As a new Virtual Assistant (VA), it can be quite overwhelming for you. You get exposed to a lot of terms, work practices, and many other things that you were not previously familiar with. The beginning is always the most difficult with most things. That’s why it can be helpful to learn from those with real experience, right? Thus here are some tips to get you started with your journey as a VA collected from the experiences and wisdom of other VA’s:
Networking is key
The right opportunity won’t just hand itself over to you. You’ve got to build your connections everywhere that you can! There are lots of stories from other VA’s out there about how helpful word-of-mouth referrals have been to them when they first started. This gives your first clients the confidence that they need to trust you and in your services.
When you build the right connections, you can be sure that you will never run out of clients as one of the VA’s we know notes, 90% of her work comes from networking. Having connections with other VA’s in real life can also give you the chance to ask questions which you may be afraid to ask online.
Invest in yourself
Clients will come to you because you have something to offer. If you have nothing to offer, then you can’t expect yourself to have many long term clients. Thus, it is important to invest in yourself and learn as many skills as you can! The more you can offer, the more edge you will have over other new VA’s.
How will you learn new skills? The answer is simple—attend all the seminars, workshops, and lectures that you can find online. If you can come for free, then it’s even better! These will help you enhance your skills and revamp your portfolio.
An alternative way to learn new skills if you have an extra budget would be sites like Skillshare wherein you can learn the specific skill that you like from people who are experts already. The only disadvantage for this is that most of the tutorials are not for free.
Have discipline and follow business etiquette
Remember that you have a professional relationship with your clients. As such, the terms agreed upon should be strictly followed by each party. Having a strong work ethic can help you reach your goal more easily as it lets you follow and do your requirements within the set amount of time.
Speaking of professional relationships, keep in mind that everything should be bound by a contract. Do NOT do or submit any work unless the client has signed in a contract. This protects you from scams and other malicious entities that would try to take advantage of you.
Track your business expenses as well by keeping receipts from any purchases related to the projects. These will come in handy if ever you need to be reimbursed. Remember to respect your client’s wishes as well if they have any specific requests about the project, then be sure to follow them.
Do not underestimate yourself
This is another common mistake that experienced VA’s can point out. Most newbies tend to offer their work for free simply because they are “new” or that they “lack experience”. Do NOT undersell yourself nor compromise with the clients simply because you are a new VA.
This is how many newbies are taken advantage of. They tend to underestimate the value of their own work and end up charging less than what they really deserve. Some clients will only get used to you undervaluing yourself and thus will find it shocking when you suddenly raise your prices.
Hence, it is better to start off strong and let them know that you know your own value and that you will not settle for less. Remember to be confident and trust in your own work!
Be patient and never give up!
We know that you may get anxious especially in the beginning when you do not have as many clients as you think you should have. However, remember that even the most experienced VA’s have been in your shoes before, but they persevered and now they can even have up to six clients at once! That is the result of having patience and perseverance.
When you feel like giving up, keep in mind that there will always be a client out there who is in need of your services. All you have to do is wait patiently. The right opportunity doesn’t come when you want it, but it will always come at the right time.
When the opportunity does come, snatch it away immediately! Hold on to it and do not let go. Having friends and family who support you along the way will also help you a lot especially in the long run! Thus, having patience in this field will certainly pay off, so remember to stay tough and never give up!
Being a VA is never easy. As they say, “If it was easy, then everybody would do it”. However, there are some ways to make it easier for you as stated in this article. Try to follow these steps and you would surely be able to go through your first year as a VA smoothly!
Are you now ready to start your VA journey? Yes, you are! Stay confident, trust, and invest in yourself, be disciplined, and be patient. Those are the things that you will need in order to survive as a VA in today’s world. Pair this with a great network of clients and other VA’s, then you’ve got yourself a fighting chance to empower your career as a VA.