As a stay-at-home mom of 4, Cheryl DeClercque had been on the lookout for something that she could do from home for years.
She hadn’t heard about virtual assistance, but stumbled upon the career option in December 2015 when she was researching for information about Costa Rica vacations. 🙂 The good stuff often comes bundled up with other good stuff you weren’t expecting, right?!
Cheryl got started with online skills training in May of this year, 2016. Then in June, I had the chance to hop on a coaching call with her. I’d thought we were going to be chatting about her progress with the training up to that point and her plan for reaching out to connect with potential clients. But instead, Cheryl casually shared the news that she had started providing online business support services to her first two ongoing clients. Woah, that was fast!
The first client had said yes to Cheryl’s offer of VA help just one week after she’d started training in blog management and WordPress. So our session turned to all the specifics about how she could support her awesome clients with their business goals even further.
And that Skype discussion made my day! Well, my week actually.
I kept thinking about it and thinking about it— replaying in my mind all the little things that Cheryl had shared with me about how she approached these clients and… how she approached her decision-making process to become a VA. Not only that, but her energy and her presence too — her centeredness and bold actions, despite the fact that she’d never done anything like this.
I thought about jotting down some notes to share this with you. But then I realized it would be so much better if you could hear it from Cheryl herself, right now, while she’s still only a few months into online work. Click play below to watch the interview!
In this brainstorming session, you’ll hear us talking about:
- How Cheryl made the decision to become a virtual assistant.
- How you can gain the confidence you need to secure clients when you’re just starting out as a VA, before you have any experience.
- The outreach approach Cheryl used to find her first two paying clients in her personal network, within the first 3 weeks of starting.
- Cheryl’s natural inclination to use an incredibly effective outreach approach: “Hey, I have these skills. I know [this] is your goal. How can I help?”
- How she was able to proactively support her first client with advice to help them move towards their goals, even though it wasn’t something she had personally done herself in the past. This is soooo powerful – realizing that you can openly draw on other people’s expertise (ie. no need to try to present advice as your own) in order to become an irreplaceable support person to an online business owner.
- The surprising finding that you’ll often come upon as a new VA – that many, many established and successful business owners that you might assume already have a VA or team in place, are often still looking for someone! (Hint: once you know this to be true, often as a result of your own personal experience, your sense of anticipation and possibility lifts dramatically when you start reaching out to ‘big’ online business owners to offer your services.)
- The specific online marketing support services that Cheryl is helping her first two clients with inside WordPress, Pinterest, Tailwind and Canva.
- The dramatic difference in the speed of results when you step up with proactivity and a strong desire to help a business owner achieve their goal. This is what sets you apart from the thousands of freelancers who are out there ‘looking for work’.
Side note: I think the ‘looking for work’ mindset is just a throw-back from the industrial age that many of us were trained into – sometimes you’re able to naturally overcome that default mindset as a result of finding the services and clients you’re super excited about. At other times it may just take a little self-observation and awareness to let it go and instead, step forward as a collaboration partner for potential clients.
- How Cheryl has been able to work through the most challenging parts of getting started, and how she finds the time for part-time client work as a mom of 4 young kids.
- The challenge and fulfillment of learning at the same time as doing.
- Cheryl’s tips for reaching out to potential clients that you’re already personally connected with.
- How she started with a firm personal decision, a vision for where she saw herself and commitment to a plan.
Here is my favorite gold nugget of wisdom from Cheryl
I thought… okay this is what I want, this is where I see myself. And nobody was going to help me to do that. That was my choice. I decided, this is where I want to be and here are the skills, right in front of me… And I trust that I’m going to be able to make it happen. It’s hard, but it was a great step, and I’m glad that I took that step.
Get in touch with Cheryl
To find out if Cheryl has availability for virtual assistant work, get in touch via her website here.
Tailwind Pinterest scheduling tool.
Canva for creating social media images on behalf of clients.
The Online Biz Skills course here at VA Lifestyle Design.
This video: Decide. Set a Goal. Get it Done.