My tips for future Virtual Assistants

Source: 121temps

Today as I sat in my home office after a motivating and productive session with my amazing mentor on Skype and then took a photo of my desk for Photo a Day challenge, I had a big smile on my face thinking about how much I loved my job and that becoming a Virtual Assistant (I call myself a Virtual Support Manager) was the best career move I’ve made. It’s been hard work to this point, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t, but the hard work is certainly starting to pay off.

A few weeks ago I had a complete stranger call my office to ask for my help in setting up her VA business. As much as I wanted to sit and be a mentor for this lady, I just did not have the time to share my knowledge and so quickly gave her some helpful websites to visit. So now I want to pay it forward and give a few pointers to those contemplating starting a VA business. By no means is my business ‘there’ yet, but I’ve never been so motivated to reach such a goal.

Here are some tips from my experience to help you on your VA quest:

1. Join a Virtual Assistant network like 121temps. They have provided me with invaluable support through mentoring sessions, webinars, resources and training and provide a great network of other VA’s who I can communicate with daily.
2. Pick a specialisation instead of providing each and every service you can think of, it will make it easier for you in directing your marketing. For example, I specialise in Social Media. You may wish to specialise in bookkeeping, administration or web design. If you’re not sure, make some phone calls to local businesses and tell them you’re doing some research for your new business. Ask them what their biggest challenges will be this year and what things don’t they have time for. This will give you a better idea of what the demand is.
3. Define which businesses you are going to target. Small business, Medium Business, Soloists, Industries etc.
4. Don’t be afraid to do some cold calls. It’s tough, but you’d be surprised at the results. Call local businesses and introduce yourself and your business. I got my second client this way.
5. Before taking on clients, I made sure my business was all set up. My website was complete, my social media accounts were up and running beforehand, I had a logo and tagline, my business cards were printed, I had forms created, terms and conditions written and a pricing structure complete. I wanted it to look like I had been in business for a while.
6. Keep up to date. Whatever you’re specialising in, make time to attend webinars and do market research. 
7. Get on social media, especially LinkedIn. I got one of my clients through LinkedIn. He searched for Virtual Assistants, found a few and contacted me because my experience in quality & OHS was what he was looking for – I didn’t have to do anything to get this client but optimise and maintain my LinkedIn profile.
8. Use your family and friends as your PR people. Its a simple as giving them a pile of your business cards to hand out for you. But make sure they actually know about your business and the services you provide, there would be nothing worse than having a potential client call you to develop a website when you wouldn’t have a clue.  My husband has been fantastic and has connected me with two potential clients by giving out business cards to businesses he deals with at his work and telling them about what I do.

I’ve just put the dinner on in the slow cooker for tonight and now I’m onto working on the Pinterest page of one of my clients and then onto make some calls for some market research for another client.

If you would like to follow my business posts (social media tips, business articles, a bit of inspiration, funny stuff & more) like my Facebook page www.facebook.com/TMMVirtualSolutions or visit my Website and Sign up for my newsletter www.tmmvirtualsolutions.com.au. View my last newsletter here.

Are you contemplating starting a VA business or are you already a VA? Share your questions and tips here.

Linking Up with Jess for IBOT

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman - a lifestyle and parenting blog.She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a Mum to her 4-year-old son, 2 month old daughter, two chickens, one dog and a fish called Bob and a wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little cottage on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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15 Comments

  1. January 22, 2013 / 2:34 am

    I’ve never even heard of being a virtual assistant!? Off to research more info now! x Aroha #teamIBOT

    • January 22, 2013 / 5:37 am

      When I started blogging I hadn’t heard of them either, it wasn’t until I did a bit of research, I came across the idea and it got me very excited. I wish I knew about it years ago!

  2. January 22, 2013 / 2:49 am

    Thats a great job idea for those that want to work at home. Goodluck with it!

    • January 22, 2013 / 5:37 am

      It sure is, still a bit hard to do with the kids hanging around but it’s a lovely environment to work in.

  3. January 22, 2013 / 5:07 am

    I love your blog – have just popped over and liked you FB page – looking forward to seeing more posts from you. Social media changes so quickly – its hard to keep up.

    Got to love #IBOT – I always find something new and interesting!

    • January 22, 2013 / 5:38 am

      Thank you, I’ve seen your comment and I really appreciate you liking my business page. You are very right, Social Media changes very quickly indeed!!

  4. January 22, 2013 / 6:40 am

    Interesting. I’ve never heard of a virtual assistant before. I’ll have to google it to learn more!

    Visiting from IBOT.

  5. January 22, 2013 / 7:04 am

    I have heard of VA’s before but never really understood them. Thanks for the informative blog post!

    #IBOT Visitor

  6. January 22, 2013 / 10:46 pm

    Serendipity – we’ve been looking at things Mrs illiterate Infant can do to earn some more money and this cam up in our washing up whiteboarding session. Thanks for the info

    • February 19, 2013 / 11:18 pm

      Glad I could assist!

  7. February 19, 2013 / 9:22 pm

    Hi Eva!
    I’m just putting my toe in the VA waters… Along with you, I’ve signed up with 121 Temps and I cannot get over how supportive and informative Liz and her team are!

    • February 19, 2013 / 11:19 pm

      Hi Meegan, Good for you, I’m so glad to hear it. Yes, they are amazing aren’t they. Good Luck with everything!

  8. February 28, 2013 / 12:47 pm

    I have tried 12 temps and I must admit its a lot of help joining those online communities

    • February 28, 2013 / 11:20 pm

      It is a wonderful Community with so much valuable information.