Last Updated on July 19, 2020 by Andrew Shih
Becoming a virtual assistant and getting a virtual assistant job is neither likely what comes to mind for many people nor sound glamorous. However, it is an essential part of business; There are plenty of companies looking to hire a virtual assistant and post remote executive assistant jobs, full-time or part-time virtual assistant jobs. I will cover how to get started with a virtual assistant job for beginners to how you can turn it into a passive income virtual assistant business. Let’s begin!
Who Hire a Virtual Assistant?
Many employers hire full-time and part-time virtual assistants to free themselves up from mundane tasks so they can focus on business. It is also a cheaper option for them than to hire a local contractor or an employee. The employee can also scale up and down easily with project-based virtual assistants, depending on the workload. Most of these employees hire a virtual assistant from job posting sites, a freelance platform, or through an agency.
What Are Virtual Assistant Duties?
As a virtual assistant, you will provide support to someone else’s business from a remote location by completing administrative and office-type work. Your virtual assistant duties will be primarily based on your skillset.
Common virtual assistant tasks may include managing emails, make appointments, make travel arrangements, management events, creating content, handling social media, doing graphic design, and providing customer service support.
Decide If Become a Virtual Assistant Is Right For You?
Before you think about becoming a virtual assistant, take a step back and ask yourself the following questions and write down reasonable and satisfactory answers for each one.
Would you rather work as an employee or independently?
Now, before you create your portfolio and brand yourself as a virtual assistant, you need to decide if you want to operate as an employee or an independent contractor. This decision is up to you and should suit your daily schedule. If all you want is a work from home side gig, then you can work as an employee for a virtual office where you work at agreed times and your employer finds clients for you.
On the other hand, if you enjoy independence and you are an entrepreneur at heart, you should consider freelancing or even incorporate your virtual assistant business. As an entrepreneur, you will be able to call the shots and work for as many clients as you can handle.
What skillset do you have and what tasks do you enjoy doing?
Your work as a virtual assistant can be pretty much anything- editing and proofreading, keyword research, creating sales pages, lead generation, project management, data entry, etc. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by all the virtual assistant tasks that you may be asked to handle, focus your effort on identifying what you are good at and start offering your service.
As you go along, you can begin studying the market better to understand where the clients are and what are the services they require. You will surely pick up additional skillsets and be able to take on other virtual assistant duties.
Who are your clients?
Who is your ideal client? Where do they hang out online? Who are those in need of the services you listed out? Generally, as a virtual assistant, you can work with anyone from sole entrepreneurs, e-Commerce marketers, small business owners, busy professionals, private organizations, website owners, and bloggers. Find out where your target clients are concentrated online and draw their attention to your virtual office.
What’s your marketing strategy?
Any potential business looking to be successful must do thorough market research before kicking off. If you know who your clients are, it’s time for them to know you. The first and quickest means to advertise yourself is through your social media account, use these platforms to announce your business to potential clients.
At the same time, you can create social media business accounts for your virtual assistant online business and advertise there. Some viable social media platforms to explore are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. Don’t hesitate to promote your brand, using Facebook and Instagram ads.
Where Can I Find Remote Virtual Assistant Jobs
There are several online places where you can find remote virtual assistant jobs, including job posting sites, freelance platforms, and agencies.
Job Posting Sites
Indeed is the #1 job site in the world. As a job seeker, you have free access to search jobs, post resume, and research companies. There are thousands of full-time and part-time virtual assistant jobs listed globally on Indeed.
Flexjobs is the leader and specializes in flexible job space. The company reviews and screens job postings to prevent scams and protects job seekers. You can search the job postings, but you will need to pay a subscription fee to utilize the website fully and see the detail of the job postings.
Job posting sites are great places to start your search for virtual assistant jobs. There are several benefits to job posting sites. Large corporations typically post jobs on job posting sites, so you will find big companies and provide a more steady income stream. There are more job opportunities, including employment, contractor, and freelance jobs. Finally, the salary is entirely yours to keep, other than paying the tax.
The key downsides with getting a job on job posting sites are you will need to write a resume, to through the interview process, and there is no guarantee you will get the job.
Fiverr and Upwork are two of the most popular virtual assistant and freelance platforms. You can register, set up your profile, and be ready to provide service on the same same. The key benefits are it’s quick to get started, no upfront cost, and be your own boss. The downsides are you will need to bid for projects until you have loyal customers continually, and the freelance platform will take about 20% cut of your earning.
Related Article: Tips for getting started on Fiverr and Upwork as a freelancer
Virtual Assistant Agencies
With virtual assistant agencies, you will be working for agencies that specialize in providing virtual assistant services. The benefit is the agency may offer some training and provide steadier income as you don’t have to bid for jobs. However, you will typically earn less so the agency can make money. Your earning potential and flexibility can be limited as well.
Getting Started with a Virtual Assistant Job
To work as a virtual assistant, you need a laptop, internet connection, and a readiness to work.
The following are the necessary skills you need to work at home as a virtual assistant:
- Interpersonal skills
- Superior organizational skills
- Communication skills
- General knowledge of the internet
- Time management
One thing to note is that it is a competitive market, and you need to convince potential clients to work with you. So it’s in your best interest, but not necessary, that you undergo training online. IAP Career College online, Udemy, and VA Classroom all offer great starter courses to prepare you well for this side-hustle journey.
Attending the training should be enough to sharpen your skills, but you are welcome to take it a step further to impress clients by getting certified. IAP offers a great 6-week part-time online VA course that presents you with a certificate upon completion. Make your investment worthwhile by presenting your clients with your certificate to build credibility on your skills!
Decide Your Pricing Structure
Your income potential as a virtual assistant will be greatly influenced by how much time you’re willing to work, your experience and expertise.
If you’re running a side gig for a given marketplace, like Fiverr or Upwork, your rates should be competitive to match the market, depending on the tasks. Many virtual assistant gigs on Fiverr start from $5 per hour. The hourly rate from Upwork ranges from $15 ~ $30 per hour, with an average of around $20 per hour.
Keep in mind, you are subject to tax and aren’t entitled to insurance and health benefits as a freelancer. Hence, you must put these factors into consideration too.
Useful Tools For Virtual Assistant Jobs
If all these sound daunting to you, then fret not, you have some lifelines thrown at you. There are powerful tools to make your virtual assistant job much more manageable.
Grammarly automatically checks for spelling and grammatical errors in your email and content creation, so that you can perform your virtual assistant writing tasks much easier. For premium features, it will include word choice, sentence structure, punctuation check to help you with more effective writing. And, yes, the plagiarism checker too.
Monday.com is a project management tool that can be used by virtual assistants to organize tasks and to-do lists in order to organize and manage the workflow better.
Elevate Your Virtual Assistant Bussiness With A Website
To set yourself apart and come out as a professional virtual assistant, especially for independent contractors, you need a website that can properly communicate your skills and services to potential clients. Launching your website is more or less launching your online business.
If you have zero budget, there are free web hosting services such as Blogger and Wix to get started. Free hosting only comes with limited features, but it’s enough for you to get started. If you want to have your own domain name (www.mybusiness.com) and professional looking website, generally, you will need to upgrade your Wix hosting plan or opt for hosting a WordPress website on a hosting provider such as Bluehost.
Marketing Your Virtual Assistant Business
A critical aspect of building a successful online business is building relationships and networking. Spread the word on social media for your business is a cost-effective method to market your business. Focus on platforms where your clients are seemingly concentrated and show them why they should hire you. Be active in your online community. Try to provide useful information on your website, give genuine advice to people, and you might just be helping your first client.
Scale Up Your Virtual Assistant Business
Once you have enough virtual assistant experience, have a professional business website, familiar with marketing, and have a steady flow of clients, it is time to scale up your virtual assistant business.
You can start to hire your own virtual assistants and supervise their work. Once they know your expectation and able to handle the tasks, you can take a more hands-off approach and focus on getting more business.
Assuming you pay your Virtual Assistants between $10 to $20/hr depending on experience and region. Let’s also assume that you can charge your clients $25/hr and maintain at least a $5 profit margin. Once you can scale up to 20 virtual assistants, you will be making at least $100/hr!
Before you know it, you are a virtual assistant business owner and able to enjoy passive income. While it will take considerable work to get to this state, all it takes is a dream and action.
Ready – Set – Go!
Just get started already! Perfection comes with experience, and a dream doesn’t come true without actions. Take that initial bold step! Accept that job, say yes to that first client, and you’re on your way to becoming a successful virtual assistant. Good luck!