How to Become a Virtual Assistant and Make 6 Figures in Revenue – Business Insider

Annalisa Abell works a 9-to-5 job in finance for a healthcare organization. In her spare time, she works as a virtual assistant, helping small businesses with administrative work, creating content, and connecting with customers.
Abell accepted her first virtual-assistant role in 2019, tapping her skills with social-media management and administrative work to facilitate clients’ needs. Today Abell runs Elevated Assist, which matches Abell and her six employees with e-commerce brands, lawyers, and influencers needing business assistance. She booked six figures in revenue last year. She’s also helped 1,400 aspiring virtual assistants launch their careers through boot camps and webinars.
The virtual assistant industry is “booming,” thanks in part to the flexible schedule it provides workers and the ability to earn an average of $2,000 to $5,000 a month, according to a recent report from the US Association of Virtual Assistants.
Abell told Insider how she made $1,000 in her first 30 days as a virtual assistant and grew her company while keeping her full-time job. The interview has been slightly edited for length and clarity.
I’m a huge proponent of having multiple streams of income. Even before the pandemic I was looking for ways to diversify my money and fill my free time with additional business opportunities. I started on social media, where I shared content and held conversations on finances and other aspects of business I thought my audience would be interested in.
It was through this social-media work that my first client found me. They saw I was organized and well connected, and they asked me to join them as a virtual assistant. I made $1,000 in my first month with just one client working on their back-end administrative work. I soon found other types of work that I enjoyed — like creating social-media content and connecting with customers — and began looking for additional companies to work with.
When I decided to grow my virtual-assistant services, I knew I had to be relentless in marketing myself and my business. I promoted myself on Clubhouse, Instagram, and TikTok, while sitting in salon chairs and at social gatherings.
Any way I could get my name out there, I did.
In order to land clients, you have to put yourself out there. My biggest piece of advice for other virtual assistants is to get past the fear. Too many of us are scared to promote ourselves; a lot of my one-on-one coaching calls are about breaking down those barriers and finding your value as an entrepreneur.
I still work a 9-to-5 job during the week, so time management is really important to building my side-hustle business.
In order to fit everything in, I tell all of my clients to send me their task list at the beginning of every week. That way I know exactly what I need to finish for them and can fit those responsibilities into my schedule.
Many business owners are looking for people to work during “off hours” and create a 24-hour service for their business, whether that’s through social media or customer interactions. In order to help facilitate these goals, I implemented tools to automate the process, like scheduling social-media content ahead of time.
Lately my client base has grown to double digits, so I’ve been able to outsource some of my tasks to my employees at my agency. Delegating tasks to team members has been really helpful in managing my time and getting clients’ tasks done quickly and efficiently.
It’s really important to prove to the business owner that you’ll add value to their business. At first I leaned into my email-management and customer-service skills. I showed business owners exactly how my services could help them free up time and lessen their workload. Once I realized the importance of social-media marketing, I leaned into marketing that service.
I found clients where they needed help most and proved to them I would be an asset.
When reaching out to potential clients, it’s important to be genuine. Do not send a generic email to every company on social media. Tell them why you enjoy their product, why you appreciate the brand, and why you think the brand would benefit from your services.
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