By: Rita Cunha | January 21st, 2021
Remote jobs have taken the United States by storm. Who wouldn’t want to work from home, save on gas, and not spend time commuting? If you would like to give this lifestyle a shot, then you could work to earn money as a virtual assistant (VA). It’s an easy side hustle that pays well and can be very rewarding.
Virtual assistant jobs seem to be everywhere nowadays. After all, every business owner needs help, especially if they are trying to run and grow their business. Virtual assistants are incredibly useful to them, as they can take over administrative tasks and help them streamline their day-to-day operations.
In today’s article, we will go over everything you need to know about being a virtual assistant, including how to become one (and how much money you can make with this gig).
What Is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant (sometimes also called executive assistant) is typically a freelancer that joins a company to help with day-to-day administrative tasks. In a nutshell, they are team members who are jacks of all trades focused on making any business owner’s life infinitely easier.
Virtual assistants work either full-time or part-time, depending on their schedule. They don’t have to be tied to a single company. Rather, startups and large and small business owners often outsource their assistance needs. This means they enjoy a lot more freedom and can work from whatever remote location they want—as long as it has a good internet connection, of course.
What Does a VA Do?
VAs do all kinds of tasks, including bookkeeping, making phone calls to vendors, data entry, travel arrangements, posting on the company’s social media, answering customer emails, and whatever other specific tasks need to get done.
Generally speaking, the role of an administrative assistant is anything but boring. If you take up a virtual assistant job, you are almost guaranteed to do different things every day.
What Skill Set Do VAs Need to Have?
Because the job is so flexible, there isn’t just one specific skillset VAs can learn from a webinar or book. However, these are some of the most important qualities a successful virtual assistant must master:
- Project management skills
- Good communication skills
- Outstanding computer skills
- Organization skills
- Proper phone and email etiquette
- Great research skills
- A superb eye for detail
- Ability to easily adapt to new tasks
- Top-notch writing skills
How to Become a Virtual Assistant in 5 Steps
Interested in becoming a virtual assistant? You have nothing to lose. If you have free time, good internet, and a computer, you could get started looking for VA jobs tomorrow.
1. Decide How to Market Your Virtual Assistant Services
First, you need to decide how you will sell your services. What industry (or niche) do you want to specialize in? For example, do you want to be a personal assistant to a famous or important person? Or would you rather take an executive assistant job at a real estate firm?
The choice of business model is yours. We simply recommend that you do choose a specialization because you will be able to charge a higher hourly rate this way.
2. Set Your Pricing
Next, look into how much other VAs with similar experience in your niche are charging. Knowing that you can set your competitive hourly rate without undervaluing your worth. Remember, you are an independent contractor, so you will earn however much you negotiate with your clients.
3. Advertise Your Services
Then, comes the time to get the word out there that you are looking for work. You can do this in plenty of ways. For starters, you can sign up for virtual assistant marketplaces, such as Upwork and Fiverr. You can also advertise your services on LinkedIn and connect with potential clients.
If you want to go the extra mile, you should put together a website portfolio for your virtual assistant online business. WordPress blogs are easy enough to create, but you can always hire a professional in web graphic design to do it for you. Luckily, Swagbucks has Fiverr coupon codes for you to use so you can get the website of your dreams at an affordable, discounted price! And don’t forget to link to your professional social media pages, such as LinkedIn! You can gain rewarding connections there.
4. Look for Clients on Your Own
At the same time, it is a good idea to look at a virtual assistance job board for neat gigs to work on. Because companies are always outsourcing virtual assistant roles, you can find quite a few opportunities listed on these boards:
5. Sign Your First VA Contract
Once you finally land your first virtual assistant job, it’s time to get to work. You will likely be asked to sign a contract, so read it carefully!
Then, you will want to make sure you have a working corner ready for you. All you really need is a good working surface and a headset with a microphone. Pro tip: if you can, invest in a quiet dedicated office space so you can focus and be more productive during the workday.
Swagbucks can help you save a ton of money if you don’t have a working space already in your home. When you use one of these Thumbtack coupons, you can hire a professional in your area to have some basic work done. It can go a long way in boosting the quality of your work!
How Much Money Do Virtual Assistants Make?
Virtual assistants make anywhere between $20,000 and $60,000 a year. However, that amount varies widely depending on a lot of things. For example, if you take up this online job and specialize in a highly sought-after industry (such as tech), you can make a lot more than that. Years of experience also factor into how much virtual assistants make.
How to Make Money as a Virtual Assistant
When you start out as a freelancer, you won’t be rolling in cash. However, if you stick to it and bump up your services, you could make a good salary working from home.
For instance, you can take a job as a VA during odd business hours, which means you will be able to charge more for your service. Moreover, if you go above and beyond for your first clients, you will notice that word of mouth travels fast and can land you better-paying gigs going forward.
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