“I want to start a virtual assistant business, but I don’t have any skills I could offer as services!”
I hear this a lot! It’s also totally not true. Many, many successful VAs feel like this when they first start out. My own VA even felt like this when she first began VA work, and now she’s booked out, doing tasks that she thoroughly enjoys!
You’d be surprised just how much you have to offer as a potential VA. All you need to do is take a close look at your existing skills and talents and let that lead you to your services and your “special sauce” that will make you a unique and sought-after virtual assistant!
This article may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through the link, I get a small percentage. Don’t worry, I only recommend products I trust! See my disclosure for more info.
LET’S DO A LITTLE SKILLS BRAINSTORM, SHALL WE?
Grab a couple pieces of paper, journal, or the worksheets I created for you (download below) and your favorite pen (the more sparkly, the better).
You’re going to create three different lists:
1) What you enjoy doing. Simply list the things you like to do. Don’t limit yourself to skills you think could be services. Get crazy! List all things you enjoy doing, even things like traveling, cooking, and walking your dog. It might seem silly, but trust me. I’ll explain later!
2) What you’re good at. We all have things that we’re good at and those that we’re not so good at. List your talents here, even if you don’t see how they could help you as a VA. Are you great with kids or animals? Do you make a mean tiramisu? Are you an awesome artist? Get it all down!
3) What you want to learn. What do you think you’d enjoy doing, but don’t have the skillset for (yet)? List it here. Also include what you enjoy doing but aren’t so amazing at yet. For example, maybe you’d love to create beautiful digital images, but you don’t know graphic design yet. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to try video editing even though you have no idea where to start. Get giddy! What lights you up?
GOT YOUR LISTS? PERFECT! LET’S TAKE A LOOK!
Now that you have your thoughts on paper you’ll want to look them over.
1) Circle things that jump out at you, highlight things, and take notes in the margins. Is there anything in particular that really lights you up? Take note of that. Nothing popping out at you? No worries! Skip to the next step.
2) Do you see any useful skills that come up often? For example, I have “organizing” under both the “enjoy doing” and “good at” sections. Circle those.
3) Is there anything that’s similar in the “enjoy doing” and “good at” sections? I have “teaching/ mentoring” under “enjoy doing” and “teaching/ being patient/ simplifying” under the “good at” section. Those things go hand-in-hand. Highlight or circle any of those on your list too.
4) Now let’s focus more on the “good at” section. Do you notice anything that would be an ideal service to offer someone? For me, I have “organizing” and “Pinterest” under things I enjoy. Those can both be turned into services. I could organize projects, email inboxes, and SOP’s for clients (I used to do Online Business Management and used my organization skills in this way). And as far as Pinterest, that can be a service too (which is what I offer now to clients).
Not sure how something can be turned into a service? Say you have something on your list, like manifesting, and you’re not sure how this could be turned into a service. You could Google it along with the word “virtual assistant” and see what pops up. Maybe there’s a VA out there who has already figured it out. Don’t copy them, of course. This is to get your creative ideas flowing, not to find people to copy.
You may come up with nothing during your research (speaking of, do you like researching? Add that to the list if you do!), but that’s okay. Don’t give up! Think about what you enjoy doing in a different way.
Is this something that could be part of your “special sauce”? Do you want to focus on working with manifestation coaches (yes! There’s such a thing!) or mention in your About page that you’re a manifesting goddess? Maybe your ideal client would really appreciate working with someone who is woo-woo (I’m woo-woo and the people I work with are too. We get each other and it’s great!)
Another example would be cooking. Do you enjoy making healthy recipes for your family? You might want to work with health coaches!
Love playing with your dogs? Maybe you want to focus on clients in the canine industry and help shelters or dog groomers.
Knowing who you want to work for is crucial in your success as a VA, because you’ll be so much happier working for people you really like, and the more you know about them, the easier they are to find!
The point is, get creative with this information! When you enjoy something, it comes easier to you. I like to read, talk about, and implement holistic health ideas which makes it easier for me to brainstorm ideas with the health coach I work with.
By the way, you don’t have to focus on only one client niche. I’ve worked with business coaches, event planners, graphic designers, etc. Even though they run different businesses, the people behind these businesses are similar.
5) How about the “good at” section? These things can also be turned into creative VA services or ideas for who you want to work with. Take note of what’s there. Circle, make notes, think outside the box.
6) Let’s look at the “want to learn” section. I love this list because it has served me well over the years. No matter what, if I found I really wanted to learn something, I did. Even if it didn’t make sense to learn it. Even if I couldn’t see it actually being a service I could offer. I just followed my heart. And it led me to the right places.
I got into Pinterest strategy and management because I wanted to learn how to use Pinterest to grow my own business. It worked really well for me so I decided to help others grow their businesses with Pinterest too. When I first started out as a VA, I wanted to learn web design so I could build my own site. I’m now able to help my clients with their websites (it took away the “I might break it” fear when doing website work).
And don’t forget, you’re a unique individual. There’s nobody out there exactly like you. What you bring to the table can be as unique as you are. Follow your passions, and you can’t go wrong!
“WHERE CAN I GO TO LEARN THE SKILLS I WANT TO LEARN?”
I get this question a lot too.
I’ve taken tons of online classes and read lots of ebooks on various topics over the years. (One of the things on my “enjoy doing” list is learning!) Most of the trainings I would recommend, some I would not. Some have been free, but most of them I’ve paid for. And some were expensive! But I was drawn to them, so I either chose the payment plan or asked for it as a gift for my birthday or Christmas. If I wanted to learn it I found a way to do it.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO LEARN SOME NEW SKILLS, HERE ARE SOME CLASSES/COURSES I HIGHLY RECOMMEND:
VARIETY OF SKILLS
For a small monthly fee you’ll have access to thousands of online classes in a variety of categories spanning design, entrepreneurship, technology and more. It’s like Netflix for online classes. You can start the classes right away and gain a new skill immediately! (You can learn fun lifestyle skills too, like cooking, wine tasting, and hand-lettering. Yay! Seriously, you have to check out Skillshare). Click through my link and you’ll receive 2 free months!
Become a Pinterest VA TODAY!
Could you easily spend half a day or more on Pinterest pinning to your boards? No judgement here! Learn how to find and pitch clients, how much to charge, technical skills, and more (this course is only open to new students 4 times a year. If it’s not currently open you can sign up for their wait list. When you do you’ll have the option of purchasing the Become a Pinterest VA TODAY Workbook at a discounted rate)
This is the first course I took to learn Pinterest marketing strategies and it’s one of the best. If you want to help your clients grow their traffic, snag more subscribers, and sell more products and services you have to take this course. It seriously made my business grow like crazy! Plus the course is just plain fun!!
Set It & Forget It
Do you enjoy sales and marketing? Learn how to set up email sales funnels and then do them for clients. You could even offer to write the emails for them, if you enjoy writing.
The Complete Guide to Email Marketing
ConvertKit is one of the most popular newsletter service providers out there. I highly recommend learning how to use it if you plan on helping bloggers and online businesses with their newsletters. This free ebook covers best practices, advice, and some advanced strategies.
Want to help clients bring in more sales? Learn from one of the biggest bloggers out there! You’ll learn everything from list-building basics to strategies that skyrocket growth.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
Do you enjoy recommending your favorites to anyone who will listen? (Me too!) Learn how to do affiliate marketing, then offer it as a service. Bloggers make a big chunk of their money from affiliate sales and need help implementing tasks around this. Michelle earns over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing, and she shares all of her best tips in this course
YOU’VE GOT THIS
What do you do now with your lists of “enjoys, good ats, and want to learns”? You’ll want to organize your thoughts. Grab a fresh sheet of paper and make another list of the VA-related skills you’ve uncovered along with the people you want to work with and the skills you want to learn. (Or just download my VA Service Worksheets). Now you can start mapping out your services or look into some courses to fill in the gaps!
Just remember, you probably have a skillset already that can be turned into a service people want to hire you for. And if not, you can learn the skills you need in order to offer the services you want to offer, based on what you enjoy doing. With a little research, creativity, and training, you’ll have a list of services you can offer that not only pay the bills, but make you happy when you do them. That’s one of the pros of being your own boss!
Want to dive deeper into the types of services you could offer as a VA (plus how to price your services and who to work with), I cover it in my Start Your Virtual Assistant Business Ebook.