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:
- 15 Most Popular Premium WordPress Themes in 2016
- 30 Best Portfolio WordPress Themes for Creative Professionals in 2016
- 30+ Best One Page Parallax WordPress Themes for Stylish Single Page Websites in 2016
- 15 Best Landing Page WordPress Themes for High Conversion Websites in 2016
- 15 Best SEO Friendly WordPress Themes for Highly Discoverable Content in 2016
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.
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.
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