An increasing amount of people are now considering becoming a virtual assistant as a way of earning an income working from home.
Many are even leaving their high-earning full-time jobs to pursue a career as a virtual assistant. More and more entrepreneurs are looking for ways to work from home through blogging, dropshipping, or network marketing. Even with the vast number of VA’s already, there is still an opportunity for new virtual assistant’s to grow a successful business through helping other business owners. Successful virtual assistants have been known to earn five or six-figure incomes per month solely through their virtual assistance business.
Who can Become a Virtual Assistant?
Anyone can become a Virtual Assistant. If you have any skill, be it marketing or even good organization, you can become a virtual assistant with just a little training.
Most people assume that being a VA is for stay at home moms who want to make some extra income. That’s isn’t entirely true. VA work does give SAHM the opportunity to earn, but then there is also the possibility of earning a full-time salary from remote work.
There are many people who start working as a virtual assistant as a part-time job. But as they start getting more work, they quit their 9 to 5 and begin earning even more from their Virtual assistants work than they ever thought of making from their full-time jobs.
Why Become a Virtual Assistant?
There are many reasons people are opting to become a virtual assistant nowadays:
Flexible Work Hours
The reason most people become VAs is for its flexible work hours. Since you aren’t required to sit in an office, you can start working whenever you want.
Sometimes this can alter depending on the clients you work alongside and support. Some clients have very specific requirements, needing help during certain hours of the day. However, with it being YOUR VA business, you can choose whether to work with these clients or not and how many hours you want to work each week.
As a virtual assistant, you choose how much work you want to do. You can put in anything between one hour to a full 9-5 job timings. In the beginning, the business might be slow but as you continue to grow, you can decide how much you can expand your business.
Work from Anywhere in the World
You have no office. Your home is your office. As a virtual assistant, you only need your laptop and a good internet connection to start getting work. Be it Bali, India, China, or the mountains of Spain, you can work as a VA from anywhere in the world.
What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?
A virtual assistants core role is to virtually support other business owners, whether this is corporate or individual entrepreneurs. With just your computer and access to a good internet connection, and you can become a VA in just a week. Virtual Assistants offer a variety of services including:
- Administrative Support
- Writing or Blogging
- Proofreading and Editing
- Graphic Design
- Website or App Development
- Marketing and Sales
- Social Media Management
- Accounts and Bookkeeping
- Data Entry
- Customer Service Support
- Travel Arrangements
- Event Planning
How to Become a Virtual Assistant?
Becoming a virtual assistant is quite like launching a business. You need to have a plan in place. Here are a few questions you should be asking yourself before you launch yourself as a VA:
What Virtual Assistant services are you going to offer?
If you are planning to become a VA, start by creating a blueprint for your VA business. What services are you going to offer? Include services you have experience with or ones you are confident you will do great at (services that you enjoy doing).
Bonus: Think of a name for your virtual assistant business. This will help when you begin to build your brand and pitch to prospective clients. It can just be your name if you cannot think of a business name right now. You can always alter this later on.
What are your Rates And Pricing?
Once you have listed down your service offering, calculate your rate. Think of how much money to want to make every month. Now divide this with the number of hours every month. There’s your hourly rate!
I also recommend going for a fixed or retainer price to make your client relationship fuss-free. Here also, think of the hours you plan on putting in the work. Multiply those hours with your hourly rate. That’s your retainer price.
What’s your ideal client?
The next thing you should be doing is creating a profile of your target market. Create your ideal client’s profile. What are their demographics, behaviour, and interests? Instead of thinking of a group of people, think of one person in your circle who is your ideal client. Once you have that person in mind, you will have a clearer picture of how to approach your ideal clients.
Ready to Launch?
Most people who start work as virtual assistants create a simple one-page website, a Facebook page or an Instagram Page. Be sure to include your previous work samples. Include recommendations and testimonials. This helps in proving your calibre to your potential clients.
If you have previous experience in your skillset, getting work as a VA might not be difficult. Reach out to your business associates or clients once you launch yourself as a virtual assistant. Print your business cards and distribute them to your target market.
Once you have found your first client, get your contract in place. You must always get a contract signed to avoid payment issues and other complications later on.
How to Become a Virtual Assistant with No Experience?
Don’t have any work experience? Don’t worry. It’s not the end of your VA career before you’ve even started. The good thing about being a VA is that you don’t need a fancy education or ten years of experience to make it work for you. You need a skill and preferably to offer a service you enjoy e.g. designing graphics or researching blog post content.
The biggest issue when you go looking for any kind of job is your experience. Your employer will ask you for experience in your respective field. Even as a virtual assistant, you will be asked to show previous work samples.
This is a minor setback, but still, there are ways to go about this. If you have no experience in the skill set, you are offering then there are two ways to approach the issue:
Work for Free
Yes, I said that. But choose who you work for. Don’t go working for free for your mother’s friend or even a new setup. Work for someone who has a strong network within the business community. Someone who can potentially get you work.
Free isn’t really free in this case. You won’t be earning any money, but understand that this will help you build your portfolio or maybe even get you some work through referrals. Request them to refer you to someone or write a testimonial for you in exchange for the free work.
Work for Yourself
Why not? It is the best way to showcase your talents as a virtual assistant. Think of the services, you are going to offer as a VA and start offering those services to yourself. For example, if you want to pursue blog writing, create your own blog. Creating your website isn’t rocket science. You can do it in a day by going through YouTube tutorials.
If you are planning on being a social media manager, create your page and start promoting it to your ideal client. Do regular posting, invest in Facebook ads and as your page grows followers, you will start getting more clients.
Once you get your first job, build on that momentum. Ask your client to write you a testimonial. Offer them discounts on referrals. Create your portfolio and case studies to show to other potential clients.
Where to Find Work As a Virtual Assistant?
Social platforms have made it infinitely easier to get work as a VA. Almost every platform exposes you to a certain kind of target market.
Think of how you will be approaching your clients. For this, refer back to your target market’s profile. Where does your target market hang around?
A few good places to find virtual assistant work are:
Small Business Networking Events
Small businesses are always looking for VAs. They are usually juggling a lot of work and would love someone reliable to help them out. The best way to meet with them is through small business networking events in your area. Look for such events on social media or B2B institutes in your area.
Attend as many events as you can manage. Prepare yourself beforehand.
Write your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a 30-second speech convincing your potential clients to hire you. Remember, these people don’t have the time to listen to a long proposal.
Take your business card with you. Exchange business cards. Your business card should include all contact information.
After the event, follow up with an email (remember the business card you exchanged). Include something personal about the event. List your services in more detail here.
There are several online websites where you can sign-up to look for VA work. I would recommend these only when you have exhausted all other options.
Some authentic websites you can start with are:
These websites connect you with clients who are looking to get some work done. Clients post a job, and VAs have to pitch for the job. Competition is quite tough on these platforms. For one job post, there might be more than 30 proposals.
A few tips to land work on online virtual assistant websites are:
- Complete Your Profile. When choosing skills, don’t list everything. Stick to the VA skills you are planning to offer. Use keywords in your niche when writing your bio. Other things to include in your profile is your picture, your portfolio, experience, and rate.
- Write Winning Proposals. Don’t create a one-fits-all proposal. It won’t fit with any client. Before writing your proposal for a client, look at the job requirements. Talk about that job and how you are suited to the job with your unique skill set. You could create a rough template and then tailor sentences for the specific job post.
- Keep Proposal Short. If a client is looking for a VA, chances are he doesn’t have too much time on his hand. So keep your proposal crisp and concise.
- Don’t Apply for all jobs. That’s just wasting your time. Apply for jobs you know you can deliver great results on. Niche down.
- Be Professional. When interacting with a client via video chat or text, be professional. Be courteous.
- Get your existing client to hire you. This might look like you are paying agent fees to these platforms for a client that you already have. But in the long run, it will build your profile and convince potential clients that you deliver results.
- Ask for reviews. For every job well done, request for reviews and testimonials. Again, this will help convince potential clients to give you work.
- Lower Your Rates. With these platforms, you might have to start at a lower pay standard. Use them to build your portfolio for more lucrative clients.
Social Media has opened another very worthwhile opportunity for virtual assistants to connect with prospective clients. Here’s how you can get hired as a VA on some of the most popular social media platforms:
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms for finding VA work because it is the most popular social media channel. You will most likely find your target market on Facebook.
To get VA work from Facebook, join a Facebook business and VA groups. You will find daily job opportunities for virtual assistant’s in some of these groups:
LinkedIn is a professional social media platform. That’s where business owners hang out. Start by creating your profile. Add a professional headshot. Include keywords in your summary of the services you offer. Don’t forget to use the keyword, virtual assistant.
Include your work in the portfolio section. Request past colleagues and existing clients to write your recommendations.
Once your profile is complete, get active. Connect with small business owners. Also, start adding project managers and people high up in the business order for your relevant industry.
Post regularly on LinkedIn. Make these posts relevant to the skills you are offering. Post tips, tutorials or just something useful for your target market.
There is a small group of virtual assistants who are making big money through Instagram. How are they doing that?
They have a beautiful Instagram feed with a good following on their account. They have an Instagram every influencer and business would love to replicate. And that’s why your client will hire you if you have one.
Hashtags are a great way to connect with your clients. Look for hashtags like #jobopp #vawork #hiring #jobsearch #subcontractor
Also, post your own hashtags to get discovered. #virtualassistant #va #designer #contentwriter #blogwriter
Referrals are another source for virtual assistant job opportunities that you shouldn’t be missing out on. Your small business client likely knows or has a friend who runs a small business. Get your existing clients to refer you to these friends or associates.
Write a note to your clients requesting for referrals. Begin by thanking them for their business. Add in a discount on future work for these referrals to sweeten the deal for them. Do these referral discounts regularly.
I’m not going to say it’s easy to become a virtual assistant, but if you are dedicated and continue working on building your personal brand, you could be earning a six-figure income and living the dream.