Horkey HandBook Blog

Student Success Story: Courtney Pogue

We love a great story here at Horkey HandBook, and it’s even better when it comes straight from one of our students. We recently received an email from Courtney, a current member of The #FullyBookedVA System, letting us know that she’d landed SIX clients in two weeks!

Courtney also shared with us that alongside her corporate day job and other side hustle, it took her about a month to complete VA Foundations. That’s our cornerstone course within The #FullyBookedVA System for starting a Virtual Assistant business and landing those first few (or six!) clients as quickly as possible.

Courtney immediately took action with some of the methods we teach for finding and landing clients and voila! Within six weeks of joining our program, and within two weeks of finishing VA Foundations, she had landed those six new clients. And about two weeks later she landed two more, putting her at a fully booked VA client roster of eight clients!

Once she began delivering services to her new clients, it took Courtney about one week to earn back her investment in The #FullyBookedVA System. That’s a pretty great ROI! 

As you can imagine, we just had to hear more about Courtney and her story. She very graciously let other students ask her questions in an “Ask Me Anything” thread in our community within the #FBVA System, and she was also kind enough to share some of her journey with us here.

Ready to hear how Courtney has totally rocked her business so quickly? Let’s do it!

Find out if being a virtual assistant is right for you with our mini-course

Hi Courtney! Tell us a bit about yourself:

Hello! I was born and raised in Ohio and have lived here 99% of my life. I’m a licensed massage therapist, but Multiple Sclerosis has kept me from doing that work for the past few years. I still work my corporate job but hopefully, that won’t be the case much longer! I’ve worked as a nanny, cashier, waitress, maid, IT professional, manager, massage therapist, social media manager, photographer, chiropractic assistant, administrative assistant, DoorDash delivery driver and many, many more positions. 😉

Phew! Courtney’s background just goes to show you that jobs that seem “every day” provide skills that can totally be translated into services to build a successful VA business with. It’s all about pulling those skills together to find the services you’re excited to provide and going for it!

Why did you decide to start a Virtual Assistant business?

I needed to make more money than my corporate job was allowing and I also needed more flexibility – with multiple chronic illnesses it isn’t always easy to make it into the office. I tried DoorDash, online survey jobs, “work from home” jobs and Kmart (which went out of business weeks after I realized I wasn’t going to be trained and left).

Courtney’s services page on her website. 

None of those worked very well, so I got into food photography through another course and was immediately making a great income. But, I wanted to work toward replacing my corporate job – plus some – so I joined The #FullyBookedVA System and dug into VA Foundations so I could add more valuable services for my clients.

I’ve been working with food bloggers doing food photography and recipe creation. I knew they needed more help but I had no idea how big this market was. I have a lot of administrative and customer service experience but not in a virtual setup, so I essentially jumped into this with zero VA experience.

What was your biggest fear or anxiety about getting started and how did you get over it?

I’m still working through that, but my biggest issue is imposter syndrome. By nature, I am not a confident person. Over the past year of working for myself, though, my confidence has grown immensely. And really, I have to put myself out there in order to get paid! It’s majorly nerve-wracking but also incredibly rewarding.

I’m also passionate about helping bloggers have more of their time back, and that definitely helps. Most of them work a full-time job or are stay-at-home moms and they need help keeping all the aspects of a blog running. I love that I help them have less stress and more time and revenue.

What challenges have you encountered so far and how are you handling them?

I am a month in and so far time management is the hardest thing – I got busy fast. Being busy and fully booked is great, but it takes a lot of discipline and time management to keep everything going. I’m looking into better ways of organizing myself and automating more tasks.

What’s been the most helpful to you so far?

The supportive community and ongoing training included in The #FullyBookedVA System have helped me the most. Joining networking groups and staying active in the #FBVA Community always keeps me positive and helps me feel like I’m not alone in the struggles and new things that come up.

I was also able to drop my questions in the #FBVA Community right away while I was still working through the VA Foundations course and get instant feedback about what I was stuck on.

What’s your biggest win so far (aside from landing six clients in two weeks!)?

I definitely feel like a winner being fully booked this fast, but also knowing that this is a career (an actual career and not a job) that I can continue to grow and expand is huge. And I already totally have plans for scaling my business!

It’s an incredible feeling to look at what’s happened so quickly, in just a couple of months, and to know that things are just going to continue to grow and evolve. As I mentioned, I do struggle with that whole “imposter syndrome” thing, but as I keep moving and tapping into the resources I have all around me, my belief and confidence are growing all the time. I’m really excited about what the future holds for me!

How did you land eight clients within a month?

I marketed my new VA services to the clients I have on my email list from my food photography business, and within two weeks I had six clients! I was somewhat surprised but also kept discovering that they needed more help than I thought. Building relationships with them that show they can trust me has been huge.

“This is not about selling a service, it’s about truly caring for and helping people.”

I knew I wanted to continue working with food bloggers as that’s who I work with in my photography business and I love serving them in any way I can. As I said, I emailed my client newsletter list and let them know that I would have a sign-up page for emails about my new services and booked those first six clients that way.

Then I saw a posting in a VA Facebook group regarding a food blogger in need of assistance. I interviewed with her and her business coach and we signed an agreement! My eighth client is a former photo client that saw me posting on Instagram and asked if she could start doing some blog post work with me too.

“I think it’s very important to remember that each interaction with anyone could lead to a future business opportunity once they know, like and trust you. Because you are genuine and consistent, they come back to you, even if it takes a little while.”

Find out if being a virtual assistant is right for you with our mini-course

What’s your vision for your business moving forward? What are your plans to achieve it?

I’m scheduling a call with one of my mentors in the coming weeks so I can work through some ideas for a course I want to put together and some training videos that people have shown a need for. By participating in conferences and networking groups within my ideal client group I learn a lot about pain points and how I can help with them, and that allows me to think of new ways to help my clients.

My plan is to have a course and consultation call program set up within six months. I’m also planning to have my corporate job replaced by then, which is my biggest area of fear right now, but also what I’m most excited about. Funny how those go hand in hand sometimes!

We can’t wait to hear about Courtney’s journey in these coming months! Stay tuned for updates and to hear all about how she’s going to scale her Virtual Assistant business and go big (even bigger!) in 2021. 

Ready to kick off your Virtual Assistant journey like Courtney did? Join The #FullyBookedVA System and let’s do it – together!

Laura Nichols

Laura Nicholls

COMMUNITY + BLOG MANAGER

Laura manages the VA Leads Community, the blog and does a ton of other things for Horkey HandBook behind the curtain! She’s also an alum of both 30 Days or Less courses (VA and freelance writing!). She started off as a writer and branched out into building her VA business focusing on executive management and content creation. Laura is in love with her life in Northern California taking care of horses and being full-time single mom to her daughter.