- Virtual assistants joined the workforce in record numbers as the gigging industry grew amid the pandemic.
- The increased interest in virtual assistants on social media is inspiring some to become entrepreneurs.
- Insider has compiled a list of strategies to help aspiring virtual assistants thrive.
In August 2020, Jessica Hawks posted her first TikTok video which explained her experience working as a virtual assistant. Specifically, she told viewers that she made $9,000 a month without a college degree.
Today, Hawks has over 850,000 followers on TikTok who watch his content to learn more about the virtual assistant industry. Additionally, #virtualassistant has over 136 million views on TikTok.
Hawks is among a growing number of people who have launched virtual assistant businesses during the pandemic. In fact, on-demand and freelance work has become an important sector of the economy throughout COVID-19, and virtual assistants reported a 41% increase in hiring in 2020 compared to 2019, according to a report. from NanoGlobals, a remote work expert and market analyst.
“Over the past five years, people have recognized that everyone needs help,” Angela Lee, professor of professional practice at Columbia University, told Insider. “Everyone I know needs a virtual assistant, and everyone I know is struggling to find one,” she added.
For those looking to take the leap into entrepreneurship, Insider spoke with four virtual assistants and compiled a list of stories, strategies, and daily schedules that helped them grow their business.
Differenceat market yourself
The virtual assistant space has expanded dramatically over the past year. Part of this was driven by employees quitting full-time jobs and seeking more flexible work hours in careers they were passionate about. At the same time, a record number of small businesses and brands have been created over the past year. In the first quarter of 2021, more than 300,000 new businesses were created in the United States, a number that has continued to grow throughout the year, with more than 30,000 formed in November alone. These trends came together as virtual assistants sought out new entrepreneurs to work as social media, marketing, or administrative assistants.
With the rise of virtual assistants, it’s important to differentiate yourself from others in the field, people told Insider. This can be done by finding a specific niche of clients you will work with, establishing services specific to your skill set or aesthetic, or selling additional products or services alongside.
Read more: I’m a virtual assistant earning $10,000 per month in income. This is how I started my business and made 6 figures a year.
To choose your services
When determining your services, it’s important to recognize which skills you already have and which ones you want to learn, people said. The virtual assistant’s tasks range from designing marketing materials to creating the social media strategy and sending invoices and receipts to clients’ clients.
Whatever services you decide to offer, there is a tool designed to help you deliver quality work to your clients. Some virtual assistants said paying for premium online tools and platforms was a worthwhile investment, while others used free resources to complete their work.
Read more: A 23-year-old virtual assistant who earns $8,000 a month shares 11 tools she uses to run her business
Set your own schedule
One of the benefits of working as a virtual assistant is flexibility, people said. Virtual assistants can set their own schedules, decide how many hours to work per week, and leave time for family or travel when it suits them. Additionally, many start their virtual assistant careers while working full-time jobs.
Whatever your situation, establishing a schedule that works for you is an important step in creating a sustainable business model, people said. If you’re an early riser, consider finishing your work each morning so you have the afternoon free. If you’re a night owl, allow yourself to sleep and start working when you’ll be most productive, said Hawks, who follows a schedule that allows her to wake up until 10 a.m.
Read more: I’m a virtual assistant making 6 figures in revenue this year. Here’s how I found clients and started an agency while keeping my full-time job.
Read more: A virtual assistant followed this daily routine to earn $9,000 a month and scale her business to $1.1 million in sales
Land customers strategically
Additionally, virtual assistants can choose their clients and work with brands they admire.
Social media can be a great place to find brands you align with and potential customers, the people said. Determine your industry and your ideal tasks, then share your thoughts on how to improve or solve existing problems for customers. The most effective way to attract a client is to show them that your work will make their life as a business owner easier.
Finally, attending virtual events and webinars hosted by brands you want to work with is another way to connect with potential clients, said Alanna Smith, who runs her own virtual assistant business. Smith takes advantage of breakout room opportunities to connect and network with potential clients.
Read more: I’m a 23 year old virtual assistant who makes $8,000 a month. This is how I built my business and found clients.
Read more: A virtual assistant who earns $4,000 a month in income shares 4 tips for starting a business like hers, including how to find your niche
Develop your personal brand
Virtual assistants are often tasked with performing digital tasks, such as social media management or email marketing, for their clients. As digital experts, they are generally expected to have their own curated platform, the people said. Whether it’s an artistic or clean Instagram page or a TikTok account that shows off their personality and creativity, a virtual assistant’s online presence can be key to future professional relationships.
Marketing yourself online can be tricky, but the experts have shared the most effective ways to do it, including crafting your captions specifically and the best social media features for building an audience.
Read more: How to Sell Yourself on Social Media According to a Virtual Assistant Making $9,000 a Month