Have you heard of the job of becoming a virtual assistant, and did you know that it is entirely within your reach?
I researched this job extensively and this article is going to help you find out how to become a virtual assistant from home and what steps you need to take to get there.
So lets get started…
What is a virtual assistant?
I think before we get into it, we just need to clarify what is a virtual assistant and what sort of this a job like this might involve. Then you can decide if it’s for you.
By nature of the role the job can totally vary.
Imagine you are almost someone’s PA, but with a bit more responsibility. Your job is to do the work that they either can’t, or don’t have time to do. But importantly because of the ‘Virtual’ nature of your job, it means that the work needs to be available to be done online.
And you want to work at home right? – So online work it is.
So let’s take a look at the kind of thing you could be doing. And this of course depends on your skill set. This is by no means an exhaustive list, it’s just something to get you thinking about if you could do this kind of thing. I think you can. Any of these things can be learnt, especially social media.
- Social media posting and updating. This is big business and there is a lot of work out there doing this sort of thing
- Posting timely content to blogs, for example when the owner is away. Blog VA’s are quite in demand these days.
- Answering emails or responding to questions
- Managing social media comments
- Helping with scheduling and planning
- Making telephone calls as instructed
- Data entry and perhaps some non heavy duty accounting
- Raising or creating invoices
- Admin tasks including proofreading and editing
- Booking flights, making arrangements for an event
So do you like the sound of it.. then read on.
How to get started as a Virtual Assistant
First off you have to ask yourself some questions so that you can find out where you should be positioning yourself.
You have to make sure it’s right for you and that it will be something you enjoy. That’s the point of any of the home businesses I recommend. Real home business, something long term, legitimate and something that can make you REAL money.
So ask yourself this, and why don’t you write down your answers – seeing things in print means that you can come back to it and review your thoughts:
- What are you good at, what skills have you learnt in the past
- What do you enjoy? This is key to making the most of your home business.
- Do you have any specific expertise in anything that might stand you out above the rest?
- Have you had any achievements, that are relevant of course, that could give you real credibility?
- How many hours a week can you work? Think about how you want this to fit around your life. Afterall this is the point of working for yourself is it not?
- What sort of level of earnings are you looking for? A full time career, or just some pocket money to help with the bills?
Ok so now you know where you want to be….
So how do you get started?
A great place to get started is to read a book to teach you the basics. The top recommended book on this subject is the ‘Go Getters Guide to Becoming A Virtual Assistant’ which you can buy on Amazon
Or you could do a simple course to get you started
This one from Udemy called Work from Home As A Virtual Assistant is a brilliant start, and a great price OR
A really great way to get started and the way I would recommend is to join the IVAA where you can get a load of other benefits including training and education, optional certification and networking opportunities. Definitely worth a look!
What else might you need?
A Business Plan
I think a really good idea is to create a business plan, if you really want to take this seriously. You need to be thinking about who you are as a business, what services you offer, what kind of clients you are looking for. You need to look at your projections and what you would like to earn as well as your short term and long term goals.
If you need help with a business plan, this site was recommended to me to help get you started.
You will of course need the real basics, a computer, a printer, and an internet connection.
You will also need an email address and a paypal account. Don’t worry about these being set up as business accounts just yet, you can deal with all that later.
Now, I don’t mean to gloss over this subject as personally I think having a simple, professional website will do wonders for your edge above the others.
Now it’s not as scary as it sounds but you can set one up quite simply on wordpress. But you will need hosting and a domain to do this. The simplest way to do this is to set up an account with Bluehost (a hosting company – the best for WordPress as I am concerned). Then you can follow their tutorials on how to load wordpress to the website.
You can choose your business name and domain (website url) from a company like namecheap, and bluehost will help you to point that website name to their hosting system.
If all this scares you, then I promise you once you get started it’s fairly simple. Bluehost have a great customer support so you won’t eb on your own.
Alternatively you can build a website and hosting for free, which has a subdomain as siterubix.com.. so you url would be something like www.virtualassisstant.siterubix.com. It’s free and takes 30 mins to set up so maybe a good starting point. Check out my article on this.
A social media presence
The chances are some of your work will be based around social media and actually this can be a great place to find work. So it’s worth setting up, first and foremost, a Linked in account, and a Twitter and Facebook profile.
How much can you make?
I think the key thing is, and probably an obvious thing to say, is that how much you make depends on how much you charge for your time. VA’s can get between $12 and $70 an hour. So you can see there is some money to be made here.
My rule of thumb is never charge less than $15 a hour. Don’t ever sell yourself short. But of course, if you have good experience you can go way over this. This will probably come with time too as you pick up more and more clients. $15 is a good starting point I think.
Where can you find work?
And here’s the big question. All of that above means nothing if you can’t get a job.
So there are several ways that you can approach this.
- You can apply for VA roles that exist already in places like Upwork or Probloggers. You can advertise your skill set here.
- I seriously would look at the blogging community to find work. Blogging is huge business these days and there are people making a lot of money. These people don’t now spend all their time on their blogs like they may have done in the beginning. They might be looking outsource work. They are the perfect target market. Look at blogs in areas of YOUR interest and write to them. You should be able to get a feel for whether they are big business or not. Then just contact them. And contact as many as you can.
- Find your own clients by getting on social media. You can join Facebook groups which are specifically for VA’s and sometimes jobs are posted there. Linked in is a great resource for this too.
I suggest you do all three things, once you have your website in place.
I hope that helps you get started and gives you some tips on how to become a virtual assistant from home. If there is anything else you would like to know, if I haven’t covered something, then please just send me a comment below.
Good luck! I’d love to hear how you get on!