Open letter to the aspiring virtual assistant who is struggling to get clients

Dear Aspiring Virtual Assistant,

I'm not going to write you some pseudo feel-good bullshit about how you need to just keep going and it will all work out for you in the end.

Success is not linear.

You'd think that you'd just have to do this for a few months or even a few years, and you'd be making more money than you are today.

Ideally, that'd be the case.

But sometimes, life doesn't work out that way.

You might suffer from an issue that continuously holds you back from taking on more clients.

You might have a change in your family situation that threw your momentum off balance.

Tax season rolled around and maybe all of your clients realized they couldn't afford you. 

Again, ideally, you'd have prepared for all of these things. 

But you're human.

This isn't going to be some feel-good bullshit in this post- I'm not going to tell you you need to value yourself and charge a million dollars and all of your problems will go away.

The truth is, in the beginning of your virtual assistance journey, you will most likely take on a lot of cheap jobs where the client isn't as appreciative or nice to you.

And sometimes, a huge bill will hit you suddenly (car accident... medical issues... a purchase you totally forgot you made... being audited by the IRS...) and now you're scrambling to find clients and you find yourself taking on the cheapest clients you can find.

As long as you're making some money.

It's okay... for now. Do what you need to do RIGHT NOW, in this moment, to support yourself and your family.

Take a look at the number of hours that you're working.

Are you devoting even weekends and evenings to your clients?

If not, are you devoting even weekends and evenings to looking for clients?

Take a breath, because this is going to burn you out so quickly that you won't even have juice left in your body to support your clients.

There are other things that you can do instead of chasing clients.

  • Be a subcontractor for a more well-established virtual assistant or work for an agency. The pay may be less, but it is more consistent.
     
  • Start blogging and making affiliate income off of your blog. Yes, this takes months to really get off the ground if you have no background in blogging or making affiliate income, but it can be consistent and stable. (This is how I sustained my business in months where I lost clients.)
     
  • Create a small product that you can sell. Courses, ebooks, and digital infoproducts are super popular right now and I personally think that they always will be because people always want organized information. I made a course on 17Hats and LeadPages and sold it for a few dollars. Now, I have digital products based on my virtual assistance business. You have knowledge that people want to know!
     
  • Offer to work for your client's clients. My clients aren't really tech savvy people (which is why they hired me!) and neither are their clients. My clients have sometimes asked me to play a dual role in their business- their VA, and as a subcontractor for tech roles. I've set up webinars for their clients, landing pages, etc. This was a quick way for me to make extra cash and make my clients' lives even easier.
     
  • Create a waitlist and do e-mail marketing. The moment I stopped hustling for clients was the moment that I started doing e-mail marketing. I built a list of potential virtual assistance clients and followed up with EVERY one of them with an autoresponder asking them if I could help, and securing discovery calls with them. You don't need a huge list. I booked out with less than 50 people on my newsletter. 

I hope that this offers a different perspective and that this shows you that there are options available for you.

I know it's scary.

I know it's self-sabotagingly comfortable to hustle for clients and just post your services on Facebook.

But it's not sustainable... and it leads to long-term burn-out and feelings of suckiness.

And if someone told me all of this in the beginning of my virtual assistance journey, I don't think I would have listened. 

I needed to hit some sort of rock bottom, panic mode style, before I could really let something like this sink in.

So, if you don't think you're ready to make a change yet, no worried, bookmark this page for later,

But if you're hitting that panic button every month, something does have to change.

Do what you have to do... for now... and implement some changes, next week.

Rooting for you,

-Fiona