I met Sharon Pillay through Jutta when I joined V-Assist 4 years ago.
Sharon had this warm and very energetic personality and soon I would realise that one has to put on special VA tekkies to keep up with this energetic lady who keeps always a few steps ahead of everything social media related.
I hope you will enjoy learning more about her story and her amazing career as a Virtual Assistant, Female Entrepreneur.
My name is Sharon Pillay, I am a step mum to two boys, aged 16 and 26. I am a marketing and social media manager and a social media coach at It’s Virtually Done, a boutique social media marketing & coaching agency based in Sandton. Our purpose is to help service-based entrepreneurs promote & scale their businesses online to find new clients and increase their monthly revenue.
I have over nine years of experience as a Marketing & Communication and Social media manager, devising and delivering marketing and digital marketing strategies for businesses.
After working in corporate for over 20 years, even though I loved my job, I realised that my family was being neglected. I also wanted financial freedom and the time to spend with my family. In 2018, I left my job and took a one-month sabbatical. During that time, I researched options of jobs I could start from home and landed on the ideas of being a virtual assistant.
I officially opened my doors for business in May 2018. But after working as a virtual assistant for a year, I realised that I was helping my clients set up marketing plans and working more on their social media.
I decided to move away from being a virtual assistant and started my boutique social media agency.
Lots of research but what really happened, I was talking to a friend she had asked me to help her with a task and since I was chatting to her via Zoom at the time, I said “consider it virtually done”.
I said that I was going to call my company It’s Virtually Done, we laughed about it, but it just felt right. So here we are, It’s Virtually Done has been in business for over three years and thriving.
I’ve been fortunate in my previous jobs where I got to run the marketing department, and I used to run them like a mini business.
So, I thought that I was well equipped to start my business, but I was wrong, I had made so many mistakes at the beginning, it makes me cringe just thinking about it.
I no longer had a team to help me, I was now the salesperson, the admin clerk and the marketing manager and I still had to do the work for my clients. Since my business is still small, I decided to utilise the services of freelancers and that has made a world of difference to my business, I didn’t have to do it all anymore.
I’m passionate about what I do, I know that I cannot do everything, so I focus on my strengths and delegate the other stuff.
Like all entrepreneurs you must work hard, nothing is handed to you, to achieve the success you dream about, you need to work for it.
I was fortunate, due to Covid-19 most businesses had find creative ways to reach their clients, so I helped client go online. Reaching out to their clients on social media, I helped them create brand awareness, build relationships, and reach their target audience.
So, during 2020, business picked up, it was a good year for It’s Virtually Done.
All the time. I sometimes wish I had a steady 8 to 5 job and don’t have to worry trying to get new clients or dealing with difficult ones. But I love what I do.
I love seeing the end results when we are running campaigns for clients and watching them prosper and grow.
We do quite a bit of paid advertising. But we also try to create awareness by utilising newsletters, social media (organic) and e-mail marketing. Most of our business comes from word of mouth and other clients promoting us.
I prioritise my time as much as I can, in other words, I plan my day. I’m old fashioned, I still use a diary to schedule tasks, meetings and focus time. I keep my to do list organised, I set deadlines, I try to create a 3-hour working zone where I concentrate on specific tasks and avoid any distractions and I take small 15-minute breaks in a computer free zone.
Yes, definitely. I would define my target audience and services better. I realise that I cannot be everything to everyone and stick to my strengths. You need to love what you do so that it does not become a chore.
My mum, I’ve watched her struggle through life, but she always had a smile on her face and always persevered. She taught me that I could be anything I wanted to be if I stayed the course. She is my hero.
My favourite quote: “When you learn how much you are worth, you’ll stop giving people discounts.” Karen Salmansohn
Don’t think you have to do everything yourself; you are not alone on your entrepreneurship journey. All you need to do is reach out, ask for help and there will be people willing to help you along on your journey.
Also never stop learning, the world is changing so services change, keep up to date and learn new skills.