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I’m a virtual assistant making $6,000 a month and traveling the world

  • Erin Morris, 32, is a virtual assistant who has worked in places like Northern Europe and Myanmar.
  • She’s held a variety of jobs, but says becoming a virtual assistant has given her true geographic independence.
  • Here’s how she built her career, told to writer Lucie Grace.

This narrated essay is based on a conversation with Erin Morris, a 32-year-old virtual assistant from Jindabyne, Australia, about her job. His earnings have been verified by Insider. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

I had been trying to find the perfect remote job for years as I blogged and traveled full time from 2018 to 2020.

I quit my job as a paramedic in 2014 and worked as a ski instructor during ski seasons in Switzerland and worked as a deckhand and nurse on superyachts. Then I tried to teach English online for Whales English as other travel blogs suggested but I didn’t like it and didn’t have enough hours to make ends meet .

I came across the 90 day VA course in an online ad

I knew nothing about being a virtual assistant. I thought that meant I had to be a personal assistant, but that’s a generic term. It can mean a lot of different things, depending on who you work for.

woman sitting at a desk with her laptop

Erin Morris.

Courtesy of Erin Morris


I did some research on this, watched the free one hour intro and thought, That’s what I wanna do. As well as teaching 11 new skills modules, the course dives into building a portfolio, researching and applying for jobs, and topics such as bookkeeping, taxes, how to get paid virtually, and mailing. contracts – that’s it.

My wallet is activated


Google Drive

. Any materials I created for assignments and assessments during the course – like social media or Canva templates – I host there to show potential clients.

You can specialize as a virtual assistant. There were four of us in my training course accountability group and a network of classmates, and we all went down different paths. One of us has become a web developer, another does business coaching, there is a social-media manager, and I mainly do copywriting.

In January 2021, I was making $1,500 a month, but now I’m making $6,000 a month.

I had my first client before I even finished the course

I paid $500 to take the course and my first client, an accountant for online businesses, hired me when I was just two months old. I’ve created content for Pinterest, written captions for its social media, and made graphics in Canva. It was a very basic graphic design. Some other early clients wanted me to repurpose their content and write captions for social media.

I got some of my first clients through Funnel Gorgeous, a company that offers courses and posts on building funnels, marketing yourself and your services, copywriting, and funnel design. My first clients found me through this platform and I built funnels for them. I’m also listed on a few online directories – HerHQ and Hire a Marketer – as well as potential clients who contact me through Instagram and referrals.

A funnel is how you present your offer, from when people find out about your service or product, then come to your web page, read your copy, like the design and buy your product or even go to your email list. broadcast and become a customer. . I had a bunch of clients that kept hiring me to do copywriting, and I realized that’s what I love doing the most, so I now specialize in funnels and business writing. I focus on sales page copy or email sequences, which are a string of five or six emails that people receive after signing up for a mailing list.

Being a virtual assistant is the best role for me because I love to travel

I was always that person who worked, saved, quit his job, travelled, ran out of money, then started again. I was in this cycle, even though I knew it was not a sustainable lifestyle.

I like to work abroad because I like the freedom of my lifestyle. I have worked in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Myanmar. Ninety percent of the time I stay in Airbnbs, unless the role includes hosting, and I plan to keep the house in the future. I am a solo traveler but occasionally meet friends along the way.

I am currently back in Australia and preparing to move to Portugal soon. I can choose when to work during the day and stick to regular work hours because my work is limited by deadlines, but if there’s a yoga class in the morning that I want to go to or if I want to do of hiking and exploring in the afternoon, I have that flexibility. I feel like I live my life more fully when I’m overseas rather than at home in Australia full time, but that’s great because now that I have a stable income I can also visit the home whenever I want.

In the beginning, I charged clients an hourly rate and worked with two to four clients at a time

Most online coaches recommend charging for packages because you stop trading time for money and get valued for your skills, but don’t have the experience to know how long something was going to take me, I didn’t know how to bundle my services when I started.

I started by charging $20 an hour, and for overtime I worked my way up to $28 an hour. I’m sure I could have had a little more, but at the same time I had a bit of a limiting belief. It is now much easier for me to bundle my services, which are tailored to my clients’ needs.

Most of my clients are overseas, and in the past three months my business has grown tremendously. Three months ago I was charging $600 for a sales page, and now I’m charging $1,500.

This month I have a client who asked me to do three sales pages and three email sequences. I quoted him $6,500. I’m potentially writing a sales page for another client for $1500. It took me two years to get to the point where I’m making really good money, but it was worth it.

A good way to make your start as a VA affordable is to sign up for volunteer opportunities through sites like Worldpackers, where you work a few hours a day in exchange for free housing. You still have time in your day to develop your work as a virtual assistant.

My advice for beginners is to not wait for customers to come to you. Apply for any roles that interest you, as this is great practice. You don’t need years of experience; soft skills such as having an “understanding” attitude and being dependable and proactive are actually more important.

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