Michelle Boyd Waters, M.Ed. | January 14, 2022 6:53 am

Virtual Assistant ServicesAs an educational publishing company owner who plans to take her business full time — while also working on her doctorate, it occurred to me that I might need some help. No, not that kind of help. I mean virtual assistant services to complete some of the more time consuming tasks inherent in publishing online. (For those of you who are new to the entrepreneurial world, a virtual assistant (VA) is an independent contractor who provides administrative or creative services to several clients online. If you're interested in learning more, check out my colleague, Tawnya Southerland's free VA resources.)

So I joined some Facebook groups where Teachers Pay Teachers (I know, but that's where the majority of teacher entrepreneurs sell their products) creators and the virtual assistants who serve them hang out.

As I browsed through the requests for services and the virtual assistant services offered, it occurred to me that this group was a gold mine of information for teachers who want to start their own service-based online businesses. It's a simple formula: Take the skills you've already developed as a classroom teacher, go home, and start offering those same skills to teacher-led publishing companies/solopreneurs for a price. The better you get, the more you can charge.

Easy peasy, right? The problem I've noticed is that teachers often have a hard time seeing how the skills they've cultivated in the classroom can transfer into managing a business or providing services to other businesses. So I've made a list of the top 10 services teacherpreneurs posted online job listings for in the groups.

Top 10 Virtual Assistant Service Requests

1. Product Creation & Copywriting

The project creation jobs ranged from designing worksheets in Powerpoint or Canva to updating existing resources. Generally speaking, teachers had the written content, but needed a virtual assistant to package it all up into a digital product. Some teachers also asked specifically for teachers who could write content for products, such as reading passages and sentences. Some of the skills needed included:

Teachers often use Google Slides or PowerPoint to create worksheets, so that is a skill you may need if you're revising someone's existing products. I also noticed that some of the teachers asking for product copywriting also needed bilingual VAs with skills in Spanish, Mandarin, and German.

I also noticed a few companies seeking virtual assistants to create digital escape rooms for students as young as upper elementary school.

2. Social Media Management

Teacher publishers needed VAs to manage their social media accounts, which often included scheduling existing content, but also some social media content creation (images, videos, captions), as well. The most common social media teachers used included:

  • Pinterest (posts and video)
  • Instagram (posts, stories, and reels)
  • FB (posts and ads)

While there are several social media scheduling apps (free and otherwise) on the market, the most common one mentioned was Tailwind, which is used to schedule Pinterest posts.

3. Blog Post Writing (Ghostwriting)

Teachers understand that staying consistent with writing blog posts is crucial in both growing and maintaining a business. The problem is that we get so busy in our classrooms (and everything associated with teaching, like grading) that we don't have the time or energy to churn out a blog post every week. I noticed several teacherpreneurs asking for virtual assistant services to write a batch of blog posts posts in WordPress every month. Sometimes this included uploading the post and associated images to WordPress and sometimes it also included search engine optimizations (SEO).

Skills you might need to provide this service include:

  • Research
  • Informational and persuasive writing in a conversational tone
  • The ability to match the style of the author you're ghostwriting for
  • Google Docs/Drive
  • WordPress

Teachers also looked for people with specific grade level or content knowledge, such as VAs with experience in early childhood or special education.

4. Graphic Design

One of the most common services requested is graphic design. Teachers need images for their product covers on Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT), social media graphics (often several different sizes and dimensions for each product to accommodate the various platforms), preview slides of the content, and logos. The skills companies looked for their virtual assistants to possess include:

  • Canva
  • Google Slides
  • PowerPoint
  • Adobe Photoshop

I know that Google Slides and PowerPoint are not usually used for graphic design, but teachers frequently create their preview images in these programs.

5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Teachers often bundled their services requests for copywriting or blog content creation with SEO. But I also noticed some companies seeking VAs to go through their websites and TpT accounts to optimize existing content.

Depending on the job, VAs need to know how to use TpT and WordPress to optimize product titles and descriptions. Some teachers also wanted to have their WordPress blog posts optimized.

6. Editing & Proofreading

English teachers, if you're wanting a side hustle made for your, this is it. Educational publishing companies are looking for virtual assistant services to edit/proofread their products, blog posts, and books. They're looking for people who love finding and correcting grammar and spelling errors and prefer someone with a degree in education. This one is pretty straight forward, but you'll need experience and testimonials.

Some proofreading jobs needed people who could edit products written in Spanish or English by teachers who were not native speakers of that language. The proofreader would need to improve fluency.

7. Email Marketing

The email marketing services requests include writing email sequences, repurposing existing blog posts and product descriptions to be sent by email, and managing entire campaigns in the email marketing software. Companies asked for VAs who could write welcome emails, promotional emails, TpT sale emails, and re-engagement campaigns. Some teachers needed help building their email lists, also. The most common software included:

  • ConvertKit
  • Mailchimp
  • Flodesk

Some companies also wanted a VA to help create the landing pages needed for opt-in campaigns (which can be done in ConvertKit or in WordPress). One teacher also asked for help with sales funnels in connection with her email marketing campaign.

8. Video Creation & Editing

Teacherpreneurs requesting video creation and editing services were very specific. Some of them wanted product demonstration videos for YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram reels. I also saw requests for video previews for TpT. The most fascinating requests I saw were for product demonstrations video creation and day-in-the-life video editing for TikTok. (This one gives me ideas!) Skills you'll need for these services include:

  • Canva
  • Creator Studio for Facebook and Instagram

I noticed that the majority of requests for video work didn't specify the software required, but one virtual assistant service did specify that she has experience in Adobe Suite and Final Cut Pro. Personally, I use Camtasia for screenshot videos, so that would probably be just fine.

9. WordPress Management

Most of the writing and graphic/image related job requests included managing WordPress in one fashion or another. The teachers either want the VA to add the written content to the site and schedule it, optimize the content for search engines, or add related media. Some companies also wanted WordPress design services, but that didn't seem to be as common since WordPress tends to be pretty intuitive. Of course, if you're completely new to WordPress, you might want to check out our free Teacher's Guide to Building Your Website report.

10. Copywriting (Sales & Marketing)

Several companies need VAs to write their sales letters, product titles and descriptions, headlines, opt-in pages, and social media captions. You'll need to be able to write in a conversational tone, capture the teacher's story in a way that will captivate the reader, and convert those readers into buyers. If you need to add some sales tools to your copywriting skills, check out The Copywriter's Toolbox for lessons and dozens of templates, motivational phrases, power words, calls to action, and more. Click here to get started.

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About the Author

I chose to proactively retire from the classroom teaching and share my gifts in a different context. I'm a damn good teacher and I'm tired of working within a frustrating system that won't let me do what I know is right. So I'm taking my business full time -- and I'm still educating, still making a difference in the world. And I want to help you do the same.

Posted in: Collaboration
    • I hear you! Are these errors in textbooks produced by major publishing houses? Or are you talking about units you’ve purchased on TpT? In either case, what is stopping you from making that happen? I know, if you’re still in the classroom, this year is taking up all the physical, mental, and emotional energy. So when you’re ready, think about what that kind of work would look like. Would you be a home-based virtual assistant? Would you work for someone else? How can I help you?

  • What a helpful resource! I love how clearly you layout ways VAs can assist teacher authors. Now I just have to decide which category I need the most help with!

  • Hello there. I'm currently a teacher working my way to becoming a teacherpreneur. I love how you described everything listed. Most of these skills are used by teachers on a regular basis.

    • Your last line is so true, and a lot of teachers don’t realize this. I especially hear from career teachers that they don’t know what to do because “all” they’ve ever done is teach. But that means they’ve done everything! Just because some guy in a corporation doesn’t value us doesn’t mean we shouldn’t value ourselves. I say take the skills you have, start your own company and connect with the market that DOES value you!

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