Thaleia Maher from Something2Offer and I have joined forces to co-create a series this month called What it Takes to Be a Virtual Assistant. She and I have had so many valuable discussions about being virtual assistants and working from home that we decided to get serious about this topic and create something that will really help readers understand what a VA is, and move forward in their quest to become one.
These are just a few things we will be covering on Franticmommy, and Thaleia’s Something2Offer blog:
- What it Takes to Be a Virtual Assistant: The Basics
- What it Takes to Be a Virtual Assistant: Finding Clients
- What it Takes to Be a Virtual Assistant: Picking Your Niche
- What it Takes to Be a Virtual Assistant: Systems and Strategies for Sustainability (coming 8/29!)
- What it Takes to Be a Virtual Assistant: Tools and Skills
- What it Takes to Be a Virtual Assistant: How VA and Regular Employees Differ
- What it Takes to Be a Virtual Assistant: When to Know it’s Time to Hire a VA
- What it Takes to Be a Virtual Assistant: I’ve Hired a VA: NOW WHAT?
If you desire to become a virtual assistant, you might initially believe that you can do everything. Being everything to everyone and anyone is not the best way to run your virtual assistant business. Getting started as a virtual assistant means being your own boss, and being a business owner. If you want to be successful you have to let go of the desire to be everything to everyone. When new VA’s have an administrative assistant or secretarial background it’s not uncommon to try to recreate this administrative quality from home. But, you’ll actually earn more money if you pick a niche.
The fact is, in the VA world, picking a smaller area to concentrate on, and specific tasks that you will perform will make your virtual assistant business stronger. When you know what your niche is, you can then study who your target market is. Once you know these two things you can focus all your marketing efforts toward finding your ideal clients. Having ideal clients who value your contribution is imperative to your happiness, financial and otherwise. So, how do you pick your niche as a virtual assistant?
* Analyze your skill set — What do you know how to do? If you’ve worked at a lot of as an administrative assistant you have certain skills such as answering phones, dealing with customers, checking email, organizing mail, typing letters and other general tasks. Write down everything you can do at an expert level because you will not have assistance from anyone when you’re at home, so you need to know how to do tasks very well.
* Choose your market — You’ve picked your skills, now you need to pick your market. Performing these tasks might be enjoyable for one group of people and not so much for another group of people. Your market might be Authors, Bloggers, Coaches or Realtors. It’s your choice. You can be very specific about who your market is down to their sex, income, and title. Knowing who you want to work with will help tremendously with the next step. Personally, I love working with small business folks and magazine. Thaleia really rocks it with her services for authors of all genres.
* Choose your market’s needs — Match up your skills to the needs of your market. If you work with realtors. what tasks do they need done that you can do from home, that fits a specific niche? Study all you can about the particular market so that you can ensure to offer the tasks and assistance they truly need from you. Remember, you can’t and shouldn’t try to serve every last need, but a specific set of needs.
* Choose your services — Write down all services that go along with your skills. Then, group these into complementary task groups; throw out anything that doesn’t relate to one of the groups you’ve created. For example Article Posting, Blog Posting, Keyword Research, Content Calendar Management, and Newsletter Posting. These are all complementary skills that go together that you can easily offer in a package of services.
Be sure and check out Thaleia’s posts HERE and HERE as well since we are doing this series in tandem. If you have any specific thoughts, comments, or questions, please leave them in the comment box below. We want to know what YOU are wondering about and what you need to know to start Rockin The VA Life?
Tons of “getting started” info from what kind of gear will you need to where are the best places to find clients. Did I mention it was free?
Best of luck to you in your new quest!