The advantages of becoming a virtual assistant are many, and the barrier to entry into the field is fairly low. People are always looking for help managing their virtual lives.
Being a virtual assistant (VA) may be for you if you want to:
- have the option of owning your own business
- decide who you work for and how much money you make
- do something a little different every day
- work from the comfort of your home
- have more time to focus on what’s important to you
What do you do?
Before you can become a virtual assistant, you’ll need to give some serious thought to how you can best serve your clients. What unique solutions can you provide to make their lives easier?
Review your resume and LinkedIn profile to find skills that you can turn into sellable services. Consider your strong suits.
What do people always compliment you on?
What do enjoy doing?
What are you really good at?
For example, if you’re a good cook you may be able to find a food blogger willing to pay you to come up with and document new recipes.
Want more? Check out these 30 possible services from The VA Handbook.
Do you have what it takes?
The tasks a virtual assistant may be called upon to complete are quite varied. It’ll be up to you to define your areas of expertise and develop a menu of services. Beyond your professional expertise, you’ll also need:
Excellent Communication Skills
As a virtual assistant, you will be working remotely. This means good communication skills are essential to ensuring work gets done properly. The majority of your work is done online, so your should always be prompt, clear, and thorough in your responses.
Motivation and Drive
As a virtual assistant, there will be no boss looking over your shoulder 24/7. You have to be able to motivate yourself every day. While it can be tempting to while away the hours, you have to get up each day and focus on the tasks at hand.
There’s a good chance you’ll be juggling multiple clients, so excellent organizational skills are imperative. Set yourself up with a dedicated work space and have everything in its place. This includes keeping your inbox clean and tidy. You might also consider using project management software (like Basecamp) to keep your clients separated. This will help you know where you are with each of them at any given time.
Define the nitty-gritty
Once you’ve ensured you have the basic skills of a successful VA and have defined your marketable skills, it is time to define your business. You’ll need to answer these questions:
• Do you want to work full time or part time?
• Do you want projects or ongoing work?
• Do you want to be an employee, contractor, or business owner?
• Do you want to have one client or many clients?
Before you launch, you’ll also want to:
• Talk to an accountant – As a business owner, you’ll likely need to do your taxes differently than you currently are. Plus, you’ll be able to write off certain expenses such as office supplies.
• Talk to a lawyer – You may want to have your business as a sole proprietorship, turn it into an LLC, or go with another option.
• Get a website – This will be your “storefront” so to speak. Potential clients will come here to find out more about what you offer and why they should choose you.
• Start networking – To get many clients, you’ll want to start networking, online and offline, ASAP.
Get a job!
Time to start making some money! Here are 14 proven ways to find quality VA jobs:
4. Indeed – search for tasks you can complete plus the keyword terms like, “work at home” or “virtual”
8. Social media
-follow your favorite companies and keep your eyes peeled for job openings
-join groups applicable to the skills you have to offer
-create your own social media channels to advertise your services
9. Website – Build your own website to promote your services and tell potential clients about yourself.
10. Advertise – You can use paid social ads, Google AdWords, paid placements on blogs, flyers around your neighborhood, or a slew of other options to advertise your business.
11. Share – Start a valuable blog, write an eBook, and offer to guest post on popular blogs in your niche. Establishing yourself as an expert in a certain field or skill can help you attract clients.
12. Reach out – Have a company you really want to work for/with? Send them an email and introduce yourself.
13. Network – Join LinkedIn groups, online communities, or local professional associations (meetup.com is a great way to find groups near you). You’ll want to look for those directly related to virtual assisting as well as groups your potential clients might frequent.
14. Create your own jobs – If you see an advertisement for an assistant, ask the hiring manager if the position has the potential to be virtual. Be prepared to make a strong, compelling case as to how this could be beneficial.
Go back to school
Just because you got a client (or two) doesn’t mean you can kick back and relax. To be a successful virtual assistant you must keep learning. Develop your existing skills, stay on top of industry changes, and learn new skills by “going back to school”. This can be as simple as reading articles online from industry leaders or literally going back to school. You can never go wrong by staying ahead of the competition.
Being a virtual assistant can be a rewarding and lucrative career option. With your unique skills and drive, the sky’s the limit!
Have you ever considered becoming a VA? What’s holding you back?