A virtual assistant offers help to individuals, organizations or companies over the internet. I can tell you from personal experience, it’s a great work-at-home opportunity and something many people could do.
A lot of people hear “virtual assistance” and think of administrative assistance, like a secretary. It can mean that, but that’s not all. Here’s a big list of possibilities. I bet you’ll see something you could do.
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, tutoring and anything else you can do without having to be in the same physical location as your client. Call it “virtual assistance.”
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
You have to do this. People need to be able to find you. Your own 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 share a bit of my experience in the book, but oh my goodness, the finished product is jam-packed with actionable tips. For $12.99, it will be the best investment you’ll make. Seriously. 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 Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or whichever social media platform your potential clients hang out. Commenting on blogs can be good too. Relationships are key. Being involved in social media is one of the best way to find clients and vice versa (at least 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 had offered Crystal (MoneySavingMom.com) some ideas about her website in a casual conversation on Twitter and that was the start of our working relationship.
5. Check out what other VAs are doing
Ask around, read some great articles, do some googling and find some 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 that you get access to when you buy The Bootstrap VA.
I’m asked all the time how to make money online. There are many ways to do so, but one excellent idea is to take a skill you already have and turn it into a service you can offer online. I’ve done this myself. Many people have done it. The internet has made it possible to do so many things remotely, or, “virtually.”
*There are affiliate links in this post.