If you’ve ever thought about learning new things about any industry or to potentially have a mentor that can teach you the ropes on the side, then becoming a virtual assistant would probably be the closest and best chance you’d ever get to do so. Here, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about virtual assistants and all you need to be one.
What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant supports business leaders remotely. You’ll be doing things like administrative and technical tasks, keeping someone’s calendar and scheduling, replying to emails, collecting info, booking flights and hotels, and more. Some even end up doing more highly technical work.
As a VA, you’ll be working from the comfort of your home or anywhere you choose to work as long as you can keep yourself online. You’re also self-employed with the flexibility to practically choose the right client and industry for yourself.
Being a virtual assistant gives you the freedom to essentially be your own boss, no need to commute to an office and work, work when you want to, and work where you want to. The best way to start out is to hone in on the right position for you by specializing in a niche when offering your service to any business.
What services can you offer as a virtual assistant?
And about your service, a virtual assistant can offer one or two to several for any one client. These include:
1. General admin
Administrative tasks like managing a calendar, sorting emails, answering phone calls, making appointments, and other tasks that the traditional on-site assistants would do.
2. Social media management
Posting on social media for your client or company, answering questions, and ensuring that a brand looks good online are all part of what you’d be doing when managing your client’s social media.
3. Project management
You could find yourself running projects for business owners. This means you will hold meetings, ask for updates from team members, and create reports on the progress of a project. You’d also have some level of responsibility for projects staying on-time or on-budget.
4. Content creation for blog & website
You’ll also write content for your client’s website and blog, after doing some needed research. This is commonly in the form of blog posts, but VAs can also be tapped to write web pages and other content.
5. Data entry
This is just generally clerical work where you organize and type in information. Sometimes it can be as simple as general recording or typing while in other cases you might have more detailed tasks, analyzing the info.
6. E-commerce store management
If you specialize in some form of customer support, many e-commerce companies use VAs to help them understand current orders, find tracking numbers for customers and even restock products. Basic store management stuff.
Financial support is crucial to every business. VAs often help with processing payments, checking expenses verifying payroll, and creating regular budget statements. Some useful selling points if you’re good with numbers and business.
How much does a virtual assistant make?
You would, on average, be paid by the hour. Freelance VAs can have a wide range of salary numbers and hourly rates. This can depend on a variety of factors like your skill level, services, experience and clients. But you’re likely to start in the $8-$12 per hour range.
A healthy range would be between $25-$50 per hour. Usually, the pay range of between $25 and $40 would be for general admin work, designing and marketing, $30 to $50 if you have more advanced skills to offer and more than $50 per hour for specialized skills.
Of course, as your skills get better and sharper, you’re in the position to raise your rates. The good news is, and an important thing to note, as a virtual assistant you’re not an employee. You’re your own business owner.
How to become a virtual assistant
Starting out as a virtual assistant would take some how-tos for you to follow. These are namely:
1. Identify your skills
How good you are as a VA is dependent on how good you are with your skills for the job. So hone in on what you’re good at and what skills will be your selling points for clients to hire you.
2. Decide what services you’ll offer
It’s actually better to position yourself as an expert on a select few key services for your clients rather than be just any regular general virtual assistant. People tend to pay more for a specialist. You can start off with 3 or 4 services and add more or change it up as you grow.
3. Determine the price of your services
You can do some digging on other virtual assistants’ service charges before deciding on your own. Also, consider offering package variations for your services with differing budgets so clients can choose based on their needs. Remember to also plan for future taxes.
4. Create your website and social media presence
Of course, being virtual, you need to have an online presence. Social media sites can be good channels to promote your business. Having your own website on the other hand will give off a more professional outlook and can help boost your portfolio and help ease clients to find you.
5. Find clients and network
Finding your first client can be daunting and a challenge in the early stage. But with a little bit of practice, it can get easier. Learning how to find clients is actually a huge part of being a VA. You can start by announcing yourself on social media, contacting small businesses or go to online VA platforms.
6. Provide the best services and ask for feedback
People care about value for money. So give confidence to your clients that their investment in your services is worth it by providing the best service you can and be engaging by actively looking for feedback so you can improve where needed.
What skills are needed to become a virtual assistant?
Overall, being a VA, in general, takes a number of skills. When considering a career as a virtual assistant, make sure you tick off the following:
You’ll most probably be working on a number of things at the same time and will be looking at info and numbers a lot. Keeping yourself organized will not only keep you working efficiently and easier but also keeps you sane and spares you some stress from cluttering.
2. Time management
With all the things you’ll be doing, time management is as important as any job. Being good with your time and responsible enough to manage it is key to finishing up work on time and keeping your clients happy.
Like the name would suggest, a VA works closely with business leaders and the people you’re ‘assisting’. It’s best to be proactive in communicating with your boss and with other people to deliver the best service for clients. This can prevent confusion and setbacks with work.
4. Computer proficiency
You are doing this virtually. And almost everything is digital nowadays, accessible through the internet and computer files. Proficiency with computers is needed to actually be functional as a VA. If not, then what’s the point.
5. Editorial skills
This set of skills is important as, like we mentioned before, you could be called for creating content and maintaining content on websites and blogs. Before any content goes live, editing ensures it will deliver the best value it can for the brand you’re working for.
6. Content marketing
Besides selling yourself to clients, once you’ve got the job, you’d also find yourself having to sell your clients’ content. So it’s a useful skill to understand how consumers are with your client’s branding, especially on social media.
How do you find virtual assistant jobs online?
It is actually relatively easy to find jobs as a virtual assistant nowadays. You can find plenty of online platforms that can serve your VA business. Some of these include websites like FlexJobs, Fiverr and Upwork. Other great websites that cater to aspiring virtual assistants include Remote.io, Time Etc, Indeed, and Freelancer.
So if you have the necessary skills, and have an idea on what you can offer, being a virtual assistant can be a profitable business venture to make money online if you do it right and even just as a side hustle thing. What more is the flexibility it offers you and the learning opportunities on the side for you to grow more as a person with ever more knowledge.
ALL THE BEST. GOOD LUCK. & STAY SAFE!