I’m still fairly new to the world of Virtual Assistants, and some days I’m not even sure that title fits my job anymore. Am I more of a copywriter? Am I a VA who offers content writing, among other things? It’s evolving and I think that’s ok. I’m learning as I go. I’m discovering what I really want to do and what I don’t want to do. But one thing I know for sure? I am forever grateful to the wonderful world wide web, (do we still call it that? It works wonderfully for alliteration!), and its copious amount of free stuff.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, I sort of stumbled upon the whole Virtual Assistant thing as I tried to figure out what my next step would be in the professional world. Working from home sounded too good to be true, but once I started researching VAs, I realized it was something I could absolutely do. After the initial conversation with my now-mentor, I realized my skills and love for writing are a huge asset in this business. I can get paid to write every day? Not only that, I can get paid a really good amount? And I don’t have to pay for any special training upfront? Yes. All of this is true.
Join Virtual Assistant Facebook Groups
I began by joining the Virtual Assistant Savvies Facebook group and doing Abbey’s free tutorial. I took notes and figured out what I needed to research. I spent hours scrolling through the posts in that group, finding out what niches were working and how people landed their clients. That group provides an incredible amount of information, for free. I landed on content writing, simple graphic design and social media management as my niches. My true love is writing, but I want to offer some other services as well, to cast a wider net for landing clients.
Take Advantage of YouTube
Then I started down the YouTube rabbit hole, but in a good way. I watched tutorials on so many different things, like Content Marketing, Social Media Hacks, Canva, Trello, SEO Writing, Squarespace, Keynotes, etc. I joined free webinars on how to get the most out of Instagram, how to pitch yourself in a networking conference, etc. You should see the notes I took on all of these things! I’m the kind of person who learns best when I write something down, so I’ve got pages and pages of handwritten notes on all of these topics. And they’re all organized in my pretty binder.
Create a Website or Facebook Page
The next step was to create a website for my business. You can do this for a very small amount of money. I watched a lengthy WordPress tutorial, took even more notes, and got to work. I will say, in all honesty, this was the hardest part for me. I came in with zero knowledge on how to build a website and WordPress can be tricky. I’ve seen many Virtual Assistants who swear by more user-friendly sites like Squarespace and Wix. But I’m not one to back down from a challenge once I’ve begun, so I stuck with WordPress and eventually figured it out. My website is very simple, but it conveys everything you need to know about my business and has a place for my blog, which is important for someone who’s trying to sell writing skills. If you don’t have the time or money to start a website right away, create a Facebook business page! This has zero cost and you can reach a huge amount of people.
Join Groups in Your Niche
Another helpful step I took was joining Facebook groups in my niche. I found several freelance writing groups, which led to more tutorials and blog posts about how to succeed as a freelance writer. I also joined a graphic design group, full of daily tips and posts from other graphic designers. Social media has so much information, for free! Following the posts on these pages helps you learn from other people’s mistakes and avoid unnecessary hassles.
Find a Virtual Assistant Mentor
If you’re anything like me, the thought of jumping into a new career with little to no guidance terrifies you. The free tutorials and blog posts helped ease some of those fears for me. I also can’t give enough credit to my mentor, Sandra Ocasio. She was kind enough to answer all of my questions, (and there were a lot of them), and refer me to my first big client. She’s helped me with everything from my website design to how to price my first package. I highly recommend finding a mentor to help you in the beginning.
Finding those first clients is another story. All of my clients have come from personal connections and referrals. I have yet to land a job from a social media post, but I know others who have, so I’m sure it can still be a good resource for finding clients! But I can say with certainty that social media, Google and YouTube are fantastic resources to help you get started for free. Don’t be scared to go down this path because you don’t have any start-up money. You can get started without any funding and be successful in a short amount of time. You just need a little faith in yourself and know how to use those free resources.