Lessons from a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant Who Actually Does the Work:
Everything changed for me when I had my first baby. I knew I wanted to be home with him and be an involved mom.
For example, I wanted to be present and active in his life from toddler music classes, mommy-and-me playdates, and trips to the zoo. And when he got sick, I wanted to be home and snuggle with him when he got his vaccines and wasn’t feeling well.
It was a struggle for me to keep up my 9-5 role as a Communications Director, be married to an active-duty servicemember who was never home, and do all the mom duties.
So I felt pretty lucky when my husband got military orders to move and I officially became a stay-at-home mom when he was 9 months old. But from there it was a long quest for me to find my own thing outside of motherhood and make money, all while raising my children and staying present.
This is a common theme for many of my students in the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School. They’re wanting to rediscover their identity after taking a baby break and get back to work
In this blog, I’ll share all my insight for part-time jobs for stay-at-home moms to help you shorten that journey for you.
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Let me start with the acknowledgment that I am in a very privileged situation. As a well-educated, white woman and married to an active-duty servicemember, I didn’t have to work to maintain my lifestyle once I left my full-time job. My husband’s military career gave us income and benefits, so my money and my career have always been extra income.. and second fiddle! We made budget sacrifices and tightened cash flow during those times when I didn’t work. But I like extra money.
Plus I’ve always been driven to do my own thing outside of his career, rank, and identity.
It meant more independence for me than anything. I think it’s imperative that every woman have her own separate savings account. I also believe every mom should have marketable skills to be able to get work if she needs to provide for her family.
Your Plan B —should anything happen — is to count on yourself.
When I became a mother my work demands changed.
In my jobs, I now required:
1. Flexibility — with a military spouse who deploys a lot, I needed work that would let me rev up or down depending on what’s going on with my life. But in the day-to-day mom life, I want flexible work so I can attend school plays, go to kids’ orthodontics appointments, and take teacher work days off without having to ask permission. I want school breaks and holidays. Our schedules should match! No way did I want to be tied down to a physical cubicle. And I want days off for me to play too… or go to brunch or yoga with girlfriends.
2. Pays Well — if I am going to take time away from my family, household and life, I need the work to pay well to make it the stress and time worth it. There’s a reason I don’t want to settle for any old hourly job. At the same time, the work needs to use my brain and I want to feel valued and that I am contributing.
3. Fun — For the same reasons as above, I need to enjoy the work and get something out of it. This means the type of work I’m performing and who I’m working with. I’ve been in enough crummy job situations to know where, when and with whom I thrive. Me, personally? I need creative challenging work and a healthy variety of tasks. I don’t do well with mean, bossy, micromanaging, controlling or disrespectful coworkers and bosses. Can I get an amen?
4. Impact — I also want to feel good about the work I’m doing. That it’s actually helping others and making a difference. I have altruistic goals. I want to use my talents for good and make the world a better place.
Pretty demanding, right? I’m describing a dream world here. But, if I needed to go back to the corporate world, I would still be looking for a dreamy job situation that met all those requirements. It’s all about job satisfaction.
You’re not the only mom who wants something more
Britteney Barber, former teacher, MOPs leader and military spouse shares what she was looking for outside of motherhood. If you can relate, subscribe to my Youtube channel and leave a comment!
So here are ideas for other moms like me…. who want to work during school hours … and be the smiling face greeting their kids when they get off the bus.
State requirements differ, but this could be a viable option. School districts are hurting for subs. I have enjoyed substitute teaching for the flexibility. Being a PE teacher was the best — I got to wear sweats and play with the kids. You can accept jobs in advance when teachers know they’ll be absent, or you can get same-day requests and make that decision spur of the moment. Accept or decline. This work also gets you active and involved in your kids’ school. It can take a while to build up your reputation so that teachers request you by name, (they have their favorite subs) so play the networking game and let them know you’re available. Make sure you go through the substitute teacher training before the school year starts — there will be set, scheduled training to attend.
You get involved at your kids’ school.
Low responsibility. You can shut your brain off and clock out easily.
The pay isn’t always great.
You don’t have a guaranteed income or hours you will work.
As a mom, you may want work that is outside of your kid world.
Notary Signing Agent
A Notary Signing Agent is a Notary who has been trained to handle loan documents. You’re an independent contractor working on behalf of mortgage companies getting their clients who live in your area to sign the right paperwork. Then you send it back to them. Much like substitute teaching you get calls or texts about available meetings and either accept or decline. You’ll also want to network and build your reputation so you are the agent they call. You can read more about it here.
I tried to be a signing agent but we were stationed in Alabama for such a short duty. Once I got my notary seal and supplies, it was time to move and change states and start over… and I didn’t want to start over. I also ran into the problem of unreliable childcare. This job may work better if you have a grandma, aunt, friend or reliable babysitter who will watch your kids spur of the moment. I didn’t have that support system.
Pays several hundred dollars a gig.
You have to meet strangers in person.
You’ll need reliable babysitting- can’t bring your little kids to signings.
You’ll need to invest in a heavy-duty printer for all the paperwork.
Red tape requirements (barriers) to becoming one.
Real Estate Transaction Coordinator
Real Estate Transaction Coordinators supervise all administrative duties for agents during real estate transactions from contract to close. You’d be responsible for completing escrow paperwork, scheduling repairs and inspections, and making sure offers and counteroffers are approved. You’d typically work for one or multiple agents at a time making about $400-500 per closing. My friend Christal Allen teaches women how to become RETCs. Read more about it here.
True work from home
Ideal if you love project management and have excellent communication skills
Once agents discover you, they’ll keep using you.
Income is consistent only if agents are closing
Hard to start from scratch. Need referrals
With online business booming, virtual bookkeepers are in big demand and can work completely remote. Virtual bookkeepers complete data entry, collect transactions, track debits and maintain and monitor financial records. They also pay invoices, complete payroll, file tax returns, and even maintain office supplies. As a virtual bookkeeper, you’d work as an independent contractor. You can typically charge clients $300+ a month depending on the client’s demands. My friend Vicki Watkins teaches women how to start virtual bookkeeping businesses.
True work from home
Opens doors to agency
Consistent, steady income
You need to know accounting and QuickBooks
Prior Experience needed
Medical Billing & Coding
Medical billers and coders are in charge of processing patient data, such as treatment records and related insurance information. You’ll need to understand finance and medical terms because you’ll be converting patient charts and clinical data to medical claims and reimbursements. Schooling and certifications are required – this work doesn’t happen overnight and you will be an independent contractor. Check your local college for medical billing and coding programs or search online.
I had a good friend go back to school for this and she hated it. I had another military spouse friend do it and love that it traveled with her. But when she moved to Germany she had to adjust her hours to U.S. time.
True remote work
Could be a full-time job
You will need to take classes and certifications
Not as flexible, typical requires regular work hours
The virtual assistance world is vast. Basically, anything that you used to do in an office could be done remotely to assist physical and online businesses, even some brick-and-mortar businesses. Tasks can be operations, admin, marketing, and sales related. As a virtual assistant, you’d work as an independent contractor and charge clients in retainer hourly packages. But there are a lot of pricing options depending don’t the type of work you’re providing: projects, day rates, and retainers.
Admin & Executive Assistants
- Inbox Management
- Calendar Management
- Travel Arrangements
- File Organization
- Client Communications and Follow-Up
- Data Entry
Digital Marketing Assistants
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Marketing Funnels
- Website Updates
- Public Relations
- Graphic Design
- Video Editing
As an example, digital marketing is the freelance work I fell into and loved the most – I love the variety of the marketing and that it pays better than admin work. This work has changed my life, my confidence, and my family’s financial future.
Both VAs & DMAs can uplevel to project managers, online business managers, and directors of operations within a business.
True remote work
Many job options and opportunities
Opens doors to agency and other pricing models
Need updated, relevant skills
My blog here is dedicated to helping women get started with their freelance VA business and learn profitable, marketable skills that will get a competitive advantage and paying client work quickly. So I encourage you to keep reading and clicking. You can also learn by listening to my Unicorns Unite podcast.
⚡️ Podcast Alert: SAHM Who Found Work After a 7-year Baby Break
Natasha Stresemann is a military spouse and mom of two, who never finished college. After a baby break, she was desperate to find work that engaged her brain because she needed something to add to motherhood. Here’s how she became a launch manager and started finding her first clients.
Update: Natasha went from $15/hour Starbucks barista to $30/hr digital marketing assistant and is now $50/hr with a corporate client. Crazy right?! Being a DMA opened doors for her
Want to know more about becoming a Virtual Assistant?
Join me in a free Infosessionand Job Fair.
Upcoming Live: Event with Emily Reagan
How to take your skillset into the online space, create your packages and position yourself to book yourself solid.
There are lots of options for moms who want to work from home and be home with their kids during non school hours.
You don’t have to moonlight at the restaurant working evenings or go back to a retail store working all holidays.
You don’t have to settle for selling MLM products in the DM, taking out online surveys, working in call centers, or filling out fake Amazon reviews.
There is legit online work. And where there is a will, there is a way.
If you don’t know where to start with all of this – take my quiz to help you see your personality strengths and what type of online role is best suited for you. It’s only 8 questions but will give you insight on what to do next for your stay-at-home mom side hustle.
Next Steps for Stay-at-Home Moms
My Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School will show you the path of becoming a virtual digital marketing assistant- you’ll learn how to do the work and get your first clients. If you have questions about it DM me on Instagram@emilyreaganpr or post in our Facebook Community.
You can do it, momma!
-Emily, Digital Marketing Consultant and Implementer
“I help smart women learn the in-demand digital marketing strategies and profitable tech skills to get hired as a unicorn digital marketing assistant.“
3 ways we can work together:
1. Do you need to acquire digital marketing implementation skills and build your workflows so you can solidly put yourself out there for work? Check out the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School. (It opens twice a year so jump on the waitlist now!… I also share job leads with my students so it’s a gateway for anyone who wants to build a freelance business that gives them flexibility and meaningful work).
2. Already doing the work and have clients? But need more clients and a better referral network? Apply for my Digital Marketing Workgroup. This is a tight-knit community of freelancers like you, supporting each other. Plus I’ve shared 1,500+ job opportunities with this community.
3. Need to hire a Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant? Submit your job opportunity here. I’ll share with my workgroups totally free.
Yes, you really can work online.
Feeling overwhelmed and not sure how you can work from home and build your own online digital marketing business? Take a deep breath – you can do this. 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.