Who says you can’t be an employee, mom, and successful business owner?
Talking with Laura just proves that you can do anything you set your mind to.
In this interview, Laura talks about the benefits of following up with potential clients and how $10K VA has helped her boost her professionalism in the online world.
Here’s my interview with Laura.
Hi, Laura! To start off, tell us a bit about you.
Hey there, I’m Laura. I’m a purchasing manager by day and a blogger and virtual assistant by night.
I’m also a self-proclaimed spreadsheet nerd and chocoholic.
A couple of years ago, I went back to school to be a health coach. I loved the program and it lit an entrepreneur fire in me. But, I decided this wasn’t the right time to coach and chose to start a blog instead.
Why did you want to be a VA?
As I entered the blogging world, I also ran into the virtual assistant world and decided that they go quite well together.
I spent a year taking a bunch of online classes for bloggers and VA’s and just started my business in the fall of 2018: Virtual Altitude.
The mission of my blog is to help people who are going through or have been through a divorce to have healthy relationships — whether that be with their ex, with food, or with finances.
As a VA, I want to support other bloggers and small businesses who are in similar niches like health, personal finance, self-improvement, and inspiration. I’m also a single Mom of 4 awesome kids. So I definitely keep busy!
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Have you had any struggles with starting your business?
I think that one of the hard parts is telling people about your new business.
When you’ve been in a career field for so long, people think you’re a bit crazy when you tell them you’re a virtual assistant and blogger. And most people think that you can’t make any money at it.
There are also so many types of VAs, that in the beginning, I think it’s hard to decide which area you will focus on. Some clients are willing to teach you and others want people with experience.
After having a corporate day job, it’s a bit humbling when someone tells you that you aren’t qualified to handle their Pinterest account.
How did $10K VA help you and your business?
$10K VA really helped me to make my business more professional. It’s one thing to throw a comment out on Facebook and call yourself a VA but it’s another when you really sit down and decide what your focus will be, have a name for your business, get a logo, and create professional forms and contracts for your business.
That level of professionalism will help you get clients.
Speaking of clients, I definitely recommend being part of Kayla’s Pro Client Connection Group. The networking is fantastic. And even if there are job postings that you aren’t interested in, you may learn about other services you could offer.
What lessons have you learned and how did you use them to your advantage?
I think over-communicating, in the beginning, is key. My first client only lasted a few weeks. She ended up needing more time than I was able to offer. And her expectations weren’t clear as far as when she wanted things completed. Had we had more communication, in the beginning, we would have realized off the bat that it wouldn’t be the best fit.
Now I know what questions to ask and how to set expectations upfront. I also learn things from every client, whether it’s something I can do better next time or something I could offer to another client, or perhaps something I could use for my own blog.
What was the biggest thing you learned that you want to share with others?
The first one is to follow up. The people who are looking for VAs are busy and often times overloaded. Keep following up and put reminders on your calendar to follow up again. They appreciate it.
The other one is honesty. I don’t think you can feel good about your business if you aren’t honest about the qualifications or skills or strengths that you have or don’t have.
With my favorite client, I flat out told her that I didn’t have much experience with the things that she needed. But I also told her that I was excited to learn and would reduce my rate if she’d be willing to teach me. It gave her realistic expectations and she appreciated the honesty which helped us to build a trustworthy relationship.
Would you recommend $10K VA to others who are just getting started?
Most definitely. As I talked about before, it really helps you to bring a higher level of professionalism to your work and the networking is great. It’s also nice to be able to bounce ideas off of other VAs or hear the things that others are struggling with.
What are your goals for your business?
My goal is to be a six-figure VA/Blogger. I want to be able to retire early and I want to be able to take my kids on cool vacations and get to learn about other cultures. And of course, I’d like to help pay for their college too.