A virtual assistant provides services to individuals, organizations or companies via the internet. It’s an excellent work-at-home opportunity and one most of us can do. It’s simply a matter of charging others for a skill you already have.
A lot of people hear “virtual assistance” and think of administrative assistance, but the possibilities are much more broad. The internet has made it possible to do a wide variety of things remotely, or, “virtually.”
Types of things virtual assistants do
There are countless services you can provide virtually, like writing, ghostwriting, graphic design, researching, editing, tutoring, desktop publishing, counseling, audio/video/photo editing, coaching, consulting, bookkeeping, copywriting, social media management, project management, transcription, programming, data entry and anything else you can do without having to be in the same physical location as your client.
At rates ranging anywhere from $15 to $100+ an hour (depending on your skill), it’s a great option for those who want to work from home. After my own stint as a virtual assistant (VA for short), here are my tips.
1. Get a website
This is a no-brainer. People need to be able to find you. A presence on the web is crucial. It gives you a more professional appearance, the chance to highlight some of your skills and an opportunity to explain your process. If you’ve seen my step-by-step guide, you’ll know you can be up and running in as little as 15 minutes. (Note that my series talks specifically about blogs, but it applies equally to regular websites. After setting up, just follow the instructions in this post.)
2. Buy The Bootstrap VA* by Lisa Morosky
I get a lot of requests to promote ebooks, but I rarely do so. However, I bought The Bootstrap VA and it is ABSOLUTELY one I recommend. I even share a bit of my experience in the book. The finished product is jam-packed with actionable tips. It’s like taking a college course. Lisa has worked as a virtual assistant for many years and after reading half of her ebook, I was so impressed, I hired Lisa to be my own virtual assistant. She knows her stuff.
3. Get involved in social media
This would include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn or wherever your potential clients hang out. Commenting on blogs can also be beneficial. Relationships are key. Being involved in social media is one of the best way to find clients and vice versa, especially until you are established and can rely on word of mouth.
4. Be helpful
Some people looking for work as a VA come across as spammy. In my case, I casually offered some ideas to a friend on Twitter and it turned out to be the start of a working relationship that lasted quite a while.
Remember that this is a business and just like any other business, it’ll require hustle. You can’t just build a website and watch the money roll in. Be proactive and enthusiastic!
6. Network with other VAs
Ask around, read great articles, do some googling and find people who are already VAs. Check out their websites, see what they offer and get an idea of how it might work for you. A perfect place to do this is the free Facebook group you get access to when you buy The Bootstrap VA.
*There are affiliate links in this post.