If you are feeling undervalued, underpaid and unfulfilled from your corporate 9 to 5 job, have you thought about working at home as a virtual assistant?
Online virtual assistant (VA) jobs are in demand, more than ever before.
Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Do you know…
- It is 3 times cheaper to hire a virtual assistant than a full-time employee.
- Working at home as a virtual assistant can make an average $4,800/month (in the US) working 30 hours a week.
- 97% of freelancers (including VAs) reported being much happier than office workers.
- FORTUNE.com predicts, after COVID-19, companies are likely to reduce middle management, project management and consultant jobs. Instead, replacing them with temporary, part-time workers like VAs.
Virtual Assistance is one growing industry that will explode over the next few years. It’s a win-win situation as it provides the flexibility for the VAs, and a cost-saving for the hiring company.
After reading this comprehensive guide on VA, you will have an in-depth understanding of the Virtual Assistant industry, and what you need to become a successful VA.
So if this is something you are searching to pivot your career, now is the perfect time to catch that wave.
Table of Contents
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What is a Virtual Assistant?
Simply put, a virtual assistant is someone who helps business owners, bloggers with a wide range of tasks remotely. These tasks can be administrative, office, creative, technical, managerial and project-based.
Thanks to the fast internet and all things technology, this allows online virtual assistants to work without geographic boundaries.
Because most of the work is contract-based, work at home as a virtual assistant gives the flexibility of choosing who you want to work for, when you want to work, and how long you want to work for, all from the comfort of your home.
The Growing Demand for Virtual Assistants
The demand for online virtual assistant jobs is growing not only from the smaller to medium businesses, but it will also surge from larger size businesses as a way of replacing their full-time roles.
Small to medium size businesses
Virtual assistants have been particularly popular for small to medium size businesses. Start-up entrepreneurs, online business owners, bloggers are looking to outsource their day-to-day tasks as they grow their businesses.
Hiring virtual assistants are ideal, as they only pay for what needs to be done rather than a full-time staff member with the additional expense of employee benefits.
According to MerchantSavvy, the growth rate for small to medium size business from 2000-2019 in the UK was 30-33%.
As the small and medium businesses grow, the need for virtual assistant jobs will continue to grow.
Larger size businesses
While it’s hard to predict exactly how bad the world economy will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is certain that many larger size businesses are looking at reducing their workforce to survive the economical downturn.
Many of these full-time jobs can be replaced by Virtual Assistants role.
A growing demand for online virtual assistant jobs from larger size companies is definitely a trend to look out for, post COVID-19.
How Much Money Can You Make, Working at Home as a Virtual Assistant?
The average virtual assistant makes between $35-$50/hr in North America. The rate is largely based on experience and specific skills. New VAs charge as low as $20/hr, and the experienced rate goes up to $100+/hr.
So you can potentially earn $4,800 per month (before tax) from working 30 hours a week, at the average hourly rate $40/hr, working from home as a virtual assistant.
If you are a complete newbie, you can start by providing general administrative services. As you get more experienced, you can move from a generalist to a specialist VA, which you can charge a higher rate.
These 3 specialist VA niches are in high demand:
- Social media management
- Email marketing
- Project management
What Services Can You Offer, Working at Home as a Virtual Assistant?
Do you know that there are over 100 services you can offer, working at home as a virtual assistant? Regardless of your experience level, you can offer services using the skills you already have, while learning the ropes.
Here is a list of high demand VA services (in no particular order):
- Administrative support
- Pinterest virtual assistant
- Social media management
- Project management
- Email marketing
- Blog / Website management
- Customer service
- Product launch management
- Email management
- Lead generation
The list goes on and on…
The point here is that you can probably identify a few of these on the list that you can already do, or even love doing them anyway.
To find out if virtual assistant is right for you, check out Gina Horkey’s Fully Booked VA mini-course.
What Skills Does a Virtual Assistant Need?
So now you have some ideas about what services you can offer to work at home as a virtual assistant, but what skills exactly do you need?
In fact, here are some table stake skills to make a good VA.
As you will be working online with different clients, having good communication skills is crucial. This means being able to choose different technologies, methods to communicate appropriately, not afraid of asking questions, and being able to put your points across effectively.
If you are ever in doubt, over-communicating is always better than under communicating.
Time management skills:
A successful VA is also a master of time management. The chances are, that you will be working with multiple clients with a long list of “to-dos”. Being able to manage your time effectively, and prioritising your work will help you to get the most return for your time.
Commitment to deadlines:
Virtual assistant jobs are often project-based with a deadline attached to it. Being able to ensure the project finishes on time for your client is a great way to demonstrate your accountability and commitment.
Comfortable with internet and technology:
As a work at home virtual assistant, your work heavily depends on all things internet. The communication will also be relying on technology.
Although you don’t need to be a tech geek to work as a VA, being comfortable using emails, video conferencing, sending texts are some of the basic skills to have.
Beyond the above table stake skills, there are additional skills that will separate you from the rest of the VAs, with a long waiting list of clients:
- Self-motivated to get things done rather than being always chased by clients.
- Ability to problem-solve rather than asking for solutions.
- Being able to add value to your clients. This can be offering alternative ideas and suggestions on how to do things better etc.
- Capable of articulating your plan on how to go about certain tasks or projects is part of being an excellent communicator.
- Always follow up.
How Do I Become a Virtual Assistant?
There are 2 routes to become an online virtual assistant:
Option1 – Become a VA yourself
This is an inexpensive option. While it’s totally doable, it can be time-consuming and sometimes have you feeling lost, not knowing where this is going. Here are the steps:
- Decide the service(s) that you are going to offer
- Set your rate as a VA
- Start a website to market yourself
- Advertise your services on social media
- Join a VA community to learn and be supported
- Apply for online virtual assistant jobs on popular sites (see below)
Option 2 – Take a course to fast track your success
If you are willing to invest in a course, it will take the guesswork out and fast track your success.
One of the most recognised VA courses on the market is Gina Horkey’s 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success.
After taking the course, you will be able to:
- Identify which skills you can offer as a work from home virtual assistant
- Launch your business
- Hone in your service offerings, and writing your resume
- Set your rates, pricing the offering packages
- Learn basic business management.
- Pitch to different clients using the templates from the course.
- Interview and get hired with confidence.
- Learn how to draft contracts, take on new clients, and part ways with the ones that are no longer a fit.
- Build an effective ongoing relationship with your clients.
Many students landed their first client before they even finished the course.
Check out my in-depth review on Horkey Handbook – Fully Booked VA System Review.
15 Places to Check for Online Virtual Assistant Jobs
US residents only:
- Belay Solutions pays between $5-$20 per hour. It hires both part-time and full-time VAs.
- Byron pays $12-$15 per hour based on experience. Hiring VAs for proofreading, designs, bookkeeping, transcription, customer support etc.
- Fancy Hands is a company that pays per task. Most tasks pay between $3-$7 per task.
- Zirtual hires US-based VAs with services like data entry, customer supports etc. To qualify, you need a minimum an Associates degree with 1-year administrative experience.
- Smith.ai is hiring both full-time and part-time Virtual receptionists. You must be available a minimum 4 hours a day, 5 days a week (the more the better). Paid training available. Benefits included. Starting rate at $10 per hour.
UK residents only:
- Virtalent is a UK-based virtual assistant company that hires experienced freelance VAs, matching them with their ideal clients, who are small businesses and entrepreneurs.
- TigerRecruitment: it hires VAs in the UK, UAE, Europe and the Americas.
- Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelancer services. This is the go-to place for startup companies and small business owners to hire.
- Upwork is another well-known online platform for freelance VAs. More than 5,000 VA jobs are listed.
- Peopleperhour: is a popular platform that connects small businesses around the world with a community of freelancers. A perfect place for VAs to land their gigs.
- Freelancer: With 26,000 VA jobs listed here, this makes it a great market place to market yourself and look for your next VA job.
- 24/7 Virtual Assistant: hires VA across the world. If you are fluent in other languages beyond English, you have a good chance of landing a job. It pays $10-$12 per hour based on experience.
- Lifebushido: another agency that hires VAs from the globe, including both part-time and full-time. (LifeBushido appears to be out of business as of 2020)
- Flexjobs is a site that helps people to find jobs that are flexible. This is a perfect place to look for virtual assistant jobs.
- Time Etc. is one the most popular VA companies, having Penni Pike (Sir Richard Branson’s former assistant) as a special advisor. It pays $12-$16 per hour, and requires a minimum of 5 years of work experience.
My Final Thoughts:
Virtual assistant is in demand, more than ever before. This is a true win-win solution for both VAs and hiring clients.
Work at home as a virtual assistant is a flexible way to make money online, as you have full control of how many hours you want to work, when you want to work, and who you want to work for.
The work that you do as a VA will be rewarded by client testimonials and referrals which will have a direct positive impact on how much you can make. So no more feeling of undervalued and underpaid like some of the corporate jobs.
The versatility of the job means that you can offer services using the skills you already have while gaining experience and learning new skills. If you are willing to put in the work, it can be lucrative too.
Post COVID-19, more and more companies and businesses will be looking at hiring freelance VAs as a cost-effective way of getting things done without a long term commitment.
If working at home as a virtual assistant piques your interest, now it’s the perfect time to start before the world catches on.
Find Out if VA is Right for You…
Find out how to jump start your virtual assistant future in 4 easy steps with Gina Horkey’s mini-course.