How to become a Virtual Assistant 2017

Being a Virtual Assistant is awesome. It’s incredible in fact. I have a really enjoyable lifestyle and have worked from America, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Italy, France, Oman, the Canaries, Portugal, Spain and Bali. But the life of a VA is not all unicorns and fairies – I worked my arse off to become successful, but I also learned a helluva lot in the process. And now I’m going to tell you everything you’ll need to know if you want to become a Virtual Assistant yourself.

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Want to meet me at the Office Show in March?

I’m going to be at the second day of the Office Show at London Olympia on Thursday 2nd March and I would love to meet you if you’re also going to be there. I’m staying near the venue the night before and I’m part of a free VA Breakfast Expert Panel that starts at 9am called Mapping your VA Strategy, so I’ll be at the event until around 3pm. Here’s some more info about the show in case you’d like to attend:  

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How to raise your hourly rate (with email template)

If you charge by the hour, at some point you’re going to reach an income plateau as there are only so many billable hours you can work in a day without losing your mind. You know you need to raise your rates as time goes on, but you’re also worried you might lose some of your clients if you do. Here’s how to up your prices like a professional business owner along with a customisable email template.  

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Associate work: your questions answered

People often ask about Associate work in my VA Handbookers Facebook group, and although I’ve outsourced the occasional task, I didn’t feel experienced enough to write my own blog post on it. Because it’s a good way to take on more work both when starting out and as you become more successful, I asked the group to post up their questions on the subject and then I asked some volunteers to answer them. Here are the results:

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Virtual Assistants reveal their first client (and how they got them)

If you’re a new Virtual Assistant or thinking of becoming one, I’m sure you’re worried about how you will get new clients. So to help you get an idea of who could be that elusive and exciting first client, I asked members of my VA Handbookers Facebook group a load of questions about their first one including how they got them and what tasks they needed help with. This is what they said:

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What’s the best thing about being a Virtual Assistant?

Although you may really want to set up your own Virtual Assistant business, I’m sure you’ll agree that stepping into the unknown can be really scary. Because I think that being a freelancer is marvellous and will change your life in so many fantastic ways, I asked members of my VA Handbookers Facebook group what the best thing about being a Virtual Assistant was. This is what they said:

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Do you need a blog and what should you write about?

There is often much discussion over on the VA Handbookers Facebook group as to whether it’s worth having a blog on your website or not. On one hand people hear that it’s good for search engine optimisation (SEO), but on the other hand they don’t want to write one if they don’t really need it – plus they’re not really too sure what to write about even if they do decide to start one.

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How to get awesome clients

If you want to have a satisfying and fulfilling freelance career it’s really important to have clients that you enjoy working with – because there’s no point in leaving a (horribly unfulfilling, tedious but secure) full-time job to still be miserable at work! A great client is a rare and wonderful thing but not as hard to find as you might think. Let me show you how:

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How to manage difficult clients

Difficult clients can undermine your business, knock your confidence, feed your insecurity, make you doubt yourself and even make you start to hate freelancing – so it’s really important you know how to identify and manage all the different types. Remember that you work with your client, not for them so be proactive, steer the process and manage the relationship. Here’s how to do it with ease:

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Get a quick and easy website with Wix

Even though I believe WordPress is still the most professional platform for you to publish your website on, I’m fully aware that it can be a huge and boring learning curve for many people. So if you’re looking to get your VA website up and running quickly and with as little pain as possible, then Wix is a very good alternative. Here’s an overview of what features they offer and why it might be a good choice for you.

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How Sarah Liddle set up her VA business after seeing friends go through life changing events

Because my DIY VA course gets such great results, I wanted to share some of the inspiring success stories from people who have taken the course and set up their own freelance business. After seeing friends go through some serious life changing events, Sarah Liddle started to question where her own life was heading and she also wanted to spend more time outside and with her family. Here’s the story of why Sarah took the course and how her life has changed since.

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How Jo Lewis set up her VA business after being overlooked at work

Because my DIY VA course gets such great results, I wanted to share some of the inspiring success stories from people who have taken the course and set up their own freelance business. After working for the same company for 13 years and then being overlooked for a well-deserved promotion, Jo Lewis decided she’d had enough. Here’s the story of why Jo took the course and how her life has changed since.

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How Fay Blakey set up her VA business to spend more time with her little boy

Because my DIY VA course gets such great results, I wanted to share some of the inspiring success stories from people who have taken the course and set up their own freelance business. After being made redundant, Fay Blakey wanted enjoyable, flexible part-time work so she could spend more time with her son. Here’s the story of why Fay took the course and how her life has changed since. 

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How Laura Coyle set up her VA business after being made redundant

Because my DIY VA course gets such great results, I wanted to share some of the inspiring success stories from people who have taken the course and set up their own freelance business. After being made redundant, Laura Coyle wanted a working life that would reduce her stress levels and fit around her three young children. Here’s the story of why Laura took the course and how her life has changed since. 

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How Sophie Khaksari set up and landed her first client within six weeks

Because my DIY VA course gets such great results, I wanted to share some of the inspiring success stories from people who have taken the course and set up their own freelance business. After going on maternity leave, Sophie Khaksari wanted to establish a flexible working life that would fit around her young daughter. Here’s the story of why Sophie took the course and how her life has changed since. 

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How Sadie Finch set up her VA business to become more than just ‘Mummy’

Because my DIY VA course gets such great results, I wanted to share some of the inspiring success stories from people who have taken the course and set up their own freelance business. After leaving her job to start a family, Sadie Finch wanted something for herself and to be more than just ‘Mummy’ to her two small boys. Here’s the story of why Sadie took the course and how her life has changed since.

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How Catherine Gladwyn set up her VA business after literally becoming sick of her job

Because my DIY VA course gets such great results, I wanted to share some of the inspiring success stories from people who have taken the course and set up their own freelance business. When Catherine became sick with stress last year she decided to set up her own business and call the shots instead. Here’s the story of why Catherine took the course and how her life has changed since. 

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How Emma Conway-Hyde set up her business after deciding she wanted more from her life

Because my DIY VA course gets such great results, I wanted to share some of the inspiring success stories from people who have taken the course and set up their own freelance business. After years of commuting and office politics, Emma Conway-Hyde wanted more from her life so decided to set up a business on her own terms. Here’s the story of why Emma took the course and how her life has changed since.

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How Jan Baber set up her VA business and got clients alongside her full time job

Because my DIY VA course gets such great results, I wanted to share some of the inspiring success stories from people who have taken the course and set up their own freelance business. Although Jan Baber loved her job, she wanted to find out what her full potential was and if she could actually reach it. Here’s the story of why Jan took the course and how her life has changed since.

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7 awesome Gmail labs

I’ve said it before but Gmail is just invaluable for VAs. One reason is that they have a whole section called labs where you can find useful add-ons to make your inbox a lean, mean productivity machine. Some are simply handy, some are just for fun and others are absolute lifesavers that will make you bow down and worship at the alter of Google!

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How and where to host your WordPress website

Once you decide you want a website for your VA business (and it’s definitely good to get one at some point) you’ll need to buy the domain name and then find a place to have the website hosted. You can buy the name from anywhere (I use Go Daddy) but then you’ll need a place to keep the site. Think of your domain name as the name of your shop and hosting as your landlord – they’re the person who makes sure your shop stays open!

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