The Pivot Series: How to Expand Your VA Brand with An Online Store

Who doesn’t like finding another way to make extra money?

Who doesn’t like making money from home?

A great way to expand your virtual assistant business is to start an online store to passively (somewhat) create another stream of income for yourself. The reason why I say it’s sort of passive is because you do need to put in a lot of work initially to get everything started but, once everything is set up and running well, you can kind of sick back a little bit and watch the revenue come in. This will only happen if you put in the effort that you need to.

Having online store gives you the freedom to sell your products from anywhere at any time. Unlike a brick and mortar, you don’t need to physically be in any specific place to get your product sold. Starting an online business also gets rid of the usual overhead costs you would expect when having a physical store. Overall, an online business gives you the freedom to make some extra revenue from the comfort of your home. Much like your virtual assistant business, or any online business you may have started.

One thing I will say is, starting an online store can happen overnight but, starting a successful online business takes much more time than that. The effort you put into your online store is what you will get out of it. Let’s just take a quick recap of my online store I started back in 2020. I thought I did enough research and soon realized that whatever I thought I did wasn’t good enough. I started an Etsy store and decided to sell coffee mugs and office supplies. I found something called Printify that provided the product and would put your design on everything and ship it all out for you. That meant no shipping or packaging anything on your end which was great! However, I probably made 6 or 7 sales in a year. I had the Instagram page, promoted and even paid for ads but nothing was clicking. So, I shut down went back to the drawing board, studied more about marketing on social media and decided digital products were probably the best avenue for me. Digital products are great because there isn’t a physical product. You don’t have to ship or package anything. All you need is an idea and Canva to get started. This alone still isn’t enough to create a successful business. The store isn’t up and running yet because I want to do a little more research before, I open up again. I want things to be better than they were before and done correctly this time.

There are a few things you need to know to start a successful online business:

  1. Do your research!

If you think you’ve done enough research, you probably haven’t. Research and research some more after that. If you don’t have a solid plan, then you’re already starting off on the wrong foot. Research your product idea, your target customer and how to market yourself. Research which ecommerce platform would be best for you to get your business up and running.

2. Pick a product or service that you would actually buy

Don’t ever sell something you wouldn’t buy because that’ll fail from the start. How can you successfully sell a product or service to someone that you don’t even like? Make it make sense please. Also, selling something you don’t like will end up making you hate what you’re doing. It won’t be exciting, and it’ll just be a quick way to make some money. You have to be passionate about what you’re promoting for your business to be successful.

3. Promote

Take time to research ads and marketing. Really understand how to position yourself online so that the customers come to you. You have to be persistent with this or it just won’t work. I feel like more of your time should be spent here since it’s where most of your sales will probably come from.

4. Start slow

Please start off with one product. It’s easy to get carried away and start branching off but master one product first before you start dabbling in others. When you get the marketing and your first product right, branching off into another should be a breeze. You don’t want to burn yourself out trying to promote a million things when the first one isn’t doing well (yet).

Take your time when it comes to starting an online business. It can be an amazing stream of revenue for you but only if you take your time and really do your research. It is not going to happen overnight by any means. It truly takes time for any kind of business to become successful and profitable. Do not give up or get stressed out because you’re not making 10k a month after two minutes of promotion. Try not to compare yourself to all of these people you read about in blogs or see on Instagram and YouTube. Go at your own pace and create something that you love that other people will easily fall in love with.

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The Pivot Series: How to Expand Your VA Brand with Specialized Offers

A few months back I wrote a blog called “How to Pivot and Expand Your Virtual Assistant Brand and I figured, why not dig a little deeper into each suggestion. When it comes to virtual assisting, or any other career, things can get a little stale. You may start to feel stuck and wanting more. Whether it be financially or mentally, sometimes you just need to grow and expand. Adding another aspect to your VA business can give you the reach with your clients that you were searching for. This time we’ll be digging a little deeper into offering specialized services/programs for your clients. Even though I’ll be using virtual assisting as my example, applying the same concepts to any business will be sure to help you reach your growth goals.

Let’s start off with figuring out what you even want to offer. To do this, think of what you’re currently providing in your business and how you can kick up the services a notch. You don’t want to offer a specialized blogging service if you’ve never written one in your life, so make sure you offer something that you’re ACTUALLY good at. There’s nothing worse than charging a client high ticket prices for low quality work. Make sure you are very knowledgeable about the service you are offering. For myself, I decided I wanted to add a specialized program that helps clients with their social media. Social media is something that I love and could do all day if you let me! I like helping clients come up with ideas to connect and engage better with their audiences. I also love being able to take the pressure of social media off of my client’s shoulders so they can focus on more important tasks. Having an offer that you know the ins and outs of, is important to how successful your offer can be.

Once you pick what you want to offer, you’ll need to know who this offer is for. Having a great product means nothing if you’re marketing to the wrong audience. For instance, if you have a high ticket item for expanding your agency from six figures to seven figures, it wouldn’t be smart to market towards a brand new VA that’s just starting their journey. You would most likely focus on an agency that’s been well established for a few years and looking to grow. Researching your audience to see who would be a great fit for your product or services is just as important as the actual service you’re providing. Take your time, do your research and make sure you aren’t just throwing your product out there and hoping for someone to notice. Research is a huge part of getting any new service or product launched.

Next, you’ll want to map out from beginning to end what it will look like purchasing this new product or service from you. For my V.I.P Day program, I mapped out all of the services my client will receive once they purchase the program. I also made an outline of any documents that I would provide or need from the client that would help me to better assist them with their social media journey. You’ll also need to decide if your offer is a one-time thing or something that’s ongoing. With my service, it will last for a few hours but a follow up meeting after the program is offered for free. Clients also have the option to hire me for ongoing support to help implement the new goals and skills I’ve given to the clients during our V.I.P Day. Having a well put together workflow will not only make providing your service easier, but it will also create an amazing onboarding and offboarding experience for your clients. The flow of your process is another important part of the product or service you are providing.

The final aspect that you will need, which is often the hardest, is marketing. You have your audience, the service and your workflows put together. Now you need to tell people about it! How is anyone supposed to know about you if you don’t say anything. Closed mouths don’t get fed! Create a marketing strategy that works for your type of service/product. Be consistent with your strategy. Posting an ad or making an Instagram add one time isn’t going to give you the exposure you need. You really have to be focused and persistent with how, where and who you’re marketing to. Research to see which platform (IG, Facebook, MailChimp, google ads etc..) is the best way to promote your services. It by no means is going to be easy but having a great marketing strategy can go a long way.

Do your research, have a plan, be consistent and promote yourself!

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Working 9-5 and Balancing Business While Trying Not to Go Crazy

Thought I would do this blog a little differently and give you guys a story time. The last few months have been interesting to say the least and sometimes I didn’t know what was going to happen.

Let’s start with the end of summer. By this point business was going well and I was almost where I needed to be to reach my income/client goal. Things were awesome and I felt excited about working from home and being able to pick and travel wherever I want, whenever I wanted (PTO who?). By August however, I lost most of my hours and some clients which you can guess did not have me in the best headspace. I started questioning EVERYTHING even though I shouldn’t have. I think I couldn’t accept the fact that there wasn’t anything I did wrong, it was just business. Things can be great one minute and in flames the next when you’re a contractor. You never know what could happen.

Fast forward to October and things were really looking dismal to say the least. I struggled with the fact that I would possibly have to get a 9-5. As much as I wanted this entrepreneur life, things needed to be taken care of by any means necessary and going back to the office life for a little bit was the only option. I spent weeks searching for jobs and had a couple of promising options. I found a hybrid position that I thought would’ve been great, but the management seemed a little off (they canceled my interview at the last minute and booked me two weeks later). The next one I found was only a two-month contract but right when I signed, I found something even better (or so I thought) before my start date.

Finally! I found a 9-5 Mon-Friday work from home position (yay me!). I thought it would be pretty easy. We were pretty much customer service representatives just giving out info. No sweat right? Very much wrong. Turns out we were approving customer applications and then creating forms for every call we took. Not what was said in the beginning but….whatever. A little admin work never hurt anyone. As I slowly started to get acclimated to the new position, I quickly started to see that no one knew what the hell they were doing. More so in terms of communication which I knew was not going to sit well with me. From starting the position in December up until two days ago, they changed my schedule about 3 or 4 times. Your girl was tired and fed up to say the least.

My first red flag is when a manager went off on an agent in a meeting when she could hear her baby. The second was the schedule switch and the third was when I went to Colorado but ended not being able to work and they wrote me down as know call no show for ALL of the days when they were notified days before. My intention was to work but got there and found out the resort had nowhere for me to plug in my ethernet cable. I reached out to someone about this and literally no one cared. I almost quit 4 times since then, BUT I was trying to hold on because I had to get shit done. These no call no shows will come in to play later.

Now I’m annoyed with everything because when they switch my schedule, I notify clients, so they’re not surprised. But they were switching so much that I didn’t feel like it was worth it to keep updating just for it to change again. This made it hard to plan meetings or fine time for work which was causing me to work on my days off or work on business right after I clocked out from the 9-5. It was getting stressful and causing me more anxiety than I thought it should have but, at this point I’m STILL trying to keep it together. This is when they decided to change schedules again while on my day off (awesome).

I spent both my days off waiting for a call to change my schedule and had to change my options multiple times because shifts were being taken and no call was received. All of this happened just for me to find out on my own that I was let go (also awesome). Turns out the call volume they expected was not what they thought it would. No surprise that they let a whole bunch of people go. However, they randomly sent a policy on attendance during my day off to everyone. Basically, saying if you had no shows, you can be terminated and all of that other good stuff. You and I both know they held their no-show mistake against me. When I found out I was terminated I honestly felt relief. Relief for not having to clock in and out anymore or getting anxiety every time, the phone rang. I have my flexibility back now and I can’t explain how happy that makes me. I explained what happened to my clients and the consensus shows me that they’re happy I’m free from that company and that bigger things are on the way. I literally picked up more hours right before and I have more on the way making it possible for me not having to seek out another 9-5.

When one door closes another one opens!

I’m so happy and looking forward to what is coming over the next few months. Working a 9-5 and running my business was difficult because I actually had to be on someone else’s time and not my own. I couldn’t just schedule what I wanted or work how I wanted which really put a damper on my confidence the last couple months. Working a 9-5 while working on business isn’t a death sentence to your entrepreneur life. Making sure you have the right 9-5 to fit your needs will definitely make it easier. Trying to find one that’s at least work from home is half the battle. Finding one with simple work and great communication is another story.

I just wanted to share my experience about the last few months and be transparent about what could happen when you work from home providing a service. It isn’t always easy, and things won’t always go your way but, sticking it out and holding on to your why for your business is something that will definitely get you through the toughest of times. Remembering how far I’ve come and what the end goal was for me, helped pull me out of the rut I was in. The support I had at home as well kept me from completely losing my mind. Having an awesome support system whether at home or online can make a difference!

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5 of My Absolute Favorite Daily Tools to Use as a Virtual Assistant

When you become a virtual assistant, you have to learn how to play the juggling act. Juggling clients, time, and your own business tasks. It’s safe to say that you’ll need to be organized and efficient. Starting out, there are so many different programs, apps and God knows what else to help you get through your day as a virtual assistant. By trial and error I figured what worked for me, my work flow and what made me more efficient. Now this could change over time because what you need when you’re the only employee, versus having 100 employees can be totally different. But for now, this is what has been working for me!

  1. Canva

I love CANVA! It is so easy to use and allows you to create quick and cute graphics or documents for your client. I use use it almost everyday for my business posts, and for my clients social media. The learning curve isn’t bad at all and honestly it’s so much fun to use. When I first joined the membership was about $1 a month, but now I have a plan that’s a little under $120 for the year. Keep a look out for deals, because Canva always has a random deal here and there.

  1. Asana

This program has been such a life saver! I love staying organized and color coding my tasks. Asana allows me to easily do all of this. I do have the free version of Asana because it’s just me right now and I have a handful of clients, but honestly it’s all I need. You can invite your clients to your account (or vice versa) and create a board that you both can contribute to. You can track your tasks, their due dates, upload files video and photos. It’s the first program that I open in the morning when I’m about to start my day. I actually use to organize my personal tasks as well. It has a tiny bit of a learning curve, but nothing you can’t figure out in 30 mins at the most.

  1. Honeybook

Honeybook is literally a one stop shop! I’m able to send invoices, proposals and contracts to clients, all in one go. I even have automated workflows that I can customize and link to specific clients. So, if someone reaches out through my contact form, it’ll trigger the workflow depending on the type of project they want me to work on. Setting up the automations can be rough depending on what you need BUT once it’s setup, your life is so much easier. You don’t have to remember to send a welcome email or an offboarding survey. It’s literally setup and ready to go. It’s also easy to set up payments through Honeybook so that’s not a hassle either. They do have fees for transactions, but they’re about the same as other programs I’ve come across. Honeybook also allows you to post projects that you need help with and allows you to search projects that you want to work on. It has it’s own little community of entrepreneurs!  

  1. External Hard drive

So I ALWAYS have an issue with my computers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Your motherboard is fried”. One of the things I knew I had to invest in was an external hard drive. That way if anything went wrong (which I know it will given my luck), I would still have all of my work and not have to worry about anything. I usually make a folder for every new client I sign on with, just to keep all of their info and my work for them organized. I purchased mine here on amazon.

  1. Google Drive

Google drive is another favorite of mine because I can share huge files and documents with my clients. They also send me documents to edit which is great, because your changes automatically save and you don’t have to email each other back and forth too much! I mostly use it when we’re editing blogs or when I need to share a newsletter draft with clients. It’s simple and easy to use. Honestly who doesn’t use google at this point!

These are just some of the things I use on a daily basis and I hope they can become useful to you too! Comment and share some of your favorite tools that you like to use when you’re working from home.

How to Pivot and Expand Your Virtual Assistant Brand

So you’re business is up and running. Everything is perfect but you want a little bit more. You want to expand your reach and increase your revenue. This is where pivoting comes in. This is where you change things up (a little bit or a lot) and expand your products, services or your branding. Maybe you offer social media services for clients, but now you want to sell digital downloads of Instagram mood boards or post templates (yes that’s a thing). If you’re not sure what to do or how to do it, don’t worry! I’ll provide you with a few ideas to get you started!

1. Offer a specialized program

It’s not a bad idea to pick a certain aspect of your business that you really love and create a special program around it. For instance, I created what I like to call my V.I.P Day program. I provide services that range from social media to customer service for my clients. BUT, I realized how much I love social media management! So, I decided to create a specialized program where clients can meet with me for one day and discuss all things social media! Having a special offer or program is another way to add something special to your business and increase revenue!

2. Online Shop

Creating an online shop is another great way to expand your brand. If you run a small coffee shop, maybe you can sell coffee mugs or accessories. If you’re a hairdresser, selling your own haircare line is an amazing option. For myself, I decided to dabble in digital products and coffee mugs. In regard to digital downloads, you can create resume and cover letter templates, daily planners, printable wall art and so much more. The possibilities are endless. Find something that you actually like and go for it. Don’t just make something because another person is making tons of money off of it. You really need to enjoy creating your product. Don’t forget to RESEARCH! Having a plan before you create your shop is extremely important.

3. Blogging

Blogging is another way to reach your audience and customers. With blogging you’re able to expand on those quick social media posts that you put out. You can really go into detail about certain topics that are very important to you. Along with blogging you can also pair that with affiliate marketing. For any systems, products or services you use, check and see if that company offers an affiliate link. That way you can add links to your blog for people to check out and sign up or purchase things that you truly enjoy. NEVER link a product or service that you wouldn’t use yourself. That wouldn’t be good business!

4. Offering a low-ticket product or service

This option is pretty simple. If you have an extensive V.I.P Day offer that’s $1,200. How about offering a V.I.P Hour for $200. It doesn’t have to be these exact amounts, but you get the idea. You can offer something that’s a snapshot of your more extensive service. Not everyone needs the same thing and offering some low-ticket items could help attract a new group of clients for you.

5. Create an online course

Creating an online course is an awesome way to share more knowledge with your audience. There are all kinds of systems you can use for creating courses. Which one you choose will depend on what you’re trying to accomplish and how extensive you want your course to be. I recommend trying out a few different systems, using their free trial, and seeing which one feels better to you!

There are so many more ways to expand your business and brand! These are just a few of the ways you can do so. Whichever option you choose, make sure to research your market and choose something you love!

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5 of the Best Ways to Find Your Dream Clients

So you have the services you want to provide. You have the pretty branding colors that you’ve switched 20 times and you even have a kick-ass name. Your website is perfect and you even have a little email marketing going on. Check you out! Things are coming together and then you slowly start to realize that something is missing. YOUR CLIENTS!

Well, how are you supposed to find them? You may have heard the saying. “Build it and they will come”. That’s true in some cases BUT you may have to actually put yourself out there and communicate with people. I know that just gave you a heart attack and your palms are probably sweating right now but, don’t freak out! I’m very much a loner and like to keep to myself. However, I know that’s not going to get me where I want to be in my business. Sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone and get a little uncomfortable. That’s the only way you can really figure things out and attempt any sort of progress. 

Here are a few ways to find some of your dream clients:

Facebook 

Everyone and their Mama has Facebook, so use it! Make a business page and optimize it to attract the clients you seek. Follow other business pages that share common interests with you so you can build your following and get a little community going on. Join Facebook groups and ACTUALLY participate (I’m terrible at this). Dropping a comment here or there and a link to your website (if it’s allowed) can attract some potential clients that you never that you would be able to sign. Facebook groups are also great because you join this community of people that may or may not be going through the same obstacles that you’ve been dealing with lately. It’s a great space to ask questions, ask for feedback, and share info about your services.

Instagram

Who doesn’t love Instagram! All you do is scroll, like, and post what you want. If you want to find your dream clients here, make sure your IG is optimized to attract those clients. Your bio should be straight to the point and tell your audience who you are, what you do, and how to get to you. Follow some of your dream client accounts. Drop a DM to get a conversation going (don’t overdo it and be organic). Sometimes reaching out first can make all the difference. Also, follow other accounts that provide the same services as you. You never the friends or connections that you can make and how it can help your business grow. Collaborate with other service providers to get your business out there! Share some of your favorite content from accounts you follow. Engagement is everything! How are people supposed to know about you if they don’t even know you’re there.

Linkedin

Linkedin is another platform that I think people overlook because they just think of it as an online resume for full-time employee positions. Wrong! It can be used for service providers too. Again, make sure everything is optimized and up to date. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone with outdated information on their profile. What happens when you do that? You miss out on opportunities. For instance, if your profile says you’re interested in hospitality but you recently changed to engineering then you’re gonna miss out on what you really want. Make sure to look over everything once in a while to make sure potential clients are seeing who you really are and where you’re at. Don’t forget to post content like you would on any other social media platform. You can like and share posts that align with your business and post engaging content to attract others. Join groups on the platform and engage!

Family and Friends

Sometimes starting close to home can give you exactly what you need. You never know who someone else may know. Ask a friend if you can provide services to them for a month or two to get some experience and a testimonial. Try the same thing with family. Ask them to spread the word about your business and to point anyone that may need your type of services in your direction. Hand out business cards so they can have them handy if they find someone that may need you. Ask friends and family to support you on social media liking, sharing, and following your business content. Having a friend or family member on your side will allow them to speak of your character when they’re speaking with a potential client. Yes you’re a business, but you’re still an actual person and clients like to know who they’re actually working with.

Get Local 

Research businesses in your neighborhood and reach out to them. Drop by and leave a business card. Find their business email and introduce yourself to them. Make them aware that you are here, you exist, and that you have services they may need. Let them know the benefit you can bring them by working together. You never know who you may come into contact with and where it can lead. Even if a particular business owner may not need your services, they might know someone who does. Don’t be afraid to reach out and get in contact with people.

There are literally clients everywhere! You just have to know where to look and how to attract them. It is easier said than done but not impossible. Sometimes you’ll be able to turn a corner and bump into a client. Other times it could take you months. Don’t give up, and be persistent!

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4 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health While Working From Home

Starting out on your journey to becoming an entrepreneur is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. You’re excited because this could mean possible financial freedom. It could mean not wasting 3 hours a day sitting in traffic just to clock in for someone else. It means not having to deal with the coworker that takes 15 smoke breaks throughout the day (we all had one of those). But when you get past the initial excitement and the possibility of working from anywhere in the world, you start to think about the actual work. Not the services you intend to provide, but the work behind the scenes. I think we’ve all had the “oh shit” moment after realizing that we actually would have to put in more effort than usual. Dealing with all of this is enough to make anyone overwhelmed. Taking things one step at a time and remembering to take a deep breath before you try to tackle any task can be helpful. Here are a few ways to protect your mental while navigating your journey to being an entrepreneur.

  1. Getting rid of toxic clients

I think we’ve all been in a situation where we’ve had to deal with a toxic client. We mentally put ourselves in this position where we try to decide if the money is worth us dealing with the toxicity we may be experiencing. It should be a no-brainer BUT, depending on the situation, some people may feel like they have no choice but to endure the toxic behavior for the sake of being able to pay their bills for the next few months. I’m here to tell you it isn’t! Never stay in a contract or any working relationship just because you need the money. I can tell you from experience that it’s absolutely not worth the trouble or the headache. If you wake up dreading the moment you have to communicate with your client, it’s time to go. Trust me, it will suck for a minute but you’ll be happier in the end.

  1. Stop comparing yourself to everyone

This is definitely easier said than done but, please don’t compare yourself to other entrepreneurs. I know when you’re starting out, you need some kind of inspiration to go off of but don’t let that inspiration turn into an obsession. If you’re too busy watching someone else, how are you supposed to progress and move forward? It’s like running a race and looking over to your left to watch your competition. You’re too busy watching them and you end up running into something or running off course. Definitely pay attention to your market and the trends going on, but also focus on your own lane. Or make your own lane for that matter. Be the first to do something different so there is no comparison. Focusing on someone else will have your mind plagued with unnecessary doubts. The last thing you need is to be depressed or fighting with imposter syndrome because somebody on Instagram is where you want to be and you still haven’t made it in the two weeks you’ve been in business. Stop the comparison and focus on yourself!

  1. Boundaries 
  1. Give yourself permission to take a break

I struggle with feeling like I deserve a break and I know other entrepreneurs and small business owners can relate. If you feel like your business isn’t exactly where it needs to be then why would you need a break right? We almost start to justify overworking ourselves just because we’re not as successful as we would like to be right now. You need a break every once in a while because if you’re burnt out it will start to show in the quality of your work and possibly in your relationships with your clients and customers. You can’t pour from an empty glass people! Giving yourself permission to take it easy and regroup can make all the difference in your progress and how you approach your business. 

Being an entrepreneur will always be stressful at some point in time. You have to remember that this isn’t an easy path to navigate and there will be plenty of ups and downs. Maintaining your mental health is an important part to staying positive so that you’re able to pour that positivity into your business and everything you do!

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The Sometimes Ugly Truth About Being a Virtual Assistant

I think it’s a fair assumption to make that most people would LOVE to work from home or from anywhere in the world. You physically get the freedom to do what you want whenever you want. Depending on the services you provide, you’ll definitely have the financial freedom you’ve always wanted. Honestly, you can get that with becoming a virtual assistant. Sounds great right? Of course it does because you’re only getting to hear about the good stuff. Well, what about the not so good stuff? What about the things that no one really tells you about? Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy and blessed to be able to work from home and to work with the people that I want to work with. HOWEVER, it isn’t always going to be fully booked out, invoices paid on time and dream clients. That’s okay! It may not feel like it at the time BUT, these are things that you can absolutely overcome. 

Losing clients

This is the one thing I knew could happen, but when it happens, you’re like “what the hell!”. You can lose a client for a number of reasons. One reason could be that the working relationship is not a great fit. It sucks when that happens but it does happen and it’s okay. It’s better off to find out in the beginning instead of causing stress and butting heads with your client the entire time. You could also lose a client if they start to struggle within their own business. Just like you, they’re a business owner and things happen. Whether it’s losing clients themselves or making the wrong decisions, it could lead to them cutting your hours, pausing your contract or terminating everything all together. You can also lose a client if you take on too much work and the quality of your work starts to decline. When someone is paying a premium they expect a certain level of work. If your effort starts to decline, your client may say goodbye. Losing clients cannot only affect your bottom line, but your mental health as well. It can be a blow to your confidence, but it’s only the end of your business if you let it be. Put on your grown up pants and search for more clients! Take the losses as a lesson and learn from them.

Long Hours

Everyone thinks that when you work from home, you’ll have all the time in the world. It can be that way if you work smart. In the beginning, I didn’t have a schedule for myself. I knew weekends were out of the question, but during the week I was working like crazy. There were days that I would be at my desk from 6am to 7pm STILL working. My thought process was if I have 18 hours a week worth of work, I’m gonna do it all Monday and enjoy the rest of my week. Yeah. That was not it. I had to teach myself that everything didn’t have to be done in one damn day! I also needed to give myself a break. Just like all of my other jobs, I would work through lunch, or get up when someone asked for help during lunch. Don’t do this! Just because you’re working from home, it does not mean you don’t get a break! I ended up using Asana to organize myself and get my life together. Every Sunday I’ll sit and figure out what I may need to do for the week and add any last minute tasks that I may receive from clients on Monday. You have to realize that you may not get the task done because your client hasn’t responded all day, or your computer may crash. Shit happens but you’ll figure it out. In the beginning of your VA journey you will definitely put in more hours because you’re running a business too. When you clock out of virtual assistant mode, you may have to clock into entrepreneur mode for another 5 or 6 hours. It’s rough but only you can make your business what you want it to be. If you play your cards right early on, you may not have to work as much or have your own clients anymore once you hire on other VA’s. Time is definitely money and you need to use it wisely!

Figuring out your niche

Okay so you figured out that you want to be a virtual assistant and that’s awesome, but what service do you want to provide? That can be such an overwhelming question for most VA’s and honestly still is for me. Right now, I offer a little bit of everything. Customer service, admin work, social media management and some other odds and ends. This is great because it allows me to bring in different types of customers BUT, having your hand in too many things can overwhelm you. You also can’t really become great at one thing because you’re juggling too many others. If you can, find out what you really love and become a boss at it! When you niche down and start to specialize, the more you can charge eventually. Now that you’ve figured out what you want to offer, the real question is who do you want to offer it to? Hospitals, retail stores, corporate offices…I mean the list can go on and on forever. Just take a deep breath, look at your past positions and see what would be a good fit. Remember that it doesn’t have to be figured out today, but having some kind of solid plan eventually would be better for you, your business and your potential clients.

Making more and working less

It’s not an obstacle when you do it right but it’s definitely a struggle to get there. I always see these posts on Facebook and Instagram, where people say they work like 3 times a month and make 10k. Honestly, sometimes it’s true but they NEVER tell you what it took to get there. They don’t tell you about the extra hours per night that they have to put in. They don’t tell you how much they have to spend on marketing. They definitely don’t tell you about the weekly nervous breakdown you may have when you don’t meet your financial goal. Making more and working less is certainly obtainable but you have to put in the effort. I am coming up on my 1 year anniversary for my business and I’m still not where I’d like to be. Guess what? That’s fine! I’m comfortable but still striving for more. It’s never wrong to want more but it’s wrong to kill yourself over it because you just started five minutes ago and you’re not a full blown agency having million dollar months. IT IS OKAY! Take your time and do things right. You will get there!

These are just a few things that I have struggled with or noticed that other people have had a hard time with. The work from home journey is never going to be perfect. You’re going to have great days, bad days or even bad months, but just know that if you have the perseverance, the drive and the passion then you will be able to overcome all of it in due time. Keep going and don’t let anything deter you from reaching your goals!

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