This is an interview with Kayla Sloan.
Hey, Kayla. Tell us about yourself and what you do.
Hey there, I’m Kayla Sloan of KaylaSloan.com, and I’m a business strategist, former virtual assistant, and course creator behind $10K VA, which is my flagship program that teaches you how to start and scale your own virtual assistant business to earn as much as $10,000 per month consistently.
How did you land your first client as a virtual assistant?
Back in 2014, I got my first VA client kind of by accident actually.
I had been blogging as a hobby (but not making money from it) to hold myself accountable while paying off a mountain of debt. A few months into blogging, a friend/fellow blogger reached out to me and asked me if I’d be willing to help her out with a few things for her website and offered to pay me for my work.
I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, but I like to learn new things and was eager to make extra money to help pay off debt, so I told her I was definitely interested.
After working with her for a few weeks, she actually recommended me to a friend of hers since she was so impressed with my work. After that, it kind of snowballed with several other people reaching out and wanting to hire me and I also put out some feelers with other bloggers to let them know I was doing this kind of work.
Just 12 months after I started with that first client, I had fully replaced my day job income and I decided to quit my job to leap into my business full-time.
What does a VA do exactly and how profitable can this venture be?
Virtual assistants do so many different things! There really is no one size fits all when it comes to offering virtual assistant services. However, a basic description is that a virtual assistant is a freelancer that offers services online.
From social media marketing to medical services to website building, VAs can do it all.
Most often people think of a VA as being the same as an admin assistant in an office (except that VAs work virtually), which can be true. But there are also VAs who are more specialized and offer specific services like course launching, project management, and more.
It can be very profitable, especially if you niche down and offer in-demand services (like social media, website building, and more).
I was making 6-figures a year as a VA just from client work (even before I started offering other things like coaching and the course).
The start up costs are super low for a VA business so that helps you earn profit almost immediately.
When did you start your blog and how did it help you build your brand?
I started my blog in 2013 just as a way to talk about getting out of debt and holding myself accountable to my financial goals.
It helped build my brand because I was able to network, offer my services (through a hire me page), and showcase myself as an expert in the services I offered.
It also gave me a playground to learn and test things out so I could build my confidence with WordPress before working on clients’ websites down the road.
What helped you charge more for your services?
Learning project management and business systems was the biggest skill that helped me increase my rates.
I also learned how to delegate and save time by setting up my own systems so I could let go of work that wasn’t making me much and automate other tasks.
This allowed me to spend less time working while still earning a good amount of money from my retainer clients (vs charging hourly).
Read also: How Megan Became a Full-Time Pinterest Manager (& Lander Her First Big Client in a Month)
What platforms can aspiring VAs use to find their first clients?
Whatever they want! Linkedin and Facebook groups are both great because you’ll find quite a few entrepreneurs and professionals that may need help. But Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms are good too.
I also recommend having a website so clients can learn about you and “warm up” to you as a person. Even though they are hiring you to work on their business, people want to hire people they like and connect with.
I also recommend networking with people in your niche (if you’re already blogging) or finding a niche you are most interested in.
What products and services do you use on a regular basis? Those people could become your clients. You can also try cold pitching via email and offering your services.
But one thing I never recommend is job boards because the positions are usually low-paying since there’s a ton of competition from VAs around the world all trying to get the same client or job.
One thing I offer as part of my course, $10K VA, is a client connection service. After being in this business for 6 years, I’ve made a lot of connections with business owners who need and want to hire a VA.
My client connection service helps bridge those business owners with the graduates who’ve taken my course.
At what point did you decide to scale and go from a virtual assistant to a business owner?
A virtual assistant is a business owner from day one (as long as you’re a freelancer and not employed by an agency, which is a whole other thing).
But I think what you mean is when I went from part-time to full time as a VA. This happened 12 months after I landed my first client in July 2014. By July 2015, I quit my job because I had fully replaced my day job income.
Read also: How Krista Makes 6 Figures as a Course Creator
How much is your virtual assistant business currently making and in what ways?
While I’m not really working as VA anymore, I was making anywhere from $10K-$14K per month (consistently!) through client work.
Now I only with two long-term project management clients and I offer coaching for VAs, plus my course.
What inspired you to create your course $10KVA?
I kept getting questions on how to be a successful VA, and I remembered how hard it was for me to learn everything I needed to when I had first started.
I didn’t even know what a VA was when my blogger friend reached out in 2014, so I had to Google and search for a lot and learn the hard way. I didn’t want that for anyone else.
How does a typical day in your life look like right now?
When I was working as a VA with multiple clients, I pretty much kept at regular 8-5 work schedule Monday-Friday. Sure,
I had flexibility to move things around and take time off if I wanted (without having to ask permission!) but most of my friends and family had a traditional schedule, so that’s what I decided to do too.
Now that I’m not working with as many clients, I usually only work about 30 hours/week instead of 40+.
What are your top tips for someone who wants to make money from home as a virtual assistant?
- Work hard and be dedicated to what you do. Not every day as a VA is rainbows and sunshine. The most successful VAs I know are the ones that didn’t give up.
- Don’t be afraid to pay for courses and products that will help you uplevel your skillset. You can then charge more, thus making back your investment and then some. Courses and training helped me increase my rates 3-4X.
- Pitch. Pitch. Pitch. It’s how you get clients. You have to be brave and put yourself out there in order to be successful. Clients may say no but that’s ok. Keep going anyway. There’s plenty of work out there to be had.
What’s next for you and your business?
In March 2020 I’m hosting my first live, in-person event for virtual assistants. I’ve never really seen any other events that are specifically for VAs so I’m really excited about this event.
It’s called “Do the Work” and we’re going to be… doing the work! Haha!
We’ll be helping VAs who are already established in their businesses but aren’t quite where they want to be yet.
All of the topics and sessions at this event will be focused on helping attendees grow and scale their businesses.
The event is going to be really intimate so the attendees can also focus on building deep connections with each other and with the carefully selected speakers and mentors who will be at the event.
If you’re interested in learning more about Do the Work, you can check it out here.
We also launching some new workshops and trainings to teach VAs new skills and tools (since those are changing all.the.time) and an advanced course for VAs who are already established but are looking to grow their business further. 2020 is going to be an exciting year for sure!
Stock Photo from Floral Deco @ Shutterstock