The past year has been hard on everyone trying to get on the career ladder or land a job, so it’s not surprising a lot of young people have thought outside the box and come up with cool, creative ways to make an income and keep themselves employed.
22-year-old, Lily May has grown her TikTok as well as her client list over lockdown and wants to teach other people how to do the same. Deciding not to go to university, London based Lily found herself surrounded by a lot of anxiety when it came to her future. Knowing that her strengths lay in her creativity, organisation and work ethic she couldn’t figure out what she wanted to do.
Feeling like she was drifting for the past three years, Lily went from a series of nannying jobs to interning until she came across Virtual Assisting. She is now a successful VA and uses her experiences to share with people who are interested.
Debut:What is a VA?
Lily: A Virtual Assistant is essentially an online Personal Assistant. This means that I can work remotely from home, make my own schedule and have the option to travel at any time. I help small online businesses with the back end of their business, doing tasks such as social media management (content creation, content scheduling, replying to DMs & comments), email management, errands (online), and calendar/diary management.
I work with a lot of international clients; I have four Americans and one Canadian! My niche is brand and web design which I absolutely love. I work alongside such talented people; I feel very lucky and inspired every day.
How did you find out about how to access this role?
I found out through social media! Before I started working as a VA, I didn’t even know a job like this existed. If I did, I would have done it as soon as I left school – it would have eased my anxiety a lot and who knows where I would have been now!
What does a typical working day look like for you?
As a VA, you wear a lot of hats and each day really varies. I work with five clients at the moment, so a typical day would look like logging into their social media accounts, replying to any DMs/comments from the night before, and doing some engagement management. I would then create content that involves designing Instagram posts, curating captions, and hashtag research. I would then schedule it out for the following week. Throughout the day, emails are always checked and replied to if necessary.
What would you suggest people do if they want to become a VA and how to get started?
I started my business on Instagram and that is where I get all my clients! You don’t need a big following in order to do so, I was booking in clients with around 100 followers. I would suggest creating a business IG account and figuring out the type of business you want to work with. Always choose something you are passionate about! It will make your job so much more enjoyable. Start posting educational/informative content on your IG that gives solutions to problems and answers to questions, attracting your ideal client.
You could also use other platforms like Upwork and Fiver. There are thousands of small successful businesses online that need help with the back end of the business, and being able to work internationally opens up so many more opportunities which is another amazing thing about working online!
Have you had any failures within this job and if so how did you overcome them?
Fortunately, I haven’t had any obstacles or failures yet. I do want to note though, that I felt like I was always ‘failing’ before being a VA, but since having this job I felt very aligned and like I’d finally found my ‘thing’.
Have you always been able to live off the income you make as a VA?
The online space moves fast and you are given the ability to grow and scale a lot faster than if you were working a 9-5. This meant that I was booked out within just under 2 months of starting my business and have been ever since. I am making a good income which I feel very fortunate about as I know Covid has meant unemployment and money problems for many. This is why I made my TikTok explaining what I do. I want to help as many people as possible. If anyone feels stuck or hopeless, there are always other options for you.
What are your specialties as a VA?
I am specialised in social media management and digital marketing within the creative industries.
If you want to find out more about how to become a Virtual Assistant, Lily gives more insight on her social media:Instagram: @lilymayTikTok: @lilymaycreative
Journalist, Perisha Kudhail is one of the content managers and writers here at Debut Magazine.
She has passion for sharing the stories of amazing people. Using her blog to facilitate these stories she loves to connect and find out more about the personalities that make something happen. Having interviewed, comedians, writers, business people and many more, it’s safe to say that if you’ve got something to say, she’ll listen.
Having worked for ITV and online companies, Perisha has also been featured on panels at the BBC discussing things that are going on in the world as well as writing for a range of online platforms. Features, Lifestyle and Profiles are the forefront of Perisha’s writing loves and the more experimental the better!
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