You’ve got the skills and know-how to work from home and online. You’re organized enough to be productive and self-managed. Now, where do you find the job to fit your needs?
Consider working as a virtual assistant! Virtual assistant jobs are varied and can provide great flexibility and experience. Here, we’ll discuss the opportunities that being a virtual assistant can provide and how to succeed if you choose to go down this route.
What Is A Virtual Assistant?
First, let’s define this term.
A virtual assistant is an independent contractor who provides services to clients while operating outside of the client’s office.
“A virtual assistant typically operates from a home office but can access the necessary planning documents, such as shared calendars, remotely.”
As a virtual assistant, you can work for one person/company, many people, or take on many projects at once. Depending on the jobs you’ve signed up for and the time commitment, there are countless ways to formulate your self-employment and make it lucrative and ideal for you.
Benefits Of Being A Virtual Assistant
Here are some reasons being a VA is beneficial and why going down this road may be the right option for you.
You Can Work From Anywhere
First and foremost, if you want to work in some geo arbitrage, this is the way to do it. You can live anywhere. Work will be online; meetings will be via Zoom, and communication via email. As long as you have an internet connection, you can live anywhere, maximize your earnings, and minimize expenses.
You Can Take On Multiple Projects At Once
Diversification can make your job more exciting and engaging while increasing your longevity in the market.
You Make Your Hours
If you’re a working mom, have family obligations, or have a day job that you want to keep, making your hours can make all the difference. You can schedule meetings at your convenience (within reason, of course) and create a balance between your personal life and virtual assistant life.
You Can Capitalize On Your Specific Skill Sets
If you don’t think your day job allows you to shine, find a virtual assistant job that helps you flex those skills. It’s one way to hone your craft and capitalize on it.
Multiple Payment Options
Having options on how you get paid can help you maximize your earnings. You can charge by the hour, the project, or set up milestones and get paid once complete. You may also charge a retainer for repeat customers or those who need you regularly or on a semi-regular basis. There are many ways to set this up.
How To Find Virtual Assistant Jobs
Word of Mouth – Network your way into a job! Get the conversation started with people you know, let them know you’re going into business for yourself, and see what work comes your way. Once you have work, keep in touch with those clients. Ask for referrals. Offer something in exchange for getting a referral. The more you build up your network, the more likely they will pay off for you in the form of new jobs.
Online postings – There are many sites where you can specifically look for virtual assistant job postings and post your availability to try and attract clients. Try sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Flexjobs, to name a few!
Social Media Sites – Many potential employers will post their needs on social media. Whichever VA niche you are working in, follow those employers. Reach out to them, or keep an eye on their postings. LinkedIn is another excellent resource for searching for job opportunities.
Possible Virtual Assistant Jobs
A virtual assistant is a very broad job description. There are many ways you can market yourself as one. These examples listed below are just the tip of the iceberg.
As a VA, you need to keep in mind to provide a service to make someone’s life easier. Take work off their plate and get paid for it.
Virtual Administrative Assistant – Many people work from home now or start their own business. Many of them need help staying organized and on top of everything. If organization and time management is your strong suit, you can market yourself as an administrative VA.
Social Media Manager – If working the apps is a skill set that you’ve mastered, being a social media manager may be your ticket to success as a virtual assistant. All businesses need a social media presence, and many cannot post as regularly as they should. If you can create a coherent and organized content calendar and are a pro at creating on-brand posts, this VA work could be for you!
Writer/Editor – There are thousands of blogs and online news resources. Many of these sources need help with putting together quality articles and editing content they receive. Keeping up with writing and posting is a huge time commitment. If English is your strong suit, consider freelance writing as your virtual assistant job.
Virtual Customer Service Assistant – Many companies get feedback, questions, complaints, emails, or snail mail. As you can imagine, keeping up with it can be a pain. Hiring someone in-house may also be out of their budget. As a remote customer service specialist, you can market yourself to be their ultimate assistant to keep up with correspondence and customer communications while filtering through the essential things to respond to.
Virtual Bookkeeper – If you have accounting knowledge or experience, offer your services to help others keep their books. Accounting is a crucial aspect of any business and a neverending task. It’s an excellent way to go into the business and get paid!
If none of these ring true to you, then reflect on what you are good at and if it’s possible to turn it into a service. Remember, consulting is a service as well. So even if your skillset falls outside of the typical virtual work category, you can still offer clients your knowledge and advice regarding projects or tasks they need to complete.
Staying Organized As A Virtual Assistant
It’s essential to keep track of your clients, projects, earnings, and costs. Doing so can help you save money, increase your pay, and stay on top of your taxes.
You also need access to online programs to help you with your virtual assistant jobs. Some resources available to help you stay organized and creative include:
- Quickbooks – Excellent to keep your books, and also to use for your clients if needed
- Excel spreadsheets – You can stay organized with anything in Excel. Create formulas, color coding, calendars, lists, etc. Whatever you can think of can probably be managed with this program.
- Canva – Create presentations, social media content, marketing materials, and more!
- Tailwind – An handy scheduling program to plan out your content calendar and schedule to appropriate social media accounts like Pinterest, and Instagram
How to Market Yourself & Grow Your Business
As with any business or job, you need to have a plan. Do some research regarding the type of virtual assistant you want to be. Protect yourself legally with the correct documentation and tax filing, and create marketing materials to help get the word out.
Use social media for advertising your services and posting regularly to showcase what you can do and how hiring you would benefit your clients. Create accounts on every social media site you can find. Keep your handle or username the same to help you stay on brand and become recognizable.
Create a website for yourself so that potential and future clients have a way of doing their due diligence on you. Not only will a website help you appear more professional, but through it, you can showcase your work, provide testimonials, and have a contact page so people can get a hold of you.
If you have a LinkedIn page, update it to reflect your new endeavour. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend you create one. Many companies use LinkedIn to help vet the people they hire. You can also share your work on your profile page and upload a resume.
Maintaining Work-Life Balance As a Virtual Assistant
It’s easy to keep working and adding projects to your to-do list when you work from home and create your schedule. While it’s essential to work hard and tackle the obstacles that come your way, it’s equally important not to get lost in the hustle. Like any job, you have to be conscious of your schedule and life outside of work.
Create a set work schedule for yourself that you adhere to. You can charge extra or take time off outside the hours you set. Use the time off with family for self-care, relaxing, and de-stressing. It’s important to increase your longevity with work and create a sustainable career path for yourself.
Alternatively, since life can happen, you can work out a schedule wherein you work at least 8-10 hours each day. Those hours can be divided up during the day to accommodate clients, life events, and the unexpected. This makes your schedule more flexible and easier to work with.
Regardless of how you set up your day, don’t underestimate the importance of giving yourself space and time to do what you need to do for yourself.
Virtual assistant jobs are a great way to earn extra income or even create a unique full-time career path for yourself. These tips can help you make the most of the opportunities out there and capitalize on your unique skill set!
Author: Casey Bond
Casey is a seasoned personal finance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in a number of major national publications including U.S. News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, MSN, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, Forbes and others.