Virtual Assistants are remote workers and independent contractors that offer administrative and technical services to clients and employers.
They are popular to hire with businesses worldwide and in constant high demand. Working as a Virtual Assistant offers many career opportunities and benefits too.
So, if you’re interested in finding out more about How to Become a Virtual Assistant, this guide will point you in the right direction!
What Is A Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant is a person who works remotely and completes regular tasks for their employers. Their contract types vary, and they may work for one client or handle multiple projects concurrently.
Common tasks assigned to Virtual Assistants are administrative such as filing, handling emails, answering telephone calls, preparing letters or reports, and generally organizing and planning anything that the client may need for their business.
What Is The Role Of A Virtual Assistant?
The role of the Virtual Assistant is to support and help their employers or clients with regular tasks to enhance their work productivity or personal lives. Each role is different, and the type of work assigned depends on the client that hires them. Virtual Assistants can have various tasks and responsibilities which can change regularly depending on the needs of the client.
What Does A Virtual Assistant Do?
A Virtual Assistant has many different responsibilities, and this role is generally multifaceted. They are expected to perform routine tasks in administration, help out with personal arrangements, and regularly advise clients about their financial business. The usual tasks are similar to those designated to personal, office, and administrative assistants.
Work responsibilities as a Virtual Assistant vary depending on the type of clientele and industry you apply to. There are many niche markets to also specialize in. Although the list can be neverending, there are common sectors that Virtual Assistants engage in, such as administration, financing, copywriting, research, and bookkeeping.
Why Hire A Virtual Assistant?
Virtual Assistants can be an essential part for some clients and businesses to enhance their work productivity and revenue. Smaller businesses or start-up companies need to recruit them because it’s a convenient and affordable way to outsource specific tasks and have them completed efficiently.
Hiring Virtual Assistants can also help clients manage their time more effectively without having to put the work in themselves. Clients can therefore focus on other aspects of their business, such as attending to financial responsibilities like generating more profit or revenue for their company.
How Do You Become a Virtual Assistant?
If you are interested in becoming a Virtual Assistant but have no direct experience in this remote field, that’s no problem! First, start thinking about the services that you could offer. Do you have any experience in a particular field? Vital transferable skills gained from your working career? Or maybe a passion for business or helping clients?
If so, then these ideas could help you build your Virtual Assistant profile and market your skills. Here’s how to get started…
Keep it Simple
As a Virtual Assistant, remember to keep things simple. Marketing yourself in too many ways and offering too many services can set you up for a disorganized and busy work schedule! Focus on one niche market and be confident in it. This can be appealing for clients looking to hire assistants for specific tasks. Otherwise, overdoing it and overpromoting yourself can be offputting for your client.
Find Your Skills and Expertise
Think about your existing skills and expertise- what are you good at? What do you have experience doing? If you have knowledge or experience in one field, then identify what skills you can offer the client and how this fits the job. Having a niche makes it easier to offer specific services that you know you’ll be good at. Don’t aim too high!
Adapt to a Virtual Home Office
If you have previous experience working in an office as an administrative assistant, then you could offer similar services such as organizing and managing a client’s business account. Though, if you’ve never worked remotely, it can be difficult to adapt to a virtual home office. So, be open to trying new work strategies to get comfortable in your remote environment and see what routine works best for you!
Offer Competitive Prices
Once you’ve decided on the services that you want to offer, you’ll have to decide on how much you want to charge clients. The amount to charge will depend on the services you’re offering as well as your experience. How often you’re paid is also up to you- choose to be paid every day, weekly, monthly, or per project.
Build and Market Yourself
Making a portfolio and uploading your work to freelance and recruiting websites is a great way to showcase your talent and get more attention from clients. Request testimonials, reviews, and feedback from clients or businesses that you’ve worked with.
You can also advertise or promote your services on social media or create a website to impress clients when applying for roles. If you’re a beginner, then building a work portfolio can take time and experience, so be patient. Search tips on How To Market Yourself as a Virtual Assistant.
What You’ll Need To Be A Virtual Assistant?
The perk of having a virtual home office is that you’ll need limited things to get started. Before starting work as a Virtual Assistant, make sure you have the right equipment to complete the tasks and provide the services that you advertise. Here are the must-haves……
A Reliable Computer and Internet Connection
For most Virtual Assistants, a laptop or computer with a high-speed and reliable internet connection is enough. Though, some clients request access to a printer, copier, or fax machine to complete other administrative tasks. It’s worth noting that client requests vary, so make sure you check the job details before getting started.
A Comfortable Home Office
Make sure you are comfortable in your virtual home office. You must have the right computer equipment to do the job and have a stable and reliable internet connection. You’ll be spending all of your time on your computer, so having a private and quiet space to work is essential.
What Makes A Good Virtual Assistant?
Just like any job, having a work schedule that suits you ensures you can reliably meet client demands and be productive. Virtual Assistants must be highly organized and manage projects independently. If you can multi-task, then even better – and if you can turnover work and meet deadlines efficiently, then your client is bound to be impressed.
Develop the Right Skills
Clients are always recruiting Virtual Assistants for various roles and tasks. It’s important to work toward developing some key skills to leave a lasting impression. For example:
- Excellent communication skills.
- Good typing, writing, and editing skills.
- Ability to use common software and business programs.
- Highly organized and good task-management skills.
- Reliable at meeting deadlines.
- Good time management skills and can turnover work efficiently.
Create a Cover Letter
Think about creating a Virtual Assistant cover letter when applying for roles. They are a great way to highlight your relevant skills and experience to the job you’re applying for.
Clients are impressed with a unique and customized cover letter that is specific to their company and role. Search tips on how to write an effective Virtual Assistant Cover Letter.
Do I Need Qualifications to become a Virtual Assistant?
There are no specific qualifications required to become a Virtual Assistant. However, it is common that clients and employers are attracted to Virtual Assistants with a specific career or educational background. It can also be desirable to hire Virtual Assistants with training qualifications related to the job, but again, it’s not essential.
How Much Can You Earn As A Virtual Assistant?
As a virtual assistant, expect to be paid an average of $15 per hour. For beginners and entry-level roles, you should expect to be paid around $5-$10 per hour. This is the estimated pay for assistants with moderate work experience.
Although salaries can range between $7.25 to $37.50 depending on your skills, expertise, and the industry you’re working in. For an annual base salary estimate in the US for Virtual Assistants, you can visit this website for more information.
Find The Right Virtual Assistant Job For You
The online job market for Virtual Assistants offers countless opportunities to find work. There’s an abundance of remote jobs regularly advertised by clients, and these opportunities are versatile and client-specific.
The best part? You can accomplish a well-paid Virtual Assistant role all from the comfort of your own home. Before starting work, here are some tips to remember…
Choose the Right Schedule
Think about your availability and preferences. When do you prefer to work? Do you prefer working weekends, weekdays, part-time, or a full-time basis? Whichever work schedule you choose, make sure you can commit to the hours you propose to your client.
The important part? Stick to it and make sure it’s convenient for you!
Choose the Right Niche
As a Virtual Assistant, you should find your niche. Focus on getting hired for certain tasks in a niche market, for example, content writing or bookkeeping for clients. This can encourage you to develop your skills and expertise in these areas. You’ll become more confident, and the quality of your work should improve with time. This also means you’ll be able to charge more money for future roles.
Choose the Right Rates
It can be difficult to know how much to charge as a Virtual Assitant. If you’re a beginner with limited experience, it’s best to start at $10 per hour for outsourced tasks or projects.
Expect to charge around $20-$50 if you’re experienced. Most importantly, when choosing the right rate, make sure they match your experience level and your hourly schedule.
Choose the Right Client Rates
Make sure you read the client’s instruction brief for the job that you’re applying to. Clients can vaguely specify a budget amount in the contract, so make sure you clear this up before proceeding. If you’re experienced with an established client rapport, then you could negotiate and discuss rates with clients. Again, don’t aim too high at first!
Finding A Job
Many companies are hiring for Virtual Assistants, and you can find more details about remote work opportunities on this website. Other popular websites that hire Virtual Assistants are Linkedin and Indeed.
The Top 3 Companies hiring Virtual Assistants
- Ajilon is a recruiting and staffing agency that assists businesses to hire remote workers with specific expertise. Some of the departments they specialize in are administration, human resources, and healthcare.
- Prialto is a recruiting company that focuses on Virtual Assistants in the administration sector. They also hire Virtual Assistant trainees and offer benefits to individuals seeking work in the US.
- BELAY is a virtual staffing solutions company that provides clients with Virtual Assistants in administration, as well as hiring bookkeepers, website developers, and copywriters.
If You’re Just Starting Out
Here’s what to remember…
- Keep it simple and focus on one niche market. Research how to perfect your skills, work toward completing a course online, and keep practicing.
- Focus on what you’re good at and what you have experience in. Then start creating an online portfolio and market yourself to attract clients. Research how to stand out from the crowd and how to message recruiters.
- Remember that client interest and your rates may be low at first… If you’re a beginner with limited experience, it can be slow progress. But have confidence that with time you could be a successful Virtual Assistant. So keep at it! The very best of luck with your search!
Building A Career As A Virtual Assistant
So, you’ve decided to start working remotely as a virtual assistant and are not sure where to start? No problem, we’ve found tons of handbooks and training guides just for you!
If you’re doing your training or perhaps just starting out, we recommend reading the Virtual Assistant Training, the Virtual Assistant Certification Exam Preparation Notebook, the VA Hotlist – Training and Organizing a Virtual Assistant Handbook, Become A Successful Virtual Assistant: Learn the Business Side & Ditch 9 to 5, and Make Money As A Virtual Assistant all available in 2023.
Next, if you’re looking to improve or excel as a VA, then take a look at How to Work from Home as a Virtual Assistant, the Virtual Assistant: A Journey From EA To VA: Techniques To Renowned Industry, or Working From Home As A Virtual Assistant and perhaps The Healthy Virtual Assistant if you’re working in healthcare.
Of course, you might be at the point where starting your own business or agency is an option. For that exciting venture, we found How to Be a Virtual Assistant: Start and Run Your Own Successful VA Business, the Entrepreneur’s Handbook To Starting a Successful Virtual Assistant Agency, or the Virtual Gal Friday’s Virtual Assistant Startup Guide and How to Become a Virtual Assistant: Start Your Own Business from Home.
Virtual Assistants are remote work roles that offer valuable opportunities to enhance your career. Working as a Virtual Assistant enables you to connect with clients and companies globally, and is a great alternative to the usual work-life routine.
If you’re attracted by the remote work lifestyle, and you think you possess the right skills, knowledge, or experience in this field, then why not?
Good luck entering the remote working world as a Virtual Assistant!