Today’s guest post is by Lana Johnson of VA Gladiator. She is a virtual assistant that has had success in the field and is also a busy mom like many of us. Her story is very inspirational and proof that having a successful VA business is possible. Today she is sharing some great tips for those of you looking into becoming a virtual assistant. Enjoy!
My days as a VA consist of normal mama chores; waking up the first grader and getting him fed, dressed, and out the door for school. Also feeding and watering the dogs, getting my 17 month old to agree to stay in one room long enough for me to complete my to-do list for my various clients, and bickering with my husband over what to do for dinner. Some days me and the baby are able to nap together and go to the park. Other days, I look up and my son is home from school and I don’t know where the day went. I’m a VA doing double duty for two VA firms and running my own company.
When I decided I wanted to work from home full-time, I asked the VA I was working with if she had more hours. After talking it over with my husband, I quit my job and started taking on my own clients. I didn’t get a website, Facebook page or even advertise my business until I had been working for 11 months as a VA! I’m going to tell you how I did this:
3 Ways To Kickstart Your Virtual Assistant Career
1. Make a list of your services.
What do you currently do? I was a project manager for a fortune 500 company. I started by looking at what I did at work every day. My list started out with simple stuff like data entry, project management and customer relations. Then I remembered how often I made simple PDF’s and that I know Salesforce, a popular CRM (Customer Relationship Management system). In addition to that, my first VA job was with a Greek e-zine and website so all I had to do was be familiar with the fraternal world and be good with people.
2. Find a VA who is willing to train you.
THIS IS THE BEST ADVICE I CAN GIVE YOU. If you don’t have any skills that really make you a commodity, such as web design, writing or marketing, you’ll need someone willing to train you. Facebook groups are a good place to start. Find a VA who needs help but can’t pay much, and negotiate training+ pay for your services. My first gig paid $8/hr and she was more than happy to pay more as I learned more and became more independent. I learned Word Press, Infusion Soft, and Social Media Marketing all from my AWESOME VA Mentor!
3. Find your niche.
After you know what you can do and learn a few new skills, it’s time to figure out what you’re really passionate about. I can make a mean meatloaf, but I hate cooking! So I looked at where I loved to spend my time (besides with my beautiful babies) and realized I was GIVING away a lot of time to fraternal and non-profit organizations; so that became my niche. I still have small businesses and solopreneurs as clients, but my sweet spot is Fraternities and Sororities as well as other non-profits. I write policy, draft annual reports and rock at member management! Figure out where you shine and gravitate towards that arena. There are VA’s who help realtors, writers, business and life coaches and so on… There is an area for you!
Lana Johnson: Lana is the VA Gladiator. She helps small businesses and non-profits focus on what they were founded to do by taking on the tasks they despise. Lana is a wife and mom of two kids who are surely smarter than her, and adopted mom to two rowdy dogs. She is a proud member of Lambda Psi Delta, a multicultural sorority, for which she has served as board member since 2007. Lana loves reading and watching trashy TV when she isn’t spending time with her family or working for the many other organizations for which she volunteers.