I’ve been working part-time as a virtual assistant for a while now, and let me tell you: It’s awesome. Sure, there were a few bumps on the road, like that time I almost fell for a shady job ad. But I love the flexibility, the ability to work remotely and the control over my earnings.
Besides, there’s no better time to be a virtual assistant. The market is projected to grow to over two million by 2019, so the future looks bright. If you’re interested in being a virtual assistant, here’s a general idea of what to expect.
What Virtual Assistants Do
As a virtual assistant, you can have any combination of skill sets. You can manage e-mail, research data, create social media posts and even perform basic bookkeeping. From there, you can graduate to more difficult tasks and raise your rates.
How to Get Started
Considering the gamut of opportunities for virtual assistants, it’s hard to talk about any one true path for them. However, there are things you can do to stay on the right track.
- Browse Online Job Ads.
Comb sites like Craigslist, Monster and Indeed for virtual assistant jobs that match your skills. If you can’t find anything, try looking for freelance or part-time jobs that make use of your existing skills, which can then be translated to virtual assistant work.
- Build Your Online Presence.
Create an account with sites like Upwork, and take jobs from there. Write “virtual assistant” in the About section of your social media profile. If you’d rather not mix your personal and professional life, open separate social media accounts specifically for work purposes and gradually build up your virtual assistant brand from there.
- Choose Your Clients Carefully.
Granted, it can be difficult to get too picky when you’re starting out. However, you can still thoroughly research a potential client or employer before taking their offer. Check whether they have existing websites or social media profiles, and decide if they’re a good fit for you. For my part, I was lucky to be the virtual assistant of Rob Mericle, who was an absolute pleasure to work with.
- Gather Client Testimonials.
Never underestimate the power of social proof. If you want to convince future clients of your worth, show them testimonials from your current or previous clients. Ideally, these testimonials should extend beyond generic “This person is awesome!” statements, and highlight specific qualities that make you stand out from the rest. For a thorough guide on collecting testimonials, check out Business Tutsplus’ 5-Step Approach
- Do a Good Job.
Remember: no matter who you work for, be professional. Meet your clients’ requirements, and exceed them whenever you can. If you can’t do a job for any reason, tell them about it as soon as possible and as honestly as you can. You’ll be surprised at how appreciative clients are of talented virtual assistants.
- Keep Hustling.
Ask previous clients, friends and family for referrals. Update your online profiles whenever you’ve achieved anything awesome. Check the job ads every now and then, even if you still have a job, so you’ll stay abreast of job market trends. Bump up your rates, especially if your skills have upgraded.
Being a virtual assistant can be challenging. But it can also be rewarding, if you’re willing to put in the effort. You can work whenever, wherever and however you want, and learn tons of new things along the way. I hope this guide has been helpful to you. Good luck with your search for the job that suits you best!