A virtual assistant (VA) is a person who helps clients with administrative, creative, or marketing activities. Another VA in need of support, a person or solopreneur, or a firm or organization might be the customer. While some VAs work full-time for a single big client, many prefer to work as contractors or freelancers for many clients simultaneously (though this can also add up to a full-time workload, or even more).Being a virtual assistant has its perks, like the ability to create your flexible schedule, but you must also accommodate the demands and schedules of each client. Aside from administrative skills, business awareness, and internet knowledge, becoming a VA doesn’t require specialized training or equipment to get started. If you put in the effort, you may specialize in a niche and build your business to service high-value clients over time.
The amount you may make as a VA is determined by your skillset, level of knowledge, and whether you work for a VA firm or independently. As an entry-level VA for a corporation, you may earn as low as $10 to $12 per hour, which may not be enough to live on, especially if this is your sole source of income. If you work for yourself, though, you may charge $20 per hour or more, and you can continue to boost your rate as your abilities improve.
What Skills Do Virtual Assistants Need?
When considering becoming a virtual assistant, you might think that VAs do mundane administrative work. Part of it is because clients don’t want to undertake the tiresome jobs, but you may also provide more complex services that you like.
Always explain the task’s worth, regardless of whose services you provide. Appeal to the client’s most pressing requirements. What is it that keeps them up at night? How can you assist them in resolving their issue? Instead of merely listing your offerings, explain how they would benefit. Describe how their life will be once you’ve taken care of their email, social media, and other issues.
WordPress knowledge is required to provide blog administration as a service. Clients will not have time for everyday administrative responsibilities that come with blogging, such as:
• Including headers, links, and SEO in post formatting and optimization
• Including pictures, metadata, and captions in the content
• Editing draughts and scheduling pieces for publication
• Approval, deletion, and response to comments
• In Yoast SEO, filling out plugin information such as keywords and alternatives.
• Using categories and tags to organize and update content
You’ll need to learn about your customers’ consumer-facing company procedures and goods if they ask you to take over customer support activities. You’ll most likely provide email customer service to answer product questions, handle refunds, and solve account difficulties.
Busy professionals can’t afford to neglect their inboxes, yet because email management takes so much time, it’s a high priority that clients want to be addressed. Email management entails the following:
• Deleting, sorting, and replying to email
• Sorting emails into clearly labeled categories, so the customer knows what’s important, what has to be responded to, and which emails are merely for information.
• Responding to emails, such as accepting comments on blog posts, canceling or renewing subscriptions, and confirming appointments
• Basically, you want their email to be as tidy as possible when they open it in the morning.
You don’t require extensive design talents to offer graphic design as a service as long as you’re upfront about your abilities and limits. You can make images like this with a keen eye, basic design skills, and an easy-to-use application like Canva.
• Images for blog entries that are featured
• Stories on Instagram
• Pins on Pinterest
• Promotional items
• Covers for social media profiles
• Use of social media
One of the first things to fall by the wayside is social media, but it doesn’t make it less crucial to a company’s health. It’s a beautiful talent for a VA to master because customers know they should be handling social media but can’t seem to find the time or learn the abilities required. Furthermore, social media administration is a higher-tier service for which you may charge a premium. Social media management, like email management, necessitates consistency, so if you’re going to provide this service to clients, make sure you have the time to devote to it on a weekly or even daily basis.
How to Niche Down as a Virtual Assistant
You’ll generally start as a generalist VA, with a wide range of abilities. Every VA should be capable of doing this. Even when it’s time to specialize, your consumers may still require your specialty as well as one or two essential services.
As a general VA, you’ll act as the client’s gofer, helping them with whatever they need within your scope of essential services. After a while, you’ll be able to tell which duties you enjoy and which you excel at. Then you may learn more about those particular specialties and hone your talents. To target a specialized demographic, consider building a sub-niche inside your thing. You can handle email management for photographers, for example, or graphic design for wedding providers.
Help is accessible at all pricing points if you want to improve your skills in a particular field – e-commerce customer care, Pinterest marketing, social media advertising, WordPress management, and so on. For instance, you may learn more about social media marketing by listening to specialist podcasts, taking a free certification course, and getting a paid advanced certification.
How to Find Work as a Virtual Assistant
Your potential customers are online someplace, and it’s up to you to discover where they are. Are they on Reddit or another internet discussion board? Do they read and comment on content on certain websites? Do they have a Facebook group or a Twitter hashtag that they use? Go to where they are and provide free guidance. Once you’ve established a rapport, disclose that you’re a virtual assistant.
Consider making online connections with other VAs, such as through social media networks. Experienced VAs may reject down employment, but they could refer you to specific clients if they know you.
VAs and other services you provide, such as social media marketing, will be listed on job boards. Apply if you’re a good fit for the position, even if it doesn’t say “virtual assistant.” On top of what they’re hiring for, the customer may require some of the additional services you provide.
Working for a virtual assistant firm before going out on your own is also a possibility. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. The firm will find clients for you and match you with employment, but they may determine your rate or take a percentage of your earnings. It’s a terrific method to learn the ropes and grow your talents without being fully responsible for the client-VA connection when you’re just starting, and you can use the company’s resources to hone your skills.
How to Find Your Ideal Client as a Virtual Assistant
Create a client persona and properly screen potential clients before moving forward cautiously and methodically to establish a client list you’re passionate about. It’s also a good idea to run each new client through a three-month trial period. You won’t be locked into a long contract if one or both of you aren’t content with how things are going.
Define Your Ideal Client
Defining your ideal client allows you to work with people you want to work with while screening out those who won’t help you advance your career. Clarify the following characteristics to create a vision of your ideal client:
• Expertise and niche
• The age range
• Age of the entrepreneur (startup vs. established)
• Set aside funds to employ a virtual assistant.
• Problems and concerns
• They lack specific abilities.
Determine how much you want the customer to be involved in the project. You won’t receive an honest answer if you ask someone whether they’re a micromanager, but recognizing your limitations will help you determine whether or not to continue working with them.
Hold an Interview
Before making any final judgments, always conduct a phone or video interview. The way someone speaks may reveal a lot about them. Is it tough to get information from the client? It’s possible that you won’t obtain the help you need to do your work successfully. Do they wander off on tangents, turning a 30-minute interview into a 90-minute conversation? Calculate how much you should charge for a routine conversation.
Final Thoughts on Becoming a Virtual Assistant
There isn’t much of a learning curve to being a virtual assistant; no special equipment or training is required. Working as a virtual assistant is a terrific way to earn money while working from home, and it’s also a great way to figure out what areas you want to concentrate in. Keep in mind that you’re a contractor, not an employee. Compared to a typical employer-employee relationship, the playing field is more even. You get to pick your clients just as much as they get to choose their virtual assistants.
Finally, you must be clear on why you’re working with a customer, not simply what you’re doing, having a successful working relationship with them. Inquire about the approach and goal of your work. Not only will you be involved in the work, but you’ll also find effective ways to do it. As a virtual assistant, the more integrated you are with the client’s business, the more indispensable you will be.