How to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant

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Lessons from a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant Who Actually Does the Work:

I am in quite a few online groups for virtual assistants and it’s amazing to see so many people taking advantage of this remote work opportunity!!! There is a ton of work to be had and endless skillsets that can be utilized for VA work.

In these same groups, I keep reading this question over and over from the newbies… “How do I start?”

They know, like you, that is NOW is the time to develop online business skills and jump on the job opportunities.

So let me share with you my solid advice for how to get started…

How to Get Started as a Digital Media Virtual Assistant

When you see this stock image of a coffee cup I bet you cringed. But it’s true. You have to stop whining… and start doing. You have to BEGIN. And sometimes you begin without a paycheck. Sometimes you begin very simple.

What’s your ONE THING?

You don’t start off knowing it all. I know most of my clients want that Unicorn VA who knows everything … but that person is hard to find. So let’s start making you into one now. So where do you start? You start with that one thing you already excel at. Maybe it’s an educational background … you studied XYZ in trade school or college. Maybe it’s work experience in XYZ. Maybe it’s a valuable characteristic … you’re extremely artistic … organized …or friendly. I can think of a ton of online jobs areas where people with these traits are needed. We just need to adapt whatever you have … that talent… those smarts …that knowledge ….. those qualifications … that work history to an online VA job.

How to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant

Step 1: Pick that one thing. Dig deep. Own your strengths.

Step 2: Elevate it. Tweak it to fit into what business owners need and desire in their teams. What are the buzzwords in that industry? How can you update this for the online world now. Be relevant.

Step 3: Tell your circle of influence, friends, family, co-workers, social media friends, random strangers (when it comes up) exactly what you are good at and what you are trying to do with these KSAs. Sound smart. Use those buzzwords. Marketing 101 is to talk about what you are doing and selling!!! Sound excited about it. I guarantee you someone has a friend who is looking for help.

Step 4: Educate yourself. Take that course. Watch the free videos. Sign-up for the freebies from the experts to help you. If you want to be a copywriter… take that course from the best sales writer online! If you want to learn photography… I know there’s a class in your current location. There are tons of free and paid-for online courses, workshops, tutorials, etc. No excuses here. Be a self-starter. (Of course, I have to mention, the course for Unicorn VAs is my Digital Media VA Crash Course and you can get on the waitlist here.)

Step 5: Learn by doing. You have to have the hands-on experience to be competitive these days. So how do you get experience without paying customers? You learn and play for yourself. You volunteer to do it for free. Build up your abilities, street cred, portfolio and reviews. And in an interview, you don’t have to say you’ve never gotten paid for performing job tasks, the potential client just cares that you can do it! And by this point YOU CAN!

Step 6: Time to challenge yourself. If your client says they are looking for an Instagram scheduler or someone who can write blogs or transcribe videos or write sales pages or so something random… OFFER TO DO IT! Even if you don’t know how. Learn that next thing. Don’t charge the client for your clumsy rookie learning… if it takes you 2 hours and you can only charge for 30 minutes, so be it. You just got smarter and one step closer to being a Unicorn VA!!!

What I’ve noticed

I think a lot of people are afraid to start because they feel inadequate when they don’t know everything. And if this is you, be kind to yourself. Even if you were to take a job in a field you knew… you’d still have an on-the-job learning curve!

How to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant

I’ve been at it for six years now and I don’t know everything. It helps that the tech and the algorithms are always changing. But I’m honest with my clients, if it’s a new email marketing platform they want me to use, I tell them I’ve heard of it and have been wanting to learn it. And then I do.

Side Note: I have always wanted a client who uses InfusionSoft so I can play with that one.

But really, clients are looking for that VA who can help them get organized … or that VA who can help with and respond to their customers … or that VA who has an eye for design … or that VA who can write … or that VA who likes analyzing data. Someone out there NEEDS YOUR HELP!!!! Start with your strength and build from there.

How to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant

Let me give you my example.

My most recent full-time work experience was in public relations… like 10 years ago. I really dove deep into the online world when a dear friend saw a business owner was looking for help with her media kit. It was just a random Facebook post. My friend was thinking of me and my skillset. Jackpot! I have never created a media kit for a blogger before, but I knew the PR basics behind it and I am a decent writer… so I studied my butt off and learned everything about online media kits, from how to design it, what stats need to go in, how to get those stats and how to write for it.

I got the job done, I made it happen. And I worked on updating her media kit for the following years. And every time this client needed help with something else, she came to me FIRST. I made myself invaluable. And every time I was willing to learn a new thing.

In fact, all of my clients were doing this with me. I was learning all kind of online business tactics and applying my knowledge and tech skills to help different clients. I was a sponge. I became a Unicorn VA. But I still don’t know InfusionSoft!!!! And all of that came from me doing all of my steps from above.

How do I start????‍♀️

I talked about this last week in my Digital Media Specialist & Virtual Assistant Lab FB Group. If you missed it, just click on the image and it will take you over to Facebook. I’d love to know what is your ONE THING!!! And maybe I can help you go from there!

How to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant
If you’re not in my Facebook Group, you’ll have to request to join first and then you can re-play.

I have put my VA Crash Course together to help you jumpstart to being a well-rounded Unicorn VA. I teach everything I’ve learned from the past 10 years and put it in order so you don’t have to waste time figuring it our yourself. If this sounds like your thing, great!!! Get on my waitlist here and I’ll let you know when we open for new students. If you have your eyes on another course, this is me giving you the push to take it. You’ve got to learn this stuff to get hired!!!

The Takeaway

You gotta put yourself out there. Learn the thing. And tell people what you are trying to do or already doing. I’ve had so many of my leads come from un-salesy conversations. People find out I know about SEO … and they are already referring me to their friend or neighbor business owner.

Where to Get Started Online

I have a list of 10 virtual job tasks for you here…. this will help you get started in the online space and let you in on exactly what clients coming to me are asking for help with and willing to pay a VA for… take a look!

Good luck starting!

-Emily, Digital Media Consultant (and Virtual Assistant …)

How to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant - Emily Reagan's VA Crash Course


I have a Facebook community for digital media VAs. Come join us! –>

Want to learn the skills to become an in-demand Digital Media VA?

For anyone who is thinking about taking my Digital Media VA Crash Course, please get on the waitlist. You’ll be among the first to know when doors are open again. (which will be soon! )

Further Reading

4 Things You Need to Start a Digital Marketing VA Biz

5 Must-Have Tools for your Freelance Digital VA Business

The One Thing I Should Have Done to NOT GET FIRED

How I became a VA {Virtual Assistant & Social Media Sidekick}

What kind of VA should you be? Take the Quiz

I wrote a personality quit to take what you’re good at and show you remote-work possibilities. Take the quiz here to find out what you should do with your services!

Quiz- Your Dream Job Working Online from Home as a Digital Media Virtual Assistant by Emily Reagan PR

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Meet Emily

Emily Reagan is a jill-of-all trades when it comes to digital marketing and techie skills. She’s worked as a behind-the-scenes digital marketing implementor and strategist for a decade for online biz owner clients.

She’s a mom of four, Air Force wife, and founder of the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School, where she teaches smart women the in-demand, highly-coveted digital marketing skills to get flexible, online work.

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