I have read posts from A LOT of VAs complaining about not being able to find clients.
Here’s the thing: The market is insanely oversaturated right now – especially since Forbes published that the best work at home job for 2017 was being a VA. The other issue is that within the plethora of new VAs – a lot are inexperienced so businesses are being turned off to work with individual VAs and are only using agencies or going with VAs recommended by colleagues.
How do I know this? I have on-boarded a few new clients this week and here are some of the things I have been told:
“Are you sure you can do this? The last person I hired said she could and the second she got into the system, she had no idea what she was doing.”
“We are being more cautious this time. The other two VAs we hired said they knew our business and it was a nightmare.”
“You aren’t going to disappear right? The previous VA we had just stopped working.”
I understand we all have to start somewhere but posting to your personal Facebook Page every day doesn’t make you a Social Media Expert.
A word of the wise for new VAs entering the workforce, treat this like you would treat any other job. You wouldn’t apply to be the CEO of Applebee’s if you only ever worked as a server, right? While the law differentiates employees and independent contractors, the expectation of skills is the same. Take the time to get certified, take a course by a reputable company such as Salesforce or Hootsuite, be honest in an interview and let people know you don’t have the skills but are willing to learn if given the chance. If anything, many established companies subcontract because our workload is heavy. Contact high-demand VAs and see if you can learn their tutelage.
Listen – I know the idea of being a VA sounds great but it isn’t a hobby. For many of us, it is a full-time job. Business rely on us to support them, help them grow, and are looking for long-term relationships. This is a case where one bad apple is causing more than a few business to write magazine articles and blogs about why they should not work with VAs.
What I suggest: If you really want to prove to future potential clients that you are serious – start small. Try Upwork, Freelancer, or other sites and dip your toes to see if this is right you.