You made the decision to start a virtual assisting business. Maybe it’s because you enjoy helping others. Perhaps you have skills from your old job. Be it your intention to do this full time or part time, you want all the time and energy you put in it to be as profitable as possible.
Just as with any business, or job, there are potential mistakes to avoid. Starting a virtual assisting business is no different. I’d like to talk about some of the common ones I’ve come across or personally experienced as a virtual assistant.
A Virtual Assisting Business Journey
You ever hit that point when enough is enough with the low paying, soul-eating jobs? I had hit that point a few years ago. I’d tried more things than I can count or care to admit! Not that all were complete failures. They just didn’t reach the level of success I was reaching for: a full time income.
It was about this time, when I was feeling burned out and bewildered, I came across the information that people were working from home as virtual assistants. Even better sounding to me, is they were working for themselves, not hired on, and making nice incomes helping business owners. This sounded perfect to me. Be my own boss. I was great at helping others.
I plunged into learning more, attended an online conference, enrolled in training, and begin getting some clients. But sometime later, I realized some mistakes I was making. Mistakes that kept my business and income from growing.
Mistakes to Avoid in Your Virtual Assisting Business
#1 Not focusing on a speciality
Instead of trying to learn it all and be all for your potential client. Focus on a speciality you love doing. If you dislike social media management, don’t feel like you have to learn it or offer it.
By focusing on a speciality, you get better at it. You can invest time and money on honing your skills. You become an expert. That makes your skills worth more.
It makes it easier to market because you know exactly what you can do for clients. When people see your social media posts they know what you have to offer right away.
You are better able to create well developed processes to complete your tasks, making your virtual assisting business run more efficiently. Instead of jumping between multiple applications and programs, you get to work with the same ones. That saves time and money.
#2 Not choosing your ideal client
Instead of visioning and then targeting your ideal client, you try to reach everyone who might want a virtual assistant. Your marketing can’t possibly reach them all. You end up with a watered down version of you.
The author you hope to work with doesn’t know if you’re familiar with their needs. The coach doesn’t know either. They see a very generalized message that doesn’t target anyone. It doesn’t exactly scream, “Hire me because I’ll help your business in ways 1, 2, and 3.”
Consider who your ideal client is. Picture them in your mind. Who are they? What work do they do? How does that fit in the speciality you want to offer to them? Make this ideal client your target in all that you share when posting on social media, writing a blog post, or any form of advertising.
This makes you the go-to person for “your ideal client” in the area of “your specialty”. Maybe you want to be an expert on Pinterest for bloggers, or an webinar manager for coaches. The result will be you becoming an in-demand virtual assistant.
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#3 Not charge what you’re worth
You worked hard to gain your skill. It required money and time to learn the services your offer. You have an expertise your client doesn’t; that’s why they want you! If you undersell yourself, you will attract a kind of client that doesn’t recognize your value. This results in a number of problems.
More present is you have to work more hours to make enough money. Work for $10 an hour, you have to work double the hours than the virtual assisting charging $20. The average amount of workable hours for a virtual assisting business is around 30 per week (full time) with the remaining hour set aside for marketing and management tasks.
The VA charging $10 makes $300 a week(minus expenses) and the one charging $20 makes $600. The more specific your speciality the more you’re services are worth. It’s not out of the ordinary for some services be worth $40-50 per hour. Or even $75 per hour.
As you gain experience, raise your prices. It weeds out less-then-desirable clients. You end working with those you like helping.
Lastly, by myself and others virtual assistants, it’s been observed the lower paying clients end up taking more work to manage. More assistance and guidance, slow paying, and less organization.
#4 Not having a consistent marketing strategy
To find clients, you must market your virtual assisting business on a regular basis. Choose what social media site to focus on. Find virtual assisting groups you can network with others. Regularly visit and offer helpful input to others. Use scheduling tools to make your work easier and faster.
A post here, a tweet there, won’t get your clients. As you notice the internet moves so quickly. In order to get seen you have to post regularly and at times when your audience can it.
If you don’t know how to market your business, there are many articles and trainings on how to do it. Additionally training through VA School or VA Classroom not only teaching you marketable skills but also to market your services.