10 Ways to Land Your Dream Job as a Virtual Assistant
Thinking of Hiring a Virtual Assistant?
When most people hear about the idea of a virtual assistant for the first time, they do one of three things:
Can this really help you make money?
I don’t know how to start a business like that.
How could you find people who are willing to pay you to be a VA?
These are great questions, and VAFLIX loves to answer questions like these. Today’s post answers a slightly more advanced part of the third question, which is how to find a job as a virtual assistant (or more than one!).
Your clients are the “people who pay you,” and getting a few clients is a big part of getting your virtual assistant business up and running. But once you’re working and feeling good about your business, it’s time to start thinking about your dream job as a virtual assistant.
How do you get that dream job as a VA?
Let’s go through that step by step.
1. Figure out who your ideal customer is.
The first step to getting your dream job as a virtual assistant is to know who your ideal client is.
Some clients are just plain bad. These are the people who don’t think your services are worth what you charge, who want you to do “little stuff” on your own time, who say your rates are too high, and who put you down for no reason.
The list could go on, but trust us: you’ll know when you’re dealing with a bad client.
The “good guys” are another group. These are the clients who are nice enough and pay you well, but the work you do for them isn’t really your passion. There’s nothing “wrong” with your working relationship, but you might wonder if you’re just going to be bored out of your mind for the rest of your virtual assistant career. Things don’t have to be like that!
There are actually a lot of different jobs you can do as a virtual assistant, and there are a lot of clients who would hire you to do them. Whether you’re just starting out and want to focus on administrative tasks like customer service or email management or you’re looking for something more complex and higher-paying, there are many ways to set up your virtual assistant services and look for clients.
So, let’s talk about your ideal client! This is the person you can help the most and are the most excited to help.
Your ideal client could be a certain kind of entrepreneur, like a female life coach, or any entrepreneur who runs a certain kind of business, like an Etsy seller or a blogger, or even anyone with a specific need, no matter what kind of business they run, like help with social media marketing or Facebook ads. You could even choose a much narrower niche, like female bloggers who need help with Pinterest.
One thing to remember is that not every client will be perfect as your business grows.
So, the sooner you can figure out who your ideal client is, the faster you can get your business set up to find and work with them.
2. Figure out what your dream job is
As you think about your perfect VA client, you should also think about the most dreamy parts of your job. How can you make sure your work as a virtual assistant is perfect?
Things to think about:
- Your hourly rate
- Your specialization (or desired future specialization if you aren’t ready to commit yet)
- The services you DON’T want to offer
- Your availability and the hours you do and don’t work
- How many hours per week or month each client books (more or less)
- How many clients you carry at any given time
3. Get the Rates Right
Let’s talk for a moment about prices.
Being sure of your rates is important if you want to enjoy your job as a virtual assistant.
Many VAs, especially new ones, tend to charge less than they should for their services. Connect with other virtual assistants who are willing to talk about rates, and find out how your rates compare to theirs. You might find that you haven’t been charging enough, and getting paid more for what you were already doing will make almost any job better.
You also need to know how much each service you provide is worth.
Not every VA service is the same, so not every VA should be paid the same way. Building a website, for example, should come at a higher rate than formatting blog posts on that website.
It’s important to understand where your virtual assistant rates fall on the spectrum of freelance service. You also need to have a good sense of what the “return on investment” is for each of your tasks because ROI will affect the value of the service and, thus, the rate you charge to perform it. This is something you’ll get a greater sense of in the next few steps.
4. Learn to speak the language of your ideal client
Once you know who your ideal customer is, you need to find out how they talk about what they do.
What do they need and how do they talk about it? What are some of the rough spots that they usually run into in their businesses? If you can find Facebook groups, Reddit threads, or other online hangouts, try to follow the conversations there and look for patterns.
Once you know what they need (or what they think they need), you can figure out how your services can meet that need. Some people want peace of mind, others want more time, others want to stop doing things that bother them, others want a task to be done without them having to do it, etc.
When you know this, you can figure out how to present yourself as the best answer for them.
5. Make sure your ideal VA client can find you
You recognize them. You know where they go online to hang out. You can communicate with them. Now you need to make sure they can see you. Here, social media strategies can be very helpful.
If your ideal client spends a lot of time on Pinterest, you need to write some blog posts and get some pins circulating. If they’re on Facebook groups, get active in those groups by answering as many questions as you can and providing value. People will notice you and ask for your information.
The same is true for LinkedIn: post content that is relevant to your ideal client and make sure your profile has the right keywords.
6. Learn on the Job
When a client or even a potential client asks you to do something you don’t know how to do yet, and everything else with that client checks out, take the gig! You’ll get better at being a virtual assistant, and you might even find a great new niche or service to move into.
On the other hand, if you have a skill or service that your ideal client could really use help with, that’s a great skill to start offering to others. Start learning how to do that service, and if you list your services on your website, add it there. You might even want to tell your current customers about the new service.
Pro Tip! Offer a temporary discount on the new service if you need to, but don’t do it for free and don’t discount more than two or three rounds of it.
7. Ask Around
As you figure out what kind of virtual assistant job you want to do, start spreading the word in your personal networks. Tell your friends and coworkers what you’re looking for in a job. When they know what you do, they can send you new customers.
Pro Tip! Referrals help both parties. As you talk about how you’re looking for your ideal client, ask your coworkers about theirs so you can send them referrals.
8. Ask Your Clients How They Found You
Every time someone asks you something, try to find out how they heard about you. I like to work this into my last line of the first email reply I send.
When you hear back, take that as a clue about your marketing efforts. Start making plans to do more of what got this client in the door. If they found you on Pinterest, for example, pin even more. If they found you through a Facebook group, you should keep an eye on that group.
Some clients will tell you straight out, “I found you through your blog post” or “Someone told me to get in touch.” People will be glad to tell you how they heard about you… you have to ask!
9. Join an Active Lead-Finder
If you read a few of the posts we’ve written about freelance writing, you’ll see that freelance writers always have the option of job boards. There are dozens of job boards for freelance writers, and even more for all kinds of freelancers, including writers.
But there aren’t many leads for virtual assistant jobs out there (unless you want to work for $10/hr or less, which I would never recommend).
We know everything there is to know about being a Virtual Assistant, like how to find your dream job as a VA. If you want to find more clients and build your business into something you love, you might want to join our VA training program, where we give our students a steady stream of high-quality leads.
10. Building your business is the most important thing
Even if you have a full schedule of clients, you still need to work on your business every day.
Keep the marketing machine going to find clients who will pay you more for the same work. Continue to look around and find out where your ideal clients are. Think about any new skills you’d like to offer as a virtual assistant and start learning them.
You don’t have to have your head down and work hard on a plan for your business to grow very quickly (unless that’s what you want!) But you should have an idea of where you want your business to go in the long run.
More Thoughts on the Jobs of Your Dreams as a Virtual Assistant
With so many options, you can turn your virtual assistant job into any kind of business you want. To make it happen, you just need to figure out who your ideal clients are, how you can meet their needs, and how to present yourself as a solution to their problems.
If you do that a lot, you’ll have a great VA business.