SVA put together 10 baby-steps to becoming a Virtual Assistant – a must-read for any aspiring assistant!
- Your first 5 clients are the hardest to get when you are becoming a virtual assistant. Make it easy and start by telling everyone who knows you and your work about what you are planning on doing. Many VAs found their first client in their former employers!
- Advertising doesn’t work for virtual assistants, focus on networking and word of mouth referrals instead. You telling people that you’re great is taken with a large pinch of salt, but someone who your new client really respects and trusts recommending you is worth its weight in gold. Think about how you got your hairdresser – you asked your friends, didn’t you? Brush up on your digital marketing skills with Google Digital Garage.Have at least 6 months living costs in the bank and pay off all your credit cards before starting up. It takes time to build a business and you don’t want to get trapped into working lots of hours at a low rate because you need to make the mortgage payment.
- Time is money to virtual assistants – do not steal time from your fellow VAs by pretending to be a client. Most VAs are very open to helping newbies as long as you are honest with them. Ask for help via the forum or our private Facebook group.
- Do what you say you will, when you said you’d do it. In other words, make sure you hit that deadline with time to spare. It gives all VAs a bad name if you don’t deliver the goods.
- There is market research out there for your business plan. The Annual UK VA Survey is a great place to start: https://www.societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk/va-products/ Remember that you will not only be competing with other VAs for your clients’ admin work but call centres, clients’ families, offshore assistants and part-time employees and temps.
- Get used to motivating yourself. Look for tasks you can take on without being prompted as practice. Most VAs work alone and this can be difficult for someone who is used to an office environment.
- Get a proper business set up sorted: We recently wrote an essential guide to equipment which no new VA can be without. This includes proper email and back up systems before you start.
- Research carefully – there is a wealth of information out there available for free through www.societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk. Courses and books are becoming more and more commonplace for UK VAs – but ask yourself what qualifies the person to be an expert. How long have they been a VA? Are they trained properly themselves? Further reading: The Best Virtual Assistant Course