“I just want to make money from home”
I got this question in my inbox some time ago – I decided to share the answer with you in case it can help you earn some money from home
Hi Jon, I love your articles but much of it feels too big for me and I get overwhelmed about getting started. I love the idea of making lots of money running my own online business, but in reality I just need to earn some money online so I can be at home. Does that make sense? I have solid secretarial skills and I’m sure there must be a way to use those skills but still be at home since all I would be doing going to a job would be sitting at a computer anyway.
I just don’t know where to start – can you help me by pointing me in the right direction?”
Strong secretarial skills hey? Have you thought about becoming a VA (Virtual assistant)?
If you do this you would be doing exactly what you suggest… sitting at your computer doing what you would normally do in an office for someone.
Usually people who hire VA’s can’t afford or just don’t need someone to do those tasks on a full time basis, so they commit to either one off admin jobs or they commit to hiring you for a certain amount of hours a week…
When you work for someone they hire you for your full time working hours and if they sack you your income goes from full time to zero straight away.
…Working as a VA allows you to have several clients which means that you are spreading the risk, and increasing the amount of word of mouth that you can get for your business.
I’ve known and hired a few VA’s in my time and they have had a wide range of tasks to complete…
It all comes down to what you say you can do and what you are good at.
Personally I am entrepreneurial and so always look for the business opportunity in these kinds of questions…
But I get what you are saying…
You want to just do something simple where you can earn money online and work from home without the complexity that can be associated with starting an online business.
Get onto odesk.com and elance.com and guru.com and apply to become a VA.
No it’s not like a job application… it’s just what you have to do to be able to offer your services.
Some of these platforms require that you take some tests but you only have to if you want to and you only need do it for the skills that you are confident you are awesome at.
Once you are in with these guys the next step would be to write a bio or a bit about yourself and what you can help people with and to set an hourly rate for yourself.
And hit the “go” button…
It’s tricky to be precise here as to what you need to do because I’ve only been on the other side of the transaction.
That being said here’s what I would look for in a VA so you know how to pitch yourself to prospective clients.
When posting a job on an outsourcing platform I always ask questions like:
“Please let me know what similar jobs you have done” or “give me examples of work you have done in the past”
When people apply it becomes really obvious who is sending me stock replies…
or more exactly who is just applying to every job online and who is actually responding to my specific job requirements.
My thinking is this – I’d rather have someone who take the care and time to write back to me personally because they are more likely to operate in that way while doing the job.
Secondly I do check feedback scores and comments. While it hard to consider this when you have not even had one job yet – write to people explaining your history and skills and ask them for a small job to prove your worth. Give it to them cheap in exchange for some good feedback.
Basically – cut a deal with them. You help them out and they help you out.
Lastly – I have often found 2 or 3 contenders for bigger jobs and then hired them all to do a small job (to test them out). It becomes pretty clear who is going to be the person for the job when the work starts coming in.
The 3 factors I believe are the most potent when it comes to long term hires, good feedback and happy clients are these:
1- Good communication (keep them in the loop with everything you are doing and where you are up to)
2- Keeping to your time promises. If you set a deadline do your utmost to complete the job within that time frame if not before (and if you can’t refer to point 1)
3- Take the initiative to do amazing quality work – give a little extra (and tell them about it) they will love you for it – and rave about you to all their friends and colleagues and potentially hire you permanently.
Lastly – if you start getting some good work, get yourself a website built with testimonials, examples of your work, objectives achieved and a squeeze form, popup or some mechanism where you offer them a report of how to make their life easier with a VA for free in exchange for their email and name… and stay in touch with them with offers of your excellent services…
Did you see what I did there?
Hope this help you