How To Become A Virtual Assistant (Even Without Experience!)

Working as a virtual assistant provides flexibility, variety, and a great work-life balance. All of these top three things many people look for in a career.

Becoming a virtual assistant is just as difficult as anything new you haven’t experienced. It just takes a few skills to build clients and a business of your own.

As many more new businesses grow, Virtual Assistant services increasingly are in High Demand.

It’s a fast-growing career where you can do work from home and you don’t need a degree to get started. Keep reading below if your want to work for yourself and build your own freedom.

In this article, we are going to touch base on these topics

  • What is a Virtual Assistant
  • What exactly does a Virtual Assistant do?
  • What services can you offer as a Virtual Assistant?
  • How to Become a Virtual Assistant – With Little to No Experience
  • How do Virtual Assistants make Money

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant is someone who performs administrative services remotely. Sometimes known as a “VA”. They are general contractors or freelancers giving support to individuals, businesses, or groups.

Becoming a virtual assistant allows you to have a more flexible schedule. Which you may work part-time or full-time. The best part is that you easily work from the comfort of your home!

Virtual Assistants are becoming more important aspects of today’s new upcoming Entrepreneurs. Employers are able to save time, and money and outsource tasks they would normally have to do themselves.

Instead of hiring a full staff, a VA offers more flexibility. This allows the business owner to scale up or down based on the business’s needs.

Pros and Cons of Working As A Virtual Assistant

Pro

  • Become your own Boss
  • No Commuting to work
  • Make your own Schedule
  • Work from Anywhere (with a Computer and Internet)
  • Unlimited Earning Potential

Con

  • Constantly Building Clients
  • You need to be Self Motivated
  • You need to be able to limit distractions
  • Sticking to your desired Schedule
  • Timezone Differences
  • Doing some training on your own

What exactly does a Virtual Assistant do?

A Virtual Assistant offers administrative support depending on the needs of the client. Administrative support comes in a variety of tasks such as organizing emails, making phone calls, and coordinating schedules.

As a Virtual Assitant, most of these skills don’t require you to have a degree. You would have to be very knowledgeable in the skills you are offering as services.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant: Woman sitting on the floor with her laptop

Services you can offer as a Virtual Assistant

There are many specialized services you can offer as a virtual assistant. Specialized services can be a skill that you are naturally great at. Also, these skills can be a specialty you have learned from prior training and experience. Most of the services listed below have the potential to be profitable for remote businesses.

Social Media Management

Business owners use Social Media to get more traffic to their websites. Many websites have ads or products that generate income. As these platforms start to grow they are becoming more and more important to have a presence.

You can be the VA who analyzes their audience and creates a strategy to build their following. Services would include monitoring their audience, creating content, having conversations with influencers, and building strategies.

Online Marketing

Online marketing is the process of using digital media to promote services and products. Services can include Social Media Marketing, Ad placement, and Email marketing. You can build a marketing portfolio and build a strategy that will help your client succeed in the online market.

This can all start with market research, then a plan, implementation, and lastly review after results.

Email Marketing

Emails are a place where you can reach the client’s direct audience. More sales come from Email marketing than any other digital platform. An expert in this field might have skills in copywriting, analyzing the client’s audience, and the ability to translate that into sales.

Email Management

Today’s inboxes are always flooded with emails and need to be organized. Some clients might just need email management for themselves or for their businesses. These tasks might include sorting and organizing emails, and responding to emails.

Content Production

Have you ever heard the saying content is king? Well, it can be most of the time. There is always the rush to push content out there to maintain the audience’s attention. In content production, you are producing content that is usually aligned with your client’s brand.

Services would be creating and editing videos, making pin graphics for Pinterest, and transcribing a podcast for a blog post. There are so many different types of content out there. It’s best to figure out what you are skilled to do and add that to your specialized skill.

Financial Management

Financial management is necessary for any business. There is just no way around it, either you prepare now or you try to figure it out later. And a lot of the clients out there need someone with this skill.

So if you are great with numbers, taxes, or even with your own finances this could be right for you. Businesses have to deal with budgets, investments, bookkeeping, expenses, and payroll.

Administrative Support

The simplest skill can be a specialty. I don’t think any entrepreneur can get by without an administrative assistant. It’s the little things that get missed like a phone call, or an email that can easily be taken care of. You can be great with administrative support.

Think of it as being your client’s second brain, you are there to take away all the millions of small tasks that add up. Services would be making and answering phone calls, responding to emails, appointments, and calendar management.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant: female looking at her cellphone while multitasking with her laptop. She is in her home office

How to Become a Virtual Assistant with Little to No Experience

1. Pick out a few select Skills

When you are first starting out it’s best to use only a few skills in virtual remote services. Some of these skills are common things you might have already learned in the past. Even with little to no experience, you might be good with making calls and customer service.

For example, I’ve worked in retail for several years and customer service was a skill-set I’ve learned. I can apply that to something I can do remotely. When I worked at a call center, making phone calls was a daily commitment. Learning data entry from writing blog posts came to me naturally.

Other skills that are less technical are time management, organization, and communication. Add those to your profile or resume as well.

Trust me, these common skills like customer service, data entry or even making phone calls are still very in-demand.

List of Common Virtual Assistant Tasks

  • Providing Customer Support
  • Making and Managing Appointments
  • Answering, directing, and making phone calls
  • Answering, monitoring, and organizing emails
  • Managing Schedules and Calendars
  • Data Entry

Think of at least 3 things you are knowledgeable in and use that to gain momentum in virtual assistant work. Work on those three skills until you become an expert in them and then add on another skill. You can price these tasks just as you would any other freelance work. It’s your time and your time is valuable.

2. Identify the Stuff you will need

There are two main tools you need to work remotely, it’s a computer and good internet. Great internet service is necessary to make sure you can commit to getting things done. A laptop or computer with a good webcam is also important. You might need to do a zoom call or skype for meetings.

Some other things that you might own are a cellphone and a headset. Otherwise, you can purchase things as you go. Once you get started you can make a list of tools that you need and purchase them.

A Must-Have Virtual Assistant Tools List

  • Computer or Laptop
  • Reliable Internet Service
  • Headset
  • Software Programs: Trello, Slack, Google Workspace
  • Cellphone
  • Multi-task Printer: Prints, Scans, Faxes
  • Landline Phone

3. Build A Portfolio

Creating a portfolio is a good place to start to show your clients what your skills are.

4. Figure out a Pricing Structure

Finalize the services that you are willing to perform before figuring out what you are going to charge. As you are bringing in clients, you need to know what your fees are. The more confident you are in your pricing structure, the more you would seem like an expert.

You can start by researching other virtual assistants and viewing their prices. Even by searching on Fiverr and Upwork, you get an idea of what certain task costs.

Keep in mind you can charge hourly, weekly, monthly, or by task. There’s even an option to have a retainer or create packages with different levels of services.

How much does a virtual assistant make?

A Virtual Assistant can make an average of between $10 to $30 an hour. Depending on your level of expertise you can charge more for specialty services.

Starting out, try to be more realistic about the pricing based on your experience. But please don’t lowball yourself, you can get an average of what other VAs are doing and keep the numbers close to it.

Virtual Assistants Average Salary and Hourly Wage

*The average monthly and annual salary is calculated based on a 40-hour week with the hourly given.

Source Average Hourly Average Monthly Wage Average Annual Salary
Payscale $16.17 $2,587.20 $31,046.40
Ziprecruiter $27.95 $4472.00 $53,664.00
Indeed $22.08 $3532.80 $42,393.60

5. Get experience by getting Clients

The quickest way to gain experience is by getting clients. Start with people you might already know, offer trial services for free for while, and get good reviews. Use the reviews as testimonies of your quality of work. As you begin with any client, save samples of your work. The samples of your work help attract new clients and build your portfolio.

6. Set up your business Legally

As your business grows you don’t want to deal with legal troubles. It’s always better to establish these annoying things early and get them out of the way. First, decide whether you will be a sole proprietor or an LLC.

In summary, a sole proprietor is someone who is a business owned and run by one person. An LLC is a legal entity business run at the state level and can have one or more members.

The next step is to get any licenses or permits you need to work in your state. Lastly, create a contract for the different services you will be offering. You can consult an attorney or an accountant on this last step to verify everything is addressed.

7. Make Connections and Network

Relationships are the key to growing a business. Nothing travels faster than the word of mouth. Anyone that spends their money today is based on a referral from someone they know.

It is through networking that can we broaden our reach. If you are looking for more clients you want to be in the Facebook groups with entrepreneurs and bloggers. You want to go to a virtual event with small business owners.

As they get to know you, this increases trust and that turns into more clients.

How can you make money as a Virtual Assistant

1. Work for a company

In the beginning stages of building your own virtual assistant business, you might not be ready to jump right in. You can quickly earn an income by working for a company.

The benefit is that they provide the clients for you but the pay rate is lower. Growing your own business does take time and you can gain experience in the meantime.

Below are companies that you can refer to for virtual assistant work.

  1. Time etc:
  2. Belay Solutions
  3. Zirtual
  4. Boldly

2. Build a Portfolio

Start by creating a website or just a landing page that is about you and what you offer. Be mindful to include your pricing structure as well. This will answer a lot of questions that you won’t have to worry about. Think of your website as a piece of real estate in a pool of millions of people online. And you have a virtual address where they can find you.

Make sure to include yourself on social media and establish a presence. If they don’t find you on google they can locate you on Instagram or Linkedin. Then after you can direct them to your website where they can see how they can work with you.

I’ve mentioned before, that save examples of your work and get testimonies. This will come in handy for adding to your portfolio. Even as a new customer I can see that you would be a good fit for what I’m looking for. It’s just like reading the reviews on an Amazon product. No one wants to waste their time so fulfill that hesitation with proof.

3. Charge More for Specialty Services

Besides the basic administrative services, there is a higher pay range for specialty services. This could include Social Media Marketing, Bookkeeping, Web Design, and even SEO for a blog site. All of these skills take up lots of time for any business owner and can be hard to master.

It’s easier to outsource these tasks to someone that is an expert. You can easily bring up your hour from $10-$30 to $30-$50 because of the value.

4. Create Packages

To increase your income with less of your time try creating packages. Each package would be at different levels of outcomes, from smallest to largest. Packages can be combined services, for example, 5 hours of admin a week, 30 days of social media management, and 10 hours of outreach per week = $1200.

That would be one package depending on the work level you can increase or decrease from there.

To maximize your time you can make a package that is less hour based.

For example, 30 days’ worth of social media templates, 3 Facebook Ads, and 2 SEO-optimized articles = $700. Sure you can do this for a whole month or get this done in a week.

In Summary

Becoming a virtual assistant with little to no experience is possible. It starts with first identifying your skills, searching for jobs, building your clients, pricing your services, creating a portfolio, and networking.

All of the steps can seem difficult at first but over time they are just milestones to being able to work from home. Virtual Assistant has the benefits of working when they want, where they want, and increasing their income significantly all while being remote. So are you ready to give this new career a try?

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