Lessons from a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant who actually does the work:
What is a unicorn VA? And why would a business owner want to hire one?
Honestly, I get this question all the time. From brand new VA students and freelancers, to online business owners and solopreneurs – everyone wants to know exactly what I mean when I talk about unicorn VAs!
I started my own online career as a unicorn before I even realized what that meant. I just knew that I was scrappy and willing to be a “jill-of-all-trades”.
Once I got my foot in the door, I dabbled in lots of different digital media marketing pieces for my clients. I taught myself a lot of tech platforms from YouTube tutorials and learned their algorithms.
And the more I worked in this digital space, the more I realized that the online business world needed a lot more true digital marketing unicorns to join these up-and-coming business owners. That’s the main reason I developed my own VA Crash Course – to get these smart women trained and ready to be hired as highly productive unicorn VAs.
Recently I’ve been pretty shocked…
…to read some flak on social media against hiring “unicorns”. About how they don’t really exist, or they aren’t going to be a good fit for an online business owner.
Really? Apparently nobody informed me or my dozens of successful clients about that.
Because if you’re an online business owner, there are some pretty solid reasons why you need a unicorn VA more than anything right now. Especially if you’re thinking about taking the plunge and making your first hire for your team.
What’s Special About Hiring a Unicorn VA?
Want to monetize your talent, knowledge and success into online revenue streams?
Well, then the unicorn VA is the first person you should hire on your team because you need a DOER.
Someone who understands the big picture and can help you grow your online presence from the basic foundation.
Basically, unicorn VAs are unicorns because they are proficient across a wide mix of skillsets, and not just one area.
Understanding the Potential of What a Unicorn VA Can Bring
Take a second right now and think about all the digital media areas you need to hit to level up your business right now. There are so many relevant pieces – social media, email marketing, content & copy writing, and maybe even an online shop or course creation.
Sure – if you’re running a seven-figure business, you’ve probably got a whole team of people who are niched down in each of these areas. That scope is way too big for one person to cover.
But if you’re growing a small business from scratch, that’s not where you are. Trust me – do you have room in your budget to hire out all of these specialized freelancers?
- FB ads manager $2k/month
- Social media manager $1k/month
- Video editors $80+/hour
- Graphic Designers $150/hour
- Web developers $150/hour
- Copywriters $75+/hour
You get the idea.
Here’s where the unicorn virtual assistant becomes your saving grace. Because if you hire an implementor first, you can start making progress with your task list.
Sure – you’ll eventually need to hire the next person as you grow and scale up. And then you can consider your original unicorn’s skills and strengths, and hire your next team member to cover the missing pieces.
Consider that the true unicorn virtual assistant will bring a lot to the table:
I’ve personally worked with over 150 student unicorns who have taken my VA Crash Course. And the thing that I’ve learned is that they aren’t just unicorns because they have a wide scope of digital media skills.
Nope – it’s because they each have their own unique and rare backgrounds and experiences that they can bring to the table.
For example, I had an online business owner approach me because she wanted to hire one of my unicorns. Her catch was that she really wanted to find someone with a background in art and art history to help her create an online course.
She was skeptical that this magical unicorn would even exist. But – I was able to connect her with not one but several unicorn VAs in my student group that had top notch digital marketing skills AND backgrounds in art history!
Of course, you might not find a unicorn that fits quite that neatly into your field or business niche. Sure, it helps speed things up but it isn’t necessary.
The point is that the unicorn VA is the person who is ready to meet you right where you are, right now, and help build that dream you have swirling around in your head.
But this doesn’t mean a unicorn VA can do it ALL.
That person would be charging well over $100/hour. Or 4-figure day rates.
You need to start with someone who has a solid understanding of digital marketing and online business and can be a task master.
We’ll sometimes get job posting requests with a laundry list of requirements – these are dream lists. Especially if you ask for years of experience in multiple tech platforms but aren’t willing to pay for that level of expertise. You are allowed to dream and you could very well find that person.
But most likely your unicorn will grow into this if you hire the right person who likes challenges and learning. (And you’re able to support and collaborate with each other well).
⚡️ Related Podcast Alert: Onboarding New VAs with SOPs
If you’re even thinking about hiring a unicorn VA, I give you all of the good stuff in this episode about setting up your SOPs. Take a break and give it a click – it’s worth the listen!
And hiring a unicorn VA doesn’t mean you can ghost your own business.
Even if you hire a unicorn VA, know that they won’t become:
- Someone to run your entire biz without you and for you
- Someone that you can wait to hire until you find that perfectly perfect candidate (I’m not even perfect!)
You still have to have some control of your business.
Just because you have a right hand person doesn’t mean you’re not making the important decisions.
Because if you are giving the keys to the castle completely away–then you should probably rethink being in business for yourself.
Instead, what you’re doing is finding that essential team member who gets your vision and shares your goals. Someone who allows you to move some of the basic tasks off of your plate. So you can focus on the activities that drive your business forward.
That’s why you hire someone who can do a mix of a lot of different things. A true unicorn VA. Then later you can hire for new roles and build out a bigger team as your business grows and expands.
So make sure you hire someone who’s smart and confident enough to make decisions, strategize a bit, and take your ideas and run with them.
An entrepreneur’s first hire should definitely be a Unicorn VA!
Because they can be the implementor of all the things.
Want to learn more about what a unicorn VA can do for you, and how to hire one?
Check out this recent podcast that I did with Krissy Chin at Badass is the New Black. We talked in-depth about what you can offload to a VA, and how to offload it. It’s all about what hiring a unicorn virtual assistant can do for you by getting this off your plate.
And once you’re ready to take that next step, reach out to me here so that I can help connect you with the unicorn VA that you desperately need right now!
Let’s get you matched up with a unicorn!
– Emily, Digital Media Virtual Assistant AND Small Business Owner
“I help smart women learn the in-demand digital marketing strategies and tech skills to get hired as a unicorn virtual assistant.“
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