Are you thinking of becoming a Virtual Assistant?
Are you a new Virtual Assistant with lingering questions?
I put together a Q&A for the common questions I receive from new and potential Virtual Assistants.
Q: How do I become a Virtual Assistant?
A: Becoming a Virtual Assistant should be a thought out process. In my opinion, it should be done overtime to ensure success. I've seen friends jump into the Virtual Assistant world in less than a week. They ended up quitting because they saw no results. Take the time to create a business plan. You can add or take away from your plan as you go. But sticking to your business plan can increase your chance of success. The steps below can (hopefully) get you started.
What is your talent / skills. What are your strengths? What do you enjoy doing most? For me, I've been in the medical field for about 20 years. I started off in Nursing, then went into administration. This is my strength and it is what I enjoy doing.
2. What services should I provide? This goes with your talents /skills. If you have a talent
for organization, you'd be great as a Personal Assistant. This can include calendar
management, creating and maintaining a filing system, scheduling meetings and
appointments, etc. Some Virtual Assistants specialize in certain areas and it allows
them to focus solely on that specialty.
3. What equipment would I need to get started? A laptop and / or a desktop computer
is a must have. Make sure you have a steady internet and enough storage space.
https://www.techradar.com/news/best-business-desktop-pcs has good tips for
home based business and computer needs. A working phone is always a must. It
can be an android or a smartphone, it's really just a personal preference.
4. How can I market / advertise my new business? First off, I recommend checking out
the market to see what other VAs offer with their services in that field. If you have a
skill that others do not, make sure you showcase that. If you're marketing yourself as
administrative assistant, but you trained coworkers or new hires, make sure you add
trainer as another skill.
I personally believe in "marketing on a budget". That means, you don't need to spend a ton of money (or in some cases, no money) to start advertising your new business.
*Name your business. Remember to have a name that's catchy, easy to
remember and not to have a name that a thousand others already have. If you
to look up Virtual Assistant businesses, you'll see about 100 Virtual Assistant
business names but with slight variations. Make yours stand out. I chose Island
Virtual Solutions because I live in Hawaii, most of my work is virtual and I don't just
provide services, I provide solutions to businesses.
* After you settle on a business name, it's time to purchase a domain name. Make
sure your domain name matches or explains your business. If your business
name is I Love Dogs, then don't chose a domain name like Cat Sitter. You can
purchase your domain name through several places like Domain.com, GoDaddy,
google, and many others. Or, as I'll discuss below, you can get a FREE
domain with your website.
* Let's get a website going! If you have zero knowledge on how to build a website
no worries. Wix, Wordpress, GoDaddy, Squarespace and several other builders
have built-in templates. They're rather user friendly and have beautiful templates
to choose from. Or if you have the capability to create your own website, you
would need a hosting provider. WordPress is extremely popular. PCMAG
(https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-web-hosting-services) names the top 4
I definitely recommend to do comparisons with each to ensure you'll be happy
with your website.
* Most website builders offer free domain names and registration. Some will also
offer "freebies" like $300 credit in AdSense, where you can purchase ads for your
business or create your own logo.
* I recommend LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and good ol' fashion word
of mouth for free marketing, networking and advertising.
These are just some of the things you can do to get started with your new business. In my opinion, you learn as you go. When I need advice, I turn to the seasoned VAs I created business relationships with. They are usually happy to help a new VA get started and will offer great advice. As you network, you will meet and form relationships with people all over the world with varying specialties. I like learning from them because it gives me a different perspective on how to start a business, how to market myself and how to network.
Below are some websites and videos that I'd recommend viewing. They offer valuable insight and assistance on how and where to begin. You will bring the what and why you are starting your business, so you're only needing the how. But most importantly, have fun and enjoy creating your business.
Until We Meet Again....