Many entrepreneurs are now turning to virtual assistants for help with their business. A virtual assistant is someone who provides remote assistance to a business owner or entrepreneur. Some entrepreneurs hire a VA because they need extra help, but don’t want to deal with hiring a new person in person.
This career is made possible by the advancements of technology. Virtual assistants can work remotely and conduct meetings with different clients. The type of work an assistant does depends on the client’s needs and the individual assistant’s skill set.
The common jobs a VA can manage:
- Set appointments
- Documentation & digital filing
- Manage emails
- Attend calls
- Data entry
- General customer support
Virtual assistants usually work for themselves, rather than for companies. They have full control over what jobs they take and how long they work. Some projects are more long-term while others are short-term.
So, I heard you are feeling bored being at home and need some extra cash to pay those never-ending bills. Why not become virtual assistant?
Beginner friendly guide to become a virtual assistant
#Research your niche
Getting into the virtual assistant business is a great way to make money if done carefully. There are many aspects of this business, but if you can do your research and plan for each of them, you’ll be able to stand up for yourself and succeed.
Getting started as a virtual assistant can be daunting. However, do you best and it won’t be as tough as you may think! The first step is asking if you want to work full-time or part time. You’ll want to find out if your job prospects are locally based or not – and whether you can work through an online platform. With the pros and cons of each, you’ll have a plan in no time.
To find a job, look up ads for virtual assistants. Think about what kind of work you want to do: social media? Content Creation? Copywriting? Then search through job listings to find a role that fits your interests.
#Develop your core skill set
Want to be the ultimate virtual assistant to a business? Here’s a great place to start: learn about excellent business administration skills. A qualification in Business Administration will provide you with all the knowledge required to help a company out, whether it be on paper or online.
- Prepare work documents
- Intermediate to advance level spreadsheet management
- Business resources utilization and coordination
- Activities create business calendar to manage your day
- Learn the art of communication with peers and audience
- Interpersonal skills to manage social media channels & engage with others
You may be a generalist, but you may also find that you’re better suited to a certain niche. For example, if you are experienced in social media management, you may prefer to offer services such as social media account management. If you have writing experience, you might decide to specialize in copywriting and blog creation.
If you want to focus on a specific skill, such as SEO or social media, then one way to show your expertise is to complete a nationally recognised qualification. It’s a good idea to pick two or three key skills to offer your customers. That will enable you to respond quickly and shift your business model if necessary.
#Find a place in home to setup office
You work from home, so does that mean you’re set up for success? Not necessarily! Don’t get stuck in the circle of work and life balance, when you work from home. For example, you don’t want your kids disrupting your work time and vice versa. But you also need to make sure you’re in a comfortable space with the tools you need for your work.
Working from home is a challenge. As a VA, you must find a place for your online business that is both functional and inspiring. It can be challenging to create your own functional space, but when you do, you will be better able to focus on your work.
To make office hours productive, work from a separate room to others and anything else. Make this space your workspace. Choose a comfy desk chair, a stand for your laptop (laptops can cause neck strain), and ensure internet access.
#Get your finances in right order
You want to be a VA? It’s time to get ready. A VA is a freelancer who offers their services for an hourly fee or project basis. As a VA, you’ll most likely work for a viable business. You can start by getting the details of your own VA business in order.
- Create an invoicing system (You can use platforms like PayPal)
- Set up a bank account if you don’t already have one to withdraw money from nominated platform i.e. PayPal
- Register as a business to pay your dues to the local government
#Set price for what your service is worth
There are many different ways to charge for your VA work. One is by the hour, which is a good solution if the work is sporadic. Flat fees are also an option and are great because they save you the stress of tracking time or constantly worrying about how long a project will take. They’re also a good choice if you find that the scope of the project is always changing.
You’ll find your perfect rate, but it may take a little experimenting to find it. It’s difficult to estimate the average, since some VAs are paid $5 and others are paid $30 an hour. You may want to start your VA business a little lower than this, but be prepared to raise your prices after you’ve had a couple months of experience and find the pace that works for you.
Finding work as a virtual assistant isn’t always easy, but it can be rewarding. The secret is to find a niche where your skills are in demand and put yourself out there – just like any other job. Some choose to look for work on job listing websites and apply online with a cover letter and CV.
Looking for your first clients? Create a profile on one of the freelancer websites where people looking for help can see your individual skills, experience, and ratings. Potential clients who want to purchase your services can contact you directly and you’ll be able to find your first clients!
I have recently indulged myself into writing content for blogs and have been doing so for the past 12 months now. My interests are digital marketing, analysis, eCommerce and social media marketing. I’m a SEO consultant & content writer @ Koaas