become a virtual assistant

How to Become a Virtual Assistant

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Becoming a virtual assistant is one of the most popular job options for moms who want to work from home. Businesses are increasingly looking to remote workers to complete their tasks.

In fact, freelancers now make up more than 34 percent of the workforce, which is good news for us stay at home moms.

Virtual assistants have the freedom to work remotely and on their own time, which makes this one of the most flexible and rewarding jobs for stay at home moms.

What’s even better, a virtual assistant doesn’t necessarily need any special training or skills. If you feel like you don’t have the talent for a different type of freelancing job, you might find that becoming a VA (as they’re often called) is the best fit for you.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

These days, virtual assistants take on duties that cover far more than just traditional administrative work. While it’s true that many assistants do offer administrative tasks like scheduling appointments and sending emails, there is so much more to it than that.

Virtual assistants play a crucial role in the growth of a business.  In fact, when it boils down to it, a virtual assistant is anyone who provides services for a business, working online rather than going into an office.

What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?

Still stumped? Here are some things you might be able to offer as a virtual assistant:

  • Scheduling appointments, meetings, or travel plans
  • Social media management
  • Content creation
  • Editing or proofreading
  • Web design
  • Graphic design
  • Customer support
  • Researching
  • Ecommerce processing
  • Pinterest management
  • Keyword research
  • Transcription
  • Email marketing
  • Data entry
  • Bookkeeping
  • Consulting or coaching
  • Audio / video editing
  • Copywriting
  • Project management

Read More: Top Virtual Assistant Services You Can Offer

I can’t even begin to cover all the tasks that a virtual assistant could offer – there are plenty of other things that you may wish to provide in your own VA business. The choice is really up to you.

I also want you to know that you certainly don’t have to know everything in order to be a virtual assistant. In fact, I don’t think there’s anyone who could offer all of these things and be good at them.

This is where you niche down and choose your specialties, only offering those things you feel confident in providing.

What Skills Do You Need to Become a Virtual Assistant?

The great thing about offering your services as a virtual assistant is that NO special skills or training is required.

Overall, you should know your way around the web, you should have a good grasp on spelling and grammar, and you should have some experience if you plan to specialize in any specific tasks (like graphic design or web design.

While you may not need specific training, you do need to be motivated to get work done, and you need to be organized enough to make it happen.

With these traits, you’ll be able to master many skills and provide a winning service to your clients if you put your mind to it!

How Much Money Can You Make as a Virtual Assistant?

Working as a virtual assistant has the potential for a very high income. In fact, virtual assistant extraordinaire Abbey Ashley has a course that teaches her students how to earn $5K – $10K per month or more!

The amount of money you’ll make as a virtual assistant depends primarily on your skill level and the tasks you’re performing.

For instance, designing a website for a client is worth a lot more than a simple duty like data entry.

Determine what kind of services you’re offering and how long it will take you to complete those services. Come up with an hourly wage for yourself, keeping in mind the cost of any supplies or software you’ll need to perform your job.

As a freelance virtual assistant, you set your own prices. Don’t shortchange yourself just because you’re nervous that you won’t find any clients. There is plenty of work out there, and many business owners equate a higher quote for services with a higher level of output.

In other words, the more you charge the better clients you may attract!

How to Become a Virtual Assistant

The first step in setting out to become a virtual assistant is to determine what services you’ll offer. Many virtual assistants put together “packages” which list common tasks they’re willing to accomplish.

For instance, you may offer a small package that includes a month’s worth of content editing and website management, and then offer a higher-priced package which also includes social media management and email blasts.

If you’re just getting started, stick with what you know and those things you’re comfortable doing. You can continue to scale as you grow your business and learn new skills.

Setting Up Your Virtual Assistant Website

If you want to be a virtual assistant, it’s crucial that you set up a website for your new business. A website gives you credibility, makes you appear professional, and also makes it easier for clients to find you.

Setting up a website is actually a lot easier than you may think. If you’ve never built one before, head to a platform like Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace. These companies offer easy-to-build, drag-and-drop layouts, so you’ll have your site up and running in hours.

When you’re putting together your website, include the following:

  • Your photo (clients love to put a face with a name)
  • The packages or services you’re offering
  • Any background or experience you may have (don’t be afraid to sell yourself)
  • A clear and easy way to contact you

Where to Find Virtual Assistant Jobs

You’re open and ready for business, but where do you find work?

The first and best thing to do is to figure out what your target client looks like. If you plan to offer primarily editing or content creation services, you’ll likely be targeting bloggers who may need help keeping track of their websites.

If you want to offer web design services, look to local businesses who need help polishing their websites.

Once you have an idea what your client looks like, you’ll be better able to target these clients where they hang out, whether that’s on Pinterest, LinkedIn, or somewhere else.  

Freelance Job Sites

There are many sites that post jobs specifically for freelancers, and these are a great place to scope out and apply to potential jobs. Popular options include Freelancer.com or VANetworking.com.

Local Businesses

While your work will be done exclusively online, that’s not to say that your clients will be! Brick and mortar businesses need virtual assistants just as much as online business owners do.

One of the best ways to score these types of clients is to reach out to them in person. I know not everyone is confident in doing this, but remember that you’re branding yourself as a professional. Let these local business owners what benefit they’ll get out of hiring you.

Social Media

Head to social media and spread the word about your new business venture. When I started freelancing, some of my very first clients were college friends, and they got the word about my new job through social media.

This is also the time to polish that LinkedIn profile, billing yourself as a virtual assistant available for hire. I love LinkedIn because it’s also a place where recruiters hang out and look for talent.

I haven’t done much to promote myself on LinkedIn, simply because I haven’t had to, yet I still have people emailing me from time to time asking if I am willing to take on a freelance writing project.

I believe that if you work to search for and apply to jobs on that platform, you’ll find work in no time.

Network

Networking is one of the best ways to find clients for your virtual assistant business.

When you find yourself at a social event and someone asks you what you do, answer truthfully, “I’m a virtual assistant.” I’m willing to bet you’ll find yourself explaining this position to more than one person, which gives you the chance to elaborate on how beneficial VAs are for business owners.

If you find yourself in these types of situations often, go ahead and order business cards for yourself. This is another touch that establishes you as a professional who’s serious about doing business, and it offers people an easy way to contact you when they need assistance.

Read More: Virtual Assistant Jobs You Can Offer From Home

Interact with Other Virtual Assistants

When you’re starting out, it’s helpful to not view other VAs as the competition, but rather mentors you can learn from. There is plenty of work out there, so try and build connections with other virtual assistants who can help you as you grow your business.

Scaling Your Business

Don’t wait to start your VA business because you feel like you need to know it all first. Remember that gaining experience is just as important as a big paycheck.

When you’re just starting out, focus on providing service that goes over and above the norm – good customer service often makes up for lack of knowledge.

Go out of your way to do a good job, and then don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials that you can put on your website. These testimonials are invaluable in growing your client base and eventually will allow you to charge more for your services.

As you grow your business, continue to network and learn the skills and knowledge necessary to expand your offerings. With an estimated 25,000 people working as VAs, it’s clear that this is one career field that any mom who wants to work from home should be taking advantage of.

Want to learn more about becoming a virtual assistant? Click here to check out Abbey Ashley at The Virtual Savvy. Abbey has a free training course that will help you understand how she’s become one of the top virtual assistants out there!

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Hi, I’m Bridget Sielicki. 

I’m a freelance writer and a mom of four. For the past 10 years, I’ve been working from home as a freelance writer, creating content for major brands like Hertz Car Rental, Bankrate.com, and Credit Sesame.

Working from home has been a dream come true for me. Now I want to share my expertise with you, so you can make money while you’re home with your own kids. Learn more here.

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