Lack of confidence in one’s skills is probably the #1 thing that prevents freelancers from really going after it and starting a new virtual assistant business.
They ask themselves questions like:
- Do I really have what it takes to succeed?
- What if I don’t know how to do something a client asks me to do?
- Do I even have any sweet virtual assistant skills?
Have you ever asked yourself similar questions?
I know I have. And if I’m 100% honest, sometimes I still do!
So in today’s post I want to give you three concrete strategies to counteract these questions. To punch fear in the face (because fear is usually at the root of these types of questions) and do it anyway.
To learn what you need to know to acquire sweet virtual assistant skills and start your own VA business. Because…
Why not you, why not now?
You can do this. Yep you!
1. Repurpose Your Current Skills
Did you know that the easiest way to start an online business is to offer services?
Well starting a VA business is as easy as repurposing your current know-how into new virtual assistant skills. And skills are really just the same thing as a list of services that you can offer clients in return for pay.
Or put another way…
- Are you super good at maintaining inbox zero? Awesome! You might consider offering email management services.
- Or do you know how to diffuse challenging situations with difficult people? I bet you’d make a great customer service rep.
- Or maybe you have an eagle eye? Offering proofreading, editing or blog management services might be right up your alley.
The bottom line, is that you probably already have a ton of skills in your “VA tool belt” that you haven’t even considered. So it’s time to figure out what they are and use them to your advantage as you start and grow your virtual assistant business.
How? You need to know what they are first and foremost. Then you need to figure out which ones you’d enjoy offering in return for pay. And lastly, you need to learn how to market them to the right people (aka the people that need them, that you’d enjoy working with and that can afford to pay you what you’re worth).
Take five: Take the next 5-10 minutes and list out your current skills. What have previous employers or co-workers told you that you’re really great at? If you don’t feel like your list is very strong from the first go around, poll your spouse, friends or try a free skills test to drum up some more ideas!
2. Learn on the Fly
I’m going to let you in on a little secret…
Those people that you look up to in the business world (online or not) don’t know everything. And they certainly didn’t learn how to do everything they now know how to do before putting themselves out there and going after what they wanted in the business world.
- They may have had a foundation.
- A strong interest in learning new things.
- An aptitude to experiment or try to bring new ideas to fruition.
- Or maybe they had business mentors that they could learn alongside of.
But they didn’t know it all first. Nope, they learned as they went. On the fly if you will.
And you can too.
Does that mean you should lie and say you know how to do something you don’t? Or that you’ve never done before?
Nope. Never lie. Lying is bad.
But it doesn’t mean that you can’t respond with something like, “I haven’t worked with [insert desired software] yet, but I have worked with programs like it before and have no doubt I’ll be able to figure it out.” (You know, cuz there are tutorials, YouTube and help sections for virtually every software tool that exists these days, so you really can!)
So while you shouldn’t present yourself as an expert in something you’ve never used, don’t stress about coming across as confident in your ability to pick up a new skill or learn a new tool on the fly. Because you’re smart. You totally got this!
And you know what? Actually doing something you’re trying to learn is WAY better than just reading about how to do it. So learning while doing (or on the fly) is actually a pretty good way to go about acquiring new virtual assistant skills!
Take five: Take the next few minutes to brainstorm a list of up to three (small) things you’ve been meaning to learn how to do. Pick one and over the course of the next week, schedule an hour or so to learn it and then practice it on your own business.
3. Educate Yourself
Did you know that everything you read on the internet is true?
Actually… it’s not. But I’m sure that didn’t fool you (again, you’re smart – you ARE reading Horkey HandBook after all). 😉
But the interwebs do contain a crap-ton of valuable information. And many times you can learn what you need to for free. Not always mind you and maybe the free version isn’t as in depth as you need, would take you too long to piece together on your own, etc.
As a virtual assistant (or freelance anything), it should be your goal to #AlwaysBeLearning. Why? Because that’s what will keep things fresh and interesting. And make you more marketable. Or give you the ability to charge higher rates.
And who doesn’t want that?
Here at Horkey HandBook, we’ll be coming out with some additional ways for you to develop new virtual assistant skills (or strengthen your current ones) later this year, but until then focus on learning a new skill over the next 90 days. Not like the section above, which could be something like learning how to use Canned Responses in Gmail.
Nope, I’m talking about a new skill, skill. Like how to create blog post images in Canva (or maybe offering Pinterest VA services?). Something that will take you longer than a one hour sitting. Something that you can potentially use for your own business. And something you can in turn offer new or existing clients!
Take five: Brainstorm a list of 3-5 new skills you’d like to add to your VA business over the next year. Poll your existing clients or any business people that you respect to see which service ends up being the most in demand. Then learn it. Find a course, Google the topic and read everything you can and binge watch YouTube videos on the subject. Then practice it. Again, if you can practice on your own business first, great. If not, find someone you know that needs that service done and offer them a trial period with a discount (say 50% off for the first month) and a money-back guarantee if for some reason they’re not happy with your results.
Still Feel Like You Don’t Have Any Skills?
I don’t believe you!
You need to re-read this post and do the “take five” exercises I laid out for you. The first exercise will be the easiest and they’ll get more challenging or time intensive from there.
But the brainstorming portion of each exercise should only take you a few minutes. And if you’re not willing to invest a few minutes working on your business rather than in it…
You have sweet virtual assistant skills to offer. You just have to find out what they are (or what they can be) and then learn – both on the fly and by intentionally consuming information that will help you master them. And that includes practicing of course!