This is a Virtual Assistant case study and interview with Jane Oriel. As well as being a VA, Jane wanted to freelance as a writer, copywriter and editor so kept her brand identity options open by using her name as her business name. Jane is originally from Kent but now resides in Caerphilly, South Wales with her husband and son.
If you’re a new or potential Virtual Assistant it can be really difficult to imagine what types of business owners would hire you and how that relationship would begin. I already have a blog post on how VAs landed their first client, but I was interested in finding out whether the same methods applied when it came to signing up subsequent clients.
Although much of the world is currently going through a period of economic and political uncertainty, people who work for themselves aren’t nearly as worried about their options. In fact, historically, freelancers have always done well in times of economic uncertainty because they can use their agility to create more opportunities for themselves.
Knowing what to charge and then asking for it is one of the hardest aspects of freelancing. Not only is the subject of pricing unfamiliar to new business owners, but the whole idea of talking about money seems to make most women uncomfortable. But in order to become a successful (i.e. wealthy) VA, you will need to nail your pricing strategy otherwise you will end up with a hobby and not a business.
This is a Virtual Assistant case study and interview with Mum of 3, Shirley Cottam. Based in Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, Shirley set up her business, Virtual Office Box after being made redundant whilst on maternity leave so she could spend more time with her ten-year-old daughter and seven-year-old twins.
Every Virtual Assistant needs to have legal contracts so they don’t get sued or screwed. Clients expect you to have them and they’re there to give both you and your clients peace of mind if it all goes south. It may start out all rainbows and fairies but client relationships can sour – and you do not want to find yourself naked without a contract!
Before I start I want to make it crystal clear that I absolutely adore my Mum. My Mother is absolutely awesome. She had me when she was really young, she escaped an abusive relationship to raise me, she always has my best interests at heart and she’s funny, kind, caring and fun. Her voice sounds like a tinkling bell and I love her to the moon and back…
You might have seen some outsourcing websites where freelancers can register, bid, and apply for jobs posted up by companies and individuals around the world. People Per Hour, 3desk, Fiverr, Guru, oDesk and Elance are just a few of those sites but there are many more out there. But do online job sites actually lead to paid work for Virtual Assistants?
One of the reasons people become Virtual Assistants is so they can fit work around their family life. Because I don’t have any children I asked my VA Handbookers Facebook group how they handle childcare whilst running their business so you could gain an idea of how they manage their day and see how freelancing would fit your current situation.
Early in 2017, I decided to ‘properly’ invest in my business. I wanted to up my game and to do that I knew I needed to learn from people who were better than me. So I bought a 2-day ticket to the Expert Empires event in London. I wanted to see Gary Vee and Ryan Deiss and didn’t spend that much time researching the other speakers… big mistake.