For years now and for years to come, most of us have tried and will continue to work towards striking a balance between working and living our lives to the fullest. That wish can now come true. If you’re looking for more freedom and flexibility, working remotely as a virtual assistant (commonly known as a VA) is one of the best jobs to take up. The best part? No experience required!
The job is such that for the most part, it is up to you to decide who you work for and what duties you accept as a virtual assistant. The freedom to work when and where you want will be yours.
If you have faith in yourself, are aware of your talents, and master the fundamentals, you will be well on your way to becoming a top-notch virtual assistant in no time. You can earn anywhere between $15 to $75 per hour depending on your overall skills and how long you’ve been in the industry.
All of this sounds fantastic but that one question is circling your thoughts. How to become a virtual assistant? That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in this article. So, let’s go!
9 Tips on How to Become a Virtual Assistant with No Experience
1. Make A List Of All That You’re Good At
While your excellent badminton skills don’t count here, your skills to book the right badminton coaching classes for your manager do! Virtual assistants help managers or leaders manage their time effectively. They do so by taking responsibility for jobs that require a lot of communication or coordination like booking flights, sending emails and keeping a track of important client communications, to name a few. This leaves their bosses a lot more time to focus on important business decisions.
Virtual assistant is a job that requires presence of mind, attention to detail and smart time management. So while listing down your skills, it’s best to specifically make a note of the following:
- Basic computer knowledge: In order to perform their duties, virtual assistants use a wide variety of computer programmes. When it comes to the internet, email, and cloud-based communication, they need to have a working knowledge of these tools. Documentation and spreadsheet creation skills are also important.
- Editorial abilities: Virtual assistants must be able to proofread and edit their own work to ensure it is error-free. They should also be able to type documents and do some light research.
- Good communication skills: Virtual assistants must have excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, in order to interact with clients, receive client assignments, and perform a wide range of tasks, such as providing customer service and maintaining records.
- Good time management skills: Virtual assistants must be skilled at organizing their own work and managing their own time in addition to helping their bosses manage theirs. Virtual assistants need to keep a track of calendars, schedules, and all important appointments. A virtual assistant may be asked to work for several different clients at the same time and is expected to complete each task efficiently and on time.
2. Network = Net Worth
Yes, this is true. There’s no replacement for networking in any field of work if you really want to grow. As a virtual assistant, communication is one of the important skills you need to have. Add to that a willingness to meet new people online and building a professional relationship with them. This will help you do things even faster.
Now imagine that you have to contact a PR at GQ magazine for a quote that your manager wants to be featured. If you don’t know the person there, you’re in trouble. They receive multiple emails for such features. Now imagine that you know this PR manager because you connected with them on LinedIn and attended a webinar with them. The chances of getting that quote featured will instantly go up.
Start connecting with people on LinkedIn. Make a list of the people you think will be helpful for your job as a virtual assistant like PR managers, event managers, travel advisors, CEOs and more. Send them a professional email or LinkedIn connection request and start growing your network!
3. Social Media is Your Friend
LinkedIn is great for professional connections but having Twitter and Instagram accounts helps you to see what other virtual assistants are doing. Are they using these platforms to engage with their clients? Are they branding themselves in a certain way to sharpen their networking skills?
Besides just looking at other virtual assistants, check out other businesses like your organization to understand their marketing strategies and how they pull in their audience. As a virtual assistant, your responsibilities may include updating the business’ social media accounts and posting regularly. Knowing how different social media platforms work will be helpful.
4. Sharpen One Skill
Nowadays, the term “virtual assistant” encompasses a much broader range of positions. Working as a virtual assistant is no more just picking up calls for your boss. It can mean a wide range of tasks and it’s best to focus on one. While multitasking is great and a necessary skill for virtual assistants, knowing one skill really well can help you accelerate your career faster. You become an expert in one niche and that becomes your selling point. Forget about being a jack-of-all-trades if you can’t master one thing first.
If you’re interested in becoming an expert in a particular type of job while being a virtual assistant, here are some examples:
- Social Media Specialist
- Email Marketing Expert
- Organizer, Planner and Scheduler
- SEO and SEM Expert
5. Get The Necessary Equipment and Tools
When you figure out what services you’ll provide, you’ll also know what equipment you’ll need to provide those services. Some virtual assistants only need a laptop and a cell phone to get the job done, but that depends on the type of work and the number of tasks you accept.
A virtual assistant may require a headset, a landline, and a printer, copy machine, and scanner for printing, copying, and scanning documents. A dependable internet connection is a necessity for all virtual assistants.
6. Build Your Clients and Portfolio
It’s not necessary for a virtual assistant to just stick to one company. You can work as an independent virtual assistant with multiple clients too. This is why it’s important to build an impressive portfolio or resume that can help you stand out from other virtual assistants.
How to do that?
Request feedback from your clients and compile a portfolio of testimonials and samples of your work as you gain experience as a virtual assistant. In order to get more clients and better-paying jobs, you should put together a portfolio that details the nature of the work you’ve done so far.
7. Learn The Art of Overdelivering
Providing that one-of-a-kind high-quality service is what will get managers and clients raving about your work. Delivering more is a part of keeping them happy and can help you get more clients and a better pay. This can lead to quicker promotions and better prospects.
At least once in a while, do something just for the sake of doing it. Try to exceed expectations and go above and beyond to make others happy. Make an effort to leave a lasting impression in everything you do. Make people remember you for what you’ve accomplished rather than for the fact that you’re always concerned about your next paycheck.
8. Don’t Shy Away From Asking For Help
There is a lot of fear involved in starting your own business, and Virtual Assistant work in particular is no exception.
However, know that you are not alone! Many VAs are more than happy to reassure you and answer any specific questions you may have about working with a virtual assistant.
Reach out to other VAs on your LinkedIn network and there will be many of them who are ready to lend a helping hand, whether you’re starting a virtual assistant business for the first time or just need a refresher on social media marketing.
9. The Right Schedule Is Your Best Friend
While this is true for any kind of work or business, it’s even more relevant for virtual assistants owing to the multitasking nature of their work. A schedule can save you a lot of time. A haphazard way of working will not only get you confused (leading to missed deadlines) but will also lead to a loss of work and bad reviews. A schedule will also help you feel better because with everything organized, you can figure out when you’d like to take breaks or time off. It leaves you with less clutter in your mind too.
Virtual Assistant Services (Roles and Responsibilities)
A virtual assistant’s job is versatile. You can opt to provide multiple services or stick to just a few. The area or niche you want to specialize in is entirely up to you. Here’s some services you can consider:
- Conducting Market Research
This can help the sales, finance, marketing and tech teams of any organization. They could need anything from case studies and relevant statistics and as a virtual assistant, you can help them find everything they need.
- Proofreading email copy and other materials
Proofreading is an excellent service to provide. As most top-management in companies don’t have time to type emails or any other documents, they could end up making a lot of errors in copy. As a virtual assistant that specializes in proofreading, you could get many clients.
- Completing data entry projects
There are plenty of these as they’re time consuming projects that most managers want to outsource,
- Scheduling tasks, managing other appointments, assisting with travel planning and accommodation
The top management in most companies need virtual assistants to manage their tasks and appointments.
- Filtering email and responding to inquiries
Not every email is worth responding to. Some are spam or just plain irrelevant. Managers don’t want to waste their time skimming through hundreds of emails every day. That’s where a virtual assistant steps in.
- Assisting with social media management
Social media is one of the most important tools of branding and marketing today. Every business wants to maintain their online presence and reputation. If you specialize in this, you can expect to get a lot of clients – from startups to established businesses.
Remember, that while you do need knowledge to perform each of these tasks and offer these services, you don’t need a whole lot of experience to be successful. With just your knowledge and with no experience too, you can start and grow along the way.
Where Can You Find Virtual Assistant Jobs?
Now that you’ve understood how to become a virtual assistant, it’s time to know some job portals that provide projects and jobs for virtual assistants. Here’s where you can find VA jobs even if you have no experience:
Fancyhands is best suited for jobs that can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes or less. Experienced VAs may not find much value in this site, but those just starting out can use it to get a taste of what it’s like to work as a VA.
Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned VA, this website is your one-stop shop. To learn about virtual assisting, network with business owners and other VAs, and find work, this is the ideal place to turn to.
To work for this well-known virtual assistant agency, candidates must have a minimum of five years of experience in the field (traditional or virtual). They prefer someone with a bachelor’s degree and some remote work experience, but they may waive those requirements for the right person. You can also use Belay to make the switch from an office job to a remote one.
This website eliminates the need to find clients for yourself. With Zirtual, you won’t have to deal with the day-to-day administration of your business. However, you’ll be unable to set your own rates on Zirtual and will need to go by the rates predefined but them.
You Can Become A Successful Virtual Assistant In No Time
If you follow all these simple tips, you’re well on your way to succeed as a virtual assistant. From global clients to heavy pay-checks, you can have it all! No experience is no hindrance and with just a little bit of determination, discipline and willingness to learn, you can become your own boss. As a virtual assistant, you can decide your own work timings most of the time.
Your dream work-life balance is just a few steps away!