In 2015, I was introduced to Virtual Assistance, and while I was initially fascinated by how it works, I was also confused as to how it would actually work for me as a Zimbabwean living in South Africa. Up until this point, all the people I had seen online were not living in Africa and it seemed like such a far fetched dream.
By 2018, I noticed more and more people working remotely and I updated my notes. However, my job became busier and I only managed to do part-time on-site work.
Then suddenly in 2020, I was retrenched for the third time in my life. Once again I was left out on the cold, with no real control of my income. Having been retrenched previously I knew that the current economic climate would make it difficult for me to secure another job immediately. It clicked to me that I truly wanted to take charge of my income and most importantly my schedule.
Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
begrudgingly serving my notice period, I took action. I researched further and found not only was it now viable to be a Virtual Assistant in South Africa but there was a thriving community. I’ll be honest I spent many nights watching YouTube tutorials between the hours of 12 midnight and 5 am (Thank God for night data)
I made a list of every skill I knew I had and scoured the internet to see if anyone had ever been paid for it. I created graphics on Canva and joined various Facebook groups in the hopes of finding work. I signed up for free webinars and masterclasses.
Becoming visible online was important to me so slowly started revamping my social media and started telling people I was looking for work. I scrambled together and designed a Website on WIX… In order to look more professional, I asked my sister to take me photos which I still use today on my website. She used her iPhone by the way.
I posted my first promotional post on 19 June 2020 and in less than 30 days I had clients.
Sometimes I worked for free, though it turned out not to be as beneficial as I had anticipated it would be. I highly recommend if you go this direction get guarantees in a place like if you’re working for a testimonial that you actually get it. I’m glad that I didn’t do it too long and one of the clients became a paying client. I also paid in the form of data bundles by one person.
My first paid VA gig was uploading images onto an e-commerce store. I had my first paying client by the 16th of July 2020. Once I knew it was possible for ME I couldn’t stop. I was forced to maximise my talents in a way I never really thought about.
I learned on the go and refined my way of doing things. I challenged myself to talk about my new business on every platform I had including my Youtube channel.
KEY THINGS I LEARNED DURING THE PROCESS
- Use what you have
- Research, research, research
- Whatever your want is possible
- Use your social media intentionally
- Leverage your personal network
- Ask for help
- Don’t wait for it to be perfect
Thanks for reading
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