Becoming a virtual assistant (VA) is the perfect role if you are a stay-at-home parent, but it would be great for pretty much everyone.
VAs can be part-time or full-time, work at night or when the kids are at school, or work whenever fits your schedule.
Whether you want to do this as a bit of side hustle income or to be your new career, being a virtual assistant needs to be something that is on your radar.
The best part? You can be a virtual assistant with no experience necessary!
There are plenty of job opportunities for beginners. Businesses are looking for new virtual assistants who will bring in fresh eyes and a hard work ethic!
If you don’t know what a virtual assistant is, I’ll go through what it entails exactly in this article and how you can find virtual assistant jobs.
Virtual Assistant Starter Quick Picks
Here are some of the best virtual assistant training workshops to learn how to become a virtual assistant successfully, plus some of the best spots to find jobs:
- Best Free VA Lessons: Savvy Systems
- Best Job Site For Temp VAs: Fiverr
- Best Job Site For Long-Term VA Jobs: FlexJobs
What is a Virtual Assistant and What Do They Do?
Working from home may sound good to you, but you may be wondering, what is a virtual assistant and what do they do?
A virtual assistant is an assistant who does their work virtually/remotely. That may sound like a very obvious way of looking at it, but that’s the best way to explain it.
The type of work a virtual assistant does varies depending on what kind of company they are working for and the work available.
To give an example, there are lots of virtual assistant jobs for bloggers.
There are estimated to be approximately 600 million blogs in the world – that’s a lot of blogs!
When you run a blog, there are a lot of things that need to happen to keep it running and growing. These are often too much for one person alone to manage, so they bring in a team- including virtual assistants.
Examples of tasks that virtual assistants do are things such as:
- Writing content
- Editing content
- Keeping the blog up-to-date and visually appealing
- Maintaining project management
- Maintaining social media accounts
- Creating graphics
- Scheduling/uploading posts
- Booking appointments
- Answering the phone
As you can see, there are a lot of different tasks that a virtual assistant can do, and it depends on what the company would like them to do.
If you want to work as a VA, you may first need to decide what industry you’re interested in and learn what tasks will be asked of you.
The variety of jobs can be very exciting, and working a freelance job keeps your days from being all the same.
But you’ll want to pinpoint your niche so you can develop your virtual assistant skills and become a desirable new hire!
Why Should I Become A Virtual Assistant?
Well, being able to work from anywhere- read, work at home!- as a virtual assistant means you have so much more flexibility than a regular office assistant position.
Plus, how many jobs can you earn $20+ per hour without years of experience? You can make money fast with high pay like that!
You can be an assistant with no experience and get training to become a virtual assistant.
You can also have virtual assistant skills from previous jobs and from your own life that make you an ideal candidate for becoming a virtual assistant.
How Much Do Virtual Assistants Make?
Virtual assistants are the backbone of a company’s customer support and business management!
The administrative tasks and services you’ll offer will be worth their weight in gold.
The average virtual assistant salary is just shy of $51K, at about $24 per hour.
The amount that you are able to make as a virtual assistant will always depend on where you are working and what exactly you will be doing on the job.
There are other factors that come into play as well, such as how much experience you have and how many hours you are contracted to.
The more experience you have from a previous assistant job and the more you work means more money!
Different sites cite varied salaries and hourly rates, but we suggest that you start at $20 per hour and work your way up.
If you start your own VA business, you can ask for an hourly rate that reflects the job tasks assigned to you.
However, even if you’re working from home, it’s very similar to applying for in-person assistant jobs with administrative tasks.
If you have no experience, you may find that you will be starting out on a lower amount than other virtual assistants.
Make sure that you don’t stay on the low amount that you start out on – as you gain experience, you can raise your hourly rates and get paid more!
When you are a freelancer and essentially working for yourself, it’s up to you to dictate your prices.
When you look for virtual assistant jobs with businesses online, you’ll have less say on your pay until you reach salary negotiations.
What Skills or Equipment Do You Need to Become a Virtual Assistant?
The types of skills that you need to become a virtual assistant will vary depending on the work that the client wants you to do.
There are also some places that need virtual assistants with no experience, so keep an eye out for those if you want to become a virtual assistant!
There are some general and high-paying skills that will help you become a virtual assistant, such as:
- Organizational skills
- Project management
- Efficiency and speed
- Communication skills
There are other virtual assistant skills that will probably serve you well, such as a fast typing speed, good grammar, and accuracy.
Sounds like a perfect job for a teacher, right?
If you are thinking about being a virtual assistant for a blogger, then it will help to have some experience with social media platforms, schedulers, and creating graphics.
Besides these general tasks, there may need to be other popular virtual assistant services you offer based on the industry you’re interested in.
You might want to take courses that are specific if the industry calls for additional skills.
I’ve taken a few courses and can recommend VA training for you- plus, some have some free workshops and training!
If you become a virtual assistant in a financial business, you may be expected to do data entry and create spreadsheets- so you’ll need to know how to work on those programs.
The Top 10 High-Demand Virtual Assistant Services
Clients hire virtual assistants who are very versatile, with a variety of skills they can use to benefit businesses even from a distance.
When you’re thinking of the best virtual assistant services to offer to business owners, it’s always a good idea to look at the services that are in high demand.
Here are the top 10 jobs for virtual assistants we found were wanted in job postings:
1) Customer Service
Customer service (chat jobs) is usually one of the main priorities for a company (and if it’s not, then it should be!) and could be the biggest task for virtual assistants.
Even though it’s one of the more important aspects of a business, it’s one of the areas which takes up the most time.
This means that a lot of companies are happy to outsource this in order to keep their customers happy.
Examples of tasks that they may ask you to do include:
- Answering phone calls
- Replying to emails
- Answering customer queries
- Processing orders
2) Administrative Support
If you are feeling a bit apprehensive about the skills that you have to offer for virtual assistant services, you may want to start with administrative support.
As an administrative assistant, you have a wide variety of tasks that are mostly typing, researching, and organizing.
It’s honestly the core to being a virtual assistant
Some examples of the type of administrative tasks include:
- Inputting data into spreadsheets
- Transcribing audio into text
- Creating spreadsheets
- Project management
- Booking travel
- Creating reports
- Drafting emails/letters
- Sending out emails
- Managing files
3) Social Media Management
Becoming a social media manager can be very profitable for you! Most companies have social media, so this is a good skill to have under your hat.
The reason that this is outsourced so much is that running even one Facebook group can take a great deal of time and effort.
It is hard for businesses to run multiple social media accounts as well as deal with all other areas of their business, so they like to outsource.
If you have never done anything on social media then it may be a good idea to try them out before offering it as a service as it can be a big learning curve.
The types of platforms that your potential clients may want to you manage could include:
These are some of the more important/common social media platforms, but there is a large pool of social platforms out there.
When you pick your niche or find an industry you’re interested in, you can research what platforms they’re part of.
For example, if you want to work at a college, they use SO many platforms, including Reddit, Discord, Patreon, and more.
Some others industries like finances or science may just need help running a website and use WordPress, and that’s it.
Some of the things involved in social media management include:
- Creating graphics
- Creating pins for Pinterest
- Replying to comments
- Keeping business profiles up to date
Social media management requires a lot of effort and organization, so you can charge a higher fee for this.
4) Website/Blog Management
This is something that you should only offer if you know what you are doing! Websites are confusing when you are first getting started, but give it time and you will know your way around.
Most business owners are happy to hand this side of running the business over to someone else because, although it’s essential, it takes more time than one person has.
We, as a blog, have editors and assistants working on the content you’re reading, and they look for accuracy and broken links and ensure the content we have is what you’re looking for as our reader.
Tasks that you could offer include:
- Updating plugins
- Changing broken links
- SEO audits
- Editing posts
- Replying to comments
- Removing old posts, setting up redirects
This is something that you could offer as an ongoing monthly package or retainer.
5) Content Creation
Websites need a lot of good content to be created, and this is where you can come in!
It takes a lot of time to create a decent piece of content, and some small business owners need help and support in this area.
If you are talented in writing, and may even want to consider freelance writing as a job, then this is something that you should offer.
It’s not just about typing a bunch of words out and hoping for the best. There’s a lot more that goes into it such as:
- SEO research (e.g.keywords, topics)
- Writing blog posts
- Formatting blog posts
- Editing or auditing old posts
- Adding relevant affiliate links within posts
If businesses are hiring freelance writers, or they are writing themselves, it’s always a good idea to have a second eye look over them.
As a virtual assistant, you can offer your service for editing or proofreading over pieces of writing.
This doesn’t just need to be for blog posts – there are other pieces of content too such as books, eBooks or sales pages.
Sign up for a FREE proofreading workshop to learn how to make $30 per hour.
7) Email Marketing
This is another area of the business that you need to know a lot about before offering it as a service.
That is because there is a lot that goes into email marketing, and it’s a very important area of a business.
The types of tasks that you could offer as part of your email marketing service could include:
- Designing email templates
- Writing email content
- Scheduling emails
- Tracking the metrics of the email campaigns
8) Graphic Design
Graphic design is a popular service for business owners to outsource to creative assistants.
The type of graphic design that you offer depends on the skillset that you have.
For example, if you are a professional graphic designer then you can offer things such as bespoke graphics for blog posts, products, etc.
If you are not, then you can still offer services such as creating graphics for social media – especially pins for Pinterest.
Bookkeeping is something that needs to be done, but a lot of small business owners put it off and leave it to the last minute.
It’s not the most fun part of a business for most people – so they are happy to take on someone who will do it for them.
This is something that you could offer if you are good with numbers, love a spreadsheet, and have a keen eye for detail.
You can find a job as a bookkeeper with jobs sites or social media, and make this a part-time or full-time job no problem!
10) Facebook Ads
Offering Facebook ad management will be a more lucrative skill to offer as a virtual assistant.
This is because not many people know how to run a successful ad campaign, and perhaps don’t have the time or money to learn.
Facebook ads are those ads that pop up when you’re browsing through Facebook and something pops up that seems really targeted to you.
Businesses love to use Facebook ads to grow brand awareness and direct the right people to their sales pages, and virtual assistants are how they get their name out there.
Because running good Facebook ads can generate a lot of sales (and therefore money), you can offer your services for a lot of money.
How to Become a Virtual Assistant With No Experience in 6 Simple Steps?
Now that we have looked at what being a virtual assistant entails and some services that you can offer, it’s time to look at how to become a virtual assistant.
There are many industries where you can find virtual assistant jobs, and you can start working in any of them- or more than one, as long as you’ve got the time.
A lot of jobs require a ton of experience, but this is a field that you can get into with little to no experience.
Here’s how to become a virtual assistant and build your own business from the ground up:
1) Take a Virtual Assistant Training Course
The first step when you are starting down the path to your new career is to take a virtual assistant business training course.
Many virtual assistants decide to freelance and create their own business as a full-time job.
It can seem like a daunting first step, but you can start part-time as a virtual assistant before making any big jumps.
If you want to take the best course for virtual assistants, then you will want to check out the FREE 5-day VA challenge.
The short challenge sends you info to become a virtual assistant so you can get some free help before taking the full course.
2) Decide on the Services You Will Offer
It may be tempting to say that you can offer all of the services under the sun in your VA business, but it’s best to be realistic and specific.
Have a think about the skills that you have currently and the services that you can offer off the back of that.
If you run your own blog, then you could know your way around a website and know all of the different plugins, etc.
You may be a really good writer and have an eye for error, so I would prefer offering something like that.
Maybe you enjoy creating graphics, and so would prefer the social media management side of it all.
There’s no right or wrong here, and you can always change things as you go along in your business.
3) Decide Your Pricing Structure and Rates
A lot of us are guilty of undercharging for our work, especially if we are new and inexperienced. You need to not shortchange yourself!
That being said, you don’t want to overcharge and get no clients either.
When it comes to deciding your prices, you need to remember all of the costs that come with running your own business.
We’re talking about your own website running costs, no benefits, e.g., healthcare, sick pay, retirement pay, and so on.
You’re going to want to think about how you are packaging your services as well, for example:
- Hourly (paid by the hour)
- Project-Based (paid for each project that you do)
- Retainer (paid a monthly rate)
When you do a job search for virtual assistant jobs, you’ll now know the range of payment you’ll accept- though it never hurts to apply for some jobs to see if they’ll meet your preferred rate.
Once you have your pricing figured out, you also have to figure out how you’ll receive payment from your potential clients.
There are many cash apps out there like Venmo and PayPal, which may come with a few additional fees like processing fees, which will cut into your pay.
These are good options to have if you create a website, as you can accept payment right on your website.
Or you may stick with the tried and true like accepting checks via slow mail or requesting direct deposits to your bank account.
Not only that, but you can also use Square or other companies to accept credit cards, including on your website if you make one.
Whatever method you decide, you can create your own invoices to send to clients that give them the options for payments (if you decide on more than one).
4) Pick a Name and Build Your Online Presence
Don’t forget that as well as growing your clients’ business, you will be setting up a business for yourself.
Part of this is growing your own online presence. If your client is going to be paying you for growing their online presence, they will want to see that you know how to do that.
You will want a website to showcase your services, and we can help you with that too if you check out our blog post on how to start a blog.
A website is essential to showcase yourself as a professional and give prospective clients the feel that you are an established and esteemed VA!
You can set up a website yourself, just like we did with our blog, and if you dom website maintenance and building are new skills you can add to your growing resume.
5) Start to Network and Pitch New Clients
When you are a brand new business you need to get your name out there, and that means networking.
Clients aren’t likely to quickly stumble across your website or social media and hire virtual assistants that aren’t on page 1 of Google.
Find places to network with potential clients such as at events or anywhere that local business owners hang out.
Online you can network by joining relevant Facebook groups and letting people know that you are available for work, and making sure that you are being helpful in the groups.
6) Make Yourself Essential
When it comes to becoming a VA, you want to find clients and keep them.
The way to keep clients coming back for more is to make yourself essential- you have to be irreplaceable to them!
Now how can you make yourself an internal part of their business and provide value to your work?
Some of this depends on the services you offer working as a VA.
Some virtual assistants cater to the specific needs of clients- such as taking some tasks off the boss’ plate or increasing productivity and efficiency in the processes.
A business owner may have many people to juggle and loads of tasks to handle. If you can work on their tasks and free up their time, you’ll become essential to the business!
Another part of becoming irreplaceable is doing work quickly as well as doing it better.
If you can get more things done per hour than other virtual assistants, you will stand out as someone worth more as an employee.
Where to Find Virtual Assistant Jobs?
Now that you have yourself all setup, it’s time to start looking for some jobs!
You need to find clients and get paid.
Don’t get discouraged when you first start looking or applying, as it may take some time to get some traction.
As a beginner, you’ll want to focus on getting your first virtual assistant job that fits your skill set, and here are some places to check out:
Steady is the best job we’ve encountered, and you can find more than just VA jobs if you want some other side hustle options.
You can sign up for free and get great features like Income Trackers to know how much your VA work is making PLUS Income Boosters to help you make more from your hard work.
Check out more about Steady in our in-depth review and see how thousands of people are earning more money than ever before.
Don’t be put off by the name, Fiverr has much to offer and is one of the top job sites for freelance workers!
Although it’s advertised as gigs starting at $5, you can upscale your services and offer more than that.
Fiverr is great to find a few jobs rather than just one virtual assistant job.
FlexJobs is a website that has been set up to show flexible jobs that are currently available. On this site, you’re likely to find a long-term virtual assistant job.
You should find a lot of virtual assistant jobs on Upwork. Simply upload your profile and portfolio and then start applying!
Freelancer is another popular site for finding freelance work. It’s perfect for finding virtual assistant work and is easy to use.
You will want to check out Belay if you have experience and preferably a degree.
Equivity requires you to have a bachelor’s degree, but it will offer a lot of high-paying jobs, so worth checking out if you are in this position.
Fancy Hands has things set up so that you apply for tasks that a client needs doing.
The tasks typically range from $3 – $7 per hour and you can pick and choose as many as you like.
Zirtual offers lots of virtual assistant-type services such as data entry. A good place to check for work!
Virtual Assist USA
Virtual Assist USA will hire virtual assistants with more experience, but it’s still worth keeping an eye out for jobs to see what level they’re listing under jobs.
As you gain more experience as a virtual assistant, this could be a great place to branch out and find virtual assistant jobs that pay more.
Never forget the power of social media and good word of mouth! Just having an online presence on social media can grow your virtual assistant business!
As mentioned, joining relevant Facebook groups is a great place to look for work as you’ll find people who can not only recommend courses and training, but also jobs and places to find them!
If you are in a group where prospective clients hang out, this is where they can find out about you and the services that you provide.
LinkedIn is another good one, and you can post articles on there to showcase your skills.
Local businesses can be a gold mine when it comes to finding online work.
A lot of online businesses haven’t thought about taking their business online, or aren’t sure how to go the best way about it. This is where you can come in!
Network With Other Virtual Assistants
Networking with other virtual assistants is a good idea because you can learn from each other and support each other.
Not only that, but you can recommend each other for jobs.
For example, if your virtual assistant friend can’t take on a client due to having too much work but is happy to recommend you.
Starting A VA Business
When you want to work as a virtual assistant and create a business to start freelancing through a job site, there are a few extra steps you need in order to make everything legit.
Sadly, we can’t just create companies and go with the flow while we make money.
As a legit business, you need to be registered with the government and get all the forms squared away.
You can create a few different types of businesses, the most common being a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) and a Sole Proprietorship.
Once you’ve decided what your business will be, you’ve got to file some paperwork and secure any licenses or permits required by your state (or county).
As a business, you also can’t forget to have paperwork and a contract for your clients to make sure you’re not taken advantage of.
Once you have a client secured, they need to fill out a contract so that they know what to expect from you, and you’ll be secure knowing you’ll be paid!
Become a Virtual Assistant and Start Making Money From Home
So I’ve gone over how to become a virtual assistant and work from home- are you convinced it’s the job for you?
There are many positive reasons why you should consider becoming a virtual assistant, and given you plenty of avenues to find the perfect virtual assistant job for you.
When you want to work from home, be your own boss, and have flexible working hours, then work as a virtual assistant!
I know from experience how essential you’ll be to someone’s business!
There are so many different ways that you can find clients and lots of different services to offer. No day needs to be the same when you work as a freelancer!
You can do it part-time to earn some extra side income or make it into a fully-fledged virtual assistant business earning a lot of money full-time.