How to Become a Virtual Assistant

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If you’re looking for a flexible work-from-home opportunity that allows you to work on projects that you enjoy, working as a virtual assistant may be the right fit for you.

Working as a virtual assistant (VA) is an excellent option regardless of whether you’re looking for a little extra money from some part-time work or a full-time income. There is plenty of work available, and it’s possible to get started with no previous experience as a VA.

As a VA, you’ll have the freedom and flexibility to choose who you work for, when you work, how much you work, and where you work. 

In this article, we’ll look at all of the details related to job, as well as how to become a virtual assistant.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

“Virtual Assistant” is a broad term that can cover a wide variety of things. Essentially, a VA provides support to a client from a remote location. In most cases, the client will be a business or business owner, but some VAs do work for individuals as well. 

Many small businesses and entrepreneurs rely on virtual assistants rather than hiring employees to handle certain tasks in-house. Virtual assistants are often contractors or freelancers, making it more convenient for small businesses or solopreneurs who wouldn’t be able to hire a full-time employee for the same responsibilities. By hiring a VA, the client is able to get help that allows them to operate more efficiently without the need for on-location workers.

Kayla Sloan, an experienced VA and creator of 10K VA, said, “Many entrepreneurs and small businesses (and sometimes even corporations) love working with VAs because they can often be cheaper to hire than an employee, even if they’re being paid more per hour. VAs are flexible, offer expertise in areas employees may not have, and more. Businesses may be able to hire a part-time VA instead of a full-time employee to get everything done that they need in their business. Plus, they don’t have to provide a computer, office supplies, or office space for a VA, which saves them money and is a great incentive to hire a VA instead of an employee. Even as an admin VA, you could save an entrepreneur/business owner SO much time on the ‘little things’ that they do day-to-day. ”

What Does a VA Do?

There is really no limit to the services that could be offered by a virtual assistant, but some common services include:

  • Social media management – Many bloggers and businesses hire VAs to manage their social media profiles. Some VAs specialize in services like managing Pinterest accounts.
  • Writing and content creation – Some VAs will write articles and blog posts, or create other types of content.
  • Customer service – Many website owners and entrepreneurs need help managing customer service requests, and this is an area where a lot of VAs find work.
  • Graphic design – If you have some design skills, you could create graphics. Many bloggers and podcasters hire VAs to design graphics that will be used with their content and on their social profiles.
  • Administrative tasks – There are all kinds of stuff that could fall into this category. One common example would be editing and preparing blog posts.
Free Workshop - 5 Steps to Become a Virtual Assistant

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How Much Does a VA Earn?

You may be wondering how much money you can make as a virtual assistant. The truth is, the income can vary a great deal from one VA to the next (which is the case with just about any type of freelance work). Just like opportunities for freelance writers and freelance web designers, jobs for virtual assistants can pay a little or a lot. There are definitely VAs who work for very low rates, and others that are able to make a six-figure income as a VA.

Most of the lower-paid VA jobs are outsourced to people outside of the U.S., but don’t let that fool you into thinking that all VA jobs are low-paying. Some VAs are able to make more than $100 per hour and have plenty of demand for their services.

According to PayScale, the average hourly rate for a virtual assistant is $15.80. However, ZipRecruiter reports the average rate of $32 per hour. As you can see, there is obviously a wide range in terms of the rates of virtual assistants.

Some of the higher-paid VAs have chosen to take a specialized approach that allows them to charge premium rates. While there are many different types of services that you could offer as a VA, specializing in one particular area makes it possible for you to brand yourself as an expert and justify higher rates. For example, clients may be willing to pay more for a VA who specializes in managing Pinterest profiles and has a proven track record of getting results for clients. If you’re looking to maximize your income as a VA, going the route of specialization is probably the right choice.

Setting rates can be a challenge for new VAs. Kayla Sloan says, “Many new U.S.-based VAs start at $15-$20 an hour (or even more, depending on what skills and experience you already have). As time goes on, and as you increase your skills, you can charge more.” 

Why It’s a Great Opportunity

When it comes to making money, there are plenty of side hustle ideas and ways to make money that you can consider. Even with plenty of different options, working as a VA stands out as an excellent choice. Here are just a few of the reasons why you may want to consider it for yourself.

Flexibility – Working as a virtual assistant offers flexibility in a lot of different ways. You can work part-time or full-time, choose the hours that suit your schedule, make money from home or anywhere with an internet connection, work on the types of projects that you enjoy, and choose the clients that you work for.

Plenty of Work – Because there are so many different things that a virtual assistant can do, there is plenty of work available. A lot of the common services offered by VAs involve managing a website or blog. With so many new blogs being launched every day, and so many bloggers and businesses looking to use social media for exposure, the demand for these services should continue.

Recurring Work – As a VA, most of your work will probably come from clients who hire you to do repeat jobs for them. You could be managing their Pinterest profile on an on-going basis, providing customer support every day, or doing some admin work each week. Recurring clients are great because you won’t need to be looking for new clients constantly. With just a few regular clients you can have a nice, steady flow of income.

Good Income Potential – With some VAs charging more than $100 per hour, there are plenty of opportunities to make money. While those rates are not typical of what most VAs earn, there is plenty of potential to earn a comfortable full-time income.

Paid for Your Time – When it comes to side hustles, blogging and online busin