Starting out


Hi there,

This is a question for the VAs who are established - how do you recommend starting out? I have seen advertisements for Associates to help established VAs but the adverts are asking for people who already have several years experience as well as already having set up all the PI Insurance, GDPR registration etc. How do you just start out and get your first break?

I haven’t stopped my job yet as I still need the income but want to switch to being my own boss etc but cannot find roles for that first VA job. As I haven’t started to be self employed yet, I also haven’t taken out the PI insurance yet as I will do that at the time I get my first job. Any help or suggestions would be great.

Many thanks



Network, network, network!!!

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is working hard for you and maybe join one of the Facebook or LinkedIn challenges that are always on the go.

I did originally plan to go the Associate route but after nearly getting my fingers burnt I backed off and get my business from networking online and (pre lockdown) face to face networking plus personal recommendations.

Good luck!


Dear Fiona,

Thank you and also for your encouragement.

Best wishes


Usually those first few clients are in amongst your family/friends so make sure you tell everyone what you are doing and build up your LinkedIn profile connecting with all your old work places and colleagues… You never know where people end up!

Personally I think it’s helpful to get some real experience of working as a VA, even if you don’t get paid much for it, so People Per Hour jobs, Fivver etc are all good practice but probably won’t net you ongoing clients, because they are usually price shoppers. But it does let you practice on a real live client.


Dear Caroline,

Thank you for this. I have told family and friends of course, but none of them have roles where they would need a Virtual PA. I can’t update my LinkedIn profile quite yet as I haven’t quit my existing job - I need to build this up to a level before I can do that but it means I can’t change my LinkedIn to show this without letting my current employer become aware of this.

I will have a look at Fiverr etc to see what I can do to gain experience there.

Best wishes


Yes it’s a bit of a bummer when you are in limbo like that - things do get easier when you can openly market.