and I was just creeping along. What did that get me? A lot of wasted time and icky feelings.
Neither one will help you launch and grow a business. So, it's time to do away with the feelings of insecurity and fear and start living life the way you truly want. 'K?
If part of your fear is not having the skills you think you need, guess what? There are plenty of resources out there to teach you what you need to do. It's amazing how having knowledge can get rid of your fears. If you want to dig a little deeper into changing your mindset, grab a free copy of my ebook.
So, here's what we're going to do in this post: we're going to talk about what a virtual assistant is, services a virtual assistant can offer, how much you can make and how you can add more skills if needed. Are you ready? Cool! Let's do this.
What is a virtual assistant?
In short, a virtual assistant (or “VA) is a business owner who provides administrative services virtually. Virtual assistants work from their own home offices and virtual assistants are partners with their clients.
Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of building a successful virtual assistant business, let’s clarify a few points:
A virtual assistant is a business owner and entrepreneur. Virtual assistants pay their own taxes, maintain their own home office and equipment and take care of their own business affairs. That’s a lot different than just your average administrative worker. You are now a bonafide business owner, responsible for not only client work but everything that goes into running a successful business.
The benefits of launching a virtual assistant business
You can work from anywhere. If you have Internet access and a computer, you can launch your business. Sometimes you might work from your home office, maybe you’ll take your business on the road and RV across the country, maybe you need a change of scenery from your home office and you’ll work in the local library or coffee shop. That’s the beauty of working virtually - you can work from anywhere.
You decide who you want to work with and what type of work you want to take on. Have you ever worked in a job doing stuff you really didn’t like? By deciding what tasks you are most suited for, you can market those skills to your target clients and do work that you actually love.
More benefits include:
You can have the freedom to work when you want.
You can save money on childcare.
You don’t get sucked into office drama.
Your target market can be anywhere and not just in your own backyard.
You determine how much you want or need to make, not someone else.
Hey, with every benefit there is a downfall and running a virtual assistant business is no different. Let’s take a look at a few things that might present a problem and how you can overcome them.
The feeling of isolation. Yep, working from home is a huge win but if you’re a social creature, working by yourself might get a bit lonely after a while. Try going to some local networking events in your area. You never know - you might meet a future client while you’re there. Maybe you’re caring for young children or you’re a caregiver for an older relative and leaving your home isn’t feasible. Get connected in online groups. Do a search on Facebook and you’ll find a slew of groups. Join a few, introduce yourself and provide valuable comments.
You’ve got to do everything. You’re a business owner and with that comes a whole lot of responsibility. There’s client work but there’s also billing, marketing, website updates and other backend duties. Set aside time in your schedule to take care of these types of tasks and you’ll avoid getting burned out. I do business-type tasks on Saturday afternoons and client work during the week.
The feeling of you can’t do this/there are too many virtual assistants out there, no one will hire me. Yes, the virtual assistant industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the years but there is only one you. And there is plenty of work out there for everyone. Stay focused on what you can offer and if, after evaluating your skills you still feel you need more to add to your arsenal, take a course. Confidence goes a long way in the success of your business and you want to start off feeling like you can do this. You can have all the mad administrative skills in the world but if your confidence is in the toilet, you probably won’t succeed.
What services can you offer?
Oh, the beauty of owning and running your own business is you can pick and choose what types of things you'd like to do. Whoo hoo! Here are a few ideas:
Social media content creation
Product Launch support
Appointment setting/cold calls
How can you find clients?
A lot of folks are afraid to launch their business because they're afraid they won't get clients. Let me tell you - once you land the first one, it's a whole lot easier to land another. And another. And another.
So, how do you find clients?
One of my favorite and most effective ways is in Facebook groups. Figure out your target audience and go hang out where they hang out.
Other ways to find that first client:
Network on LinkedIn
Start a blog and start blogging about relevant topics for your target market
Ask folks for referrals. Everyone knows someone, right?
Real talk ahead: if you don't get out there and market yourself, clients won't find you. You've got to be comfortable tooting your own horn to bring in business.
Don't twiddle your thumbs while you wait to sign your first client. Read about some things you can be doing while you wait.
Does it cost an arm and a leg to launch a virtual assistant business?
Heck no! When I launched my business, I had a desktop computer, printer, phone and fax machine. That's it. If you're just getting started and funds are limited or if you want to make sure this virtual assistant thing is the real deal (spoiler alert: it's the real deal, baby!), then use free resources where you can. As your business grows, however, you may want to invest in a few things, such as:
- The VA Playbook
- Conferences and courses based on your niche, such as Pinterest management and proofreading
- Work from home resources
- Domain name
- Website - although you can get by without a website in the beginning - find out how
Can I make a living doing this?
Would I suggest it if you couldn't? Seriously, yes, you can make a living working as a virtual assistant. And if you've got advanced skills and you're currently working in a job that doesn't pay you what you're truly worth, then you can make waaaaaaaay more than you imagine.
How much can you make?
I come from the generation where it's not polite to discuss such thing as how much one makes but I'm learning to shed that way of thinking in this transparent, online world we live in. So, here we go:
The rock-bottom rate you should charge clients is $20 per hour. Remember, you'll need to pay your own expenses (including taxes) and you won't be able to do that too comfortably at a lower rate. The more advanced your skills, the higher you can charge.
Here are some guidelines - these are not hard and fast rules. Many things can affect your rate, including the cost of living.
$25 - $35 per hour
General administrative experience, like data entry, simple graphics, calendar management, email management, etc.
$35 -$50 per hour
Advanced skills, such as graphic design, Squarespace edits, social media content creation, etc.
$50 per hour and up
Web design, building landing pages, creating funnels, social media strategy, Facebook ads, Pinterest Management, etc.
How much you make not only depends on your rate but how much availability you have to commit to client work. Let's say you can commit to 30 hours of client work at $30 per hour. That's $900 per week, $3600 per month, before taxes (can't forget those pesky taxes!). Not bad, huh? Use this cool, easy-to-use calculator to figure out your hourly rate.
I think I'm ready to do this. What next?
Good for you! If you work hard, you won't regret it. Well, I highly suggest grabbing a copy of my Virtual Assistant Checklist that includes a step-by-step guide to everything you need to do in the first 30 days.
I believe in you - you've got this!