If you have good office based skills, chances are you could become a Virtual Assistant and work at home fulltime. Thousands are doing it, so why not you?
I celebrate 18 years of fulltime business this month (on the 24th to be exact). While it’s not all been a bed of roses I can tell you I wouldn’t swap the experience for a corporate job any day. The benefits of being at home fulltime far outweigh the benefits of working in a corporate job. I love the environment I work in, I love being here for my family when they need me, and I love not having to do the travel in and out of an office on a daily basis.
However, so many joining the industry these days get confused about what a VA is (self-employed definitely) and how to find work (clients – not employers). It’s important to understand that you need to be in the right mindset in order to attract clients. You need to be experienced at the skills you wish to offer as a service, confident in talking about what you’re capable of doing and not shy of meeting people – online and offline. You’ll need to spend time networking to meet people, in order to gain clients.
A quick shortcut way of finding clients is to register with different websites available for that purpose. There are many of them and you will have heard of several I’m sure. However, not all are designed to help you get what you’re worth and make the best use of your skillset. It’s important you look at each site for what it is and assess whether it suits what you’re planning to do or not. A generalised type of work/freelance site won’t be dedicated to Virtual Assistants specifically, so you’re going to get people from all walks of life, with different skillsets competing with you for a client who might be swayed by someone who only charges $5 an hour versus a professional (I’m talking about you, by the way) who may well charge in excess of $30 an hour. So, it’s important you register in those places where Virtual Assistants are accepted and appreciated for their skills and their worth. Enter the VA Networks. These are designed to help you mix and mingle with your peers, learn about the industry and be introduced to clients.
But the VA Networks aren’t the only place to join. There are discussion groups, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other places. Also your local council business directory and any other directory you can get on. And virtual isn’t the only way either. Consider joining local business networks such as BNI, Chamber of Commerce, and other networks where business people mix and mingle. The reality is that while you’re working ‘virtually’, many of your clients could literally be local and shouldn’t be overlooked. With time spent consistently being ‘out there’ and making sure you follow up after meeting people, you are sure to gain clients before too long.
Make sure you read my blog next week for promotions for the VA industry in celebration of my 18th anniversary!