Do you think you have what it takes to be a virtual assistant? Are you up for a challenge? Well, then, this one is for you! We are here to help you on how to become a virtual assistant.
Being a virtual assistant, like any other jobs, is no easy feat. You got to have the skills, willingness to learn, hard work, and determination to land in one. But don’t worry! We are here to help you out in your journey towards becoming a virtual assistant.
As you read on, we are giving away a step-by-step guide on how to become a virtual assistant.
STEP 1: CREATE A BUSINESS STRUCTURE
While you may opt to be a freelance virtual assistant, it is highly recommended that you put things in order or in a better term, make it legal.
A business structure varies depending on several aspects that need to be considered:
– Where you are located?
– What type of clients will you be working for or with?
– What kind of virtual assistant work you will be doing?
– What is your status in life? (Are you single or married? With kids? Do you have liabilities?)
– What is your risk tolerance?
– What business structures are available in your location?
Once you have figured these out, you may need an expert’s advice as to what kind of business structure suits you best. You may consult an accountant or a lawyer regarding this matter. They sure will be able to provide you with valuable feedback whether you are suited for sole-proprietorship, LLC, a corporation or maybe a partnership. Whichever you opt among these, be ready to meet the requirements.
Deciding which path to take is critical to your overall financial and life plan, so choose wisely. While it can be changed should you feel like it’s not working for you, it cost so much time and money. Thus, we highly suggest making the right choice first-hand to avoid problems or hassles in the future.
STEP 2: COME UP WITH A LIST OF VA SERVICES YOU WILL OFFER
When hearing the word virtual assistant, the most common thing that comes to mind is they are the ones who manage their client’s emails and calendars or return client calls. While these are true – well, these are the typical work of a normal VA – there are other virtual assistant works. Yes, there is plenty of services you can offer!
Among these other services are:
- Database and CRM creation, updating and maintenance
- Collation of business cards, filing them up into an Excel sheet and uploading to CRM or address books
- Data entry
- Basic Bookkeeping
- Data mining or online research
- Typing up notes
- Video creation, editing, and uploading
- Social media set up and maintenance
- Social media content research and scheduling
- Facebook, Twitter or Google ads creation, monitoring, and analysis
- Setting up and managing webinars and podcasts
- Forum commenting and monitoring
- Setting up LinkedIn groups
- Photoshop work
- Transcription work
- Sales and squeeze pages, and pop-up email boxes creation
- Event planning and coordination
- Reports and presentations’ writing, editing, and formatting
- Making travel and accommodation arrangements
- Lifestyle management like buying gifts, booking restaurants and events, paying bills, etc.
- Blog and/or website set up, writing, SEO management, editing, and scheduling
- Newsletter setup, writing, auto-responding, editing, maintenance, and scheduling
- eBook editing, formatting, and publishing
- Gmail set up, importing and creating labels, filters, and folders
- Designing and formatting infographics, logos, banners, and social media profile images
With a wide variety of VA work, all you have to do is choose which ones you feel confident about and focus on them. If you think you can offer all of these, then so be it. As long as you are able to give it your best and you are confident your clients will be satisfied, then, go for it.
You are not limited to just one or two. Offer as many as you can. Unlike choosing a business structure, the services you offer can be edited anytime without cost.
STEP 3: SET A PRICE
There are several ways to determine how much your services is. Among the things, you need to take into consideration are your years of experience, as well as your experience as a virtual assistant.
Generally speaking, a VA cost around $3 per hour. You can also take into consideration your financial goal for the year – how much you want to earn? Divide the cost with the number of hours you plan to work for the whole year to get your hourly rate. The cost is up to you. You can lower it or aim for a higher cost. As long as it’s fair for you and your client, that’s totally fine.
That’s actually the beauty of having your own business or in this case, working as a virtual assistant. You get to decide how much pay you will ask from your client. You have full control of your salary. Needless to say, you own your time as well.
It’s normal for starters to feel a little intimidated when charging their clients. To help you out, you may use below basic charging guidelines:
- Entry-level virtual assistants from the US start at $15-$20 per hour
- Specialized virtual assistants start at $30 per hour
Once you have already found or decided on your base rate, stick to it and don’t go any lower. The rule is, you raise your rate by about $2.5 to $5 per hour per client that you deal with as you go along with your business or as a virtual assistant.
Also, do not forget to factor in the following:
- Expenses on electricity, the Internet, and the software that you use
- Benefits like government contributions
- Service fees from payment gateways (PayPal, for instance, charges a percentage plus a fixed rate based on the country where the sender is from – it’s roughly 5% of the total amount.)
- Loss from currency exchange
Another way to come up with your rate is by taking whatever wage you think is reasonable for you and the client and then inflate it by at least 25%.
STEP 4: BUILD UP YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
Since you are working remotely, we highly recommend you work on your online presence. Building up your online presence will help build up your network and is definitely a come on to your prospective clients. Take advantage of the World Wide Web.
Put together your portfolio by using online channels like the following:
- Online marketplaces such as Upwork or Contena
- Job websites or professional social networking sites like LinkedIn
- Google sites
- Dribbble or GitHub
- Guest posting in other blogs or websites
Of course, the most appealing and effective way is to come up with your own website or for a starter, a blog via free hosting blog sites.
In your personal site, you may market in a way that highlights your work, your work experience, and your strengths. To serve as your guide, you may follow these steps:
- Choose an appropriate theme (we highly suggest, if you are putting up a website, to use WordPress)
- Come up with branding elements like choosing a font and color
- Make a logo – it’s actually part of branding as well
- Decide on and communicate your value scheme
Be creative. Be impressive. Be unique. Think out of the box. Remember, you have a lot of competitors out there so make sure to stand out from the rest.
STEP 5: SETUP PAYMENT CHANNELS
There are several payment channels out there. Most are easily accessible online. All you have to do is register and you’re good to go.
Payment channels are important for any business owner. It’s how and where you get paid by your clients. We highly suggest you register to at least two different payment channels as you have to be flexible enough in receiving payments.
Some commonly used payment channels are:
- PayPal – the most flexible, well-known, and the easiest payment channel, the downside, their service fee is high
- Transferwise – the cheapest way to send money anywhere in the world
- Payoneer – compared to PayPal, the rates are lower and the money arrives sooner
- Stripe – charges almost the same as PayPal, it only caters to select countries so better check first before creating one
- Square – the most feature-rich and advanced mobile payment channel
There are actually a lot more payment channels available but these three are the most commonly used by virtual assistants.
Setting up an account on these payment gateways is easy. Everything is done online – even identity proof is submitted online.
STEP 6: SEND PITCHES AND BUILD YOUR NETWORK
In the beginning, getting clients require a lot of hard work. Eventually, once you mastered the craft and you have built your network, it would be much easier. But how do you do it? Well, here’s a simple guide:
- Know your target market. It can be a company or an individual, a CEO or an entrepreneur, a man or a woman. Whatever your preference it. Once you have decided, do your research. It’s important that before you even pitch to work for them, you at least have a background of what their work is and what services they may likely need.
By knowing your target market, you will be able to tailor-fit the services that you will offer to them.
Some of the information you may want to find out is:
– Basic profile (name, gender, age, position)
– Work background of the client
– The company he is working for
- Look for the ideal prospect. Know the attributes you want in a client. It can be profitable businesses, or you can look into those who have hired Vas in the past.
- Start building a relationship with your potential client. This helps in gaining their trust and confidence. Once a client feels that towards you, rest assured they will hire you.
- Pitch prospects regularly. For newbies, we highly suggest you pitch on a daily basis. Pitching is like introducing your company to potential clients. Be determined. Market your services offered to potential clients as often as possible.
- Always be at your best. Nobody wants second best, right? So always offer your best to potential clients.
Always go the extra mile. Make beautiful impressions last. Be proactive and be consistent in what you do. These are some of the secrets to be successful in this field.
Remember, as a virtual assistant your main goal is to be able to help your client’s business grow. You are there also to make their work (or life in general) easier. Trust us, once you see your client grow because of your help, it is the most rewarding feeling ever.
So there you have it! Now that you already know how to become a virtual assistant, you better start working your way towards your VA career. Good luck!