Working as a virtual assistant is a great opportunity to make money while working from home. The benefits include flexible working hours and the freedom to choose your clients.
Whether you’re considering virtual assistance as a full-time career, or just looking for something to do on the side, the job is flexible to your needs.
Here we explain all you need to know about how to become a virtual assistant.
Step 1. Choose an employment type
First things first, you need to decide whether you want to work independently or join a company as an employee. There are, of course, pros and cons of each option.
Independent virtual assistant
The main draw of independent virtual assistant jobs is the freedom that they provide.
Since you work for yourself, you can set your own pricing, choose your own ideal clients, and decide where you work. You can set your own working hours, and keep 100% of the profit.
However, freedom brings with it responsibility. You need to build the foundation of your business to attract potential clients and start earning money. This takes a lot of time, energy, and ideas.
Finding your own clients requires hard work and focus. This can be difficult before you have firmly established your business.
You will also be responsible for paying your income taxes and managing your finances.
Working with an agency or company
Another option for starting a virtual assistant career is becoming an employee in a virtual assistant agency or company.
Joining a company as an employee could be a great way for you to start your career, as you won’t need to worry about finding your clients. The company will take care of that for you.
Working independently means you need to take care of your own resources. Working as an employee usually has the benefit of the company providing you with all that you need.
The opportunity to learn from the company and other virtual assistants is also useful when starting out. This might be important for understanding how to become a virtual assistant.
Compared to working independently, your working hours will most likely be much less flexible.
You will need to understand and follow the regulations and guidelines of your company or agency.
Step 2. Choose services to sell
After choosing your employment type, you can start figuring out which of your skills you can utilize for your work. Also, decide which you should improve upon or learn more about.
First, write down the general categories of virtual assistant services.
These include administrative tasks, customer service, writing, email management, design, social media management, travel arrangements, and editing. Next, list the sub-category of each.
Here are a few examples of services you can offer as a virtual assistant:
- Graphic design
- Data entry or mining
- Copywriting and proofreading
- Event planning and management
You can start offering more services to clients as you improve your skills and gain more experience in the field.
Step 3. Set your pricing plan
Before setting a pricing plan for your virtual assistant services, it is best to research your niche first to come up with ideal service rates.
Looking into the competition and potential clients will let you know what is currently offered at which rates. You’ll be able to identify what kind of services the market needs most.
Depending on the type of contract you sign, you can charge per hour or per project. Consider whether you should get paid weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or at the end of the term.
To give you an idea of the amount you might charge, the average hourly rate for virtual assistants in the US is reported to be around $15.66.
Step 4. Build and promote your brand
You should create a brand for your virtual assistant services before introducing yourself to a wider audience. This will help you to build credibility and trust with your potential clients.
While a business name is necessary to establish your brand, a slogan and logo will go a long way when trying to stand out.
Using the AI Slogan Generator, you can take the first step towards establishing the message of your brand. Simply enter keywords and choose the result you like the most.
Connect your slogan with a visual using the Logo Maker. This provides a free library of professional templates and icons, making the logo designing process easy and quick.
Step 5. Create a business website to promote your services
If you choose to work as a virtual assistant independently, a website is essential for success. Having one allows you to engage a wider audience and draw in more clients.
1. Choose a domain name
In order for your website to be accessible to your clients, you will need to choose a domain name.
Make sure to find one that is unique and memorable – take your time and approach this step carefully. Avoid symbols, numbers, and make sure it is easy to type.
If your desired domain is not available, you can try to combine your brand name with specific keywords.
You can check your domain’s availability using the Zyro Domain Name Search. You’re able to register your domain right after you find one that fits your brand.
2. Choose a website builder
Creating a website for your virtual assistant business doesn’t have to be difficult, even if you don’t have any web development or design experience.
By using a website builder, you can quickly and efficiently create your dream website. You can do it without having to hire a professional, or having to learn how to code.
When using the Zyro Website Builder, making a site becomes simple, fun and easy.
A grid-based editor, responsive and beautiful templates, as well as a beginner-friendly interface, make web design accessible for anyone. What’s more, it’s completely free.
3. Design your website
Your site will be the online representation of your business. Having an eye-pleasing and user-friendly website is important to leave a good impression on your visitors.
Whether you’re going for a minimalistic portfolio or a professional website fit for an agency, Zyro has got you covered. It has an extensive library of beautiful, responsive, and intuitive templates.
While browsing through templates, you can preview each one to make sure that it has the look you’re going for.
The fonts, color palette, and layouts are completely customizable. You can transform the templates into something entirely personal.
Zyro even has a free library of over a million high-quality images for your use.
The grid-based editor allows you to drag-and-drop elements, rearrange the content on your site, and make edits big and small with ease.
4. Add relevant content
Your website should provide useful and relevant information for visitors. It should compel them to use your services.
Display your portfolio, testimonials, and the type of services that you offer on your website. Remember to include contact information so clients know how to reach you.
If you’re low on creativity, give the Zyro AI Writer a try. Either select a few categories or input some text, and you will be presented with a unique, SEO-friendly copy.
Pay attention to content placement on your website. You need to be understood in a short time, and make sure visitors don’t miss important information or get distracted.
With that in mind, check out Zyro’s AI Heatmap Tool. It analyzes your website and provides a map of the areas that visitors are most likely to pay attention to.
When you’re ready, you can publish the website. Don’t worry if you change your mind, or want to add more content later, you can always edit your website.
5. Promote your website
After your website is published and ready for visitors, you will need to reach out to potential clients and market yourself.
A good idea is to create business accounts on popular social media platforms. Use the same online handle for each platform so your customers find you easily.
You can also promote your site through freelance sites, virtual assistant groups, and other similar platforms.
Qualities of a virtual assistant
While some employers want a virtual assistant with a degree, basic administrative skills and writing experience are usually enough.
There are plenty of virtual assistant certifications and courses you can take. These make you more credible, let you offer more services, and help attract potential clients.
The International Association of Professions (IAP) Career College and ExpertRating are examples of places to get virtual assistant certification online.
Some of the essential skills a virtual assistant should have are:
- Technical skills — the ability to use software related to your job. Some basic technical skills include SEO, troubleshooting and technical support, and optimizing social media pages.
- Organizational skills — a virtual assistant will most likely need to manage several assignments and different employers at once. Organizational skills such as time management and efficient administration become invaluable.
- Communication skills — a virtual assistant must be able to communicate effectively both by telephone and email, as meeting face-to-face is usually not an option.
- Resourcefulness — a virtual assistant should be able to solve any problem quickly, even under stress.
Benefits of being a virtual assistant
Becoming a virtual assistant gives you the freedom to work remotely. Choose your own workplace, set your own flexible working hours, and charge hourly, weekly, or per project.
You will always be able to expand your field of expertise.
The work ranges from simple administrative tasks such as email management and social media management to a wider scope of work such as customer service, data entry, travel arrangements, and more.
Lastly, you can start this business with a small budget. If you already have a computer, phone, and internet access, you’re ready to go.
Virtual assistants recap
Becoming a virtual assistant is not as difficult as it might seem. This line of work is perfect for those looking for flexible work hours without being tied to an office.
To recap, here are the steps you need take when learning how to become a virtual assistant:
- Choose an employment type — become either an independent virtual assistant or join an agency as an employee.
- Choose services to sell — make a list of all the skills you can offer to clients, such as bookkeeping, copywriting, or graphic design.
- Set your pricing plan — research competitors and the market to come up with an ideal service rate. You can charge per hour, project, or by contract.
- Identify your target clients — with your skills in mind, identify your ideal clients and promote your services to them.
- Build and promote your brand — think of a catchy name and get business accounts on social media. These help with introducing your services and appearing more credible.
- Create a business website — pick a domain name, use a website builder to create the website, create relevant content, and promote it to clients.
We hope that with all of the information provided in this article, you will soon be on your way to becoming a virtual assistant.