If you are looking to start working from home, a virtual assistant (or VA) job might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Working as a VA, you will have the ability to work flexible hours, work anywhere in the world and make a decent income.
Sounds like a dream job? Let’s get into everything you need to know about how to become a virtual assistant and where to find jobs for beginners.
So, what is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is someone who helps a business run smoothly from any remote location.
Usually, a VA works as a self-employed, independent contractor that provides a wide variety of services.
These are usually administrative type services but can include any type of tasks that an online entrepreneur or business might need.
The best part is all these tasks can be done on your computer from anywhere in the world as long as you have access to the internet.
What exactly does a virtual assistant do?
While many virtual assistants provide administrative support, there are hundreds of types of tasks that businesses might need done. These tasks are all given to the VA who then organizes and accomplishes those tasks. It all depends on what the particular business is about, but each day can vary and have something different to work on.
What services does a virtual assistant provide?
While there are hundreds of services you can provide, over 200 in fact, here are some of the top services businesses are usually looking for.
Data entry, invoices, research, making arrangements, calendar and file management, are all part of admin services that businesses need. Many businesses are overloaded with emails so sorting out and replying to emails is in demand. There is a plethora more of admin services so be sure to be prepared for this type of work if the employer requires it.
This can include designing pins and managing the Pinterest account, coming up with a creative Instagram feed and posting regularly, managing the Facebook page and groups. When managing social media, you must be knowledgeable on the latest trends and how to make the pages grow.
Since businesses are online, they all have websites that need to be managed. A general knowledge of WordPress, SEO, being able to do research topics, copywriting sales pages, are extremely valuable skills to have. If you know how to do these things, you will be able to land a VA job in no time.
The online world revolves around content. Whether that is writing articles, creating graphics, taking/editing images, or even creating videos, these are the things online businesses thrive on. However, these things take a lot of time to accomplish so businesses look to outsource content creation.
If it is an e-commerce business, these businesses might need help with processing orders and refunds, handling customer questions, and keeping track of inventory. When the customer service is taken care of and makes the customers happy, the business is able to focus more on growing while their customers continue to be satisfied and loyal.
What programs do virtual assistants use?
It all depends on the skills you have, services you provide and the tasks the business needs you to do.
For these services you might need to be able to work with Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Drive, Dropbox
Be able to navigate Pinterest and Tailwind, Instagram, and Facebook. To make things easier, Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to plan, schedule and see your analytics on your social media.
To manage a website, you will need knowledge of WordPress, newsletter signups like ConvertKit and MailChimp.
To create content such as pins or graphics you can use Canva or PicMonkey.
Depending on the type of storefront a business has, you will need to know programs like Shopify, HubSpot, or Salesforce.
Other programs businesses might use are LastPass, to share passwords, and Trello, Basecamp or Asana for project management to stay organized and keep everyone updated.
Some clients will also use time-tracking tools such as Time Doctor and Hubstaff to be able to pay you by the hour for the time spent on tasks.
How to become a virtual assistant with no experience?
You don’t need to have experience to be able to start working as a virtual assistant. In fact, many people start from scratch and build up their VA career.
It will take some hard work and time, but with dedication and learning as much as you can, you will start seeing results.
What skills do I need to be a virtual assistant?
Any of the skills that a Virtual Assistant can do, can be learned. Even if you think you don’t have any skills, the reality is that there is something that you already know how to do. The more you learn, the more valuable you will become as a virtual assistant.
In general, there are a few basic skills that every VA needs to have.
Since this is a virtual position, everything is going to be done on the computer. You will need to know how to operate basic programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, and how to navigate the internet.
A client who hires a VA needs to be able to communicate effectively with their assistant. They need to know you understand what is required of you and how to do the task to their satisfaction
Motivation and a Go-Getter Mindset
Since you will be working under little supervision, there needs to be a certain discipline that a virtual assistant has. Tasks need to be done, they need to be done on time, and they need to be done to the client’s satisfaction. Since the job is more flexible with more freedom, a VA needs to have motivation and discipline to succeed.
Learning and Decision Making
We’ll say it again. The more you learn the more valuable you will become as a VA. When you are a VA, you are in charge of the tasks completely and it is up to you to make sure that they are getting done in a professional, quality manner. Problems will come up and you need to be able to know how to fix them and have the parts of the business you are in charge of keep running smoothly.
Is being a virtual assistant hard?
It will take hard work to build up your VA business, but it is completely possible for someone who has no experience and even few skills to start working as a VA.
If you are not naturally ambitious or motivated, that might make things a little bit more difficult. Working from home or while traveling can be a big distraction and many times you’d rather be doing something else. In those times you will need to block out time and sit down to get your job done.
Also, having many tasks can get overwhelming when you are trying to balance your life and your online career. You will need to learn how to prioritize and how to work smarter not harder. Use systems and programs to make your life easier.
However, once you get the ball rolling and know what you are doing, the day to day isn’t that difficult. You will become an expert in your field and be more confident in your skills.
How to make yourself stand out?
While there are a lot of VA jobs, there is also plenty of competition. So, to make yourself stand out especially when you’re just starting out, there are a few things you can do to get ahead.
Create a Website
Having a website shows that you are a serious and professional virtual assistant. It displays all of your skills and resume to let potential clients know what you are all about.
Social Media Profiles
Online presence is everything for credibility when you are trying to establish yourself online. If you can’t create a website yet, make sure you are on social media.
Have you gotten one client already? Maybe someone you already know can use a little help with something. After you have done a few tasks for the person and made sure it was to their satisfaction, ask them to write a testimonial for you. You can post their testimonial on your pages so that potential clients can see that you have already had a happy client.
Go Above and Beyond
Did the client ask for you to deliver on a task? Go above and beyond to complete that task as best as you can and do extra things if possible. For example, if you are asked to create a pin template, create the one your client asked for and then create a few more to give them variety and show them different styles they might want to use. That will impress the client and keep them happy, leaving you with glowing reviews and telling other people they know about your services.
Where to find virtual assistant jobs for beginners?
It is not difficult to find a virtual assistant job since there are many businesses looking to hire a VA. Finding a job is always a numbers game. The more places you apply to, the more chances you have of getting hired.
However, there are many scams out there looking to bait people out of their money. Use your best judgement when looking for a job online.
Here are the best sites to get started looking for a virtual assistant job. These are quality, legit sites that offer a chance to find a job. Still, none of them are foolproof so make sure you are doing your due diligence.
Fiverr is a leading platform for any types of services. On Fiverr, you sign up and create a profile, then post gigs that you would like to offer. Create a gig for Virtual Assistant and list all the services you are able to offer.
You can set your prices on Fiverr starting with as little as $5 for a task and you are able to increase your prices as soon as you get more experience and skills. There is also an option to seek out job posts from clients on the platform but for the most part clients find and buy the gigs they want themselves.
Upwork is another one of the biggest platforms where freelancers create a profile and find work. On this platform, there are many more job postings for which you have to apply. To get a job, create an impressive profile and send off a resume that stands out when applying for a job.
Freelancer prides itself on having the largest pool of quality freelancers. Put together a portfolio of your skills and any previous experience that you think might help you get the job and start bidding on the posted jobs.
If you search and browse the keywords virtual assistant in Flexjobs, you will come across many job posts looking for a virtual assistant. All of the job postings are screened and made sure that they are legit, quality job leads. It is almost a guarantee that you will be able to get a job on their platform.
However, since they aim to provide the best service, they do charge a monthly fee of $14.95 to be able to apply for the jobs.
Find Clients Yourself
Finding clients yourself is one of the best options because you can choose who you work with and make sure that you are being paid a fair amount. Find online companies or entrepreneurs and email them to see if they need help with any tasks. It is helpful to have your own website in this case to where you can refer potential clients to present yourself as a professional and showcase your skills.
Who hires virtual assistants?
Anyone who needs help with whatever task they have at hand. That can be a small business owner struggling to keep up with the load, an entrepreneur who is growing and needing someone to do tasks they don’t have time for, or a bigger corporation that just want to hire someone virtual.
How much money do virtual assistants make?
This can depend on many factors and can range from $7 to $50 per hour. It all depends on your skillset, level of experience, type of business you work for and possible other factors.
There are certain skills that are far more valuable than others. These kinds of skills are knowing how to work websites, knowing how to wildly grow social media, and anything that will help a business grow exponentially, while simple data entry usually is on the lower end of the pay scale.
Of course, the more hours you work, the more you can make as well.
Starting out, you can expect to earn at least $300-$500 a month and it can increase from there.
Is there a demand for virtual assistants?
Yes, since many more businesses are beginning to appear online, there is starting to be a growing demand for virtual assistants.
Many businesses are not able to hire a full-time employee in person since that means more overhead costs for the business and some online businesses don’t even have a physical location.
Can I be a virtual assistant with a full-time job?
Yes, you can be a virtual assistant with a full-time job.
While you are trying to build up your VA business, keeping your full-time job is a smart move. Or, if you are looking to just side hustle as a VA to make more money on the side then you can be a VA in the evenings if that works for your client.
Once your business starts to take off and you start getting more clients, then you will want to consider which career path you want to take. Getting more clients means you will need more time to complete all the tasks your clients need to be accomplished.
Do you need a degree to be a virtual assistant?
No, you do not need an official degree in order to be a virtual assistant. Being a virtual assistant is all about the skills that you have that you have acquired in the past. You can also learn new skills to become a more valuable VA.
How soon can you start working and making money as a virtual assistant?
You can find a virtual assistant job within weeks of starting to look for one. It all depends how you are going about it.
If you are serious and go through the things listed above to make sure you start out the right way, you will be able to start getting clients in no time.
Keep on reaching out to job postings and other businesses and you will be able to get your first client and start making money.
What to expect?
Becoming a VA is hard work and will require more work upfront. From setting up your business to finding clients, you will need to take these important steps to create a successful business.
As soon as you get your first client, you can leverage that to get even more clients and your business will continue to grow as long as you keep providing incredible support and task completion.
To learn more about getting started as a Virtual Assistant, check out the free guide from someone who knows exactly what it takes to become a successful VA.