Virtual assistantsjoined the workforce in record numbers as the gig sector grew during the pandemic.
- Discussions about VAs and gig workers on social media inspire others to become entrepreneurs.
In August 2020, Jessica Hawks posted her first TikTok video that explained her experience as
Today, Hawks has over 893,000 followers on TikTok who watch her content to learn more about the virtual assistant industry. Moreover, #virtualassistant has more than 483.5 million views on TikTok, while #virtualassistantcoach has more than 58 million views.
Hawks is part of a growing number of people who have started virtual assistant companies during the pandemic. In fact, occur and
Interest in virtual assistance has not waned, entrepreneurs told Insider. In fact, two years later Laurie Mathis launched her VA business, she shifted her mission to focus on coaching others in the industry. So far, she has received hundreds of applications for her services, she said.
“In the past five years, people have recognized that everyone needs help,” said Angela Lee, a professor of professional practice at Columbia University, previously told Insider. “Everyone I know needs a virtual assistant, and everyone I know is struggling to find one,” she added.
Today, virtual assistants and gig workers are being hired by both small businesses and large companies, providing several opportunities to earn additional income amid the economic slowdown, said Arun Sundararajan, the author of “The sharing economyand a professor of entrepreneurship and technology, business management and statistics at New York University’s Stern School of Business.
For those looking to take a leap into entrepreneurship, Insider spoke to five virtual assistants and compiled a list of steps, strategies, and schemes that helped them build their businesses.
1. To elect your services
When determining your shifts, it’s important to recognize what skills you already have and what skills you want to learn, people said. The virtual assistant’s duties range from designing marketing materials, creating the social media strategy, and sending invoices and receipts to clients’ clients.
Regardless of what services you decide to offer, there is a tool designed to help you deliver quality work to your clients. Some virtual assistants said paying for advanced online tools and platforms was a worthwhile investment, while others used free resources to complete their work.
2. Differentialat yourself off the market
The space for virtual assistants has expanded tremendously in the past two years. Part of this was prompted by employees who have left their full-time job and sought more flexible work schedules in careers they were passionate about. At the same time, a record number of small businesses and brands were created during the pandemic, and the number continues to grow: by October 2022 more than 430,000 new business applications were filed in the US. These trends converged as virtual assistants sought new entrepreneurs to work for as social media, marketing, or administration assistants.
With the increased number of virtual assistants, it’s important to differentiate yourself from others in the field, people told Insider. This can be done by finding a specific niche of clients you will work with, setting up services specific to your skill set or aesthetic, or reselling Additional products or services aside.
3. Set your own schedule
One of the benefits of working as a virtual assistant is the flexibility, people said. Virtual assistants can set their own schedules, decide how many hours to work per week, and make time for family or travel as they see fit. In addition, a lot start their career as a virtual assistant while having a full-time job.
Whatever your circumstances, crafting a schedule that works for you is an important step in creating a sustainable business model, people said. If you’re an early riser, consider finishing work each morning so you have the afternoon off. If you are a night owl, allow yourself to sleep in and start working when you are most productive, said Hawkswho follows a schedule that doesn’t allow her to wake up until 10am
4. Acquire customers strategically
In addition, virtual assistants can choose their clients and work with brands they admire.
Social media can be a great place for that find brands you align with and potential customers, people said. Determine your ideal industry and tasks, then share your thoughts on how to improve or solve existing problems for customers. The most effective way to win over a client is to show them that your work will make their life as an entrepreneur easier.
Finally, attending virtual events and webinars hosted by brands you want to work with is another way to connect with potential customers Alan Smith, who runs her own virtual assistant company. Smith takes opportunities in breakout rooms to connect and network with potential clients.
5. Grow your personal brand
Virtual assistants are often responsible for performing digital tasks, such as social media management or email marketing, for their clients. As digital experts, they are typically expected to have their own platform, according to entrepreneurs. Whether that’s an artistic or sleek Instagram page or a TikTok account that showcases their personality and creativity, a virtual assistant’s online presence can hold the key to future professional relationships.
Online marketing for yourself can be a daunting task, but experts have shared it most effective ways to do this, including making your captions specific and the best social media features to gain followers.
Mathis focuses on quality social media content to promote her business. She invests in professional photography to use in upcoming brand announcements and marketing and advertising budgets. She also continues her own education to ensure she teaches others the most up-to-date information in her courses.
Shriya Bhattacharya and Dominic-Madori Davis contributed to an earlier version of this article.