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brenlim

I need a niche, or do I have one??? Need help please!

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Sorry ahead of time if this is way long…

I have been interested in and researching the VA business for a few years and am just now taking the plunge with both feet. I resigned from my full time away from home gig at a corporate office effective 9/30, to get into VA work and be home more with my 1 year old son, and I am a little lost. The place where I am lost is I don’t really know my niche or if I even have one? I’ve been in admin support for over 9 years, and the past 3 I have spent proofreading, editing and processing document changes so I am somewhat of a MS Word guru (but how far is that going to get me?). I can proofread with the best and catch mistakes that others leave behind, but I don’t know if I would be comfortable editing a book or anything like that but I would be willing to try! I’m pretty decent with grammar but in no way do I have a degree in English!

I have an AAS degree in CIS with emphasis in Web Design, and I used to be able to hand code websites and build in Dreamweaver 8 but I haven’t practiced in 3 years so that is kind of lost. I took a programming class and a database administration class and built db in Access from the ground up, but I also haven’t practiced that in 3 years either. I am seasoned in event planning, large and small (but how far is that going to get me?). I have superior customer service skills and I can resolve issues in a heartbeat, very good people skills. I have also worked as a bank teller.

If I purchased some books and guides, like Access for dummies and html for dummies and Dreamweaver for dummies, I probably could fumble my way through building a db or a website, but what if I fail? Should I go ahead and try it anyway??

SO, any ideas for me out there? Do I try the things I have done in the past and just hang my head if I fail with a client??

I have reserved my website with my bus name and have registered with my state. I would really like to build my site myself but I haven’t had time yet, still working full time away from home.

I am really interested in social media marketing and SEO (man it used to be a lot simpler when I was in school!) but I don’t have the experience or training.

Thanks for any help!!

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I know that this woman wrote this great piece for writers, but it has a lot of meaning to me in many different facets.

 

http://www.copyblogger.com/bright-spots/

 

Look for what you are interested in, love doing so much that the hard work feels good, even ditch digging, then pursue clients in that area(niche).

 

Sometimes you should love to work!

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Guest Melodee

Finding your niche is an important part of being a Virtual Assistant - and I agree with VA-Judy6 - doing what you enjoy is key!

 

Becoming a VA is not easy and it won't happen overnight. The best way to start is to go step-by-step, building on what you have now (your domain name) and what you're going to need (business structure, home office, services, rates, bookkeeping, time tracking, marketing, etc., etc., etc.).

 

Who are your clients are going to be? Do you have a network set up for pulling in work? What they need (along with the services you want and have the experience to provide) may guide you. You could get some present day experience by helping out friends and family first - get some testimonials - then move on to others.

 

Good luck!

 

Melodee

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I know that this woman wrote this great piece for writers, but it has a lot of meaning to me in many different facets.

 

http://www.copyblogger.com/bright-spots/

 

Look for what you are interested in, love doing so much that the hard work feels good, even ditch digging, then pursue clients in that area(niche).

 

Sometimes you should love to work!

 

Hi Judy, and everyone else!

 

This tip spurred me to begin again with what I know I want to do. I want to be a VA and I allowed "life" to stop the process. I'm back now and am loving every minute. I'll keep doing the daily grind for the "man" for a while yet, but I find that this article reminded me of how much fun I had listening to all of you and exploring different aspects of what I'm good at vs. what I love to do. Thank you for your continued inspiration and support.

 

It's good to be "home".

 

LindaQ

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Sorry ahead of time if this is way long…

I have been interested in and researching the VA business for a few years and am just now taking the plunge with both feet. I resigned from my full time away from home gig at a corporate office effective 9/30, to get into VA work and be home more with my 1 year old son, and I am a little lost. The place where I am lost is I don’t really know my niche or if I even have one? I’ve been in admin support for over 9 years, and the past 3 I have spent proofreading, editing and processing document changes so I am somewhat of a MS Word guru (but how far is that going to get me?). I can proofread with the best and catch mistakes that others leave behind, but I don’t know if I would be comfortable editing a book or anything like that but I would be willing to try! I’m pretty decent with grammar but in no way do I have a degree in English!

I have an AAS degree in CIS with emphasis in Web Design, and I used to be able to hand code websites and build in Dreamweaver 8 but I haven’t practiced in 3 years so that is kind of lost. I took a programming class and a database administration class and built db in Access from the ground up, but I also haven’t practiced that in 3 years either. I am seasoned in event planning, large and small (but how far is that going to get me?). I have superior customer service skills and I can resolve issues in a heartbeat, very good people skills. I have also worked as a bank teller.

If I purchased some books and guides, like Access for dummies and html for dummies and Dreamweaver for dummies, I probably could fumble my way through building a db or a website, but what if I fail? Should I go ahead and try it anyway??

SO, any ideas for me out there? Do I try the things I have done in the past and just hang my head if I fail with a client??

I have reserved my website with my bus name and have registered with my state. I would really like to build my site myself but I haven’t had time yet, still working full time away from home.

I am really interested in social media marketing and SEO (man it used to be a lot simpler when I was in school!) but I don’t have the experience or training.

Thanks for any help!!

 

Congratulations on taking the plunge! You and your child will reap the rewards of a happier mommy. Being a VA isn't easy, but boy is it fun! You've found the right forum to help you. Everyoone here is incredibly supportive and there's a large pool of informations to utilize, which is always a good thing. Hang in there and good luck to you!!

 

Linda

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First of all, don't fret because you don't have a niche yet. It will come. I was a Jackie-of-all-trades style VA for many years before I realized I wanted to focus in on Internet Marketing. Saying that you can speed up the process of finding your niche by learning from all of us here on how we came about discovering ours.

 

The niche you can offer in your VA business is only limited by your imagination ;)

 

Think about what services first and foremost that you enjoy doing. Even though I was a legal secretary for many years in the corporate world and could transcribe faster than the best of them, I didn't like doing transcription ;) Write them all down and start organizing them into groups. Also think about specific people you like working with. For me, I only knew who I didn't want to work with Realtors and Lawyers ;) Make a list of your favourite people to work for. You never know, you may see a pattern appear that gives you a niche target market instead of niched service list. Also, think of things you'd LIKE to do in the future.

 

All these thoughts will help you streamline your niche and put it into more focus for you. Be it a service niche you want to specialize in like "transcription" or a target market niche you'd like to focus on like "internet marketing". Writing down your likes and dislikes is the first step to discovering your niche.

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So does anyone recommend that I advertise HTML and database administration, even though I haven't practiced in 3 years and I would probably need the Dummies books to do these tasks again? These are 2 areas I know I would love to work in. Also, I have 3 years of editing and proofreading experience, but I am not sure if I would be comfortable editing a book for a publisher. Also another area I would like to work in? Should I just give these a shot? I guess I am too afraid of failing...

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You have to make this decisions yourself. You won't fail; you may have to do some refreshing to get your brain back on track, but there is time to do that.

 

I like to think that I'm pretty good at some things, but I seldom use them and had some real blank spots last week. But, it didn't cost me the entire client relationship.

 

Try not to over-think this or over-stress.

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Bren,

If you're unsure about offering skills that you are rusty at to clients, why not practice? Put together your own website, or see if there's a community group or charity that could use your skills for a free or reduced rate (just make sure you put IN WRITING what your free/cheap service includes and make it very clear that this is not an ongoing thing) so you can get some practice in?

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You have received some absolutely fantastic advice thus far. If you take absolutely anything take this "do what you love" and the rest will fall into place. If you love doing Access databases or you love website building then focus on that. Take some retraining courses or reteach yourself. Practice is the best way to do this and don't be afraid to use yourself as a guinea pig (so to speak!!)

 

There are several resources out there on the internet and access to lots of "free" training resources. Take the time and really know what you want your VA business to look like and then spend all your energy being the best at whatever it is you choose.

 

Good luck and I look forward to hearing more about your journey.

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