I’m lucky because I seem to have been born with loads of confidence. It never occurs to me that I won’t be able to do something – I might wonder how I’m going to do it, but I never think that I can’t. However, I know that most people aren’t freaks like me and need a bit of a push to get out of their comfort zones. So hold still while I give you a good hard shove!
Testimonials are important for Virtual Assistants because people are way more likely to hire you if they can see you come recommended – so a testimonial page or a WordPress quote rotator widget as I have on my own PA site is vital if you want to show how good you are. But how do you get testimonials when you’re just starting out and haven’t done any work yet?
This is a Virtual Assistant case study on yours truly! This is the story of how and why I became a Virtual Assistant, what I did before I went freelance, how I manage clients and what I’d do differently if I had to start again. I set up Munro PA Services at the end of 2008 and I live happily by the sea in sunny Brighton.
Because I recommend you set up your VA business alongside your regular job, one of the questions I get asked a lot is “when should I leave my job to solely focus on being a Virtual Assistant?”. Although there are as many answers to that question as people asking it, in all honesty, it boils down to one simple thing:
Working for yourself is extremely hard work, you need a different mindset than when you were an employee and it isn’t for everyone. Because you should know what you’re letting yourself in for, let me tell you exactly what it’s like to be a freelancer so you can make an informed decision and decide if it’s something you’d like to do.
A while back I was talking to a woman who was thinking about becoming a Virtual Assistant and wanted some advice. She said: “I’m confused as to what to do at the moment. Full-time work is a safe option but the hours are too long for me now and I’m trying to run a part-time business too. I need help to figure out the best direction for me.”
When you first start out as a Virtual Assistant, you’ll need to have a good think about what services you want to provide. If you’ve already decided on your niche then you’ll know exactly what your chosen target market needs doing but, if you’re like I was when I first started and you haven’t, here are a few things to think about that might help you work it out.
So you’ve decided to go ahead and become a Virtual Assistant. You know who your target market is, what services you’re going to offer and you’re all ready to get going… all you need now is to decide what to call your shiny new business. Of course, this is easier said than done! So exactly how do you decide on your company name?
Once you’ve decided what to call your Virtual Assistant business, you may want a logo. On one hand, your logo is just a formality so you can launch your business, and on the other, it represents who you are, what you stand for and will also be on all your marketing materials. Plus, if you get it wrong it could be a complete headache to redesign later!
One of the hardest things to decide when you become a Virtual Assistant is how to set your rates. If you charge by the hour then you’ll never earn more than there are hours in the day which is why it’s better to get a client on a retainer or charge a project rate. “But how does that work and how do I do that?!” I hear you cry. Well let’s look at those options in more detail: