Become a Virtual Assistant to Earn Money Online – Working remotely can be such a blessing. Everybody in this world wishes to find the perfect balance between working and enjoying their lives. If you are looking to have complete freedom and working for yourself, becoming a Virtual Assistant (VA) might be a good option for you.
It can help you achieve the perfect balanced lifestyle by allowing you to be flexible. You get to choose when and for whom you work for. It allows you to work according to your schedule and from anywhere in the world.
But remember, the life of a VA is not all sunshine and unicorns. Like every other job, it takes hard work and dedication. It is definitely not ‘easy money’. You cannot expect everything to fall into your lap magically.
What exactly is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is an individual that provides support to businesses while working remotely. They are just like an administrative assistant. They offer different services to businesses from a remote location for an agreed fee. Provide administrative and technical support to entrepreneurs, companies, and other businesses. They do all the corporate work from home.
Who hires a Virtual Assistant and why?
Solopreneurs, small business owners, busy professionals all use virtual assistants. It allows them to outsource tasks and focus on other relevant aspects of the business. VAs provide cost-effective solutions by completing routine tasks. This helps businesses that need help without having to hire a full-time employee. It helps them gain flexibility and reduce fixed costs.
Why become a Virtual Assistant?
The main reason behind people wanting to become virtual assistants is freedom and flexibility but there are many more reasons.
- Allows you to work remotely and from anywhere in the world.
- It provides you the flexibility to organize and manage your own schedule according to your routine and your needs.
- It helps you grow and evolve constantly by coming up with creative solutions according to your client’s business needs.
- Working for yourself is better than dedicating your time and efforts to a company where your hard work and dedication are not appreciated. It is not only financially but also emotionally rewarding.
- When you work for yourself, you have more freedom and control and you yourself get to decide what you want with your future.
Why do virtual assistants do well?
- VAs have more freedom and flexibility than an employee. They can work with anybody, from anywhere in the world, in any time zone.
- Even though VAs have a specific niche, they work with clients from different industries. It allows them to possess tons of valuable skills.
- VAs is highly organized, resourceful, and have excellent planning abilities. They are excellent problem solvers and are unflappable.
Skills and Competencies
- Communication skills: since virtual assistants work remotely with clients, they have to be proficient at communicating by phone and emails.
- Tech Savvy: To become better at the job, virtual assistants should be proficient at different software programs and have a wide skill set of computer applications.
- Organizational skills: To keep track of clients and assignments, virtual assistants should be well organized.
- Multitasking: Virtual assistants need to be comfortable at multitasking to efficiently juggle tasks and requests made by the client.
What services do Virtual Assistants provide?
- E-commerce: Business owners have a long list of everyday tasks to manage. Managing an e-commerce store can be really challenging, especially for small businesses.
Virtual assistants could help the business by:
- Tracking orders, shipments and invoicing.
- Managing customer services.
- Managing inventory.
- Dealing with returns/exchanges.
- Maintaining website.
- Helping out with marketing, and much more.
- Social Media: Having an online presence is very important for a business to be successful these days, but not every business owner has time to create content and engage with the audience. Social media virtual assistants are always high in demand.
To be a good social media virtual assistant one must:
- Have an eye for design.
- understand how to create content worth sharing.
- be familiar with marketing and copyrights.
- know how to engage with the audience regularly.
- Blogging: Becoming a bloggers virtual assistant can help you fast track your own blogging career. You will get the knowledge of how to run a successful blog while also helping the client with the administrative tasks.
Some of the tasks a blogger’s VA would perform are:
- Creating graphics for the blog or social media.
- Write and edit posts.
- Moderate comments.
- Manage emails.
- Improve SEO.
- Add affiliate links.
- Schedule social media posts.
- Content production: If you are interested in curating, creating or editing images or videos, this niche is for you. Most business owners don’t have time to dedicate to creating content as this is a time-consuming job so they look to outsource it to other people.
The services you can offer are:
- Researching content ideas.
- Writing blogs.
- Creating videos.
- Getting source images.
- Creating graphics.
- Taking and editing pictures.
- Finance: If you have any experience in Finance or bookkeeping this virtual assistant niche could be lucrative for you.
Some of the services you could offer are:
- Payment processing
- Invoice creation
- General admin: This niche isn’t really highly specialised but it is a good place to start as a virtual assistant for anyone with an office job experience.
Tasks that a general admin virtual assistant does are:
- Managing schedules and calendars.
- Book appointments.
- Manage emails.
- Setting up spreadsheets.
- Data entry.
- File management.
- Managing travel arrangements.
It includes pretty much everything that a general on-site assistant does. Other than bringing coffee of course.
Some of the best aspects of starting a VA business are:
- It is affordable and easy to set up. All you need is a proper internet connection and a laptop or a computer.
- No specific college degree is required.
- You get to create your schedule and work accordingly.
- Getting your first client can be a little challenging if you don’t know anyone who needs a VA.
- You need to be on top of current trends and technology.
- You are going to face competition from VAs that offer the same services at a cheaper rate.
How to start your own virtual assistant business?
- Determine the services you will offer: The very first step is to determine the services and tasks you want to offer. There are no certain rules to follow. You can grow and adapt however you like. Adding, changing or eliminating services is based upon your personal interest, time commitment, clients demands and profitability.
- Decide on your pricing structure: What is the right amount to charge? How much does a VA make in an hour? The answer varies according to your role, skills and experience. It is important to consider factors like your overheads cost of office expenses, software subscriptions, website holding etc. Figure out whatever you think is worth your time and skills. You can divide your pricing into four categories:
- Project based: charge a flat fee for a one time project.
- Hourly: charge an hourly rate and get paid for the time you work.
- Package of hours: charge for a specific number of hours, depending on your contract. The contract can expire after a said period.
- Retainer: charge an ongoing monthly fee for a certain number of hours and a specific set of tasks.
You should always consider your set of skills and experience before deciding.
- Business name: Every business requires a name. It doesn’t have to be clever or super creative but make sure it complements your brand. Also make sure that it’s domain name is available. Name of your business and your URL should match. If they are different there is a potential risk of inadvertently referring your clients to others by confusing them.
- Choose a target market and type of clients: Once you are done determining your services and prices, determine the clients that you would like to work with. It can be business owners, website or blog managers, lawyers, influencers, or anybody else. Determining the type of client will be essential in your marketing later.
- Legal details: This could be a little tricky as it involves navigating government agencies and a lot of legal stuff.
Few things that you will need to do are:
- Secure permits and license (if any required)
- Decide your business structure such as sole proprietorship or LLC.
- Draft a client contract.
It is advisable to consult an accountant or an attorney to double check everything.
- Create an online presence: The best way to sell yourself as an online communication expert is to create a website to show off your skills and services you provide. It is like your virtual CV. It will showcase your skills to the potential clients and can be really critical in establishing the business.
- Networking: One of the most important steps in launching your business is to make connections. Make friends in your niche to get ideas, tips and leads. Connect with other virtual assistants through LinkedIn, Facebook, paid membership sites or any other means that you can find. It can expose you to a whole other world of potential clients.
- Marketing: Market your socks off. Now that your business is up and running, start thinking about your marketing strategies. Start by adding your name to business directories or use social media to advertise yourself. You can also use block posts or Facebook ads to market your business online. Business cards and flyers are great for offline advertising.
Where to find VA jobs?
Whether you are looking for a freelancer position or a full-time job there are plenty of companies that offer jobs to virtual assistants. You could use websites like FlexJobs, Indeed, Upwork, remote.io, we work remotely, time, etc, people per hour. You can also use different social media platforms to network with influencers or small business owners who are looking for virtual assistants.
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