You’re a teacher. It’s what you’ve known. Maybe it’s something you stumbled into (like me) or maybe it’s the only job you’ve dreamed of having since playing school with your stuffed animal “students” by age 5. But then, something changes…
Maybe you start dreading Monday mornings. Perhaps you have kids and despise dropping them off at daycare. It could be that the parents are getting to you. Whatever YOUR reason is, you landed here. Looking for something different. And that’s why you can be the teacher turned virtual assistant!
If you want to dive right in by reading a 26 page ebook that gives you ALL the steps to get started, here you go! Or keep reading for more tips, tricks, ideas, and thoughts from someone who stumbled into being a virtual assistant by accident.
Teacher Turned Virtual Assistant: My Story
I was you. I was the teacher who got an admin degree with only two years of teaching experience since the college was closeby and I was already in “school” mode. I taught a variety of grades, got that second degree as a Reading Specialist, but then I had my son. Everything changed.
The idea of dropping him off at daycare was too much for me. Just for fun I’d been listing some of my classroom work on TeachersPayTeachers. It has helped me pay off my student loans (undergrad and grad) in seven years instead of twelve, but I wanted more. I didn’t want my son to be in daycare for 50 hours a week. I wanted to see every milestone with my own eyes!
Selling my resources on TPT was bringing in $400/month, that wasn’t enough to cover mine and my son’s $550/month insurance. That was the minimum income I needed to be bringing in. Thankfully my partner at the time could cover other expenses. But I also didn’t enjoy relying on someone else, so I wanted to build this into a full-time business.
Then a friend reached out and asked me if I wanted to be her VA. Here’s a rough version of how that conversation played out –
- Friend: “Hey, you’ve been running your own business for awhile now. I’d love to hire you as my VA!”
- Me: “What’s a VA?”
- Friend: “It’s a virtual assistant. Basically, you would be helping me run my online businesses. You already write blog posts, manage Facebook, and have your own Pinterest account – so I’d have you help me with mine too.”
- Me: “Oh cool. Let me think about it, and then I’ll get back to you!”
And that was it. I mulled it over for just a bit, and quickly realized that the 10 hours/week she was offering me would be enough to reach my minimum financial goals. I started at just $15/hour, but it didn’t take me long to start charging more than that. (Truth by told, I recommend starting at $20-25/hour for basic services. But if you specialize in something, you can charge up to $100/hour.)
From 2015-2019 I worked up to 20 hours a week as a virtual assistant for others. During this time I had both my kids, grew my own teacher resources store, and kept expanding my online business ventures. You can read all about my story and income in this article.
Teacher Turned Virtual Assistant: How YOU Can Do This Too!
If making a bit of side money OR replacing your teacher salary entirely sounds good to you, keep reading! Because I truly believe ANYONE can make money today. And – don’t get me wrong – I want good teachers to stay in the classroom. Our kids need great teachers. So if you feel called to stay teaching, please do! You can choose becoming a VA as a side hustle or just focus on those kiddos for 8+ hours a day!
But if you want to be the teacher turned virtual assistant, let’s get into that more…
Here is list of ideas for what you might consider offering as a virtual assistant.
If you want to take it a step farther, there’s a free brainstorming worksheet here where you can write down what you are good at, what tasks you might enjoy, and what you are interested in learning more about.
This one was trickiest for me. But I feel like I broke into the VA world early where I didn’t have a clue that it had a name, no one was really looking to hire help online, and I had no clue how to advertise myself.
But you can make a quick post on public Facebook post letting people know about your new venture. Even if they don’t run a business, they probably know someone who does. And word of mouth referrals are BY FAR the best way I have gotten clients.
You can also join FB groups specifically for virtual assistants. Some of them are very spammy, so please use some common sense and make sure the people in the group look legitimate.
Other Tips & Tricks
There’s a lot to consider when you start a new business, but I truly think this becoming a virtual assistant is one of those things you can excel in simply by diving in. Yes, you need to know what you want to focus on, but then find a client and get started!
Here are my best tips and tricks to get started on the right foot!
- Remain Confidential! This one should go without saying, but do not discuss your clients, the work you do, or how you help them with their business. Not to anyone. The end. 🙂
- Be a great communicator! Things happen. You’re going to set a deadline for a project and have to miss it – whether due to a kiddo being sick or your internet being down. Communicate regularly and often. Let clients know what is happening. Don’t surprise them. Their business is their baby. If you want to get great referrals, keep current clients happy.
- Track your time. Until you move to packages, you’re going to need a way to track your time. I used to manually write down how long I worked via a free Google doc and then count up the minutes every month. What a time suck! I do NOT recommend that approach! Instead, use a free time tracking site like Clockify.
- Send invoices. You can use your PayPal or Stripe account to send invoices. It’s quick, simple, and almost everyone trusts PayPal – so you won’t get too many complaints about paying in this manner. Some are also going to Zelle. But look around and see what you think will work best for you.
- Find systems and get organized. I don’t care what programs you use, find or create systems to keep everything organized. I’m a frugal person, so I like to find free or inexpensive options whenever I can. I mostly use email and Google Docs to keep everything organized. You don’t need to spend a dime, but the sooner you get organized systems – the sooner you can expand, take on more clients (if you want), and eventually create a team of VAs to scale your business even more.
Are you the next teacher turned virtual assistant? If that’s your dream, I sure hope so! Best of luck to you on this journey!