If you're looking for ways to make money from home, one option you may want to consider is becoming a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants provide administrative, technical, or creative services to clients from their home offices. Virtual assistants in the US make an average of $32/hour.
So if you're ready to get started, use this guide as your resource for everything you need to know about how to become a virtual assistant. In this guide, we'll cover the following topics: how to get started as a virtual assistant, what skills you need to be successful, and how to find clients. By the end of this guide, you'll have everything you need to get started as a virtual assistant and earn money from home.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) is a self-employed person who offers services or assistance to business owners in exchange for an agreed-upon fee. Since your work is done online, you can work from anywhere worldwide.
The best part is that you don’t need a degree or certification. You just have to develop a skill and have enough experience to do it well for your clients. Many business owners hire virtual assistants so they can focus on growing their business.
What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?
Theoretically, a VA can do anything that a support staff does. However, virtual assistants' duties are not limited to clerical work. Many VAs provide accounting, marketing, and other services.
Most VAs focus on a specific skill set. For example, a virtual administrative assistant only does clerical work. Other VAs perform a variety of services but within a particular field or industry. For example, a real estate virtual assistant assists real estate investors in various tasks.
Virtual Assistant Services You Could Offer
You might be wondering what services you could offer your potential clients. Obviously, this will depend on things such as demand and your skill set, but here are some ideas for services that you could offer.
If you’re good at keeping tabs on bills and receipts, then you might consider offering assistance to small businesses with their bookkeeping. Many small businesses choose to outsource their bookkeeping with a virtual assistant who can take care of tasks such as invoices and billing.
Every business wants to keep their customers happy, but they don’t always have the time to devote to them. That’s why they often seek a virtual assistant to outsource their customer-related issues. If you’re detail-oriented and good with people, then consider becoming a customer service virtual assistant.
You can easily offer to do Internet research for businesses. Researchers often look up information on corporate websites, gather relevant market data, and screen potential employees.
These services are usually pretty easy to do and some of the best tasks for businesses to outsource. Virtual Assistant duties in this category could include anything from data entry and spreadsheet creation to calendar management and making travel arrangements.
If you can turn raw data into a PowerPoint presentation or summarize research findings into a Word document, then you can help entrepreneurs save time when preparing for meetings.
You can help people stop wasting time with their email; some virtual assistants filter important emails and respond on behalf of the client. Email management is easy to do remotely; you just need a little guidance from the client on how to pick out key emails.
Social Media Management
Social media management is a more specialized area for VAs. Tasks usually include posting, or scheduling posts, engaging with followers in the comments, and anything else you’re comfortable with. Premium services like managing a Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram account come with a premium price. Time to polish up your social media skills!
Don’t think you’re tech-savvy enough to manage websites — think again, you don’t have to know how to code or be super tech savvy.
If you have experience with WordPress or a blog, you can offer website management services. You would do things like edit posts, reply to comments, monitor links, and perform general website maintenance.
Virtual assistant websites can be big or small, simple or complex. Regardless, you could create your own site and display a portfolio of your work to clients as you become more experienced.
Video editing is a highly sought-after service for business owners. Editing is a great service for a virtual assistant to offer in addition to current services or as a stand-alone service. More and more businesses are using video to market their services. Currently, editing videos and written content are in demand.
If you want to become a virtual assistant, then consider offering this service to your clients. This list above covers many online tasks that a virtual assistant can provide, but there are many other things that a VA can do.
How To Become A Virtual Assistant
As a virtual assistant, you would work from home (or anywhere else with an internet connection) to help your clients with tasks they cannot do themselves. If you are organized, detail-oriented, and good at multitasking, becoming a virtual assistant may be the perfect work-from-home job. Here is a step-by-step guide to becoming a virtual assistant:
Step 1: Decide what kind of VA skills and services you will offer.
When starting out as a virtual assistant, it's important to decide what skills and services you will offer. This may seem like a daunting task, but it's actually quite simple.
First, take inventory of your skills and talents. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Once you have a general idea of your strengths, match them up with the needs of your potential clients.
For example, if you're a whiz with social media, you could offer services such as content creation or community management. If you're more of a behind-the-scenes type of person, you could offer administrative support or project management.
The possibilities are endless! The key is finding a niche that you're passionate about, and that will be valuable to your clients. Here are some virtual assistant skills to consider:
Step 2: Create a portfolio of your work to show potential clients.
As a virtual assistant, one of the best ways to market your services is to create a portfolio of your work. This can include a website and social media networks devoted to showcasing your skills and highlighting your experience.
A well-designed portfolio can help you stand out from the competition and attract potential clients. When creating your portfolio, highlight your unique skills and strengths. For example, if you have experience managing social media accounts, be sure to showcase some of your previous work.
You can also use your portfolio to highlight any blog posts or articles you have written. By showing potential clients what you are capable of, you can increase your chances of landing new clients and growing your business.
Step 3: Find potential clients.
Create a list of possible markets that might need your virtual support services. For example, real estate professionals, bloggers, and entrepreneurs often hire virtual assistants.
You can tailor your services to fit an industry, such as realtors or lawyers. Another option is to provide the same service across multiple industries, such as website management for bloggers and small business owners.
Determine what market you will serve – where is your ideal client? What struggles do they have, and how can you help them? Finding potential clients can be difficult for any new business, but here are a few places where you’ll likely find success.
Find virtual assistant jobs on freelancer websites.
There are many different freelancer websites that you can use to find virtual assistant jobs. Indeed, many businesses now prefer to hire virtual assistants rather than traditional office-based staff, as it can save them both time and money. Here are just a few of the most popular freelancer websites for finding virtual assistant jobs:
You can also find jobs online at Fancy Hands, Belay, Time Etc. The pay is low, but once you gain experience and become more valuable to your clients, you can raise your rates.
Social Media Platforms
Spend some time in forums and Facebook groups and offer helpful advice for free. Don’t try to sell your services in the beginning; take time to build your credibility.
Post on social media and let people know that you’re offering virtual assistant services. Networking is a great way to find new clients. Even teens as young as 15 can find a job as a social media manager.
Send email pitches to your target market.
Reach out to blog or business owners and see if they need a virtual assistant. Send an email that is brief and friendly and explains your area of expertise.
Let them know that if they don’t need help right now, they can always contact you later. Be sure to include your web address and contact information in the emails that you send.
Make sure you sign up for a potential client's email list. A lot of times, online business owners will send out email requests when they have positions to fill.
Step 4: Decide how much to charge for your services.
As a virtual assistant, you have the freedom to set your rates. However, that doesn't mean that setting your rate is always easy. There are a few factors to consider when setting your rates.
The first is the type of services you offer. For example, if you're providing administrative support or customer service, you'll likely fall on the lower end of the pay scale. More specialized skills like marketing or copywriting will command higher rates.
It's also important to consider your experience level and demand for your services. In general, entry-level virtual assistants can earn $15-20 per hour, while those with more experience or in-demand skills can charge $30 or more per hour.
Finally, research the going rates in your area so you can price yourself competitively. You can set yourself up for success as a virtual assistant with a little planning. Try this hourly rate calculator to determine what you should charge.
Average Virtual Assistant Salary by Service Offered
When you’re setting your rates, keep in mind that you’re a freelancer and not an employee. You will have to pay self-employment taxes, and you won’t have any benefits. Also, you’ll need to take into account your office expenses, things like website hosting and wifi expenses.
Business owners also benefit from hiring a freelancer instead of an employee. Your client doesn’t have to pay to train someone, and they don’t have to pay benefits, saving them money in the long run.
Step 5: Decide what business structure you will use.
When you're starting a virtual assistant business, there are many things to consider – and one of the most important is the legal structure of your business. Do you want to operate as a Sole Proprietor or a Limited Liability Company (LLC)? Both have pros and cons, so it's important to understand the difference before deciding.
As a Sole Proprietor, you will be personally liable for all debts and obligations of the business. If your business fails, creditors can come after your personal assets – like your home or savings account. On the plus side, Sole Proprietorships are easy and inexpensive to set up, and you will have complete control over all aspects of the business.
LLCs offer protection for your personal assets because the LLC is liable for debts and obligations – not the individual members. This can give peace of mind in case something goes wrong. However, LLCs are more expensive and complex to set up than Sole Proprietorships, and you may have to give up some control over the business to comply with state laws.
There's no right or wrong answer when choosing the legal structure for your virtual assistant business – it's just important that you take the time to understand all your options before making a decision. Consult with your lawyer and accountant, or follow these steps for starting a business from home.
Step 6: Consider taking a virtual assistant training course.
If you're interested in becoming a virtual assistant, you may wonder if you need to take a training course. The short answer is no – you don't need an expensive degree or training to start. However, taking a course can give you a leg up on the competition and help you provide better services to your clients.
Here's what you need to know about virtual assistant courses: what they cover, how much they cost, and whether or not they're worth it.
Jump Start, 5 Quick Steps to Your VA Business
In just five quick steps, you'll learn everything you need to know to start your VA journey. Each step comes with a video lesson to ensure you fully understand the content and action items so you can put your learning into practice. Plus, there's a workbook to help you keep track of everything – so you can stay organized and on track. The Jumpstart course is $97.
90 Day VA
90 Day VA is an online course that will teach you all the skills you need to become a successful virtual assistant, including content repurposing, content marketing, blogging, copywriting, social media management, podcast management, video editing, project management, and more. The Price is $797.
If you want to add SEO to your list of services as a virtual assistant, this course is for you! SEO Bootcamp will teach you the basics of search engine optimization so that you can offer your clients top-notch service. The best part? The course is free!
This course shows you how to create stunning printables that your clients will love without stress. Even if you don't have any experience with graphic design, Easy Printables will help you create beautiful designs that are high-converting and easy to make. You'll learn everything from finding the perfect templates to adding finishing touches that will make your printables pop. The price is $37.
So, should you take a virtual assistant course?
It can be worth it if you have the time and money to invest. Taking a course will give you the skills and confidence you need to succeed as a virtual assistant. Plus, it can make you stand out from the competition in a crowded market.
However, if you're tight on time or money, don't worry – you can still become a successful virtual assistant without taking a course. Just be sure to read up on the basics and always be willing to learn new things.
Step 7: Grow your virtual assistant business.
As your virtual assistant business grows, it's important to ask your clients to provide reviews that you can share on your website and social media. Having testimonials available helps build credibility with prospective clients and can go a long way in building your business.
And, of course, happy customers are more likely to provide positive reviews. So, take good care of your clients and pay attention to the quality of your work. If you do, you're likely to find that your business will grow steadily over time.
What tools do I need to start my own virtual assistant business?
Becoming a virtual assistant is a great way to start your own business with relatively low startup costs. In addition to a computer and reliable internet connection, there are a few other tools and apps you might need to get started:
Are you ready to become a virtual assistant?
Congratulations on making it to the end of this guide! Becoming a virtual assistant can be an extremely rewarding experience, both financially and emotionally. You now have all the information you need to get started. But before you do, here are a few final thoughts:
Are you ready to become a virtual assistant? If so, let us know in the comments below!