Lessons from the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant Still Working in the Classroom
Hi everyone! I’m Nicole. Emily invited me to write a guest post about my experience working as both an educator and digital marketing virtual assistant (VA). I jumped at the opportunity to share this hidden gem with others in the classroom! Here are all of the details you need to know about digital marketing as a side job for teachers.
I’ve been teaching in various capacities for almost twenty years, in everything from preschool special education to adult education in English for Speakers of Other Languages. I’m also a mom of two young kids. Currently, I work full-time as a school librarian in an elementary school. I love my work in the classroom and feel fortunate to get to do my job each day.
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I also know that so many teachers like me are looking for second jobs and extra hours to supplement our incomes. Between spending our own money on classroom supplies, to needing extra funds for our own family’s needs, it can be hard to survive on a teacher’s salary. Nearly every online professional teaching group seems to have regular posts about where to find a second job. It’s something we almost all will consider at some point in our education career.
That’s why I was so excited to start working as a VA. I first began working online about two years ago after talking to Emily about her work. I didn’t know anything about the VA world then. But when I saw her passion and excitement for her job, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more. I enrolled in Emily’s signature course, the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School, to get a foundation for everything that I would need to know to be ready to work with clients. Since then, I have successfully worked with a variety of clients with their online businesses.
My Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Working as a VA
I’ve had a lot of questions about why I chose to start working as a VA. So, in no particular order, here are 10 of my favorite reasons why I think that it’s the perfect side hustle for a teacher!
1. Earn Extra Income
Let’s face it – one of the biggest reasons you’re probably reading this article is that you want extra money each month. It’s important to supplement your teaching salary and cushion your family budget. We’re not known for our high salaries, and don’t get me started about student loan debt and all those extra teaching expenses every year.
Being a virtual assistant allows me to have breathing room in my checking account. Plus, it provides “extras” for my family without guilt. From after-school sports to family getaways, my online work from home has given my family the opportunities for so much extra every month.
2. Easily Take Advantage of School Breaks
Most teachers here in the U.S. have some well-deserved breaks built into their school calendar every year. We all know, of course, that there is always extra school work to be done and PD opportunities to attend. But working as a VA is so flexible that I can take full advantage of my time away from school during school breaks and summer months.
Personally, I use my time off in the summers to ramp up my work as a VA. I find new clients and get acquainted with their business needs. I also work with my existing clients to focus on new goals and plans. And, I touch up on my technical skills and revisit some of the topics from Emily’s course. Then, by the time school begins again, I’m ready to move into a new schedule that fits the school year routine. The nice thing, of course, is that this extra time translates into extra $$ every summer!
3. Fit the Niche
My current clients run businesses that do everything from furniture painting to craft clubs. But until I started working as a VA, I had no idea how prosperous the education business could be! From Teachers Pay Teachers to education blogs and teacher support groups, there are lots of educators who are building small businesses based solely on their education background. And we are in a unique position to help with these business ventures. We know the audience and the jargon, we understand the overall goals, and we’re passionate about the vision of these clients. It’s a perfect match.
4. Use the Strengths You Have
If you’re teaching, you know how to write short-term plans while also considering long-range goals. So you are probably used to being organized and methodical in your work. You know how to assess and capture data, and analyze your results to plan for the future. You’re able to communicate at a variety of levels. And, translate complex information into exactly what your intended audience needs to hear and understand.
Guess what? These basic skills are exactly what you need to be a successful VA. It’s easy to turn these strengths into business outcomes to help your clients get what they need!
5. Work With People
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you’re probably in education because you like to work with people. You get satisfaction from helping people overcome obstacles, and you get joy from sharing in their success. And if you enjoy doing it with students, you’ll enjoy doing it with small business owners as clients!
6. Use Your Tech Skills
EdTech is a daily part of our teaching lives. We can navigate through Google’s myriad of services with our eyes closed. Or create and edit videos, input data into databases, design images for flyers, write newsletters and articles, and navigate social media every day for our PLN and professional growth. We are self-learners who aren’t afraid to jump right into new websites or applications after only a basic introduction. You and I know how to take advantage of online tutorials, podcasts and YouTube videos to figure out exactly what we need to do to add a new tech piece to next week’s lesson plan.
And that’s exactly why you’ll be able to find success as a VA. Take a look at these top ten services you can offer to clients as a unicorn digital marketing assistant. Whether it’s something familiar like Pinterest or Instagram, or a new platform for you altogether, you will easily pick up all the tech tips you need to succeed. As teachers, we are quick learners and fast adapters!
7. Have Flexibility in Your Schedule
As a busy mom and teacher, I don’t have much “down time” in my daily schedule. It would be very challenging for me to show up for a routine shift at a local business, or to keep regular hours logged into an online work console. And the thought of teaching at 5:00 am or midnight to students in China, like the infamous online tutoring jobs like VIP Kids, is overwhelming and not enticing.
However, I do have an hour here or there almost every day – hanging out at the kitchen table while my kids do their homework, sitting in the bleachers at swim lessons, watching yet another Disney cartoon on Friday movie nights at home, or waiting at one of many family doctor’s appointments.
Working online as a VA means that I can knock off a few tasks for my clients whenever I have the time, whether it’s 30 minutes each night while my kids are in the shower, or killing time in my classroom before an evening school event. I set my own hours and create my own schedule every week. It’s mobile work that I can take on the road, with no extra childcare expenses required!
8. Do Something Different
I never realized how much I needed to work after school in a field away from my young students. As much as I love my kids at school and my own kids at home, it is so refreshing to do online work that fuels my creative side and gives me adult interaction. I can easily get burnt out when I’m doing after-school tutoring or coaching extracurricular activities because I already give so much of my time and energy to young people each day. But VA work gives me a whole different world of tasks and accomplishments with adults.
9. Gain a Valuable Professional Path
Let’s be honest. As much as I love teaching, there’s always the little thought in the back of my head that maybe my career path could venture into totally new territory. Between pink slip uncertainties and school district budget cuts, it is nice to have a solid footing in a different professional career. Options are always a good thing.
Whether you’re considering an early teaching retirement or just want to remain marketable outside the field of education, this is the way to keep your foot in the door of a separate, profitable career that is only growing in future potential. If you’re a teacher, starting this as a side job could lead to brand new opportunities.
10. Make It Whatever You Want
We all have a basic idea of what a virtual assistant does each day. (If you’re not exactly sure, check out this article!) But in reality, it can become whatever you want it to be. There are so many opportunities out there, and the only one who gets to define your limits is you. Find your tribe, grow your network, and build your own online VA business to make something that fits exactly what you need at this place in your journey.
Get excited about your next adventure!
Nicole Morgan, Elementary School Librarian and Digital Media VA
How to Become a Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant
If you’re motivated and excited about a new career opportunity, now is the time to learn about becoming a VA.
Take your next step now, and get on the waitlist for the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School. It’s an info-packed online learning opportunity that’s all about honing your skills and learning the basic online business fundamentals. You can hit the ground running after the course and be ready to be hired right away by business owners who want the elusive unicorn VA!
⚡Related Podcast Alert
A couple of episodes about teachers becoming freelancers…
How to Sign Better Clients and Make More Money as a Virtual Assistant
LIVE 12pm est Tuesday, Oct. 17
>>> for current virtual assistants and accidental freelancers <<<
(learn how to book clients without shameless self-promotion or having to send 1 single cold DM)
If you’re working as a teacher but want a side income opportunity, take a serious look at becoming a virtual assistant. It almost sounds too good to be true, right? But it is truly a legit work-from-from opportunity that fits perfectly along your education career. Take a look around some of Emily’s articles here at the blog, join her Facebook group, or jump right onto her course waitlist now. (The course only opens twice a year.) You’ll be earning extra money and enjoying your new business adventure after just a few short weeks!
You can see I’ve quite a few successful students who were teachers!
So I know you can do it too!!!
Thanks for stopping by!
-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.
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.