Virtual assistant work is one of the most popular ways to make money from home. If you want to become a virtual assistant, this is a top online job right now since it’s flexible and pays well.
Generally, all you need is a computer, an internet connection, and a strong desire to help others with daily tasks to get started. But there’s also much more to becoming a virtual assistant to be aware of.
Let’s dive into the topic of how to become a virtual assistant and how to set yourself up for success.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant or VA may have been a term you’ve heard before. It basically refers to an online personal assistant who helps individuals and businesses manage and operate various tasks.
The range of work a VA can do is so wide (I will cover some main tasks later). You can also start this as a side hustle or grow to launch your own successful full-time VA business. There’s plenty of work out there for either option.
Quite a few people in my personal life ask me how they can earn extra money on the side, and I almost always recommend VA work if they can use a computer well. Unlike other side hustles, VA work often doesn’t involve complex or specialized skills and anyone with organizational skills and basic computer skills can take a stab at it.
How Much Can you Make?
According to Payscale, virtual assistants can make around $15 to $30 per hour depending on experience. Some people even go on to earn more. But at that point, it all depends on:
- Who your client is
- The type of work you’re doing
- What their budget is like
On the bright side, it’s not hard to find a client who will pay you $20 per hour and you don’t even need a degree.
Being a virtual assistant comes with great earning potential, but I do want to point out that VAs who work as freelancers and choose their clients will probably earn more than a virtual assistant who is hired to work for a company.
This is because when you get to pick your clients, you can choose your rates and offer custom quotes. When you work for a company that hires VAs, you have to settle for their hourly rate, their projects, and their schedule.
There are pros and cons to both situations. But in this post, I’m mainly going to be discussing how you can become a virtual assistant who’s self-employed and find your own clients.
Virtual Assistant Salary
Of course, these are just averages, and there is no cap on how much you could make as a virtual assistant when you work for yourself.
What Does a Virtual Assistant Do Every Day?
Virtual assistants can do a wide variety of tasks. If you’re considering trying out this side hustle, my advice to you would be to narrow down your specialties and interest. Then, offer those services so you are doing work that you enjoy and are good at.
For example, I narrowed down my VA specialties to social media scheduling, blog commenting, managing comments, blog management, and SEO work.
Other tasks that VAs perform include, but are not limited to:
- Creating graphics and pictures for blog posts
- Editing content
- Scheduling blog posts
- Managing email inboxes
- Organizing and scheduling newsletters
- Creating and sending out invoices
- Managing multiple social media channels
- Coming up with a content strategy to implement
- Dealing with customer issues or processing returns
- Updating SEO on websites for pages and blog posts
- Scheduling meetings and conference calls
- Booking speaking engagements
- Performing market research
- Live chat support
- Managing affiliate programs
- And more!
As you can see, the possibilities are practically limitless when you work as a VA.
You don’t just have to work with only bloggers either. Many entrepreneurs and start-ups need VAs desperately, so there is a big need to fill.
My Love – Dislike Experience with Becoming a VA
I first heard about becoming a VA in 2015, and decided to give it a try in addition to freelance writing. My initial intention was to diversify my income and mix up my workload to relieve myself from writing all the time.
Becoming a VA allowed me to mix things up, choose my rates, and earn a steadier income aside from freelance writing. When I first attempted to break into the VA world, I felt like a newbie all over again just like when I started freelance writing.
I didn’t know who to pitch or what type of rates to set. Whenever I did pitch someone, they always seemed more interested in my writing services or not even interested at all. I was feeling a bit down about it at first and didn’t think VA work was for me.
Fast forward to the present day and I’ve landed a few great clients with work I love. I earn around $2,000 per month as a VA and work very part-time with it.
My point is that some great things take time. In a society that glorifies instant gratification, it’s okay to not see a ton of success right away.
It takes time to build up your confidence, narrow down your skills, and find awesome clients. But you will! There is plenty of work out there.
I had to implement a few strategies to obtain my first few VA clients and you can do this as well.
How to Become a Virtual Assistant in 4 Basic Steps
1. Decide who you are Targeting
Just like with any side hustle, you need to determine who your service will help. That’s how you will reassure yourself and others that it’s valuable.
Whether you choose to help overwhelmed mommy bloggers, established business owners, or professionals who just don’t have time to manage their social media, knowing exactly who your target market is will help you narrow down your search and only put your time and effort into promising leads.
Try to avoid being a jack of all trades and trying to offer every service under the sun. Odds are, you may not be good at or like doing everything.
2. Learn the Basics
If you know little about the virtual assistant industry as I did but want to get yourself established quickly, you need to turn to learn the basics.
When it comes to learning the basics, there are a few skills and tools you might need to get started, including:
- A task management system — This includes sites like Asana, Trello, and ClickUp.
- A way to invoice — (So you can get paid for your work!) — Wave, Quickbooks, and Freshbooks are all great options.
- A contract system — You can use a site like HelloSign or use an all-in-one tool like Dubsado for invoicing and contracts.
- Zoom — For client calls, unless you handle everything via email or phone.
- Some skills would include communication, bookkeeping, time management, organization, basic IT knowledge, and self-motivation
Also, you can learn specific skills, like social media and simple graphic design, simply by practicing! You can ask friends and family if they’ll let you help them for free or a discounted rate.
That way, you can build your portfolio for future clients.
Just a few examples of this include:
- Practicing managing someone’s Facebook group or page, Instagram account, or Twitter account
- Simple editing of someone’s YouTube videos
- Learning tools like Tailwind (for Pinterest), Smarterqueue (social media scheduling), and Canva (graphic design)
- Learning social media ads for Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, etc.
- Learn SEO for writing and editing
- And so much more!
Luckily, there are TONS of skills you can learn and implement as a VA. The hardest part is figuring out what you want to specialize in.
3. Perfect your Pitch
A perfect pitch is a must if you want to land jobs. Pitching used to be my least favorite thing to do, but now I love it because I’ve figured out a great strategy that helps me get clients.
Once you have your basic pitch down, you can use it as a foundation to send out custom pitches to potential clients.
For example, if someone is looking for blog management help, your pitch should be different than the one you’re sending to a client for email management assistance.
Here is a sample pitch template I’ve created that you might find helpful.
I underlined the two services I mentioned in this pitch because you can change these to any of the services you’re specifically looking to offer.
My name is____________ I follow you on ___________ and really like the way you (insert a genuine compliment about their work or business to set the tone for a friendly relationship and smooth out any awkwardness).
It seems as if you are quite busy on a day-to-day basis with all that you do. I am writing you to see if you are interested in bringing on a reliable person to help perform tedious tasks and manage certain aspects of your business/blog/website to free up more of your time.
I provide content management and social media management services for businesses, companies, organizations and other busy professionals. I specialize in working behind the scenes in order to help you increase productivity, improve your work-life balance, and take your business to the next level.
I’d love to learn more about your needs and discuss how I can assist you. For examples of my work, references, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
I look forward to hearing from you.”
4. Establish your Website and Optimize It
While most people recommend having a network to build your VA hustle, I didn’t have much of a network, to begin with, and had no idea where to look.
I found Facebook groups to be very helpful in landing gigs and finding leads.
Where to Find VA Jobs (As a Beginner)
If you’re not ready to set up your own website yet, there are a few reliable places to find VA jobs and establish an online portfolio to market your services.
Just keep in mind that while some of these sites are great for beginners and helping you find work, you may eventually want to seek out your own clients as you gain experience to get paid a higher rate.
These sites are quite competitive, so your best bet is to set up a website or a ‘Hire Me’ page and optimize it for search engines.
SEO (search engine optimization) does take a while to start working, but I optimize every post on this blog and every page of my website for search engines. While SEO has brought readers to my site, it’s also brought potential clients.
Starting your own website or blog is highly recommended and can even help you increase your income since you can monetize your blog and treat it like a side hustle.
Setting up a professional website is easier than it sounds. Here is my step-by-step tutorial guide that walks you through how to set up a website/blog with Bluehost in just minutes.
Wrapping It Up: How to Become a Virtual Assitant ASAP
If you’re looking to become a virtual assistant and work flexibly from home, there is plenty of demand. Use these tips to help yourself get started and know that you can always reach out to me with any questions.
Just remember to stay motivated and visualize where you could be in just a few months if you take the initial steps to get started today.
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