Today I’m excited to feature a guest post from one of my unicorn students and former teacher! You might remember Marilee Haynes from when we featured her virtual assistant success story a few weeks ago. She’s a busy mom and was teaching fifth grade when she knew she needed a new career that worked better for her family life. So she took my VA Crash Course this Spring and got her foot in the door of a new job opportunity online. And was soon booked out so fast that she was able to quit her classroom job by the end of the same school year!
In our weird COVID pandemic world, having the safety and security of working online from home, in your own business, brings a whole new level of flexibility and options that you just don’t have when you’re teaching in a traditional school setting. And here’s why it might be the perfect choice for you, too:
The Superpowers of Teachers, and Why They’re Perfect for an Online Job!
I always knew my mom had superpowers. There was no other explanation. She always knew if I was even thinking about doing something I wasn’t supposed to do. Or who was responsible for putting the box of cereal back in the pantry with only two crumbs inside (my brother – always). And she had the unerring ability to tell when “fine,” as the answer to how was my day meant it had been anything but fine.
If you are a mom, you’ve likely discovered superpowers of your own.
The ability to recognize the exact moment a silence changes from peaceful to suspicious
The acrobatic skills necessary to buckle three kids into car seats from a kneeling position on the hard floor of your minivan while some unidentified something stabs you in the knee
An advanced sense of smell that can identify the source of a soiled diaper from across a crowded play area at Chick-Fil-A
I could go on, but this post isn’t actually about being a mom.
Hey teachers – you know you have superpowers, right?
So yes, mom = superhero. No question.
Little did I know during the SAHM years, there were other superpowers out there just waiting for me to claim them.
And claim them I did – when I became a teacher. And if you’re a teacher, you know exactly what I mean. You can sense when a student truly “forgot” their homework vs. when they “didn’t bother to do it.” And you know, even when your back is turned to the class because you are writing important information they need to complete an assignment on the board, that the reason for the snicker you hear behind you was that the one student who can’t keep his hands to himself was – again – not keeping his hands to himself.
You know when a student’s ever so slightly glassy eyes are due to being pumped full of Tylenol right before she got on the bus and her fever will return before lunch. You have the ability to plan and decorate a bulletin board that makes other teachers scrolling through IG and Pinterest green with envy. And that’s just the beginning.
What if I told you there’s a place for you to use your teacher superpowers to make some extra money? And learn some additional “super” skills. And maybe, if the time comes, to take those superpowers in a totally different direction. Like I did.
That place is the world of the Digital Media Virtual Assistant. You may be totally unfamiliar with that term. I was. But once I got curious and started to learn, I was hooked. Quickly. And soon, I was learning tech skills and exploring the possibilities. Signing clients and having a blast helping them with their business and marketing goals.
A digital media VA – or a unicorn, as those of us in the know call them, helps business owners with various aspects of their online businesses. From planning, designing, and scheduling social media posts to blog support, from email marketing to podcast support and more, there is so much that you can do as a digital media VA. And those teacher superpowers we talked about – just wait until you see how you can put them to use.
What are YOUR teacher superpowers? Here’s how you can use them in a new online job!
- Are you the teacher in whose classroom everything is perfectly – and very nearly ruthlessly – organized and arranged in rainbow order? You can keep a business owner on track by helping them stay organized and integrating various pieces of a project. “Everything in its place.”
- Are your bulletin boards and classroom door designs the envy of your hallway? Then let me introduce you to Canva. This (way too fun to play with) software allows you to design social media posts, Pinterest pins, website graphics, eBooks, graphics, and more. It’s fun and it’s creative. If making things look “just right” is your jam, this is a skill worth learning.
- Are you on your school’s social committee? And do you love keeping up with people on Facebook? You would be a fabulous Facebook Community Manager. This position allows you to help people learn and grow within a community you help nurture – you know, kind of like you do every day in a classroom.
- Do you teach Language Arts? Do grammar and writing make you almost as happy as eating chocolate? Or maybe that’s just me. Anyway, there are opportunities to flex your writing superpowers for clients, too. Blog posts, emails, social media posts, and more. Many clients – like many students – don’t enjoy writing. If you do, there is a LOT of work out there waiting for you.
- Are you obsessed with Instagram? Do you spend more time than you’re willing to admit on Pinterest? No judgment here. Managing clients’ social media accounts is a skill that is in hot demand. If you already enjoy spending time on these platforms, why not help a client and make some extra money while you do it?
- Are your lesson plans things of beauty? Can you take a dry curriculum and turn it into something that engages your students AND teaches them what they need to know? Welcome to online courses! From assisting a client with course content to helping them through the marketing and launch processes, online course support can be exciting – and a lot of fun! And with online courses exploding in popularity, these skills are in demand!
- Are you the unofficial “tech support” for your teacher friends? Are your lesson plans, grade books, assignments, and more online? Does figuring out how to do things more effectively and efficiently by using technology get you excited? Well, there are SO MANY ways you can utilize your tech skills in the world of digital media VAs. Website support, podcast support, building email sales funnels, audio and video editing, and more. Many online business owners lack the time – or skill – to manage the tech side of their business. And that’s where you come in!
Find a whole new level of flexibility and power over your own schedule when you get a new job working online as a VA or freelance specialist.
One of the truly wonderful things about working as a digital media VA is that you can work from home during times that work best for you. Yes, you will have deadlines and yes, there will occasionally be times you need to be available for phone or Zoom meetings with your client, but most of the time it is you making your own schedule.
It’s no secret that many teachers seek outside hustles as a way to pay for extras or get out of debt or save for a dream family vacation. I know many teachers who have sold all of the things through MLMs. From colorful leggings to kitchenware, from tote bags (so many tote bags) to meal planning services, they’ve sold it all. For a short time, that is. Because selling to your friends and their friends gets old after a while. And most people run out of people to sell to fairly quickly.
So if you are looking for something extra to supplement your teacher salary, I encourage you to look into the world of the digital media VA. And if by chance you, like me, are ready to step away from the classroom, I also encourage you to look into becoming digital media VA. I did. And I couldn’t be happier.
I took Emily Reagan’s Digital Media VA Crash Course. I threw myself into it 100% like I do with everything. I learned. I studied. I practiced. And when job opportunities presented themselves in Emily’s Student Facebook Group – because she’s awesome like that and presents job ops to her students – I jumped in. With both feet. And maybe a hand – or two. The point is, I went for it. And you can, too.
Because, as a teacher, you’ve got all the power you need.
Freelance Copywriter and Digital Marketer at 5H Copywriting
Proud wife and mom of three!
Thanks Marilee! I couldn’t love this more. That is exactly why I always tell people that you have already have important skills that translate to online work! I have seen so many of my other students that were teachers who were also able to build successful careers working online in digital media.
From a teacher librarian, Nicole, who still teaches full-time but works as a VA for a side hustle. To Megan, who needed to work from home and found a great opportunity as a Facebook Community Manager with a huge client. Even Rachel Miller, the Facebook marketing expert of social media, started as a teacher!
So if you’re ready to start, take a look at my Top Ten Tasks that you could do as a Virtual Assistant. These are the jobs that online business owners ask for help with all the time. Then make sure you’re in my free Facebook group for VAs so that you can learn more ways to get your foot in the door of the digital media space.
And if you want to hear more from Marilee and her journey into working online, check out my podcast episode of our interview together! It’s a part of my brand new podcast, Unicorns Unite, for all things digital media marketing!
-Emily, Digital Media Consultant (and Virtual Assistant …)
“I will make an army of unicorn VAs to help these online business owners!”
Ready for more? You need my VA Crash Course:
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.