This is a follow up post to an article I just wrote about hiring a VA or getting and author assistant.
Getting a job as a virtual assistant seems like an easy, low level thing: you can do basic internet stuff, you can write well, some people are making money but are too busy, why not just help them out?
The problem is, busy business people or authors don’t have time to teach you all the things you will need to do to help them, and some of them (authors especially) have no idea what exactly they would ask you to do.
They know they need help, but they are overwhelmed. Being there waiting for them to give you a job to do can actually add more stress because they know they’re wasting money on you if they don’t give you any work.
But also, if you can’t help them with a direction and a plan, you have very low value. You might make $5 or $10 an hour. But instead of that, you should be figuring out exactly how to help the people you’re aiming to be an assistant for. I saw some people on Facebook trying to get jobs as a VA or a Personal Assistant, so I made up a huge list I thought would be helpful. In fact I’m pretty ready to hire someone who can do all this stuff. But a lot of the VAs who are looking for work can’t do most of this stuff (and that’s the basic stuff authors or any online business person could really use a VA for – the stuff that will actually increase traffic and sales).
So if you want to assist someone, take the time to learn about their business and how to grow traffic and what kinds of content you need to be making to support their efforts. Then you can package that all together specifically for your target audience and launch a service (don’t charge hourly, charge by package, you’ll make double for your time if you can prove that you’re an expert and you know exactly what they need).
Then, make a deal: say “this package is usually $500 a month but it’s only $100 a month for the first 10 clients if they give me a testimonial” – then advertise that on Facebook to your ideal audience. Get 10 clients. Work your ass off and overdeliver to earn glowing reviews. Now you can set the price up to $250 and do another round. This is how you build a service business quickly. Don’t be a robot. Stand out by figuring out exactly what people need and give it to them.
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.