Getting Started As A Virtual Assistant

Earlier today I was asked a great question from someone in my¬†Facebook group. I love answering questions ūüôā And I figured the answer could benefit many of you.

I know some of you are still working a 9-5 job or just getting started as a Virtual Assistant. One of the things I hear over and over is this:

“How can I get clients when they want someone with experience using specific programs that I have never used?

The exact question I was asked this morning was this:

“How did you ladies learn to use some of the applications and software that you needed in order to offer these services to your clients? I currently work full time as an executive assistant to a CEO and have gained many skills over the last 2 1/2 years, however, I lack experience with social media marketing applications and I really want to learn more. I’m interested in learning how to utilize Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, SEO, Shopify, Twitter, WordPress, etc . . . more effectively, so that I can offer these services to my potential clients. I also want to learn more for my own knowledge to assist in promoting my own business as a business owner.”¬†

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. 
~Authur Ashe

Get Clients Now!

Actions you can take now to start getting clients with little or no VA experience!

  • The first thing I always suggest to VA’s getting started is that if you want to learn a platform that is free, sign up to play around with it.¬†This would work with HootSuite, MailChimp, Asana and some others that have a free starter account. And if you happen to use it for your business, then it’s accomplishing 2 things at once. I find Asana is the most popular project management system with my clients so that is a perfect one to set up for yourself. They have an amazing free account. And if you get a client that uses a different project management system, no biggie. Because now you have experience with one so you will have an understanding of how they work and can now learn another faster because of this.
  • Second, do research and see who are experts in those areas you want to learn.¬†Sue Zimmerman (I think I am spelling it correctly) is an Instagram expert. Sign up for any of her freebies, follow her on Instagram, learn all you can for free from experts. For Facebook, check out Amy Porterfield. YouTube is a great place for research since there are videos on almost anything!
  • Third, if you are able to invest money, you can find various programs that can teach you specific applications but you need to be sure it’s worth the investment.¬†If you aren’t sure what services you will offer in your business you need to hold off on investing money in very specific pieces of training. You may THINK you want to offer/learn a certain marketing application (or other program) then once working with it may find you really can’t stand it LOL. In my VA training, I have a module that covers the most popular software programs but doesn’t go too in-depth because the market changes so much and it always depends on a client’s needs. Along with this, if you decide to learn all about Facebook ads you have to stay up to date with the changes and trends. Most people successful with services for Facebook Ads, that’s all they offer. I only mention this so you realize some areas you have to keep up with for it to be of value to clients.
  • Then my fourth and last suggestion is if you find a client you really want to work with BUT you don’t have experience with the software/applications they use, just be honest with them.¬†Then give them an example of a time you learned a skill in order to do something in your job that you previously had no experience with. This is what I did when starting, I was honest about not having much experience, but was able to give real life examples of how fast I could learn. I used the example of how I got a job doing bookkeeping with no bookkeeping experience and¬†in 4 months¬†time was trained and doing the bookkeeping 100% on my own for a small business that had sales of 3.5 million per year and did this job very well for 10 years. You’ll be surprised how many clients are willing to teach you things if they feel you can learn it and give them what they need. And if you don’t have an example from a job, come up with an example from some part of your life. We all have one!

You’re more ready than you think

I want to leave you with this last thought. Most clients are more concerned about dependability, clear communication, attention to detail, someone being organized and having excellent time management skills. If you can learn the hard skills like the programs mentioned above but have these other things I mention here, it’s very likely they will still hire you.

The key is to make sure you can explain this in a proposal or conversation with them. Give specific examples, use the steps above and you will be well on your way to landing clients! 

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