How to Launch a Virtual Assistant Business with WordPress

Posted on November 29, 2016 by in Tips & Tricks | 13 comments

How to Launch a Virtual Assistant Business with WordPress

Are you looking to launch your own virtual assistant business? If you are, I think WordPress is the perfect platform to do it! In this post, I want to talk a bit about why now is a good time to launch a virtual assistant business. Then, I’ll get into how you can set up your site with WordPress. And finally, I’ll share some helpful organizational tools and some basic ways you can find clients.

Why Launch a Virtual Assistant Business?

There have been posts on the Elegant Themes blog talking about outsourcing tasks to virtual assistants, but we’ve never talked about the virtual assistants themselves.

With the rise of the Internet and the “Uberization” of the economy, becoming a virtual assistant is easier than ever. Companies are increasingly open to remote working and freelancers, including virtual assistants, are more active than ever. There are currently 53 million freelancers in the USA alone and estimates are that 50% of Americans will engage in some type of full or part time freelancing by 2020.

Launching your own virtual assistant business allows you to harness these trends to develop a location-independent business that gives you more flexibility than a traditional job.

Of course, it’s not all roses – just like any business, it’s not an instant ticket to success. But as long as you work hard and smart, you can be successful.

How to Launch a Virtual Assistant Business with WordPress

If you’re planning to work remotely for clients, you’re going to need a website to advertise your services. That’s where WordPress comes in. Here’s everything you need to get your virtual assistant website up and running.

Buy a Domain and Hosting and Install WordPress

I won’t go into the gory details because these topics have been covered on Elegant Themes before. But before you get to the specific virtual assistant aspects of your website, you need to get the basic details squared away. If you’re not sure where to start, give these Elegant Themes posts a look:

Pick a Theme to Showcase Your Virtual Assistant Services

Next, you need to choose and install a WordPress theme that highlights your services. You want something professional that fits your brand. Here are a few theme recommendations to get you started:

If none of these themes catch your eye, you can also find plenty more by searching on the WordPress.org theme repository and ThemeForest.

Add the Right Pages to Highlight Your Virtual Assistant Services

Once you’ve installed your WordPress theme, you need to make sure you create the proper pages to highlight your business. Here are the pages that you should, at a minimum, consider including:

  • Services: Clearly list all the services you offer so that potential clients can figure out if you’re the virtual assistant for them. This page should go into detail and lay out exactly how you can help your clients.
  • Pricing: This page is always a tough one. Some people shy away from public pricing pages because it might drive potential clients away. But at the same time – if they can’t afford your rates, is it really a bad thing if they don’t contact you? There are virtual assistants on both sides of this argument, so make the best decision for you.
  • Contact: This one is extra important. You need a very obvious contact method. If someone wants to hire you, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to get in touch with you!
  • Blog: If you don’t have time to update a blog, it’s ok to leave this one off. But blogging is a great way to show off your knowledge and convince potential clients you know what you’re talking about. So, if you can swing it, it’s great to blog about topics relevant to your target clients.
  • About: This page should be about you, but it shouldn’t be about overly personal details like your favorite foods and TV shows. Instead, focus on your relevant experience.
  • Testimonials: You don’t necessarily need a separate page for testimonials (though that approach is fine). But somewhere on your site, you should definitely include positive testimonials from clients. Until you get some clients, you could try adding testimonials from previous bosses or coworkers.

Add the Right Plugins to Make Your Site Better Suited to the Job

Okay, there’s a bunch of essential plugins that every single WordPress site should have. I’m not going to list them off because I want to focus on plugins that can specifically help your virtual assistant business. So, you should probably install those basic plugins too, but then you’ll want to consider these types of plugins as well:

  • Booking plugins – for booking and keeping track of your work calendar.
  • Form plugins – for creating clear and efficient client forms.

Get Organized Behind the Scenes

The tips above should get you well on your way to creating a successful virtual assistant website with WordPress. But once you get your website looking great, you need to focus on staying organized behind the scenes. Here are some tools that can help you with that:

Task Tracking Tools for Virtual Assistants

As a virtual assistant, a good part of your job is staying on top of tasks that need to be completed. But when you’re busy, it helps to have a little…help. These tools can help you stay organized with task lists:

  • Todoist – simple but brilliant. Keep all your tasks in a handy, organized list.
  • Remember the Milk – similar to Todoist, though I don’t think the interface is as nice.

Time Tracking Tools for Virtual Assistants

Now that you no longer have a set schedule, you’re going to need to keep close track of your time. Some clients might want you to bill hourly. But even if they pay per project, you still should know how much time you spend on tasks for internal reasons. Here are two great options:

  • Harvest – Harvest lets you easily track your time on a per task or project basis. They also include helpful invoicing features.
  • Toggl – Toggl has amazing time tracking, but that’s all it does.

Invoicing Tools for Virtual Assistants

These tools will help you with one of the most important parts of running a successful virtual assistant business: getting paid.

Invoicing tools help you keep track of your incoming money and find any outstanding debts. Here are two good options:

  • Harvest – Again, it’s a simple invoicing tool and also includes time tracking. Win-win.
  • Freshbooks – Full-service invoicing, accounting, and time tracking. But more expensive than Harvest.

Accounting Tools for Virtual Assistants

These tools will help you track your revenue and expenses. They’ll also make tax time as simple as possible. Here are two of the best options:

  • Freshbooks – Freshbooks’ accounting tool is user-friendly and built for small businesses and freelancers.
  • Wave – Wave offers great accounting for free. If you’re looking to save money at the beginning, definitely give Wave a look.

How to Find Virtual Assistant Clients

Finally, no matter how beautiful your website is, and no matter how organized you are behind the scenes, you still need clients. Here are some quick ways you can find them:

  • Job Boards/Freelancing Sites: You can search job boards or freelance sites like Upwork and Freelancer. Just be aware you’ll have plenty of competition.
  • Referrals: Ask your network if they know of anyone who needs a virtual assistant. You never know what might turn up!
  • Cold Emailing: Think of companies who might need your services and send them an email introducing who you are, what you offer, and, most importantly, how you can help their business. Be prepared for rejection, but you only need a few successes to pick up a steady client base.

Wrapping Up

In today’s economy, launching a virtual assistant business is a great idea. And there’s no better web platform to launch your business on than WordPress. Getting your site up and running with the proper themes and plugins is quick and painless.

Then, you just need to set up your organizational tools so you don’t get overwhelmed, and you’re ready to jump into the deep end and start finding some clients. What are you waiting for. Get to it!

Are you a successful virtual assistant? Please tell us about your experiences below.

Article thumbnail image by antishock / shutterstock.com

13 Comments

  1. There is some great advice in here Colin! Thank you!

    • I totally agree. A lot of great resources as well.
      Todoist is good. I’ve been using for a very long time and love how simple but effective this app is.
      To be true, never heard of Remember the Milk.
      Have been using Toggl for time tracking but definitely can see now that Harvest is the better alternative.
      Thanks for a great piece. I’m new to this blog but already really like it!

  2. You gave me some great ideas, and i didnt know about harvest. Thanks

  3. Very timely advice, thanks!

  4. Thanks for the post. I’ve been using Harvest for a couple of years and their online estimate and invoicing system are top notch. My
    clients enjoy the thorough proposals and recurring invoices they receive for projects. Very professional and super reasonably priced. 🙂

  5. i’m confused how starting a VA business has anything to do with WP? Is there some sort of interface that makes the work with clients easier in WP? this seems to be just a suggestion to use wp to build your site with. which I whole-heartedly agree with btw.

    • Nathan B. Weller

      yeah it’s just recommending that WordPress is a good platform for a VA business and offering tools/an approach to get it done.

  6. How timely! I’ve been a Virtual PA for several years now and I’m currently in the process of transferring my website to WordPress from another platform.

    I’ve decided to use the Divi theme because I already have a separate blog using Extra. Blurb modules, full width sliders with text overlay and, my personal favourite, an Accordian module for the FAQ page are just a few of the features I’m already finding really useful for my VA website. I’m looking forward to seeing what other features I can incorporate and I’ll definitely be checking out those plugins you mention. Thank you!

    Sue

  7. What a great article Colin and I agree with you so much! I have been running a small agency for 10 years here in Australia and have now branched out into Offshoring and supplying outsourcing services to clients and staffing solutions to other agencies from our Philippine office.

    It amazes me how great a buisness this is and how we are making such a difference for smaller local agencies here. They can now grow their staff levels and inturn their client base through offering a competitive service but keeping a fantastic margin.

    The other side of the coin is that we are also making such a huge difference in the lives of so many technically qualified Filipino staff and their families. To be fair – this is the best side of the business for me personally. Giving someone a job that pays them well, in a modern air conditioned office environment, and to see the joy we bring – is just gold.

    Take the jump people and grow your web design business, if you have read this far, then it is something that interests you. There is such a rewarding future for you in this industry, and the opportunity you have and you can offer is huge.

    A true win win for all.

  8. Well done, thanks for the tips! After designing and releasing a WP plugin that merges data from Formidable Forms to PDF Forms, we found ourselves in a business creating custom web forms and WP automation solutions. We’ll be using these tips to track and grow our VA revenue source.

    And, thanks to this post, we now know that our unintended revenue stream is actually called, a Virtual Assistant Business, which sounds so much better than a unintended revenue stream.

  9. We utilize Trello in our business and it is amazingly flexible. I find new ways to use it on almost every project we work on. It’s free and easy. Many of the clients we introduce to Trello end up using it in their own business.

  10. We use divi theme and toggle in our business. We find both quite useful tools to grow our virtual assistant business. Started with about $2 as the first project from a client in UK, we have served over 1000 clients in the last 12 years 🙂 Thank you for sharing this nice article which will help wanna-be virtual assistants. Fiverr is a cool website from where we can get good leads for virtual assistant business.

  11. Great post for people interested in starting up a VA business. WordPress is great for any service based business. I have been a Virtual Assistant for over 6 years and built my website on WordPress when I started. I currently use the DIVI Theme for my site and even offer WordPress services to my clients. I always recommend WordPress to other VAs who are looking to start up a Virtual Assistant business. Just make sure to use WordPress.org not WordPress.com.

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