For most, the idea of working from home and setting your own hours sounds like a dream. However, it isn’t always easy. I wanted something that I could do and still be able to stay at home with my boys. Why did I choose to be a virtual assistant? Read on to hear my story, which I bet might mirror your own, and I will also share my tips for virtual assistants.
Why did I choose to become a virtual assistant?
Some might know if you have visited the “about me” page, that I have a degree in elementary education. I struggled for a few years after becoming a mom with my identity. I went from working in a classroom to running my own district for Texas AgriLife Extension, part of Texas A&M, where I was in control of 20 plus counties, I was only 25 and I felt like I was successful and relevant.
Fast forward a few years and I have a loving husband and two beautiful boys. However, I have slowly forgotten who I was before mommy, which is exactly why I started this blog last August. Since then I have learned a lot about the technical and social media aspects of blogging/small business.
I wanted something that would allow me to work from home and set my own hours. However, more than anything I wanted something I could be proud of and enjoy doing.
So I took a leap of faith. I made some graphics in Canva, dropped my graphics and information in a few Facebook groups and 2 months later I have 4 clients and I am making a steady income each month. Thankfully, I have been given the opportunity to help my family out financially and still be allowed the freedom to stay at home with my boys.
What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is someone that provides online assistance for bloggers, small business owners, etc…a few of the services they provide are:
- Scheduling Pins
- Pinterest Setup
- Pinterest Management
- Social Media Management
- Scheduling of Social Media
- Blog Management
- Completing of threads
- Public Relations
- AND MORE…
My personal experience as a blogger has really helped me along this journey. If you do not have any personal experience with blogging they do have some online courses to train you for being a virtual assistant. However, my experience with blogging and having been an office manager for Texas A&M, I felt extremely comfortable behind a computer.
Tips for Virtual Assistants
You need to know the basics
It is good to have basic knowledge of the following:
- Comfort with using a computer
- Comfortable with Internet and emailing
- Basics of social media marketing
- Time and research management skills
Have the right tools
I truly believe that preparation is the building block for success. Having the right tools will not only help you get the work time, but it can also help you complete the work at a faster pace. You will need:
- A good computer or laptop
- Good speed internet connection
- Tailwind if you are going to be scheduling their pins for Pinterest
- And any tools your clients might require (like Slack or Skype for communicating purposes)
Work on a fixed schedule
I will be honest this one isn’t always plausible for me. I am doing this job so that I can stay at home with my boys so trying to set a fixed schedule around a 5 and 3-year-old isn’t always going to work. However, I do try. You should be realistic about how many hours you work each day.
Make a list and prioritize
This is huge for me. I am a highly visual person and I thrive on to-do lists. Make you a list at the beginning of each week or daily if that fits better for you. Prioritize what needs to be completed first. If you have a client that has a deadline, you need to make sure you help them make that deadline by getting in what they need from you.
Be exceptionally good at something
Sounds harsh, I know, but I don’t mean it to be. Find something that you are good at that can put you ahead of the other virtual assistants. Here are some examples:
- Great organizer
- SEO Expert
- Social Media Expert
- Graphics Designer Guru
Sometimes deliver more
If you want clients to sing your praises (right great reviews) then you need to provide that rare high-quality service. So if possible, it is always good to deliver more and keep your clients happy. I do this because I love blogging and seeing small businesses take off, so it isn’t always about the money.
Be prompt and value time
A lot of the clients you might have are going to have deadlines. You need to remember this and stay prompt and value time and your clients time. Be concise and very clear with your clients. Communication is key. I try to give each of my clients a progress report at the end of every day, stating what I accomplished and what I plan to work on the next day.
Place self-care high up on your to-do list
The business world can be competitive and a lot of people wear their long hours like a badge of honor. However, failing to take care of yourself can lead to burnout, as most moms know. Make sure you set aside “me” time and family time. If you give too much to your clients you will burn out and have nothing left to give and you don’t want that.
Keep a journal
Sometimes, I find that working on a project for a client can spark creativity for myself. If I am in the middle of a project and I have an idea, I grab my journal and jot it down before I forget it. Then when you are working on something for yourself or your blog or business you can refer back to the journal for ideas.
In closing, I hope that you have found this post useful. If you are thinking about stepping out and doing something for yourself so that you can stay at home with your family, I encourage you to do it. You are worth the shot. I would love to assist you on your journey, whatever it might be.
If you are needing a virtual assistant, contact me today! I would love to help you out! firstname.lastname@example.org
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31