Do you want to become a virtual assistant? Well, a virtual assistant provides services to individuals, organizations or companies, but they work online instead of going into an office.
It’s an excellent work-at-home opportunity and one of the most cost-effective ways of making money online. It’s simply a matter of charging others for a skill you already have.
Who Uses Virtual Assistants?
The hiring of virtual assistants is becoming very popular and there is a growing number of virtual assistance right here in Jamaica (including myself). Virtual assistants are hired mostly by small business owners, sole traders, busy professionals and bloggers.
This becomes necessary especially when the business is new or when there are no other staff members. It is also a way of getting things done easier and more effectively. It also frees up valuable time for the client to work on projects and tasks only they can complete. So now is the time to become a virtual assistant.
Some say it is also much more cost-effective to hire a virtual assistant than an in-office employee. For the client, this means savings on things like office supplies, health insurance, and other employee benefits.
Characteristics and Requirements if You Want to Become a Virtual Assistant
To become a virtual assistant there are some vital requirements. One of the first skill that stands out is anyone with administrative or clerical experience. However, if you possess great administrative and organizational skills you are also a good candidate. Teachers, stay-at-home parents, human resources pros, paralegals, nurses, and accountants also possess many of the traits needed to become a virtual assistant. As a matter of fact, anyone can become a virtual assistant if you commit yourself to learn the job.
Some characteristics are:
- Being Organized
This list is in no way exhaustive, but if you possess most of these you are well on your way to become a virtual assistant.
1. Create articles for websites/blogs
2. Do web design
3. Create a database
4. Do research
5. Customer service
6. Administrative/secretarial duties
7. Events Planning
8. Responding to letters and e-mails
9. Do transcription
10. Desktop publishing
12. video/audio production
13. Social media management
Steps to Becoming a Great Virtual Assistant
Start a Blog and Gain Experience
Most virtual assistants I know started first as a blogger. This then allowed them to be noticed by others who worked online who needed something similar to what they were already doing.
If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, get further details HERE.
Take a course
There are a few virtual assistant courses out there and there’s one I highly recommend.
The course is called 30 Days Or Less To Virtual Assistant Success and it was created by Gina Horkey. It is expensive but if you can afford it, it is worth investing in. Virtual assistants are making good money online so take the leap and become a virtual assistant today. Gina is a successful virtual assistant and she shows exactly how you can be successful too.
Make your experience known
Lack of experience in areas like social media management and transcription could be a disadvantage. It might be hard to find people who will hire you. You might have to start off doing a couple of transcription and social media jobs for friends or local businesses in order to build up your portfolio. Think of it more as an unpaid internship: until you have experience or the education, it’s kind of difficult for others to have faith in your work.
After you do start building up your portfolio, keep track of everything you have done. Also, every now and then, ask for a testimonial or ask if you could use that person as a reference for any future virtual assistant work that you may do.
Make sure to state any experience, education, statistics, improvements and anything else that you can think of. Did you help a company with their SEO and now the keywords that they wanted are ranking highly? Maybe you’ve helped a blog increase its readership by a large percentage.
Don’t leave any important details out! Just like with a normal resume, highlight your achievements and show actual numbers and statistics that help prove the point that you are fit for the job. Create a professional resume that lists everything out.
Advertise your services
There are many forums that you can use to advertise your services as well as look for jobs. Sites like Upwork, Freelancer, People per Hour and Fiverr are good places to start.
One of the thing about becoming a virtual assistant is that you are competing with people around the world. This means that the pricing will be very competitive and most likely a lot lower than what you would most likely accept.
If you have a blog or website, you can also advertise your services straight on your website. I think this is the best way for people to find you and potentially hire you for the work that they need to be done.
Having your own blog or website makes you seem more professional, as others can search you and see what you have done more easily. Blogging is also connected to networking, as explained below. On your blog, you can put a “hire me” section that details what exactly you can do. Having an online resume ready is key as well.
So if you are interested in starting a blog of your own (which I highly recommend if you want to become a virtual assistant), I have a tutorial that will show you how to easily make a blog of your own in just minutes. It is a great idea you never know what else it may lead to as well.
I think networking is the best way to find a virtual assistant position. Just like with finding a position in the offline world, networking can help tremendously.
Forming associates with those in the online community that you know of can help a lot. If they already know of your skills, then you’re already a step ahead of others. Get involved in social media and reach out to those that might need help. If they don’t need help, they might even refer your services to others that they know.
Create a LinkedIn page as well. Just as it would be helpful to have a LinkedIn profile for your offline job, it is also important if you want to become a virtual assistant. It makes you come across as more professional and is great for networking. List your skills, past jobs, and ask people to give you recommendations directly on your profile.
Virtual Assistant Websites
I didn’t find a lot of legitimate websites that were dedicated to virtual assistant jobs. However, I did look around and a couple of people did recommend Zirtual.com though. Zirtual is a website where you can apply to become a virtual assistant right on the website. Clients then choose who they want right on their website, they have testimonials from people like you all who have found assistant jobs through them. On their website, they state that their assistants:
“Come from all walks of life, be it stay-at-home mothers who want to earn some additional income from the comfort of their home, or college students looking to offset their tuition while setting their own hours. ZAs enjoy autonomy, ownership of their client relationships and virtual work that always offers a new challenge.”
On this website, virtual assistants perform a variety of tasks. The website does state that the typical job is a “concierge/assistant hybrid since you can handle anything from booking a flight to Paris to researching chiropractors in Tampa, to managing a client’s busy schedule.” Zirtual also sets time limits on what your client asks you to do so that you are paid fairly.
Go ahead now and knock it out of the park – Success does not come easy so put your mind to it, if that is what you want to do, and go for it. I will be here to offer any assistance you need. Working as a virtual assistant for the past two years has allowed me to improve with each assignment. I am still learning but I can share what I have learned so far.
Share this article or leave a comment on your experience if you are already working as one.