I'm Joelle, an international Lifestyle and Wedding Photographer based in St. Joseph, MI. I'm also an educator and Photo Editor for photographers interested in growing their business and living life more.
Photo by: Nicole Balsamo Photography
About a month ago, I hired my first virtual assistant, Sam from Rooting for You Social. She has been such a tremendous help for my business, and now that I’ve hired her I can’t imagine life without her!! She manages my social media and newsletter, designs resources for me, and more. If you’ve been thinking about hiring a virtual assistant, or are curious what one does then keep on reading! Sam is sharing all of the deets in this blog post.
A virtual assistant runs the behind-the-scenes of a brand or business. I’ve specifically marketed myself to creative entrepreneurs – anyone running a business that offers a creative service – and like to think of myself as a remote teammate who can step in and take over some of their workload. I’m currently working with a few photographers, graphic designers, a business coach, and a copywriter! I just signed on with a flower shop owner, too! So my day-to-day can vary a bit based on each client’s needs.
Currently, my tasks fall into three basic categories: administrative upkeep, social media management, and content creation. With administrative upkeep, I’m managing email inboxes (creating canned email responses to inquiries, sorting the inbox to keep it clutter-free, and making sure my client *only* gets the emails that I can’t personally answer). I’m also setting up and managing email marketing sequences for launches and newcomers to my clients’ websites.
In regards to social media management, I’m tackling a few different platforms, but primarily schedule and post content for clients on Instagram and Pinterest. Pinterest is a HUGE game-changer and one of my favorite things to optimize for clients – I love that they can instantly see an influx of traffic after I’ve only put in an hour or two of work.
As far as content creation goes, I’ve been doing a lot of basic graphic design (mostly optimized for Pinterest, which is my fave), and email marketing copy. Once I get a feel for my client’s brand and overall voice, it’s so much fun to create words and graphics that they love too!
Honestly, a lot of things, but my discovery chats with new clients has become my all-time-favorite part of being a virtual assistant. Whenever a client contacts me with questions and interest about my service, I LOVE scheduling a phone or zoom chat with them – just to talk – and learn more about their business and how I could take over some of their work so they can get back to doing what they love. I had an amazing chat just last week with a new client and we ended up gushing about our love for gardens and plants – she even shared a tattoo idea that I would TOTALLY steal if I wasn’t so nervous around needles, hahaha. It’s a great way to really connect with potential clients, and I always leave those conversations feeling like I’ve gained a friend, and I hope my clients do too! I’ll make a little list of Top Priority Tasks and set to work immersing myself in their brand, content, and mission from there.
It’s so funny—I was getting burritos with my brothers yesterday and I felt like they explained it back to me better than I ever could have! For one, I LOVE plants—I love growing plants, I love eating plants, I love drinking plants—literally, my favorite workspace is this place called Roots Juice Cafe – plants are my jam.
I was knee-deep in brainstorming for a name when my boyfriend, Daniel, texted me and said, “Hey, I’m Rooting For You” …and I had this moment of: OH. THIS IS PERFECT. Not only is it incredibly on-brand with the ideas of plants and growth and cultivating a harvest with behind-the-scenes sort of work, but it’s literally an encouragement. Whenever I share an idea (and, let’s be real, as a creative—that’s all the time), Daniel always reminds me that he’s rooting for me and he wants me to succeed and see those ideas through — and I hope my clients feel just as supported and encouraged and I do whenever I hear that phrase.
I am full time with Rooting For You Social—which is still kind of crazy! I started it while I was still teaching, hoping it would really pick up during the summer and carry me from there and, what is it, mid-July? This growth has been amazing.
It’s kind of funny, but one of my clients—she’s local—not only asked for help with the administrative part of her flower shop business (so, managing her inbox, updating her website, that sort of thing), but also asked if I could help out in her shop on Thursdays actually cutting flowers and arranging them in bouquets—which just cracks me up. Like, plants! Hello, yessss. So, yeah, full time. Plus flowers. It’s perfect.
Through AMAZING testimonials and referrals! Along with that: the biggest way I’ve found clients is through Instagram. Which is so fun. And whenever I’m chatting with a new client and starting to walk them through my onboarding process, it’s so much fun to see what about my brand and website really drew them in. For one client, she’s obsessed with perennials and we got to talk about the things we love growing–beyond businesses. For another, her target market is really people who value organic products and healthy living–and she was laughing, telling me, “Once I saw that photo of you drinking beet juice – I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. She gets this.’” And that’s what made her reach out to me. So, no matter your market or service you’re offering, it’s really true what they say – be yourself, and you’ll attract the sorts of clients you’ll want to work with.
I’ve definitely marketed myself towards creatives whose businesses are really taking off—like, they’re having to pick and choose what aspects of their business they can keep up with – and need a teammate, like, immediately. But I think it really depends on the creative. For some, they can keep the business afloat for a really long time before starting to oursource. For others, outsourcing is part of their initial game plan. It really depends on the creative, but I think the moment you realize that the only thing holding you back from growing and reaching that next goal—is you? That’s when it’s time to hire on a teammate. If you’re taking on fewer weddings because you’re running out of time to edit your photos—outsource your editing! It’s the same idea: spend your time doing what makes you happy and brings in the most money. Find a VA you can trust—find a teammate you can trust—with everything else.
Ooh, one of my favorite questions! I’m easiest to reach on my Instagram, so don’t hesitate to slide into my DMs if you’re interested in working with me! My handle there is @rootingforyousocial, and I’ve saved my portfolio and a list of services right in my highlighted stories if you want a quick tour of what I offer! I’ve also got a proper website (rootingforyousocial.com) that goes way more in-depth, haha, and you can reach out to me by filling out the form on the “Book Your Project” Page! Aside from those two options, you can email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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