What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?
If you are in search of a good work-at-home job, why not consider being a virtual assistant? The great thing about this is that you can choose what types of services you will provide your client, set your pay rate, and benefit from the many other advantages of being your own boss. Virtual assistants provide many of the services that office professionals do, including data research, writing or editing, bookkeeping, marketing, social media, data entry, and lots more. You get to choose what you want to do based on your skill set and you get to do it from home, in your own virtual office.
Steps to Becoming a Great Virtual Assistant
Learn Your VA Skills First
It always helps to learn as much as you can and expand your opportunities. As a virtual assistant, you might be hired by someone who doesn’t just want someone to handle writing and editing, but also to do some of their marketing and social media managing. This might mean learning a little more about online and offline marketing so you can provide top-notch service. While you are not forced to learn any skills you aren’t interested in, adding more to your resume is always a good thing.
There are many skills a virtual assistant needs. It may be wise to decide to narrow this down to a couple of choices at first. Then once you become proficient in one area, you can offer specialized virtual assistant skills. Then go on to learn more VA skills and add those to your resume.
Let’s take a look at some of the virtual assistant services you could offer:
Social Media as a Virtual Assistant
Many bloggers and business owners feel overwhelmed by trying to keep track of all their social media accounts, I know I do for sure! You can imagine having to post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest and Instagram on a regular basis. This can be tiring to say the least. Then trying to track your results. As a social media assistant or manager you could organize and take of all your client’s social media needs. This is a popular service, that is in demand, so don’t overlook it.
Proof Reader and Editor
This is another highly sought after service that I am often asked about. If you enjoy grammar, and can easily spot mistakes then this might be the best virtual assistant service to offer at first. Your clients would include, bloggers, product creators and authors.
If you enjoy research and love organizing your notes then this is another area to look more closely at. As well as researching general information, offer researching a client’s target market for them. This will allow them to grow their business and find the ideal customers and clients for their own business.
WordPress & Website Assistant
Having great WordPress and website skills can be a huge asset to your VA business. Again this is an area that is in demand. Services would include uploading and publishing blog posts. Creating sales pages using a Content Builder. Adding watermarks to graphics and then uploading those. Scheduling lots of posts for a client. Then there is the more technical side of setting up hosting for a client, then installing WordPress and a theme on the site. Another great package to offer is Website Maintenance. For a monthly fee you offer to update your client’s sites for them. This is definitely a skill worth learning and could make you an in demand virtual assistant.
If you are creative and love design then you may want to offer graphic design as your main VA service. This includes designing logos, banners and headers for websites. As well as things like creating ecovers and newsletters.
If you enjoy writing then you could look at offering this as a service. Writing could include; reports, blog posts, social media posts, ebooks, sales copy, marketing information, white papers, newsletter material and more.
If you prefer a variety of jobs then the role of a personal assistant might be the ticket for you. Virtual assistant duties would include; answering and sending emails, organization and scheduling of meetings and setting appointments. Replying to blog comments and even working on a help desk.
Be Vigilant When Looking For Clients
One of the bigger struggles when you first start working as a virtual assistant is finding clients. This can be difficult in the beginning, but if you work hard at marketing and are vigilant, you can find work. Once you start getting jobs, you will then have more work experience and professional networking options, which then helps you to advance in your new career. To get started, post your availability on social media networks, reach out to anyone in the field, and apply for any virtual assistant positions you see being advertised by other companies.
Having your own website and blog is an excellent way to show a list of services and skills you have, your experience in the niche you have chosen, and testimonials from previous clients. Take the time to set up your own blog and learn how to use WordPress. Then you can showcase your blog when you apply for positions.
Social media is a great networking tool so use them to set up your presence as a virtual assistant by having a Facebook Business page and Pinterest Board.
There are several great job boards that you can use to look for work as well. One that I have used quite often is this one over at Problogger.
Know How to Price Your Work
As a freelancer virtual assistant, it is up to you to set your pricing. It is very important that you not low-ball it just to get work. You should value the work you do and request a decent wage. Some jobs might pay by the project, while others pay by the hour or even by the word. Take some time to figure out what you want to earn per hour for any given job, then calculate how much each type of project would take. This is why you should price the work based on each assignment. You might get hired to be a writer and figure that an article takes you an hour and you want $30 an hour, so naturally that article costs $30. Also keep in mind the amount of time it takes to research, write, proofread, and edit the article before submitting it. If a client requests extra services, such as keyword research, images, or adding it to their blog, charge an extra fee.
For services like data entry, marketing, and answering phone calls, an hourly wage is typically a better way to price the work.
Use Various Networking Opportunities
Networking is crucial when you want to advance as a virtual assistant. You will notice that a lot of your clients come from word-of-mouth. Get yourself out there, be active in the virtual assistant community, and reach out to people and engage them in relevant conversations. This not only helps you get resources from other virtual assistants, but it can also help you get long-term clients.
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