Become a Virtual Assistant in Australia
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No.1 Concern that New Virtual Assistants Have

What’s The No.1 Concern that New Virtual Assistants Have?

Nine years and + 5000 respondents later we can be confident that we know the answer to this.

Our Competency Assessment asks new virtual assistants about the level of competency they have in a range of areas. We also ask them what they are most concerned about and the biggest concern they have is “Where do I start”.

The other 2 main concerns are:

  1. Where do I find clients?
  2. Do I have the skills?

Starting out as a virtual assistant can be rather daunting as most of you won’t have been in this position before.  You will be tempted to get started right away, however, before you do there is some mind-set work to be done.

1.  Where do I start if I want to become a Virtual Assistant?

Most of you will have had experience working as an employee and you therefore have the mindset of an employee.  There are a lot of benefits of becoming a virtual assistant in regards to flexibility and control but you should also consider the benefits that you can have if you think of yourself as a business owner or independent contractor.  You don’t have to just sell your hours.  As an employee you sold your hours.  Your employer paid you to show up to work for a set number of hours each day or week and in return they paid you a salary.

As a virtual assistant you are in control of your own time and earning potential.  You might start off selling your time because, let’s face it, it is the easiest way to get started.  Once you understand what you can achieve and have some ambition to increase your income (without increasing your hours that you work for clients) you should think like a business owner who is in business to turn a profit – not just sell their time.

The place to start is with yourself, think about what you want to achieve, how long you want to be in business for and when you leave the business do you want to sell it or do you want to use it as a springboard to becoming an “authority” so that you can develop your personal skills?

By answering these questions you are well on your way to developing a plan.  Creating a business is very simple and it is made up of a series of steps that you do in order.

  1. Start with the end in mind and create an exit plan.
  2. Work backwards from the exit plan to where you are today, breaking down the goal in reverse so that you have a goal for the first 12 months of operation.  For example, if your exit plan is to leave the business in 10 years time with $1million – in 5 years you would be aiming for $500,000, in 2.5 years $250,000 and in 12 months $100,000.  You goal would be to achieve $100,000 in the first 12 months of operation.
  3. Deconstruct your skills to convey them as a benefit to your clients.
  4. Decide on a target market or niche that would benefit the most from your skills, knowledge and experience. Take into account the things that you love to do.
  5. Do some research into where this target market hangs out so that you can get their attention.

These 5 simple steps will help you create a strong foundation for your business and will provide you with some direction so that you can develop an effective action plan moving forward.

2.  Where do I find clients?

Following on from your plan that you created above.  You now have some market intelligence to work with.  You know how much you want to earn each year.  You can break this down to each quarter by dividing the annual financial goal into 4.  If we still work on the example above that will be $25,000 each quarter.  You can break this down even further to monthly or even weekly goals.

Just allow for a development phase.  Marketing is like pushing a rock up a hill.  All the effort is in the initial stages until you reach the pinnacle, then it gains some momentum as the rock rolls down the other side.  Allow, in your plan for this initial effort.

You will have to kiss a few frogs before you find the perfect client as well.  So when you do your goals for reaching clients allow a ratio of 10:1.  You will need to speak to 10 leads before a client will hire you.  This figure can move up and down, depending on how effective you are at:

  1. Finding and speaking to leads who are ready to buy from you.
  2. How well you can communicate with the lead to convert them to a client..

These are skills that you can refine as you gain more experience.  Always reflect on the discussions you have with leads and make tweaks for the next discussion.  You can even ask for feedback from the lead and ask them why they didn’t hire you.  Usually after a period of time has elapsed so they don’t get defensive.

As you get your message out to the marketplace, gather as much market intelligence as you can.  The more you know about a particular market, the more relevant you can make your services and marketing to them.

There are 3 places where it is easy to find leads:

  1. Your local chamber of commerce website
  2. Your local paper
  3. Linkedin

If you live in a remote or rural area you may have some difficulty with the first 2.  If that is the case, then go to your nearest large centre or town.  Also check with your local council and any rural development departments for any grants or assistance for small businesses.

Here’s a hack for Linkedin.

Don’t login to linkedin.  Then do a search in google for the top 25 xxxx on Linkedin in your location.

For example – if you want to target business coaches in Brisbane, your search would be:

“Top 25 Business Coaches in Brisbane on Linkedin”

This will give you your first 25 leads.  To find out how to convert these leads, read my article here to get the 10 questions to ask your first client.

3.  Do I have the skills

I would hazard a guess that you have skills that you can use to build your business.  I can do this because I know that you will be learning new skills as your grow your business.  Even if you start with some low-level skills, the business building skills you will be learning can be used to provide similar services to your clients.

I see new virtual assistants change direction all the time.  Afterall you don’t know what you don’t know.  You start your business based on assumptions and these assumptions may or may not come to fruition.  The best thing about being in business is that you have total control over what you do and who you help.  This can change as you grow and you become more self-aware.  My suggestion is that you have a training plan for growing your skills.  To help with this, complete our Training Needs Assessment which will give you a good starting point.

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