My VA Journey Started In 2012
When I first started as a virtual assistant, I’d often get asked, “What do you do?” and the simplest answer I’d always give was, “I work at home”. This usually solicits more questions or “ahs” and “ohs” from those who think ‘work at home’ meant just ‘doing house chores.’
I didn’t mind what they thought of me back then – whether they thought I was unemployed or that I was doing some type of multi-level marketing online. In 2013, though – a year after I started – I got a handful of desperate inquiries from people I knew who noticed that what I was doing could truly help them with their own businesses. So, I scheduled my first free 2-hour training with them. I talked about the virtual assistant industry and the whole idea of outsourcing. I gave them a list of what they can outsource that could help move their business forward. Then I realized, this can be an additional service! I can train people and help them land their first jobs online. I will not only help them gain knowledge and skills but I will also help them get income for themselves while I get income for myself!
So, I ventured into the entrepreneurial side of the virtual assistant industry (or the overall outsourcing business.) I started taking free online courses on business management and increased my knowledge in other fields like social media, SEO, and website content creation among others. And that's what I would encourage others to do who are just starting this journey - explore what aspects of the industry you're interested in and gain as much knowledge as you can in those niches.
What It’s Teaching Me
In my journey as a freelancer, I’ve learned that building trust and credibility is very important.
When I started out I had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting myself into. To tell you the truth, I was scammed at least two or three times before finally landing a real client. It was depressing, resigning from my 9-to-5 job to work as a freelancer and ending up being robbed of your money after doing what you thought was legitimate work online.
So, as I was building trust and credibility to make myself a more marketable to prospect clients, I also started learning more about how the internet works. I often read and understand the terms and conditions before engaging into business to avoid being scammed again. It did not matter whether it was for a small project or a big one – I did not want to end up wasting my efforts again into work that will not get paid in the end.
As a freelancer, I’ve had the privilege of working with people many miles away from me. I learned from them and they learned from me, too. It’s been a give and take journey between myself and my clients, and I’ve loved every bit of it!
The moment I realized that I can help people and that I can live up to my full potential by being an entrepreneur, I’ve never let that go! I decided to run my own VA business in 2014, which operated mainly online. It hasn’t been easy, but because I have a goal and vision for myself, I kept trying. I look forward to a brighter future for myself and my company! And if you are reading this and you are in the same situation as when I’ve started (or maybe you’re way better off then I was at the start), the key is not to give up! Good luck.
Learn more about Jonna and her business by visiting her website!
Latest posts by Jonna Lindawan (see all)
- Growing Pains: Learning and Overcoming as a New Virtual Assistant - November 9, 2016