Fully Booked VA Blog

Student Success Story: Selene Nelson

Welcome to our next Student Success Story here at Horkey HandBook! 

We love featuring the stories of students of our 30 Days or Less courses who have taken action on what they’ve learned. It’s so inspiring to read about real people – just like you – who are making their dreams a reality by building a virtual assistant or freelance writing business! 

In this post we’ll hear from Pinterest VA Selene Nelson. Her decision to take the Become a Pinterest VA Today course turned out to be a seriously game-changing decision that would later pave the way for her to do something she’d always truly wanted to do.

Read on to hear Selene’s story!

Name: Selene Nelson

Website: My Daily Ten

Course enrollment date: April 2017 for the Pinterest VA course

Business launch date: February 2017, but I added Pinterest VA services after completing the Pinterest course on April 4th.

Date hired by first client: April 28th for my first Pinterest client, quickly followed by two more clients within a couple of weeks. I now have six Pinterest clients.

Hours worked per week: I recently accepted a full-time position, so I am back to being a “side hustler” and work on my biz about 15 hours per week.

Average monthly income: I’m slowly growing my income every month. I made $661 in March, and more than doubled that by May ($1,467). I made $1,645 in June so far.

Top three services/niches:

  1. Pinterest management (my new and primary go-forward focus)
  2. Copywriting/freelance writing (pivoting more to proofreading/editing)
  3. Business consulting

Hi, Selene! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am an article-writing, Pinterest-pinning, happily married mama living in sunny Arizona. With over 20 years experience in executive business leadership and financial services, I thrive on helping entrepreneurs turn their business dreams into reality and revenue. I also help busy women live a balanced life via my website My Daily Ten.

What about your business?

I specialize in helping clients with sales and marketing to bring customers and revenue dollars to their business. My primary focus is driving website traffic (and sales!) via Pinterest management, website content writing, and client/prospect email campaigns.

I also provide proofreading and editing services in addition to business consulting. My investor-ready business plans have helped start-ups generate over $2.25 million in funding… and growing!

How did you decide to start working online?

After working in banking for over 20 years, starting as a part-time teller and working up to various district, regional, and national positions, I was recruited to launch a national sales division for a startup. I seized the opportunity and built a team to drive a high volume of customer requests to the business.

Unfortunately, for various reasons the company was unable to fulfill those requests, and ultimately downsized.

I was laid off and had to make a decision – either go back to banking or another startup and keep using my skills to bring companies millions of dollars per year (with a high amount of travel and very little time with my husband and kiddo), or take the plunge and start a business as I’d always dreamed of doing.

I took the plunge. I have been a small but steadily-growing entrepreneur for just over three months.

Update: I just accepted an exciting new challenge to work for a non-profit group to launch and lead a high school. Keeping a small handful of my Pinterest clients has enabled me to fulfill one of my ultimate dreams – that of making a difference in the world by being able to “afford” to work for a lower non-profit salary!

And how long did it take you to earn back your investment in the Become a Pinterest VA course?

Just TWO weeks! I got my first Pinterest client much sooner than I’d hoped for!

If you’re not sure what virtual assistant services you can offer, we’ve put together a list of over 150 services that webpreneurs need help with.

What was your biggest fear before you started your business?

Fear of failure, but also fear of not being able to deliver the results my clients are paying me for.

I kept Kristin and Gina’s “worse-case” advice in mind: the absolute worst thing that could happen was I’d get a client and not be able to grow their website traffic via Pinterest.

In that case, I’d take it as a learning experience, give them their money back, and move on. That helped me push through and pitch even though I was nervous.

What was the most challenging part about getting started?

Pitching was definitely challenging.

It’s easy to take the course, learn the materials, think through pricing, etc. The scary part is pitching for business. But I did it anyway.

With over 21 years in sales, I know better than most that with the right process and approach, you WILL get business if you pitch for it.

I followed Kristin and Gina’s advice and it worked beautifully!  (I’m not surprised at all, ‘cause they provided quality tools to help me succeed!)

I tracked every pitch and the results.  For the first 15, I got a response from five people. None of them signed up for my services, but two may in the future and we agreed to keep in touch.  A one in three return rate on starting a conversation from a cold pitch is incredible!  I know that the course materials will work for anyone who’s serious about properly putting them into practice.

How did you overcome that?

Suck it up and just do it. Don’t let fear hold you back. There are clients out there who need you!

What has been your biggest success since you’ve started?

The pride I feel knowing I CAN successfully run my own business.

I’ve already got some success stories under my belt, such as helping my first Pinterest client get a 31 percent lift in website traffic in less than 30 days (got her into 52 group boards, wow!). Helping my second client get into 10 group boards with an audience of nearly 350,000 people.

And taking a huge weight off the shoulders of my third client by helping her see a small initial traffic boost via Pinterest in just a few days. I also found that her former Pinterest VA was actually posting competitors’ pins in error. She was so relieved I found them and removed them!

There’s nothing like helping others grow their business and get paid for it… a true win-win.

Can you tell us about your highest paying project?

This month I was paid $867 for my most recent client, for a combo of cleaning up and managing her Pinterest boards, creating an email campaign, and helping improve her blog’s SEO.

I recently found out that she scored a major new client via Pinterest. That’s a great win for both of us.

What are you working on right now?

Time management!

There’s so much to learn and master while serving clients and working on my new full-time career.

What are you looking forward to most over the next 12 months?

Seeing where this exciting, scary, thrilling, terrifying, rewarding journey of being an entrepreneur takes me next.

I’m an article writing, novel reading, happily married mama living in sunny Arizona. My life is busy and full, and that’s the way I like it! My passion is finding tips to inspire, simplify, and succeed, and sharing them with you. On the daily, I leverage my 21+ years of business sales and finance experience to achieve my clients’ goals. I specialize in Pinterest management, professional writing and business consulting. I help entrepreneurs with the “business side” of their business, turning their dreams into reality and revenue.










Gina Horkey

Gina Horkey


Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s the founder of Horkey HandBook and loves helping others find or become a kickass virtual assistant. Gina’s background includes making a living as a professional writer, an online business marketing consultant and a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

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