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After being a stay at home mom a few years back, I decided I needed to get some income to help support my family. I had all this experience and no where to use it at home; except to manage the family and chores. Working from home had never occurred to me. Much less being a Virtual Assistant or VA!
What does that even mean?
The non-glossary term for a VA is a business person helping out another business owner with any administrative work such
Isn’t that awesome?!
From Being a Stay at Home Mom to a Work at Home Mom
I, like many of us out there that have lost a job or decided it was time to stay home, feel that urge to keep providing for the family and help financially. Especially those that are single mommas and have to provide for their babies.
I am not the sole provider in my home, so I had the, I guess you can say privilege, to stay home and not have to work if I didn’t want to. But I still had that fire in my belly to help others and after having an opportunity to be a subcontracted VA, I decided to go for it. Which that will be another blog post but for now, know that it is possible to work from home.
Let me introduce you to a wonderful friend of mine whom I appreciate so much for all her wisdom and resources available to others.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hey there! I’m Regina, the blogger and coach behind Live+Work by Faith. My passion is to encourage and teach women to work from home as a virtual assistant.
When I’m not working at the local ministry as a volunteer coordinator, blogging or tinkering with Squarespace, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching “Downton Abbey” to the point that it irritates my boys and people-watching from my front porch.
Tell us about your business. How did you start your business? What made you decide to go this route?
The decision to launch
But my boss, who was totally sympathetic, suggested I work from home providing virtual services. I didn’t even know that was a thing! I fell in love with the lifestyle and although I don’t provide services on the scale I used to, I truly enjoy teaching others how to become virtual service providers.
How long have you been in business and how long did it take you to get clients and start seeing income?
I started in 2007. My first client was actually a transition from an office position to a virtual assistant. I stopped working with that client in 2008 when the real estate market tanked and had to find new clients immediately. Those marketing efforts resulted in 10 clients within 90 days.
Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert? How has this helped/challenged you and your business?
I would describe myself as an introvert trying to come out of her shell. I coach others on how to market themselves, stand above the pack so I have to challenge myself to do the same thing. Practice what I preach!
Were there any startup costs to build your business?
I started out with my desktop computer, printer/fax/scanner and a phone line but that was eons ago. But I made investments in courses as I went, learning new things so I could expand my services.
Did you face any challenges while starting your business? How did you overcome them?
There were a few challenges but the main one was trying to do everything because I thought virtual assistants were supposed to know how to do everything. When I focused on what I was good at, I felt a lot better about how I was servicing my clients.
Were there any learning curves while starting your business, did you take courses, and if so, what do you recommend to those starting out?
I had over 20 years of admin experience under my belt when I started out but I quickly found out those admin skills needed updating if I was going to compete in the virtual space.
You can never go wrong with providing social media services so learning anything in that sphere is always helpful. Hubspot is a great source and they have social media certifications – free!
I tell my students: Start where you are and grow as you go. Don’t overwhelm yourself to the point where you’re only taking courses and not doing client work. Many niches have free tutorials.
For example, if you want to learn more about email marketing with ConvertKit, check out their free and informative tutorials. Do a search, do your due diligence before plunking down a large investment in a course. I’ve created a FREE course for new Virtual Assistants.
Just go to “How to become a Virtual Assistant in 9 Easy Steps” to get started.
For those starting out and feeling overwhelmed or not being able to land their first client, what piece of advice would you give them?
Evaluate your process.
Is there some reason your proposals aren’t getting past the initial stage? Ask someone to give you constructive feedback and implement any changes.
Do something daily to market your services – create a LinkedIn profile, introduce yourself in a Facebook group, or write a blog post. There’s always something you can do.
Being an entrepreneur takes lots of organization and time management, how do you keep yourself accountable to meet client workload? Any systems or software recommendations?
Any funny or interesting story you had with a client or subcontractor?
Oh, you mean the Friday where my clients got on my last nerves and I fired all of them except one?
Yep, I did that.
I totally blame myself for that. I was charging peanuts and they were treating me like I was charging them peanuts (not like a business partner at all). I totally learned my lesson!
Any additional comments or advice?
I can’t say it enough but it bears repeating: Start where you are and grow as you go. Figure out what your gifts are and how they can be turned into marketable services for clients.
Work with those who understand your value. It will make your journey so much more enjoyable.
Thank you so much Regina for taking the time to share your knowledge and experiences as a Virtual Assistant. Not only is she a VA but also a coach that can give you guidance and give you a push along your journey if needed.
She has a wonderful Facebook group where she offers loads of information and leads if you’re looking for VA clients. If you wish to be enlightened, join her Virtual Assistant 101 Facebook Group.
I also want to congratulate Regina on her new Ebook! If you’re trying to become a VA or learn more about what a VA does, you should definitely check out her Ebook, “You Can Work from Home as a Virtual Assistant!“
Do you have any administrative skills, accounting, or any other transferrable skills you can use as a VA and work from home?
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