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As a virtual assistant, you’re alone in a digital marketplace made of thousands of potential clients and competing VAs
How can you stand out?
It’s NOT fun when clients reject and ignore your offers (speaking from a lot of heartbreaking experience here).
So to help you avoid this, here are some insider virtual assistant tips to help you land high-paying clients who are easy to work with — without all the heartbreak.
Table of Contents
- 7 virtual assistant tips for massive success
- What NOT to do as a new VA
7 virtual assistant tips for massive success
1. Send video pitches
Clients are getting pitches all day every day. They aren’t going to inspect 10 applications that look exactly the same.
They just don’t have the time.
So make yourself stand out by giving them a taste of what you can do through a video pitch.
Here’s an example of what I mean.
If a potential client is looking for someone to help them with getting more sales, create a 60-second Loom video of their website and show how they can optimize their website for new visitors.
It’s not rocket science.
This could be recommendations as simple as adding social media icons to their header, or adding a button on the front page to schedule a call.
The idea here is to provide them with a little bit of value. Prove to them you know your stuff, that you can think outside of the box, and that you’re willing to go the extra mile.
This shows how professional you are, creates a lasting impression, and is more likely going to get you a call back.
2. Create your personal brand
You need to establish trust from the first second someone sees you online.
This sets you apart. Clients are looking for someone they can trust, someone they jive with, and someone whose brand complements their own.
That’s why your personal brand is important.
It shows clients who you are and why they should pick you over someone else.
Creating a personal brand might sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Just think about the way you present yourself to the world.
Here are some good virtual assistant website examples to get your juices flowing.
But this goes way beyond how pretty your website looks. It’s about how you communicate with your potential clients.
How do you want people to feel when they see your brand? How do you want them to remember you? What do you want them to associate you with?
Write it down.
One helpful tip is to think about the major brands out there that you can instantly recognize.
When I say golden arches, what brand do you think of? Or a polar bear with a drink in its paw? How do those brands make you feel? Apply that to your own personal brand.
You want your personal brand to be a reflection of you, so spend some time really thinking about it.
The most important thing is to make your message crystal clear:
WHAT services you offer, WHO you offer them to, and PROOF that you’re good at it.
Social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and LinkedIn can be a goldmine to find the right clients for your VA side hustle.
Start by setting up your profiles. Make sure they are consistent with your personal brand. Share your expertise and the services you offer.
Next, think about content. Share helpful tips, tricks, and industry news.
If you’re great in social media management, make posts about the latest social media trends. This shows you’re up to date and know your stuff, which will make people more likely to trust you.
And don’t forget to engage!
Reply to comments, follow relevant profiles, and join groups. By actively engaging with your audience, you’re creating a connection with your audience.
Clients are more likely to hire you if they can relate to you in some way, so don’t be afraid to really put yourself out there.
Imagine your in a client’s shoes trying to decide between two candidates.
One candidate is super active online and by reading their stuff, you feel like you already know them. The other candidate is a ghost online.
Which of the two would you hire?
4. Keep a positive outlook
I know the feeling of getting rejected by a potential client sucks.
But instead of sulking, use this experience as a stepping stone.
After all, growth comes from learning.
When dealing with clients, always wear your “smile.” This can-do attitude lightens the mood and improves communication.
If that doesn’t work, you can always read some virtual assistant quotes for inspiration.
More importantly, try to see what you can improve for the next pitch. Use every rejection as an opportunity to learn something new.
Also keep in mind that not every client is ready to hire at this second. If you stay on good terms, there may be opportunities in the future.
If you’re struggling to get your first job, check out our guide on virtual assistant jobs for beginners.
5. Join online communities for VAs
Online communities connect you with experts and fellow VAs.
You’ll find valuable tips and insights, plus potential client referrals.
Don’t be shy to participate in discussions. In fact, I encourage you to be active in these communities.
The more value you give to people, the more likely they are going to go to you for your expertise.
Ask questions and learn from more experienced VAs. After all, they’ve been in your shoes before.
Platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook offer industry-specific groups.
Search by your niche or skills and request to join engaged communities. This Amazon VA group on LinkedIn is a great example.
These are gold mines for useful advice, resources, and client connections.
6. Niche down
Choosing a niche or specialization makes you more in-demand for a tailored group of clients.
Think about the tasks you enjoy doing most. Match it with a growing market.
If you love graphic design, you could specialize in creating content for social media or websites. If you enjoy writing, you could focus on blogging for local businesses.
You can even take it one step further by focusing on servicing specific industries, like travel, real estate, finance, etc.
By niching down, you can be the best at one thing (which means you can charge more), but it’ll also be easier for you to build your personal brand.
Going back to websites, if that’s something you like doing, you could brand yourself as the go to web developer for all travel content creators. So now your personal brand can be more directed to that audience.
You can make travel content related social media posts, your website can be about how your work has improved the engagement rates for travel content creators.
It all works together.
This tailored approach will make you the go-to person for specific services.
As an expert in a chosen niche, you can:
- Increase client trust. Clients prefer experts who understand their industry inside out.
- Charge higher rates. Specialized services often have higher value.
- Get referrals. Satisfied clients will recommend you to others in the same space.
7. Invest in a virtual assistant course
Learning never stops, especially in the VA world.
Upgrading your skills by enrolling in virtual assistant courses helps you find more clients.
The more you know, the more clients will want to hire you.
Keep in mind that clients often prefer versatile VAs who can handle diverse tasks.
Many VA courses also have their own job boards that help you find clients when you’re just starting out.
I’ve personally tested out multiple training programs, and here’s my list of best virtual assistant courses (free and paid) out right now.
8. Stay organized
Create a Schedule: Start by setting your daily and weekly tasks. This helps you prioritize work and allocate time wisely. For instance, block one hour for checking emails and half an hour for lunch breaks.
Project Management Tools: Use reliable tools like Clickup to keep projects, deadlines, and communication in one place. It stops important information from getting lost and makes collaboration seamless.
Time Blocking: Divide your work hours into focused chunks. For example, give yourself 2 hours for client A’s tasks, then an hour for Client B’s tasks, then a break, and so on. This helps you stay on task and not waste time distracted on your phone. (Been there, done that.)
One Communication Channel: Stick to one main channel for team communication — be it Slack, email, or a project management tool. This helps you avoid missed messages and keeps all information accessible. It’s also easier than having to switch between a million different programs.
Set Boundaries: Establish clear guidelines with clients regarding work hours, meetings, and deadlines. This helps maintain a healthy work-life balance and lets you manage your time.
Staying organized means more satisfied clients, better productivity, and success.
Clients will also appreciate you staying on top of their tasks.
What NOT to do as a new VA
It’s essential to manage your workload. Avoid overcommitting to clients and projects.
This helps you deliver high-quality results every time.
Taking on too many tasks leads to poor performance. Quality over quantity is key.
Focus on tasks you excel in and deliver your best work for each client.
To prevent overcommitting, try these tips:
- Communicate openly with clients about your abilities and availability.
- Plan your schedule wisely, considering deadlines and priorities.
- Set realistic goals for yourself, and don’t bite off more than you can chew.
For example, you’re great at social media management but not so skilled in graphic design.
It’s better to focus on what you do best and avoid stretching yourself too thin trying to learn new skills on the fly.
I’m not saying you should never learn new skills — new skills are important!
I’m just saying that skills take time to learn. So don’t overschedule yourself with tasks you don’t even know how to do yet.
You might be tempted to skip contracts and accept clients right away.
But trust me, don’t do it. Contracts protect both you and your client.
The last thing you want is to work without a contract and then have your client refuse to pay you.
By signing a contract, you and your client agree on terms like payment, hours, and services.
This way, both parties know what to expect from each other. It also avoids misunderstandings that can hurt your relationship with the client.
Ignoring your money and resources
As a VA, you may need paid project management tools or educational courses. Keeping an eye on these expenses helps you stay profitable.
Think of it like a delicate balancing act — tracking spending helps you avoid toppling over.
Yes, the whole point is to enjoy the money you earn.
But if you spend it all on non-essentials — like that fancy coffee machine — and don’t have enough left over for work tools, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
That said, there’s no need to pay for virtual assistant tools you can get for free!
Undervaluing your services
Take pride in your skills and expertise. Don’t sell yourself short by offering lower rates just to get new clients.
Know your worth and set proper rates to reflect the value you bring.
If a client can’t afford your services, focus on finding clients who can. It never hurts to be confident in your abilities.
Clients will notice and appreciate your professionalism. When you undervalue your services, it can negatively impact other VAs in your niche.
Beware of “bargain-hunter” clients. They usually don’t value your time and expertise and they can be a pain to work with.
By setting fair rates, you’ll attract clients who appreciate the high-quality service you provide.
Falling for scams
Unfortunately, there are tons of online scammers targeting eager virtual assistants who are looking for clients.
Don’t fall for any of them.
It can cost you the time, energy, and resources you spent on building your skills and experience.
So make sure to check each job listing and do a background check on the client before sending your resume or portfolio.
There are a few easy ways to spot these tricks, and if you want to know what they are, check out this article on virtual assistant scams.
After the pandemic put an end to her peaceful art museum job, Lianne went full-on beast mode to learn everything about digital marketing and online business she could get her hands on.
This helped her snag her first virtual assistant gig. And then another. And then another.
Now, instead of fighting Manila’s horrendous traffic every day, she’s island-hopping around the Philippines with her trusty laptop.
Mitch's Travel Recommendations:
Travel Planning Resources - Everything you need to plan your trip on one convenient page.
Going Cheap Flights Newsletter - Get flight deals from your airport up to 90% off sent straight to your inbox.
Safetywing Insurance - This cheap travel insurance has saved me over $15,000 in medical bills.
Booking.com - Book accommodation without adding your credit card (in case you need to cancel).
Trusted House Sitters - Take care of pets in exchange for free (sometimes luxury) accommodation.
Flexjobs - Find remote jobs without having to sift through crappy ones.
Skillshare - Free trial to take unlimited classes that teach digital nomad skills.
Wise - Send and receive money abroad cheaply (great for freelancers).