24 Hour VA Profits

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http://eleanorluvs.com/vamojo 24 Hour VA Profits Create a Profitable Virtual Assistant Business - The real-life case study of how Angela Wills gained 11 clients in less than 24 hours.

http://eleanorluvs.com/vamojo 24 Hour VA Profits Create a Profitable Virtual Assistant Business - The real-life case study of how Angela Wills gained 11 clients in less than 24 hours.

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  • 1. -- Marketers Mojo Presents -- 24 Hour VA Profits Create a PROFITABLE Virtual Assistant Business The Real-Life Case Study Of How I Gained 11 Clients in less than 24 Hours Written By: Angela Wills Marketers Mojo Attention: This report is not intended to replace any legal advice you require from a professional. All statements in this report are the opinions and experiences of the author and no promises are made that you will experience the same results by using the methods outlined. Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 1
  • 2. Contents Introduction.............................................................................................................................................3 11 Clients in One Day.............................................................................................................................8 Setting Virtual Assistant Rates..............................................................................................................14 The Aftermath.......................................................................................................................................15 Deciding to Quit a Job..........................................................................................................................17 How to Get Clients................................................................................................................................19 Being a Sought-After VA.......................................................................................................................20 What Not To Do!....................................................................................................................................21 Resources.............................................................................................................................................23 Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 2
  • 3. Introduction My name is Angela Wills and I work from home full time on the internet. Right now, in 2010 my business consists of coaching, consulting and training for independent business owners who sell products or services online. In September of 2006 I started a Virtual Assistant business that lead me to have a steady flow of work and clients ever since. In the beginning I started with a very low (some say crazy) rate of $5/hr. I'm also a single mom to a wonderful son who is the reason why I had such a drive to start a business in the first place. Now that he's in school full time the reasons are different, but the rewards are just as sweet. I'm no longer a Virtual Assistant (or VA). I now run a website called Marketers Mojo where I blog, teach, coach and consult people who want to learn how to start their own profitable business on the internet. My customers and clients are mostly women aged 30 -55 with service-based businesses in fields ranging from virtual assistance, to dance instruction, to coaching. They all have one thing in common: The design to love their businesses AND their lives! Nowadays I charge $65 for an hour of my consulting time and have clients happy to tap into the experience I've gained over the years. Case Study of One Virtual Assistant Success Story This is a case study of how I started a profitable Virtual Assistant in a very short period by using the power of a built-in network. I first wrote this report in 2007 after I successfully launched my VA business overnight and quit my job within nine months. Now, three years later I have updated it with more details and information about how I've grown far beyond that initial business. I'll admit I'm a bit of a roamer. I tried out a few different business models before settling on the one I'm at now. The advantage to you? I've been an Affiliate Manager, a Website Designer, a Ghostwriting Firm Owner/Manager and I've learned a lot from these processes. I'm currently the content manager for EasyPLR.com – a private label rights company. I'm still 'in the business' but just in a different form with a different title. 5 Week Virtual Assistant Startup Action Plan Along with this report you've received a 6-Week Virtual Assistant Start-Up Action Plan. It's formatted for easy printing so you can have quick access as you set up and launch your own Virtual Assistance business. Consider it like having me looking over your shoulder and making suggestions based on my four years in the industry. I’m not telling you this story to brag or make myself sound important. The reason I tell you is that there are a lot of things you can learn, and apply, from my experiences and mistakes to create a successful V.A. business for yourself! The V.A. industry is STILL booming. As more and more people become successful online the demand for V.A.’s will only increase. I'm so excited you've decided to become a Virtual Assistant! Please keep in contact with me by emailing me at angela@angelawills.com and let me know how it's coming along. Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 3
  • 4. STOP! Before you read anymore right now Print This Report out so that you can read it in a comfortable spot and have it handy to refer to. You’ll get much more out of this report if you really read it through instead of skimming as we tend to do on the computer, so PRINT IT OUT NOW. You May NOT Share This Report With Others. All Rights Reserved: No portion of this report may be copied or distributed without written permission of the author. Earnings Disclaimer: No guarantees are made to the amount of income you can make by following the suggestions in this guide. This report is for information purposes only. This report is not intended to replace any legal advice or counsel. Material Connection Disclosure: You should assume that the author of this report has an affiliate relationship and/or material connection to the provider of goods and services mentioned in this report and may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You should always perform due diligence when buying goods or services from anyone via the internet or offline. Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 4
  • 5. Before we get into my story, let’s define Virtual Assistance for those who are new or just a little bit unclear on the profession. Wikipedia defines Virtual Assistant as the following: “A Virtual Assistant (or simply VA), is an independent contractor providing administrative, technical, or sometimes creative assistance to clients--usually to other independent entrepreneurs and solo and small business practices, such as that of a lawyer or realtor. Virtual assistants work from their own office (hence "virtual"), thus making it a fairly popular (and growing) profession. It is estimated that there are about 5,000-8,000 virtual assistants worldwide. Common modes of communication and data delivery include the Internet, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and fax machine. Although the occupation gives a degree of independence, work is on a contractual basis, and a long-lasting cooperation is standard. Typically 5 years of administrative experience in an office is expected at such positions as executive assistant, secretary, legal assistant, paralegal, legal secretary, real estate assistant, office manager, etc.” What does a Virtual Assistant Do? Here are just a few of the services that Virtual Assistants can provide: √ Administrative Tasks: - Word Processing - Answering Emails - Answering & Returning Phone Calls - Arranging Appointments - Customer Support - Transcription - Bookkeeping - Editing Audio √ Internet Tasks: - Website Design - Website Management - Newsletter Creation - Shopping Cart Management - Affiliate Management - Blog Setup & Management - Research - Recruiting & Managing Affiliates - Finding Podcast Interviewees - Finding Joint Venture Partners - Video Creation - Video Editing √ Marketing: - Article Writing - Article Submissions - Web site Submissions - Press Release Writing - Press Release Submissions - Research & Contact Joint Venture Partners √ Product Creation & Promotions Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 5
  • 6. Ok, let’s get right into the details. Let me start by telling you why and how I began searching for an internet based business. Maybe You Can Relate To This When my son Hayden was four months old I decided I never wanted to go back to work again. As so many other parents decide after their first child is born, I wanted to be able to be at home with him. I couldn’t imagine placing him in daycare while I went out and made money for someone else all day. So I opened my first business. I partnered with my father to start a bath and body business specializing in handmade soaps. Do you think we made millions? Nope, not even close. Our dreams were big though. No matter how determined we were that we would be successful it just didn’t happen. I can’t tell you exactly why but I know it just wasn’t meant to be. But I didn’t give up there. I tried….. • Selling RESPs (Registered Education Savings Plans) • Went back to my soap business and put it online (with some success in ecommerce) • To teach people how to sell soap online • Started a direct sales candle business • Started a few websites telling moms how to make money online with direct sales • Then I started a Virtual Assistant business The point is I started lots of things and many didn’t work, but I never gave up! You see if you want to work from home then you have to be highly driven and determined BUT you also need to know when to let go of a bad idea. Some ideas are just bad, some ideas are good but they’re not something that fit you, and some ideas are just perfect. You need to find what’s just perfect for you. It just might take some time. First Try, No Luck My first try at becoming a Virtual Assistant didn’t go quite as planned. I had been a subscriber to an online magazine in the network marketing industry and when I decided to put up my V.A. site and start looking for clients the first thing I thought of was to target Network Marketers. So, I emailed the owner of this online magazine and asked him if there was any way I could advertise Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 6
  • 7. my virtual assistant business in a mailing that he sends out or in his magazine. Imagine my surprise when about 30 minutes later my phone was ringing and it was the owner of the magazine. How Much Money Can I Make? He asked me a lot of questions about what I knew about network marketing and told me he wanted to hire me to help him reach his target of 100,000 subscribers by the end of 2006. I was so excited. He wanted to pay me a commission on each subscriber that I brought to him via the company owners and when you added it up it looked like I’d be making tons of money in no time. (ALERT, ALERT – ALARM BELLS SHOULD BE RINGING HERE) I so clearly remember him saying something to the effect of ‘let’s see if we can replace your full time income in a week’. At the time my full-time income was an afternoon factory job that I worked so that my mom could watch my son and he didn't have to go into daycare. Now, I don’t place any blame on the owner of this magazine, he was trying to promote his magazine in the most efficient way and who knows, I may have been a super talker who could do just what he suggested. I made a few mistakes here: - I agreed to be paid on commission – So if I never brought in paying subscribers, no matter how many hours of phone calls and research I did (and trust me I did hours upon hours worth), I never got paid. I like to get paid for my work! And who knows if I really actually ended up sending him new subscribers later on – that kind of effort takes time to pay off. - My terms were not set – After that initial experience I decided as a virtual assistant telephone work, basically telemarketing, was not part of my services. It just didn't fit with my schedule or the fact that when my son is home I need to spend time with him. When I started doing the work for the magazine it was MAJORLY cutting in on my time with my son. That was completely counterproductive to the reason I had started my business in the first place. If I had set up and decided on my terms ahead of time I never would of taken this position. - There was no other plan – I didn’t plan for anything except being successful in this commission-based work, so I had no plans for what to do if it didn’t work. From that experience I learned it's not usually a good plan to rely on one single client for all your income. Now I made a lot of calls for the owner of this magazine and got him talking to a lot of Network Marketing company owners, but I never made a cent. I’d say all together I spent over forty hours on this before I realized I needed a new plan. Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 7
  • 8. This almost got me out of the V.A. business for good, but instead I took a few months to recuperate and created a new plan. 11 Clients in One Day Yes, it’s true, I gained 11 clients in one day and I’m going to tell you exactly how I did it. I didn't mention it earlier but I had been working in a direct sales candle business for about a year. It was costing me a lot of money because I had to buy candles every month to stay active. I was looking for something else, something that didn't cost me money before I made it and this was one of the reasons why virtual assistance appealed to me so much. It was one of the first businesses I'd heard of at ALL where you could start for very little investment. Since I already had website hosting it literally cost me just the $10 to buy a domain name which I then set up on the hosting account. I was up and running with a virtual assistant website quickly and for practically no initial investment (remember now I was well-versed in how to build a website already). The next challenge was to find the clients to fill my practice and really replace that full time income. I’d been working on my direct sales candle business for almost a year and was growing frustrated with how much I’d been spending and how little I’d been making. My sponsor said it took time and patience, but I don’t remember her telling me how much money it was going to cost (which seemed to be endless monthly orders, leads purchasing and advertising). Now to be fair, of course she couldn’t tell me that because how much money you spend on your business is completely up to you. It just couldn’t continue this way.. I couldn’t keep spending out money and getting more and more into debt in the hopes that the real payoff was just around the corner. Can you relate? I knew I had to stop before I got myself into big trouble. Everyone Needs a Mentor That’s when I turned to Mom Masterminds. Mom Masterminds is an online mentoring group run by Alice Seba and Kelly McCausey, two of my biggest mom mentors ever. I joined Mom Masterminds in August of 2006 in an attempt to make my Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 8
  • 9. candle business more profitable but I think all along my heart just wasn’t really in that business. As a side note I want to invite you to join the amazing group of people at Mom Masterminds. This site literally helped me launch my VA business. I know it's not for everyone and it might not be for you. You don't have to be a mom to join or even a woman – they are welcoming to everyone. If you want to check it out here is my affiliate link (meaning I'll earn a little commission if you do decide to sign up): http://www.marketersmojo.com/recommends/mm When I made the decision that I need to do something to bring me some immediate income I thought of becoming a Virtual Assistant, again. So, as many moms who belong to Mom Masterminds do, I posted to the forum and asked for advice on weather or not I should turn my back on my candle business and start a VA business. At the time I was thinking of the VA work as a temporary thing until I quit my job and then I’d become more focused on my candle business. I can’t say enough good things about Mom Masterminds and the friendships, support, encouragement and knowledge I’ve gained from being a member there. If you are serious about building your business, I highly recommend you get some great mentoring like the kind I get consistently from Mom Masterminds. Getting Feedback From My Target Market It was so great to hear the feedback from the other moms in business telling me to ‘go for it’ and that I could do this. Since I had already attempted to start a VA business back in June I already had a website, StarVA.com, that I’d pretty much thrown up very quickly. As soon as I started posting that I was considering becoming a virtual assistant I had members of the forum private messaging me asking how much my rates were. This was something I was working out and wasn’t exactly sure how much to charge. One member in particular, Nicole Dean of ShowMomtheMoney.com and now the client I work with at EasyPLR.com, said she wanted to hire me right away, and I decided on a rate of $15/hr as that seemed to be the going rate within the Work at Home community. Figuring Out What I’m Worth Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 9
  • 10. Now I know some Virtual Assistants out there may cringe to hear of a VA charging less than $25/hr for any type of VA work, but as someone with no experience as a VA or any idea on the whole industry I thought that was a fair rate to start with. Nicole suggested that I might want to offer a ‘Special Mom Masterminds Offer’ of $50 for 10 hours of virtual assistance if I needed to drum up some business later on. I didn’t give it too much thought and decided to go for it and see if I could get a few clients. Yes $50 for 10 hours equals a whopping $5 per hour! Why would I work for such a rate? You might be wondering about my sanity right about now and how I could justify working for $5 per hour. If you're one of those die-hard people who say a virtual assistant should NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES lower themselves to charging such an insulting rate then I hear ya, I just don't agree. You see I believe in learning on the job. I mean I PAID to go to university to learn through doing. In this case I GOT PAID to learn through doing. I had zero experience working for clients and I really didn't understand their needs and businesses at all at that point. I was an empty vessel ready for filling and molding in whatever manner they saw fit. I can tell you this: If it's appealing at all to take an internship for NO Money why wouldn't you create your own sort of internship and do a deal like I did? I can also tell you this: If you came to me tomorrow and said you'd work for me for 10 hours at $50 to prove your ability to work hard and get things done I'd hire you in a second! You see many people actually WANT to hire a virtual assistant but are very afraid of the costs and time involved in just finding the right person – I know I am so I just keep doing what I do best. Back to My Crazy-In-The-Head $5/hr Special Well, I had zero experience in the Virtual Assistance industry and I thought that it would be a way to break in and get some clients. Did I ever break in………. To preface my next statement: I had been building relationships with the members of Mom Masterminds through participating in the forum. I don’t expect you can just jump onto any forum, post a special and get the same reaction. Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 10
  • 11. So, on September 15, 2006 I offered the special and less than 24 hours later I had 11 New Clients and payments deposited into my Paypal account! Let’s Do The Math: 11 Clients x 10 hours each = 110 hours That’s 110 hours at $5/hr! Hmmm…. Smart or Crazy? You Decide! ;) As I began getting more and more clients I started wondering if they were ever going to stop! That’s when I decided to cap my special offer at 10 people (but an extra person slipped into before I could stop the special!). If I were to do this all over again with what I know now I think I might stop at 8, or maybe 5. There is no doubt, though, that many of the clients, customers and affiliate partners I have now came from that first day I officially opened the doors on my VA business. There is no reason why you shouldn’t follow your dreams of working from home. They can become a reality, my work at home story is proof. Here’s Proof Just to prove that I’m not making this up, I want to show you the post I made to the Mom Masterminds forum and some resulting payments that showed up in my Paypal account before I had done a single minute of work! Below is a snippet from the special I posted. If you want to see the whole thing and all the GREAT responses it got you’ll have to sign up as a member at Mom Masterminds: Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 11
  • 12. So many people jumped on this offer, and in less than 24 hours I had three clients pay me in advance: It was a crazy time. All of a sudden I had a busy, demanding VA business with clients who wanted me to help them with their businesses at the special rate I had given them. I also had a great business name, Star VA, here's a screenshot of what my website looked like. I still Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 12
  • 13. love that branding so much even though I no longer have the site live: Extra Tip: Create a brand that really fits your personality whenever possible. The Star VA brand was so close to my personality when I look at it now it makes me sad I still don't have it! That's what you want – a brand that truly represents you and that you are proud to promote. Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 13
  • 14. Setting Virtual Assistant Rates When I started my VA business I was in a circumstance where I had to build my business BEFORE I quit my job. Maybe you're in that situation, maybe you're not. If you can build your business slower you might not feel the pull to offer such a special as I did, you might just want to set 'regular' rates and go for high paying clients right off the bat. Or, even if you are in a similar situation to mine you still might want to just set your rates high and not bother with a market that can only afford $15/hr. It's really up to you. So just how do you determine what to charge? Here's a checklist that you'll surely find helpful: ___ Consider Your Market's Budget ___ Consider How Much It Will Cost to Reach Your Market ___ Research Your Direct Competition and Their Rates ___ Estimate a Project Start to Finish in Time ___ Consider Additional Costs ___ Consider Admin Time For Emails, Phone Calls, Etc ___ Determine Your Rate Structure: Hourly or Per Project ___ Interview Potential Clients re: What They Expect to Pay ___ Determine Your Minimum Expected Rates ___ Determine Your 'Beyond Expectations' Rate ___ Determine Your 'Standard Rate' While Leaving It Open For Add-ons ___ Determine Your Ideal Client & Create a Questionnaire to Qualify Potential Clients Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 14
  • 15. The Aftermath The weeks following that special offer I made were pretty crazy. I stayed up late into the to night to get work completed for clients. I won't lie to you: I worked really, really hard. WARNING: Blatant Honesty Here Remember I said I quit my job in about nine months? Yep, I did that but don't for one minute kid yourself into thinking it was really easy. I worked from 3pm until 12am on a good night, until 2am on a bad (overtime). Then I came home and worked anywhere from one to three hours per night. My son was in school only half the week then so I'd then get up in a bit of a zombie-like state and either get him off to school or watch him while I was drop-dead tired. Not my best mom moments, honestly, but I knew it was for the greater good of being able to be home with him once he did end up in school full time and my afternoon shift prevented me from seeing him at all! Was it worth it? YEP - Every single minute. I hated being an employee. There was something about making other people rich while getting the bottom scrapings that made me resent working for others. I didn't want to work my way up, I wasn't motivated to make an impression and I never felt the desire to volunteer for overtime. I knew as my own boss I would keep all the profits, and until I reached that goal it was all I could think about! So you bet those sleepless months were worth it and I would do it again in an instant to get me back to where I am today – unemployable and happily self-motivated! Of course I was working so hard because I instantly had eleven new clients to keep happy. They were very understanding of the pressure I had put on myself to get all this work completed and gave me plenty of time and help in getting the work completed. It took me about three months of working part time to finish up all the hours I had committed myself to. After that, many of my clients stayed as ongoing clients at my new rate of $15/hr. Over the next year I raised my rates to $30/hr. Then, I went on to other business ventures. Here are some of the things I did and the rates I charged: Affiliate Management: $45 - $75/hr Something interesting happened when I upped my rates to $45 per hour and then $75 per hour. I attracted a whole different market of clients. One client was an author of over a dozen books and had actually been a guest on Oprah, another client was very famous in California as an 'Oprah' type for Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 15
  • 16. her market, another was an author's coach who actually wrote a manuscript that was sold to Hollywood for millions. Eventually I decided that I didn't want to specialize so specifically with Affiliate Management and moved on after about a year in this niche. Website Design: $200 - $600 per website I still do this on occasion and have a service site at www.BlogSiteMojo.com that's in bad need of an update (you know, the mechanic with a broken car syndrome). Charging per project has it's pros and cons. Sometimes it works out perfectly and you get a great rate. Other times you work so hard for a difficult client that sometimes you feel like just refunding the whole payment. Look, I'm not here to sugar-coat for you. I will tell you that I prefer charging per project for website design, just make sure you have great policies in place and you go over them with your clients to be sure they understand exactly what they are paying for. That will save you a lot of headache. Content Services: $19 - $25 per article I bought an article services website from a fellow online marketer for $500. Ran it for close to a year, increased the profits and sold it for $3,000. It was a wise investment. It was also a good income as website owners always need fresh content. In this case I didn't actually get a rate per hour and I also didn't do the writing. This was a case of having a team of writers working for me who got paid a portion and I kept the rest. This could also be done with other Virtual Assistant style services as well. Group Coaching: $50 – Hundreds per hour As I mentioned before I've moved into the business coaching arena in the last few years. I've offered many different products and group coaching programs on topics such as affiliate marketing, teleseminars, website graphics and website design. If you want to see what I'm offering now you can check out this page: http://www.marketersmojo.com/course-calendar/ Personal Coaching: $150 per hour Now as an online business coach I have clients who pay me $150 for an hour of my time. You could say I've come a long way since that day in September when I offered an hour of my time for only $5. That's not likely to ever happen again but as I said before, I regret none of it! If you want to offer your own coaching services you can see how I set up my page or book some one on one time with me here: http://www.marketersmojo.com/consulting/ It took some time but after trying all those different models I figured out that I really love teaching and helping and coaching. It seems I'm a natural at is as I get comment all the time about how I make things easy to understand. My suggestion to you is to not put too much pressure on yourself at first but keep an eye out, try some different things and wait until you start getting more comments then you can count. Then you'll probably have hit on something you're just a natural at. If it's something you love, you just might have hit on your perfect service and niche. Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 16
  • 17. Deciding to Quit a Job It’s hard to let a full-time job go. I by no means had a ‘dream job’ so the idea of leaving didn’t bother me one bit, but having a somewhat stable income is something as a single mom I didn’t want to just let go too soon. I knew, though, that I could make more money at home. I was turning down clients for heaven’s sake, and that’s no way to make more money! So, after 8 months of working as a part-time Virtual Assistant, I gave my notice at work. What an exciting moment that was. I remember exactly what my boss at the time said to me. He said 'make sure you don't burn your bridges when you leave'. You see, like so many others he didn't understand or even believe I could make a living on my own from home with just a computer. How dare I? Everyone else he worked with had to work in that factory and make a living even though it kinda sucked. I'm sure he figured I'd be calling in a month or so asking for my job back. People will try to pull you down and hold you back. They'll tell you that it's not for you and you can't do it. I remember the craziest thing I heard a former co-worker had said about me. She said that I had quit my job to go do “some Amway scam on the internet”. Not even close, LOL! She was also upset that I had blogged about how I was so glad to finally have quit my job and was free to live life the way I wanted to. Is It an Easy Road? Being a Virtual Assistant is hard work, believe me. If you do decide to do what I did then you’ll be working hard, no doubt about it. If you decide to charge what you are worth from the beginning you may have a harder time finding new clients then I did, but when you find them and do a great job they’ll likely keep you for a long time. It takes time to get a nack for finding your ideal clients. My recommendation is that you write down all that you'd like in a perfect client right from the start and 'interview' your clients before you let them hire you. I know it's usually the other way around but it's important that you choose the right clients. There is a great saying that a lady I met at a conference said to me and it goes like this: “there are some clients you can't AFFORD TO KEEP”. Don't get caught into the trap of accepting anyone with a pulse and a paypal account into your practice. Make sure you carefully screen your clients so that your working relationship is long-lasting, pleasant and profitable! Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 17
  • 18. Back to The Topic – Quitting My Job I decided to quit my job when I was getting more work than I could handle. I was turning down clients and I was ready to get out of there. I have to tell you that I had saved up a BIT of money but not nearly enough. It's recommended to save up at least three months of income before quitting and even six months to be safe. I'll tell you I didn't do that and I really paid for it afterward. Yes I struggled. I took on clients that didn't fit with my business. I overbooked myself. I experienced the 'feast' or 'famine' that many service-based businesses go through. I almost went back to a JOB. But I got through. Even with all the setbacks I'm happy to say that for the second time I'll be making more this year that I did at my full time job. Next year my plan is to double that. From this experience my recommendations for quitting your job are: • Create a one year business plan and forecast your income. • Save up three to six months of income. • Build up a large enough clientelle to support a full time business. • Get referrals ahead of time. • Don't count on all your clients to be permanent, create a backup plan. • If possible, go part time in your business before cutting the strings altogether. • Research the laws and regulations concerning running a business from home in your area. • Calculate your expected expenses for the next year. IMPORTANT NOTE: This is not legal advice. It is recommend you also get counsel from all legal professionals required to make an informed decision on when to quit your job. Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 18
  • 19. How To Get Clients You've heard my story of how I got a LOT of clients all in one go, but that wasn't the end of it. Something to be very aware of is that clients come and go. Just because you have 12 clients this week that doesn't guarantee you'll have 12 next week so you must ALWAYS BE MARKETING. How else did I get clients? Here are the ways in order from most successful to least: 1. Referrals – This was huge for me. As I did a great job for my clients they spread the word and told other business owners who needed my help. Sometimes I arranged ahead of time to pay clients who sent me a referral and sometimes they just sent them to me. I also had very supportive friends who were in business too and helped boost my business by getting the word out. 2. Contacting People – I sent out personal emails to people I wanted to work for. Sometimes they were people I'd bought products from or simply networked with before. One time I contacted a high-profile internet marketer who was popular and well-known. I asked her if I could work for her for three hours for free in exchange for a testimonial of my services to her. She said an immediate YES and then proceeded to hire me on a very regular basis. When contacting people, make it really worth their while. 3. Networking In Person – Getting out from behind that computer is a very good way to build trust. When people meet you in person it is much easier for them to refer you to someone else or to hire you themselves. Get out there and start by telling people what you do! 4. Website Searches – My website detailed everything I did. I provided a lot of search engine food through descriptions of my services, of the programs I used, of the marketing methods, etc so that when someone typed in 'aweber virtual assistant' they found me and hired me (that actually happened by the way). 5. Networking Online – I had obviously spent a lot of time in the Mom Masterminds forum. I also had joined other relevant marketing or speaker related forums where I gained new clients. One forum I joined was for people who wanted to host offline events. Many of them had websites they were needed help with and so I gained a couple of clients just by being a contributing member of that forum. 6. Article Marketing – I spent time writing relevant articles that proved my expertise as a virtual assistant and drew potential clients back to my website. I know this worked as I had a client tell me that's how he found me. 7. Advertising – I did very little advertising but I did place some ads. I never found this to be very effective and don't know that I actually got any clients from it. Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 19
  • 20. Being a Sought-After VA I heard from my clients many times that good Virtual Assistants are hard to find. They were thrilled with my services and very happy to continue to work with me. It really isn't that complicated to be a sought-after VA, below are some of my best tips. What Can We Learn From My Experience? There are so many things I’ve learned since I first posted that Special Mom Masterminds Offer and so many things I hope you can take with you as you begin or continue to launch your Virtual Assistant business. • Sometimes You Need To Dive Right In – I dove in without really having a clue what I was doing. If I had taken the time to really check into this industry the other Virtual Assistants with years and years of practical administrative work experience would have intimidated me. I have zero office experience but yet I bring to the industry my internet marketing skills and this is a profit producing skill. • It Takes Time to Gain Experience – Of course it would have been great for me to start charging $75/hr right from the beginning. By starting at a ridiculous rate my brand new business got a lot of attention and many customers I never would of gotten otherwise. Sometimes you need to take a lower rate in order to gain experience. • Being Part of a Community is Invaluable – I owe my entire start to Mom Masterminds. I know without them it would of taken me so much longer to really get a business going full swing. Because of the members there. • It pays to take Pride in Your Work - By taking care in everything I do I produce results for my clients and in return I have loyal clients and more money in my pocket. I could do sloppy work, but why would I want to? Taking pride in what I do brings so many great things in return. Always do what you say you'll do and no matter what always be on time. • Mentors are an Important Part of Your Business Success – If it wasn’t for my mentors I wouldn’t have had the confidence to offer up my services like I did and I wouldn’t have burst into the VA industry as I did. I am so grateful to have amazing mentors who are there to support and encourage me in my business. • Virtual Assistants Are Valuable Business Partners – It was never my goal to be a Virtual Assistant for the long-haul. For me it was a stepping stone to other businesses and ways to make money from home. For others Virtual Assistance is a perfect fit and that makes them very valuable business partners. Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 20
  • 21. What Not To Do! After reading through my story I really hope you’ve taken something away from it that you can use to build your own successful Virtual Assistant business. There are some things I’ve learned that just don’t work and I’d suggest you don’t do what I did. Don’t: Offer a ridiculously low special unless you’re willing to work really hard for little pay! If you’re hoping to offer a low special and then raise up your rates right away it may not always work out that way. Not all the clients who took me up on the special became regular clients, though some did. Look at it instead as a way to get experience, see how much pressure you can handle, and get to know how to handle new clients. It took me almost a year to get my rates up to a point where I wanted them. So I wouldn’t say that offering a really low rate is a way to make a huge income, fast. Don’t: Allow anyone to talk you into a lower rate. As a new Virtual Assistant we want any new clients we can get. Don’t let this allow you to take a lower rate then you deserve, though! There will always be people who are looking for a better deal and they just won’t be your target market. Set a rate and your market will be there for it. Get ready, willing and able to use these words: No, thank you. I’ve made decisions on my rates based on what the market I was after told me they were willing to pay. I really love working with that market but if I had it to do over again I may have just focused on a different market who was willing to pay a higher rate and help me be where I want to be in my business. Don’t: Think your emails will always get through, or think that you’ve always gotten every email ever sent to you. The best thing to do is confirm everything so that you make sure you’ve gotten what you need. To make sure that your client hasn’t missed any important emails you send ask them for a confirmation as well. I’ve almost lost a client because she thought she’d sent me an email but it hadn’t come through. Email is so finicky that it’s really not something to rely on. When in doubt, pick up the phone or at the very least send an email to confirm. Don’t: Have an unprofessional looking website, or no website at all. Your website is one of your most important tools as a Virtual Assistant, and you want to make sure you are presenting the most professional appearance as possible. Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 21
  • 22. It’s taken me a while to get my site up to the point where I feel like it’s truly professional looking. I always was of the mindset that I need to do everything myself, including my website. Even though I can make a decent-looking website, it just wasn’t good enough. As soon as I outsourced this to someone who really knew what she was doing it made all the difference. I immediately had higher paying clients and I don’t doubt the website had a lot to do with it. Don’t: Believe That Every Other Virtual Assistant is Your Competition Of course other Virtual Assistants may very well be your direct competition. Even so, don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to compete with them for business. There is plenty of work to go around for the qualified, competent and resourceful VA. Instead, look for ways you can align yourself with other Virtual Assistants in your industry. This is a great way to build your business even further. A great example for this is I found a VA who is doing exactly what I want to be doing. Instead of thinking of her as a threat I looked further into her business and found that she offers coaching. Did I take her up on that? You bet! And now we’ve got a great relationship and I’ve been able to glean her knowledge to use for my own profits. Of course all of the above ‘Why Not to Do’ statements are a product of my own experience. Your experience may be completely different. Try different things, be original and most of all be yourself. In Conclusion: Being a Virtual Assistant is a highly rewarding, well-respected discipline that anyone suited to working hard and building strong relationships would prosper in. I love being a VA. The rewards I’ve seen from providing the best possible quality work are much more than I ever imagined when I first started my business. If you were unsure if you wanted to start a VA business when you began reading this report I hope I’ve shown you some of the reasons why it’s a great business to be in, and some of the things to look out for when starting your business. Angela Wills, Chief 'Mojo' Officer at Marketers Mojo Learn to build your VA Business at VA Mojo Copyright © Marketers Mojo, All Rights Reserved. Need more mojo for your business? Get it at Marketers Mojo! Page 22