Thanks to modern technology, it’s easier than ever before to start working as a virtual assistant from the comfort of home. You might have heard the term virtual assistant before, but maybe you’re not too familiar with what they do. A VA is generally a self-employed contractor that assists a business with supportive tasks from a remote location. Over the last several years, a virtual assistant (or sometimes referred to as virtual executive assistants) has become a legitimate remote job to earn a full-time income and be your own boss. If you dream of trading your business suit for yoga pants, then keep reading because I’m sharing how to become a virtual assistant at home.
How to Become a Virtual Assistant at Home
Services Virtual Assistants Can Offer
The whole beauty of the virtual assistant business industry is it’s not limited to a single service or two. It’s honestly what YOU are skilled at and what you enjoy doing. You can choose to work full time, part time or somewhere in between.
I do recommend that you choose a specific niche or industry to support. When you start building a client list and one client is in one industry and another client is another industry, it gets to be really complicated. The benefit of specializing in one specific niche is you learn the ins and outs of that industry, and you become a specialist. Because you become a specialist, you can charge more for your services.
Deciding what industry you want to support really depends on your background and what you know. At the Virtual Assistant Studio, we support bloggers and content creators. Some other examples of industries you could support as a virtual assistant include:
- Locally-owned restaurants and food markets
- Real estate agents and companies
- Construction and/or interior design companies
- Law firms
- Fashion and home good boutiques
- Life coaches and online course creators
- MLM associates
- Financial and insurance representatives
- Travel agencies or agents
Skills Sets to Have
To start your own business, I’ve found these skill sets are important to hone in on. They can always be improved over time too, if you need to work on some of them.
If you want to own your own business and be your own boss, you can’t be afraid to go after what you want. It’s important to know ahead of time that you’ll hear a lot of noes before you hear a yes. But once you hear a yes, it turns into a full-fledged business quick. You also have to let go of any fear about what people think of you. Whether you’re promoting your business on social media or asking someone or a brand for their business, you can’t be afraid of what their opinions are of you. If it’s what you want to do and your dream, no one (including someone’s opinion) should hinder you from doing what you love.
This is a given, but it’s important to have systems in place to stay as organized as possible. There are a wide-range of programs on the market for small business owners. We love using Honeybook to keep our billing in check, and automate a lot of those bookkeeping processes. Another program we use to stay organized is ClickUp. Our team puts all of our tasks for each client into this system, so nothing falls through the cracks. When you work remotely with a team, it’s important to have strong communication and this program helps us keep all of our to-dos organized.
As a business owner, you want to be confident in your abilities and talents. At some point, you may have to have a tough conversation. With those tough conversations, you have to be confident enough to stand your ground. But of course too, be able to admit when you’re wrong. It’s a balancing act, and confidence is built over time as a business owner.
Working as a virtual assistant requires you to be as efficient as possible. This helps with time management and a better work-life balance. In order for our team to be as efficient as possible, we love batching our content. To read all about how we do that, you can read this post HERE.
Ability to Think on Your Feet
Because virtual administrative assistants are their own boss, it’s important that they can put out fires as they come up. Depending on the industry and client, there will be different situations that need handled quickly. It’s your job to either make a decision on your own or know who to contact and get the situation handled quickly.
Services a Virtual Assistant Can Offer
This goes back to what YOU enjoy doing and what you’re skilled in. It doesn’t mean you have to be super techy or know how to build a website. There are many other tasks that small business owners hire virtual assistants for. For a more indepth look into what services a VA can offer, be sure to read this post HERE too.
30+ Virtual Assistant Services You Can Offer:
- scheduling social media posts
- writing social media captions
- blog post writing
- podcast editor
- Pinterest manager
- affiliate linking
- responding to customers
- organizing inbox
- managing inbox
- managing calendar
- creating workflows in systems like Honeybook or Dubsado
- building landing pages
- creating graphics (IG, Pinterest, etc)
- building website
- SEO website optimization
- responding to DMs
- social media engagement
- creating Canva graphics
- data entry (medical field)
- podcast transcriber
- providing customer service assistance
- building sales funnels
- schedule appointments
- task management system
- audio editing
- photo editing
- blog post editing
- video editing
- community manager
- manage facebook group
- mlm marketing assistant
- email marketing
- content calendar creator
- reels editor/creator
Where to Search for a Virtual Assistant Jobs and Land Clients
Searching for potential clients for your VA business isn’t as cut and dry as applying on a businesses website for a specific position. But though it’s not so black and white, there’s many opportunities to find clients. And, in my opinion, much easier to find opportunities using the below tactics.
Now don’t run away because this tactic actually works wonders! I’ve heard of numerous people landing clients simply by interacting on Facebook Groups. You just have to find the right ones to fit your niche. For example, if you’re wanting to be an executive assistant to a travel agent, then joining groups related to that niche would make sense. After joining those groups, be active by answering questions asked in the group and being an engaged member. When members of the group start noticinging you knowing your stuff, they’ll naturally start asking you questions, which then may lead into a freelance gig with them.
The next place job search for freelance positions is on LinkedIn. It’s important to have your profile up-to-date, using searchable words in your title and description. For example, if you’re searching for a podcast manager position, then you’ll want to include that in your title. In the description, you can use other position names related to that like podcast virtual assistant or podcast administrative support. You never know who will be searching that platform and discover your profile from all the keyword-rich terms you used.
You might be thinking, “Well Amanda I don’t even have one client, how am I supposed to get a referral?” Listen I get that. But I’m telling you I built my business of these, so I know this tactic works. I actually wrote entire blog post just on this topic that you can find HERE. Your current clients can be your biggest marketing tool, if you just ask them to pass the word along.
Because the freelance industry is on the rise, there are many different websites dedicated to marketing freelance services. Two popular websites are Fiverr and Upwork. They have anything from one-off jobs to more permanent positions.
Businesses want to hire experts in their field. A great way to showcase your abilities and talents is to create a blog related to your expertise. You can write about topics related to your field. This not only shows off your abilities and knowledge of your industry, but also creates more searchable content for your business.
You know the famous saying Will Smith says in the Pursuit of Happyness movie, “You want something. Go get it. Period.” Pitching is sort of living that saying. If you have a dream client you’d love to support, go ask them. Pitching is not only effective in landing clients, but it’s also landing clients YOU want. So it’s a win-win. I’m not saying they’ll say yes every time because chances are you’ll get a lot of noes too. But you never know until you try. If you want my exact email template that landed me my dream clients, click HERE.
Helpful Equipment to Work from Home
As an entrepreneur, you’re typically going to have lots of tabs open on your computer with different programs running at the same time. It’s helpful to have two screens (monitors) to help you work as efficiently as possible. This goes without saying, but you’ll need a computer too, preferably a laptop if you have to take your office outside your house for whatever reason.
A Camera on Your Computer
Typically, every laptop now has a camera built into it. But some monitors do not. Make sure you have access to a camera for Zoom calls with your clients.
Headphones for Phone Calls
There are lots of phone calls involved with owning your own business, and it’s not fun having to hold the phone to your ear constantly. It’s also not fun for family members to hear your clients on speaker 24/7. A good pair of headphones with a microphone included are good to have on hand for this.
Luckily many things can be done completely digital now to save trees. But there will be many instances where you’ll need a printer. I’d also recommend it having a scanner included too.
If you’re serious about diving into the virtual assistant industry, I offer a course that’s a comprehensive and to-the-point guide to becoming a profitable virtual assistant in a matter of weeks! Click HERE to sign up.