Jessica Rhodes is another lovely lady I had the opportunity to meet at FinCon. Jessica’s story resonated with me and I knew it would be a benefit to so many of you.
Jessica became a virtual assistant because she wanted to stay home with her newborn. Like many, she began as more of a general VA doing any and all little online business tasks that may come up. One day, Jessica struck niche gold. It catapulted her to a level she never imagined.
Here’s Jessica’s story and why finding your virtual assistant niche is so important.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What was your motivation to become a virtual assistant?
I started my business when I was pregnant with our first child because I wanted to be a stay at home mom. My Dad is a business coach and when I told him and my mom that I wanted to stay at home, he told me about the virtual assistant industry. I didn’t know anything about online business but trusted my Dad’s advice and since he said he would be my first client, I dove right in.
When starting out, how did you determine your service offerings? Tell us a little about the moment you struck “niche gold.”
My first service offerings were what my Dad needed! Since he was my first client, I did whatever administrative and client support tasks that were needed in his business at the time. I was checking links on his website, categorizing his videos and fielding client questions from his membership site. A few months in, he asked me to start getting him booked on podcasts as a guest and to help find guests for his podcast. Booking podcast interviews is the service that I enjoyed the most and proved to be the most scalable and profitable service.
Many new service providers are afraid they may be limiting their prospects by narrowing down their offerings. Can you tell us how finding a niche catapulted to your business to success?
Finding a niche and getting very focused in one service offering was the best thing that ever happened to my business! It helped me become an authority figure in one very specific thing, rather than a ‘jill of all trades.’
Your business now is much larger than a one-woman operation. What was the moment you knew you had something with bigger potential than you had imagined?
I remember a moment in my second year when the business started taking on a life of it’s own. I had dozens of clients, several virtual assistants working in my business with me on a variety of tasks, and it occurred to me that this is no longer a simple lifestyle business; it was a company! To be more specific, it was around the time when I hired an accountant and incorporated the business and no longer invoiced as an independent contractor.
You’re still out there actively marketing your business. What tips do you have for those afraid of rejection?
Get over it! You need a thick skin and be okay with rejection. One thing I have learned is you must magnetically attract your ideal client and repel the people you are not meant to work with. I will say that the more content marketing I do, the less cold calls I need to do. In fact, I don’t do any cold calls! All my clients call and email me after they either hear my podcast, read my blog, watch my videos, find me by searching Google or meet me at a conference. I, of course, follow up with prospects and sometimes people say no, but I don’t think of that as rejection; that’s just people who aren’t ready to work with you.
Can you share a few of your favorite tools or resources?
Slack is my favorite tool! This is an online instant messaging platform that I use with my team. I also rely heavily on Highrise for my business CRM, Basecamp for project management and Google for Work for my team emails, spreadsheets and documents.
You can connect with Jessica online at JessicaRhodes.biz.