Do I Need Experience or a Degree to Be a VA?

degree experience VA

Lessons from a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant who actually does the work:

I know I’ve said it before, but I can’t say it enough. Digital media marketing and online business opportunities are exploding right now. And that leaves many potential VAs that are wondering how they can find their place, whether or not they have a college degree or prior experience.

Online entrepreneurs and small businesses are taking advantage of all this growth. Which means that they really need help to make sales, grow their business, and boost their online business brands. And honestly, so many of them are struggling to find that unicorn VA

If you’re interested in this type of work, read on. Not sure? Take a look at my list of 10 of the top tasks that you could do to work online, and see what sparks an interest.

The Two Questions Everyone Asks (And My Honest Answers…)

I’ve been doing this work for a while – helping new people become successful unicorn VAs. And there are two questions that I hear over and over again, each time:

Do I Need a Degree?

My straight up, quick answer: No.

The online world is still wide open. And college isn’t for everybody. It’s not an end-all, be-all, road to success.

There are so many very smart people who are go-getters who skip college altogether and dive right into their work. And there’s so much to learn about digital media that they aren’t even teaching in college.

For me, college was an incubator. It gave me time to decide what I really wanted to do. But very little of what I learned is actually something I can use today. Most of the online strategies and techniques that I use are only a few years old. And they will keep changing a lot in the next few years.

I know a lot of 7-figure success stories in the online space. These are people who are killing it, and many don’t have a degree at all. It’s more about getting that experience, growing your confidence, networking, and taking action.

This field is still growing. More people are getting involved with all different kinds of backgrounds. But it isn’t too late to jump in and take advantage.

Study Digital Media Marketing Courses by Emily Reagan PR

Do I Need Experience?

Honestly? Yes.

There are a lot of established people out there already. It’s growing more competitive. You really need to know the basics.

Business owners want a unicorn VA that can do all the things. Or at least specialize in some of their top priority areas. They want you to know best practices, digital media info like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and have solid techie knowledge. 

But don’t get discouraged! Because you can easily get that experience, gain confidence, and get the headstart you need. In just a few months, you can build your foundation and gain the skills that clients want. If you’re super motivated and take a comprehensive course like my crash course, you’ll be ready in just a few weeks. Then build and grow from there.

How? Think about the services that you want to offer. Then find a place to volunteer and get experience.

Maybe you have a local friend with a small business who wants to grow online. Or you’re involved with a local non-profit or community group that would gladly welcome the help. It could be anything – your kids’ PTA, your neighborhood association, a community garden or nature preserve group.

Or, do like another one of my successful course graduates did – build a mock portfolio to show examples of your best work. Let potential clients know that you have some sample work you can show them, and follow-up with a plan of how you would make it fit even better for their business.

And take an online course and get certified in an area. Learn Pinterest, Facebook marketing. There are lots of courses out there – I mentioned some of them in my last blog. Some of them are huge, and cost thousands of dollars. But there are even free courses like Google Analytics. 

You Can Make It As a VA With or Without a Degree and Experience!

Did you catch my recent Facebook live with Jennifer Kim about our personalities and how they impact our work? If you missed it, make sure you’re a member of my free Facebook group and then head over to watch the replay.

She basically said all of us can step up and do what we need to do, regardless of our personality type. Same with our background and experience. You just have to be able to get things done. Be resourceful, quick thinking, a quick learner, and get it done.

For example Tabitha is a nurse and military wife who took my course. She has a degree, but not in anything related to digital marketing. But she needed a job that was more flexible and better fit for her current stage of life. So she started learning everything she could online about SEO. She was motivated and resourceful. And now she has become an SEO specialist and is getting referrals for new clients all the time!

And there are so many other amazing women that I’ve worked with, or that have taken my course. They didn’t have a degree in this field. And they didn’t work in the digital media field or even a related area. But they were hungry and got the online training and experiences that they needed.

One caveat: You need basic reading and writing skills. You should know grammar. Clients aren’t going to be impressed if you can’t properly use their, there, and they’re. 

And it’s not a job for someone who is unmotivated. Who thinks that working online is sitting on the couch all day while you wait for money to fall into your lap. This is a hustle job. You get paid every minute you’re working, but you’ve gotta be working to get paid.

The Takeaway: College Degrees and Prior Experience Don’t Matter as Much for VAs as Your Mindset

So no. If you want to be a VA, you don’t need a degree. You don’t need lots of background experience right from the start.

Whatever stage of life you are in, and whatever your background, you can make this happen. Plenty of rockstar VAs and digital media gurus are killing it right now and I bet a lot of them started right where you are.

You just need the hunger to reach out for the golden ring. Be ready to step up, get your game on, and go for it.

Want a good place to start? I’ll be offering a FREE Infosession where you can learn what skills & services you could be offering, behind-the-scenes job positions & tasks, and the knowledge & lingo to get hired online. Make sure you sign up for a time to join the infosession! Then you’ll already be one step into the game.

Curious about starting your own service-based business from home?

This list is for you!

Grab my list of digital marketing-related tasks and services that online business owners are outsourcing and always need help with.

This is a goldmine of services you could be offering to your clients in your digital marketing VA business.

Want to learn more? Make sure you’re an insider member of my facebook group and then watch the live video I just did on this same topic! (And hear about why I could have won an award for just-okay-est mom of the week!)

Screenshot Facebook Live Video for Digital Media Virtual Assistants by Emily Reagan PR

Can’t wait to see where you go from here!

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

Emily Reagan Wearing Winter Coat Smiling Brick Wall by Emily Reagan PR

“I will make an army of unicorn VAs to help these online business owners!”

Get my latest quick tips and trainings, for free:

Silver and yellow pencils Digital Media VA Mini Training Free Series by Emily Reagan PR

I’ve been working in digital media for years, and I’ve learned a lot of great info. And now I’ve made it a goal to help others like you to break into the online space and help these clients who are desperate for a unicorn VA to join their business team.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve offered free mini-trainings to members of my free facebook group: my Digital Media Specialist and Virtual Assistant Lab. Go over and get onto the list for more info! And look for the #freetraining hashtags in the FB group to find the videos. From Kajabi and Convertkit to graphic design and admin, these are essential tools and topics you won’t want to miss.

Yes, you really can work online:

Feeling overwhelmed and not sure how you can work from home and build your own online digital media business? Take a deep breath – you can do this. First start here with my list of 10 popular tasks that online businesses need help with the most!

These are the tasks that new clients are constantly asking for help with, and skills that they really need to find in a virtual assistant. Get access to this free download right now. Then make sure your own VA toolkit is up-to-date and relevant, and decide where you might need to invest in new growth and development for your biz.

10 Online Tasks For VA Job Optin for Emily Reagan PR

Ready to take the next step to level up your own VA digital marketing business? Get on the waitlist for my VA Crash Course now! The course only opens a few times a year and the go-getters on my waitlist get the first opportunity for a spot!

If you’re interested in learning more about what I do as a social media manager, digital marker and virtual assistant helping small business owners remotely, please fill out this form here and I’ll tell you more.

Further Reading

A VA Course Graduate Shares Her Business Success!

How to Afford the Online Courses You Need

Diving Into a New Career in Digital Media: How She Made It Happen.

How to Start a New Career as a VA

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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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