Virtual assistants are in high demand in today’s digital world. Whether you want to start you own virtual assistant biz or you want to work for a company, the opportunities are boundless.
That’s why in this post, I decided to interview a super successful VA who knows what it takes to start and grow a thriving virtual assistant business. Her name is Gina Horkey.
Gina is the founder of Horkey HandBook, a website that focuses on helping people find or become kickass virtual assistants. She’ll teach you everything you need to know about becoming a virtual assistant who can earn over $100 per hour. Gina’s background includes a decade of experience in the financial services industry, making a living as a professional writer and online business marketing consulting.
In this interview, Gina provides some valuable insights on making money as a virtual assistant and what exactly she did to reach where she is today. Keep reading to discover what it takes to become a successful virtual assistant.
1.) Hi Gina, Please tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get started as a virtual assistant?
Hi, I’m Gina. I started a freelance writing business on the side of my full-time job (in personal finance), in the spring of 2014 to “test the waters” for a potential career change.
At the time, I was (and still am) the sole breadwinner of our little family of four and my husband was (and still is) a SAHD to our two kiddos. Our youngest was less than a year old at the time!
That fall I added in virtual assistant services as a way to stabilize my income, make it more predictable and use some of my other skills to help small business owners. Landing my first VA client is what gave me the confidence to put in my notice and quit my day job.
I haven’t looked back since!
2.) What exactly does a Virtual Assistant do?
A virtual assistant is really just anyone that trades task for pay from afar. Or in other words, an individual that offers services virtually as a contractor or self-employed individual to clients.
Services offered can include everything from email management, content creation, bookkeeping, graphic design, social media and more! There are tons of services you can offer as a VA – check out this list of over 150 to learn more!
3.) How much money can a Virtual Assistant expect to earn?
From the little research that exists, the average North American virtual assistant earns between $25-40 per hour.
This is going to depend on your experience, skill-set and areas of expertise. I.e. The more specialized your services and the more experience you have, the more you can charge.
I’ve seen people in our community charge as little as $15 per hour and others earn more than $100 per hour (including myself). Ultimately it comes down to being really good at what you do and finding clients that value what you’re offering them.
How quickly you start earning honestly depends on how quickly (and frequently) you start putting yourself out there for hire. Click here for some real live examples of VAs in our community that have built successful businesses.
In my opinion, contracting and working virtually is the way of the future.
People (clients and virtual assistants alike) crave increased flexibility. And what better way to obtain it than to build a business and/or team virtually?
Clients (typically small business owners, entrepreneurs, etc.) aren’t always looking to manage people or take on full-time help. Instead, they’d like to contract out for specific services they need help with. It makes it a win/win for both parties. 🙂
4.) What kind of person is a good fit for VA work?
What I hear from clients over and over is that they’re looking for someone that’s:
- A self-starter
- And reliable
So while they’re looking for people that can provide select services, they’re mainly looking for the above. As long as you’re trainable, you’ve got a shot!
You also need to have a computer (desktop or laptop, doesn’t matter) and reliable internet. Don’t worry about having any fancy programs or applications – most clients will give you access to their cloud-based tools and software programs that you need to complete your work for them.
5.) Can someone be a Virtual Assistant as a full-time job?
Yes, you can definitely be a VA as a full time job! There are many students that get to the point where they can quit their job and just run their own VA biz. I can share with you the numerous student success stories we’ve collected over the years.
6.) How does a Virtual Assistant go about getting clients?
We cover more than a half dozen prospecting methods in 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success, but a few of our favorites are:
- Using social media
- In person networking
- Tapping into your natural market
Methods for finding and attracting high-quality clients haven’t changed much over the last decade, but really understanding what they are, which you’re best suited for and how to go about them in the right way are important. Luckily for our students, prospecting and building effective client relationships are kind of our speciality.
7.) What is your favorite thing about being a virtual assistant?
The list is long!
What ranks at the top of mine is probably:
- Flexibility to work from anywhere on my schedule (i.e. you don’t have to keep banker’s hours in most cases when working with clients)
- Freedom (that comes with the whole flexibility thing I guess!)
- Unlimited income potential (you choose how much to charge and can raise your rates as you gain more experience, look into other ways to make money online, etc.)
8.) What challenges does a Virtual Assistant face?
Some of the challenges that you can face is trying to decide on your niche, what services to offer and how much to charge, setting boundaries when needed with your clients, and getting rid of any fear to put yourself out there and market yourself.
Check out this article on how to become a virtual assistant
9.) How can someone interested in VA work get started?
We’d be honored if you’d consider enrolling in 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success .
This 13 module course will literally walk you through starting your new business – it’s perfect for newbies, but existing VAs have taken it and moved their business to the next level as a result too.
We cover everything from:
- What services to offer
- Who to offer them to
- How much to charge
- Where to find clients
- How to setup your website (including what should be on it!)
- How to effectively pitch clients
- Working with clients
- And a deep dive into about a dozen services you can offer
Plus, much, much more!
10.) Who is the course for?
You need to be motivated, disciplined and have a desire to be self-employed.
While the course provides a great framework for you to plug yourself into, there’s still work to be done on your part. If you like to read all of the things, but don’t really enjoy taking action, this course is NOT for you.
Point blank, you’ll get results if you do what we tell you to. But if you think that all it takes to start a new business is spending a little bit of money to purchase a course (and not doing anything as a result), you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
We do offer a very generous 7-day money-back guarantee. Meaning if you find out right away that the course isn’t the right fit for you, just send us an email and we’ll refund your purchase in full.
11.) What kind of results can you expect to obtain from the course?
Most students make their way through the material in a month or less.
Many end up getting hired by their first client before they finish. Results will vary based on the time someone has available, the amount of action they take and the skill-set they enter the course with.
Some students have the goal of bringing in a few hundred extra dollars each month, while others want to replace a six-figure salary. We’ve watched numerous students accomplish both goals over the last several years – most land somewhere in between.
My personal favorite is when someone sends me an email or tags me on Facebook that they’ve just quit their soul-sucking job. 😉
12.) What advice would you offer someone searching for virtual assistant work or who wants to start their virtual assistant biz?
You’ll never know what you’re capable of if you never try.
Don’t think about what the worst case scenario could be – instead think about what’s the BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME that can come from trying something new?
Why not YOU, why not NOW?
Ready to Make Money as a Virtual Assistant?
Being a virtual assistant is a flexible and reliable way to make money online both on the side or full-time.
Personally, I’ve been working as a virtual assistant on the side since 2015 and it has been a great source of additional income for me. I’ve made over $20k on the side providing virtual assistant services through Upwork. You can check out my Upwork profile here.
If you want to start working from home as a virtual assistant, then I highly recommend enrolling in Gina’s 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success course.
But if you currently don’t have the funds for the course, Gina has an epic blog post on how to become a virtual assistant. This can be a great place to start as well; so check it out.
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