Maybe you’re looking for a flexible work-from-home job that lets you spend time with your family, or maybe you want to make some extra money with a side hustle outside of your 9-to-5. If that’s the case, you might want to learn how to become a virtual assistant. This job, though not for everyone, could be the perfect fit someone who is organized, sociable, and knows how to use a computer.
What does a virtual assistant do?
According to FlexJobs, a virtual assistant often works for businesses or entrepreneurs, handling a variety of tasks, from customer support, to administrative tasks, to social media management. Virtual assistants work remotely, so you can do the job from the comfort of your own home.
Personal finance site DollarSprout has some information about some of the things virtual assistants frequently do, which can include:
• Responding to emails or messages, processing orders or returns, communicating about products/services with clients, etc.
• Entering data, managing calendars, scheduling meetings, booking travel arrangements, etc.
• Posting to the organization’s social media channels or website, moderating comments, updating profiles, editing or writing posts, etc.
• Emailing newsletters, designing email templates, updating email lists, etc.
Of course, the duties of a virtual assistant are determined by the business' needs and what you can offer to it. Ashlee Anderson, who runs the blog Work From Home Happiness, suggests picking a niche and emphasizing any specialized skills you bring to the table, like basic programming or proofreading. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself — this is a job application after all.
Where can I find virtual assistant jobs?
As with most jobs, networking is key. You can start by reaching out directly to small businesses to offer your services. If they say no, you can still continue to build the relationship in an effort to get leads or a job in the future. There are also people or businesses seeking virtual assistants on sites like Indeed, Monster, and Upwork. You can also find gigs on other virtual-assistant-focused websites including Fancy Hands, Belay, and Time Etc.
In the mean time, build up your own online presence through a simple website and professional social media channels.
How much can I make as a virtual assistant?
According to Glassdoor, a virtual assistant can expect to make $22,000 a year, on average. Many of these jobs pay hourly, and rates can be anywhere between $9/hour on the lower end, or $25/hour on the higher end, according to Glassdoor's salary reports. Some companies may also pay monthly or weekly for your services, so it’s worth checking before you commit to taking on a job.
Of course, as you gain more experience as a virtual assistant, you can consider adjusting your rates accordingly. If you’re bringing any specialized skills to the job, you should be compensated at a higher rate.
How can I grow my virtual assistant business?
Once you’ve worked with a couple of clients, you can ask them to provide reviews or testimonies that you can share on your own site or social channels. Ali the Happy VA, who blogs about working from home as a virtual assistant, suggests asking clients for feedback shortly after delivering a project so that your hard work is fresh in their minds. Having these testimonials available for prospective clients can go a long way in building your virtual assistant business.