Be The VA You Want To Be – But Where to Start?

Virtual AssistanceI do believe that if you have chosen your path in life, you take on a journey of self discovery. This is how I see my life as a Virtual Assistant or as an Online Freelancer. I journeyed the long path; the road that is not often taken. Took some stumbles and fell on great setbacks. But because this is the path I consciously chosen for myself, I went on so in the end I can be the VA I want to be.

If I were a baby inside the womb, I would say am 8 months right now – excited to spring free and provide the service I always want to provide.  But not yet as this is me, I have to be complete, feel complete.

If this is how it is for you or if you can visualize yourself following this career as a Virtual Assistant for a long haul, then this blog post is for you. Understand that following a career, whether it is online or with a company offline, is like shaping who you are. You are going to spend most, if not all, of your lifetime here. So choose well. Remember, if you love what you do; really passionate about it; then you are living your life to the fullest.

But enough of that, let’s get on to where you should start? Well, I talked about my beginnings here as an online content provider https://earnfulltimeincomeonline.wordpress.com/2012/05/. The truth is that, I just stumbled on this career and at the beginning, I don’t have a step by step procedure how I got started. Fortunately for you, my friend has one and you can check his website if you are serious about starting to earn online (check down below).

But, with my three years experience as an Online Freelancer, here’s my take if you want to get started.

  1. Evaluate your skills. Know what you can do currently that you think you can offer to people who need it. For me, I started out writing articles for blogs, submissions, BMR etc… I had good two years of providing web content and I still do it right now on the side. Only that my focus right now is leaning towards the marketing side of the content. So, what skills you need to know as a VA?  I bought an ebook about it and you can check it out here: http://www.virtualassistantcareerguide.com/. Check out my skills list here too to see if you have the same skills as mine.
  2.   Set time. Don’t let go of your day job yet, if you have one. If you don’t, then this shouldn’t be a problem. Set time where you can focus on working. Give at least two hours a day to set up your profile online to prepare yourself when prospect clients check on you. Then set four hours a day where you can focus on working.
  3. Set up your online profile. You can start with setting up profiles on odesk, elance and freelancer. I started selling gigs on fiverr and that went well for me. I was working as a full time college instructor back then and writing on the sides through fiverr. This is a good platform if you are good with graphics design or skills that can be chopped into  bite size. ( for the lack of better words )

When setting up profile on these job sites, be sure that you are following advice. Read tips and really understand how each job site works. You can also network with other virtual assistants and ask some tips on how to improve your profile, how to bid for a job etc… I will certainly share the how’s here so you can also watch out for it.

Hope I am able to help you out get some more clarity on starting your online career. If you need to reach me out, just comment below or like me on my Facebook page. You can ping me there and I am more than glad to help you with your online journey the best way I can.

P.S. Here’s a good site to go if you are starting online as a VA! http://onlinejobslifestyle.com/

A Virtual Assistant Lifestyle: Freedom and Limitations

It is, without a doubt, that Virtual Assistants are becoming a prominent job these days. Whether they work at home, as we usually do, or work with a company providing virtual assistance, people are seeing the good light in working online. To prove my point, Facebook’s Philippine Virtual Assistants Network currently has more than 8,000 members, running close to 9,000.

As a virtual assistant, I can tell you all the perks of working online while at home. This is an awesome situation especially for a mom like me because I can supervise the nanny who takes care with my kids while I am working. I think this is the greatest benefit of working at home. However, this kind of job is not for everyone. While I can go all day singing praises for the job I love, I can’t really say this job will fit you even if you are curious about this and would like to try this kind of career online. Here’s my take why.

The freedom of working online at home is filled with limitations

Yes, you read it right. If you work at home as a virtual assistant, you can enjoy the benefits work freedom can provide and they are as follows:

  1. Time flexibility. You really can choose what time to work and what time to play.
  2. Job choices. You are free to apply for a job you want and pursue tasks you love doing.
  3. Salary goals. You can goal for an amount of money you want to earn for a given time and with the right strategy, you can achieve it.

What I have stated above are just few of the things that I have freedom with as a virtual assistant. However, with freedom, you can easily fall to a trap of thinking you can do what you want. You will think that because you are free, you can work less and play more and still earn as much as you want to. That is not the case.

Another danger freedom will get you is greed. Because you can apply for a job you want, you might fall into the trap of taking jobs more than 24 hours can fulfill. And because you have a lot in your hands, you will try to outsource the job and will end up not providing the quality your client deserve.

And no, you can’t get the salary goals you would want if you take the freedom this kind of career can provide for granted.

And so, what should you do if you want to start working online as a Virtual Assistant?

  1. Read what other VAs have to say and learn from their mistakes. Virtual Assistants do have their websites and they do share their experiences. Follow someone you would like to be years from now. I idolize Karen May Dy of http://socialmediamarketinggirl.com/ and follows what she does.
  2. Don’t just try this; you see this as a career. If you think you want to be a VA, learn as much as you can about this industry. Don’t work this out for the sake of trying. Start this work seeing being a virtual assistant as a career. The Philippines don’t need a half hearted newbie who will just likely add to negative Filipino VAs reviews in abandoning a job.
  3. Put in the ethics a virtual assistant must have if you want to grow in this industry. This means that you must be professional in presenting yourself. You must be able to protect your client’s interest. You must work on having a good reputation. We do commit mistakes along the way but be sure that you always come back up and as soon as you can. You must aim to be reliable. Be awesome at what you do no matter how simple the task might be. Never let go of integrity and honor your end of the bargain no matter what. There are a lot of things you must be as a VA and perhaps I will write a post dedicated to the Ethics as a VA but at the moment, bear these in mind if you take to embark on this career path.
  4. Avoid having a victim mentality. Yes, there are runaway clients. I did have my fair share of them and it hurts to be ripped off. But don’t enter into a contract with distrust in your heart. Don’t make your prospect as enemy who will potentially rip you off. If you have a prospect, research about them. Know about how they do as an employer and ask around. When you don’t see anything, then let go of distrust. If you keep this in your heart, if you get lazy in the middle of the project, you will be able to justify your laziness and you will not provide quality service as you should.
  5. Do your job. Being a VA is more like a business owner than an employee. At times, because you have clients, you would think you are the boss and will seek out to outsource your task right away. Before achieve this situation, you need to do your job first. Ensure that you can do whatever job you applied for and never outsource them if you can’t do them yourself.
  6. Know yourself. There are a lot of jobs a VA can do. It can be overwhelming to choose what you want. But if you know yourself, you will be able to get clear on what kind of VA you are.

Hope this helps. If you have more questions about virtual assistants’ lifestyle, feel free to comment below. And if you have some ideas, please do share. I would love to hear from you.

Online Career Woman: What I have been up to?

Yes, I did a lot this year. I started the year with a bang actually when it comes to community building. I realized that online marketing, digital marketing, internet marketing or whatever you might call it doesn’t happen online only. A great part of marketing or getting your product or brand known is still your networking with people face to face.

And so, while I was not blogging, I spent fun times meeting up with people through seminars and just plain meet ups. Check out what I have been up too since last year July, just about the time I stopped blogging here. (And i wonder why when there is so much to blog?)

1st Philippine BPO-Virtual Assistant Conference in Quezon City

 

You can say, this is the instigator of my online community. Yeah, I did attend Ms. Janette Toral’s Digital Influencer 2013 in Rizal and met up with my online BFF Ms. Grace but I was not so clear as to what my career path back then. But when I attended this event, it became clear to me as to where I want to go. So thanks organizers for this one.

GDayX in Dagupan

Through PVAN on Facebook, I met with Carissa Coles who invited me to join an event in Dagupan. This is where my beloved community GBG Angeles started.

gdayx dagupan

GBG Events

I love helping out with GBG events, really. The experience is amazing. You’ll probably read a lot of updates from me here about these events though I try not to monopolize my post talking about GBG. But pardon me at times, this is a community with likeminded people that I like so much, so, bear with me if I have nothing to talk about :D.

First Map up event – December in Jocson College

map up 4

Inauguration – February in DM Resort

Second Map up event – March in Systems Plus College Foundation

First GDays in Angeles – April in Euro Hotel

Meet ups

And my favorite moment is the meet up.

Mozilla Firefox in Makati

And yes! Why did I forget… I did attend Mozilla firefox women event last March. Meet up with my sister Grace too. 😀

Don’t forget to leave a message below if you need to know about the groups I am in or just about anything you want to know about working online and building your community base.

Guilty of Neglect

Truth to tell, this is the first blog that I have online with a niche that I love so much to write about. However, as you can see, I still did not take the time to update this… my bad. I do have my reasons and hopefully these reasons can justify the neglect that I did.

Reason# 1: Online soul searching

For the past year, I was determined to set up a professional image online. This means that any blog with a .wordpress or .blogspot or whatever extension need to go. I need to have a www.somedomainnameichoosetorepresentwhoiamonline.com so that I can establish my brand online.

And yes, I was able to buy two domains and got it up online. Remember the www.sunnyjeanblogging.com and the www.kickstartva.com? Don’t bother clicking these links as they will end up… most probably in a server not found. If you have forgotten about these sites… you have half the reason why I closed the sites.

The thing is, as much as I like blogging, sunnyjeanblogging did not sound quite right. It lacks the direction I needed to be online. I thought that I don’t want to be just blogging, I want to be blogging for something I like. But, at that time when I have that site up on hostgator, I still have no clear grasped as to who I am online… nada…

With kickstartva, I really love the sassy sound of kickstart. I also did like the idea of providing Virtual Assistant services such as Web Development, Web Content Management, Social Media Management and Online Business Management support; however, I fear the responsibility it entails. I am, after all, a one man show. And, it was not a blogging site too.

So, I was not able to post blogs there (at kickstartva) and I was not able to sustain my two “professional” with no .something sites. I know, I still need to do a lot of soul searching on how I need to represent myself online.

Reason#2: Perfectionist Mentality

I know, it is better to be 20% good and have it started than be 100% and never get to start anything at all. You know, I pride myself as a planner and a doer of my plan. But, one of my flows is that if I see something is not right, I back off and take a rest and rethink things through until they are perfect for me.

I saw this site as not so perfect and I was planning to shift to a more perfect place to blog. As a result, a lot of tips, interest, ideas etc… went down to drain because I was waiting for that perfect situation to blog.

Imagine, one year of silence; one year of neglect… I am so sorry blog.

So, why am I here again?

Of course, I did not give up on my www.nodotsomethingintheendsiteexcept.com . I still plan to buy my hosting. But, as I have to work for it, I need to have an outlet of what I am up to at the moment. Lots of things happened for the past year. I learned a lot too in line with internet marketing and I so love to share these with you.

Of course, I would still share the basics on how you get started to earn online. A lot of people are asking me how and where to start earning online and I still will post a lot of tips where you can get started. However, I would like to emphasize on ethics of working online and of course, the perks of working at home.

You will certainly hear a lot of me here from now on until I got that domain (yeah, I got the domain, just the hosting).

If you need me to tackle some topics about Internet Marketing, Online business set up, blogging for your business and just about anything you want to know working and earning online, don’t be shy to leave a comment below and I will be glad to share what I know about it.

Don’t forget to like my FB page too! Twitter coming up soon 😀

 

Sunnyjean