Lessons from a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant who actually does the work:
I’ve been working with brand new and wanna-be VAs for a while now. And over and over again, so many of them talk about the struggle of finding their perfect dream client. So today I wanted to inspire you with the success story of a VA crash course graduate, Carrie Peterson. And share how she got off the endless carousel of looking for online work by sharpening her skills and grabbing her golden ring client.
I originally got to hang out with Carrie in a live FB video inside my free facebook group for VAs. Carrie is so much fun and full of personality! If you’re already a member of that group, make sure you check it out. (And if you’re not, you need to be! Seriously – do yourself a favor and tap into the awesome resources there for virtual assistants!
Here’s how Carrie went from a busy stay-at-home mom to finding her dream client in the digital media marketing space.
Carrie shared that her original degree was in home ec. education. But after college she was ready to jump eagerly into her new roles as a wife and stay-at-home mom. And she really enjoyed that phase of her life and focusing on her family.
But as her kids grew older, and started talking about high school graduation plans and college options, she found herself looking for more. Since she’s a natural “people person” and loves connecting with others, she stumbled into helping local friends, businesses, and churches with their social media accounts.
Even though she didn’t have formal training and had been a SAHM for years, she was a natural at social media management. She’s a self-starter who jumped into the new technology and started playing around with tools like Canva. And eventually found herself working for a local business firm to help provide social media services.
Unfortunately, that came to a halt when she was unexpectedly laid off after the firm decided to move into a different direction. And she found herself caught in uncertainty and overwhelm about what to do with her future.
Her next step: getting started in her own VA business.
Carrie just wasn’t sure what to do next. She loved her work in social media. It was the perfect mix of creative and analytical tasks that kept her brain happy. And helping people connect and communicate was an organic fit for her personality. But she didn’t know what opportunities she had to take advantage of it.
So after a while, she decided to get serious about working with digital media marketing. To be intentional with her work experience and her passions, and use it to build something for herself.
“The pivot point for me was taking ownership and responsibility of me and my business…and this was how I was going to do it.”– Carrie
She needed a clear plan and a roadmap to get to her new career goals before she could even think about finding her dream client.
Carrie found out about my free webinar and signed up. And ended up jumping into my full crash course right afterwards. She knew she had some experience and knowledge to fall back on. But she was struggling to understand the big picture and know how to help clients put all the puzzle pieces into place.
And then she had a big A-HA moment while she was working through the five weeks of materials. She said it always felt like she was ” just playing” with digital media marketing before.
But once she completed the course, VA work became the real deal. She realized that there is real value in this, and strived to become the best student so that she could become the best unicorn sidekick for her clients. Even though she enjoyed the work and a lot of it came naturally to her, it wasn’t just a side hobby.
And that’s a mindset shift that many of us make. Just because it’s fun and there is job satisfaction, it doesn’t mean that online work isn’t a real thing. There’s a time when you realize it can become a serious career. And you start to do that work to make that happen.
I had my own pivot point a lot like Carrie’s. As a military spouse who moved a lot, it was hard to focus on my own career. I finally landed a dream PR job. But it only came with 10 days of leave a year.
I was so stressed – how could we fit all of our needs and wants for our young family into only 10 days of the year? But I knew as a military wife that eventually we’d be moving again, and I knew this wouldn’t be a lifelong job for me. So I decided to create something for myself that fit my family’s needs, not be a servant to someone else’s business anymore.
“I was struggling with knowing what I wanted to do… let me really take control of my business…and my passions…and create something of my own!”– Carrie
How Carrie found jobs as a VA, and connected with those clients who wanted to hire her:
Once Carrie had started the training course, she started looking for clients right away. She reached out to more local friends and businesses, and got some small client jobs that I posted in my student group.
She’s a go-getter and capitalized on her strengths. She knew she didn’t have a marketing degree. But she was a people person and knew she could reach out and connect. So she sent video messages on Facebook to potential business clients and kept looking for more.
She also was ahead of the game and built an online portfolio in a google folder, full of samples with videos, ads and images.
And she is a great example of some of my best advice.
That is – once you’re on the team, don’t just do what’s asked of you. Be a go-getter and a problem-solver. Step up and offer suggestions, those little details, that could help your clients in other areas. They will build that trust with you and ask you to take on more work hours and more responsibilities. And they will pass your name on to their friends and other business owners who desperately need a unicorn.
“People need help..they are so hungry for it!”– Carrie
And it worked! Carrie connected with several new clients and started bringing in more income as a VA. But she was always looking for more.
Finding her golden ring VA job with her dream client:
I post a lot of job leads for my students inside our group – some of them are pretty amazing. And right after Carrie joined my course, I posted a job for a unicorn for a big-deal client. She had a tv show on Bravo. She’s been on Dr. Drew, the Today Show.
But she needed help from a true unicorn sidekick. Someone who could take her ideas and creative plans and turn it all into a successful business.
Like most of us, Carrie had a few moments of self-doubt. What could she, a stay-at-home mom turned part-time VA, possibly offer this huge celebrity client? Sure, it was her dream job, but it was super intimidating.
She had imposter syndrome, but had to get over it. She asked me if she was crazy, and I told her to go for it!
And the truth is, I get it. Even after working for years in the online space, I still have my own doubts.
But she went for it. And she put 110% of herself into the application. She highlighted her best strengths and showed the client what she could do for her. And during the discovery call, she and the client hit it off immediately. They had instant chemistry…and Carrie was hired!
Now she’s learning new things every day and helping her build her business in all the areas.
And Carrie is an integral part of that dream client’s business. She loves being immersed in the daily tasks and long-term planning with her golden ring client. She said it feels like they’re family, and she loves the work they do together every day.
Which reminds me a lot of another crash course student, Megan, who also just shared her success story. She also pushed off her self-doubt, and jumped with both feet into a big-time client job application even though she was just starting out. And she landed her dream job as a Facebook Community Manager for a six-figure client with a booming business!
Go watch the full video with Carrie!
Make sure you’re a member of my free facebook group for digital media marketing and virtual assistants. Then go here and watch the whole video interview I did with Carrie. Trust me – it’s full of inspiration and advice for you! You can also take a look at Carrie’s own Facebook page that she created for her VA biz, Carrie Peterson Connects.
The Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to reach for that big-time dream client.
You have nothing to lose by applying for that dream client’s job. Because they need you as much as you need them.
I am building my whole online business off the principle that so many busy biz owners need a digital media assistant who can look at the big picture. Even big-time celebrity clients with tv shows don’t know how to find the unicorn sidekick that they need.
Embrace your value and show what you can offer. You don’t know until you try.
Starting with small clients can help you gain confidence. And you can get practice with setting healthy boundaries and finding out what you love to do.
But don’t be afraid to hold space in your head and your work schedule for finding your dream client.
And don’t be afraid to quit the clients along the way that just aren’t a good fit. Because your dream client is out there and they are going to need a unicorn to help them.
In the meantime, take the courses you need to grow your confidence and build your skills. Create an awesome portfolio that is ready to share.
And be ready to jump into that next dream job application with both feet! And don’t look back.
Need to boost your skills (and your confidence) first? You need my Virtual Crash Course!
Who is your dream client? Leave a comment and let me know!
-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). You can also choose to go through the self-study program now. Enroll here.
2. Already doing the work and have clients? But need more clients and a better referral network? Apply for my Digital Marketer’s Workgroup. This is a tight-knit community of freelancers like you, supporting each other. Plus I’ve shared 1,600+ 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.
Free Trainings Available Right Now:
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.