Taking Action Even When You’re Scared
Taking Action – The Fear Factor – Fear is a normal emotion. Sometimes, it can be beneficial because it makes you aware of risks, keeps you alert, and improves mental focus. However, too much fear will have just the opposite effect. Don’t worry, even the most successful people experience this feeling. The key is to prevent it from dictating your actions.
The Many Shades of Fear
This human emotion isn’t all black and white. Fear can take many forms, from mild anxiety to downright debilitating overthinking. Under certain circumstances, it can protect you from danger and stop impulsive behaviors. But, because it’s closely tied into your gut instinct, it can also help you improve your decision making.
But not all types of fear are good for you. In fact, this emotion often does more harm than good. It can keep you from reaching your full potential, fuel procrastination, and cause stress.
What is Fear?
noun – an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. synonyms: terror, fright, fearfulness, horror, alarm, panic, agitation, trepidation, dread, consternation, dismay, distress; anxiety, worry, angst, unease, uneasiness, apprehension, apprehensiveness, nervousness, nerves, timidity, disquiet, disquietude, discomposure, unrest, perturbation, foreboding, misgiving, doubt, suspicion; informal the creeps, the willies, the heebie-jeebies, the shakes, the collywobbles, jitteriness, twitchiness, butterflies (in the stomach); informal funk, blue funk, the (screaming) abdabs; rhyming slang the Joe Blakes; archaic worriment; rare inquietude “she felt fear at entering the house” phobia, aversion, antipathy, dread, bugbear, bogey, nightmare, horror, terror; anxiety, neurosis, complex, mania; abnormal fear, irrational fear, obsessive fear; bête noire; informal hang-up “she sought help to overcome her fears” verb – be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening. synonyms: be afraid of, be fearful of, be scared of, be apprehensive of, dread, live in fear of, go in terror of, be terrified of, be terrified by, cower before, tremble before, cringe from, shrink from, flinch from; be anxious about, worry about, panic about, feel consternation about, have forebodings about, feel apprehensive about; informal be in a blue funk about “I feared the bullies who taunted me” have a phobia about, have a horror of, have a dread of, shudder at, take fright at “he fears heights and open spaces”
Taking Action – The Fear Factor
Let’s say you want to quit your 9-to-5 job and start a creative agency or work as a virtual assistant. You might be afraid that you’ll lose time and money if things don’t work out as you planned. What if you won’t have enough clients? Or what if you get sick and can’t work anymore?
The risks are real, so it’s normal to experience fear. However, you’ll never know what you’re missing if you don’t try. Who knows? You might have a huge success and build a loyal customer base. Five years from now on, you could have enough money to buy the home of your dreams. Do you want to live your life wondering What if?
How to Conquer Your Fear
No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to get rid of fear completely. Instead, you should make it your ally. What???
Here…picture yourself reaching your goal, whatever it is. Imagine the worst-case scenario and then come up with a backup plan. Ask yourself: what are the facts? Am I making assumptions? What’s the best thing that can happen? Who can I call for help?
Let It Guide You
Use your fear as a source of guidance. Assess your inner fears and seek possible solutions. Using our example above, you could start a web design side hustle in addition to your regular job. This way, if your business fails, you’ll still have an income. If it keeps growing, turn it into a full-time job. With this approach, you’ll get to do what you want and not take the risks.
Are you in need of help with this? Ok, here’s the plan. Sign up for our mentor program with other like-minded business owners that can help YOU get over your fears!
How to Name your Virtual Assistant Business
Coming up with a name for your virtual assistant business can be stressful and agonizing for some people. You brainstorm and come up with ideas, but nothing seems right to you.
You want something that reflects you personally as well as your business and what you do. It’s this big, important thing. It will be the name of your website and social media profiles. You’ll write it on tax forms, business plans, and your email signature. So you want it to feel and sound good.
And, for most virtual assistants, this will be the beginning of it all for you, the way that people will come to know you and your business.
So, it’s only natural that it’s a place where many VA’s become stalled when it comes to setting up their virtual assistant business.
So What’s In A Name?
Don’t make it so hard and here are some great tips for you:
- Know the rules and laws
Your business structure and where you are located may affect what you use for a business name, such as using part or all of your name or certain terms. Make sure to check first. Better safe than sorry.
- Don’t make it too hard
Don’t use something too hard to spell. People will find it difficult to find you and your website. Just because you know how to spell it, if it’s not a common word or phrase, others may type it wrong when searching for you.
Do a Brain Dump on Names
- Play with words that relate to your services
Consider using a name that relates to the services you provide for your clients. Use a thesaurus to come up with different words that have the same meaning.
Here’s what Caroline Davidson, Owner at The Functioning Executive had to say about her experience with this:
I didn’t want to use my name so I took the term, “Executive Functioning,” and put a spin on the words. Executive Functions, simply put, is a term used for the cognitive skills a person needs to plan, organize and complete tasks. My business name is “The Functioning Executive”. I function in a support role for busy executives!
- Don’t pigeonhole yourself with a name
While I do encourage you to brand your business based on your services, don’t niche the name down too much. For example, maybe right now you offer social media services. That’s your main focus. So you call your business Susan’s Social Media Boutique.
Six months into working with clients, you decide that you are much better at—and love—project management. But your business name says “Social Media.” Now you need to start a full re-brand, purchase a new domain name, and possibly pay to change some business paperwork.
It’s not that you CAN’T change your name. It’s certainly not impossible. But it’s best to think ahead about your business plans and goals and create a name that encompasses that.
Naming your Virtual Assistant Business Should be Relatable
- Focus on the outcome of what you do for clients
What kinds of results do your clients get from working with you? Think about physical as well as emotional outcomes. If they can relate, they’ll want to know more about you and be interested in working with you.
Here’s how Kat Salonga, Owner of Virtual, At Last! decided on hers:
My business name is Virtual, At last! As in “my business is goin’ virtual, at last!” I decided on it since it has the word “Virtual” and I figured it might be good for SEO. I also wanted my clients to feel relieved and thankful that their business is finally launched online; my customers are usually non-tech savvy female entrepreneurs. It represents the feeling of triumph after all the hard work.
Check Out Different Names Using a Google Search
Here’s another great explanation to get your wheels turning from Sencery Clemente, Owner at Tailor-Made Virtual Design:
I started by writing down all the words that I wanted to be associated with my business. When I think back on it now, it was a list of values that I wanted my business to be founded on.
Then I started thinking of experiences I had in the past when dealing with service providers and wrote down the good and the bad about those experiences – those were mostly emotions of how the experiences made me feel.
After that, I looked at the lists and started to think about how I wanted my future clients to feel when they interacted with me and worked with me. I want them to have a unique and specialized experience because we are all different in what we need/want/desire for our businesses.
- Keep it simple- Use your name or initials
If you’re struggling and nothing sounds right to you, then keep it simple and use your name, initials or some variation of that. Again, just keep in mind the rules and regulations for where you live. In Georgia where I live, if you’re a sole proprietor, you don’t need to register the name if using your name in your business name. In other states, however, if you brand your business with your name, you can’t sell it in the future.
Here’s what Jessica Scotten, Owner at Pineapple Relations, had to say about this when she was coming up with her business name:
I have no idea if I want to sell in the future, but future me can’t make decisions like that today, so I’ll plan on being prepared.
Use a Great Tagline
- Never underestimate the power of a great tagline
If you decide to use a simpler name or your name, use a tagline to explain more about what you do. Sometimes coming up with the tagline makes figuring out the business name easier.
And, if you change up your services or your market over time, you can tweak the tagline to match while keeping your business name the same.
- Make sure the name is available
When you come up with something, Google it and perform a business name search to make sure it’s not already being used. Then search to see if the domain is available.
Here is how Julie Hoflin, Owner at Your Versatile VA, handled it when setting up her business:
I checked the free trademark search websites to ensure it wasn’t already trademarked in either the US or Canada, and once that was done, I officially registered the name in my province. In my jurisdiction, by registering the name legally, a deeper trademark search is completed and I felt so much better knowing if/when granted, I could rest assured I wouldn’t suddenly be told to stop using this name after investing time, money and effort into branding and establishing my biz under this name.
So there you have it. My best tips for coming up with your virtual assistant business name. If you’re working on your name, or if you’ve already established your business, comment below and share your process!
I want to give you one more reminder to always check the laws for your area—depending on your business structure and location, different rules may apply when it comes to naming your VA business.
What to Put on Your Virtual Assistant Website
Once you’ve decided to start your own business as a virtual assistant, you’ll want to create a website. Your website will function as your digital office. Its where potential clients will go to learn more about you and your services. What to put on your Virtual Assistant Website should be pretty easy, you can always make changes to it later.
The good news is that creating a website doesn’t have to be hard. There are four essential pages you’ll want to make sure you include…
- The About Page
An about page is usually the second most popular page on a website. That’s because potential clients want to learn more about the person they’re considering working with. They want to know a bit about your personality and what projects you enjoy tackling.
Try to write a brief biography about yourself. It doesn’t have to be lengthy. Just two or three paragraphs that cover the basics like your name, where you live, and any previous job experience that’s relevant. For example, if you plan to offer logo design services, then definitely mention that you got a degree in graphic design in college. That will impress potential clients.
- The Services Page
This is the page where you tell clients what you can do for them. It doesn’t have to be a particularly long page. Write a paragraph that highlights why you’re awesome to work with such as your attention to detail or your ability to make tech topics simple.
Then create a list of tasks you can do for your clients. You can use bullet points and cover some of the most important ones.
For example, if you plan to be a virtual assistant to authors, some of your tasks might include:
- Creating a Kindle cover
- Applying for an ISBN number for a book launch
- Organizing a blog tour
- Hosting a Facebook party on launch day
Remember, that your list of tasks is not set in stone. You’ll probably change it as you gain experience and learn more about what services are most enjoyable (and profitable) for your business.
- The Contact Page
Next, you’ll need to add a contact page to your website. You can post your email address, but this tends to result in heavy spam, making it more likely that you’ll overlook a message from a potential client.
So, you may want to try using a contact form. If your website is built on WordPress, you can use a free plugin like Contact Form 7. If you’re using website software, there may be an option for creating forms. You’ll need to check the help manual or reach out to the support team for assistance.
- The Portfolio Page
If you’ve never worked with a client, you might think you don’t have a portfolio. But stop for a moment and consider who you may have helped with similar tasks. For example, if you redesigned a friend’s blog, then show off a “before” and “after” screenshot. If you offer content marketing, then create two or three short sample articles to post to your portfolio.
It doesn’t matter that you weren’t paid for these portfolio pieces. When clients come to this page, they’re looking to see if you can do the tasks you promised and what your style looks like. If you show them you can do the work, they don’t care if you did that work just to help a friend.
Tip for the Day:
When it comes to building your website, don’t drag out the process for weeks or months. Create your website and get busy looking for clients. You can always come back and change it once you have a steady stream of clients. Besides, your website will change as you add services and contemplate who your ideal clients are.
Setting Your Rates as a New Virtual Assistant
Setting your rates as a new virtual assistant can feel scary. Many new Virtual Assistants price their rates very low in the hopes that this will attract more clients.
While you may get more interest initially, this method usually backfires because bad clients tend to hire based on your price alone. You’ll end up thinking that being a VA doesn’t pay enough and is too much of a headache to deal with.
Here’s how to set better rates that attract quality clients…
See What Others Are Charging
It can be helpful to look at what other Virtual Assistants charge to help you set your prices. Some virtual assistants do post their rates on their websites.
But make sure your price comparing with VA’s who do your type of work. Comparing rates between a VA who specializes in web design and a VA who specializes in social media videos won’t help you set your rates.
Hourly Rates vs Fixed Price
Next, you need to understand how other VA’s set their rates. There are two common ways to do this. Some virtual assistants charge a fixed price per project while others charge an hourly rate.
The amount of money that is charged, paid, or earned for every hour worked: You pay a fixed or hourly rate for the advisers’ time rather than paying for the products they sell you.
The hourly rate is helpful when you’re new and inexperienced. It gives you the space to learn how long it takes you to do certain tasks, which projects your clients’ value, and what a fair wage for your time is.
However, the hourly rate is not helpful if you have advanced skills. For example, when Trisha started out as a VA, she set up mailing lists for her clients. The process took her about 4 hours and she charged $25 per hour. This means her clients were paying her an average of $100.
But as Trisha developed her skills, it only took her 2 hours to handle the mailing list set up. Since she was still charging by the hour, she earned $50 instead of $100. This means she was losing money because of her experience.
The way to overcome a problem like this is to offer a fixed price. That’s what Trisha began doing. She charged a flat-rate fee of $100 for every mailing list set up that she did. She was still offering the exact same service; the only difference was the new price reflected Trisha’s years of expertise and knowledge.
Example: Technicians working under flat-rate or incentive pay systems usually earn more than employees in shops with hourly rates — provided they are confident and work reasonably quickly. Most companies use one system. … Tasks that place a premium on fine craftsmanship are also often done at an hourly rate.
Ask for a Deposit
Make sure you ask for a deposit from your clients at the start of each project. This protects you if you start working on a project, but your client must cancel it for some reason. You’ll still have the deposit which should cover the time you’ve already invested.
But a deposit also protects your client, too. It assures them that they’ve booked time on your busy schedule and makes their project a top priority.
Most clients understand this and will happily pay the deposit. But if a client balks when you bring this up, they may be more interested in test driving your services than making an actual purchase.
Setting your rates when you’re first starting your virtual assistant business might make you feel nervous. This is natural and you’ll become comfortable discussing your prices as time goes on.