If you have the soul of an entrepreneur, the practicality of an at-home employee and want to make good money…the answer is YES – becoming a virtual assistant is a good choice.
A virtual assistant is a business owner. They want to grow their business and make money by providing a viable product. In the case of a virtual assistant, the “product” is actually a service to other business owners.
The virtual assistant handles administrative work and other details as dictated by the client. Virtual assistants are hired by the hour and can earmark a certain number of hours per month to a client for their work. They have several clients but make their reputation on treating each one like the only one.
A virtual assistant is not a secretary and they don’t answer to anyone but themselves. A virtual assistant works in her own home office. Work is delegated and delivered via email, fax, telephone, mail and any other way she agrees to with her client.
Small and home business owners use virtual assistants because it allows them to get their work done without hiring and housing an employee. But in this fragile economic climate, larger businesses are using virtual assistants to replace employees who have been laid off.
Virtual Assistant Skills
In case you are still in the dark, a virtual assistant or VA works from a home office and provides many services that small businesses or individual entrepreneurs need. They go online and virtually give a level of service that could previously only be done on-site.
There are so many new opportunities waiting…and you can be part of it! You can become a virtual assistant no matter what skills you bring to the table.
Here are 10 skills you may already have that you can use as a virtual assistant:
1. Promote using Social Media?
2. Do web design or create e-mail promotions?
3. Write a press release and/or articles?
4. Do research?
5. Manage customer service?
6. Coordinate travel plans?
7. Help plan an event?
8. Answer letters and e-mails?
9. Do transcription?
10. Create a database?
Any of the skills you have developed or are willing to learn can be transformed into a virtual assistant business. All you need is a little direction.
Your pay rate will depend on training and the skills that you can offer to your clients. A virtual assistant who can type fifty or sixty words per minute, knows how to transcribe audio files, and can create documents for marketing campaigns will get the minimum hourly rate. Many virtual assistant rates vary from twenty to fifty or more dollars an hour.
The more skills you can offer a client, the more money a virtual assistant can charge. Adding web design, skills in several types of business marketing, and industry specific expertise will increase the rate. After all, the client will expect more and so should you. for instance, a virtual assistant with real estate experience will command a higher price within this specific group of clients.
Every six months or so, evaluate your rates. For new business, it is okay to raise the rates that your business charges. Clients that have hung in there from the beginning can enjoy your newbie rate but as business grows, all future clients pay a higher hourly rate.
To get the hourly rate that you deserve, try to begin your virtual assisting business with as many skills as possible under your belt. The more you know the faster and further the business will go.
How Do You Find Clients?
Marketing your virtual assistant business will help you find the most important part of getting started. Without clients, there is no business. Here are just some ways that you can find more clients than you ever expected to have:
Write content – There could be a writer in you. if so, let it out and help your business. Many sites exist like ezinearticles.com, and other content sites that accept free article submissions on business and other topics. Use your virtual assisting skills to create a following through writing great content. Use your bio box to draw the reader’s attention to your virtual assisting business.
Create a website – Websites are great for selling products and/or advertising yourself to a larger audience. This website address can be used in you signature line in emails and on articles you write to track back to your website. People will learn about virtual assisting and how you can help their business.
Social networking – Social sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube offer huge forums to attract likeminded business professionals. Create social groups with other virtual assistants and business professionals who can utilize your business skills. The social site, Squidoo, allows members to create unique pages, or lenses that showcase a particular kind of content. It is like developing a new webpage each time.
Email marketing – It is much the same as direct mail, but involves referrals from people who visit the website and also links back to your website where the potential client can look around and get a feel for your expertise. Answer ads – Virtual assistant jobs can be found on job boards and freelance work sites. We have scouted out the best ones and you will find them on the list below.
Just a few years ago, becoming a virtual assistant was something a little mysterious and only for those who paid thousands of dollars for training. Today, anyone with a desired skill and a flair for marketing can become a virtual assistant.
Take Your First Step To Becoming A VA Now
All of the skills you have developed or are willing to learn can be transformed into a virtual assistant business. All you need is a little direction.
There are virtual assistant courses being offered today for $2,000 or more. We have searched for a much more affordable way for your to get the information you need to become a virtual assistant.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
The following resources will help you get started right and help you find your first clients:
If you have any interest at all in becoming a virtual assistant, we think that this pdf e-book + bonuses is a wonderful and affordable way to begin.
Exploring a Career as a Virtual Assistant by Jessica Maes