Are you cut out to be a Virtual Assistant? 6 Questions you MUST ask before taking the Plunge

 Discover if you've got what it takes to be a Successful Virtual Assistant with these 6 Important Questions to Answer before Taking the Plunge. A Guest Post from  Sharon, thriving Business Mom at Black Cockatoo Executive Virtual Assistant Services.

Discover if you've got what it takes to be a Successful Virtual Assistant with these 6 Important Questions to Answer before Taking the Plunge. A Guest Post from  Sharon, thriving Business Mom at Black Cockatoo Executive Virtual Assistant Services.

Have you ever thought about becoming a Virtual Assistant? Do you like the idea but you're not really sure what's involved? Yes? Then this post is for you!

I'm really excited to welcome Sharon, who has a thriving business as an Executive Virtual Assistant, to the blog today to tell us what you really need to know about becoming a Virtual Assistant....

Are you cut out to be a Virtual Assistant?

It seems like an easy job right? I mean everyone has a computer and can post stuff on Facebook can’t they?

There is also the lure of working from home, I mean who doesn’t love working in their PJs, setting their own hours and avoiding a long commute to work!

For mums who are at home with their little ones, being a VA (Virtual Assistant) can seem like a dream job.

Wikipedia defines a Virtual Assistant as someone who is self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office {}. Which doesn’t exactly narrow it down a lot.

Typically VAs perform a diverse range of tasks – general admin, social media management, graphic design, copywriting, bookkeeping, web design/ maintenance, marketing…you name it and you can probably find a VA who does it.

The term VA is used internationally and I am not sure when we first started using it but I still generally have to explain to most people “what I do” which is usually met with “oh that’s cool!”

And it is. I love my job, not necessarily because I am a VA but because I have clarity on who I work with and what I do.

The women that I work with, heart-led women with passion of their own and the work I do, copywriting, bookkeeping and social media is the stuff that makes my heart happy.

When I started out as a VA I purely needed a “job” I could do at home with my 2 boys. I needed to escape from my previous business of family day care and do something that didn’t involve nappies and tantrums.

Now I have a “business” and a career that I am passionate about but this only happened in the last year.

Have you considered being a VA? Do you think the lifestyle would suit you and you have a passion that you could work on from home?

Here are my top considerations when you are thinking of setting up your own VA business:

1.      Do you have the right skills?

There are so many specialities you can have as a VA, but it is vital that you nail it down. Would you want to go to a doctor who also does a bit of beauty therapy, a bit of bricklaying and a bit of web design?

No, because you want someone who is focused on what they do and who is going to be committed to the service you have engaged them for.

So get clear on what you are specialising in and then ensure you have the skills to back that up. 

There are plenty of online courses that will assist you to make sure your skill set is up to date and plenty of free online resources to add to your existing knowledge bank.

2.      Can you work independently?

One of the perks, and downsides, of being a VA is setting your own schedule and work hours.

VAs need to be motivated and focused but we also need to have the ability to plan, organise and prioritise tasks across multiple clients.

In any one day, I can work with 4 – 6 different clients and on up to 20 different tasks.

It is vital to be able to manage time well, communicate with clients and prioritise what you are going to do and when.

3.      Are you proactive?

I have actually had a client come to work with me and pay a higher rate for my services because her previous VA was not proactive.

As a VA you may well be the only other person in that business other than the client.

So act like it, be their supporter and have their back. This might be as simple as checking a link is working on their Facebook page as it pops up on your newsfeed or passing on an article of interest. If you see something that could help them, let them know.

4.      Can you promote yourself and do you consider yourself valuable?

When I first started out I charged a really low rate, I now charge considerably more because I am worth it.

I also gave away a lot of services for free in the hopes of building up my business and getting referrals. Did it work? Nope, not a bit!

I devalued myself and in turn so did others. My work standard and skills set hasn’t changed that much but my mindset and the value I place on myself has.

Now that I charge more and I am confident in promoting myself I have a thriving business that has a steady stream of clients.

As with all service based sole trader businesses, I am selling myself – my expertise, my skills and my personality. I do offer advice for free at times, certainly in Facebook groups where I have gained so much myself but it is on my terms and purely for free.  

5.      Can you invest in yourself?

Considering yourself valuable is the first step but you also need to invest in yourself and your business.

As with any business you are going to start out with some expenses, probably more than your income but it will help you build a strong base.

Investments such as a good website, professional photos, business cards, industry memberships and training are well worth while.

6.      Do you have good interpersonal skills?

Sounds like a weird one because we work virtually but it is imperative to be able to relate to clients and potential clients in a non-judgemental and assertive way.

In a virtual work, it is even more important than face to face because tone and intent are much harder to gauge in the written word.

If becoming a Virtual Assistant is for you it can be an amazing business and has truly changed my life. It provides financial freedom for my family and a lifestyle we love, not to mention all the amazing people I have met along the way.

Do your planning and build a sturdy base from day one and it will pay off in the long run. The more our world embraces flexible lifestyle and a work from anywhere culture, the more demand we will have for skilled professionals who work virtually.

 Find out how to become a successful Virtual Assistant with Sharon from Black Cockatoo Executive Virtual Assistant Services

Sharon Pegrum is an Executive Virtual Assistant who works primarily with heart-led women to create the space in their businesses to share their important messages with the world. She shares her home in the middle of the bush with her husband Pete and 2 young boys.

Find out more about Sharon's services at Black Cockatoo Executive Virtual Assistant Services or connect on Facebook and Instagram

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