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Ten Minute Startup - Issue #3 Virtual Assistant

Ten Minute Startup - Issue #3 Virtual Assistant
By Ten Minute Startup  • Issue #3 • View online
A Virtual Assistant (VA) can be any type of remote assistant who provides administrative, creative, or technical support services for online or brick-and-mortar business owners.
As a VA, you are an independent contractor. This means you set your own hours, work on your terms, and create your own systems for working (invoicing, payments, etc.).
There are a ton of services that you can offer in virtual assistance. You can provide general admin work, or become a specialist in one particular service.

Do you have what it takes?
  1. Do you have a computer?
  2. Do you have decent internet?
  3. Do you have a level of figure-it-out-edness?
Then YES! You can totally do this thing!!
How Do You Become a Virtual Assistant?
If you have no direct experience or are looking for virtual assistant jobs for beginners, here are some ways to get started. Have you booked appointments, made travel arrangements, managed someone’s calendar or email, blogged, or promoted something on social media? All of these tasks can fall under the responsibilities of a virtual assistant. Even if you believe you have no experience, you may have transferable skills that can set your resume apart.
You may already have some of these skills without realizing how valuable they are. To give them the proper context, these should be detailed on your virtual assistant cover letter. If you need to brush up on some areas, skills and certifications can be obtained through self-study or taking online courses to learn best practices.
As a virtual assistant, you can work directly for employers, or for an agency that provides admin services to other companies, or offer your own services on a contract-basis. If you wish to go into business on your own, determine ahead of time which services you’ll offer, perfect your resume, and start networking.
If you offer social media, web design, or content production services, consider maintaining an online portfolio with examples of your work. After working for your first clients, be sure to collect positive testimonials that can impress new clients.
What Experience and Skills Do You Need?
Most virtual assistants have administrative assistant or office manager experience, but it is not entirely necessary. The demand for virtual assistants with experience in social media marketing, email marketing, blog post writing and graphic design has increased in recent years.
These specialized virtual assistant skills can be developed over time, but some basic skills are essential, including:
  • Oral communication and writing skills. The ability to communicate effectively with clients both verbally and in writing is essential. You may be required to write reports, send emails and make presentations.
  • Typing or word processing skills. It may seem obvious, but a virtual assistant must be able to type accurately. This skill goes hand-in-hand with oral communication and writing skills.
  • Quick thinking and decision-making skills. Sometimes clients drop tasks on virtual assistants with few details and need the tasks completed in a hurry. Virtual assistants must be able to use available resources and intuition to solve problems quickly.
  • Self-discipline and self-motivation skills. Virtual assistants should not be lazy. The ability to concentrate on tasks and block out distractions such as television and surfing the internet is required for success.
  • Computer skills. It’s safe to say that a virtual assistant will be using a computer nearly 100% of the time. You should be familiar with commonly used software applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel for performing documentation tasks.
Although you generally don’t need a degree to become a virtual assistant, you might need one for specialized tasks. For instance, a client might require you to have a marketing degree to perform certain work for their brand.
What Makes a Good Virtual Assistant?
Great virtual assistant job candidates possess skills like phenomenal written and verbal communication and open and transparent communication practices where they are viewed as a reliable, reachable partner by their clients. Time management and organizational skills are a must, as is a natural ability to take charge of a situation and organize it for the benefit of a client.
Also, experience with or knowledge of cloud-based communication technologies like file sharing, password managers, and phone and video conferencing is important.
Finally, people who hire virtual assistants are looking to lessen the stress and disorganization in their lives. Don’t wait to be asked to do specific tasks—if you see a client is struggling, offer to help them with something you aren’t currently doing. This gives you more work to do and lets them rely even more heavily on you.
Work Environment for Virtual Assistants
Just like any other remote job, you’ll need to have a dedicated home office in order to work as a virtual assistant. In addition to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection, you’ll also need a printer, copier/scanner, and fax. Most likely, you will need a dedicated landline (or two) as well.
What exactly does a virtual assistant do every day? Virtual assistants perform duties that most of us perform every day. Here’s a look at some of the things that virtual assistants do for clients in an average day’s work.
Emails and Phone Calls
Busy entrepreneur clients don’t have time to read and respond to every email that comes through their inboxes or answer every phone call. Virtual assistants sort through all of the email messages and calls and categorize them as important–usually by flagging them; junk or messages that can be dealt with later.
Post on Social Media
Often a sign that business is good is the number of likes, followers and comments on your clients’ social media pages. As their virtual assistant, you can help them build their business and their brand by reaching hundreds or even thousands of customers and followers every day.
Manage Calendars and Meetings
For busy entrepreneurs, calendar management is a must. Skilled virtual assistants understand the importance of time management. Effective calendar management can improve productivity, leaving more time to focus on a business’s core functions and offering flexibility in case of last-minute important meetings.
Conduct Market Research
Most successful business plans, ideas and projects begin with research. A good virtual assistant searches the internet and sifts through vast amounts of information to narrow down the most important, specific and applicable results.
How much can I make?
  1. General Admin Skills - $20-$40 per hour.
  2. Advanced Skills- $30- $50 per hour.
  3. Specialized Skills- $50+ hour.
How can I find clients?
The best way to get yourself out there and become visible to clients is to tell people what you are doing!
You never know when your best friend’s brothers’s electrician might be looking for someone to send their invoices, or manage their emails.
I also see job opportunities posted ALL.THE.TIME. in entrepreneurial groups on Facebook. Find some you want to join and take time to search “help”, “hire”, “VA”, etc.
  1. Start your own website
  2.  Network- Tell everyone about your service
  3. Ask for LinkedIn introductions
  4. Run a Google Adwords campaign
  5. Run Facebook Adwords campaign
  6. Run some Twitter ads
  7. Start a Blog.
  8. Print flyers
  9.  Scout online job boards
  10. Answer questions on LinkedIn groups
  11. Use Craigslist
  12. Join your local Chamber of Commerce
  13. Run print ads in local business publications or directories
  14. Fiverr
  15. Upwork
  16. Freelancer
  17. FlexJobs
  18. PeoplePerHour
  19. Hubstaff Talent
  20. Freeup
  21. Outsourcely
  22. ServiceScape
  23. TaskRabbit 
  24. Bidvine
  1. Lead Generation
  2. Email Marketing / Newletter
  3. Social Media Management
  4. Marketing & SEO
  5. Graphic Designing & Branding
  6. Product Promotion
  7. Contact Management
  8. Database Entry
  9. E-Commerce Solutions
  10. Real Estate Assistant Services
  11. Product Research
  12. Administrative Duties
  13. Scheduling / Sending Emails
  14. Writing / Blogging / Content Creation
  15. Calendar Management
  16. Webinar / Live Workshop Assistance
  17. Travel Research and Booking
  18. Appointment Setting
  19. Copy Writing
  20. Tech Support
Successful Stories
Top 10 Virtual Assistant Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2021
Top Seven Podcasts for Virtual Assistants in 2021
Top Virtual Assistant Videos
Top Six courses for Virtual Assistants in 2021
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