We know that starting an endeavor as Virtual Assistant generates a lot of uncertainty, especially at the beginning when we do not know well if we are taking the right path.
Before continuing, we want to tell you something important: it does not matter the nature of the enterprise. The beginning of this adventure will always be full of doubts. It’s normal, but with good planning , you can overcome them and be prepared for any inconvenience that comes your way.
Why do we feel these fears? Basically because we do not know what will come, if our offer will like, if the clients will look for us, if we are using the correct channels. You do not have a crystal ball to discover your future as a Virtual Assistant but there are other people who have already traveled this path and who are eager to share their experience with you.
For this reason, we bring you our ten best tips for beginners that will undoubtedly help you to start your journey as a Virtual Assistant with much more security.
10 Tips To Start Your Virtual Assistant Endeavor
1.- Do not underestimate the power of good networking: Nothing better to start than going to events related to your industry. Los networking (meetings in which professionals exchange ideas) allow you to develop confidence, since you will be surrounded by people who will ask you what you do, what your aspirations are and what new features you bring to the market. Take advantage of these events to prepare a speech that not only explains what you do, but how you do it and why. Also attend meetings of entrepreneurs. Surely there is in your city. Remember that nobody needs a virtual assistant more than those entrepreneurs who are starting their businesses. If there is a virtual assistant network, take the opportunity. This will be the ideal opportunity to be referred to potential clients. In addition, you will be part of the network of Virtual Assistants in your country, a vital support to grow.
2 .- Stay updated: If you have the budget to do so, sign up for those courses or training that keep you updated in your professional area. Remember that you will be in a market in which the struggle for a new client is rude and only those who have something different to offer win. One of the keys to stand out among the sea of virtual assistants is to be a specialist in something. If you are a designer and your strength is the logos, form yourself to be the best logo designer that can exist. If yours is the creation of websites, specialize in those techniques to create the most functional web pages that may exist.
However, we know that at the beginning it is difficult to allocate part of the budget to training. Nowadays that is not an excuse. The Internet allows us to find reliable sources from our industry, who by means of blogs, videos, webinars or free live classes, allow us to be at the forefront.
Do not limit yourself only to learn about what you know how to do. While it is true that you must be specialized, it never hurts to learn new things that will surely help you develop your creativity.
3.- Counsel with a good lawyer and an accountant: Setting up your own business is a very serious job that should not be taken lightly. For this reason, you should consult with a good lawyer specialized in entrepreneurship to instruct you in terms of laws as an independent worker and contracts with clients. In addition, the financial area also deserves special attention. Hire the advice of an accountant who prepares you on tax issues and management of the finances of the company. Believe us, these are two areas that you should never neglect.
4.- Do not work without a signed contract or offer your services for free: There are many malicious people looking for professionals who are just beginning in the world of Virtual Assistance (or any other area) to cheat and take advantage of their own. The best way to avoid such unpleasant situations is to sign a contract, even if it is virtual. Websites such as upwork or Workman (contact websites between clients and independent workers) place great emphasis on avoiding closing negotiations outside the platforms to prevent scams. If someone contacts you to do a job without pay in exchange for experience, evaluate very well if you really win something. Each time you accept these types of conditions, you harm your own image and the industry. If you are a Virtual Assistant it is because you already have experience and have worked for some time in that profession. Value your knowledge and professional career.
5.- Invest in your digital image: It is very likely that a potential client looks for his Virtual Assistant on the internet, either through a site like Upwork or looking for references on LinkedIn. Do you have a strong and relevant presence on these platforms? Moreover, with very little investment you can go further and have your own website where you are present, show a little of what you do, have some customer testimonials, explain your services and rates. You can also start writing your own blog , where you can demonstrate what you know.
Also use social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or YouTube. Each one deserves a different strategy and an exclusive action plan. The important thing is that you choose a platform with which you feel comfortable and feed it with relevant and valuable content so that when a potential client finds you, say: This is the person I need.
6.- Support yourself in an AV agency: Getting started is complicated, but you do not have to start this journey alone. There are Virtual Assistants agencies that are in charge of putting clients in contact with their ideal assistant. The advantages are many: they offer you the support of a company, they avoid misunderstandings between client and assistant, they have reliable clients and they help you to grow professionally. The best virtual assistants: professionals with more than 5 years of experience in their areas and with a solid university career. In our company, the attendees have the support of professionals who not only watch over the growth of the companies with which we work, but the growth of each of our employees. Being an agency of Virtual Assistants, you will know that your work will be recognized with the right price, never less. If you are interested in learning more about the Virtual Assistants agencies, we invite you to read this article titled 5 reasons to look for your AV in an assistants agency .
7. Search tools: The digital tools are on the agenda. On your smartphone or computer you can install apps for whatever you want: effective time management, productivity, communication, project management, etc. There are so many, that it will seem overwhelming to choose only one for each of your needs.
Quiet, that’s what we are for. Our recommendation is that you try some of the most recognized and “you marry” that works best. Of course, take into account that communication tools and project management must be understood not only by you, but by your client.
To communicate and share projects and assignments, we recommend the Google suite. With Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, Drive and Hangouts you will have at your disposal a range of tools to share files and communicate.
If you need a productivity tool, the easiest one at the moment is Trello, which with its boards and lists will make your life easier.
8.- It offers an excellent service to customers: Remember that when you become a Virtual Assistant, your product is a service and that goes far beyond executing an effective task. The client must feel that you are his right hand, that you are there when he needs you, that he counts on you to have a second vision of his projects. That is, you are your co-worker and you have confidence. This is not achieved at first. The quality of your work and your empathy will depend on that client considering that he has won a partner and the result will be that he will return to your services whenever he needs it.
9.- Not all clients are your ideal client: We know that at the beginning you will be desperate to get that first client you need so much, but be careful. Not all customers are your ideal customer. On the way you will meet people with whom it is very difficult to work, they are never satisfied or want much more from you than they are willing to pay. This is normal. The important thing is that you can cut through that damaging employment relationship quickly and politely. Review our article Five recommendations to deal with difficult customers if you want more information about it.
10.- Be patient and disciplined: The beginning is hard. We know. You must be patient and do the things you have to do: go to your networking meetings, create content for your digital channels, consult with other professionals and train professionally. You may not see results in the first few months, but if you are disciplined and do not get distracted by false promises of immediate success, you will be able to find your ideal client and form a name within the Virtual Assistants industry.
You do not need a crystal ball that reveals the future to know if you are doing or not the right thing. What you do need is to seek support, either from other Virtual Assistants or professionals that help you grow. This is a job where you can not grow alone, but by the hand of colleagues and good customers.