How to Become a Virtual Assistant VA?
Introduction to a Virtual Assistant VA
Ever wondered what virtual assistants do and how much they can earn? There has recently been a spike in demand for virtual assistants. We can probably say that this is the future. Many people are quitting their jobs to work as virtual assistants these days. But why? What is the reason behind this? Well, your answer lies in this article. So make sure you read it with full attention.
Who is a Virtual Assistant VA?
A virtual assistant is any remote assistant who provides administrative, creative, or technical support services for online or brick-and-mortar business owners.
The following are some of the standard services provided by the VA:
- Customer service emails
- Social media
- Writing or blogging
- Calendar management
- Appointment settings
- Data entry
However, virtual assistants offer a wide range of services, and the more tasks you can handle, the better.
Perhaps there are a few reasons you might want to know before you start working as a virtual assistant:
- You set your hours: When working as a Virtual Assistant, you work as your own boss. You decide when you want to work and when you don’t want to.
- You set your price: You decide your hourly wage.
- You decide where and how you will work.
Moving on, let’s discuss the actions you need to take to start working as a Virtual Assistant.
Choose Your Business Structure
Take some time to consider what you want your business to look like from the perspective of a customer.
Some issues you should consider are:
The place where your business is situated: Are you interested in working with people nearby, or do you want to provide your services all around the globe?
You will be providing your clients with a type of service: Do you have a unique skill set that no one else can provide? Or is there a specific industry you’ve always wanted to work in and discover how it works?
- Working with different clients will be a big part of your role: Have you studied a specific industry, and is there a type of business you love?
The number of hours a day you can work: When can you work and how much time will you be able to give to your clients?
How will it affect your income? How will your income change as you shift to full-time self-employment?
Choose which virtual assistant services you’ll offer:
Deciding which services to offer and then sticking to them is a challenging task for most new Virtual Assistants. There is no compulsion to state that these are the must-have Virtual Assistance services. However, in most cases, the usual services provided by the Virtual Assistant are mentioned above. Most people think that the Virtual Assistant is just about checking email, returning phone calls, managing their client’s calendar, and other remote administrative support. But the bright side of this job is that it also includes web design, web management, social media management, managing project launches, etc.
Decide the pricing structure on your own.
Almost everyone has problems with setting the correct price. How much is too low, and how much is too high?
All this depends on your skills and the time you can give to your clients. The greater the number of tasks you can handle and the more time you can spend working, the higher your income level. And, as usual, experience is also one of the main factors that your hourly income depends on. The more education you have, the more money you will make.
Some common points to consider before setting the correct price are:
- You are an independent contractor. For example, in the United States, you’re an independent contractor, and you need to pay both your employee’s and employer’s payroll taxes (i.e., self-employment tax).
- You will receive no benefits, including paid time off, paid vacation, health insurance, or retirement contributions (with some rare exceptions).
- Because of this, you’ll have an overhead that must be covered. This includes things like office fees, some software subscriptions, and other minor charges.
- Because of these few factors, it is impossible to say whether working a 9 to 5 job or working as a full-time virtual assistant will earn you more money.
- We propose that you base your take-home pay figure on your estimate of what would make sense. Then, increase that figure by at least 25%.
Another point to keep in mind here is that almost every business will want a freelance virtual assistant over part-time or full-time employment as it saves so many of their expenses. They wouldn’t have to interview and shortlist CVs and decide which employee to hire and then train them. Moreover, as mentioned before, virtual assistants are remote workers, which means you can work from the comfort of your home, sitting on the couch or lying on the bed. In contrast, after hiring full-time employees, the business would also need to provide the employees with office space, increasing their costs.
To give you an idea, you could start by charging $30-$35/hour and gradually increase this as you gain experience.
Social media presence
This is a very effective method of attracting customers. The days of flyers, direct mail, cold calls, and print advertising are behind us. In this time and day, we use social media to advertise our expertise, which is an essential factor in making people trust us.
Here are a few steps to increasing your online presence.
- Social media profiles: You can make a Virtual Assistant dedicated profile to showcase your skills to spread awareness about your virtual assistant business.
- A Virtual assistant resume: No, we’re not talking about the traditional resume, but rather a resume where you tell other people about your past experiences and the skills you can offer them along with the pricing (pricing is optional).
- A hire me page: For those of you wondering what a hire me page is, it’s a separate page on your website where you tell other people about who you are, what you offer, and who you offer your services to, and it is seen as a great way to convince people to hire you.
You must remember that you should not have accounts on multiple social media accounts and not just keep juggling around on those social media platforms. The simple rule here is to be where your clients are. In most cases, this means Facebook and LinkedIn, but still do your research and find out where most of your clients are.
Land New Clients by Pitching and Networking
Finding a client is one of the most difficult steps after becoming a virtual assistant. The first few clients are always the most difficult to get. But, once you get them, you’ll have confidence, experience, and exposure. Once you have these three ingredients, the growth process becomes more accessible.
We advise both new and seasoned Virtual Assistants to follow a straightforward strategy while growing their business. It requires being engaged and consistent in your efforts, and our plan for getting virtual assistant clients is specific:
- Know who your clients are: Know your target market. Figure out the types of businesses and markets you are interested in and where you can find them.
- Finding the ideal target market: What type of business do you want to work with? This includes the type of business, new companies, old businesses, and businesses with a history of hiring virtual assistants.
- Start building strong relations with potential clients: This may be time-consuming, but it is worth the time and patience. This will build customer loyalty (clients will want to work with you repeatedly as they will now trust you more than anyone else) and increase your business revenue in the long run.
- Pitch clients daily: You don’t have strong referrals at this point. Nobody knows you, nor do you know anyone, so you’ll need to pitch clients on a daily basis so that you consistently have work.
- Offer a free trial period for a few days: A short trial is a great way to let people trust you for more regular business. It allows both you and the client to see how it will feel to work together. It also alleviates some of the anxiety and risk associated with making a long-term commitment early in a relationship, which is beneficial.
- Strong communication skills: The most common complaint regarding virtual assistants is that they do not communicate properly, which isn’t a complex problem to overcome. All you need to do is regularly contact your client and make sure his needs are being met.
- Be irreplaceable: If you want your client to work with you for a long time, make sure you give them your best. To be essential to the company is to become a great asset to it. Kindly find a way to relieve them of certain chores, alleviate productivity bottlenecks, and assist them in reclaiming their weekends. By doing so, you will add more worth to the company than someone who trades a few hours for money. It’s a win-win scenario for you because you’ll soon be seen as a valuable member of their team.
In the end, what matters most is you should love what you do.