What to watch out for if you’re starting a virtual assistant business.
What I call Bad Advice!
Seems like I’ve been on my soapbox a lot lately… and I guess I have because I’ve seen such a change in the VA Industry in the last year.
I’ve seen so many pieces of what I call “bad advice” given to new Virtual Assistants; I wanted to write a blog post that covers them all!
It’s the good, bad + ugly things you need to watch out for when you’re starting your VA business.
Oh… some of this stuff is actually taught by so-called experts in their training + coaching programs and used in their marketing.
This will be one of those posts that grows – as I find more bad advice I’ll be sure to add it to the list.
So… let’s dive in.
#1 The Fake It Until You Make It Strategy – I wrote an entire blog post on this one but I’m going to summarize it here. (You can read the full post here).
I understand taking an opportunity to learn something new but you need to be honest with your clients. Let them know you’re willing to learn – don’t fake it.
Faking means you’re not really sure what you’re doing. Like saying you know Infusionsoft but you’ve never seen it before.
Lack of confidence means you have the skills and know what you’re doing, you’ve just not done it enough to be confident yet. For example, you’ve taken classes to learn WordPress but you’ve not offered it as a service yet. Do you really want to fake it with your clients? You’re working in their business – their baby.
They trust you can do what you say. Remember, it’s your business and reputation on the line.
#2 Work For Free – Why would you work for free? Your knowledge, skills + expertise are valuable and you should be paid for them. When you work for free you’re not valuing the work you do or yourself. Not to mention, people who want things for free can turn out to be nightmare clients.
I see lots of people saying work for free for a testimonial, but you’re still giving away your time + knowledge. And… they’re worth something, right? Yes, they are!
Instead of working for free, offer a discounted rate and then ask them for a testimonial after you’ve completed the work. They get a break on the rate and you get paid for your time, expertise and knowledge.
#3 It’s Easy Anyone Can Do It (Be a Virtual Assistant). Nope, not true. It’s not easy and not everyone is cut out to be a VA. Take the time to really understand what it takes to be successful.
Learn all you can about the day in the life of a Virtual Assistant so you can make the right decision for you. Just know that it’s a lot of work when starting out but it’s worth it for the freedom and flexibility you get.
Remember… it’s a Business NOT a JOB.
It’s a tremendous amount of work to set up a business and learn all you need to know about being a business owner + a Virtual Assistant. If it’s not for you – that’s OK. Just realize it’s not easy.
#4 You Can Make $5k In Your First 30 Days. No one can guarantee how much you’ll make in any timeframe… period.
There are so many factors that go into being successful as a VA. Is it possible? Sure but it’s the exception NOT the rule.
Don’t fall for this marketing ploy.
#5 Get a VA Certification. I wrote a blog post on this one too! I’ll summarize it here but if you want to read the whole thing click here.
There are no true “Virtual Assistant Certifications”. There is no Industry wide approved certification.
Now, I know there are a few organizations that offer certifications, just be aware of what they mean by certified.
Ask questions like “What do you need to do to obtain the certification and what do you get from it?“
There’s a big difference between completion and certification.
Bottom line is you don’t need to be certified to be a successful Virtual Assistant and be sure you understand what you’re getting for your investment of both time and money.
#6 Get Your First Client Then Figure Out What To Do Next. Not a good way to start a successful business. A business is a system. You need to set up your business systems BEFORE you work with clients.
I’ve seen people who followed this advice and ended up posting for help on what to do next in a Facebook Group and guess what? The client that just hired them was in the group and saw the post. Not a good way to start a relationship.
If you’re looking to build a successful business and give your clients a first-class experience, do yourself and them a favor, don’t follow this bad piece of advice.
Take the time to have your business set up before you land your first client.
#7 How To Start Your VA Business With NO Money. You can definitely bootstrap starting a VA business BUT you will need some money. You have to register your business and the fees vary based on where you live.
Just realize that there is an investment in starting any business – it’s not free.
#8 How To Start a VA Business With NO Experience. You don’t need experience as a VA to start a VA business. But… you need to have experience working with clients. If you don’t, it will be a much harder journey.
Whew… ok that’s it for now. I hope you found these of value.
As I find more, I’ll be sure to add them to the list.
If you’ve got one to share, please do!
I’d love to hear from you.
All comments + questions are welcome.
Be sure to use the share buttons to share this post with anyone who might benefit from this information.
If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.
Thanks for reading – Susan
Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!
Susan Mershon started The Techie Mentor ™ in 2013 to teach Virtual Assistants the systems + skills they need to start + run a successful business. With a strong base in project management, Susan brings her love of systems and teaching to offer training and mentoring to new and experienced Virtual Assistants. She’s taught thousands of students her unique system that teaches the skills clients are looking for + the systems you need to offer your knowledge as a service professional. This proven system will help you stand out as a professional, earn you more money and free up your precious time.