- Erin Booth is a virtual assistant who coaches others, sells classes and runs a YouTube channel.
- She started after leaving the film industry and now earns six figures a year.
- Her advice for getting started as a virtual assistant is to contact former colleagues for work.
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This narrated essay is based on a conversation with Erin Booth, a virtual assistant coach based in New Orleans, Louisiana, about getting started as a virtual assistant. The insider verified his earnings with documents. The following has been edited for length and clarity.
I started virtual assisting in 2012 after leaving the film industry, where I was exhausted from 80-100 hour work weeks. I had just gotten engaged and my priorities started to change. While I was looking for a transition, my current spouse helped me realize that I had transferable skills from the film industry that I didn’t see at the time.
I had worked as a production coordinator, so I was the person running the office behind the scenes. I realized that these skills could be transferred to start my own in-person concierge business for movie people. I asked my friends in the film industry if they needed services like grocery shopping and laundry – basically all the things I didn’t have time for when I was at the movies . Everyone said yes.
But when I officially launched my assistance business, which I called Crescent City Concierge, very few people hired me. I struggled to make a good income, covering my rent to the bare minimum. My moment of enlightenment occurred when I was working on decluttering a producer’s house and she said to me, “You know, you’d probably kill a kill if you did this virtually.” »
She was absolutely right. She ended up being my first virtual assistant client, and she hired me to do a few personal tasks that were easy for her, like organizing her Google Drive. I realized I had a knack for it, and I loved doing it. After building my business from there, I now make six figures a year from virtual assistance, coaching, and YouTube ad revenue.
In the past six months, I’ve sold 300 courses through my website and have 35,000 active students through Udemy. Most of my students find me through my YouTube channel, where I’ve become more serious over the past two years about helping aspiring virtual assistants get started for free. My 15,000 subscribers on YouTube generate an average of $450 in ad revenue per month.
I learned very quickly what elements of my day I liked and what didn’t work well
This usually took the form of setting boundaries. For example, instead of rushing to my laptop in the morning, I preferred to set aside the early morning hours for coffee or time at the gym.
I worked with my first client until I was comfortable enough with the job to feel like I could take on another client. I was open with my first client about my desire to take on someone else at the same time. She was very receptive and even introduced me to my second client. From there, I grew my business primarily through referrals.
I can do almost anything that doesn’t require my physical presence. Virtual assistance is such a broad umbrella term because there are a variety of skills you can offer. Most virtual assistants start out as general administrative assistants, which means they provide services you’d typically expect of an executive assistant, like arranging trips, managing calendars, or clearing out inboxes. I have clients who ask me to do things like book trips and order food, but I’ve also handled social media for clients or done specialized tasks like video editing. There are so many creative aspects to this job that you can do without meeting in person.
I fell into coaching in 2018, when a remote worker colleague introduced me to the edtech platform, Udemy
I was intrigued by the reach of the platform, which has millions of students spread all over the world. The very first course I launched was on managing a client’s schedule. I asked myself “What kind of skills or training would I have liked to have had when I started as a virtual assistant? »
I’ve since created 23 courses that cost around $15 each, and I plan to do more. After launching courses, I realized that some people wanted a more hands-on approach. Although online courses can be somewhat passive, students would occasionally email me with specific questions related to the course or specific to their company. I started charging for individual interviews where I could dive deeper into a student’s activities and help them create strategies for them based on their goals and expected outcomes.
In addition to Udemy, I have a broader course, the VA Academy, which I sell on my own website. The “VA Academy” and my Udemy courses overlap, but the main difference is that on Udemy I sell short skill-specific courses, while the “VA Academy” is one giant course that takes virtual assistants from point A at Z.
I still have 2 of my own clients, with whom I have worked for 6 years, mainly to maintain my skills
For general administration, which includes things like calendar management and booking trips, I charge $35 an hour. If a client hires me for 20 hours per month of general administration, I charge them a flat rate of $700 per month.
For niche skills, like social media management, I charge $100 an hour. Anything that requires me to create personalized content, grow an engaged audience, or understand paid ad campaigns and analytics gets a higher rate.
Someone who wants to start virtual assistance should contact their immediate network, including former bosses and colleagues
This can be done through social media, a phone call, or talking to people in person. Simply telling people what you do can be extremely helpful, because it’s your immediate network that wants you to succeed. Adding something like “If you know someone who is looking for my services, please share my contact details with them” can lead to a first client.
I can’t tell you how many students I’ve had who I told to reach out to their former colleagues and got jobs right away. But even if they don’t, reaching out helps plant the seeds of the future.
Also make sure you have six months of savings, which I did, before quitting your current job. In some cases, my students find clients right away, but for others, it can take months to find their first client.
Are you a virtual assistant who wants to share your story? Email Lauryn Haas at [email protected]
Source : BBNWORLDNEWS