Today’s post is from an online friend of mine, Alexa Mason. Alexa is a successful fellow freelancer. She started out as a freelance blogger, but transitioned into other types of freelance work and diversified her business (and her interests) over time. Take it away Alexa!
Three years ago I hit a fork in the road. I had just entered single motherhood, I was working two low paying day jobs to make ends meet and I was desperate for a way out.
Working an average of sixty or more hours per week was not only physically and mentally draining, but as a mother it made my job even harder. Instead of pitying myself I decided to make a change; I was determined to find a way to make working from home work for me.
To make a long story short I tried a number of things. Nothing stuck. Then one day, a fellow blogger contacted me asking if I’d write for his blog and the best part was that he actually wanted to pay me!
The idea was born: I would make money as a freelance blogger.”
I hustled hard for the next six months. I saved every penny I could and when I got to the point where my freelance income covered the bare essentials I took the plunge and quit my day jobs.
By this time I had piled on the freelance work. I was writing several blog posts per day for clients and that too, was starting to drain me.
You see, unlike other freelance writing success stories I don’t actually love to write. I don’t hate it, I just don’t love it.
What I do love, however, is the online world. The sheer multitude of ways to make money online fascinates me and helping fellow online entrepreneurs create and implement ideas? That tops my list.
In order to lighten my writing load and do what I enjoy the most I decided to try and transition into virtual assistant work.
Over the past year I’ve been able to do just that. I went down to working with my favorite two clients and have more than doubled what I was previously making working two day jobs. (Here’s my last income report.)
If you’re currently a freelance writer wanting to break up your work a bit with some virtual assistant jobs here’s what worked for me. It can work for you too.
Start with Your Current Client Pool
I received my first VA job from one of my very first freelance writing clients.
We had been working together for several months and I had a sense of what his workload entailed and what I could do to help him out.
One day, when I was thinking up how to bring in some extra money I simply emailed him offering an extra writing service that I knew would help him. He immediately passed that work off to me.
After proving myself reliable he then asked me to help him with other various components of his online business. I, of course, jumped on the opportunity.
This was the first online freelance job that gave me that much needed break from constantly having to write.
Go Above and Beyond
My second virtual assistant client came from my existing contacts as well. I was writing for this company’s blogs and knew that there were some simple changes they could make to their backend to drive results.
I emailed my contact and offered to do this for them. I was familiar with the work and while this would only take a few minutes of my time it would immensely help them out. They were happy to let me do so.
I wasn’t expecting anything return. I simply knew that this one action that would take me an extra three minutes per week would help them get the results they wanted. (After all, we all want our clients to get great results, right?)
My actions (including blog posts) ended up increasing the traffic to that blog at a pretty good level. Next thing I knew I was getting a phone call asking if I’d be interested in virtual assistant work. Why, yes, I would!
A few months later I then got promoted to manager and now help this company run and manage their entire online portfolio!
The Simple Method for Upselling
In both of the examples above I up-sold my services. I started out as a weekly writer, then got promoted to virtual assistant, and in one case, to operations manager. My success boils down to two things: prove yourself and then ask.
It’s a lot easier to get virtual assistant jobs for people who already trust and like you. While cold emailing works great for landing freelance writing jobs, I don’t think it’s as effective when you’re working on the backend of someone’s project. You need trust to do that.
So, if you’re feeling a little rundown by cranking out content 24/7 and want to break into different types of freelance work, start with your existing clients.
Prove yourself and then ask, the worst you’re going to be told is no.
Alexa Mason is a blogger, freelance writer, and virtual assistant. She likes to talk about work from home jobs and share her own work from home journey on her blog, Single Moms Income.