Portfolio Hacks for VAs Working With Confidential (Or No) Clients

by | Jan 13, 2023 | 0 comments

Let’s talk about the importance of portfolios. Your portfolio exists to demonstrate your skills and capabilities to potential clients. Unlike the corporate world, resumes aren’t commonly requested in the VA space, but instead, portfolios play a prominent role in the client acquisition process. Because of that, many VAs find themselves stressing over this particular aspect of building their online business presence.

Have you ever thought, “I need a portfolio to get the clients, but I need clients to build the portfolio!” Or what about the times when you’ve done exceptional client work but cannot share it due to NDAs or sensitive topics? 

It may feel like an endless trap, but rest assured, there are several ways to build a solid portfolio, even without a single client.

Let’s dive right in with ten epic tips that will completely transform your portfolio:

1) Summarize:

Include a summary of your experience and responsibilities on your website or business social media pages. Describe what industries you’ve worked in, the types of tasks you have completed for your clients and any specific software or tools you have used and mastered along the way. It really can be just that simple.

2) Testimonials:

If your clients, or even previous employers, are willing to provide a testimonial or recommendation, include these in your portfolio to highlight the value you provide as a Virtual Assistant. Having that third-party validation can go a long way.

3) Make a list:

A fast but effective addition to your portfolio is to create a list of your existing skills and accomplishments. Highlight your expertise and the results you have achieved for your clients. Helped them secure a big contract or investment? Managed a team of three or multiple social media pages? Make sure to prioritize relevant achievements that speak to your ideal client and don’t hold back thinking that specific achievements were “nothing special.”

4) Create a sample project:

Creating a sample project is an excellent way to showcase your proficiencies as a Virtual Assistant and build a body of work targeted toward your fields of interest. This could be a mock project that you complete on your own or an actual project that you completed for a past client as long as you’ve received their permission to share it in your portfolio. 

5) Be the portfolio:

Similar to creating sample projects, remember, when you don’t have real-world examples, your business needs some love too. A web designer’s best example piece is their own website, so make it the best that it can be. Putting in the time and effort to make your business shine will reflect the effort you’ll put into your client’s business.

6) Say it with content:

No matter what services you provide, you can create content around it that helps display your expertise. Blogs, youtube channels, Instagram posts, and podcasts, there’s no shortage of ways to get your voice out there. Having that lineage of content related to your zone of genius is sure to catch a client’s eye. Your portfolio serves a s great place to link to your best channel of content. 

7) Show the stats:

Don’t miss the opportunity to include statistics and data where relevant. For example, if you were a community manager or social media manager, share engagement statistics or any other numbers demonstrating the positive impact that you created through your hard work. Numbers speak volumes, and seeing clean, comprehensive statistics will have the clients lining up.

8) Throwback experience:

If the services you’re offering as a VA reflect any work you’ve done previously as an employee, intern, or volunteer, let it be known! You’re not wiping the slate clean just because you’re going online. All the hard work you’ve put in still matters and can benefit you as a VA.

9) Make it a case study:

If you only have a few things to place in your portfolio, go in-depth and turn them into case studies where you break down the problems you solve for your clients and the thought processes and workflows your work entails. This builds your client’s trust and confidence in your ability when they get a glimpse of your process. You can do this on specific parts of previous client projects or even refer to the client’s industry only so as to adhere to any privacy agreements. 

10) Certifications or training:

If you have completed any training or certification programs relevant to virtual assistance, including these in your portfolio will prove your commitment to your profession and spotlight your next-level expertise. Alums of the Virtual Excellence Academy are among the most sought-after VAs in the online space. From comprehensive tools training, contract templates, entrepreneur mindset, marketing, client retention, and everything in between, the VEA deep dives into all the topics that a new or growing VAs needs – all with support for the lifetime of your business. Our certificate has become synonymous with skillfulness and quality client experience.

More than just mentioning specific projects you’ve worked on, a quality portfolio is about diving beneath the surface to highlight your skills. But in the end, always remember that it’s about YOU. No matter how you showcase your skill sets, people work with people, so be sure to let your personality and values shine because that’s the key to attracting your dream clients.

For more tips on portfolio building, see our blog post “How to Create a Portfolio Potential Clients will Love,” and for an A-to-Z guide on Virtual Assistance, sign up for the Virtual Excellence Academy waitlist, so you don’t miss when doors open!


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Author: Hannah Dixon
Hannah Dixon is a Business Coach, Recruiter, and Founder of Digital Nomad Kit and The Virtual Excellence Academy (VEA). The VEA is a leading educational program and diverse global community that has honed the skills and confidence of over 30,000+ virtual assistants and freelancers. Committed to ethical hiring practices, she also provides VIP recruitment services. Hannah views freelancing and self-leadership as potent tools for social change, empowering anyone, anywhere, to unlock potential and create life-changing opportunities. As a 16-year digital nomad, she speaks internationally, demonstrating progressive business and lifestyle approaches, and powerfully compelling audiences to action.

But, how?


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