You can learn a lot from people who are doing what you want to do. That’s why I created the Behind the Scenes of a Virtual Assistant Business series. I hope these interviews inspire you to create your own successful VA business!
Today I’m interviewing Becky Linot from Tech Side Simplified. Becky is a tech expert and helped me with the tricky process of migrating my email list from Ontraport to ConvertKit*. I was immediately impressed by her work and how easy she made the whole process, which is why I knew I needed to interview her!
Little did I know until I interviewed her, Becky has 4 kids! Learn how she got her start as a VA, the wide range of clients she works for, and the tools she can’t live without.
*This article may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through the link, I get a small percentage at no additional charge to you. See my disclosure for more info.
MY INTERVIEW WITH BECKY LINOT OF TECH SIDE SIMPLIFIED:
Q: How did you get started as a VA?
I was looking for a way to stay home with my kids and still help provide for my family at the same time. I tried a few different things to be able to make money, like an Etsy sewing business, but none of them felt right. I was able to make money but didn’t enjoy what I was doing.
I’d heard about being a VA, did some pretty extensive research, and signed up for a profile on hiremymom.com. From there, much of my business has grown from networking and referrals.
Q: We’d love to hear more about your niche. What do you specialize in?
My focus is simplifying the tech side of online businesses for bloggers and other entrepreneurs. I’m also a ConvertKit Certified Migration Expert and a Squarespace Circle member.
I help other businesses with making their systems talk, building online courses on platforms like Thinkific, designing and building Squarespace websites, move people over to ConvertKit accounts from other email service providers, and also helping them maintain their ConvertKit accounts. I also have a handful of clients that I work really closely with in maintaining their blogs and sending out newsletters and other tasks they have.
My clients are professional organizers, Amazon self-publishers, other VAs, coaches, therapists, nurses, and subscription box services to name a few!
I’m focusing right now on building out the resource blog on my site as well as other tutorials to help other businesses and VAs alike learn how to use different tech systems.
Q: How did you prepare to become a VA? Did you take any courses, read any books, use skills from another job, etc?
I found out about being a virtual assistant from moneysavingmom.com and it was probably a year before I actually dove in and got started. I did a lot of research to find out legitimate ways to find clients and make sure I wasn’t going to be opening myself up to a scam. This was probably a year or two before Facebook groups and virtual assistants were more commonplace. There weren’t a lot of resources on how to get started and how to find clients.
Before starting my VA business, I tried a few other work from home businesses and also worked for Apple from home doing technical support, which helped me learn what it was like to work remotely and also what it’s like to be in charge of my own schedule and essentially be my own supervisor.
I’ve always been a sponge and ask a lot of questions and my clients were happy to oblige and help me learn. I started out as more of a general virtual assistant, helping with email account management and helping put together eBooks. Eventually, I started branching out, learning more about sales pages, blogging, CRMs, email management systems, etc. As I learned more, I was able to increase my rates and grow.
Q: In your experience, what’s the best way to find clients?
Referrals tend to be the best source for clients, but I also keep an eye out in different entrepreneur Facebook groups for people on the search for a VA. Another way (which is how I got started) is by subscribing to a site like hiremymom.com.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a VA?
Being able to set my own schedule and also being able to choose the work that I do.
When I first started my business, I took on anything and everything that came my way. But now, I know where I shine and where I don’t (like social media management or Facebook ads!)
Q: What do you struggle with as a VA?
Breaking out of being a general virtual assistant was and is tough because there’s not as large of a pool of potential clients. A big focus of mine right now is building the Squarespace web design side of my business, which is tricky because there’s a lot of web design folks out there, but it’s growing, slowly but surely!
Q: What do you wish you knew or did when starting your VA business?
Don’t waste your money on VA certifications!
I didn’t actually do this, but I see it a lot in Facebook groups where there are various certifications you can get to help establish yourself as an expert. But I find that testimonials and experience speak volumes over those certifications.
Do well for your clients, learn as much as you can, and gather testimonials along the way :)
Q: What’s your advice for someone who wants to be a VA?
Just dive in! It’s so easy to not get started because you don’t have this done or that figured out yet, but just get started. You’ll be so much further along than if you didn’t because you didn’t have everything set up perfectly.
Q: What tools or programs could you not live without?
Oh! And my Apple Airpods. I LOVE them. I use headphones all the time and it’s amazing not to worry about catching my cord on everything.
Q: What’s your favorite trick for staying healthy as a VA?
Take time away. Unplugged!
Get outside, spend time with your family, do something for others. It’s amazing how refreshed and more productive you’ll feel after you take even just a few hours away.
Q: Do you have any pets?
I do! I have Ben, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel; Charlie, a cockatiel (our newest addition to the family); Jasper our parakeet; and 4 chickens: Rosie, Hedwig, Bonnie, and Hermione.
Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
The power of duplication! I’ve got 4 kids and there’s just one of me – it would be fabulous to duplicate myself to have one of me focused on cleaning and keeping up with the house while the real me can work and handle family stuff!
Q: Where can we find you?
My website is www.techsidesimplified.com. I have a tech resource blog that I’m focused on adding super valuable and free content to. Lots of tutorials for how to integrate systems, do different things in Squarespace, etc.
I’m also working to build up my Pinterest presence: www.pinterest.com/techsidesimplified
Thanks, Becky! There’s so much great advice here for those wanting to get started as a virtual assistant!
For more information on how to start your own VA business, check out the Introvert VA Club for tutorials, job opps, support, and more!