The DIY VA Course by Joanne Munro (founder of The VA Handbook) is one of the most popular courses teaching people how to become virtual assistants online.
In the DIY VA course, Joanne basically shows you how to set up and run a VA business. She walks you through the entire process to help you avoid the mistakes she made when she first started out.
If you are reading this wondering whether it is any good, you’ve come to the right place.
We took the time to dissect it and put all our findings in this DIY VA Course review to help you decide whether it is something you’d consider if you are in the market for a VA course.
Before I start…
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- The VA Handbook DIY VA Course was created by Joanne Munro for virtual assistants. It is a self-paced online course that typically takes a couple of weeks.
- It is for beginners and those with some experience and has a focus on leveraging existing skills or easily learnable ones.
- The course content comprises mainly written content with some videos and exercises.
- When you pay for The DIY VA Course, you get lifetime access to the course and a supportive community.
- You can pay for the course in a one-time payment of GBP 597 ($731) or various installment options. There is a 14-day money-back guarantee if less than 20% of the course is completed.
- VERDICT: “The VA Handbook DIY VA Course” is a comprehensive program offering tools and resources for establishing and running a successful VA business. Joanne Munro’s expertise makes this course a recommended option for those entering or expanding in the virtual assistant industry.
What is The VA Handbook DIY VA Course?
The VA Handbook is an online VA course created by Joanne Munro that should take a couple of weeks to complete, on average. Like many other online programs, it is self-paced.
Based on our observations, it is suited to beginners who’ve never tried VA work although virtual assistants who have some experience but are starting out can also learn new lessons to take their business to the next level.
The VA Handbook acts as a guide to help you know what kind of virtual assistant work you’d be best suited for, then walks you through the process of setting it up.
Joanne’s approach is unlike a VA course like Virtual Savvy which teaches you new skills because she encourages you to focus on your strengths and base your business on the skills you already have or the ones you’d have an easier time learning.
In addition to the course material, you get to join a trainee-only support group where Joanne nurtures your mindset to help you become a confident and decisive business owner.
The course is mostly made up of written content but there are a few videos and exercises.
For example, there is a walk-through screenshare video on how to find out what you are good at. There’s also a workbook to complete along with a skills questionnaire to help you figure out your niche and what services to offer.
She says that the course has created well over 1,000 Virtual Assistants, many of whom now run agencies.
Who is a Virtual Assistant?
If you are unfamiliar with what being a virtual assistant means, a virtual assistant (usually shortened to VA) is pretty much someone who assists clients or businesses in a remote capacity.
A VA provides administrative, creative, technical, or other specialized support to individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses, or organizations.
The exact job description is not defined and may vary based on what a client needs.
For example, if you work as a general or administrative virtual assistant, your roles will be similar to those of in-person assistants office taking phone calls, scheduling appointments, and doing pretty much whatever administrative tasks the client needs. The difference is that you will be working virtually.
Although your tasks vary widely based on the needs of your clients, here are some common activities that you may do as a virtual assistant:
- Administrative Tasks: These include managing emails and calendars, scheduling appointments and meetings, data entry and organization, and making travel arrangements and bookings
- Communication and Customer Service: The roles include responding to emails and inquiries, handling customer support, managing social media accounts, and drafting and editing documents or reports.
- Project and Task Management: You may be involved in organizing and managing projects, creating and updating task lists, and coordinating with team members
- Research and Data Analysis: You will be tasked with conducting online research, compiling data and generating reports, and summarizing information from various sources.
- Content Creation: This involves writing and editing blog posts, creating marketing materials, and designing graphics or presentations.
- Technical Support: It involves providing basic IT support, managing website content and updates, and setting up and managing software or tools.
- Financial and Bookkeeping Tasks: This typically includes managing invoices and payments, tracking expenses and budgets, and assisting with bookkeeping tasks.
- Personal Tasks: You will be managing personal appointments and schedules, making personal reservations, and gift shopping and organization.
If you want to make more money, you should specialize in a certain skill set or industry. When you are a specialist, you will attract clients who will want your skills and be willing to pay more money.
The only downside to specializing is that you narrow your pool of prospective clients.
Who is Joanne Munro and is she Legit?
Joanne Munro started working as a virtual assistant in 2008. She always wanted a job that made her happy and decided that becoming a VA was her best shot at that.
Joanne lives in Brighton, England, and has been working virtually, for more than 15 years.
She started The VA Handbook to render support to other VAs, particularly those starting out.
Joanne Munro is legit and we found a multitude of positive reviews and testimonials from people who have taken her course and become full-fledged virtual assistants.
Lessons of the DIY VA Course
Crafted by Joanne Munro, a professional with over 15 years of experience, the course offers nine impactful lessons covering all aspects of managing a VA business to ensure a thorough understanding of starting and running a successful VA business.
The DIY VA Course has the following lessons:
Lesson 1: Before you begin
This is an introduction to the virtual assistant world. This sets the foundation for understanding what it means to be a virtual assistant. You also learn how to make the most of this course. Some of the topics include:
- What you just did
- What we should expect from each other
- Assembly instructions
Lesson 2: Your whizz bang productivity calendar
Having an effective calendar will help you manage your workload once you launch your own virtual assistant business.
As a virtual assistant, you’ll often be juggling multiple tasks and projects for different clients or teams. A well-organized calendar helps in scheduling and prioritizing these tasks efficiently, ensuring that deadlines are met and no important tasks fall through the cracks.
It allows you to visualize your day or week, helping you allocate sufficient time to each task and avoid overcommitting. It also helps in coordinating with clients and team members across various time zones, ensuring effective communication and timely responses.
Joanne believes that a structured calendar is important for maintaining productivity and covers it in her course:
- Calendar intro (read first)
- Calendar exercise
- Batching and delegation
- Effective time management
Lesson 3: Establishing your niche and services
Here, you analyze your career history and skillset to identify your strengths and weaknesses, which can shape your VA business.
There are videos and exercises on how to analyze your career history and assess your skillset so you can work out what services you can offer.
The lessons are:
- Working out your skill set
- Identifying existing niches
- A final word on niches
- Setting your services
- Who hires a VA and why?
- Now do this
In this module, you effectively learn how to find niches that match your skill set to meet specific client needs effectively. I believe it is the most unique aspect of this VA course and what sets it apart from the others.
Lesson 4: Money & Legal
In this module, you learn how to set up your own VA business.
Here you learn how to invoice and get paid, set up a business bank account, and manage contracts, data protection (GDPR), tax, and insurance.
You learn how to charge for your services; knowing how to ask for payment and how much you should charge is a valuable skill that you should have to work as a VA. You learn:
- Setting your rates
- Financial and legal stuff
Lesson 5: LinkedIn
Being on LinkedIn as a professional is imperative.
LinkedIn serves as a powerful networking platform where you can connect with industry peers, potential employers, clients, and collaborators.
It allows you to showcase your professional background, skills, and accomplishments in a structured and accessible manner, acting as an online resume.
Additionally, LinkedIn offers a space for engaging in industry discussions, staying updated with trends, and gaining insights through articles and posts shared by other VAs.
It’s a valuable source for job opportunities and career growth, providing a platform for recruiters to discover your profile and consider you for work.
Here’s what’s covered in the course:
- Why she is covering LinkedIn
- Writing your LinkedIn profile
- Additional LinkedIn tips
Lesson 6: Establishing your brand
This covers all aspects of brand management from creating sales pages, managing job postings, and marketing strategies, as well as handling administrative tasks efficiently.
You learn how to establish your personal brand. From deciding your company name and logo, to what you should put on your website.
- Business name and branding
- Getting your website sorted
Lesson 7: Finding work
You learn effective methods to promote your services and attract prospective clients.
Joanne also advises you on how to navigate various avenues for job postings relevant to VAs.
- Landing your first client
- Marketing your business
Lesson 8: Managing your business
If you are not used to an unstructured work schedule, it can be tough to manage your time effectively. Joanne included this module with you in mind.
Here, she shows you how to create a flexible, working calendar so you can easily manage your training, personal and work commitments.
You also learn how to effectively engage with clients, make them feel comfortable, and smoothly onboard them into your services.
Working with clients
- Staying on track
- Six-month business audit
- VA life and staying in business
- End of course checklist
Joanne teaches you how to manage clients and ensure the survival of your new VA business. Including how to stay motivated, manage your workload, and audit your activities.
Lesson 9: Resources
Resources such as Jo’s DIY VA toolbox (we will cover this later), which includes templates, checklists, and guides are also part of the package along with access to a private Facebook group where students can engage with each other.
You also get ongoing support from the buddy-up scheme even after you complete the course rounding off this exhaustive list of topics covered in The VA Handbook DIY VA Course.
- Your Toolbox
- Ask Questions
- Exclusive Rock Star discount codes
In addition to the main course content, you get these bonuses:
- The “Client Consultation Guide” is for enhancing professionalism and effectively converting prospects into new clients.
- A client onboarding checklist and welcome email to help smoothly bring in a new client on board.
- You learn how to conduct a six-month business audit to safeguard your efforts and maintain a thriving, profitable business.
- You receive exclusive discounts on all of Joanne’s other courses as well as priority access to new products.
- You receive a 20% discount on Joanne’s legal contracts, even when purchasing just one document, unlike others who need to buy two or more to get this discount.
- The “Ultimate VA Marketing Course.” It acknowledges the vastness of marketing as a subject and emphasizes the provision of guidance and support rather than leaving you to navigate it on your own.
- 12 LinkedIn summary examples to assist in creating an outstanding profile, aiming to elevate your presence above others on the platform.
- Guide on How to Get New Clients: Joanne shares a highly successful method for consistently acquiring new clients.
- 10 Example Prospect Emails: To reach your ideal client effectively, you get 10 proven prospect emails for your communication.
Benefits of The DIY VA Course
- The DIY VA Course offers lifetime access to the course and a supportive community.
- It provides comprehensive business training and valuable extras.
- I like that Joanne is attentive to trainees’ progress and offers direct guidance to those who might struggle.
- As a student, you will gain access to a dedicated trainee-only group for questions and regular live Q&A sessions.
- You gain lifetime access to the VA membership club, an inclusive community with job postings, Q&A sessions, networking opportunities, and personal feedback from Joanne.
Drawbacks of The DIY VA Course
The course is decent and there aren’t any significant drawbacks to write home about. But if I were to be nitpicky, here are some minor gripes people have had with the course:
- Joanne focuses on helping you make the most of the skills you already possess, rather than teaching you new ones.
- Since there is no face-to-face interaction with instructors and peers, it can be challenging to ask questions, receive immediate feedback, or engage in real-time discussions, which is essential for some learners.
- While the DIY VA course is cost-effective compared to traditional education, it still comes with a significant price tag (relatively) that may rule out some students.
The DIY VA Course Pricing
There are a variety of payment options (based on the exchange rates today September 2023):
- One-time payment of GBP 597 ($731)
- Two payments of GBP 300 ($367)
- Three payments of GBP 200 ($244)
- Four monthly payments of GBP 150 ($183)
The course is hosted on a private courses website so when you pay for it, you’ll immediately receive an email with your login details so you can instantly access the site and start working through the lessons.
The DIY VA Course Money Back Guarantee
They have a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Here’s Joanne talking about it:
“So if you sign up and decide it’s not for you, as long as you let me know within 14 days and you have completed less than 20% of the course, just ping me an email and I’ll give you a full refund.”
Other Products Offered by Joanne Munro’s The VA Handbook
If you are going to take the DIY VA course, we would recommend that you also explore some of the other products and services that Joanne Munro offers to complement the course.
VA All Stars Membership Group
The VA All Stars Membership Group is a private Facebook group that you have to pay to join.
Joanne chose Facebook because most people have an account on the platform.
Facebook does not have a subscription model, so when you purchase the monthly subscription you get the Facebook joining link.
You can find the group but only a member can view the content and see who else is in the group. You will be required to keep any information posted in the group private and confidential.
The VA All Stars is for established Virtual Assistants who wish to be part of a close-knit community of like-minded VAs who are learning, collaborating, and working together.
It is supposed to offer you a supportive environment with your peers, sharing challenges and taking advantage of each other’s knowledge and experiences to elevate your business.
You don’t have to be a student of the DIY VA course to join. All you have to do is pay the entry fee and you’re in.
However, Joanne has restricted access to the group to people who meet certain requirements.
- You must be an established VA with at least two clients.
- You must show an interest in new technology and AI.
- You must prove you want to engage in learning, collaborating, and sharing with others.
- You must be someone who wants to take responsibility for the success of their business.
For established Virtual Assistants seeking business growth, the VA All Stars membership group is an exciting opportunity to elevate your venture.
The All Stars focuses on these topics:
To join the All Stars, having a minimum of two clients is a requirement, but this doesn’t rule out the need to keep attracting the ideal clients who value your skills and pay well.
When you join the group, you will learn about a spectrum of topics including avatars, networking, content plans, marketing strategies, prospecting, and conversion optimization to help you stand out in the dynamic world of social media.
Joanne emphasizes that marketing is achievable and enjoyable, presenting it as an engaging game rather than an intimidating endeavor.
AI & Tech
The emergence of AI has revolutionized various tasks such as converting text to images, videos, flowcharts, and speech, just to mention a few.
Staying updated with AI advancements alone is challenging for individual virtual assistants (VAs) given how AI is a vital and enduring aspect of the industry, requiring virtual assistants to master its use for competitiveness and survival.
The group allows you to collaboratively learn about and share experiences of AI platforms and new tools to harness collective knowledge and future-proof your business.
The All Stars emphasizes leveraging AI to enhance productivity and create new prospects for both VAs and their clients.
The All Stars Lightning Mastermind sessions facilitate problem-solving, idea generation, and mutual empowerment through structured Zoom calls held monthly in small groups.
Participating in a high-level Mastermind group proved transformative for Joanne Munro as she believes it offered her unique perspectives and strategies she’d never have thought of on her own.
The experience involved successful high achievers and provided networking opportunities and she wants to replicate that when you join her group.
Virtual coworking spaces are an avenue for you to socialize with other people since most of your job as a VA means you are working from home isolated and missing out on the camaraderie of an office setup.
Virtual coworking sessions foster a sense of community.
The All Stars group has online coworking sessions taking place across time zones.
Goal Setting, Planning & Review
Joanne is committed to helping you achieve what you want each month; whether it be landing a new client, booking ten more hours, making more money, taking on an associate, or learning a new skill.
She teaches you how to clearly define your goal, break it down into manageable tasks, and then work through those tasks until completion.
Every month you’ll be given a set of questions so you can review the previous month and map out the next.
In addition to these activities, you also get associate matching, in-person meetups, and guest interviews.
There are also video discussions with small groups of VAs who offer services like podcasting, SEO, web design, and video editing.
They discuss what their work entails, how they get their clients, and how they price a project
In addition to those benefits, there are added benefits like:
- Guide on How to Get New Clients: You learn the most successful marketing method that works for Joanne and helps her land clients.
- Video Walkthrough of the Guide: You get a rundown of Joanne’s guide on how to get new clients.
- Six-Month Business Audit: They teach you how to audit your business to assess your progress and make sure it remains strong and profitable.
- 10 Example Prospect Email Templates: You get tried and tested prospect email templates to send prospective clients.
- Income Tracking & Forecast Template: This is a client income forecast spreadsheet that will help you monitor and predict your client income so you can make better and more strategic financial business decisions.
- Goal Planning & Task Workbook: This workbook is broken down into the quarterly, monthly, and weekly tasks you need to complete.
Monthly Membership Cost
The VA All Stars membership is £30 per month or $36.79 (the exchange rate varies so you should confirm this).
If you are a student of the DIY VA course, you receive a discount. Joanne says that you will pay £25 per month even if you cancel your membership and rejoin later.
However, not all students get the discount as you must have completed the DIY course as well as your marketing course and have at least two clients.
Money Back Guarantee
You get a full refund if you cancel within 3 days of signing up for the membership.
One of the best things about Joanne Munro is her ability to create thriving communities of Virtual Assistants. That is certainly the case with the VA Handbookers.
Unlike The VA All Stars group, which is restricted to experienced Virtual Assistants, this one is open to all VAs irrespective of their skill level.
However, you have to request to join the group since it is private.
The VA Handbookers is meant to be a fun and friendly community where Virtual Assistants can exchange ideas, share experiences and support each other on their freelance journey.
The trainee-only Facebook Group was created to accompany the VA Handbook website and training courses.
With over 22,000 global members, this Facebook group is full of like-minded people all sharing their freelance journey.
Additional Free and Paid Resources
In addition to the course and the groups, there are additional tools although some of them are paid for.
- A list of tools for setting up a VA business
- Editable templates for overdue payment emails (there are different templates dependant on how late to pay you are)
- A networking handout sheet to articulate services at networking events.
- Professional insurance cover through PolicyBee, with potential discounts for UK members.
- The “Client Consultation Doc” provides guidance for handling new client meetings effectively.
- The “10 Example Prospect Emails” package helps you write prospect emails by offering versatile templates for customization.
- “12 Example LinkedIn Summaries” offers diverse summaries to optimize LinkedIn profiles for marketing.
- The “Client Onboarding Checklist” includes a checklist and editable email template to facilitate a smooth start with a new client.
- There are email templates designed to navigate challenging conversations with clients effectively. These templates cover scenarios such as discussing rates and additional fees for rapid turnaround or out-of-hours work.
- A comprehensive business audit tool, aimed at helping you conduct regular reviews to assess your performance in areas such as client relationships, income, marketing, and services.
- If you want to become an associate virtual assistant, there is a course that covers all the necessary aspects, from finding roles and legal requirements to acing skills tests and building strong relationships with Lead VAs.
- There is a guide focused on acquiring new clients, presenting a step-by-step technique proven to be highly successful.
- Legal contracts and policies, including freelancer contracts and data processing agreements, ensure legal compliance and are updated in accordance with any changes in the law.
- For professional growth and diversification, there are mini-courses, such as the ultimate VA marketing course, minute taking for meetings course, virtual assistant pricing course, newsletter training course, and Gmail training course. These courses aim to enhance your skills and knowledge, ranging from marketing strategies to specialized tasks like minute-taking and email management. There are also the confidence-boosting course and website setup course, addressing personal barriers and technical aspects of starting a virtual assistant business.
- Lastly, there’s a course focused on managing a virtual assistant business while traveling, catering to those interested in a digital nomad lifestyle.
Joanne Munro’s YouTube Channel
To gain insights into Joanne Munro and her DIY VA course, you should check out her YouTube videos.
These videos offer a glimpse into Joanne’s teaching style, the content she covers, and the overall approach of her course.
By watching her free content, you can gauge the quality and relevance of the information she provides. This allows you to assess if her teaching aligns with your learning preferences and objectives before deciding to invest in her full course.
The free material serves as a preview, giving you a taste of what you can expect and you can then make an informed decision about pursuing further learning with Joanne and her DIY VA course.
What Are People Saying About The DIY VA course?
The VA Handbook DIY VA course recently received an award for the top VA Trainer from PA Assist:
The winner of the award is usually voted on by other VAs so it’s nice to know that they endorse her course.
Students who have taken “The VA Handbook DIY VA Course” have provided glowing reviews and testimonials.
The impression you get is that they have found the course to be incredibly valuable in starting and growing their own successful VA businesses.
After sifting through the reviews we found online, some of the positive feedback includes:
- Students appreciate the specific steps and advice provided in the course, which have helped them effectively manage and grow their VA businesses.
- The lifetime access to the training materials allows students to go at their own pace and refer back to the content whenever they need it.
- The trainee-only support group provides an invaluable community where students can connect with others, share experiences, and receive additional guidance from Joanne Munro herself.
- Many students have praised Joanne Munro as a mentor and guide in the VA industry, citing her expertise and support as instrumental to their success.
Overall, students highly recommend “The VA Handbook DIY VA Course” as a decent and relatively inexpensive program that delivers results for those looking to start or expand their virtual assistant businesses.
The DIY VA Alternatives
If Joanne Munro’s Virtual Assistant course is not your cup of tea, there are other virtual assistant training programs you can try out:
The Virtual Excellence Academy
The Virtual Excellence Academy (VEA) by Hannah Dixon is a virtual assistant training program that offers comprehensive training for aspiring virtual assistants, emphasizing sustainable income without relying on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.
VEA covers essential topics for VA success and places a focus on enjoying the work. Hannah has built a supportive community called the Inner Circle, fostering camaraderie and offering opportunities for co-working and engaging in enjoyable virtual activities.
The Inner Circle also helps combat the potential isolation that often comes with remote work, and anyone purchasing a VEA package gains lifetime access to this community.
The SavvySystem by Abbey Ashley is one of the best virtual assistant courses online and it has been featured by notable platforms like NBC News, Boss Mom, and Teachable.
The lessons cover the basics and all aspects of running a VA business, even delving into team building and management. Lifetime access to its community and coaching makes it a top choice for anyone at any stage of their VA journey.
The course tackles things like launching a VA business, services, and pricing strategies, client acquisition, branding, legal considerations, efficient workflows, marketing, website setup and management, team building, and business scaling strategies.
In $10K VA, Kayla Sloan teaches you how to build a successful virtual assistant business earning up to $10,000 monthly.
The course covers the fundamental aspects of starting and scaling a VA business. In the VA world, few programs can match what Kayla’s course teaches.
Kayla Sloan shares her proven method and detailed insights on achieving this income goal, presenting a structured and science-based approach.
The 90 Day VA
“90 Day VA” is a well-rounded program covering both business development and skill enhancement.
Its unique selling point is helping people start acquiring clients within 90 days.
What sets it apart is the emphasis on leveraging social media to expand one’s VA business, a feature not commonly found in other courses.
It also provides specialized training for in-demand roles like podcast or video editing, setting it apart from courses that overlook these areas.
It is great for aspiring and experienced VAs aiming to launch and grow their business in a short timeframe, especially those looking to enhance their online presence.
“The VA Handbook DIY VA Course” is a comprehensive program that provides you with all the tools and resources you need to establish and run a successful VA business.
With lifetime access to the course materials and support group, you’ll have everything you need to thrive in the virtual assistant industry.
While it’s entirely possible to navigate this path solo and achieve success, you could use the DIY VA course because Joanne’s extensive experience and wealth of knowledge, gleaned from years working as a VA, offers a roadmap that significantly shortens the learning curve.
The DIY VA course isn’t just a lesson plan; it’s a condensed wisdom shared by someone who’s been through it all.
By signing up, you gain access to a treasure trove of insights, strategies, and practical tips that can transform your approach to starting a virtual assistant business.
Before you leave
If you’re tired of scams and want a real solution for making money online, check out my no.1 recommendation.
This is the best business to start in 2023 and made me over 27k last month alone:
David Fortune has been the editor NoBSIMReviews.com since 2019. He is an expert at writing content on stock advisory services, side hustles, reviewing online business opportunities and many more topics. You can learn more about David on our about us page.