I realize this sounds entirely crazy. How can having just ONE skill turn you into a super-successful money-making Virtual Assistant with a waiting list of clients who want to hire you?
I'll tell you, right now. I've seen it happen and I'll explain exactly why having just ONE high-demand skill can make you more money.
That's true. Having just ONE skill...or just ONE thing that you do all day every day, means that you'll likely become pretty damn good at it. An expert. A guru, even. And if you're an Expert at something, well...you can charge higher rates! Duh. Clients are more than willing to pay extra for someone who is highly skilled in something rather than someone who dabbles in a bit of everything.
So if you have just ONE skill...and you're an expert in that one thing, it makes it a heck of a lot easier...
Every Virtual Assistant will run into this dilemma sooner or later: A client you've been working with for some time has asked you to do a new task that falls outside of your skillset.
Perhaps your client has decided to switch email providers and is asking you to learn the new platform. Or maybe they want to automate their Social Media Marketing and have asked you to learn the new program that they plan on using.
When this happens you should let your client know that this task is something you haven't done before. Even if you do decide to learn it, you will likely be slower and (let's face it) probably be a bit of a hot mess at first.
Before you agree to learn ANYTHING new, it's important to consider whether this is a skill you want to attain. In some cases, it may be so completely out of your league or interests, that it would make more sense for your client to hire an expert, rather than having you handle it.
Sooner or later every good Virtual Assistant must face that (dreaded) moment when it's time to raise our rates with existing clients.
If you're anything like me, you break into a cold sweat at the thought, and the guilt and fear pour over you like Niagara Falls.
How do you nicely tell your existing Virtual Assistant clients that your rates are going up without scaring them off and losing their business?
I've been debating about whether to share this secret on my blog ...actually for years. I think the time is right, so here goes:
I've been working as a full-time Virtual Assistant since 2011 (that's over 9 years now!!) and I've had many, many clients come and go over that time. It always surprises me (and I think it would honestly surprise a LOT of people) to know that I often make more money as a Virtual Assistant than some of the clients I'm serving.
Over the years, I've occasionally been tasked with jobs that require me to see a client's financials...and I've been shocked, to discover that when it comes right down to it...I'm sometimes taking home more moola than the 'Big' clients.
Of course, this is not ALWAYS the case. Sometimes I make WAY less than the people I work for. And sometimes I have no idea what my clients make since I've...
"How many hours per week do you work?"
Working very few hours seems to be one of those things that business coaches and entrepreneurs use, to convince us to buy their stuff. They promise to show you how to make multiple 6-figures...while never working more than a few hours a day! Sounds amazing, right?
Scouring the internet these days you would think everyone else is making millions by barely working. But remember what your mama taught you: "If it seems to be too good to be true...it probably is."
While I can't speak for EVERY business owner, I CAN share how it works for me. The truth is: "How many hours do you work" is nearly impossible to answer because it changes so freaking much from day-to-day.
Some weeks, I literally work ZERO hours while still making some money. These would be the weeks that I am on vacation and the money I make comes only from passive income. I make money...
Summer is in full swing and it's always an 'interesting' time of year for Virtual Assistants. As business owners, clients, and prospects head off for summer vacays, things tend to move a lot slower in the world of online business.
So what does that mean for Virtual Assistants? On the one hand, we may be able to take a sweet, well-deserved break. Virtual Assistance can be demanding and we definitely need some sun, relaxation (and a few Margaritas) to recharge for the busy season ahead.
It can ALSO mean, we get busier as our clients off-load some of their business tasks to us while THEY soak up some sun and have some summer fun. You may be wanting to grab some of that extra work to supplement your income. If so, why not shoot a quick email to your current clients and let them know how you can help them out?
If you've been avoiding raising your Virtual Assistant rates because it feels 'icky' or you're afraid to lose existing clients, know this: Sooner or later every good Virtual Assistant must face that (dreaded) moment when we have to raise our rates with existing clients.
So how do you nicely tell your clients that your rates are going up without losing all of them?
I've been coaching and mentoring Virtual Assistants for many years now and STILL one of the biggest challenges a lot of V.A.s face is not being able to find enough...or ANY clients. This week I want to share WHY I think that is. And I'm going to serve it up truthfully (and maybe sound a little harsh):
Sorry...I'm just telling it as I see it. We all know that literally anyone can wake up one day and start calling themselves a V.A. But what skills do they really have that clients are actually looking for? I cringe a little every time I see a V.A. promoting things like "Email Management" or "Internet Research". It's not that these skills aren't needed...I've done them all. But the problem is...these skills are not HIGH DEMAND. Why? Because they are easy to learn...and almost anyone can do them.
Let's be honest...my 10-year old can do Internet Research like a badass. At the risk of sounding like a harsh bitch, you...
You work hard to land that first client. You're super-psyched that they've purchased a 10-hour retainer package from you! You eagerly get to work on the tasks outlined for you to complete. They request a meeting with you and suddenly - you panic. You aren't sure whether 'meeting time' is billable or not...so you decide not to charge for it (because - let's face it - this is your first client and you NEED to keep them!)
The FIRST meeting lasts an hour, which seriously eats into your schedule but you suck it up - this time.
A few days later another meeting is requested...and this time the client asks to make this a regular weekly 'thing'.
They also start to call you throughout the day with occasional 'pop-up' meetings. By the end of the month, you've spent 8 hours in 'meetings' that you haven't charged for...yikes! That's an entire day of work that you aren't billing for.
So the answer...
If you've had any amount of success as a Virtual Assistant then you've probably noticed something interesting: Lots of people want to know how you did it.
I get multiple requests per week from men and women who are 'Looking to Start a Virtual Assistance Business" I'm asked to answer a few email questions or hop on the phone so they can pick my brain and give advice to them for free. (It's to be expected, of course, who wouldn't want to earn good money working from home on their own terms?)
But here's the kicker: Your KNOWLEDGE is valuable. The things you've learned and experienced took you TIME and MONEY to figure out...and you should never give that knowledge away for free.
Hear me loud and clear: If you are going to hop on the phone to answer someone's questions about how to become a Virtual Assistant...you can charge money for that service. It's called 'Consulting' and professionals should expect to be charged for a good consultant's...