There are good work from home jobs and there are bad work from home jobs. The best of them tend to pay at least a bit more than minimum wage and involve a sensible workload. That includes working as a virtual assistant.
What is a virtual assistant? It’s someone who acts as an administrative assistant would in an office but they work online instead of in an office.
They can offer a lot of services to clients and get paid well for them.
A Lot Of Services? How Many Services?
Well, Gina Horkey has been counting, so we don’t have to. She has a list of over 150 services that a virtual assistant can offer and we don’t think it’s particularly comprehensive. So, when we say “a lot” we mean a lot.
It’s fair to say, however, that there are only a handful of areas that are massively in demand:
- Admin support. This is the most common VA role and it can involve a wide-range of duties. Anything from booking flights, data entry and calendar management could be wrapped up in these sorts of task.
- Customer support. Customer support is the most vital role in any company and it makes sense to outsource it to someone who can be near a phone all the time. Management of small firms is often on the road and in meetings and can’t take calls. You can and you can get paid for it.
- Social media support. This is an emerging area and unsurprisingly comes from the need for companies to maintain their image on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. this is also a premium service at the moment and that means social media support pays better than admin or customer support.
- Email marketing. This is the most profitable and important part of most internet businesses. Generating sales, leads and managing the relationship with customers is the core of the Internet. If you know how to use autoresponders, manage lists and work with brand name mail software – this could be for you.
- Website management. Writing blog posts, updating information, changing branding, etc. all of these need someone to take care of them. Clients love to outsource their web tasks and if you know WordPress or another CMS your skills might be in high demand!
So, if you want to specialize – these areas will give you the most opportunity to earn as a VA.
How To Become A Virtual Assistant
Anyone can call themselves a virtual assistant. There’s no professional body for VAs. However, if you want to earn decent money, you’re going to need to ensure that you provide a good service to your clients.
Here’s what you should do to get and keep VA work:
- Get some training. Gina, the lady who does the list of 150 services, has a great course called “30 days or less to Virtual Assistant Success”. This covers everything that you need to know about running a VA business and finding your clients (that’s pretty important).
- Build a website. Every business needs a website in today’s world. No, a Facebook page won’t do instead. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a website, however, I recommend that you put together a simple website using WordPress on Bluehost (it’s the same as the way that you’d set up a blog).
- Develop a core offering. You also need to be able to summarize to clients what you can do. You really want a very short statement that you can use on your website to explain this but also some more detailed explanations that you can use to e-mail interested clients with. Work out what you do and what you charge for it. Be ready to explain that to your new customers.
Where To Find Work As A Virtual Assistant
Finding work is the big priority as a virtual assistant and nobody is going to do this for you. That means you’re going to need to get comfortable with the avenues where you can find clients and make that work for you. The biggest areas at the moment are:
- Freelancing sites. Upwork, People Per Hour and Freelancer are all popular freelancing sites and they make it easy to connect with clients. Sadly, they make it easy for all your competitors to connect with those clients too. If you need work fast – these sites can be good, but the truth is work found on them pays badly and the clients are often fly-by-night rip-off merchants too. Be careful.
- Social media. Link Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (at a minimum) to your website. Learn to market in these channels and you can find awesome clients that will pay market rates. Start with LinkedIn – it’s a professional network and thus, it comes as no surprise, it’s best for leads for work.
- Go local. In my experience, if you want to get a good reputation, work at a decent rate and prepare yourself for future success – go and look for clients locally. Sure, it’s a bit nerve-wracking when you get started but in the long run, it will pay for itself. These are clients that aren’t online weighing up the cheapest prices and you can create clients out of nothing. Walk into a business where everyone looks busy? They are a potential client.
- Network with online influencers in your field. This takes time but can work out really well, find an expert blogger in your area of VA expertise and reach out to get them to recommend you and your work. You need to build a relationship first but if you can get some good PR, it’s worth a fortune in new contracts.
So, there you have it. It’s not hard to become a virtual assistant but you do need to prepare for the role and the biggest challenge is always finding your first clients. Once you have them, though, you can look forward to good money earned from home! That’s the best kind.