If you are looking for a job that you can do from your home’s comfort, then being a virtual assistant is ideal for you.
Being a virtual assistant has very many benefits. You can choose who you want to work with or for.
When you become skilled at the services you provide, you can increase the amount of money you make.
Being a virtual assistant also offers you a lot of freedom and flexibility. You do not need to meet your clients physically; you do everything online.
Even better, you do not need lots of experience to become a virtual assistant. If you are ready to learn and improve your skills, then you are good to go.
In this article, we look at how you can become a virtual assistant. But before that, it is essential to understand who a virtual assistant is and what they do.
Who is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is an individual who helps other businesses carry out specific tasks from a remote location.
In the recent past, virtual assistants’ demand has increased as most businesses require more expertise in some departments and cannot hire staff in specific locations.
If you become a virtual assistant, you can be self-employed, hired on a contract, part-time or full-time employed.
The businesses that hire you will require you to carry out bookkeeping, social media management, email marketing, and other tasks.
Note that your virtual assistants offer different kinds of services depending on the skills that they have.
Therefore, if you are not sure about what to offer as you begin this journey, think about the skills that you can monetize or maybe skills that you are interested in and can learn.
Below is a breakdown of some tasks that you can be hired to do.
What services do virtual assistant offer
As a virtual assistant, you can be hired to do just about any tasks that can be carried out from a remote location.
1) Administration jobs
This is one of the most common tasks that virtual assistants get hired to do.
Every business needs an administrator who ensures that everyday tasks are being handled and accomplished as expected.
If you are assigned an admin job, you will do certain things such as data entry, meetings, and appointment scheduling, managing calendars, booking hotels, among other tasks.
People who have done office jobs before can excel as virtual assistant admins.
2) Social media management
Most businesses rely on social media to create awareness about their companies as well as market their products.
If you are hired as a virtual assistant in this area, you can be asked to create social media pages for companies and manage them.
Other tasks will include content creation, setting up and running marketing campaigns, and engaging the online audience.
You can be hired to create content for companies for their websites and social media platforms.
To excel in this area, you would need to have excellent writing tips and the ability to tell compelling brand stories.
Along with this, you can provide copywriting, proofreading, and editing services.
4) Website management
A businesses’ website must be managed to continue to serve as an information center for potential clients.
As a website manager virtual assistant, you can be paid to do live support chats, search engine optimization, graphic design, and content creation.
You will also be required to update all the information.
5) Business finance tasks
Finance is a lucrative niche in the virtual assistance world.
Most businesses need support in managing their cash flows, revenues, expenses, and profits.
In this area, you can be expected to do bookkeeping, payroll management, payment processing, accounting, and invoice creation.
Other virtual assistant tasks that you can focus on include transcription, translation, project management, lead generation, customer support, and keyword research.
How to become A V/A
Now that you know what being a virtual assistant entails, the next important step is understanding the steps you need to start this online business.
Basics skills and requirements for virtual assistants
Being a virtual assistant is not a hard job. But there are specific skills that you need so that you can meet the expectations of your clients.
Some of these skills include;
1) Effective oral and written communication
Effective communications skills come in handy to attract clients as well as retain them. You need to let potential clients know the kind of value you will bring into their business.
Once hired, you will need to understand your client’s needs and regularly update them about each progress you make.
Note that you might be required to communicate through videos, phone, and presentation.
Ensure that your write-ups and verbal expressions convey the intended messages and can be understood by the intended audience.
2) Word processing skills
Almost every virtual assistant needs a word processer to get the work done.
You need to write, enter data, create schedules, among other tasks. You, therefore, need knowledge on how to use word processors.
3) Time management and discipline
As a virtual assistant, you will work remotely; from your home’s comfort or convenient location.
There will be no one to push you around to get work done. You must be disciplined enough to complete tasks on time.
A simple way to manage time is by doing tasks based on their urgency. Start with those tasks that have a short duration and finish with those that have longer durations.
If a task will take a longer time than the one allocated by a client, let them know in advance.
Late submission of tasks is not recommended, and you might lose some clients if you portray this kind of behavior.
4) Continuous learning
One of the things that will set you apart as a virtual assistant is your ability to continue learning.
Learning new skills and ways of doing things will enable you to create a broader client base and make more money.
Diversify into different fields as much as you can; you can be a writer, social media marketer, and graphics designer at the same time.
For every skill you learn, you add a new stream of income.
You do not need a lot of equipment to start being a virtual assistant.
You will work online, so you need a digital gadget (computer or smartphone) and a reliable internet connection.
In the event that you have to do virtual meetings such as webinars and video conferences, you might need a source of light, e.g., a ring light and a good camera for good visibility.
A microphone can come in handy to improve your audibility.
Steps to becoming a virtual assistant
Step 1: Find a niche
The first and most crucial step to becoming a virtual assistant is finding and settling for a niche.
A niche is an area of specialization whereby you provide specific products or services to specific audiences.
As discussed earlier, there are so many virtual assistant areas that you can specialize in; you can do writing, transcription, bookkeeping, social media management, blogging, and so much more.
If you are skilled in any of these VA tasks, you can go ahead and begin offering your services. Otherwise, you can take your time and learn the skill.
If you are interested in providing proofreading services, Caitlin Pyle of Proofread Anywhere offers a comprehensive course on proofreading to get you started.
After identifying the service, you want to offer, define your target audience, i.e., the kind of individuals or companies you want to market your services to.
Step 2: Set up your business
Part of setting up your business is coming up with a business name and registering it.
You can start as a sole proprietor. If you have people interested in the same kind of business, you can form a partnership.
Registering your business has several benefits, such as making you more credible to potential clients.
If you do not know how to go about this, you can always consult with professionals like business consultants and lawyers.
Step 3: Create an online presence
You will be providing your services online. It, therefore, goes without saying that your customers will most likely find you online.
For these reasons, you need to establish an online presence; it could be a website or social media pages.
An online platform will enable you to let potential customers know that you can offer specific VA tasks.
It will also enable you to communicate about the type of services you offer and how you can add value to businesses.
Step 4: Market your business
Defining your offering and your target market is not enough to start making money as a virtual assistant. You also need to market your services.
As you market, you will want to let people know about the kind of VA services you provide and how you will enable them to meet their business goals.
Blogging, search engine optimization, Google ads, and doing social media ads are some of the ways you can market your business online.
You can also do offline marketing by using word of mouth; let people around you know about your virtual assistant services. They will help spread the word about your business.
Along with this, consider pricing your services. You can write down the different ways in which you will be offering services and the charge rate.
Your pricing strategy will depend on factors such as the value of your services, type of service, and duration.
Tasks with short deadlines should be charged more than those with long deadlines.
You should also provide your contact information. Potential clients need to know how they can reach you. Create business phone numbers and email addresses.
Step 5: Connect with people in the same field
Networking with people in the same field as yours is very important. The internet has made this possible.
Nowadays, there are several virtual communities like Facebook groups whereby you can join like-minded people.
In such groups, you can ask questions about being a virtual assistant and get guidance from experts. You will also know the trends and everything that is happening in your area of specialization.
Besides learning, you can also land clients in those groups.
If you show that you are an expert in what you do, you can get referrals from the group members.
Other people in your field might also want to delegate tasks to you when they have too much to do.
Keep making connections each day to grow your virtual assistant business.
Where to find virtual assistant jobs
Wondering where to find virtual assistant jobs?
Well, you will mostly find these jobs online.
There are several platforms where you can find clients looking for virtual assistants, as outlined below.
Most of these platforms work by way of connecting virtual assistants with potential clients. You will need to sign in first and follow the site’s terms and conditions to start working.
To land virtual assistant gigs, you have to keep on pitching to clients who you think might need your services.
As you pitch, always ensure that you understand the work requirements as requested by the clients.
Even if you’re a beginner, portray yourself as an expert in the field and deliver the expected results.
If you have always wanted to become a virtual assistant, the discussion above can be a great start.
Virtual assistant jobs enable you to monetize your skills and passions, earning from what you love to do.
You can also establish a work-life balance as you get to dictate when you want to work and who you want to work with.
Note that this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. You need to learn and perfect your skills to land amazing clients and gigs, and this takes time.
And there is no limit to the amount of money you can earn; you can work with many clients at ago and offer as many virtual assistant services as possible.