“I am often asked how I got started as a Virtual Assistant. The truth be told the RELATIONSHIPS I built with local business owners began long before I began my VA business. Below are some of the key tools and classes I utilized as I began my amazing journey to build AssistantAngel to what it is today.”
Early Years of Assistant Angel
Immediate Part Time Work. When I first began to look for work as a virtual assistant in 2009, I knew small business networking was the way to go. I joined Smart Moms (recently closed). Smart Moms was a job resource site, run by a mom of two. It was a job placement site for companies to find part-time virtual and in-office support. I got many leads for part time employment from this site. As a mom of two small children myself, this appealed to my life circumstances at that time.
Vision. It was HeatherO’s vision class that gave me the knowledge and insight to know that AssistantAngel could be more than just helping clients’ with their social media needs. I was able to get a short term and long term vision and an action plan able to meet new business goals.
Relationships Built Through Networking. Without a question, in-person networking and connecting with local business owners has been one of the most powerful ways to encourage and get-to-know local business owners. These relationships have proven successful for many of us.
- It was Pat Howlett and Inside919 that gave me the opportunity to connect with local business owners on a consistent basis. When I joined the 919 Community there were 800 members and it capped out at over 4,000 members at the peak.
- Women’s Power Networking is a fabulous group of women business owners, small to medium sized. Through education and networking we are able to build stronger relationships and affect the world around us. I met many amazing women in this organization. I still have some of them as clients. They hold a very special place in my heart.
- I encourage new Virtual Assistants or Social Media Managers to find a local networking opportunity to help you meet amazing professionals: BNI, Meetup, Chambers of Commerce in your local area too.
Education. I am consistently learning what is the latest trend in social media. It is constantly changing.Before I got into the details of learning the tools of social media in 2009, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, were just launching. I had to learn the foundation of each tool and how it applied to a clients’ marketing plan. The resources below were very helpful as I set the foundation.
- Brossman’s Social Media and Online Resource Directory for Small Business. As I got started, Martin Brossman’s book gave me step-by-step instruction on many of the areas of Social Media. This is a FABULOUS way to start obtaining insight.
Middle Years of Assistant Angel
As AssistantAngel, continued to grow (2010 to 2012) and my client base began to expand, I had the luxury of finding where my passion was – that is “behind the scenes”. I changed my business model to incorporate more mid-size companies so I had the time and budget to fully implement and engage in social media marketing plans and campaigns.
Education. I also continue to recognize the incredible value of education. Social Media Marketing is consistently changing. I took many courses and online trainings during this time. I was able to “test and verify” what worked and didn’t work for my clients and myself during these very busy years.
I expanded my education and training into:
- Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, SEO, Blogging, WordPress and more
Virtual Assistant Training Network. As a result of continued training, I was able to launch Virtual Assistant Training Network to help new and interested Virtual Assistants and Social Media Managers. All of the training is what I personally have used and tested on myself and seen results for clients. It is a labor of love and work in progress ( I am excited to give the site a revamp in early 2015).
The last 2 years (2013-2014) have yielded some of the biggest changes to Assistant Angel. Interestingly, few would notice on the outside. It was an exciting season of readjusting my business model, team, goals and clients. It has been an incredible couple of years!
Education. Social media changed in 2013. It took a visual / mobile turn that needed to be recognized and understood at a very deep level. I enveloped myself into:
- Pinterest, Instagram, WordPress, Images, Canva, etc.
- SEO, keyword research, Advertising Campaigns, Reputation Management and more.
Customized Social Media and Online Marketing Plans.
2013 brought big changes in Google, so the days of “one social media post” yielding huge results on various platforms quickly changed. Also, many larger companies purchased smaller companies or went public:
- Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr
- Facebook now owns Instagram
- Twitter now owns Tweetdeck
In order for my clients to succeed and compete it meant we had to customize a social media marketing plan that specifically fit their business model, marketing campaign, social media platforms and advertising budget. Even though, this takes more time, I find it incredibly satisfying to really dig deep with clients and social media marketing and yield results in new and effective ways.
Future of Assistant Angel