If you’re wanting to become a virtual assistant and start your own business, you’ve probably wondered where you’ll find clients. After all, a VA doesn’t make any money if she doesn’t have any clients! A great place to get started finding clients for your virtual assistant business is Upwork.
How to Become a Virtual Assistant
“Is Upwork Legit?”
Upwork is the world’s largest freelancing website. It’s a place for freelancers to find work and businesses to find help. There are one time projects, part time work, and full time positions available. Freelancers and businesses from all over the world work through this website every day. Yes- it’s legit.
“I’ve heard you don’t get paid well on Upwork.”
While it’s true that you’ll be competing for jobs with freelancers from other countries who are willing to make way below minimum wage, it’s also true that many business know they get what they pay for. The person who is willing to pay someone $2 an hour probably isn’t an ideal client for you to be working for anyway. There are currently over 21,000 projects listed on the site; just move on to another one!
Can I tell you a secret? I made enough money working through Upwork to pay off our credit card debit. That’s right- we’re debt free because of Upwork! So don’t fall for the lies that you can’t make good money working through a freelancing site. You totally can.
“Why would I want to get started there instead of on Facebook?”
Upwork is a great place to acquire skills and experience that will make it easy for you to become a virtual assistant and launch your business. It’s so hard to market yourself on social media platforms as a VA when you really don’t have any experience.
You know the first thing most people do when you respond to a post saying your VA business can help them? They ask to see your website and go check out your reviews and portfolio. In other words, they want to see the proof that you can actually help!
So how do you get those reviews and portfolio work? Well, you can do barter opportunities and work for free in exchange for a review. Or you can make actual money working through Upwork.
Will it be less than money than you’d make working on your own as a VA? Yes, most likely. Upwork takes out a fee from your pay in exchange for the service they provide. But payment is guaranteed through them, so you’ll never waste time hunting down a client’s payment. In fact you won’t even have to waste time invoicing because Upwork takes care of that, too!
“What can I do to actually get clients?”
Businesses have the option of searching for freelancers by their reviews, so not having any reviews will keep you from getting jobs. The easiest way to get past this is to do a few super quick jobs. I mean, super super quick.
My first 2 jobs were downloading an app to test and writing 5 questions for a forum. I made a grand total of $6.39 for the two jobs, which probably took me less than 20 minutes to do total. BUT my third job turned into a long term client that I’ve made thousands of dollars from. Those two quick jobs got me the reviews I needed to become a virtual assistant and show up in search results for a great potential client!
My second piece of advice is to be open to doing different kinds of work. I started out looking mainly for data entry jobs because I had done that in the past. I applied for and got a small transcription job early on and realized it was something I was good at. And then I had a client teach me how to build websites using WordPress, which is now what I do for my business full time.
Try new things. Apply for jobs just for the experience. Be open to learning. And before you know it, you’ll become a virtual assistant and have a VA toolbox full of skills that will make you a great virtual assistant that people can’t wait to hire!
Dara is a mompreneur with a passion for seeing mamas confidentially launch successful businesses so they can live the life of their dreams. She designs websites for work at home moms through her web design company, Dara Simons Creative. She blogs about mompreneur tips while drinking way too much coffee and dreaming of the day her kids sleep through the night.
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