Have you taken the leap and started your own Virtual Assistant business? You have, that’s great congratulations! It can be a very daunting process especially if VA work is your only source of income. I thought I’d try and share some insight into my business that has now been running for over 3 years.
For me after not being able to find flexible employment so I could spend time with my daughter, I did a bit of research and stumbled upon Virtual Assistants, I decided that I would give it a go especially with my admin background. It doesn’t happen for everyone but after 1 month I signed up my first client and a couple of months after that my second (whom to this day I still work with). I currently have over 15 regular clients and have worked with many more over the years.
I see some people not only VAs struggle trying to find clients and they get disheartened when they can’t find work. You’ve probably heard it a lot ‘find your niche’ well I didn’t really know what my niche was when I first started I only knew how to do admin work there wasn’t anything specific that I thought I was good at. Finding your niche does take time and you will probably be able to define it more once you develop new skills. For me it was social media, animated videos & affordable WordPress Websites.
I’ve been to a few networking events now and all I have to do is introduce myself and I get called the ‘social media girl’ so it’s good to be known for something in particular.
Ok so how did I start, with a website. It wasn’t the most glamorous of sites, but it served its purpose. If you don’t have a website I believe you are doing yourself an injustice. Your clients want to know you are a credible business and you have the info to back it up.
Secondly as a must I made sure that I had a Facebook account and a LinkedIn profile, I do have a Twitter and Google+ account but as a start up business they are not essential it depends on what you are going to use them for. Google+ is great if you have a website and you will be blogging as anything that you share to Google+ will help your website rankings.
Social Media is a powerful channel all on it’s own but team that up with your website and you are bound to get more traffic directed to your website where you can show people what you do. Posting to your Facebook & LinkedIn accounts will not only help you to be found online but will also help build a following and bring in potential customers.
Thirdly, place an advertisement on all the free sites. There are so many out there but here are just a few.
- IBizProfile Australia
What you need to do now is utilize the Business groups on Facebook, there are heaps. All you need to do is either type the suburb and the word business or just business and you will find a long list of them that you can join. Create a unique advertisement, create a schedule and then share regularly to the groups to build brand awareness. You can just share your Facebook page and add some wording, but you will more than likely have a better response with an image/advertisement. Don’t forget you are trying to build your brand.
And lastly network, network, network. Your potential clients want to meet you. Yes, you may be a Virtual Assistant but that doesn’t mean you are stuck behind a desk isolated from the world. Join your local chamber of commerce search through meetup to find some groups but most of all just get out there. You will meet a variety of business owners and not all will be interested in your services however by planting that seed in their mind especially if they have not heard of a virtual assistant this can help you in the future. They may not need your services today, but they might 6 months down the track.
Google My Maps, have you heard of it?
I didn’t either until a couple of days ago. I was creating a website and needed a map that I could include service areas but most of the online ones I found required a payment for using these services. Then I stumbled across Google My Maps and viola it was the perfect solution for what I needed.
Google My Maps is free and all you need is a Gmail account. You can easily create custom maps which you can share with friends, family or even embed on your website and the best part is it’s interactive.
You can create as many maps as you like you can add markers and customize those markers say for instance you want to mark your home, the shops, the beach and other destinations with a different icon for each. Calculate the distance, what the best route is and how long it will take via bus, walking etc.
This is such a handy tool especially for those that need a map on their website. If you would like more information visit https://www.google.com.au/maps/about/mymaps/
Hi I’m Tammy and I’ve been running my business as a Virtual Assistant for nearly the last 3 years. Being self employed and working from home is such a great pleasure for me as I learnt to make that balance between work and family. Over the past 3 years I’ve learnt things that I never expected to and I’ve had the pleasure of working with some wonderful people some of which I now consider friends too, and to think when I first started I was so worried because it took 3 months to get my first major client. Over this time I have gained valuable skills to help me assist other business owners with various aspects of their business including some marketing, in the form of WordPress Websites, Social Media & MailChimp Newsletters.
Over the last 9 months I’ve taken the time to really evaluate my business and figure out the direction I wanted to go. I came to the conclusion that I want to help start ups and those small businesses that don’t have the cash flow or the knowledge to get their business started online. So for the past 8 months I have started offering website development for those business owners that need an online presence at an affordable price. I can complete what could be a time consuming job for you for a fraction of the time and price.
All my websites are built on WordPress with an easy to use/manage theme so even you the business owner can make changes at a later date. My website packages come with basic SEO, if you provide the relevant keyword search terms I try my best to incorporate this into your website for you.
As a VA I rely a lot on networking & online channels to source work whether it be on social media or face to face. In my personal opinion you can’t be without social media and you should be using it to your advantage. A website and social media go hand in hand. If you are sharing valuable content to your followers and utilizing groups like the business community groups to drive traffic to your website you are half way there, the other half is having a good website that leads your customers to take action and this includes having the relevant call to actions (what do you want them to do when they reach your page?).
For me I had a major YAY! moment today. I completed a website for a client about a month a go, I incorporated basic SEO into his website and when I checked yesterday he has come up at least 5 times for various search terms on the first 10 pages of Google and most of the results were on page 2 or 3. To think when I started with just my own basic website 3 years ago and then in the last 8 months the amount of stuff I’ve learnt, this is something that I can definately sit back & be happy of where I am today.
TLB Admin Support has come so far in the last couple of years we have gone from starting out with that 1 client to now supporting many businesses that we either work with on an ongoing basis or as needed. We take the hassle out of having to employee someone when you need that support whether it be with your admin, website, social media or chasing those people with unpaid invoices.
I just have these questions for you. Are you happy with where your business is today? Are you doing everything you can to make sure you are being found online? As a business owner you should be doing everything you can to be at the stage where you can work On your business rather than In it. If it’s a matter of having the time as a Virtual Assistant I offer support from just 1 hour a week with no lock in contracts, giving you an opportunity to spend some time on your business.
If you would like to chat more about how you can get online or if you need some support you can contact me at email@example.com or connect with me on LinkedIn. I also have some great articles on our Facebook Page.
Have you just taken the plunge and started your business? Or are you established but come to the realization that you need a website? No matter what the reason is choosing a platform for your website can be really confusing. You’ve got options like WordPress, Wix, Magneto, Shopify, WooCommerce, DIY website builders and the list goes on. You’ve probably looked at that list and thought I don’t even want to go there!
While free website builders like wordpress.com and Wix can seem great you have to take into consideration how your potential clients are going to perceive you. What they sometimes don’t tell you is that with the free sites yes you don’t pay for hosting or a domain but you will have their own branding attached to yours, which can seem unprofessional.
A month after I started my business I realized I needed a website as there is only so much you can do on social media to build your brand awareness and I noticed that a lot of people after speaking to me initially wanted to visit a website to know more. I started with the DIY website builder from Go Daddy and purchased my own domain name and hosting through them. While this was a start now looking back on what my website looked like I’m surprised I got anyone to visit my website but at least I had an online presence and managed to get my second client through my website.
Personally for me I find WordPress.org to be my preferred platform. With hosting starting anywhere from $6 a month for Australian hosting, and domains from $22 you’re already half way there. With wordpress.org there are so many free plugins to use to create your site as well as free themes. What they don’t tell you with wordpress.com is that if you want premium features you have to pay and it will end up costing you more whereas some of these features actually come with the .org version. There are some paid themes available that have the ease of allowing you to drag and drop to create your website, this is great if you want to add your own personal touch and create it yourself.
Around 74.6 million people use WordPress so really that’s a good indication that it’s a great platform to use. Generally I find that WordPress.org goes hand in hand with the Yoast plugin for your SEO, this can be used as a free plugin or you can purchase premium.
So remember while free can be good it’s not always best especially if you want to grow your brand the right way. Wouldn’t you rather do it right in the beginning than later on having to spend more time and money having to change it?
If you would like more information or want to check out some of our previous blog posts you can read them here.
Also head on over to our Facebook page for a constant flow of articles to help you grow your business.