You used to be a teacher. Or, maybe you used to work in education in a different aspect – perhaps as a librarian or a school secretary. But, you’re no longer doing that. Maybe you’re a stay-at-home parent now, or maybe you have a full-time job in a different career field…but you want to be doing more. You know that you have skills to put to use that could bring in some extra income – meaning a little extra financial security.
Leslie, what you’re describing sounds like a mirage. Plus, it’s SO HARD to find a decent side hustle.
Let me tell you, my friend…here are some of the benefits and freedoms I’ve found in working for myself and working from home full-time…as a virtual assistant:
- I get to set my own schedule. Personally, I only work Monday through Friday during normal business hours, so I don’t do client work on nights and weekends.
- I get to set my own rates. I do research in my niche to find out what the average rates are, and then I consider the services I’m offering and how specialized they are. Then, I set my own rates accordingly.
- It’s so much easier for me to take time off! I can rearrange my schedule if I want to, or I can simply invoice my clients less, and then I don’t have to work on the days I need off.
- I’m able to work from home, which means no commute (a true blessing where I live!) and the opportunity to work somewhere comfortable.
- I have a subcontractor! I’ve been able to hire someone to work under me, and I can delegate a lot of client work to her so that I can scale my business in other ways.
- I actually surpassed my teaching salary in business revenue — but it took a while! (This is an important note that you’ll read more about below.)
- I can offer services that I actually enjoy doing and that help the day go by faster because I enjoy doing them.
- It’s easier to maintain a self-care routine that works for me, since I have complete control over my schedule for the entire day.
- I get to spend more time with my husband and our pets since I’m already working from home.
- It’s easier to fit in time to go to the gym (or to do a workout at home).
- I get to decide who I work with. We all know it’s true: We are not the right fit for every client, and not every client is the right fit for us. Strained client relationships make the work less enjoyable and, truthfully, hold a risk of damage to your reputation, but since it’s my business, I retain the right to terminate ineffective client relationships — and to get them referrals to other VAs who might be a better fit for their needs.
But, to be wholly honest, I haven’t always had these benefits and freedoms; it took time, a lot of hard work, and growth to get here.
When I started my virtual assistant business, I naїvely thought that it could be my only job. I’d recently left my teaching career, and although I’d tried to find another full-time job in a related field, nothing had come through yet, despite five weeks of applications and interviewing. Then, I came across a gig doing some content writing for a website. It helped me get some income for a while, but it made me hate writing (and I love to write). When I was presented with the idea of becoming a VA and starting my own business, well…I ran with it.
But then I realized that I wasn’t anywhere close to having enough clients to have it be my full-time focus.
I was hit smack in the face with the harsh reality that it was not going to support me working from home full-time…yet.
Through a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (okay, maybe 14-hour workdays, fatigue, and stress), I eventually grew my business to the point where it IS my full-time focus, and I was able to leave my job to work from home full-time – finally! It took me over a year to do this, and it took a lot of hard work in marketing myself and learning on the fly.
I don’t want it to be that way for you. I want to help you achieve what I have achieved faster.
How does this sound?
- Eight video lessons, plus an introductory video and a recap video
- Six PDF workbooks to accompany most of the lessons, designed to help you start your business
- Documents with links to related articles and blog posts for each lesson for additional reading and learning
- Email access to me for questions and advice whenever you need it
- The ability to work through the program at your own pace, as your schedule allows
- Lifetime access to the videos and PDF workbooks
It sounds like virtual assistant school heaven, doesn’t it?
I thought Leslie was very informative in her delivery of our training. She gave me plenty of resources, tools and direction on where to start my own VA business. She provided adequate amounts of time for questions and answers in each training session. One of the most relevant areas Leslie spent time on was educating me on the social media aspects of running my own business, along with the value of using various social media applications to implement and assist my clients in growing their business. She created a climate of support by offering resources through Google docs, sharing her screen via Skype, and exchanging emails.
Even though I’ve completed the training, Leslie's support goes on as she continues to make herself available, while providing me with hands on experience. Her coaching has given me the confidence that is necessary to seek this exciting avenue as a virtual assistant to take on my own clients. I highly recommend Leslie as a virtual assistant trainer and will definitely utilize her expertise in the future!
Teacher-Seller Virtual Assistant School is a coaching program designed to help you lay the foundations of your business and launch it with confidence. Why am I offering it? I’ve been a VA for the Teachers Pay Teachers niche for a little over two years now. What is this niche? It’s a community of teachers, school administrators, speech-language pathologists, and guidance counselors who blog about education and who sell resources they’ve created, to be used by people who do their same profession, on Teachers Pay Teachers. You can also find other little niches within this one, like people who create and sell clip art, stock photography, and even accounting and bookkeeping tools on Teachers Pay Teachers! The term “teacher-seller” comes from the Teachers Pay Teachers company itself and simply refers to those who sell their resources on the site. As more and more teacher-sellers learn about how virtual assistants can help them run their businesses, the demand is increasing – drastically! The problem?
There aren’t enough virtual assistants serving this niche!
My business exploded in July of 2016. I had potential clients emailing me left and right. I counted one time, and I literally had email conversations going with around 20 different potential new clients simultaneously! I was working a full-time job at the time, while I grew my VA business part-time as my side hustle. When I signed my 13th client (THIRTEEN! On top of working full-time!), I realized I needed to start a waitlist. I couldn’t keep signing new clients. I felt bad about it, because it was so abrupt (in other words, I had to start it smack-dab in the middle of some of those conversations), but I started my waitlist in mid-August of 2016.
That waitlist lasted for years.
Now, this sounds like a good problem to have, right? Of course it is! But what it tells me is that there are not enough virtual assistants to meet the demand of this niche. I can’t work with all of them. I just can’t. So what’s my next best solution? To coach new VAs to serve the niche.
Here’s the breakdown of my Teacher-Seller Virtual Assistant School:
- Lesson 1: Business Mindset + PDF workbook
- Lesson 2: Identifying Your Ideal Client + PDF workbook
- Lesson 3: Setting Business Goals + PDF workbook
- Lesson 4: Branding Your Business
- Lesson 5: Service Offerings
- Lesson 6: Rates and Pricing Structures + PDF workbook
- Lesson 7: Online Business Tools + PDF workbook
- Lesson 8: Systems and Policies + Sample Contract Agreement
Who am I? Oh yeah, me!
I’m Leslie Auman, a former teacher turned virtual assistant. I started my business during the late summer of 2015, after someone sort of off-handedly suggested that I consider becoming a virtual assistant in a comment on my post in a Facebook group. I’d never heard the term “virtual assistant” before, so after doing some research and learning more about it, I decided to give it a go. I officially launched my business on August 10, 2015. There were lots of baby steps and growing pains, where I’d sign only one or two new clients once every couple of months. I hit a little bit of a growth spurt about six months into business, where I doubled my client list – going from three to six clients. Then, things tapered off and stagnated a little bit again, until almost a year into business, when that same booming growth spurt happened again – except this time I went from about six clients to 13! I have become a well-known and sought-after VA in the Teachers Pay Teachers niche. I know their needs, and I understand their schedules, since I used to be a teacher, too. I’ve learned a lot and taken the hits so that you don’t have to, and now I’m here to teach you what I know. I’ve done one-on-one coaching with two other new VAs – Karen N. and Syl S., whose testimonials you read above – but I think the real solution to the supply-and-demand issue in this niche is for me to take on a new kind of coaching. There are clients out there who want VAs. All you have to do is learn how to serve them.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is your question not listed below? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be happy to answer it for you!
- What types of services do you offer? I’m trying to determine if any of those services interest me.
You can read more about the services I offer my clients on this page, but for a brief overview: proofreading and editing, blog post and guest post management, blog clean-up, cease and desist emails for copyright violations, scheduling pins using Tailwind, light graphics creation, and tasks specific to clients’ Teachers Pay Teachers accounts. While I consider these services to be pretty common amongst teacher-sellers’ requests, there are certainly other services that clients might ask you about. Additionally, I consider many of these services to be transferable to other niches, in the event that you later decide to leave the Teachers Pay Teachers niche or want to serve two niches simultaneously.
- I don’t have a background in education. Is this okay?
In my experience clients in this niche do feel more comfortable working with a VA who has a background in education. This is because they like working with someone who understands their busy schedule (if they’re still in the classroom) and who understands the demands and burdens placed upon them as educators. This is also because they feel at ease knowing they’ve hired a VA who knows what types of content are appropriate to share on social media and on Pinterest (on their behalf) and what types aren’t. No teacher-seller wants a VA sharing a blog post about gardening, for example. However, I feel that as long as you keep open lines of communication with your clients, are willing to learn about the types of content that are appropriate, and get clarification from them on their needs and expectations, it shouldn’t be an issue if you don’t have that background.
- I have a background in homeschooling. Is this okay?
Absolutely! While this is obviously different from working in a school, you still have a knowledge about and understanding of education, which clients find desirable.
- I don’t have any experience as a VA. Will your program be too advanced for me?
I expect that most participants in TSVAS will be like you, with no or very little background experience as a VA. My content will start from scratch with helping you lay the foundations of your business and launch it; it will just focus on this specific niche to serve. While it is possible that there may be participants who have already been working as a VA, the program will operate under the assumption that everyone is starting from square one.
- I’ve already been working as a VA for a little while. How will your program help me?
I hear you, and I understand your concern. However, not everyone enrolling in my program has experience being a VA. Therefore, it’s helpful for all of us to start at the same place and proceed forward. Plus, I’m helping you get into a very specific niche, and the clients in this niche have very particular needs. Having worked with clients in the Teachers Pay Teachers community for about a year-and-a-half now, I have an intimate knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. My program teaches you about those needs and the tools that you’ll need to use in order to meet them.
- I’ve already enrolled in some other training programs to try to learn some skills. Will your program be worth it for me?
I’ve designed my program to focus specifically on the Teachers Pay Teachers niche and what the clients in that niche need, generally speaking. If you are serious about becoming a VA and serving this niche, then this is the only training available that will help you learn what you need to know to serve them. Your other training programs will be great supplements to your overall skill set, but there are certain tasks that teacher-sellers request that you can’t learn in another training program.
- How will the content be delivered?
When you purchase TSVAS on Teachers Pay Teachers, you will download a document, which will include a link to a Dropbox folder. All of the lesson videos, PDF workbooks, and documents with links to related articles will be available in the folder, broken down by lesson. You will be able to work through the program at your own pace, as your schedule allows. I am always available to answer your questions by email at email@example.com.
- Is there a Facebook group for the program?
While I did have a lifetime Facebook group for TSVAS in the past, I decided to delete it. It was largely inactive, as most past TSVAS “graduates” weren’t posting or commenting in it. Because I am quite busy with other aspects of my business, I opted to close the Facebook group so that I could focus my attention on other things that required it. However, I’m not opposed to restarting it in the future, if there’s interest and a dedication to utilizing the group. It would be, after all, for you and not for me, so if TSVAS “graduates” would utilize it as it’s intended, then I’d be happy to restart it.
- I don’t live in the United States. Will that make things too complicated?
Not at all! While the U.S. is the largest market for Teachers Pay Teachers buyers and sellers, as TpT is headquartered here, some other large markets include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. As long as you and your clients are clear on your time zones, the time differences, and when you are available for work and any meetings they might request, you shouldn’t have any issues running your business. I’ve been contacted by potential clients in the Caribbean and Australia, and I previously worked with a client in Canada!
- Is there enough business within the Teachers Pay Teachers niche to make this a full-time business endeavor?
Absolutely! I’ve been working from home full-time for one year now, and I currently have 10 clients. I’ve had as many as 14 clients in the past. But, there are tens of thousands of teacher-sellers – some estimates say at least 50,000 teacher-seller accounts, with at least 20,000 active accounts. Every VA has different skills and interests, as well as different services to offer. Everyone has their own unique personality, as we all know, and every VA will vibe with particular clients. I’ve turned down a few clients, actually, that I didn’t feel would be a good fit for me. This is where your ideal client comes into mind, and your ideal client is not the same another VA’s. So, all of that to say…there’s plenty of business in this niche! 🙂
- I’ve never used some of these tools that clients might need. How will I learn how to use them?
It will largely be up to you to learn how to use any tools you might need to use in order to complete client work. I recommend letting your clients know when you’ve never used a tool before, but I encourage you to let them know you’re willing to learn (if that’s true!) and to ask if it’s okay if you take the time to learn on their time – meaning on the time they’ve purchased from you. I had to do this a couple of times when I was first starting out, and clients were always okay with it. Otherwise, we can discuss the option of doing some additional one-on-one coaching sessions, if you feel that would be more helpful.