Starting something new is always a challenge and a test to your confidence levels, especially if it’s a totally different career path or your first time looking for remote work. Breaking into the world as a virtual assistant can seem super overwhelming and you might feel like your to-do list is never ending with things you need to get “perfect” before you’re ready to start landing clients. Fear not, VA friends. We’ve been there before, too! We’ve accumulated a VA beginner pep talk for you and the 5 things all new VA’s need to hear TODAY:
1 . Start Before You Feel Ready
It’s simple – you’re never going to feel ready to start. Don’t get hung up on perfection. You don’t need to have a perfect website launched, a cute logo, a Facebook Business page and tons of packages/contracts/proposals already created. Yes, you’re probably going to need to update your resume and create a portfolio but the rest of it can be a work in progress. Most importantly, you just have to START so you can continue learning and get some experience!
2. Own Your You-nique-ness
Remember that you have an accumulation of years of experience, skills and stories that are 100% different from EVERYBODY ELSE. What makes you, YOU, doesn’t make me, ME. What a client is going to LOVE you for, is YOU. Be proud to show off your personality, skills and strengths, this is what gets you noticed and lands you the gig! Trust that your ideal client is looking for their ideal VA – you!
- Forget about the Competition
First off, you shouldn’t be comparing yourself to anyone but especially not your competition. How far are you going to get if you keep telling yourself, “There’s probably somebody out there that’s more qualified for this than me. I better not apply.” Did your competition tell themselves this when they applied for the gig they landed? NO. They owned their you-nique-ness whether they were the most qualified person or not and proved why they were the best fit for the gig. Quit comparing yourself to others and instead work on how you’re going to stand out from the crowd.
- Value Yourself
Remember when your Mama told you “If you don’t love yourself first, no one else can love you.” Let’s take that mindset and apply it to being a new VA. RESPECT YOURSELF. Know your worth. Know that you have SO many skills and you’re providing really valuable services to your clients. Take yourself seriously so that other people can take you seriously. Imagine that you and your “competition” are both new VA’s with the same level of experience. One of you is charging $3 an hour for their services and another is charging $15 an hour. Which one would you take more seriously? Probably the one who charges $15 an hour because that nonverbally says, “I’m confident in my worth and what I can provide for you.”
- Keep Going
So what, you got rejected from a a few clients or positions you applied for. Don’t get hung up on this and don’t you dare quit. There’s a reason it didn’t work out with these clients and TRUST that a better opportunity is coming your way. Always keep moving forward, working hard to learn new skills, get experience and build your portfolio. Everyone has to start somewhere but you gotta keep going!
Now go stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself how awesome you are. YOU GOT THIS. Get out and get on with it, your clients are waiting for you! Comment below and tell us what you do when you’re struggling to feel confident in yourself as a VA. For more support be sure you’re a member of our FREE FACEBOOK GROUP where we virtual cheerlead each other to success every single day.
How and where we work is changing rapidly. Gone are the days where we are tied to our desks in a 9 to 5 job. Gone are the days where we have to meet face-to-face in order to make a business decision. We now have plenty of opportunities to work online. Working online has many benefits – no commute, no transportation expenses, a comfortable work environment (working in pajamas, yes please!), increased productivity and more.
We agree that this all sounds great, but how do you actually find work online? If you are just starting your online work journey, you may have been told to search for jobs on Upwork. Upwork is an online platform where people connect with businesses and independent professionals to find freelance work. The company boasts that it will give you the freedom to work anytime, from anywhere, allowing you to easily grow your freelance business. While this may be true for some, we NEVER recommend using Upwork. Here’s why:
You don’t get paid until you have $100 in your Upwork account
If you are hired for a big project, this may not be an issue. However, if you take on small projects (which is common on Upwork), you won’t be paid until you have at least $100 in your Upwork account. Depending on the projects you have, it could take several months for you to receive any of your money.
Upwork keeps 20% (yes, 20%!) of your money!
As the “middleman,” Upwork charges freelancers a service fee, which is taken as a percentage of your earnings on the platform. Upwork keeps 20% for the first $500 you bill for each client. For example, if you earn $100 on a project, Upwork would keep $20, leaving you with only $80. That is a huge sum, and it happens for EACH client you bill! The service fee decreases to 10% once you bill a client over $500 in total, and 5% once you bill a client over $10,000 in total, but it is difficult to even get to that point.
Upwork helps resolve a payment dispute only once
Upwork says that all projects include “Upwork Payment Protection” to make sure you get paid for all work successfully completed through the freelancing website. What they don’t tell you is that they will only help you resolve a payment dispute once. Just once! If you find yourself in multiple situations where the client refuses to pay, you are on your own. Upwork protects the employer, not the freelancer.
There are some shady businesses on Upwork
There are shady business owners on this platform who prey on unsuspecting freelancers. We have heard countless stories of freelancers who have connected with a business, agreed to take the work off of Upwork (in order to avoid the service fee), only for the freelancer never to get paid after they complete the work.
Let’s get real here. Upwork does not attract large, high-paying employers. This platform is geared towards small businesses and startups who want to pay you as little as possible for your services. Does that sound like the type of work and clients you want to attract? No, we didn’t think so.
Remote Job Resources
The good news is that there are plenty of legitimate, well-paying clients out there that are looking for your services! Here are some resources to find them:
We spend countless hours finding the best jobs across the Internet for your skill set. Visit our website, join our Facebook group, and sign up for our weekly emails to get these job postings for free!
Remote Like Me, a website founded by Taylor Lane, is another great resource for those of us looking to find online work. The Remote Like Me team posts legitimate jobs in its Facebook group and sends out weekly emails with job postings.
The Remote Work Hub is a website that provides a listing of remote jobs all around the world. You will need to create a profile in order to search for jobs and membership comes with a fee. The Basic account, which is free, gives you access to 25 new job postings each week. For $9 per month, you get full access to the job board and additional features.
Working Nomads is another great website that provides a curated list of remote jobs worldwide. You have to create a profile in order to see job postings, but it is free to do so.
Other Facebook Groups
There are tons of other Facebook groups with remote job postings. Log into Facebook, search “Remote Jobs” or “Digital Nomad” groups, and you’ll get a host of groups to explore.
Happy hunting, and see you online!
This post was written by 90 Day VA graduate Sara Rosenblit.
Sara is a marketing professional and Virtual Assistant currently based in Los Angeles, CA. She provides services in digital marketing, social media management, content creation, copywriting, corporate blogging, email management, and general administrative tasks. She is an avid traveler, yoga practitioner and teacher, and a former lawyer.
To work with Sara headed HERE and let us know!
In this post we are going to define the difference between a Remote Corporate Employee and a Virtual Freelancer. In this day and age there is so much work that you can do from home or anywhere else that you wish. A lot of what it comes down to is the fact that you can be a freelancer or you can be an employee. Let’s go ahead and break down what that means.
A Remote Corporate Employee.
The word that stands out here is employee. When you are an employee of someone or some company, you are going to be working for them generally full time – or at least more stabally.
You are going to be able to work remotely, yes, but chances are you might still have to work certain hours, check in at a certain time and do other things that are more real world work related. However, you do have the security of having a singular job. You work for this company, you work full time and hopefully you are making enough just from this. It is stable. A freelancer can be not so stable.
A Virtual Freelancer
Work comes and it goes. There are times when you are so busy and times when you are simply bored because you haven’t gotten the same flow of clients that you had before. Along with this instability though is a freedom where you can take a month off and no one will really know because you work for no one. You have freedom because you are no ones employee. You can work whatever hours you want usually – sometimes this isn’t the case, but you could spend the weekend working and probably take off Tues-Wed if you have plans those days, and chances are, you don’t have to tell anyone.
Being a freelancer is great, but it can lead for a much more stressful remote lifestyle. While being a corporate employee means that you have stability but you may still have to work a specific schedule. Honestly, what it comes down to when you are searching for jobs is which you prefer doing. If you are looking for full time work, you might be better off looking for a corporate job because you’re not guaranteed full time work as a freelancer.
It’s easy to find both styles of jobs and as a Virtual Assistant, you really can do either. You can easily find someone who wants you to work freelance with them by just requiring that you do a few projects and then move on your way. On the flip side you can find people that want you to work with them long term, as a more Virtual Office Assistant. A lot of big companies will look for this kind of thing, making you more of an employee.
Want to learn the necessary skills to jumpstart your Virtual Assistant career? You can learn more about the 90 Day VA program HERE.
Of course, if you have any questions, or thoughts on what makes a Corporate Employee vs. a Virtual Freelancer, let me know if the comments!
We get asked this question ALL the time. So we decided to tackle it head on with Taylor, the founder of Remote Like Me (she a total girlboss). In case you didn’t know, Taylor helps ladies from all over the world go remote like her! She is a powerhouse of great information about how you can stand out amongst the competition and that is why Esther and Taylor got together to do an extra special Facebook Live where they answered everyone’s questions!
If you missed the Facebook Live, it’s never too late to watch the recording. Or just check out the highlights here!
So how can you stand out from the competition when you are applying for remote jobs?
The tricky thing about online jobs is that you don’t get the opportunity to WOW people in person. A lot of times, when applying for jobs before I went remote, I would just hope that people loved my personality and worried more about me as a person, vs. my resume. That almost ALWAYS worked for me. I would take in my resume in person, be super charming and even set up and interview right then. Then I would go home, prepare for the interview and totally land the job. However, online jobs, you don’t get that chance to wow them with your great personality and people skills. And just starting out… my resume said a lot of “Worked as a Nursing Assistant”. How was that going to help me? Like you, I had a lot of questions for Taylor and Esther.
Enough about me – here I am going to share with you a few of the valuable tips. If you want to know even more, just check out the facebook live!
The first thing that you should always always do is follow the employer’s directions. The reason that people will list a job with several steps to apply is that they are tired of weeding through thousands of applications and this is a way for them to say, alright, no to all of you who can’t follow directions. Don’t be one of those people. Just follow directions. That’s the best way that you can show someone that you would be a great employee!
The next thing that you should do when you are applying for an online job is to make sure that you are reading the job description and then creating a custom resume for each job. This is going to show that you aren’t just mass sending your resume to every job out there. This shows that you are taking the time to apply for jobs that you really want and think that you would be good at!
Lastly, you need to make sure that you are organizing and keeping track of all the jobs that you apply to. This is really important so you know what you sent to people, when you applied, if you heard back, what they want from you. Nothing is worse than not getting a job because you were unorganized. It happens, believe me. So start now, with ORGANIZATION in mind. Get in that google drive of yours and create the folders, spreadsheets and docs that you are going to need to stay organized and kick ass at remote work!
We believe in you, we know you can do it and if you want even more help and support, make sure that you join our Facebook Group where we send out virtual hugs and support to everyone on their work from home journey! (We also post tons of LEGIT work from home opportunities…)
To help you rock your remote resume, one of our 90 Day VA program participants and intern, Evina, made this awesome infographic for you based on everything we went over! Pin now so you can refer to it when you get to work on creating a resume that can’t be ignored!
Pin this for later inspiration!
Traveling full time seems impossible if you cannot fathom how to make legit money working online. In this video, our founder that was a sad single Mom but now lives in Bali interviews Travel Blogger + Virtual Worker Justyn Jen on how she’s funded her full time travels for the last TWO YEARS.
She has lots of inspiration and practical tips and tricks for anyone with a little wanderlust.
Get instant access to this exclusive interview here:
We get asked this question all the time! How much money can you actually make when you are working from home? The reason so many people want to ask us this question is because you often see jobs posted online for around $2 an hour. The reason that people are paying so low for these jobs is generally that they need help but have no budget and the people who do these jobs are generally those living in developing countries. This is not what we do.
What can you expect to make online?
We start by breaking this down into different categories because of course, not everyone is going to make the same amount of money. There are a lot of factors that go into how much money you can charge and in turn how much you are going to make.
We call you beginners because you might just be starting out in the Virtual Industry. Everyone has to start somewhere. When you are starting out you might find yourself doing a wide variety of tasks. That’s OK. This is the best way for you to figure out what you are good at and what you want to do long term. This is also the best way to build your portfolio.
These are basic admin tasks and you are going to find that a good rate to charge for these things is around $7-15 an hour.
Intermediate is when you may have been working in the Industry for 1-5 years. You know what you are good at and you have a well-built portfolio really showing clients what you can do. Make sure that you have an awesome resume and professional social media accounts. Around this time you can start charging people $15-25 an hour.
We call the next section mastery because this is when you really niche down and start doing what you are really good at! During this time you are going to be making anywhere from $30-60 an hour. The more mastery you are, however, the more you are going to make. This is for people who have educated themselves further in what they want to do. They have done the coding boot camp, gotten the teaching certificate or anything like that to really make themselves an expert.
Once you are an expert you can start charging $100-200 an hour and be outsourcing most of your work to an amazing team that you have built up to help you get to this point.
What can you do now to start generating an income online?
PASSIVE INCOME! If you haven’t heard this term before, then let me explain it to you. Passive income means you are making money by doing nothing. They say it’s making money in your sleep. However, it takes time and often money to set up, but if you do it right, it can be all automated.
The other thing that I recommend that you do is NEVER say no to work. The reason being, you should ALWAYS outsource. Instead of saying no to anything (unless it’s out of your field) you should say yes and then outsource to someone else. Build up a team around you so that you can have time off, work less and earn more!
Now, this is just a snippet of the information that we gave you in the video on our Facebook! To get all the rest of the information you can get in the group! See you there!!