Why should you pick a niche in your VA business? And when you probably shouldn’t…
Now this isn’t a definitive list, but it goes to show the variety of businesses and people who can (and do) benefit from hiring a virtual assistant.
Etsy shop owners
Digital course creators
Shopify shop owners
Independent Coffee Shops
Corporate Board Directors
Event Rental Companies
MLM Business Owners
Local shop owners
Who would you add to this list? And stay tuned for my next post including a list of skills for how you can support these clients!
One of my social media clients and I were on the phone the other day for our check in call and he told me he recommended me to a fellow Amazon seller.
I was flattered - it always makes me feel good when a client recommends me to someone they know. And it’s how I’ve landed quite a few of my favorite clients!
My client didn’t know much about what his colleague was looking for, so I texted this potential client, introducing myself and he responded wanting to set up a call.
As I talked to this man, the questions he was asking and the role he needed to fill were so far out of my wheelhouse, I ended the call by saying, “to be honest, you’re not looking for me, you’re looking for a person who can do this, this and this. Here’s where to potentially find that person and I will keep an eye out for you as well.”
While I didn’t sign another client from this call, I did gain some respect. I got to interact with someone I otherwise wouldn’t have, and I learned a few things along the way.
Its okay to test the waters and not dive in.
Knowing myself, and my love of learning, I could probably learn the software he needs a VA to be proficient at relatively quickly.
In some cases I wouldn’t worry too much about having to learn one or two new applications when a client lists it as a desired asset for the VA they are hiring. But in this potential clients case, he was specifically looking for someone who could hit the ground running - that person was not me.
There is enough to go around. Operate in your zone of Genius.
When you are first starting out and you want nothing more than to book that first client, you are willing to take on anything. Stop. Do not do that. You will end up overwhelmed, underwhelmed, burnt out or potentially a mix of all three.
In my mentorship program for the Collective, one of the first things we do is figure out what you love to do, and who your ideal client is. That person is out there. Once you have worked with them and done exceptional work for them, that’s when you can start to branch out more to figure out more things you like to do (or things you don’t like to do!)
But please, don’t just take on work to take it on. Your ideal client is out there - trust that the universe has your back on this one.
Honesty is the best policy.
Sure, I could have told this potential client “I’m highly proficient at that application,” he could have hired me and then we both would have ended up in a tough spot. Instead, I was honest with him - I told him what I liked to do. That’s one huge perk of being your own boss. You get to decide what you want to do and work with the people you want to work with.
Plus, there was no time wasted, like there would have been had I fibbed about my skill set. We just spent 15 minutes on the phone, gaining clarity, insight and connecting.
In the end, I know there is a reason why this client didn’t work out. I may not fully understand what that reason is today, tomorrow or even a year from now, but I can go to sleep tonight with a clear conscience and no more stress than necessary. That to me is a win.
So, tell me, have you ever had a consultation call and you ended up turning the person down?
I see you mama.
You’re rushing to get your little one to preschool, the baby is asleep in the back seat, even though you were hoping he would nap when you got home so you could quick hop in the shower. You’ve got a stack of dishes needing to be washed in the sink. There’s a basket full of clean laundry that you’ve just been digging through for fresh underwear. You can’t remember the last time you and your husband went on date night. You don’t even know what the good restaurants are downtown anymore. And now it’s time for you to turn around and pick your preschooler up.
Damn those three hours went by fast!
They say “Being a mom is the hardest job you’ll ever love,” and I wholeheartedly believe that to be true. I also believe with a little change to your thoughts and cutting down the amount of time you think you need to do something is the answer to combat the overwhelm. Yep. I just said it.
Cut down the time you think you need. You don’t need 3 hours to pick up the Legos all over the basement floor. You don’t need to take a whole afternoon to watch your favorite 5-year-old scale the playground. You just need 15 minutes.
The rule of 15 is something I came up with this when I was struggling with “balance.” The first step in the rule: realize balance isn’t giving equal weight to everything all the time.
Think about when you put on that YouTube yoga video and go into tree pose. (No, you don’t do that? Okay, stick with me for a second here). You laser in your vision on something that’s completely still, like your yoga block or your oldest’s socks that he is ALWAYS leaving on the floor, but your body is moving and re-adjusting. You take a little from here, a little from there, give more to something else. It’s a give and take, you’re never giving all of your body parts equal balance. That’s why you have to do both legs. You can’t do both legs at once.
So, any notion you had of balance being a perfect, evenly weighted scale on both sides, throw that out the window.
Then the rule of 15 - dedicated 15 minutes to each of your children, your husband and you big household tasks each day. I have 3 boys so those 15 minutes look like:
baby 15 minutes is spent cuddling and coo-ing,
my 3-year-old we read together or build together,
my 6-year-old it’s playing a game or working through homework.
It’s no-phone, no internet, focused, dedicated time. I workout or do art for my 15 minutes for myself. I spend 15 minutes talking and holding hands and talking with my husband. That is a total of an hour and a half for my family.
I still have 22 and a half hours left in my day. Figure in my eight hours of sleep (you don’t want to be around me when I’m running on less). I still have 14 and a half hours to rock my business, read, cook breakfast, lunch and dinner and run my errands.
And then do a load of laundry every day from start to finish. Put on something educational (like a podcast or audiobook) or fun music or a favorite show while you’re folding, but honestly, it shouldn’t take that long if you’re doing it every day. And spending 15 minutes picking up. (If you’re still counting that’s still 14 hours left for all the other things.
Also, one of the best things I’ve done for myself is hiring a housekeeper to come in and deep clean once every 3 weeks for 3 hours. She does in 3 hours what would take me 3 days. Because cleaning with my boys is like brushing your teeth while eating oreos.
And if you want to talk more, I’m here for you. Feel free to send me an email ❤️
When you’re in this virtual realm it’s easy to feel like EVERYONE and their sister is a VA.
Is there a bunch of virtual assistants? Yes.
Is there a ton of restaurants? Yes.
I know these two things seem totally unrelated at this moment, but stick with me. Do you ever think to yourself, “Gee, I wish there were fewer restaurant options for me to pick from?” Probably not.
Some people love eggplant parm from Gino’s, other people love eggplant parm from Carraba’s. Other people prefer sushi. Or tacos. Mmmm. I need to eat lunch,
Back to what I’m getting at here, yes the VA market may be feeling saturated right now, but I like to operate from a mindset of abundance. There are enough clients for everyone. And what you may excel at may not be someone else’s bread and butter (I really didn’t realize how hungry I was until I started writing this!)
This is where knowing yourself comes into play. What do you like to do? Maybe you love color coding and managing a calendar, but really don’t care for doing data entry. Do not offer data entry as something you can provide your clients.
If a potential client asks, “will you do data entry for me?” You can confidently say, “that’s not something I offer, but I do have all the other skills you are looking for and I may know someone who loves entering numbers. I can reach out to them.”
There’s no shame in that. As the saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
Plus, I would be willing to bet, if you walked out your door and asked the first person you see, “Do you know what a VA is and what they can do to support a business?” their answer is going to be “no” followed by “tell me more, please!”
So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the people commenting on some rando’s Facebook post about needing a VA, take a deep breath and remember:
there is enough for everyone.
my perfect clients are out there.
Want to learn more about what skills you can offer as a VA? Or what tasks you can delegate to a VA to support your business?
By starting your own VA business, you give yourself the flexibility you crave, the brain challenge you desire and the money that can support your family, and pad your savings. All while working from home, the hours you want to work, and supporting the clients you want to support, doing things you love.
Want my top five tips for starting your own successful VA business? Keep reading!