Entrepreneurship is more accessible than ever, thanks to the Internet. A basic understanding of social media, WordPress, and community management can begin your career in virtual assistance. Being a virtual assistant has many rewards — like doing something you love, setting your own hours and tapping into unlimited earnings. Before you take the big leap into the business, ask yourself these four questions. (P.S.: If you’re still interested in becoming a virtual assistant afterwards, join our newsletter for actionable resources on getting started.)
Are you a disciplined self-starter?
You will not succeed as a virtual assistant if you aren’t disciplined and a self-starter. More importantly, you’ve got to be a self-finisher! Every day, you have to make the decision to turn on your computer and serve your paying clients regardless of your emotions. You must set realistic work hours as they will hold you accountable for work. They’ll also advise your clients of when you’re available. Think about when you’re most lucid. Could you see yourself managing someone else’s social media or decoding their Google analytics during that time? Keep this in mind when organizing your work load and securing creative clients.
Who is your ideal client?
At Danzy Bird & Co., we love collaborating with ambitious women who run creative businesses in the entertainment, fashion and apparel, beauty, and digital services industries. We work best when our beliefs and work ethic matches our clients’, thus creating an organic, tolerable relationship. It took us a few years to realize who we best worked with and now we stand by those decisions. But how do you determine your ideal client as a new virtual assistant?
As difficult as it is starting out, try to avoid being led by money. Instead, think of characteristics that you don’t want to deal with, like clients who are aggressive, difficult to work with, or hard to reach when you have questions or need work materials. (You’d also want to avoid those who don’t pay on time or constantly question your price!) List those negative characteristics and write their opposite on the other side of the paper. This may help guide your decision in finding your people.
What are you good at?
Realizing your ideal client or your potential as a self-starter won’t matter if you haven’t zeroed in on your profitable skills. Truly, what are you good at? Do you enjoy doing those things? Can make a living from doing them? Would doing them repeatedly bore you?
You might be good at writing sales copy, but if you’re not passionate about it, don’t offer that service to potential clients. Instead, think of digital tasks that make you happy (or are at least tolerable). Here’s a short list of virtual assistance services you can offer:
- Answering emails
- Responding to comments on social media
- Managing an online community (comment moderation, engaging posts, etc.)
- Creating quality graphics
- Writing SEO blog posts
- Composing great headlines
- Newsletters — designing, writing, scheduling and/or monitoring them
- Press follow ups for clients
- Scheduling meetings, appointments and/or travel
- Organizing workflows
- Creating social media pages
Truth Bomb: Busy entrepreneurs are desperate for competent individuals who can handle these kind of tasks. Use this short list as a guide for determining what you’re good at and what services you’ll offer.
Why do you want to become a virtual assistant?
We started Danzy Bird & Co., because we saw dope women entrepreneurs desperate for trustworthy help to run their businesses. In private Facebook groups and other online spaces, we heard them cringe at the thought of “doing the work” while maintaining their successful online businesses. We realized that entrepreneurs become successful when focusing on building, creating, streamlining and networking, so instead of diminishing those things, we add to their lives with our services. In turn, decreasing their workload has become our business.
It is important to us to build healthy relationships with creative bosses in a variety of industries, so our work appeals to those people. And we’re good at what we do! In part, these reasons are why we started this company with virtual assistance.
Other than creating your own hours and setting your own pay, what is your intention behind becoming a virtual assistant? Who do you want to serve and why? Learn your why and build your business around those intentions.
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