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laptop on a white table

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”~ Seth Godin

Looking to start a virtual assistant business and work from home? Want to become your own boss and work whenever and wherever you want?

Being a virtual assistant is one of the most effective ways of making money online because of it’s reasonable start-up cost plus you can charge others for a skill you already have.

So, here are the steps and tips to get you started.

What is a virtual assistant?

Virtual assistant or VA is a self-employed and independent entrepreneur that provides professional remote assistance from a home office to clients globally. VA services are ranging from administrative, creative and to technical related tasks.

What does a virtual assistant do?

Virtual assistant offers support including but not limited to:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Online Research
  • Data Entry
  • Email Management
  • Calendar Management
  • Travel Arrangement
  • Project Management
  • Social Media Management and Marketing
  • Graphic/Web Design
  • Video/Photo Editing
  • Writing
  • Tutoring
  • Customer service
  • Transcription

How much do virtual assistants make?

It depends on your skills and the services you provide. You are in control here, you can set your own rates just like what most VAs do.

The opportunity to earn more is another reason many professionals are making the leap into the virtual assistant industry. 

What qualities and skills does a virtual assistant need?

These qualities and skills are must-haves if you want to become a successful virtual assistant and build rapport with your clients:

  • Good communication skills
  • Computer knowledge
  • Time Management
  • Honest
  • Dependable/ Reliable
  • Proactive
  • Resourceful
  • Organized

Pro Tip:

Be transparent and honest about your skills.  Don’t take on work if that doesn’t fit your skills or you aren’t qualified. You will just end up wasting your time and your clients’ time.

There is a wealth of information online available for free, so I recommend you learn new skills to build your portfolio.

What do you need to work from home?

There are 2 basic needs when it comes to working from home as a VA:

1. Computer (laptop or desktop)

Depending on the tasks or services you are going to offer. If you opt for more basic services like data entry or writing a laptop will do. But for more complex tasks like graphic/web design and photo or video editing, most VAs prefer to use the desktop for these kinds of job.

2. High-Speed Internet Connection

In order to provide the best support to your clients, you need to have a reliable and strong internet connection. Take note that some client has a certain internet speed requirement and you need to send them the screenshot of your speed test result.

You don’t need to stress yourself out thinking of having other office equipment (that’s optional) or some software systems. First, because those are an additional expense for you as a starter and second because most of the clients are giving their VAs an access to the company’s software and office systems. In most cases, clients will provide everything the VAs need.

Now here comes the good part. I’ll give you a quick peek at what lies ahead on your successful virtual assistant career.

Here are some benefits of working in your pajamas:

  • More time with your family- work and home balance
  • Less stressful environment
  • No long commute/avoid traffic
  • Wake up whenever you want
  • Work wherever you want
  • Opportunity to earn more

Where to find your first client?

You must be wondering who your first client could be. If you don’t have any work experience as a virtual assistant, don’t fret, you can land a job even without experience.

Here are a few good places to begin with:

  • Upwork
  • Hubstaff
  • Freelancer
  • Guru
  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • People Per Hour
  • Onlinejobs.ph- This site is exclusively for Filipino online workers.

FINAL TAKEAWAY

The road to becoming a virtual assistant can be a steep learning curve. If you think being a VA is an easy money job then think again. It’s a rewarding life once you’ve nailed it but when you are just starting you need to put much effort and really work hard for it.

Running your own business requires hustle and it’s not for everyone. If you want to build a successful virtual assistant career you should start off on the right foot.

Everything has its own pros and cons, so basically there are also downsides of working from home. But If the pros weigh more than the cons for you then I think you should have at least give it a try. After all, you’ve got nothing to lose by trying.

What about you, do you like to become a virtual assistant? If you are already freelancing, what getting started tips you found most useful in your VA career? 

Categories: Freelancing

Precious Gan

Precious Grace Gan is a spunky virtual assistant and lifestyle blogger. She hopes to inspire creative entrepreneurs and helps busy small business owners. Precious loves to share her learnings having transitioned from years on the corporate world into the digital space...read more. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

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