Jumping off the diving board...

t.brooke

New Member
Okay, I have been doing tons of research and my head is about to explode with the plethora of information I have floating around in there right now. I would really like to try a project. I really think I can do it, but I'm scared.
Where is the best place to find a one-time job? All the jobs I'm finding so far are permanent jobs for several months and I'm too nervous to try that just yet.
Would I be best served to just post an ad that I offer services and ease into it? AND where would be the best place to do that, if that's the way to go?

TELL ME - am I just doing this way too quick and do I need to wait longer to try? I KNOW I can do this...I just don't know how. :nonod:
 

Tess

Administrator
Staff member
You CAN do this - but you've got to believe you can and just go for it. Self confidence is half the battle and potential clients gravitate toward confident service providers.

Whether your goal is a one-time project or a long term client you still need to put yourself out there a bit and present yourself as an established VA. If you want other VAs to subcontract to you this is especially important.

Otherwise, try the freelance sites to see what you might be able to win a bid on (elance, Guru, GetaFreelancer, etc.) Craigslist may also be a possible option for you to find a project.

And, of course, you can always post an appropriate Services Offered ad here in our Classifieds section (yes, you do need 25 active posts to be able to use that part of the site.)
 

Rebecka Melson

New Member
Brooke, Have you sat down yet and listed what your skills are and what type of services you plan to offer? I think that is the first step. Then determine what your rates will be and how you want to handle payment.

You can certainly start bidding on elance, guru, etc. Just beware that on those type of sites you will be competing with foreign workers who work for less than our minimum wage, so it could take some time before you are awarded a project. Whatever rate you decide to charge, stick with it and don't accept any less, eventually the clients will come that will be happy to pay you what you deserve.

I'm not saying any of this to discourage you, I just want you to have a realistic view on how things work.
 

White Rose

New Member
You were offered great advice. It's important to believe in yourself and your abilities.

As Rebekca sugggested, sit down and list all of your skills that you are comfortable in providing for your clients.

It can be scary to really go out there, but once you put your foot in the door and see how well you are doing, you'll realize, "wow, I can do it!" :)
 

katiebva

New Member
I'm fairly new myself, and haven't found a client willing to pay what I know I"m worth yet, but I'm so excited for the first one to come along. In the meantime, I just recently volunteered my services (not a lot of hours but enough) to a local non-profit that is close to my heart. I thought that would be a great way to do the work I'm planning on doing for clients, keep my confidence up, as well as to try to make a difference.

I've also been coming up with new marketing projects using Publisher to improve my skills and knowledge. Everything I create I act as if I'm doing it for a client.

I agree with the others, you know you can do it and you need to believe in yourself. Best of luck!
 

t.brooke

New Member
That's part of the reason I want to do a job or two. I don't know what rate is appropriate. I used the rate calendar and came up with an hourly rate, however I don't know how accurate my figures were on several of the fields because I haven't done this before. My plan was to charge about $10 over the rate it figured for me.
I know what I am good at so I know what areas I'd like to be searching for work in. I can't really afford to pay for "leads" right now so I would definitely need to start somewhere that's free to find work.
Regarding payment: I prefer Paypal. What other payment methods should I offer? What is working best for you all?
 

Tess

Administrator
Staff member
For a while we were accepting Paypal and direct deposit but direct deposit got messy after a while with some clients so we went to strictly Paypal.
Now that we're back in the U.S. we'll start taking checks from long term clients with good payment history - just as an added benefit to them (and to help avoid Paypal fees) but otherwise, Paypal-only has worked really well for us.

I don't know a single VA who pays for leads...putting your energy into marketing your practice and pursuing your target market is the general approach that seems to work best - aside from local networking, asking for referrals from colleagues and friends, and just making sure that everyone you meet comes to know what it is you do...you'd be amazed how many VAs on the boards have made valuable contacts and even contracted clients just through casual everyday conversation but again - you've got to put the effort forth and literally sell your services. As a VA you're a business owner so there's all the 'extra' work that comes along with keeping that business afloat. Takes some getting used to for some people, but once you get past that feeling of uncertainty it's well worth the effort.
 
T

txsunshine

Guest
Brooke, I am new to the forum and there are a lot of good positive answers to your question. I can relate to being "scared" to venture out....all the "what if's" seem to come out of nowhere. But, like you, I know what I am capable of, so I think those feelings are acceptable when starting out.

For myself, I have been keeping books for one client out of my home for a year, in addition to having a part time bookkeeping job. I decided to venture out into the real estate assistant area after experiencing frustrations from my personal dealings with a few recently.

I came up with the option of volunteering my the services I would like to perform for them, just to get my foot in the door. I am a "hands on" learner so I will explain to them that I am new to this, give them my background...etc...sale myself, basicly.

For instance, one agent I recently had dealings with has a web site that is on the blink. I called her this morning to let her know and she did not realize what had happened with it. I offered my services to "get it back on track". She told me her secretary, who normally does this, is on vacation. So, we will be talking over the next few days to see if there is something I can do to assist her.

Well, this has brought on thoughts of, Can I do this? What if I fail?....Usually I am a very positive person, so when these thoughts came, I told myself that it depends on how I sell myself to her that will determine the outcome. And if it is a project that is too much for me at this stage, I will learn from it and make sure that she knows that I am just beginning.

I think the personalities of you and the client are a very important factor. You either "click" with them or not.....just my opinion....from Life 101...lol

Best wishes on your venture!
 
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