Interested in Becoming a Virtual Assistant? Hope this helps...
When COVID hit, many people lost their jobs, homes, identity, etc. It was bad enough that we had to quarantine and ran out of toilet paper, but many people had to rely on the government for financial assistance, that was usually less than their employment income. This is when we saw the boom in the Virtual Assistant career field due to workers not comfortable with working outside of the home.
Many career schools, community colleges and online programs began to offer Virtual Assistant "courses" to those looking for a new career field. Unfortunately, people were being taken advantage of from these schools and were being charged a fortune. Many schools were offering "free" courses, but the schools were getting the financial assistance from the government and still charging people for books, internet usage, etc since only the "course" was free.
I'd like to share some information on how to begin a VA career without spending your last hard earned dollar. I will also share reputable and honest companies to help you get started. However, if you already have a niche that can be turned into a career, save your money on classes and do your own research. It's not easy getting started but don't make it harder on you either.
Find your passion! Everyone has a passion. It can be running (or any type of exercise), administrative skills, medical billing or coding, cooking, graphics, etc. You can turn that passion into a virtual business. When you have a true passion for something, use that as your focal point.
Research the market! Look up other VAs that are providing the same or similar business services. There may be tons of VAs doing the same business or providing the same service. Instead of being caught up in the mountain pile, offer an extra service.
Stand out from the pack. If you're offering social media management services, add creating template. Many business owners don't have the time to constantly update their social media accounts and may like a particular format. If you create that format into a template, it may not only be useful to you, but the business owner would appreciate the extra step.
Business and Domain Name! This is my favorite part. Pick a business and domain name that's catchy and reflects your business. If you're offering administrative services, it may be a bad idea to name your business or domain "I Love Dogs". Be creative but not too far out there. If you absolutely can't come up with an idea for a name, there's many websites that has domain generators. But, be careful. I've seen numerous virtual websites with similar names. Do a google search and make sure you name stands out and out be confused with another virtual website.
Google, Go Daddy, Domain and website builders offer domain name services. That means you can purchase and register your domain name. If you choose to utilize a website builder, you can get your domain name for free most of the time. Yes, that sounds tantalizing, but remember you may not be able to transfer that name to another service. I originally got my domain when I signed up for my website builder/ host. I didn't like the builder, so I transferred to another builder/ host. It took way to much time to just have my domain transferred. So I just gave up the headache. I went with google domains and then transferred to another builder/ host. Best decision!
Create a website! As we know, technology rules and is a must have, especially in the VA world. If you are tech savvy, then you could create and monitor your own website or you can use a website service that also hosts and may provide the drag & drop option. You're website doesn't need to look like a million dollars, but does need to be attractive and have your services and contact information listed.
Website builders with hosting:
*WIX, Go Daddy, Squarespace, Weebly, HostGator and WordPress.com offer website design, domains and hosting. They are considered the "top dogs". They do offer free website designs, but your website name would appear as: www.islandvitualsolutions.wixsite.com/siteaddresss. This could appear as unprofessional and very hard to remember. You can upgrade to a paid site and your website would appear as: www.islandvirtualsolutions.com. Imagine the differences when they appear on a business card.
*If you do have coding skills and are somewhat technology savvy, you can actually create your website and have control of updates, configurations, etc.
*WordPress (.org not .com), DIVI (can be used with WordPress), Elemenator (can be used with WordPress), Weebly and Site123 are considered the "top dogs" for do it yourself website building.
Advertise and Market Yourself! Do you remember the old saying, "it takes money to make money?" Well, yes that's somewhat true, but there's ways to save money too. Don't pay others to do what you can do for yourself. You're the one that knows what you want and how to convey your message properly.
Create a Facebook page. Make sure it's professional looking and please don't place photos that could be offensive. You never know who's looking at your business page.
Join groups that have a similar career field or ideas as you. I've been blessed to meet people that's been in the VA world for many years. They've been fantastic about answering my questions and pointing me in the right direction. Although most groups ban "networking" you're still able to learn a lot from them.
Join groups where you think your target audience would be. If you're providing medical billing service, then look into medical administrative groups. A cooking group wouldn't have the audience you're trying to reach.
Create a local business page. Since we are Virtual Assistants, we tend to overlook our local businesses (I'm guilty of that).
* Yelp and Google Business have free local advertising. They also have paid advertising but utilize the free services to become familiar with how to market and promote yourself.
Marketing items can be very beneficial, but can become costly. Again, if funds are tight look at creating your own business cards. Nowadays, you only need a printer, good card stock (Avery has awesome card stocks), and your idea.
I use Vistaprint. They're affordable and have many products for you to choose from. Vistaprint is also great with sending discounts. When I first signed up with them, they gave me 30% off and free shipping.
The best overlooked promotion is word of mouth. Tell your friends to tell their friends, etc. Again, you never know who someone else knows!
Until Next Time....