How to Become a Virtual Assistant: The Complete Guide
A virtual assistant is someone who helps people with their work from a distance. They can do things like answer emails, make phone calls on behalf of their clients, or help them organize the calendar.
Virtual assistants (VA) are usually hired online, and many different services offer them. Virtual assistants can be a great help for those people who are just too busy with all their work. But it can work in the other way, too. Since it is a virtual and good-paying job, you might be interested in becoming a virtual assistant yourself. This is our guide on how to become a virtual assistant!
Step 1: Check if you have these skills
There are quite a few skills that are required in order to become a successful virtual assistant. The core requirements are these four. Some of them can be learned, while others you are born with. Evaluate if you do have these skills to become a virtual assistant.
First and foremost, excellent communication skills (both verbal and written) are a must for the up-and-coming virtual assistant. Great communication skills are essential for virtual assistants because they help to build positive relationships with clients and colleagues.
When clients know that they can rely on their virtual assistant to communicate effectively, it makes them more likely to turn to them for help in the future. In addition, good communication skills make it easier for virtual assistants to build consensus and collaborate with others on projects.
This can be especially important when working with a team of virtual assistants. By having strong communication skills, virtual assistants can ensure that everyone is on the same page and that tasks are completed efficiently.
Proficiency in Microsoft Office/G-Suite
Secondly, proficiency in Microsoft Office suite (or similar software, such as Google’s G-Suit). Microsoft Office (or similar software) is essential for virtual assistants because it allows them to complete tasks efficiently.
With Microsoft Office, virtual assistants can create professional-looking documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. This is important because it helps potential clients to take your work seriously and see you as a professional.
Additionally, Microsoft Office allows virtual assistants to collaborate with others on projects. This is beneficial because it allows virtual assistants to get input from others and helps to ensure that tasks are completed efficiently.
Finally, Microsoft Office allows virtual assistants to track changes made to documents. This is important because it ensures that the original document is not changed without consent and that all changes are tracked.
Managing multiple tasks simultaneously is important for VAs as well because it allows them to be more efficient. By multitasking, VAs can complete tasks quickly and effectively. This is important because it helps potential clients to get the results they need on time.
Additionally, multitasking allows VAs to stay organized and on top of their work. This is beneficial because it prevents them from becoming overwhelmed and ensures that all tasks are completed on time. This is important because it helps them to stay productive and prevents them from getting distracted.
Organization skills are a must, too. If you can't keep your work organized, it will be difficult to keep track of what you need to do and when you need to do it. Working as a virtual assistant, it is important to be able to stay on top of your work and manage your time efficiently. Organization skills will help ensure that you are able to do this.
Another important reason why organization skills are important for a virtual assistant is because they can help prevent procrastination. When you have a clear idea of what you need to do and when you need to do it, it is less likely that you will put things off until the last minute. This can be especially helpful when working with deadlines and doing other administrative tasks.
Lastly, organization skills can help you stay organized and focused while working from home. This can be a challenge for some people, but if you have a system in place for keeping track of what you need to do, it can be a lot easier. Having good organizational skills can help make your work as a virtual assistant more efficient and productive.
Step 2: Identify your services
As a virtual assistant, you should decide what services you'll offer by considering the client's needs and preferences because it is important to tailor services to meet the specific needs of each client. This will help ensure that potential clients are satisfied with the services you offer and that they continue using your freelance virtual assistant work in the future. As there is a wide range of services a virtual assistant can offer, this step is pretty crucial.
It is also important to consider your strengths and weaknesses. If you are strong in customer support or administrative support, you may want to offer the service of an administrative assistant or support manager. If you are weak in bookkeeping or data entry, for example, you may want to avoid offering that service. Offering services that you are good at, such as website management, and avoiding services that you are not good at will help you be successful as a virtual assistant.
You should check if you are not creating a duplicate of the already existing offers. This is to avoid providing the same service to two different people. This can help save time and ensure that everyone receives the best possible service.
Finally, surf the internet for some ideas. Read blog posts from fellow virtual assistants and just check around various social media platforms for tips to help, and ask for feedback from other VAs. Feedback can help identify areas for improvement and ensure that you are meeting the needs of potential business owners. Additionally, feedback can help create a sense of community among virtual assistants, which can be beneficial for networking and sharing resources, and understanding what services you will offer.
Step 3: Get the equipment
A question of how to become a virtual assistant can not be complete without having a list of the required equipment in order to do the job successfully.
First and foremost, the most important thing to have if you are doing a virtual assistant job is a rather simple one but absolutely crucial - a reliable internet connection. Since this job is completely virtual (that is, it requires an online presence all the time since you will be self-employed), not having a stable internet connection would ruin the whole experience for both you and your clients. As the job will be remote and will be waiting for you anywhere in the world, you must make sure that your internet connection, wherever you may be, is reliable.
Another somewhat obvious one is having a computer. Although our smartphones are usually no less powerful than most older computers, having a PC is a must as it will make you work remotely more productively. Working as a VA, you will have to type a lot of things, organize stuff, look for phone numbers, do email management (such as email marketing, for example), schedule appointments, make travel arrangements and calendar management, manage social media, and so on, since virtual assistants provide all of these, having a computer at hand will make this process more efficient.
Although a PC is very important if you wish to find virtual assistant jobs, a smartphone is required too. This would ensure that you can provide your virtual assistant services even if you are not at home or not near your computer. In VA business, surprises often happen, and an urgent call or two may hit you unexpectedly. That is why having a good quality smartphone as a backup to your usual PC is crucial. It is also important for social media management too since you will be able to check how the posts and social media pages look on various devices.
Another somewhat important thing is having a headset to use together with your devices, especially your PC. While doing calls, it would be tough to keep hold of your phone and type things out quickly. By putting on a headset with a microphone, you will be able to engage in both typing as well as talking and listening, ensuring that you do not miss any details. After all, it is called virtual assistance for a reason!
Last but not least is the software that you would need to use. Usually, your clients will tell you what their preferences are, but it would be beneficial to check the various most common apps beforehand. Besides the previously mentioned Microsoft Office suite (and similar apps), you should check out and familiarize yourself with Zoom, Google Hangouts, and, perhaps, Skype.
You may need to use these apps on a daily basis; thus, these are crucial when you are learning how to become a virtual assistant. Once you work as a virtual assistant, there will not be any more time to learn. You should come prepared and learn the nooks and crannies as you work, not the pure basics of these apps.
Step 4: Get a job!
So, you have the skills, you identified your strengths and weaknesses, and you have all the required gear to become a virtual assistant. What is next? The last and most important step - landing your first client in the sea of online businesses!
There are a few ways how to get started with finding a virtual assistant job. Naturally, since this job is purely virtual and remote, there is both a high demand for virtual assistants, but also a large supply of them, meaning that it may not be very easy to get the job.
The best place to find virtual assistant jobs is to check out freelancing/gig economy websites, such as Upwork, Fiverr, and even Linkedin. Many VA workers tend to offer their services there in hopes of finding their first client. The advantage that freelancing networks have is the fact these job listings have a great variety based on experience. That is, a virtual assistant with no experience and someone who has passed virtual assistant training and has experience can both post their offerings there.
As the demand for VA work is rather large, it will be able to cater both to small business owners as well as larger corporations or even for solo projects. Small business owners may want to hire a virtual assistant for things such as social media management, as there is simply no need to hire someone specifically for this.
It would also be smart to make use of your social media accounts, especially if you have followers there. Some of your followers may catch your post and know just where to refer you. Word of mouth does a lot when companies decide to hire virtual assistants.
What about the money?
How much virtual assistants make depends on what kind of services they provide and how much can the company or a person offer them. Many virtual assistants can make up to $20 per hour, which is quite a solid number. If you get enough skills, you can have multiple business clients that you manage, with each multiplying your income significantly.
Needless to say, with experience comes more money. A business owner that manages a large company will be more likely to hire a virtual assistant that has a lot of experience and versatility, which automatically means that the virtual assistant salary in such a company would be larger.
When you get started, you may not earn a lot of money, but if this VA work is fine for you, you can continue doing it and start earning big bucks. With enough time and effort, you may even start your own virtual assistant business (VA business), providing professional help for fellow VAs to find work and helping companies to find workers easily.
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