How To Become A Virtual Assistant | The Steps, Pros, And Cons
 
 
 
 
 
 

Virtual Assistant: 10 Best Virtual Assistant Jobs

/ 09:10 AM April 27, 2022

You want to work from home, but you don’t know what type of job is out there that fits your needs. Working on-site jobs are becoming a thing of the past. With technology making it easier for people to work remotely, more and more companies offer remote positions. But as there are so many options out there, it can be hard to know where to start.

Are you ready to learn more about functions that best fit the remote work? As a VA, you can do various business tasks, which makes the role versatile and exciting. And since the demand for VAs is high, you can be sure to have a stable income.

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Virtual assistants can work for a company, but they can also become freelancers. As self-employed individuals, they don’t have to commit to one company.

Instead, they can find clients who post various jobs on the internet. A virtual assistant can sign contracts with multiple clients to perform different services:

10 Popular Virtual Assistant Work

Here are services a VA can offer and they’re ENDLESS. They are the perfect solution for any need that a business might have, and there’s no cut-and-dry list because every project will be unique in its own way!

This is the number one service that the virtual assistant industry provides. After all, a business owner always wants more customers. They attract more by offering top-notch service.

1. Customer service

This is when you can provide much-needed virtual assistance. Look at the following list to see the common customer service tasks of a virtual assistant:

  • Addressing customer inquiries
  • Supporting clients in real-time via live chat or even video calls
  • Processing orders at every step
  • Managing shipments by tracking their location and giving updates to clients
  • Sending reminders for payments
  • Making sure records are up-to-date

2. Finance management

As a business makes more money, it would need help managing those funds. For example, they would need someone who can compute their profits and expenses.

If you have prior accounting experience, you can work as a virtual assistant in this manner. Here are the other financial management tasks that this role may handle:

  • Planning for tax season
  • Managing retirement accounts
  • Monitoring debt repayment
  • Processing payments
  • Bookkeeping

3. Administrative support

These cover the usual tasks that people usually associate with virtual assistants. Read the list of these tasks below:

  • Booking in calls and appointments
  • Managing a client’s schedule
  • Keeping track of voicemail
  • Making travel arrangements (i.e. booking flights and hotels)
  • Writing PDF documents and reports
  • Drafting internal communications, emails, etc.
  • Organizing files such as those from Google Drive and Dropbox
  • Performing data entry on spreadsheets

4. Social media management

This represents social media platforms.

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Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t as easy as browsing your news feed. Nowadays, businesses need an online presence, so having profiles on Facebook and Twitter are a must.

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A business has numerous parts, so its owner won’t have time to constantly monitor his company’s account. That’s when he needs a specific type of virtual assistant called a social media assistant.

As the name suggests, taking on this role means you’ll handle a brand’s social media page. Here are the tasks that are under this type of virtual assistance:

  • Posting on social media sites like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Keeping the information in those profiles up-to-date
  • Responding to the comments
  • Creating and launching social media campaigns
  • Expanding to a new customer base via social media
  • Learning the latest about the promotional rules of each platform
  • Using search engine optimization (SEO) for your posts

5. Content marketing

Businesses nowadays use various forms of online media to promote their goods and services. This is called content marketing, and it mostly involves posting blog posts.

This will require SEO and writing skills. Later, we will talk more about the skills that you’ll need as a virtual assistant. For now, here are the tasks under this type of virtual assistant service:

  • Writing and formatting online articles
  • Proofreading and editing
  • Performing keyword research
  • Making sure the blogs fit SEO metrics
  • Sourcing and editing images
  • Researching and suggesting topics
  • Making infographics
  • Turning business data into engaging content
  • Scheduling posts for publication

6. Website management

This may seem strange as we just talked about virtual assisting for social media. However, you should remember that businesses have homepages that are separate from such platforms.

Managing a website often entails similar tasks. For example, your client may ask you to revise the content on his website. You might also create and edit blogs for it.

You will have to know your way around WordPress, the most popular platform for creating and publishing blogs. Fortunately, you can learn from numerous free online resources.

What’s more, a virtual assistant for websites typically involves the following tasks:

  • Fixing broken links
  • Removing outdated or unwanted pages and posts
  • Setting up redirects
  • Responding to comments
  • Updating plug-ins
  • Improving a website’s SEO
  • Meeting the blog’s key performance indicators or KPIs
  • Reporting on the latest trends and topics
  • Monitoring performance metrics from Google Analytics and other tools

7. Online marketing

This may seem similar to the content marketing tasks for virtual assistants. What sets the ones for online marketing is that you won’t deal with blog posts.

Instead, you will handle the following tasks:

  • Creating SEO-friendly landing pages
  • Preparing webinars
  • Providing tech support
  • Creating a sales page
  • Managing giveaways and promotions
  • Handling new product launches
  • Creating brochures and flyers
  • Setting up paid advertising campaigns
  • Measuring the results of an advertising campaign

8. Email marketing

Are you surprised to see email as part of a virtual assistant job? This type of online messaging has been around for decades, but it still works as a great marketing strategy.

As a virtual assistant, here are the tasks you may receive:

  • Creating email templates
  • Scheduling when to send emails
  • Writing and sending newsletters
  • Organizing and updating a subscriber list
  • Handling product launches
  • Monitoring the results of email marketing campaigns

9. Email management

Here’s another task you may not have expected from a virtual assistant job: managing an email inbox! If this seems mundane, try organizing your emails and see how dreary it is.

You may notice that you have so much junk mail cluttered along with important messages. Business owners receive so much more, but they don’t have time to go through them all.

That’s when they hire virtual assistants for the following tasks:

  • Writing replies
  • Marking important emails
  • Unsubscribing from promos so they stop sending messages
  • Following up on important emails
  • Managing spam or junk mail
  • Organizing emails

10. Outreach

Business is all about connecting with people as you will serve them with your goods and services. They must expand such connections on two fronts: customers and business partners.

The company must make sure that potential clients view it positively. On the other hand, it must improve its relations with other businesses. If you have your own business, you know how challenging this is.

This is when virtual assistants can come in handy. Here’s how they can help with business outreach:

  • Starting dialogues with bloggers
  • Taking part in relevant forums
  • Reaching out to online influencers and discussing collaborations
  • Handling affiliate programs
  • Writing and publishing press releases
  • Contacting sponsors and advertisers

What are the skills I need for a virtual assistant job?

This is a person using a computer.

A virtual assistant can take on a wide range of tasks, depending on their employer or client. This means you will need to know at least some of the skills needed, such as:

Computer proficiency

A virtual assistant needs to learn various types of computer programs. We’ve tackled a few examples such as WordPress, but you will probably need to learn these too:

  • Start by knowing how to create word documents and spreadsheets. You might need to know how to use presentation software like PowerPoint if you have outreach tasks.
  • You will need to learn how to use search engines. Aside from the basic search function, you will need to know how to yield accurate results.
  • Understand all sorts of file-sharing platforms such as Dropbox and Google Drive.
  • Some companies need you to use password management software.
  • Video conferencing skills are also a must as you will have to constantly communicate with your clients or employers.

Communication skills

You will need to understand the proper way of communicating with your clients. First, virtual assistants must know how to speak with them.

You’ll be working remotely, but you will still need to talk to them from time to time. Sometimes, you might have to report your progress this way, or you’ll have to discuss a new project.

We’ve discussed how virtual assistants have to write blogs and letters. This means you’ll need to learn how to communicate effectively in written form.

Being great in verbal communication doesn’t always translate to excellent writing skills. Make sure to polish your grammar, so you can keep your writing professional.

Editorial skills

Virtual assistants don’t always have to write stuff themselves. If you’re in charge of content marketing, excellent grammar skills become even more important than ever.

That’s because potential clients may ask you to correct grammar mistakes. Virtual assistants may even have to perform light research when revising such documents.

What’s more, you will need to learn how to type quickly. It is a skill that is often overlooked for virtual assistant training, even though the role often involves a lot of typing.

Time management and organizational skills

As a virtual assistant, you will have to organize someone else’s schedule. You can’t do this if you don’t apply it in your life. Fortunately, you don’t need special training right away.

You can find so many online articles and apps that teach time management. Most of them are free, and you just have to apply them in your daily life.

Once you manage your time wisely, you manage other people’s schedules as a virtual assistant. This is when you may need a virtual assistant training course to help you.

That’s because your client may require certain tools and techniques for administrative tasks. Again, the best way to learn these skills is to apply them yourself.

What should I do to become a virtual assistant?

This is a person researching how to become a virtual assistant.

If you’ll pursue this role for your remote career, you will have to identify your skills. Look at the ones we’ve discussed to see which ones fit you.

Think of the paths you can take to become a virtual assistant. Perhaps your previous office job has similar tasks to one of those services. If not, maybe your college degree matches them.

The great thing about this role is that you don’t always need a college degree. Some employers and clients may hire such virtual assistants as long as they possess the necessary skills.

Of course, virtual assistants without college degrees often receive lower pay. According to the job portal Indeed, virtual assistants from the US can make $21.78 an hour.

Their annual salary can reach an estimate of $65,614. Of course, your actual salary will depend on several factors. You can increase your potential earnings by learning more skills.

Fortunately, the internet has so many free resources that can teach you how to become a successful virtual assistant. Even better, you’re reading one right now!

Determine your pricing structure

After you’ve figured out how you’ll work as a virtual assistant, it’s time to discuss how much you’ll get paid. Notice how the title says “pricing structure” and not “salary.”

You earn a salary if you’re an employee at a company. However, some virtual assistants classify as self-employed, meaning they don’t receive a specific payout from a company.

Instead, a freelance virtual assistant has to find a business that may need his services. That person will perform a specific task for a certain period, then get paid.

It’s up to these virtual assistants how much they will earn. For example, you could agree to be paid per hour or per day. Others make money per completed task.

You will have to balance your current skills and your desired earnings. On one hand, you want to make as much money as possible. Yet, you should consider if you can offer equivalent value to customers.

More importantly, you should keep in mind how much workload you can handle. Working hard is important, but it should not be to the detriment of your physical and mental health.

This also serves as a test of your communication skills as you’ll have to negotiate with potential clients. Make sure to be professional while speaking to them, even if they reject your application.

Prepare your equipment

The virtual assistant role is remote work, so the company won’t provide your tools. That is your own business, so make sure you equip yourself with the best ones.

Here is a list of equipment that virtual assistants need:

  • Laptop – You might want to get a mid-range laptop since technology updates frequently nowadays. Operating systems like Windows release new versions almost every year, so all other software adapts to it. As a result, a cheap laptop can quickly lag behind these updates.
  • Smartphone – Similar to your laptop, make sure you get at least the mid-range option for your smartphone. It must be advanced enough to handle the tools that virtual assistants may need.
  • Headset – You will need a pair of headphones with a built-in mic. You will regularly speak with clients, so make sure you’re heard loud and clear.
  • Internet connection – Make sure yours can keep a consistent speed and continue functioning despite inclement weather. You may want to connect via cable as more factors could interfere with a Wi-Fi signal.
  • Printer – Virtual assistants often handle digital files, but you may find projects that require printing them. For example, you may have to print brochures when helping with online marketing.

Don’t skimp on the quality of your equipment since you’ll rely on them as a virtual assistant. Computer programs update constantly, so make sure your hardware can keep up.

Otherwise, you might find yourself replacing your computer with a new one soon. More importantly, high-quality equipment tends to last longer.

Look for virtual assistant jobs

Now that you have the tools ready, it’s time to look for job postings. You can become a virtual assistant in two ways: applying to a company or accepting freelance work.

The first one works like a regular job application. You look for businesses that want to hire virtual assistants, then send them your resume and cover letter.

Wait a while until some of them invite you for an interview. Others may ask you to answer an exam first. You can do these remotely, but some companies may require you to visit their office.

On the other hand, you may visit freelance job platforms like Fiverr. You’ll find virtual assistant jobs from various individuals and companies.

Market yourself

Anyone can become a virtual assistant, but only a few can become successful. If you’re serious about pursuing this career, you will need to let people know about your work.

This role involves online tasks, so you should promote yourself on the internet. You can start by showing your work on Facebook and Twitter, This could also exhibit your social media management skills.

You might also want to create a website to feature your credentials. You may reach out to websites, so you may pay them to publish your article. This is called sponsored content.

Also, you should start building your connections. You can find public events that relate to your industry, so you can meet business leaders interested in working with you.

You might find fellow virtual assistants and help promote each other on the internet. They may share a few pointers that can help you attract more prospective clients.

This is a call center agent working from home.

What are the upsides of being a virtual assistant?

We just covered how to become a virtual assistant, so let’s see if you should go through with it. Let’s start by going through the benefits of this role:

You are your own boss

Working as a virtual assistant can mean being a freelancer. Yet, did you know that it means you’ll be self-employed? In other words, you can consider yourself your own VA business!

Nobody will require you to work at a certain location or wear certain attire. You get to choose which deadlines you will pursue. It’s up to you whether you’ll work overtime or not.

This is great for people who want to achieve a work-life balance. If you want to spend more time with your kids, you get to move your virtual assistant tasks for them.

You don’t have to spend a lot

Remember the list of virtual assistant equipment from earlier? Chances are, you already have these at home. After all, such devices are becoming a staple for households nowadays.

You may already have a laptop and a smartphone, so you may just need to buy a good headset. More importantly, you won’t have to spend money on commuting or driving to work.

Wake up, turn on your laptop, and start working! You may also like that you won’t waste time in traffic or on a train. Instead, you can spend that time on other parts of your life.

Remote work doesn’t mean working from home

Most people dread the idea of remote jobs because they often associate it with working from home. Contrary to popular belief, you can become a virtual assistant anywhere you like.

For example, you could enjoy a coffee with your friends as you type away. Thanks to the internet, you can fly halfway across the world and continue working!

This is why people in the Philippines grew to love this work setting. Filipinos often have to move from the provinces to Metro Manila to find work. As virtual assistants, they can stay in their hometowns.

This role opens various career paths

You could stick to providing one service, but other virtual assistants take on various types. This allows them to expand their experience in a wide range of fields.

This is a great move considering the massive unemployment caused by COVID-19. People realized that they can’t stay in one field as it leaves their jobs vulnerable to unforeseen circumstances.

The job market responded, so this eventually became the new standard for jobseekers. Generalization has overtaken specialization, and you can adapt by becoming a virtual assistant.

You can earn as much as you can

You can add as many virtual assistant roles as you want from different industries. This means you can have multiple sources of income while performing the same job.

Why limit yourself to virtual assistant roles? You could find other types of remote work such as being an executive assistant and a data entry agent. All of them can get you closer to your financial goals.

What are the downsides of being a virtual assistant?

This is a person frustrated with her computer.

Some may not like remote work or being a virtual assistant. Look at the potential issues of this role before pursuing it:

You might struggle with work-life balance

Some people gain work-life balance from remote work, but others don’t That’s because you’ll probably do this job at home. As a result, your house and your office blend together.

You might not find it relaxing to stay at home once you remember that your work desk is near the living room. Your lazy days at home might become dreary eventually.

You could solve this by working outside your home. Switch it up by bringing your laptop to various public places like restaurants. However, this might not be enough for some people.

It can be hard to stay motivated

You don’t have a boss, so you may find it harder to focus. As a result, you might find yourself slacking off. It doesn’t help that you’ll probably perform your work at home.

Instead of looking for potential clients, you might just scroll through your Facebook feed. After all, they might take a long time to respond, especially if it’s your first time being a virtual assistant.

This is why other people don’t like remote work in general. Again, working at another place besides your house might help.

Filing taxes can be complicated

Remote work still requires paying taxes. With office work, someone else does the computations for you. As a virtual assistant, you will have to crunch the numbers yourself.

You don’t have a stable monthly payment, so you’ll have to compute a new amount each quarter. Then, federal and state taxes can make this more complicated.

Let’s say you work in Texas, but your company is in California. Will you pay taxes for the Golden State or the Lone Star? This is a common concern for freelancers in the United States.

You don’t get employee perks

A virtual assistant role doesn’t provide you with insurance. You don’t get paid leaves, sick leaves, or other benefits either. That’s because it’s a freelancer role, and those are employment benefits.

That’s why you’ll have to apply for health insurance yourself. That can be troublesome as you’ll be the one dealing with the copays and other terms.

If you get sick, you may lose out on a project. Some clients may not let you take the day off while you’re ill, so they might pass the work to someone else.

It’s hard to earn a stable income

Being a virtual assistant involves looking for potential clients. If you don’t find any, you’ll have to continue your search until you find one. Otherwise, you don’t get paid.

It doesn’t help that clients don’t respond to applications immediately. You’re also competing with many virtual assistants who could reduce the jobs available.

That’s why you have to send applications to multiple clients. That way, you can increase your chances of landing a job. Some people don’t have the patience to handle this, though.

How can I start a virtual assistant business?

This is a VA business owner.

As you gain more skills and experience, you may want to start a VA business yourself. You can hire a team of virtual assistants, so you could cover much more tasks.

You could help fellow VAs find work much easier than they could individually. Also, you won’t have to do everything yourself. Fortunately, starting a VA business is much like launching a new business:

  1. Write a business plan that details the kind of virtual assistant services you’ll offer. Use the ones that you’re used to, so you know how to deliver them properly.
  2. Estimate how much money you’ll make and spend. You will now need more money compared to when you were working alone. For example, you’ll have to cover taxes and operating expenses.
  3. Once you’re set on starting a VA business, get the necessary permits and licenses. Look at all the federal and state laws that may apply.
  4. Determine the first clients of your VA business. It’s best that you choose existing clients when you were working alone.
  5. Make sure your company provides high-quality service.

If you’ve noticed, starting your own virtual assistant business is possible only if you’ve done this job for years. Otherwise, it’s best to build your remote career first.

Final thoughts

Virtual assistant work helps you make money while you’re at home. The services are varied, so you’re likely to find ones that fit your current skill and experience.

Note that this isn’t the only remote work option available. If working as a virtual assistant doesn’t suit you, you can find so many other alternatives out there.

Thanks to remote work, you now have more options for career growth and profits. A virtual assistant role can be your main source of income, or it could be a part-time job.

FAQs

Are virtual assistants in high demand?

More companies are hiring for this position as it’s a new way to boost their workforce. That’s why first-time remote workers may find it relatively easy to find jobs. Spend enough time, and you’ll eventually land one.

What qualifications do I need to be a virtual assistant?

There aren’t any cut-and-dried requirements for virtual assistants, so even college students can get them. You just have to make sure you have the skills that suit the ones that your potential employers and clients need.

How do I become a virtual assistant with no experience?

You can apply for this role on various online job portals. Alternatively, you can find virtual assistant jobs on freelance platforms like Fiverr. Narrow down your search by matching the postings with your current skills and experience.

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