As a group of successful freelancers, we’ve put together this helpful guide on how to become a virtual assistant with no experience so that you can make the most of the boom in the need for virtual assistants (VA’s) thanks to natural growth in the industry and COVID-19.
Demand for VA’s, both freelance and full-time, is expected to increase in the coming years as businesses look for alternate ways to hire admin staff and grow their online presence.
And virtual assistants are not limited to entrepreneurs and startups either: over 80% of corporations are interested in utilizing a more flexible workforce.
By the end of this article, you’ll know the following information:
As a virtual assistant, you can work as little as a few hours a week or juggle multiple clients to create a steady, full-time income. It’s an ideal option if you’re looking for a work from home side job or even a steady remote job.
But, who needs virtual assistants and for what?
Large and small companies that are experiencing business growth hire virtual assistants to complete administrative and general day-to-day tasks. Virtual assistants are helpful for business owners and heads of departments for keeping up with the demands of customer service, business events, social media, and understaffed areas of the company.
Even busy people (not necessarily businesses but individuals) sometimes hire virtual assistants to help with anything and everything — from capturing meeting notes to updating social media posts to even ghostwriting articles — the options are endless.
Virtual assistants can expect to complete one, a few, or all of the following tasks:
How to become a virtual assistant from home is a fairly straightforward process. University degrees and certifications are not necessary to start a virtual assistant business. However, virtual assistant training programs guide the field, lead to higher-paying jobs, and premium networking opportunities. (We’ll be covering the best virtual assistant courses in a future article, so stay tuned.)
Related: 8 Best Virtual Assistant Training Courses in 2022 For VA Success
Virtual assistants can also choose a niche that they prefer. Specializing in a specific industry helps you attain more positions (assuming that the industry frequently hires virtual assistants) and stand out from the competition.
Here are the top 10 types of virtual assistants
Startups with a small staff and solo entrepreneurs can quickly get caught up in the day-to-day. A virtual administrative assistant can take repetitive daily tasks off the owner’s plate, so they do not get burned out.
An administrative virtual assistant can help with email management and phone calls. They are also responsible for other administrative tasks such as scheduling, bookkeeping, keeping contact lists up to date, making travel arrangements, and document management.
Hiring a full-time bookkeeper doesn’t always make sense for small companies, seasonal businesses, and startups.
A bookkeeping virtual assistant can specialize in one type of software such as QuickBooks or NetSuite, so you only pay for the hours worked.
Plus, since the virtual assistant specializes in said software, they may be able to work faster than an employee, already have a rapport with tech support, or teach you how to decrease the time it takes to complete specific tasks.
Bookkeeping virtual assistants can also complete inventory management tasks, government and tax compliance, budgets, payroll, collections, and merging excel sheets with accounting software.
Many business owners have difficulty devoting time to data entry. The process is tedious and takes the right type of person to organize business information accurately.
A data entry virtual assistant can keep track and update business information within a CRM, generate reports, and ensure accuracy to prevent unnecessary human error within company departments.
eCommerce is a fast-paced environment that requires frequent changes to be successful in the algorithm realm and the customer relationship.
eCommerce virtual assistants need to be flexible and lifelong learners as their job may require constant research and skills to complete it successfully.
If you are interested in the eCommerce virtual assistant space, you should focus on providing accurate data entry, inventory management, SEO best practices, customer service, affiliate links, order processing and exchanges/returns, social media, and even editing product photography.
It will also help if you are familiar with the ins and outs of popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Amazon FBA.
Marketing virtual assistants are hired by companies with a business goal and budget in mind. The virtual assistant is tasked with overseeing part or the entirety of the marketing budget, creating ad campaigns, keyword research, lead generation, and mail merges.
A successful marketing virtual assistant will not only be able to increase business revenue but decrease customer acquisition costs (CAC). Marketing virtual assistants can also complete simple PR tasks such as press releases, events, and reputation management.
New businesses need help with various tasks to keep their business moving forward. A personal virtual assistant is a practical choice to complete personal and business tasks for the business owner or department teams.
For example, some of the tasks you may be asked to complete include scheduling, booking travel arrangements, accounting, email management, customer service inquiries, meeting management, and personal shopping.
Keep in mind that personal virtual assistants may be asked to add tasks to their plate frequently. You must be flexible and provide the company with a clear list of skills to ensure you are a good fit for the job.
Real estate investors and agents are always on the go. They need to provide potential clients with quick showings, meet with other agencies and even financial institutions.
Real estate virtual assistants take care of all the paperwork and follow-up phone calls so the real estate investor or agent can successfully separate work and home without sacrificing business growth.
Common tasks include: property research, posting ads on relevant real estate websites, generating and following up on leads, reporting, calendar and database management, email and phone inquiries, and maintaining websites, blogs, and social media.
A research virtual assistant can be valuable in many areas such as the marketing, medical, or legal fields. Research virtual assistants find credible sites and compile relevant data in a legible format so that the executive can easily understand and interpret the information.
Depending on the industry, you might also be responsible for finding statistics, competitive intelligence, price comparing and seeking out guest posting and business growth opportunities.
Even if a company has an in-house sales team, a business often outsources sales help with rapid growth or an overflow of paperwork that the current sales team doesn’t have the time or resources to keep up with.
Sales virtual assistants can help maintain a sales-specific CRM (customer relationship marketing), lead generation, proposal management, invoicing, sales calendars, and work with the marketing team during critical sales periods.
As a virtual assistant for social media, you will spend your time each week creating social media posts and profiles, scheduling posts, researching relevant posting topics, and keeping an eye on competitor social media accounts.
You must be comfortable with all of the top social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, and TikTok.
To succeed at your job, you must show the client that you have increased the company’s following and engagement, have future goals of increasing following and engagement stats and gain trust from the client by following company social media standards.
When you are learning how to become a virtual assistant with no experience, you may be curious about earning potential. The average base salary for a virtual assistant based in the USA is just over $19 per hour, with top companies paying over $60-$100 per hour for expert virtual assistants.
Virtual assistants specializing in SEO, social media, etc., can generate more money than general virtual assistants.
Western Europe rates are similar to the U.S., with South East Asia and Africa coming in slightly lower on the pay scale than their western counterparts.
Most virtual assistants start a virtual assistant business without direct experience. In fact, most people who pursue virtual assistant positions, use their education and previous work experience to become a valued virtual assistant.
Even if you lack technical skills, having soft skills like communication, self-motivation, and problem-solving can help you land your first gig.
Consider using our 8 steps below on how to become a virtual assistant with no experience as a comprehensive guideline to get started today.
Before you start your own virtual assistant business, you will need to decide what services you are comfortable offering. For example, you may already have a passion for SEO or have previous work experience in the real estate industry.
If you lack specific skills, don’t worry. Most virtual assistants start with essential office and business skills such as customer support, scheduling, and email management and answering phone calls.
It’s important to market your skills and any previous relevant work experience to help you stand out from the crowd. Consider learning a new skill or skills before starting your own virtual assistant business to increase your worth from the get-go.
Writing a business plan is important no matter what company you would like to create. Do some research when creating your virtual assistant business plan to see who your competitors are, the current demand, and what you should charge for your services.
Don’t forget to include your goals, timelines, and budget for starting a virtual assistant business. Think of the business plan as your accountability partner. Reference and edit the plan as needed so you are always on track.
Once you determine your services and create a business plan, you can name and register your virtual assistant business. Consider consulting a business attorney to make sure you are in compliance, pick the best business entity type, and choose a unique company name.
A virtual assistant business requires a dedicated home office free from noise and distractions. At a minimum, you will need a laptop with calling capabilities and a secure WIFI connection.
You may also want to equip your laptop with time tracking, invoicing, accounting, and project management software. You can either specialize in one software for each category or familiarize yourself with multiple industry-leading software options to increase your potential client base.
Chances are if you are just starting your virtual assistant business, you are still looking for clients to fill up your calendar.
A few ways to market to new clients includes:
Looking for virtual assistant jobs can be time-consuming if you don’t know where to look. As a part of our how to become a virtual assistant with no experience series, we’ve provided our favorite sites for finding jobs. Bookmark these sites and check them frequently.
Upwork is one of the most well-known online freelance marketplaces. To secure VA work you will bid on jobs using an online proposal form. Once a job is secured, Upwork takes 20% of your total job fee (10% after you reach $500 with the same client). Although the fee is high, you can build a solid profile with client testimonials on Upwork. We recommend using Upwork when you are building your virtual assistant business and for when you are in-between clients.
VA Networking has been industry-leading since 2003. They provide educational training, networking, mentoring, exposure, and client connections. Plus, you can join their site for free. Whether you want to become a virtual assistant or hire one, we recommend checking out VA Networking.
Indeed is an online job board for all types of professions. While it primarily focuses on in-office jobs, it consistently posts remote work opportunities.
Post your resume including education, work experience, and interests. Network with other virtual assistants and post to connections and recruiters that you are looking for work. You can also create a post on LinkedIn about seeking virtual assistant work through your profile to all of your connections. You never know who might need a VA. Your next client may just be a friend of a friend.
Are you interested in social media virtual assistant work? 99 Social provides high-quality virtual assistant opportunities with unlimited earning potential.
You must be fluent in English, have a working computer, and have reliable internet access. It is also important to be organized and able to accommodate tight deadlines (48 hours for new accounts).
There is a free online training and you will be paid a flat rate per account once a month.
ZipRecruiter is an online employment marketplace that aggregates job listings for various industries. A quick search for virtual assistant jobs yielded over 200,000 open positions. You can get notified by email when new jobs are posted.
Jobs vary from contractor to part-time to full-time. Some listings even provide the pay they provide so you aren’t wasting your time on low-paying jobs.
Once you find a new prospect, have a pricing structure in place. You may ask the client to pay you an hourly rate, a discounted bulk hourly rate, service rate, monthly retainer, or a one-time flat fee.
Always send over a contract before working with a client. Failing to do so could cost you several hours of free work, a bad experience with the client, or even a failure to be paid. Both parties, the client and the virtual assistant, should sign the contract before any work begins.
If you are looking to increase your client base or break into a new virtual assistant niche, taking an online virtual assitant course or two can help you upskill fast. Some VA courses are available for free, while others may require a fee. Paying for courses can offer benefits after completing the course such as support forums or job referrals.
Interested in the top virtual assistant courses? Check out this article of ours which provides detailed information on virtual assistant courses such as scaling your business, specializing in social media, and pitching to new client best practices.
Starting a virtual assistant business can provide you with marketable business expertise, time-management skills, and unlimited income potential. However, like starting any business, becoming a virtual assistant isn’t easy. You will need to be disciplined, work hard, and upskill to keep current clients and appeal to new ones.
We hope you enjoyed our in-depth guide on how to be a virtual assistant with no experience. These 8 steps can help you start a new career and leave your 9-5 behind.
Thank you for reading our article. If you found it helpful, please share this article with others who might also benefit from it.
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