Andrei Soriano Gonzales: From Country Manager to Virtual Assistant to Neil Patel’s Lead Customer Support Specialist
Neil Patel. What comes to your mind when you hear his name? If you’re a virtual assistant, you’ve probably heard his name and maybe even read his blogs. He is, after all, a Social Media Expert and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) guru.
No, I won’t be featuring Neil Patel in this issue. That’s a dream, though.
I’m featuring one of his Customer Support Specialists, Andrei Soriano Gonzales. He’s a fellow Pinoy freelancer, a former virtual assistant who has a very interesting freelancing journey.
Who’s This Virtual Assistant Who Grabbed Neil Patel’s Attention?
Andrei captured my attention when he posted in a Facebook Group. This was his post:
Hello. Gusto ko lang po itanong, Pinangarap niyo po ba na mag work-from-home at maging freelancer? Or napilitan lang because of circumstance? Ako po kasi, hindi ko binalak or inisip na maging freqlancer. Pero blessing talaga ito para sa akin. I resigned from my managerial job based in Makati without an offer from a new company. (Stupid mistake, I know) Nahirapan ako maghanap ng trabaho. Sobra. 7 mos ako naghahanap ng work kung saan-saan. Naubos na savings ko, wala pa rin. Napilitan ako mag-setup ng profile sa UpWork to become a VA/researcher na lang. 3usd/hr lang. Pantawid-gutom lang. Grabe talaga. Na-depress ako emotionally. From being a country manager, to doing simple data entry. Pero nag-pursige ako sa freelancing. I tried working as a copywriter, and then social media writer/poster, then transcription, wordpress, Facebook Ads, Infusionsoft etc. etc. I worked my ass off to help dozens of clients. Started to gather 5 stars. Kept Adding new skills. Kept updating by profile. I became Top-Rated only after a year of freelancing, but never looked back since. A month ago, I started working as a fulltime Online Marketing Specialist for Neil Patel himself. Now I’m earning 3x my old salary. I hope people get inspired by my story to get serious with freelancing if in case they lose a job or simply can’t find their way back into the corporate world.
Imagine a former country manager eating his pride to break into freelancing? A Chemical Engineering student from UP Diliman who graduated Magna Cum Laude trying to make do with $3 per hour to survive?
But determination does pay off. After more than a year of working with several clients and earning his stars, Andrei landed a job that, to most virtual assistants, is a dream come true.
Yes, you can never put a good man down.
Even Andrei is amazed at the way things turned out for him.
Working with Neil is kinda surreal, he says. It’s a “constant source of joy.”
When Neil first messaged him, he thought, “Naku, VA lang nya to. Hindi si Neil ito.”
Only when he realized that Neil does not have a personal virtual assistant did he believe it was him.
Watch the video and learn from Andrei’s freelance journey. This virtual assistant has a lot of tips and information you can use to boost your career. NOTE: Video starts at 2:54.
As Andrei says:
“When the opportunity came, I was prepared.”
Other Virtual Assistant Tips from Andrei
The video above is my second interview with Andrei. The first one was done in Skype. Unfortunately, the recording did not play, but I was able to take some notes. Here they are:
What tools did you have to learn?
- CMS, HTML and WP Backend
- Infusionsoft – CRM software, not hard to master, resolving issues, handling emails
- Google Docs and Sheets
- Asana, Basecamp, Trello
Quick tips for a profile that stands out:
- Proofread profile
- Try to describe how you can help your client
- Always read your profile with fresh eyes
- Set yourself apart
- Let your personality shine
- Put a neat profile picture
- Don’t be afraid to “copy”
Whether you’re a newbie virtual assistant or hoping to be one, you need to learn as much you can whenever you can. This way, you will be prepared when opportunity knocks at your door.
Mr. Oppor T. Unity knocks only once.
Be ready to welcome him.