5 Day VA Challenge, by Digital Nomad Kit – Day 3

This portion of the challenge is really what I came here for. It talks about how, and where, to find your first clients.

The how really comes from who you want to work with. Think about who you are, and what your niche is. Then create a community for yourself based on that. Find Facebook groups that you resonate with. Reach out to people, and just be a good community member. Be friendly, and someone you’d want to work with.

Next step is to create a clear way for people to find who you are and what you do. Take all your social platforms and update them to say “this is me, what I do, and who I’d like to work with.” Right now I think mine would be,

Sophia DeRosia

I’m a writer and admin-forward individual, with a passion for helping small business owners in the WordPress community do what they’re passionate about. I assist with basic site maintenance, client relations, blogging, and content management.

The format of that would change depending on where you post it, and the relationships you have with those people. Here’s what I’d do, depending on the platform:


I’d have my bio set accordingly, and a pinned tweet with further links and information on who I am and what I can do.


Facebook is an interesting one, because it can be used in a lot of different ways. You can just have your profile, or have a business page with more details. I’ve always had a blog, so I used it similarly to posting about yourself on a Facebook page, but it is a great, simple solution for those starting fresh, or those unfamiliar with the WordPress world.


This is the real kicker here, and one of the next things I’m going to be working on. LinkedIn is really the combination of Facebook and blog, but designed specifically for work and finding clients. I never really used it before because my social accounts were always just for being social, but now that I’m starting a career as a VA I’ll want something more job focused than just Twitter.

5 Day VA Challenge, by Digital Nomad Kit – Bonus Coaching Session

Along with the primary Challenge, day three had a digital coaching session available, that was mostly a guided Q&A run by Hannah Dixon (the owner of Digital Nomad Kit). During the week of the challenge you’re a part of a Facebook group with the other students, so what I watched was on Facebook Live, but they also offered it via Zoom. We had a heads up for the coaching session, so some people sent their questions ahead of time, and others sent them during the session. It was kind of a random pool of thoughts, but I retained a lot of marketing knowledge. One of the biggest points they’ve made through this challenge is that by becoming a VA, you’re becoming a business owner. That then requires you,

  • Establish your skills
  • Establish your audience
  • Create an opening statement
  • And make yourself visible

It’s almost like the goal here is to really understand yourself and your wants, and act on them. Don’t let the world come to you, but run at it with duct tape and a glue gun and get what you want. For right now, I think that’s why I was so drawn to it. I’m young and was unhappy with my options, so I sought others. It was hard and scary, but I new I could do it. During the session I wrote myself a list of things to do moving forward. (It’s been a busy week with a busy weekend ahead, so I’m setting boundaries for myself to rest so I don’t immediately burn out.)

Step 1, Create A Portfolio

I’ve been writing for years, and I’m a well established creator/creative, but a lot of my work is old, and it honestly pains me to look at. Not because it was bad necessarily, I’m just a different person now. I much prefer who I am now to who I was before. My goal is to take on a few other challenges or classes and blog about them as I go, but also document this journey of being a VA. Keep track of my skills and highlight them, and figure out who specifically my audience is. What community do I click with.

Step 2, Create an Opening Statement

I’ve been trying to find a job for over 5 months now, so I’m well used to reaching out to people. Especially with a background in training, retail, and attending WordCamps. The real issue has been, what do I do when I get an answer back? My opening statement is similar to the declaration we practiced in Day 1. It’s something that, when someone asks about you, you can say who you are, who your clients are, and what you do in one paragraph. Like an elevator pitch, but more of a conversation. It opens doors for you and helps you build relationships, not just clients.

Step 3, Develop Easy Client Conversation

I am a human (assuming X-Files wasn’t actually real…), and so is my client. Together, we are working towards a common goal, and it is possible to reach that goal happily and contentedly. I have preached this since the day I got my first job, you cannot have a business if the people you hire (or work with) are unhappy. That seems clear to me, and yet a lot of the places I’ve worked didn’t see that as a priority, just a perk. Healthy relationships with your client are just as important as any other healthy relationship, and it allows you to be able to talk about rate, expectations, goals, and open opportunities for yourself.

I’m also going to be working on building a more expansive social media presence geared towards finding work. I have a decent following on Twitter, but I want to start something more intentional, and find the right community for me. I could keep going on and on about the things I pulled from the coaching session, but I think we’re gonna call it here and I might pull from more of my notes as I go.

5 Day VA Challenge by Digital Nomad Kit – Day 2

My intent for this challenge was to do the daily exercises, then have a blog post up by 5:30 every day. However I didn’t anticipate, like, *life things*. Family, some work that popped up, and I completely forgot it’s Thanksgiving week, and my parents are coming over tomorrow. So, I’ve adjusted my expectations for myself. In high school I wanted to adopt the discipline of having a blog post out two days a week, but didn’t give myself any flexibility or grace, and it was awful and I burned myself out, so I gave up. This time around, I want to focus more on taking my time and absorbing, as opposed to forcing knowledge into my brain.

Day 2 of the challenge was focused on money management. More so focusing on growing and and what you can be, and not limiting yourself to what you think you can be. Not just stopping at enough, but working towards being successful.

As a young person trying to find a job, it was near impossible to find something that paid at least $15/hour, and right now in life I’m trying to build a foundation for a career, and that just can’t happen if I’m spending all my time just to live. I want more than that. I want to live. In day 2 they laid down a base fact, $15/hour should be a base rate, and anything less is down cutting yourself, and not worth your time.

My focus moving forward is to lay out a plan for myself, and be more intentional. Understand myself, my skills, and what I can offer, and build that as I go. Most likely start at $25/hour, and every month or so raise it to $30, then $35, because if I’m growing over time, my worth and abilities are as well.

I’m writing this Wednesday morning, actually in the middle of a DNK live coaching session, which will likely have it’s own blog post tomorrow. Stay tuned to hear not only my thoughts on the sessions, but also how I’m putting it to use, and how I’m facilitating a healthy environment for myself as I grow.

The 5 Day VA Challenge, by Digital Nomad Kit – Day 1

In July I decided the job I had wasn’t a good fit for me, or my health, so I resigned. Since then I’ve been looking for something that was better for my body, mind, and future. It was a toss up between getting just any job for the money security, or getting the right job. The hard part was, I didn’t know what the right job was.

I’m really quite young, so I had plenty of time and plenty of choices, but I wanted something that would help me grow, and that I could turn into a career. Something that would at least be a foundation to grow off of. I spent about three months looking at options, trying to decide what kind of job I’d want, and what I needed at the time. I tried applying for some bigger jobs that were a bit of a reach, but that I knew I could quickly grow into. I got a couple interviews, but that was about it. Two months later I decided to readjust my expectations and try something smaller. My plan was to do half and half. Some short hours at one job to get the security and hopefully insurance, and then spend the rest of the time building for a career I wanted. That then lead me to the Digital Nomad Kit 5 Day VA Challenge.

Growing up in the WordPress community has left me with some random skills, but I’ve never been able to compile them in a way where I could look at myself and say “I want to do this someday!” The first day of the VA (Virtual Assistant) challenge is geared toward just that. Finding your why.

  • What Brings You Joy?
  • What Are You Already Good At?
  • And, What Can You Get Paid For?

The first assignment they had us do was put in the Facebook group our “Declaration”, or, elevator pitch. This was mine:

I’m Sophia, and I provide site maintenance, client correspondence, and content organization services. I specialize in social media management and general peopling skills. #day1

I tend to consider myself an avid communicator and organizer, but wasn’t exactly sure what those skills can be used for. Yes, I can do them quite well, but how can I implement them? This workshop laid it out for me, and other skills I could pick up if I wanted to.

When I was very young my dad went freelance, and was a part of a start up, and it was incredibly stressful for our family. Getting started in a new space is scary, and intimidating, but this workshop has already helped me feel more prepared and comfortable, and it’s only day one. A few hours ago I got another rejection email, and that in itself is scary, but who knows. Maybe it’s a sign about what’s yet to come.

Stay tuned for more updates on my thoughts from the 5 Day VA Challenge, and if you know of anyone looking for an organized communicator, hit me up.