This is a Virtual Assistant case study and interview with Nicolle French who is the owner of Nicolle French Communications; Based in London, Nicolle works full time from home and worked on bespoke ad-hoc client projects for several years before transitioning full time last year. This is the story of how she became a Virtual Assistant.
Many people have told me that they thought they needed to get an office or have a ‘proper’ desk set up before they could be a freelancer so I want to show you that this is complete and utter nonsense! Virtual Assistants can work from anywhere they like and you shouldn’t let the lack of an office prevent you from setting up your own business.
On 11th January I held a live Google Hangouts on Air interview and Q&A session with my favourite client Luan Wise. We did the interview so potential VAs could find out how we work together, what tasks she asks me to do, how I manage her expectations, what she looks for in a VA and then ask us questions about anything they liked.
As a freelancer you are legally required to keep accurate financial records and expenses going back over the last six years. My trainees often ask me how they should record both their own financial records as well as their client invoices, so I thought I’d show you the system I use myself.
I love a good business book but I’m reeeeally choosy about what I buy. Because I don’t want you to waste a whole load of time, money and effort picking through various reviews and descriptions, I thought I’d give you a list of the ones I like the most. I own every one of these books and know they will help your career and get you where you want to go.
People often ask me 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 the site. Most other Sole Traders I know don’t have any insurance, but here’s a summary of the different types so you can make the decision for yourself.
When my VA trainees are about to be signed off and released into the world of freelancing, we often discuss what it’s like to work for yourself, pitfalls and ways they can better manage their time once they’re working with multiple clients. I’ve learned a few time-management tricks over the years, but I also have some advice on how to make the most of freelance life in general.
I’ve been a freelancer for a while now, people are constantly emailing me their questions and worries about becoming a Virtual Assistant, and my trainees also admit their fears about working for themselves. But although I reckon I’ve now heard pretty much every mindset stumbling block under the sun, I’ve still not found one reason why someone shouldn’t set up their own business. Here are the main worries I hear and why they shouldn’t hold you back.
On Wednesday 10th June 2009 I left my job to become a full time freelancer. I wish I could say that I screamed “UP YOURS LOSERS!!” as I waved to my previous employers (without using all my fingers) whilst sprinting for the door with the contents of the stationery cupboard, but I didn’t. Instead I quietly walked out of the gates into the unknown.
At the end of the day, the main thing every potential and new VA wants to know is “where do I get clients?”. Because this is the question on the lips of every freelancer and something I discuss in every single training session, I thought I’d share the three most successful methods I’ve found of how to fish for and land your first client.