This post contains some affiliate links. Read the disclosure here.
Do you want to start a profitable virtual assistant side hustle of your own?
Do you think you have some real skills, could make a great VA, serve your clients effectively, support their needs no matter their business? Yes! Want to start a profitable VA side hustle? But how to begin? How to get started and get your first client? What will you call your business? Do you need a website? A logo? How will you market yourself?
This post offers some actionable steps to make a start towards your dream of becoming a virtual assistant, working from home (or anywhere else in the world)…
1. Take a reputable virtual assistant course
Of all the virtual assistant courses available out there, Gina Horkey’s is the one I suggest to people that ask me for advice. There are a number of reasons for this, including that it is well-priced and is one of the most affordable for what you’re getting with it. For those of us in some debt but desperately trying to work our way out of it, and either wanting to start a side hustle or wanting to move away from the world of full-time work completely (with its long, expensive commutes and working time restrictions), this is a great course. It helps you to feel like you can go ahead and actually start your own side hustle instead of just learning some theory. It lays everything out in bite-sized chunks, explains things properly and just makes you feel that little bit of motivation and excitement to think that you can do this too.
2. Check that you have the right characteristics before you start as a VA
I need to add a caveat here… (just in my honest opinion), you really should have a handful of skills in order to succeed as a virtual assistant, and if you don’t have these skills and certain attributes, then I honestly suggest gaining these before starting any VA course. To be a good VA (and keep any clients you get), you first and foremost need to be organised. You also need to be reliable and dependable. If you say you are going to get something done by a certain deadline, complete it and send it before or on that set deadline. If you have promised something and it’s turning out that you are going to battle to deliver on time, let your client know! BUT, if it’s something that you know they need for a deadline of their own, you must have the dedication to work much later than you normally would in order to get the work done. Don’t let a client down if you can help it.
So first off, if you don’t see yourself having the drive to work later to meet deadlines, or even just having the ability to do this, it’s better that you wait until you can. I have worked many a late night just to get work back to a client either because I underestimated the amount of time it might take me to complete a certain project, or because a loyal client needed help.
Here is a post on Everything You Need to Know about Becoming a Virtual Assistant which I would suggest reading if you’re not sure whether you want to break into the world of being a VA or not.
You also need to have some great computer skills and be able to find your way around numerous programs fairly easily. And if you don’t know how to do something, you should be the type of person who is able to Google it, watch a YouTube video, or whatever – just the type of person who will figure out how to do something in order to get the job done.
Besides these attributes and a decent level of computer literacy and wanting to learn, if you dream about being a virtual assistant, take the course and commit to it. Commit to going through each and every module fully and believe that you can succeed if you put your mind to it 🙂
3. Decide what services you will offer
Here is a loooong list of ideas for services you could offer in your new virtual assistant business. A lot of time and effort went into this list, so thank you Gina! If you have any questions about them, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me – I have offered a lot of these services in my own VA business.
4. Decide on your business name
Set aside time to brainstorm and give this some thought to find a great name for your business. You may want to call it your own name, like “Kate Smith VA” or “KS VA” or “K Smith Virtual Assistance”. Whatever you decide on, just make sure the domain name is available. I like to use 123-reg for my domains but you could use any domain registrar you like.
5. Design your logo
I would recommended making your own logo so that you have the file and can make changes to it any time if necessary. And if you’re on a tight budget, all the more reason to create your own! Picmonkey is a great online tool in which you can create graphics (and not just logos but images for your business too). I’ve created an easy-to-follow course on how to create logos for yourself and others – it could save you thousands on design fees!
6. Create your website
The next step is to create your website. You can either use WordPress and take a course to help you learn how to use it (this course by Suzi Whitford is extremely helpful and guided me how to use WordPress otherwise I would not have had a clue how to use it!)
If you do not want to spend time learning WordPress, SquareSpace is an excellent alternative option. When I started my VA side hustle a few years ago, I chose to use SquareSpace. There is an annual charge, you choose your template and then you build out your site. It’s logical and easy to use but if you need help, the customer service at SquareSpace is great. I only needed to contact them once – that’s how easy it is to use 🙂
7. Set up your social media accounts and start promoting yourself
If you are not ready to start promoting yourself on social media or build your following, you can still sign up on the main social platforms to secure your handles. Depending on what you are going to be offering and who your target market is, consider signing up on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn. Try to have the same handle on all platforms, for example if your business name is Kate Smith Virtual Assistance, your social media handles could be @katesmithva, @ksva, @katesva, @katesmithvirtual … You get the idea. You’ll notice there are no dashes, underscores or periods within any of the handles – it’s a lot easier to tell people your handle when you don’t have to complicate it with punctuation apart from spelling it out.
If other people can be successful in their VA businesses, why can’t you? Why can’t you start one right now and get your first client in the next few days? It really is possible! Take the leap, sign up for the course and go for it! I had tried a bunch of VA courses, free and paid, purchased a load of books and then stumbled across Gina’s course after I had started my side hustle. I resonated with, and liked, her offering from the very beginning because she was providing what I was doing as my side hustles at the time – freelance writing and providing virtual assistant services! How lucky was I to find a person who had a site which seemed to be directly aimed at ME?! Lucky 🙂
When you visit the Horkey Handbook site to read more about the VA course, you will need to scroll almost all the way to the bottom of the page to see the price. Thankfully there is an installment option which is what I opted for when I purchased the course. At the time, I didn’t have the money to pay up front, but being in debt and desperately wanting to get out of it, I was able to find the installment amount to spread over two months. When I started the course I felt relief that it was a good one and it contained relevant and timely information. After I enrolled, I was ready to ask for my money back (you can do that within 7 days, as far as I remember, if you are not impressed with the content) – I have done that before but thank goodness, I didn’t need to with this one!
All the best of luck!