Virtual assistants are people who perform administrative tasks online for a fee. In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know on how to become a virtual assistant.
VA’s (as virtual assistants are also known) tend to work remotely and provide administrative support for small to medium business owners and online entrepreneurs. If you’re looking for a way to earn some extra cash fairly quickly, becoming a virtual assistant might be just what you’re looking for.
Before we look at how to become a virtual assistant, what exactly does a VA do?
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What Does A Virtual Assistant Do
A virtual assistant is an independent business owner who works remotely, providing support to clients in various industries.
Depending on the type of client, there are many tasks that you would take over for your clients. These can vary widely with many virtual assistants focusing on a skillset that they then specialize in.
Most clients are looking to hire a virtual assistant to take care of two or three repetitive tasks, so you as a VA do not need to know everything (although knowing more can help you land a variety of different gigs).
The most successful VAs know some of the following:
- Graphic Design
- Basic Website Development
- Email Outreach
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Google
- SEO for Pinterest
- Social Media Marketing Tactics
Unfortunately, these aren’t things that can be learned overnight, but if you put forth an effort to learn as much as possible with each task given by your client or refer them out to other specialists when necessary, your clients will appreciate you for it, and that will lead to a long-lasting business relationship.
Virtual assistant salaries and how much you can make
The salary of virtual assistants can vary widely depending on experience, skill level, and the jobs you are tasked with doing. Most virtual assistants work on an hourly rate with their clients, but some can also find themselves tasked with completing a set of tasks for a set fee.
As virtual assistants can work with a number of different clients simultaneously, and the rate you can earn can vary massively from $3 to over $100 per hour, you can make anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars per month to tens of thousands.
Hourly Wage for Virtual Assistants
The vast majority of virtual assistants are paid an hourly rate, this can differ massively depending on where you are, your experience.
Here are the hourly rates for VA’s around the world (converted to USD for better comparison):
- The average hourly rate for virtual assistants in the USA is $19.03
- Average hourly rate for virtual assistants in the Philippines is $3.50
- The average hourly rate for VA’s in the UK is $24.74
- Hourly rate for virtual assistants in South Africa is $17.08
- The average hourly rate for VA’s in Australia is $21.07
Monthly Wage for Virtual Assistants
Most virtual assistants work between 80-180 hours per month on clients. These are billable hours, meaning that in the US, the average monthly wage for virtual assistants is between $1,522.40 and $3,425.40.
Depending on where in the US you are residing, this could be considered a very low wage. If you relocate to some of the most affordable places to live in the USA, this wage can actually be quite good.
Cities like Jackson – Mississippi, Memphis – Tennessee, or Kansas city are some of the cheapest cities in the USA to live in.
- Average monthly wage for VA’s in the UK: $1,979.20 to $4,453.20
- Average monthly salary for virtual assistants in Australia: $1,685.60 to $3,792.60
- Average monthly salary for virtual assistants in South Africa: $1,366.40 to $3,074.40
- Average monthly salary for virtual assistants in the Philippines: $280 to $630
It is important to note that these hours are for client work and you will also be required to work on your business (applying for jobs, bookkeeping, etc.) and educating yourself further. All of which will be non-billable hours.
As a virtual assistant you probably want to enjoy some more free time, so keep this in mind when taking on new clients, or choosing where you want to live.
How to become a virtual assistant?
You can be a virtual assistant from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re looking for just a small way to earn some extra cash or if you want to go full time on your own.
The advice below will help you become a successful virtual assistant:
1. Be Proactive
Being proactive means that when you see an opportunity for you to get a virtual assistant job, you should take action. The same can also be said about expanding your skills as a VA in order to be hirable for a variety of different virtual assistant jobs.
2. Set your goals
Set your goals and become focused. That’s the key to success – being focused on what you want. The more you can focus, the better results will come for you in a shorter time and you won’t take on more than you can manage when you get started.
3. Use Popular Online Tools
Use and familiarise yourself with the most popular online tools. This can help you land virtual assistant jobs as these are resources and tools that many other people and businesses use too. Familiarise yourself with the YouTube Studio, WordPress, Email marketing tools, etc.
4. Network Effectively
Networking is like having lots of friends in real life who can introduce new opportunities to you all the time. Using LinkedIn can help you tremendously in this regard as people only need to engage with your content in order for it to be spread, they don’t even have to share it!
5. Be Yourself
Be yourself all the time because if you’re not honest and genuine, people will be able to tell that right away. When you’re yourself you can build connections with people and they will be more likely to recommend you positively to others.
6. Have a plan for your VA business
It’s alright to just work from job to job when you’re getting started, but establishing a business plan can help you reach grander goals a lot sooner. Maybe you want to run your own team of VA’s, writers, or advertisers.
Create a plan on how you want to achieve this and then you can follow the steps and know when it is time to move on to the next one.
7. Enjoy the Journey
Thinking about work constantly can cause unnecessary stress, take time off and let your mind cool down. Enjoy the journey and celebrate each step towards achieving your goals, even the small ones.
Skills required to be a good virtual assistant
Here are some of the most important skills that successful virtual assistants should possess:
You should be able to work independently. Your clients want a virtual assistant to make their workload lighter and if you need to constantly ask for assistance, after any onboarding if it is a complex task, they will most likely look for someone else to assist them. If you want to become a virtual assistant, then you need to have self-motivation and determination.
As a virtual assistant, you should be able to communicate well with people. This means you should be able to take in the information effectively and ask the right questions to understand what you need to do in as few interactions as possible.
Another vital skill a virtual assistant should have is the ability to effectively use search engines and do research. If you need to find information for a job, you need to be able to know how to find the most accurate information as soon as possible. This is also something that will help you learn more skills as a virtual assistant.
Word processing is also a very important skill as a virtual assistant. Your main tasks will most likely involve some form of writing and if you are familiar with formatting and have a fast type speed, your clients will be all the happier with your work.
Where to get virtual assistant jobs
You can find virtual assistant jobs on remote job boards, job websites, and even sites dedicated to VA work. Whether you are a complete beginner or experienced virtual assistant.
Here are a few sites for you to try out to find a virtual assistant job:
Benefits of being a virtual assistant
Work according to your own schedule. You have the freedom to decide when you want to start your day and you can take breaks throughout the day as per your needs. You can even work from anywhere in the world, as long as you have access to a computer and internet connection.
There are unlimited opportunities for virtual assistants, but it depends on your knowledge and skill set. You can make good money by working for different companies at the same time and you can also take on part-time work to supplement your income.
You get to build up your portfolio through experience working in different fields and doing different tasks. Working with a variety of different clients is a major advantage of virtual assistants and the variety of work can help you decide on what you want to focus more specifically on.
5 entry-level jobs for virtual assistants
- Content Writer/Editor
- Email Outreach/Answering
- Customer Service Representative
- Social Media Planner/Scheduler
- Online Teaching Assistant
If you’re looking to work from home, becoming a virtual assistant may be the perfect opportunity for you. It’s not always easy to find something that balances your schedule with what you enjoy doing, but by becoming a virtual assistant you can find contacts that provide work you enjoy doing and can always expand your portfolio or possibly even transition to a full-time position at a fantastic company if you so wish.