To keep on top of things, more entrepreneurs are investing in hiring a virtual assistant. Having a Virtual Assistants has become ever so popular in this digital age as the speed in which information is delivered is forever changing.
What is a virtual assistant you may ask? According to Wikipedia, A virtual assistant generally is self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely from a home office. Note, this post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info. In this blog, we will be discussing
In short, it’s outsourcing work that needs to be done for your business in order to focus more attention on your end goals and business direction. This occupation is typically done under contract for one project such as web or blog design or continuous work such as answering phone calls, email, or website comments. As we all know and understand it is challenging to try and do everything yourself but through the use of a virtual assistant or freelancer you are able to free up your time to focus on what’s most important.
In this blog we will discuss,
- What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)
- What do they do?
- How do you get started?
- Do you need experience?
- How do you get clients?
- What skills make a great VA?
The truth is you don’t need to be a veteran VA to start working as a virtual assistant. In fact, many people start from scratch and build lucrative careers.
What is a VA?
A virtual assistant can be pretty much anything, when you hear the word virtual Assistant the various task that come to mind are typically administrative but the range of opportunities are now available as the power of the internet has made the option to working remotely far more greater. Here is a small list of things a Virtual Assistant can do:
Types of things virtual assistants do
There are countless services that can be provided remotely or virtually, here is a great short list:
- Graphic design
- Audio / video / photo editing
- Consulting / counseling / coaching
- Social media management
- Project management
- Data entry
- Travel Arrangement
Related Article: How to Start a Social Media Marketing Agency
What does a virtual assistant do?
As we mentioned before a virtual Assistant can do a multitude of things here are a few positions narrowed down.
Social Media Assistant
There are so many platforms out their designed to help you engage with other people, it can be exhausting trying to keep up with all of them but imagine how grueling this task must be when you have multiple businesses, it’s very daunting. Thankful, at this time we are able to manage but working through all these handles is hard work. Hiring a VA can help you with all your social media pages and allow you to connect and track a bigger targeted audience.
Website design is a vital component to any business especially one starting out. It helps set the tone of your website but it’s most importantly is the eyes of your business as it’s shapes the first impression to your audience, There are so many things that can be done by hiring a website designer they can also be utilized to manage your social media icons and activity, logos, banner advertisements and so forth. If you are artistic or have creative skills, this may be the right job for you.
If you are able to add an additional writer to your blog or website, it can make things a lot easier and allows your reader to see more than one perspective and viewpoints. It also provides you with more free time to focus on other aspects of your business. Hiring an additional writer can also but you at an advantage to focus on the bottom line and allow you to introduce new ideas to your readers.
An editor wears many hats and can span over different industries. They help manage the actual writing of the website. Before articles are published, the editor may read it over thoroughly, edit it, proofread, and then eventually publish the piece. The editor may also handle search engine optimization (SEO) in order to pick key words or specific hashtags that will allow your post to rank higher in search engines making it more accessible and seen by more people.
If you ever wondered how you can stay ahead of your competitors and grow your target audience, a market researcher may be a resourceful person to have on your team. As a business grows it’s starts to learn who is their targeted audience. If you are not skilled in this area, a market researcher can find your audience, inform you on how to reach this audience, tell you what type of articles or products you should focus on to improve your overall bottom line.
This position encompasses the entire tedious task that we know we need to be successful but don’t have the time to complete at a sufficient rate. It can include but is not limited to replying to emails, replying to comments, answering questions, scheduling meetings and booking engagements and researching fights and so on. There are so many things that if fragmented and given to others to do can lead to a bigger monetary payoff’s in the end.
How to get started
Before getting into specific about how to start there is one important distinction that has to be discussed. Some virtual assistants choose to start their own business and others prefer working with an established company that matches your credentials with their clients. From our research, it is recommended that you decide on the path that works best for you as both options have their pros and cons.
Choose your path: independent contractor or employee
Choosing a path is essential to becoming a Virtual Assistant. In order, to define yourself from the rest you need to sets out and choose wether you want to start their own business as an independent contractor / freelancer, or work for a company that hires VAs.
Get a website
If starting your own business is the right option for you, it’s vital to have a website. You’re presence on the web and social media is crucial. People need to be able to find you as well as understand why your skills make you the best candidate for hire. A website, gives you more of a professional appearance, think if it as a virtual resume and a chance to highlight some of your skills but better yet an opportunity to explain your process.
Use our step by step guide on how to build a website or a blog if you need assistance on building your on site. For individual seeking employment through a company it’s not a bad idea to start your own just in case you want to venture out on your own.
Related Article: Step By Step Guide How To Start A Blog
Social Media Involvement
Network and building relationships are key to your success, focus on your social media platforms and see were a potential client hangs out. Get involved with your social media start having conversations as these conversations can snowball into word of mouth referrals. Possible social media platforms to pursue include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Periscope, Blab, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn.
Hustle & Grind
Like any other business, becoming a virtual assistant requires you to hustle and be consistent. This is not a get rich scheme, maximum work is required. It’s not that easy, in which you build a website, thousands of readers visit your site and you are an instant virtual assistant success and the money is just rolling in. This is usually not the case and a huge misconception. You have to be proactive, charismatic, enthusiastic and efficient. Because this is an online gig you can always make it a side hustles until enough momentum and jobs come in to make it a full time position.
How do you find virtual assistant positions?
As you are establishing your business and getting more exposure, finding a virtual assist position may become easier as you may be directly contacted by blog and website owners. It’s important that you keep creating and sharing valuable content as it may lead to future Virtual Assistant positions. Networking is always essential to the hiring process.
Take a course
There are a few virtual assistant courses out there and there’s one we can recommend which is recommended from our mentor Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from Making Sense out of cents.
The course is called 30 Days Or Less To Virtual Assistant Success and it was created by Gina Horkey. Gina is a successful virtual assistant and she shows you exactly how to get it done and be successful.
Gina also has a FREE copy of 150+ VIRTUAL ASSISTANT services that you can offer today!
When finding a corporate position, networking can be a tremendously help. Building your online entrepreneurial friendships can increase your presence in the online community to find a position as a VA. If they are familiar with your skills they are more likely to put in a good word and refer your services to others that that they know. Creating a LinkedIn account can also be an important part of building your presence as a Virtual Assistant. As LinkedIn has helped so many people network and find a job. Having a LinkedIn profile shows your professionalism as you are able to list your skills, past jobs, and ask people to give you recommendations directly from your profile.
Create your own buzz
Without much experience, it may be hard to find people that will hire you, to start off you may find yourself doing a few task for free or at a very discounted rate. Think of this time as a way to build your portfolio and skills. Until you have acquired the experience or the education, it’s kind of difficult for others to have faith in your work. After you do start building up your portfolio, keep track of everything you have done. Ask for a testimonial and place them on your website as well as the option of using these individuals as a reference for any future virtual assistant work that you may do. Make sure to state every experience, education, statistics, improvements and anything else that you can think of. Once you gather enough skills you can narrow your focus down to the areas you prefer, but for now highlight your achievements and show actual numbers and statistics that help prove the point that you are the right for the job.
Advertise your services
There are many boards/forums that you can use to advertise your services. You can advertise your services on Bloggers Classifieds and also apply for jobs on ProBlogger. Other websites such as odesk.com and elance.com also showcase virtual assistant jobs but because they are global positions the prices are very competitive and can be lower. Remember if you have a blog or website use that as a platform as well and advertise straight from there. It’s your own person site to broadcast your professionalism and included detail to why you are the best person for the job. You can also include your online resume in this area as well.
Virtual Assistant Websites
Zirtual.com is a website where you can apply to become a virtual assistant right on the website. Clients then choose who they want and need. It’s similar to a bidding system they do have testimonials from people who have found assistant jobs through them, Zirtual also sets time limits on what your client asks you to do so that you are paid fairly.
Upwork.com is one of the largest freelance marketplaces to find a range of top talent, from programmers to designers, writers, customer support reps, and more. Thousands of positions are posted on the site every day, it is free to sign up however they do take 10% cut of any payment you receive.
To learn more about working as a virtual assistant, we recommend reading as many e-books and online post regarding the subject. Read testimonies as there’s tons of them available and many of them offer a lot of great advice and provide insight into the profession. Don’t be afraid to branch out and connect with others learn from their experiences.
Essential Virtual Assistant Qualities
After doing our research here are some essential qualities each Virtual assistant should have:
- Be Reliable
This is most important because sadly it seems to be the most common. Professionalism is paramount in our industry so if a client calls you then ring them back, if you get an email then reply! It doesn’t have to be immediately but do it the same day.
- Good communication
Keep your client informed and in the loop of things, send updates on your status.
This may seem obvious to many but you want to plan ahead schedule meetings and be realistic as to on how much time you have to get each task done.
- Acquire Knowledge and be Resourcefulness
Related Article: How did it get so late so soon? (Time Management)
You’re going to get asked to do a lot of things you’ve never done before and you’re just going to have to find out how to do them. VAs are required to provide solutions and solve problems for clients (or not being thick), be open to the fact that you may not know the answer but provide the provision on how to find it, Google is your friend.
It’s a never-ending pursuit of knowledge and the desire to continually improve in this field, figuring things out and solving problems is crucial, while adding value to your clients. Staying committed and developing professionally will not only make you a better virtual assistant but business owner. We hope you found this blog helpful until next time, Happy Reading!
Like this post? Please help us pin it!
What do you think about A Short Guide On How To Become A Virtual Assistant? Please leave a comment below.
P.S. If you want to learn more about Virtual Assistant we recommend you Grab your FREE copy of 150+ VIRTUAL ASSISTANT services that you can offer today!
P.S.S. And if you want to learn in 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success Gina Horkey will show you step-by-step how to do it! Learn How Today!
Please leave us your feedback or a comment as we appreciate our audience, Thank you again for reading this post.
Until next time, Happy Reading!!