The Design Business Show 147: Find or Become a Unicorn Virtual Assistant with Emily Reagan

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | July 6, 2021
Check out episode 147 of The Design Business Show with Emily Reagan to learn all about the true magic of virtual assistants!

Emily Reagan is a mom of four, Air Force wife, digital marketing consultant and founder of As a scrappy military wife who moves every two years, Emily has worked in various jobs related to public relations, marketing, sports media relations, journalism and video production. Finally her random skill set paid off as a freelancer digital media “VA” (virtual assistant). Now she helps creative entrepreneurs take their talents online, grow their social media presence and build their sales funnels. She quickly booked out and didn’t like turning down clients, so she trained her smart military spouse and mom friends to learn digital media tech skills and take on clients as their own. She calls her Digital Media VA Crash Course graduates “unicorn VAs” because they have all the resourceful qualities, online insight and implementation skills that online business owners are looking to hire first… aka that total magical package.

Here’s what we covered on the episode:

Emily’s Background

  • How emily and I met over a year ago, before the pandemic at dinner through Sage Polaris at the TCC IRL event
  • The story of how Emily had her dream job, found out she was pregnant, moved again, became a stay at home mom, had a couple more kids, and moved a couple more times
  • A friend of Emily’s saw that a blogger needed help with a media kit and asked Emily if she would be interested; Emily said yes and explains that she googled what a media kit was because at that time social media was changing so much and she had been out of the workforce for a 4-5 years
  •  Emily explains how doing this blogger’s media kit opened one door after another and introduced her to Google Analytics

What’s a Unicorn VA?

  • Why Emily doesn’t like the term VA because to her, she was never just a virtual assistant, she had so many responsibilities and did so many tasks that had a direct impact on her clients and their business
  • What Emily teaches virtual assistants in her course is, get in, get your feet wet, learn the skills, figure out very quickly what you like, what you’re good at, what you don’t like and immediately start promoting yourself
  • Promote yourself as a VA by taking on projects because so many businesses will hire in-house or hire overseas
  • When Emily talks about unicorn VAs, she’s talking about that first person you hire when you need help with everything, someone who can help with the administrative tasks, but can also help with the tasks that bog you down weekly
  • When deciding what you should or shouldn’t take on as a VA, Emily says know what your zone of genius is and start handing off the things you aren’t good at
  • Emily shares that when you have a skill that’s marketable, you just need to learn the online way of doing that business and shares a real example of someone in her course
  • When Emily first started, she kept her head down, said yes to the projects, had no vision but ended up booking out so quickly that she realized she needed to teach her other mom friends what she was doing because there was such a high demand for implementers
  • How training 8 women to take on and subcontract client work validated for Emily that she could teach people and realized she needed to scale it

How Emily’s Business has Changed

  • The story of how Emily helped a client with a million dollar launch, where she stayed up until 1am rebuilding the client’s tech library and realized she didn’t want to be doing that anymore
  • Emily started to scale her course and put herself out there
  • How quiz funnels were a great way for Emily to keep her hand in the pot, but get out of hourly rates
  • When Emily pitched her first press kit, she charged $300 and shares she had some experience but didn’t really know how to design, so ended up hiring it out
  • Emily started doing Pinterest for $10/hr and says she loved it because it was stress free
  • Now, Emily charges $100/hr and her day rates are $1,000 a day

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

  • If you are in need of a VA, you can go to hire a and fill out a form that they’ll post in their student Facebook group
  • Emily’s advice is to not wait until it’s too late to hire someone to help you; she also says don’t get stuck on 1 tech skill you need because someone will be able to learn it
  • Even if a job listing has job requirements you don’t meet, like needing 5 year of experience, Emily says put your name in the hat anyways
  • Why Emily tells all her students who are new to talk to their friends because they probably know a business owner who you can get work from
  • Emily tells us about the 4 women on her team and explains each of their roles, and shares that she does her own social media
  • If you want to hire a unicorn, go to hire a
  • Connect with Emily on Instagram or listen to her Podcast, Unicorn Unite 
  • , Unicorns Unite or fill out a form at hire a if you are in need of a VA


Links mentioned:

Emily’s VA Crash Course

Hire a Unicorn 

Connect with Emily on Instagram 

Listen to Emily’s Podcast – Unicorns Unite 


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