How To Become A Successful Virtual Assistant For Free

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Why You Should Choose To Be a Virtual Assistant

Make sure you’re sitting down, cause making money from home isn’t as difficult as you think. I’m sure you’ve probably scoured the internet on how to stay at home with the little ones, but also have money for the family trips you’ve been dreaming of! This article will help save you hours of research, questions, and headaches. So sit tight, grab some tea… and lets get started.

As a stay at home mom to a bugger butt about to hit his terrible twos, I can’t even imagine how life would be without my side business. I needed something of my own to work towards and that would keep me motivated for the long run. It ended up being a virtual assistant. It allows time for myself in order to create my own brand that ends up benefiting other small business’s. Best of all I get to choose who I want to work for, what rates to set and how many hours to work in order to stay in control of my day!

Is this freedom something you crave? A business that allows you to be your own boss that lets you utilize your daily skills for other companies? If so keep on reading!

leeza harrington blog on how to start your virtual assistant business. Girl in yellow background with hand up. Very happy.

How Do You Become A Virtual Assistant?

Well first you need to answer this incredibly important and life changing question. Are you ready to be a virtual assistant? If yes, CONGRATS! You are henceforth … a virtual assistant! Now it’s time to lay the groundwork and get you started!

What Is Needed To Start A Virtual Assistant Business?

As a beginner, you need to start growing your online presence in order for potential clients to find you. You can get started through various different ways that best suit your style! Here are some suggestions on how to grow your online presence.

  • Host your own website with a Hire Me page
    • Add blog posts on what a virtual assistant is, services that you personally offer, how it is beneficial, your journey through it all, etc (This isn’t needed, but I recommend it)
    • Send traffic to your blog posts and Hire Me Page through organic and paid traffic
  • Create a resume of your skills and experience. You can create this in Canva with one of their templates for free. In this case, experience doesn’t necessarily mean school. It could be skills you used in a past job, for an event, or something that you do every day.
    • Share your resume to cold pitches, on your website, social media pages, etc
    • LinkedIn is perfect to reach out to other businesses and make connections!
  • Join Facebook Groups that match the type of client you want to have. Answer any questions they might have in order to make connections. This could potentially lead to a client as well!
    • For example, I mainly join mom blogger groups and Pinterest groups! I answer any questions about Pinterest, email management, and affiliate marketing. I don’t reach out to them about services though, unless they inquired about it.

Virtual Assistant Services and Skills You Can Offer

This is probably the hardest decision for most virtual assistants. I would suggest to look at things you love to do or enjoy doing. For example, I freaking love Pinterest. I am literally obsessed with testing pins and descriptions, learning the algorithm, and using it for affiliate links. Therefore, I decided to be a Pinterest Virtual Assistant. However, I also know emails can be a real pain for most businesses and decided to also opt in as an email manager!

Of course this doesn’t mean I will only do these two services. If I am currently with a client and it looks like it will be long term, then I will add the skills necessary in order to help grow their business. Plus that would mean my pay would have to up too since I would be doing more work! Win win scenario right there!

If you need some more help in this matter click below for 150+ services you could offer for that other virtual assistants get paid for. This is the pdf that helped me decide my services.

How Do You Become A Virtual Assistant On Pinterest?

So you might be curious on how to specifically be a Pinterest Virtual Assistant. I still suggest all the information above, after all it’s what I currently do too. As long as you love Pinterest and you’re willing to learn more about it if you’re new, then you’re in the clear! Pro Tip: Getting specific on a certain skill also allows you to monetize your business for higher rates.

Here are the skills I offer as a Pinterest Virtual Assistant:

  • Lay Foundation For Success: Create/Update your business profile- make sure you’re searchable
  • Use the correct keywords for your description and top hashtags for your niche
  • Set up & Update older pins to Rich Pins
  • Create Round Up Posts
  • Update your older posts to make it pinnable
  • Create/update your style to make it pinnable
  • Monetize your personal boards
  • Set up your blog to be pinnable (save, follow buttons, creating boards on header, sidebar, footer)
  • Promote Shop/Store if applicable
  • Setting up Tailwind and create your strategy
  • 30 Pins a day
  • Set up Google, Tailwind, Pinterest analytics
  • Manage your pinterest boards.

Now remember, I could offer these services in a unique package that best suits my client’s business. Listing your services out allows your potential clients have an idea if you’re the virtual assistant they are looking for.

How Much Do Virtual Assistants Make?

Remember when I said that as a virtual assistant we get to choose our own rates? Yea, it’s true. There’s actually a couple different ways you can go about selling your services.

  • Hourly- This is good in the beginning of your relationship with a new client during a paid trial period in order to see how long it takes to do certain tasks
  • Packages- This is where you offer similar skills into one package to offer to potential clients for a set payment. So lets say your an email manager who offers a package of inbox cleaning for under 15k emails. This package would include archiving emails and creating/organizing folders. The price you’re offering for this service is $150. You set this because you determined that you could get that inbox all set within 5 hours or so which adds up to $20 per/hour when you take 30% ($45) of that away for tax purposes. (Keep reading on why I did it that way)
  • Daily/Weekly/Monthly Retainer- This is normally where you and your client agree on a weekly set payment for the services agreed upon. So in all honestly this is like a package, but more so for long term clients instead of short term.

However with this freedom, it calls for some reality. Now if you’re in the USA then you need to understand that as a freelancer you will need to pay Employer and Employee tax! So a good rule of thumb is to save about 30% of every paycheck into an account and do not touch it under any circumstance. The last thing you need is the IRS knocking on your door with a huge bill. Therefore, I personally do not want to go under $20 per hour because of taxes. However, be sure to put your personal circumstances into play to determine your rates.

Pro tip: Register for an EIN number in order to reduce the chance of identity theft. It’s fast, easy, and free.

Should You Ever Offer Free Virtual Assistant Services?

In all honesty, it depends on you. Personally, I think your time is worth money. However, I did end up beta testing (providing free services) in order to get experience under my belt. I don’t regret it, I actually learned a lot from working for her and it gave me more confidence to pitch to potential clients.

However, I suggest to limit beta testing to only 1 or 2 people. This is a business you’re trying to grow and you need to be able to make a profit from it!

Examples of Virtual Assistant Websites

You could breeze around my website for an idea of how you want to do yours, but if you’re like me then you would want more examples! Click below to read success stories from other virtual assistants with their websites for you to look at.

Where to find clients as a Virtual assistant?

This will probably be the most nerve wrecking part for you. If you’re more introverted like me then you probably don’t like the idea of reaching out to people. However, reaching out is going to be the most important action to take in order to find clients.

So remember, when we talked about growing your online presence? Well as you do that through LinkedIn, Facebook, and any other platform you will make connections with other people. It helps if you have a type of client in mind instead of leaving it generalized. (Example: I focus on finding mommy bloggers and pinterest lovers) As you make connections, you’ll be able to grow confidence and you’ll most likely find an opportunity to beta test for someone! Which would then lead to a recommendation that you could put in your resume/website. That recommendation allows you pitch to your cold clients

You’re probably thinking, “Leeza, I need a step by step list on how to do that!” So here ya go:

  1. Decide what type of client you would like to work for.
  2. Google search businesses in that niche to find a list of potential clients. (I look through Pinterest mostly and search through their profile)
  3. Once you find one, specifically look through their website to learn a little more about them. Take some notes for later!
  4. Email them a pitch on how you like what their business is about, why you would like to work with them, and how it will benefit them. Include your resume and/or link to your Hire Me page.
  5. Follow up, follow up, follow up!!

Yes, it’s actually that simple. However, you could end up messaging quite a few businesses that already have virtual assistants, but that doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t follow up a few months down the road. Just in case they go their separate ways. Also, these steps is geared more towards cold pitches!

Don’t forget that you could look within your own personal network and see if there’s anyone who need your services. You could try small businesses in your town, email bloggers you’ve been following, email YouTubers that you follow, etc.

It could take as little as 2 weeks for find your client! If it takes longer that’s okay! Put more time into searching for small businesses and set a goal for how many pitches you should send a day.

Virtual Assistant Courses

If you’re still a little hesitant on starting your virtual assistant business, I understand. It took me awhile to get started because I like having an exact plan of what I need to do and how to do it. I took a course from Horkey Handbook 30 days or less to Virtual Assistant Success and it changed my mindset completely. She literally went over every scenario possible!

  • How to niche down your business.
  • How to market research.
  • 3 Ways to get started online
  • 4 Pages you must have for your website and how to optimize it
  • How to source clients through: natural market, social media, networking, companies, and 4 other ways
  • How to pitch for cold and warm leads. She also gives a template for 8 different situations that you can customize for yourself and for follow ups as well.
  • How to set a rate. As a bonus she gives you a google sheet of how many clients and what pay rate you need in order to meet your current salary. (In my case, it turns out I didn’t need as much work as I thought!)
  • What to do once you have a client: productivity tips, how to avoid scope creep and what to do if it happens, etc.
  • Tools that are very beneficial for virtual assistants
  • and more

She goes in depth in every criteria. I honestly had no questions on how to get started afterwards. The information is on point and she keeps it updated. The pdf formats are life changing because it takes most of the work away for you. Also, she adds a checklist after every section and a quiz to make sure it sinks in. As a bonus, she gives you a certificate that you graduated her course!

So what do you say, are you ready for some awesome training?

Let me know in the comments below if there are any questions I answered or that I didn’t answer!

Talk soon, xoxo

Leeza Harrington

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