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Starting out as a Virtual Assistant – Michelle Shaw

Michelle Shaw I am Michelle (aka Elle) from Bangor, N. Ireland. I am a newbie VA and will be blogging this year on the ups and downs of starting out as a VA.

Why did I decide to become a VA?

Well, I have spent the past 15 years working in admin for my local government and although I have enjoyed the work I am at the stage now where I need something new, something that will bring me a challenge.

During this time, I also took a few copywriting courses, worked as a freelance telemarketer, trained as a makeup artist and ran a part time wedding makeup business. Doing make up is great fun but it’s never going to be a full time career, as I turn 39 this year, I felt that I could only do wedding make up to a certain age.

I love being self-employed (yip I must be a glutton for punishment!) so when I read an article about the VA industry I knew it was ideal for me. I could put all my skills to use and even better, I could make a living doing my favourite thing…. organising!

What next?

The past few months have been all about researching. I spent months reading books, forums and getting advice from other VA’S.

My budget for starting up was really low, so I built my own website and did all of my own marketing materials.

See also  How not to get work as a newbie virtual assistant

Finally, in November I was ready to launch Top VA.

Where to now?

At the minute most of my time goes into marketing. I am reading How to get Clients in 30 days and working through the SVA marketing pack. I have started a blog, wrote a marketing plan and attended my first networking session (this went better than expected considering I forgot to take my business cards with me, I’ll tell you all about this next time).

For the rest of January, I will be getting social media up and running and doing a direct mail campaign, so I have lots to keep me busy!


I’m Michelle (aka Elle). I am newbie VA who is going to share the ups and
downs of starting out as a VA.  I live in Bangor, N. Ireland. In my spare time I hang out with my husband and two children, take walks on the beach,window shop for handbags and go to Pilates, when I find the energy.

After 14 years in the civil service I wanted a career change, finally took the
plunge and here I am.  I am really excited about starting my own business and looking forward to the challenges it brings!


  1. Heather Greig on 2 February, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Michelle – you couldn’t have chosen a better profession!

    Being a VA is not for the faint hearted as you need to be able to multi task on many different levels whilst also developing your business, finding new clients, networking, marketing, accounting, etc. etc. – you get the picture!

    It was great to catch up with you over coffee last week and share a few tips with you, and I am glad to say I can see you are definitely on the right path. All the best for the future.

    • Michelle Shaw on 2 February, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks Heather!
      I am so happy I chose this profession,it’s right up my street . Plus I’ve never met a nicer bunch of people as my fellow VA’s, everyone here is so helpful and friendly.

      It was lovely to meet with you last week, thanks for sharing all the tips, you gave me lots to think about!

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