Someone on my mailing list the other day replied to my weekly email and said this: ‘I find the work that you do as a virtual assistant fascinating, it honestly sounds like the dream job, but I would have no idea where to start with offering services because the online space is totally foreign to me!’
This is a worry I hear from aspiring virtual assistants or freelancers all the time, and if you’re here, chances are you’ve been wondering too, so I’m going to start this off by asking you a question:
Before you were doing what you do now, did you have any experience in it? If you think back to your earlier days of entering the working world, when you allowed yourself to come in beady eyed with excitement (and a healthy dose of nerves), think about how long it took you to get the experience that you currently have.
Becoming a virtual assistant and navigating the online space is no different. If you’re looking to start your freelance business and work from home as a virtual assistant, you can learn everything there is to learn, just by taking the first step into it.
How to become a Virtual Assistant with no experience on the online space
- Create a plan of action that allows you to learn what you are curious about.
If you’re currently in a 9-5 and looking to leave some time in the foreseeable future and you’d like to start your own virtual assistant business, it would be a good idea to create a plan or a timeline of action that you’d like to take. Think about when your goal is to leave your job, and then work backwards from there.
If you’d like to leave your job in the next six months, it would be a good idea to have some clients within four months so that you can have revenue coming in and be certain that your business is viable.
That gives you three whole months to enter the space, begin exploring options, learn what you might be interested in, and set up your business.
If you’re unemployed, chances are the goal to make some money is a bit more pressing. You can still create a plan of action to give you time to learn. Ask yourself what you’d like your life to look like in 6 months and then make a plan to work back from there.
There is no rush or pressure to enter the space and have it all figured out, experience is attained through action, so give yourself time.
- Do plenty of market research.
The virtual assistant world is so much more than what first meets the eye.
Here are a few things you should dive into and start making written notes of before making any decisions:
– What types of clients would you be interested in working with?
– What is it that people do that you’ve seen has peaked your interest?
– What are your income goals for this business?
– Who are the people in the space doing what you want to do? Are they sharing anything about how they started their journey?
– What are the various types of businesses that virtual assistants serve?
– What types of tools would you be interested in learning about?
– Do you have a budget for this new business? For tools, systems and to possibly get some training?
It’s no use jumping blindly into a world that you know nothing about simply because you believe it’s ‘the dream job’. Growth doesn’t happen overnight and be very certain that running your own business is something you truly want and know enough about before you plunge.
Read the story of how I discovered the VA world here.
- Realise that you DO have experience and that not every virtual assistant job has to do with social media.
Just because you’re looking to enter the online world and have never worked here before doesn’t mean that the experience you have gained thus far is useless.
Working as a virtual assistant means running your own business and being a service provider. So apart from the packages you’re going to offer for which you’ll need skills which can be learnt, you’re also going to have to do customer management, be involved in sales and marketing, you’re going to be answering emails, managing your time, all of these things which are very much a part of offline jobs as well.
In fact, to go one step further, have you asked yourself whether the work/job that you’re currently doing in the offline world can be repurposed and done on a freelance basis?
In which case you wouldn’t need much new experience at all!
You can use the work you’ve been doing so far in current or past employment and offer these to the same types clients you were serving before, the only difference now being that you’ll be working from home (and now you may be fully your own boss).
The biggest misconception that people have is that being a virtual assistant is all about social media and all things evidently virtual. Want to know the options of job opportunities that VAs have? Check this out.
Sometimes a virtual assistant has absolutely nothing to do with those things and is just someone who does a particular task that a business owner needs, but they work on a freelance basis.
- Find someone who inspires you that offers a course, training or mentorship to help you kickstart your journey.
There are lots of virtual assistant training programmes available online, from group programmes to 1-1 trainings or one time purchase courses.
All you have to do is pick the teacher, mentor or coach who feels most aligned with your values and the knowledge you’re looking to gain.
Be sure to have done the research part above before deciding on a programme, to make sure that your investment is in something that you’re interested in and in something that will add lots of value to your journey.
The goal with any coaching programme is to give you the tools and blueprint on how to set yourself up for success and to guide you through the various strategies that have already been proven and tested.
I love sharing tips and tricks on starting and growing a virtual business that you can consider as you start your entrepreneurial journey. Let me know in the comments below, what are your takeaways or questions that you may have from this post.
Psst! – Have you grabbed your copy of the Complete Dictionary of VA Terms, Phrases & Concepts?
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