Picture the scene. I’m seventeen years old, it’s around a quarter to nine in the morning and I’m on a commuter bus on my way to work. It’s one of my very first jobs out of school, I work from nine to five thirty every day in a huge airless room at a faceless call centre in a massive building with hundreds of other people. As I look out of the window, the bus passes a tree in the park… and it suddenly hits me.
Posts Categorized Setting up
Because virtual assistance is an unregulated industry and you don’t need any formal qualifications to be a VA, there is often confusion and misunderstanding in the VA Handbookers Facebook group around what being one actually entails. Because I’m also tired of reading articles that portray the profession as being an ‘easy side gig’, I thought I’d explain what it actually means to be a Virtual Assistant.
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) and 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!
Although the types of tasks you’ll be given will obviously vary depending on what your services are and what your clients do for a living, I thought it might be a good idea to provide three different examples so you can get a basic idea of what to expect. These are not unusual tasks and cover the main areas of research, data entry, collation and attention to detail.
People often ask me how long it takes to become a Virtual Assistant and my answer is usually “it depends”. But now I have a definitive answer: if you set aside time every day to get on and focus on the things you need to do in the right order then it should take you no more than three months tops. And this is exactly how you do it:
People often ask whether they should take out business insurance and, although I usually direct them to various online articles (because well, that’s why Google exists!) I thought I should cover it on my website too. Many Sole Traders I know don’t have any insurance, but here’s a summary of the different types so you can make an informed decision for yourself.
Your website is pretty important. It acts as a ‘shop window’ for your business and if it’s really shonky then potential clients will think you’re really shonky too. I’ve seen some truly shocking VA websites, so read my post, find out if yours might be one of them, then calmly but quickly log in to your site and tart it up immediately!
Many of you are still in the research stage and finding out whether this whole VA thing is something you want to do, but if you definitely know you want to be a Virtual Assistant and are still in the process of setting up and getting ready to launch whilst in full-time work, there are many things you can do to get ready. Here are just some of them:
Most freelancers will tell you that working for yourself is brilliant and will bring you freedom like you won’t believe. But what they often won’t tell you is that it’s also often confusing, scary, frustrating and stressful. Existing freelancers will hopefully read this article, laugh and nod their heads with recognition – and new freelancers will get an insight into what’s coming!
I don’t make websites for a living so I’m not going to go into detail about every single tiny thing you need to have a decent site, I’m just going to provide an overview of the different things you need to think about when you’re setting up a Virtual Assistant website. And although many VAs get work via their LinkedIn profile alone, having a website to act as your shop window will only help your business in the long run.