Guest post by Emma Wolno, Content Manager to powerful CEOs and Coach to Virtual Assistants who want to become content pros. Connect with Emma on Instagram: @contentbyem
Are you ready to learn how to uplevel your virtual assistant business?
Being a virtual assistant (VA) can be a GREAT gig, but for many people, it’s not suitable for the long run. Instead, it might be a great starting point for launching your business.
You get a taste of what sort of services you like to offer, the kind of clients you work best with, and your ideal working structure.
But soon, you may find yourself ready to move on from the VA role.
Personally, I knew after about a year or so of being a virtual assistant that I wanted to uplevel into a more specialized role.
I was doing all.the.things.
We’re talking web design, content marketing, social media management, Pinterest management, tech virtual assistance, and MORE!
Pretty soon, I was burnt out trying to be everything to everyone rather than focusing on my zone of genius.
On top of that, I realized I was offering a TON of specialized, digital marketing services, but only getting paid an hourly VA rate.
If this is you, it’s time for you to step up and claim your expertise.
I’m going to show you exactly how to do this, but first let’s talk about WHY it’s so important!
The Myth of the Unicorn VA
Perhaps you’re thinking, “I offer a ton of digital marketing services as a VA, but that’s a GOOD thing, right?! Digital marketing services are in-demand. I see a ton of job postings looking for VAs with digital marketing skills.”
I totally hear you. I thought this way for the longest time, too!
We’re bombarded by Facebook posts and job descriptions that go a little something like this: “LOOKING FOR A UNICORN VA. Must know FB ads, be great at lead generation on social media, create content for my blog and newsletter, and set up my email marketing!!”
But y’all, that is not a VA job. That is a client looking for a marketing expert at VA rates. And it’s time we stop accepting it.
It’s up to us to raise the standard of freelancers around the world and create sustainable, profitable businesses that offer us true freedom.
3 Signs It’s Time to Uplevel From Assistant to Expert
Let’s get into a few signs that you may be ready to uplevel your virtual assistant business and head into your next level of expansion as a business owner.
1. Clients are seeking you out for your expertise.
Our businesses will naturally grow and evolve over time. Maybe you started off helping out clients with a variety of tasks: think tech, admin, and marketing. But over time, it’s probable that you gravitate and excel in one (or a few!) of these skill groups.
Maybe you’re sharing INCREDIBLE knowledge over on Instagram and clients are absolutely in love with the gorgeous graphics and impactful captions you create. While you offer multiple services, on discovery calls you are constantly getting complimented on your Instagram profile and having clients ask if you can help them get THEIR profile looking just as amazing.
Girl, that’s your sign to level up and lean into that expertise! You could use the skills you’ve gained in Instagram to become an Instagram manager or strategist.
Think about what clients are constantly asking you about. Is it Dubsado setups and tech automations? Is it more content marketing tasks? Is it designing gorgeous graphics and PDFs? Take inventory of what clients are seeking you out for and use this as the basis for how to niche down your VA services.
2. You have a specialized skill that others are charging high rates for.
For example, when I was a VA, I did a LOT of website editing work. While many VAs can handle simple website edits, I was actually doing complex web design work — at times, even doing custom coding to add new functionality to my clients’ sites!
Web designers and developers often charge hundreds of dollars an hour for website maintenance and updates. My clients were getting a serious bargain having their VA handle it for only $30/hour.
Take a good, hard look at your services and ask yourself: What do other service providers charge for these kinds of services?
Be honest with yourself! If you’re doing higher-level work in people’s businesses, it’s time you ditch the VA label and start to position and price yourself accordingly.
3. You’ve expanded your services and clients are hiring you for things outside of your original scope.
Have you noticed that your clients are relying on you more and more and expanding the scope of services they originally hired you for? If so, congrats, you’re obviously super reliable and an A-player your clients know they can count on!
But the only issue this can pose is when the rate they are paying does not match your current skill set and responsibilities.
This often happens to VAs who become “online business managers in disguise.” They may start off helping with admin tasks, but after some months, they take on a larger responsibility in a CEO’s business. Maybe you’re managing team members, overseeing projects, or spearheading key operational processes.
Another example could be that you’re hired as a VA to do community management. But pretty soon, you’ve been tasked with writing captions, designing graphics, and coming up with engaging content ideas to grow the social media accounts.
In both of these examples, you should be charging more than a VA! You’ve developed your expertise through your experience working with clients, and it’s time to adjust your rates and title to properly communicate that expertise.
I’m Ready To Uplevel … What Now?
Are you still reading this and thinking, “This is totally me. What next?”
First of all, pat yourself on the back for getting yourself this far. Becoming a superstar VA is no easy feat!
Here are a few things you can do to claim your expertise and take your VA biz to the next level.
Adjust Your Title
The first thing you’ll probably need is a new title. Your title is not the MOST important thing — what’s far more important is the work you do and how you create value for your clients — but it’s also one of the first things clients see and creates a lasting impression.
If you’re using the “assistant” title, it’s going to be tougher to position yourself as an expert and charge premium prices.
One quick way to remedy this is to replace “assistant” with “manager.” Depending on the services you offer, you could opt for titles like:
– Content Manager
– Digital Marketing Manager
– Online Business Manager
– Social Media Manager
– Podcast Manager
– Email Marketing Manager
You get the idea!
Set Your Packages and Pricing
Once you’ve got your fancy-shmancy new title, you’ll want to craft packages and prices to match. If you’ve previously been charging by the hour, it’s best to take your offerings and craft a service package instead.
Packaging your services usually means creating a bundle of deliverables for which your clients pay a flat fee. By doing so, you’ll actually begin to increase your monthly revenue as you increase your efficiency and become more of an expert in delivering your packages!
It’s also nice for your clients because they know exactly what they’re getting each month, and there’s no surprise when it comes to billing at the end of the month.
Whatever you do, make sure your prices are in line with your expertise and allow you to create a sustainable, profitable business! Don’t make your package prices too low, or you’ll have to work with 20 clients just to make a solid income (I don’t know about you, but that sounds stressful AF to me!).
Create a Flawless Client Experience
Elevating your client experience is a huge part of increasing your prices. Clients want to work with service providers who know their stuff, are organized, and can provide them with a clear path to get the results they desire.
Your client onboarding is a great place to set the tone for the relationship. If your client onboarding systems are a hot mess, it’s going to be harder to command high rates.
Here are a few ways to quickly uplevel your client onboarding process:
- Include a client welcome packet.
A welcome packet should include all of your policies and boundaries, make it clear what is needed and required from the client, and have a welcome message to get them excited about working with you!
- A gift goes a long way!
A client gift doesn’t need to be super pricey. But it does wonders to make clients feel appreciated and can start the relationship off on the right foot!
- Be a pro, get a contract.
Having a solid contract in place protects you AND the client, plus it makes you look far more professional. If you don’t have a contract in place, clients may take it as a red flag that you don’t have your processes and systems in order, or don’t take their business very seriously.
We don’t want that! You can get a contract downloaded and customized in mere minutes over in the Coaches & Co. Contract Shop. There are options for VAs, online business managers, social media managers, copywriters, and more! Or just choose the general services agreement.
I hope this post has given you valuable ideas and insight into upleveling your virtual assistant business. Remember, VAs do incredible work — but it might be time to move on.
If you’re providing high-level services, managing key processes for clients, or are offering services other providers charge high-ticket prices for, your business may be in need of a revamp!
Don’t be afraid to step up and claim your expertise. You and your business are so worth it! ✨
Check out our ready-to-use, lawyer-approved, plug-and-play legal templates! So you can stay profitable AND protected ✨
Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you. Jump into our FREE 20-Minute Contract Crash Course to get the legal lowdown on everything contracts! (Heads up: It’ll forever transform the way you view your client relationships!)
*The information presented in this blog post is for educational & informational purposes only. This should not be a substitute for customized legal advice from a licensed professional in a private setting. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney. This is not a law firm.