Becoming a virtual assistant could be an ideal option. These jobs suit anyone who wants to work from home or by the beach in the Maldives.
If you dream of starting your own business or enjoying a flexible work schedule, I recommend checking out virtual assistant. With remote work increasing by 44%, now is the time to consider work-from-home.
But what is a virtual assistant? How can you become one? And what are the qualifications? This article addresses these questions and more. Here we go!
You can also make money even if you are not an expert; here are the 15 ways you can make money even if you are not an expert.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant freelancer provides administrative support to other companies or organizations remotely. Before the internet became widespread, businesspersons would hire full-time office assistants to help with calendar organization, meeting scheduling, customer service, etc.; however, with high-speed internet, these functions can be handled remotely by a virtual assistant.
They are highly demanded by eCommerce businesses and entrepreneurs who need assistants but do not want to hire full-time staff at a certain location.
Most online businesses do not have huge premises (some are run from home), making a virtual assistant ideal for staff.
If you own a business, a virtual assistant offers you more flexibility, reduces fixed costs, and allows you to scale down or up according to your business needs.
What Are You Required To Do As a Virtual Assistant?
If you seek for virtual assistant job as a beginner, you should have certain skills that could benefit a business.
Office assistants are traditionally associated with administrative tasks like planning the boss’ calendar, scheduling meetings, and customer service.
However, today, besides having organizational skills, you can become an invaluable virtual assistant if you can handle other tasks like social media marketing, email marketing, and bookkeeping.
So, here is my advice for anyone who wants to become a highly-demanded virtual assistant.
Spend time learning skills your competitors are not willing to learn. Look for ways to add value to prospective clients and gain a competitive edge in the market.
Some skills you can offer as a virtual assistant include the following:
- Travel management
- Blog writing and management
- Data entry
- Social media marketing
- eCommerce store management
- Content creation and web design.
- Calendar management
- Editing and proofreading
- Community Outreach
- Generating sales leads
These are just a few skills you can double on as a virtual assistant to make your services invaluable.
Steps To Becoming a Virtual Assistant
In this section, I walk you through practical steps to get started as a virtual assistant.
1- Know Your Skills
The first thing you want to consider is the skills you have. These would include the strengths that your prospective client will benefit from.
Therefore, your resume should showcase your administrative abilities even if you have minimal experience, showing your client you can do the job. Besides your organization skills, here are some skills you need for a virtual assistant:
- Digital know-how: As a virtual assistant, you need the know-how to use various computer programs to help you with various tasks. Since it is a remote job, you will work using the internet; it is essential that you know things like teleconferencing, managing email boxes, file sharing, and password management.
- Other computer literacy skills you should have include creating files, documents, and spreadsheets.
- Communication skills: This skill is a no-brainer for virtual assistants. You should be proficient in verbal and written communication because you will be required to communicate with clients, handle customer support, and handle client assignments.
- Prospective clients and employers will be unwilling to hire someone who will not communicate their business message. A business can lose customers if customer support personnel have poor communication skills.
- Editorial skills: The organization’s message affects its image in the eyes of customers and stakeholders. Any grammatical errors, typos, or poor sentence structure shows an unserious organization; therefore, a virtual assistant should be good with editing work.
- So, are you good with light researching and fine-tuning articles or sales letters to accurately represent your client? As a beginner, these skills will go a long way in cementing your career.
- Time management skills: Overseas clients expect you to manage their time by planning their schedules, calendars, and appointment.
- Therefore, as a virtual assistant, you should be organized and manage your time well, especially if you have jobs from more than one client.
- Lack of organization and time management can mess up your clients, giving you a bad review.
2- Determine What Services You Will Render And Your Price Structure
Before you pitch to clients, know which services or tasks you will offer to lift the weight off their shoulders. Your services should be specific and well-defined.
You should have a pricing structure where you showcase your fees. You could charge weekly, daily, or hourly rates. Alternatively, you can request payment once the task is complete.
It is essential to know these things before your first virtual meeting with a client.
3- You Have The Necessary Equipment
Once you know what services you will offer clients, you can establish what tools you need to perform your duties. You could need a cell phone and a laptop, but depending on the task, you could need more computers or cell phones.
A virtual assistant could also need a headset, a printing machine, and a dedicated landline. Of course, you should also have a reliable internet connection.
4- Look For Work
You are now set and ready to venture into the market and look for work. But where should you look for clients?
You try out freelancing sites like Fiverr, indeed, Upwork, Flexjobs, etc. These sites allow you to create a profile, showcasing your skills and experience. Once a job is available, you can apply or bid and wait for a response.
Alternatively, you can send personalized cold pitches to clients worldwide. This method is challenging but has the greatest reward because you do not have a middle person demanding their share of the profits.
5- Build a Portfolio
You begin to build a portfolio with customer reviews when you get your first, second, third, and fourth clients. You can request those you have worked with to give you reviews if you have your website.
Reviews will help you with your pitches, as other prospective clients will see your abilities. Experience will also help you increase your rate or bid for high-paying gigs.
6- Promote Yourself
One way of getting clients is by promoting yourself. How can you promote your hustle as a virtual assistant?
You can share your website on your social media accounts. You can also write and share a copy on your site and social media pages.
Additionally, you can share your portfolio including reviews where potential clients can see them.
Did you know that you can also advertise on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to showcase your skills to potential clients?
But the best way to promote yourself is to offer stellar services to clients, build a lasting relationship with them, and allow the to recommend you to others.
7- Niche Down
As you gain experience, it is vital that you specialize in a specific niche market. Specialization allows you to have in-depth knowledge of what is required and become an expert.
Organizations are looking for remote experts to work in email marketing, social media management, bookkeeping, or customer support. You will likely have a competitive edge if you present yourself as such.
Benefits Of Becoming a Virtual Assistant
If you are contemplating a switch in career and going freelancing, the virtual assistant has many advantages. Consider some of these advantages:
A virtual assistant has a flexible schedule that offers them the freedom to accomplish many things. You can make your timetable, determining when to take a break, when to work or take a vacation.
You also have the advantage of working from anywhere in the world so long as you have a stable internet connection.
Unlike the 9-5 job, you can work at night ad rest during the day. The schedule is yours to modify to fit your schedule.
2- Work From Home
Although the pandemic facilitated a work-from-home policy, working as a virtual assistant means that you can set up an office desk at home.
And since you are home, you can walk your kids to school and back and save on many expenses.
3- You Choose Your Client
As a virtual assistant, you work with whomever you like. Some clients can be a pain in the mind, and you may not want to continue working with them.
With virtual assistants, you can choose an ideal client who will not cause trouble. You can terminate the contract with an unreasonable client.
4- No Official Wear
Some people are pissed off with the idea of wearing official attire when going to work. However, as a virtual office assistant, you can work while wearing your pyjamas or yoga pants.
You often work behind the scenes at home, hence no need for official wear.
5- Minimal Initial Costs
You may not need much capital to start this business.
Equipment such as laptops, cell phones, and internet connections are not expensive in most lands.
If working from home and managing other people’s schedules and time is a dream you entertained, a virtual assistant job is calling for you.
This job requires good organizational, communication, and time management skills. You will also need laptops, computers, and cell phones to succeed.
What qualities do you need to succeed as a virtual assistant?