Becoming a VA

  • How to Set Up a Stunning Virtual Assistant Website

    Over the months and years, I’ve seen a lot of Virtual Assistant Websites. And I’ll tell you now that not all websites are created equal.

    So, today’s post is going to be all about how to create a stunning Virtual Assistant website that not only looks amazing but one that also converts. After all, the aim of the game is to book those dream clients, isn’t it?

    In this post you’ll learn:

    • Why you need a website as a VA
    • The basics of setting up a website
    • What essential information you need to include
    • How to use your website to advertise your services
    How to Set Up a Stunning Virtual Assistant Website
    ** This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my latte drinking habit if you use these links. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied in caffeine which enables me to keep creating awesome new content for you. It’s a win for everyone, really. For full details, please click here**

    Do you really need a Virtual Assistant website?

    If you’re thinking about becoming a VA, or you’ve already set the wheels in motion, you’re probably wondering whether or not you need a website.

    The simple answer is “yes”.

    There are a lot of different opinions out there, with some people saying that you don’t need a website if, for example, you have a great business page on Facebook or strong presence on LinkedIn.

    Having said that, there are a number of reasons why having a website for your VA business will help you not only stand out from the crowd but also secure more clients.

    • It’s a great place to showcase your skills, talents and previous work.
    • It allows potential clients to find you, check out your packages and decide whether you are a good fit (aking some of the work off your hands)
    • Your website is a great place to list your packages and prices – no more time wasted on discovery calls with people asking you to work for £2 per hour!
    • You can let your personality shine through. People like to work with people, not just a faceless business.
    • It will help you stand out from your competition.

    So, now you know why you need a website for your VA business, let’s move on to the how. 

    1. Choose and Purchase a Domain Name

    The first step in setting up your Virtual Assistant website is to choose and purchase your domain name.

    When it comes to choosing your domain name, choose something that is the same as your VA Service business name. I know that might sound pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised! Ideally, you want your domain name to end in .com or .co.uk.

    As I would recommend using Siteground for your hosting, I would recommend purchasing your domain name from them too so I’m going to include how to purchase your domain name in the next step.

    2. Select a Host and Purchase a Hosting Plan

    There are a number of website hosts out there but Siteground is my absolute favourite. I currently host all five of my own sites, plus two client sites there and I cannot fault them.

    They’re excellent value for money and their customer support is second to none – in fact, their live online chat staff have always gone above and beyond to help me!

    Simply head over to Siteground, and select “Sign Up”

    Next, select the plan that is best suited to you. There are three available on SiteGround. I have the “Grow Big” plan as it allows me to host multiple sites at no extra costs.

    Learn how to set up your very own stunning Virtual Assistant website to boost your business and attract new clients #VA #VirtualAssistant #WebsiteSetup #WebsiteDesign #BusinessTips

    The next step is where you can purchase your new domain. On the next screen, you will see two options; “Register a new domain” or “I already have a domain”. Select “Register a new domain” and type in the domain name that you want to purchase. Then follow the instructions on screen to complete your purchase.

    Learn how to set up your very own stunning Virtual Assistant website to boost your business and attract new clients #VA #VirtualAssistant #WebsiteSetup #WebsiteDesign #BusinessTips

    Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a domain and your hosting plan!

    3. Install and Set Up WordPress

    One of the great things about using SiteGround as your hosting provider is that they offer 1-click install for WordPress.

    Once you have completed your purchases in step two, log into your SiteGround account and head to the C-Panel. Here you will find an option for WordPress 1-click install.

    Simply follow the instructions on screen and you’ll have your WordPress site within 5 minutes!

    Now it’s time to actually build your site and get it looking exactly how you want.

    4. Start Creating Your Virtual Assistant Website

    Okay, so we have a domain name and you’ve got WordPress set up but now what? How do you actually create a beautiful, functioning website?

    Choose a Theme

    Before you start adding any content to your site, choose a theme. The reason I say to do this before you add anything else to your site is that changing the theme can change the layout of things so it’s best to have your chosen theme in place first.

    I will always, always, ALWAYS recommend buying a premium theme over using the free WordPress themes that are available. Put simply, you have much more control with a premium theme. Not only can you control elements like your site layout but also finer details like the fonts and colours used. You can read all of the reasons that premium themes are the best in this post.

    My go-to place for WordPress themes for all of my websites is Bluchic. Run by husband and wife duo – Andrew and Kathie – Bluchic builds and sells STUNNING Premium WordPress themes for female entrepreneurs, bloggers, and virtual assistants.

    Two of my absolute favourite features of Bluchic themes are that they are responsive (so look great on mobile and tablets too) AND the support and how-to guides provided by Bluchic. The support area for all of the themes guides you through absolutely everything you need to know to get your new theme installed and set up.

    If you’re wondering, I use the Victoria theme on this site –> Get yours here.

    Install Relevant Plugins

    Plugins are to your website, what apps are to your smartphone.

    They expand the basic functionality of your site and allow you to do much more without you needing to learn how to code (because let’s face it, we don’t want to do that!)

    If there’s something you want your site to do, you can almost guarantee that there’s a plugin for it! And, a lot of them come free on WordPress. You will find that some Plugins have “Pro” versions which offer more tools and functions but, for the most part, the free plugins will do exactly what you need them to do.

    Even better than being free, they are easy to find, install and use!

    There are literally thousands of plugins available but these are the key plugins that I install on all of my sites from day one:

    Akismet – This is a great spam filter for your blog comments.

    Broken Link Checker – This plugin checks your blog for broken links and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found. This is really helpful for external links in particular. 

    Elementor – A drag and drop page builder which is especially useful for creating beautiful sales pages and landing pages. This is the plugin I use to create all of my pages. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP) – This plugin makes setting up Google Analytics an absolute breeze. Check out my post here on getting Google Analytics set up for your website. Insert Headers and Footers – Allows you to add code to your header and footer areas with the click of a button without needing to know how to code. Sumo – The tool that creates the awesome floating share bar that you can see on the left-hand side of my posts (or at the bottom if you’re viewing on a mobile).

    W3 Total Cache – This is a performance plugin and helps to improve the speed and user experience of your site. You don’t need to do anything with it, just install and activate and it will just do its thing.

    WPtouch Mobile Plugin – Makes a beautiful mobile-friendly version of your website.

    Yoast SEO – All-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.

    Create Key Pages

    Let’s just take a moment to pause and celebrate the fact that you now have a fully-functioning Virtual Assistant website!

    Woop woop!

    Now it’s time to actually get some content on there so that when people visit, there’s something for them to read!

    Services Page

    This is probably the most important page on your site. This is where you will let your potential clients know exactly what you do, who you do it for and how much it costs.

    • Your services page is the perfect place to:
    • Outline who your ideal client is
    • Explain why hiring a VA (specifcally, you) is a great idea and how it can help your clients.
    • Detail what services you offer
    • Showcase your skills and talents
    • Display a few testimonials
    • List your packages and prices

    There are differing opinions on whether or not you should have your prices on your website but I say you should! If I visit someone else’s site and there are no prices anywhere, I immediately click away. I want to know how much something is going to cost me before I waste my time (and their time) discussing the product or service only to realise it’s waaaay outside my budget. This will save you time as a VA and hopefully, reduce the number of enquiries you get from people who simply cannot afford your rates.

    Testimonials

    I just mentioned testimonials briefly above but they are really important.

    Testimonials are essentially proof that you do what you say you do and that you do it well!

    I don’t know about you but before I purchase anything on Amazon, I read the reviews first. Your testimonials are kind of like your Amazon reviews. You want to let potential clients that they can trust you and that you can deliver outstanding services should they choose to work with you.

    People are much more likely to invest in your services if they can see what amazing results you have helped previous clients achieve.

    If you don’t have any testimonials yet, or you haven’t had any clients to obtain testimonials from, ask old colleagues (and possibly friends) to give feedback on work that you have completed with/for them. What is essential here is that you don’t lie! They can, however, comment on things such as your work ethic. For example, “Dani is extremely hard working and has an excellent eye for detail.” could go a long way when you’re just starting out.

    Contact Info and Call to Action

    Once someone has decided that they want to work with you, make it super easy for them to know what to do next. Add CTAs throughout your site, like this:

    Learn how to set up your very own stunning Virtual Assistant website to boost your business and attract new clients #VA #VirtualAssistant #WebsiteSetup #WebsiteDesign #BusinessTips

    By including a contact form, you can make it even easier for new clients to get in touch. They can contact you with the click of a button and forget about having to copy and paste your email address and draft up an email to you.

    You could use a simple form builder plugin on WordPress but I use forms I create in Dubsado to streamline the whole client onboarding process and to ensure that I get all of the information I need from new clients. Here’s a sneak peek at my VA contact form:

    Learn how to set up your very own stunning Virtual Assistant website to boost your business and attract new clients #VA #VirtualAssistant #WebsiteSetup #WebsiteDesign #BusinessTips

    About Page

    I won’t go into too much detail here, as I have a whole blog post dedicated to creating the perfect About Page (check it out here).

    Your About Page is really important BUT it’s also a page that often gets overlooked when people are building their websites. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – people like people. And it follows from that, that people want to work with people, not just a faceless business.

    Take the time to tell your visitors and potential clients, a bit about yourself. Show your personality (and your face with a professional photo) and let your clients know what kind of person they are going to be working with.

    Blog

    This is another one of those elements that often gets overlooked. Having a blog on your website isn’t essential but it is a great way to showcase your knowledge. If, for example, one of the services you offer as a VA is setting up email funnels, having several blog posts about email funnels will show potential clients that you really know what you’re talking about. Blog posts are also a great way to get people onto your website in the first place.

    You can read more about why your business needs a blog, in this post here.

    And that, my friends, is how you can create your own stunning website.

    But, if the idea of building your own website still scares the living daylights out of you, I have a special offer just for you!

  • How to Create a Site that Sells Your Freelancing Services

    The hardest part of being a freelancer is selling your freelance services. You’re a talented, hard working, dedicated freelancer but you need to let everyone else know. You need to put your work out there for potential clients to see and make them say “Yes! I need some of that in my life!”

    Using your blog or site to showcase your work and sell your freelance services is the perfect way to do this.

    Freelance Services

    **This post contains affiliate links**

    Why Use Your Blog or Site?

    Your blog or website is the best way to advertise your talents and services. Firstly, you have total control over it and how things are phrased and presented. There’s nothing worse than advertising through a generic site that undersells your services or is limited to a number of words that doesn’t do you justice. On your own site, you can give as much information to your potential clients as you want, in the way that you want.

    It also means that clients can come and find you without you having to do any work (other than the initial set up of your site). This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be out there actively looking for work, but it does mean that whilst you’re looking for writing opportunities, people who need your help can find you too.

    So, if you want to set up your site to sell your services, what do you need to do?

    What You Need to Include

    An Awesome About You Page

    Your potential clients will want to get to know you before they work with you. You need to keep it relevant though, potential clients won’t be too fussed about your hobbies and interests (although they are useful to mention). They will want to know how you can help them and what skills you have that they can make use of. You can read more about creating an awesome About Page here.

    Your Portfolio

    Use your site to showcase your best work. Be careful not to get carried away and put everything you’ve ever written on there as people won’t have time to read it all. Potential clients will want to see an overview of the types of work you are capable of and what you’re created in the past.




    Your Services/Packages

    One of the things potential clients will want from your site is for everything to be there for them, clear and simple. So, something that will help your services is to have them laid out right there for everyone to see. One option is to simply list the services that you provide. That’s fine. But the best way to sell your services is to package them neatly for your clients to pick from. For example, if you offer blog posts you could package them like this:

    • Package One: 1 blog post per month, 3 draft Tweets for that post and 1 draft Facebook Post – £X
    • Package Two: 3 blog posts per month, 10 draft Tweets for the post, 3 draft Facebook Posts, 1 email newsletter per month – £Y

    That way your clients can see exactly what you offer and for what price. The biggest bonus of this for you is that you get paid for exactly what you’ve done. I’ve heard horror stories of people being asked to write a blog post, agreed to do it for the price of £X but then been asked to do a whole host of other things to accompany the post for no extra money. Not what you want at all!

    Contact Information

    This one might seem obvious but if your potential clients like what they see, they’ll want to contact you. Make it really easy for them to get in touch. If they have to hunt around for your contact details, they might give up before they find them.

    That’s all you need! Obviously, you can put as much or as little detail and information as you want into each element. And, as it’s on your own personal site, you can edit and update it whenever you need to! Lovely!

    The Next Steps

    Setting your site up to sell your services is only one of the steps in establishing yourself as a successful freelance writer. If you’re a new freelancer who wants to make money and are willing to work hard to get your business off the ground, then check out this course:

     

    30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success will walk you through everything you need to know before embarking on your freelance journey. This course includes 9 self-paced modules, access to a private Facebook Group and 15 enhanced resources – everything you need to kick-start you freelancing career!

    So, if you’re a freelance writer and your site isn’t promoting your services, what are you waiting for? Get online and start updating your site now! If there’s anything you’d like to add to the list, let me know. And, as always, get in touch if you’ve got any questions.

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  • How to Create an Awesome About Page

    Believe it or not, your About Page is likely to be the most visited page on your entire site. It’s also probably one of the most useful, yet most undervalued (well by you at least) pages on your website or blog.

    This is the page that people will go to when they first find your site – they want to know who you are, what you do, and why. Bloody nosey, right?! It’s where they’ll decide whether or not to stay on your site; whether your site is what they were looking for; whether or not they want to work with you.

    Awesome About Page

    If you do a Google search on how to write a good About Page, you will find results falling into three main categories:

    1. It should be about your reader
    2. Your About Page should be about you
    3. It should be about what you do

    I think the perfect About Page should cover all three elements. I mean, if a mixed group of results are suggesting three different elements, why not just include them all?

    But, creating an awesome About Page isn’t just a case of sitting down, throwing something together about yourself and your website and adding a slightly out of focus holiday snap to it. There’s a few key steps and considerations to be taken in moving your About Page from average to awesome.

    I’m going to look at the three elements above in turn but they do overlap a bit, so even if you think you want your About Page to be just about your readers, keep reading to the end of this page because you might find some of other information here useful too.

    1. It Should Be About Your Readers

    Who is Your Site For?

    I’m assuming that, before you even created your site, you had an audience in mind. Now’s the time to let your readers know that this site was created for them.

    A handy way of letting your readers know that they are your target audience is by posing a few questions.  OK, so that might sound strange and a little confusing but I’ll use my About Page as an example. I created this site to help people build their own websites and blogs and, if they want to, help guide them in how to make money off them. So, my target audience is people who want to create their own blogs and/or become freelance writers. How do I make this clear in my About Page? I start with questions to my readers:

    Love writing? Want to be a better blogger/freelancer/general writer? Want to make money from your writing?

    If the answer was “yes” to any of those questions then you’re in the right place my friend!

    It’s a straightforward and simple way of letting our readers know they are in the right place. If you answered “no” to those questions then, chances are, what you’re looking for isn’t on my site and therefore, this isn’t the site for you!




    2. It Should Be About What You Do (which also makes it about your readers)

    What Are You Giving to Your Readers?

    This one is a biggie, it’s kinda the reason your readers are here in the first place. They want something from you. Whether you’re offering advice, hints and tips, entertainment or just the musings of your own mind, make it clear to the reader. Tell them why they should stick around on your site today and, more importantly, why they should keep coming back.

    Write a little bio about your site. How did your site get started? Why? Why should people visit and read its content? What will readers get out of it? Why type of content do you write? Why? Does your site have any credibility? This usually flows on quite well from the part where you’ve identified your readers; I’ll use my About Page as an example again:

    Flourishing Freelancer was launched as a one-stop-shop for all things writing – from setting up your own blog, to launching a successful freelancing career. Use my Contents page to find everything you need to develop yourself and our career as a writer. 

    In 2014 I launched a personal blog and fell in love with writing all over again. I knew that writing was what I wanted to do pretty much every day if I could (read as, “If I could make money off it!”)

    Here you’ll see that I have a short paragraph that sums up the site succinctly and then moved on to the first key “moment” in where the site started as an idea in my mind. I build on it from there, ending with more information about the types of posts and advice you can expect to find on Flourishing Freelancer.

    Just a little side note on this – and it’s pretty important – make sure you deliver! Make it clear what you do, and then do it.

    How is Your Site Different?

    What are you offering that other sites aren’t? Do you offer advice on a particular niche that others don’t? Do you have a more formal, classroom-style tone to your writing? Are you sharing personal stories behind your advice? Do you vlog as well as write? Do you offer free downloads (templates, workbooks, podcasts – people love free stuff!)

    Think about what makes you stand out from the other sites that are similar to yours and make sure you tell your readers about it – but please, please don’t write mean things about the other sites and blogs. They’re created by people too and, just because it’s different, doesn’t mean that it’s wrong!

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    3. It Should be About You

    Your Personal Bio

    Like I mentioned earlier, people want to know about you. Yes, you behind the computer screen. You, the keyboard warrior creating awesome content. So, give them a bit of information about you but be careful, especially if you’re using your site as a platform to attract new clients. People love people but people also get bored easily so don’t give them your whole life story.

    Start from the beginning. Not the very beginning, but the important, relevant beginning. When did you first develop an interest in the topic(s) you are writing about? Why? What did you do to further your interest and pursue your dreams? Take them on a journey of how you got to where you are now. Show your true personality Tell people about your other interests and hobbies too but don’t go too far off point. Your readers will love to know about your passion for cooking. Writing about how you swam 50 metres in primary school and got a yellow badge for it but then got an earache on the bus home because of all the water you got in your left ear when little Tommy jumped into the pool next to you? Yea, no one cares about that. Sorry, that’s pretty harsh.

    People care about that but it’s not what your readers came here to read and if they can’t find what they came to your site for in under a minute, they’ll leave! Personally, I like to put a little paragraph at the end of my About Page with extra stuff about me in it but placement is entirely up to you.

    It’s also nice to have a profile picture. People will relate to you more if they can place a face to your online voice. It also helps build trust. If your readers trust you, they’re more likely to keep coming back for more help/advice/information.

    The trick is to find a balance between being a real person and writing a minute-by-minute account of your life. Keep it chatty, make it personal but always make it relevant to your site.

    About Page

    Extras That all About Pages Should Include

    Contact Details

    It’s important for your fans potential clients to be able to contact you and tell you how much they love you!

    Joking aside, if you want your site to be a success, your readers need to know that behind the well-polished page content, there is a real person and that they can contact you and interact with you personally if they need to.

    End With Your Call to Action

    And, as always, end with a Call To Action! CTAs are a great way to get people engaged and build a valuable, loyal audience. So, they’ve read your About Page, now what? Back to Google to read another? Lots of people will do this so add a CTA or an internal link to hold onto your reader. A great one is a newsletter sign-up option but be careful not to be too overpowering with this as it can put people off. Internal links are great, especially, if you have some kind of “Home” or “Contents” page that allows your readers to easily navigate your site and find what they are looking for.

    Another way of getting your readers to delve further into your site is to add internal links to your about page through to other parts of your site. You’ll notice that on my About Page, I’ve added a few links to key parts of this site – the most useful being to the contents page as from here my readers can easily navigate their way around my site and find exactly what they are looking for really quickly (and don’t get bored trawling through blog posts that aren’t relevant to them).

    Design Matters

    So, enough about the content of your About Page. It’s just as important to make it look good. Now most advice posts you’ll come across will probably miss this one out but there’s no avoiding it – readers will always judge a book by its cover and, just as easily, judge your site by its layout.

    Now I’m not saying you should spend hours (and lots of money) on an all-singing, all-dancing layout but your About Page should be attractive. You want people to click on it and stay on it until they’ve read everything you have to say.

    Having a picture of yourself gives your site a personal touch. Readers want to know that the site is run by a real person and it will help your site stand out from the thousands of others.

    Think carefully about your theme and colour scheme and about font style (you can read more about choosing these here). After all, you want people to actually be able to read what’s been written!

    So that’s everything on how to write an amazing About Page and encourage people to fall in love with your blog and you!

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