Ep. 028 Finding a Niche That Lights You Up (with Wedding Industry VA Adrienna McDermott)
Hey, hey! I am so happy to be coming to you with another episode of The Support Squad Podcast.
And I’m absolutely thrilled to introduce you to today’s guest. Adrienna McDermott is a former bridal boutique owner, wedding planner and florist turned virtual assistant. She is the owner of Ava And The Bee, a virtual assistant and social media managing company for wedding professionals. Adrienna has been in the wedding industry for 10 years, 5 years working and managing bridal salons, and 4 as the co-owner of Ivory & Beau, a wedding planning, bridal boutique and florist in Savannah, Georgia. Adrienna is also passionate about educating others to become freelance virtual assistants. Through her mentorships and course, The Creative VA Academy, she helps women create businesses of their dreams.
Adrienna and I talked about her journey from boutique owner to VA, her advice for virtual assistants that want to break into the wedding industry, and she’s also going to be sharing a sneak peek of her exclusive Pinterest training for Support Squad members this month. We’re going to cover a lot, so let’s dive in with Adrienna!
Adrienna’s Virtual Assistant Journey
Adrienna’s career started 10 years ago (when she was only 18!) in the wedding industry. This led to working in retail and eventually co-owning a wedding planning business and bridal boutique. After 4 years, she began to feel major burnout!
2 years ago, Adrienna sold her company and got a 9-5 job doing social media for a law firm. But even as she was working her office job, she was attending weekly meet-ups with creatives and wedding professionals.
At one of these meet-ups, people began talking about the struggles of creative entrepreneurship: they didn’t want to be in their social media and working on their websites...they just wanted to photograph weddings! This was the first time Adrienna heard the term “virtual assistant”, and she realized that it was something she could totally do, especially with her vast wedding industry experience.
Her virtual assistant business grew very quickly, and within a few weeks, she was beyond booked. As she started to see it more as a viable business, she created a website and social media profiles and began marketing her services to creatives. She was able to leave her full-time job and has been working from home as a virtual assistant since last summer!
Finding a Clear Niche for Your Virtual Assistant Business
As Adrienna explains, a niche can be an industry or a skill-set. She saw that the people that needed her most were creatives in the wedding industry. When she made the leap into marketing herself to wedding professionals, her inquiries tripled (think 8 in one day!)
While she believes there’s nothing wrong with marketing yourself as a general virtual assistant, she’s seen that over time, virtual assistants will learn what they love to do most. If you love doing social media over administrative tasks, stop doing administrative tasks!
Start broad and fine tune as you go!
What Adrienna Loves About Working in the Wedding Industry
Now that Adrienna has been working in the wedding industry for so long, she can’t imagine doing anything else. And what she loves most is the incredible talent she witnesses from wedding professionals. She is amazed by their work every day!
When she left her wedding shop, she thought she would never work in the industry again, and was thrilled when the universe opened up the opportunity to work in weddings...from home in her pajamas.
Her advice for those wanting to break into the wedding industry? If you have no experience, subcontract with someone that already works with wedding professionals. It’s also a great idea to find clients that are also new to the industry!
Tech Tools for Wedding Industry VAs
Adrienna’s Favorite Self-Care Practices as an Entrepreneur
Adrienna is open and transparent in sharing that she has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which can lead to anxiety.
To manage this, she makes sure to have set office hours. She also does a lot of mindful meditation and relies on her support group.
Exclusive Support Squad Expert Training
Pinterest has been an incredible tool in her business - it’s helped her grow her email list, find new clients, and it’s a great service to offer clients! She believes that it’s time to start thinking of Pinterest as a powerful business tool, not just a place to find gluten-free cookie recipes.
Check out a preview of her exclusive training below and make sure to enroll in The Support Squad Membership Community to get the full training when it goes live on August 1!