One question I get asked a lot is, “How do I get started as a virtual assistant?”
Many admins are eager for advice on how to strike out on their own and begin their virtual assistant business. Yet they don’t know where to begin.
While there’s no exact science behind becoming a VA, there are several things you can do to make the process smoother and your overall experience a more successful one.
1. Network. Tap your personal and professional network to find clients and work. Reach out to former colleagues, friends and even family and ask if they or anyone they know needs a VA. This is a great way to generate new business, whether you’re a veteran VA or just getting started.
2. Subcontract. If you know someone who is a VA, ask them if they’re willing to subcontract any work out to you. Also, don’t be shy about striking up new relationships with experienced VAs and inquiring about work. Most VAs are more than happy to help out someone who is a new to the field. And even if they don’t have any subcontracting work, they may be able to refer you to someone who does.
3. Join online VA groups. There are a lot of VA groups on the web and social media that offer advice, resources, and even job listings. Vanetworking.com and the International Virtual Assistants Association are both excellent options. Do some research and find the groups that best fit your needs and then get active in their forums and on social media.
4. Read and Research. There are several helpful books out there for virtual assistants, including Virtually Successful: 8 Simple Ways for Virtual Assistants to Find (And Keep) Clients and The Bootstrap VA: The Go-Getter’s Guide to Becoming a Virtual Assistant, Getting and Keeping Clients, and More! Pick up one of these books and gain some valuable knowledge about the VA world. You can also check out VA blogs and websites, such as the onlinebusinessmanager.com and thevirtualasst.com, for additional reading.
5. Create your plan and implement! When you choose to become a VA, you are choosing to run your own business. This means you need a plan and the drive to implement it! Before I launched my VA business, I built up a transition fund to support any gap in income and provide some startup capital to launch my business. I invested in developing a logo and branding for my company, professional headshots, competent legal advice, two certifications, and website development training. And I was up and running! Having a plan made all the difference in starting my business with a solid foundation from day one.
Whether you’re nearing retirement and looking for your second act, you’re between jobs, or you simply want to be your own boss, being a virtual assistant can be an excellent career move for admins. So if you’re entertaining the idea of starting your own VA business, I strongly encourage you to pursue the opportunity! You never know where it might lead you. I’m living proof!
In addition to the resources already listed, here are some other sites you may find helpful as you research virtual assistance:
- VA Coaching & Training Co.
© 2015 Julie Perrine International, LLC
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at www.AllThingsAdmin.com.