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Tired of the 9-5 job and daily monotony, why don’t you explore online jobs in the comfort of your home. There are 3.9 million Americans or 2.9% of the total workforce who work remotely at least half the time.
To work from home, you need to be disciplined, patient and responsible for succeeding. Well, if you are still wondering what work to do and where to start from then consider being a Virtual Assistant.
You want to be a Virtual Assistant (VA) but have no experience. No problem! The fact is you don’t need to be an expert to start working as a Virtual Assistant and build a lucrative career from scratch with your existing skills.
It is simple, but success doesn’t happen overnight. To make money virtual assistant needs to put in hard work, efforts, and dedication.
Read on to learn how to become a Virtual Assistant, where to find clients and make a full-time professional career.
What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?
A virtual assistant provides administrative, creative and technical services to businesses from anywhere in the world typically that a secretary or an assistant would do in a traditional office set up but this is online (hence the term ‘virtual’).
Many small business, entrepreneurs, blog writers are willing to outsource work to virtual assistants to focus on other important things in business. Outsourcing to VA also helps companies to keep away from employment tax.
Who can become a Virtual Assistant?
Anyone who has the administrative skill and is organized, dedicated, and professional. A stay- at- home parent, teachers, students, accountants possess specific skills and traits to succeed.
The best part of a virtual assistant is that so many from the diverse background can do it. It has an opportunity for everyone.
What does a Virtual Assistant do?
They can do a lot. They can provide support to perform various tasks on a day-to-day basis. There are more than 150 services to offer out of which some are general, and some are skill and industry-specific. Let me list down a few virtual assistant jobs for better understanding:
- The services of a general virtual assistant are:
- Email management
- Arrange travel
- Data entry
- Tele calling or handling phone calls
- Bookkeeping and Payroll
- Keeping notes
- Calendar management
The skill and industry-specific services are:
- Graphic designer
- Web developer
- Marketing and social media management
To all the beginners irrespective of your profession, pick a niche. Whether you want to be a writer, designer, researcher or even a virtual assistant with no experience, first find out your niche.
It becomes easy to find potential clients, build your brand, make your online presence and become an expert in that field when you are focussed on that particular group. You should aim to become an expert on the services you offer so that you can command higher rates and have clients coming to you than you following them after every gig.
Still, if you aren’t sure of your niche, then don’t let it discourage you from becoming a virtual assistant. After completing a few first assignments, you will discover your interests, skills, type of clients and projects you would like to work upon.
Below are the most in-demand virtual assistant skills :
The customer is the king of any business and answering their questions, and processing orders are time-consuming. People who have a small business online and solopreneurs have other internal important things to be taken care on a daily basis. Therefore, they outsource customer related services.
There are other simple services like data entry, travel booking, calendar management, scheduling and project management which are outsourced. An all-rounder administrative assistant is most sought- after services.
Website Management and Development
It is not necessary to know to code to set up a website virtually but WordPress (website development platform for businesses) and other content management systems to build a website or blogs. You can offer custom made websites or make changes to templates and content, editing posts, update links and website maintenance.
If you are hands-on with CMS and all website development platforms, you can create your own website or blog to display your own portfolio.
Social Media Assistant
Managing multiple accounts on social media is extremely time-consuming for business owners and bloggers. Therefore, they look to outsource the social media services from a virtual assistant who can manage their social media presence.
This includes responding to comments, preparing and organizing content, sharing articles and pin-worthy graphics. In a way, you’re going to make money from social media, whether handling it or posting on it.
You have to be good at:
- Using different apps like Hootsuite to schedule posts across multiple platforms.
- How to pin, tweet, post, update and snap.
- Engaging the audience and create creative content.
- Building the brand and understand what it takes to promote the brand.
It doesn’t take much training but knowledge and skills to make it work for any business. You need to strategize well with the different platforms and manage to add new customers.
The demand for social assistance has exploded in recent years, and if done right, there is no stopping. If you have mastered the art for your clients in building the audience and brand, you stand out from the rest to demand higher fees.
Email marketing service is in demand since owners and bloggers many times struggle to manage and send a timely response to the hundred’s of emails that drop into their inbox.
Hence, email-marketers comes in the picture to help craft emails, auto-respond, classify emails and design email templates using software like Mailget or MailChimp.
The need for content and more content will never fade away. Creating content for social media, websites, advertising, and blogs will always be needed.
You are needed to create a content marketing strategy and drive your audience in order to create traffic to your platform.
Where to find Virtual Assistant Jobs?
After understanding the know-how of being a virtual assistant, the next important step is to search clients which is difficult for any new business. There are few platforms, to begin with:
There are few platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn where you can make your online presence felt and post about your virtual assistant services.
LinkedIn is a professional network platform, and you can join business groups where your potential clients can be and start networking.
Twitter and Facebook are popular social networking platforms. You can let friends and family know about your services, and they may help you to connect with potential clients.
There are many networking events where you can connect with different people and contact them to see if they need any assistance.
Similarly, if you are following any particular blog or know any local business owners connect with them. Explain in brief and confidently about your services. If they are not looking anything now, leave them with your contact details.
There are many websites that offer jobs for a virtual assistant. They are basically mediator between client and virtual assistant. There are many companies who post their requirements and contracts with the virtual assistant.
Below are few examples of freelancing websites: It is a little difficult to break through initially if you have no experience but not impossible.
It is the biggest freelancing marketplace with many jobs posted. It offers free registration and after signing up, fill your profile and give all the required details.
You need to have a perfect pitch for the client in order to select you. The website takes 10% cut on any payment received.
Also, read –
This website is only for the U.S and Canada based taskers. The taskers should be at least 21 with a social security number. It specializes in connecting people locally. You need to register online, fill the form and check email to attend Info sessions.
After attending the session, you need to have a smartphone as all your work will be done via Taskers App. It takes a 15% cut on any payment received.
It is one of the most popular global freelancing marketplaces and is free to join. It offers freelancers to post ‘ hourlies’ where a fixed fee is decided for the services. You are required to fill the profile and other details.
The general handling fees are 20% cut on the first new client of 500 pounds and 5% thereafter. It allows reviews from non-PPH clients as well.
It is the biggest job search engine and does show up online opportunities if the right keywords used. In the search bar, type “Virtual Assistant” for “What” option and “remote location” for “Where” option to get the desired result.
Other keywords for “what” can be Administration Assistant, Customer Support, General Administration Assistant.
For “where” can be work from home, online job, remote, virtual, freelance.
You can try different permutations and combinations to get the result.
Start on Your Own:
Creating your own website (even if you have no experience) as a Virtual Assistant will give you complete control over your services and rates. It will give your clients a place to see your work and know about your skills. You will be determined to find your niche and upscale it.
It is easy and cost effective to start your own website using WordPress a self-hosted platform. There many free and premium templates.
Gina Horkey, a well-known writer, and virtual Assistant has become an expert and successfully runs an online course 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success where she teaches how to start from scratch and learn the nitty gritty in a month.
She became a successful blogger and a virtual assistant in less than six months (while working full time with two toddlers) and was able to earn more than $4000 per month as a side income. Now she has been able to quadruple and is going full time. Initially, it is a great online job from home with on only minimal investment.
The online course will help the beginners who want to start on their own but are unsure about the path. She has also prepared a list of 150+ services a virtual assistant can offer
There are some free tools of the trade to help you enhance your services as a virtual assistant, and they are :
This app will help you to monitor and correct your spelling and grammar errors. As a virtual assistant, you will be involved in writing, and this will proofread your content.
It is very easy and convenient to use in order to juggle between different social media platforms. It is important to maintain your online presence, and so this automation tool comes to your rescue.
You can schedule your posts in advance on Twitter and Facebook, and this will save your time from creating regular content. Also, it helps to analyze the response of the audience to the post.
It is a photo editor, color palette tool, different fonts, collage maker and many more. It also has a dedicated infographic maker with various templates.
It is a free platform which offers Google Docs, Sheets, Bloggers, Classroom, Slides, Hangouts and other features. You can create, edit and share documents, sheets with anyone and track the changes as well directly from your browser.
In case you aren’t able to use MS office, google apps help you. There are various tricks and trips to use it and save it on your drive which is accessible anytime and anywhere.
The opportunities to make money virtual assistant is limitless and varies, depending on the level of work. Entry level VA makes $18 – $35 per hour depending on your skills and experience.
The more experienced and skilled VA – higher will be the challenges, and higher rates will be charged. There are many VA’s who makes $50 per hour. There are certainly other ways to make money fast, but being a Virtual Assistant is a trending one.
Get started after understanding how to become a Virtual Assistant. Easier said than done but if you really want to build your own business as a Virtual Assistant jump in and start doing. Don’t wait for a chance to come your way but you create your own way.
- 1 What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?
- 2 Who can become a Virtual Assistant?
- 3 What does a Virtual Assistant do?
- 4 Where to find Virtual Assistant Jobs?
- 5 Final Thoughts