Want to know how to become a virtual assistant with no experience? Here’s how to do it.
Virtual assistants have become a staple for many online businesses because they allow entrepreneurs, bloggers, and small businesses to find the best talent without having to worry whether or not that person lives near them.
And, that makes it great for you as well. You’ll be able to work from home or anywhere you want.
In most cases, you’ll have a flexible schedule that allows you to move things around what’s most important to you – your family and your lifestyle.
Here’s everything you need to know about becoming a virtual assistant.
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What Is A Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is basically an executive assistant who works remotely. This gives both you and your employer the flexibility of being able to work together even if you live thousands of miles away.
For them, they’re able to get the most qualified person for the job without having to worry whether or not that person lives near them. For you, it allows you to get the best possible opportunity for financial and career growth. Again, without being limited by where you live.
Virtual assistants can be an essential part of a business’ day to day activity. In some cases, making big decisions as well. But, you can likewise be stuck with very menial jobs like data entry, sorting through files, or cleaning up email inboxes. It all depends on who your employer is and what they need you to so.
The reason being some people see VAs as someone who’ll do the extra stuff they don’t want to do. As such, you’re left with the boring, monotonous tasks. However, some businesses see VAs as vital cogs in their day to day operations. As such, they’ll give you huge responsibilities once you’ve earned their trust and showed them how well you perform.
This is why it’s important to choose who you work for as a VA. Once you have a little bit of experience, you want to go for the latter. They’re the ones with long-term growth potential. And, they’re the ones who’ll eventually pay you good money.
How Much Can You Make as a Virtual Assistant?
Once people know what a virtual assistant is, the next question is always “how much can I make as a virtual assistant?” And, that’s probably what’s on your mind, right?
Most virtual assistants can earn between $25 to $50 an hour. But, there are some that are paid as low as $10 an hour, especially if the job they’re given is very simple.
On the other hand, on the high end, you could make as much as $5,000 to $6,000 a month as a virtual assistant as well.
Why the huge disparity?
Again, it comes down to who hires you and what they need you to do.
For simple tasks, and “secretarial” duties, you’ll see your rates at the lower end of that range. Additionally, most of these are short-term gigs that are either a “one-time” job or last anywhere between a week and a month.
On the other hand, some employers are looking for potential long-term VAs who they’ll be able to trust, is reliable and can give complex work to.
- Some VAs that fall under this category are all-around super executive assistants who can negotiate deals, speak with business partners, and do other things the employer doesn’t have time to do.
- Others are “specialized” VAs. That is, they have one or two specific skills that the business owner values. This can be your graphic design skill, ability to get guest posts, excellent content writing skills, or being a ninja at social media, be it Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
In either case, if you win their trust and they like your performance, you’ll move from becoming a part-time or contractual employee to someone who’s more full-time. And, depending on what kind of work you do, they’ll pay you between $1,000 to over $5,000 a month.
So, you not only get consistency but also higher pay.
What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?
In general, it can be anything. In fact, if you list them all down, you’ll easily reach 200 or more possible tasks you can do as a virtual assistant. But, you don’t have to know them all.
In fact, in most cases, you’ll be doing the same few things. That’s because successful people already have a routine in place. And, they know the most productive tasks for their business. As such, they’ll focus on those tasks.
- Here are some examples.
- Data entry
- Content creation
- Making graphics, photos, images or Pinterest pins
- Customer support
- Managing their email
- Organizing their schedule and calendar
- Editing and proofreading
- Email management
- Social media management
- Managing of different projects they’re currently doing
- Publishing articles on WordPress
- And many more.
The list can go on. Some are simple, others require a little more patience. If you noticed, the list above covers a lot of the general tasks. These are the things that most VAs will be doing.
But, as I mentioned above, there are specialized VAs. As one, you’ll be relied upon to deliver on one or two specific skills. In most cases, they’ll require technical knowledge of something.
For example, it could be something like:
- Doing Facebook Ad campaigns
- Pinterest account management and traffic growth
- Lead generation
- Procuring backlinks
- Backend technical stuff including speeding up website loading, WordPress design or adding special features to the website
In this case, you’ll be given one main task you’ll focus on. While the job will be more focused, there’s a lot of details to do within them. And, your pay will be performance based. That’s because the results of these tasks are very measurable.
While these tasks are harder, they’re also the ones that will allow you to earn between $3,000 to over $5,000 a month.
Tasks You Can Specialize in as a Virtual Assistant
So what does it take to become a “super VA”?
It’s all about becoming an expert in your specialization. While you’ll want to know how to do a little of a few basic stuff, the bulk of your development as a virtual assistant will depend on how well you are at your “craft”.
And, that often means focusing on one in-demand task. Then, marketing your services to the people who need that skill.
Yes, this does decrease the size of the people who may hire you. But, you’re not interested in having lots of potential employers when 95% are going to offer you one-time jobs or something that just lasts for a week.
Instead, you want something that can turn into a long-term deal. That way, you don’t spend every few weeks scouring for work.
More importantly, long-term work pays better. Instead of earning $10 to $30 an hour. You’ll be making between $1,000 to $5,000 or so a month.
To do so, here are some of the best things to specialize in as a VA.
Many of the employers looking for virtual assistants are bloggers. Some are small bloggers, others are big bloggers. While small bloggers allow you to learn and gain experience, they’re not going to be able to pay you a ton of money.
Just think about it. If they earn, $3,000 to $8,000 a month (before taxes). It’s very unlikely that they’ll be able to pay you $1,500 or $2,000 a month.
On the other hand, bloggers who make between $25,000 to over $100,000 a month can easily pay you as between $2,000 to $5,000 depending on how important the task you’re doing for them is to their business.
So, it’s important to be strategic.
As far as blogging goes, here are a few tasks that you may be doing:
- Moderating blog comments
- Formatting, adding images, and publishing blog posts.
- Editing and proofreading articles
- Writing articles
- Creating images and graphics for social media
- Doing SEO work
- Adding internal links and fixing broken links
- Scheduling social media posts
- Going through emails from readers
Being a VA who specializes in social media will pay more than being one who generalizes on blogging. The only exception would probably be a blogging VA who’s doing link building.
Social media brings in traffic. Link building increases a blog’s rank in Google. Thus, it also brings in more visitors to your employer’s blog.
As such, it’s something that will help them earn more money. So, they’re willing to pay you more. More importantly, the larger the traffic you’re able to generate, the more vital you become to their business’ success.
Here are some tasks you’ll do as a VA specializing in social media management.
- Manage their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts
- Get more followers
- Schedule posts
- Create images for their social media posts
- Write engaging titles and descriptions
- And many more.
But, if you want to make more money as a social media VA, you’ll want to know how to drive traffic to their blog. For bloggers and websites, that’s the main purpose of social media – get page views on their site.
That means knowing and specializing on any of the following goes a long way (especially if you’re good at it).
- Facebook Ads
- Getting click-throughs from Pinterest
- Getting more followers on Instagram
- Being able to get sponsorship deals, big brands and other sponsors to want to collaborate with or pay the blogger to promote their products because of their large social media reach
General Admin Tasks
General administration tasks can include all sorts of different support tasks that the business owner or blogger doesn’t have time to do. These can include
- Going through email
- Organizing schedules and calendars
- Setting appointments or calling/emailing to make appointments
- Arranging travel
- Data entry
- Managing projects
Content is all about writing. This can be a very profitable job because big blogs pay writers very well. If you look at some of the blogging job boards, you’ll find websites willing to pay writers between $1,000 to over $7,000 a month to write articles for them.
But to do well here, you need to specialize in a specific niche. In most cases, personal finance-related topics as well as those that are about making money pay the best. That said, other well-paying writing niches include health, fitness, and food.
Like the other specializations, writing content isn’t the only task that’s available. Some other ones include:
- Researching topics to write about
- Creating graphics
- Finding photos or taking photos
- Editing and/or proofreading
- Uploading, formatting and publishing articles
- Updating articles
- Adding videos to articles
Another potentially high paying VA job is doing videos. But, it depends on what you actually do.
Videos are high potential work because they can make money for bloggers and vloggers. In YouTube, videos that go viral or get hundreds of thousands to millions of views allow YouTubers to make a few thousand dollars just from that video.
For bloggers, videos are often used for Facebook Lives, on their sales pages, or for webinars. All of which directly affect how much money they can make.
That said, where you are in the video creation process matters. If you upload, edit or do administrative work, don’t expect to be paid as well as someone who’s writing the script or planning out the video.
Accounting & Bookkeeping
This falls under finance. Here, you’ll be keeping track of the sales, revenues, expenses, and all other accounting details so that come tax season, everything’s organized.
In addition, it also involves dealing with people who owe your employer money for products or services. This means issuing invoices or following up on payments.
For bigger bloggers and small businesses, it will also mean handling payroll as well as checking on orders and payment processing if they’re selling physical products.
How To Become a Virtual Assistant
Now that you know what virtual assistants do, it’s time to talk about how to become one.
Assess Your Situation
How much work are you willing to do? Are you looking for a part-time gig or a full-time one? How many hours a week are you willing to work? What hours are you available?
These are just some of the questions you need to know before jumping into VA work. That way, you know what to answer when a potential employer asks.
Your location, time adjustment if your client lives on the other end of the globe, and how you wish to communicate are a few other questions to consider.
Here, the goal is to understand what your terms are. That way, you know what you’re willing to do and what you can’t accommodate at this time.
What Will You Do & Offer?
This is one of the most important steps. Here, you’ll be focusing on what you have to offer.
Remember, there are thousands of other virtual assistants they can hire. So, you need to ask yourself, “what will make them choose me over the other VAs applying for the job?”
To get to the answer, it’s important to review your skills, talents, interests, personality traits, and experiences. These are what will set you apart. They’re also the ones that will tell you what duties you’re best suited to do.
How Much Will Your Charge
Pricing is a bit tricky because it can vary significantly. From above, you already know that the task you’re doing affects how much you can charge. Additionally, the more skilled and experienced you are, the higher the pay you can ask for.
As a beginner, the best place to start is to check out job boards. There, you can go through the “resumes” of other VAs. From doing that, you’ll be able to quickly see who is experienced VAs and who are just starting out.
The goal is to figure out pricing that’s fairly competitive with your level. This gives you a starting point.
After that, note down all the things the experienced VAs have and how they can charge such high rates. Your goal will be to gain those skills and experience so one day soon, you can charge as much as they do.
Once you’re all set up, it’s time to find clients. This is all about marketing yourself. As such, if you know any successful blogger who may need a virtual assistant you can ask them or offer your services.
While they might not be looking, letting big bloggers know you’re available helps because some of them can spread the word. It is also why some people create a “Hire Me” section on their blogs. That way, visitors who happen to need a VA can inquire about your services.
in addition to spreading the word and having an online presence, a good way to find work as a VA is to go through job boards. Here are the best ones to start with.
FlexJobs is a job board that specializes in remote jobs or work from home jobs. The opportunities available here vary from part-time to full-time jobs. And, many of them allow you to set your own schedule for flexibility.
In addition, it’s a great place to find high paying jobs because a lot of big bloggers and small businesses post their openings there. Just as importantly, FlexJobs vets the employers so that there are no scams.
But, like most things good in life, it doesn’t come free. To vet and check the companies offering the jobs, FlexJobs charges $14.95 a month. You need to pay this fee to apply for any of the listings.
If you’re not ready to spend to find a job, then Upwork is a good place to look. It’s a marketplace where people looking for remote workers go. So, you’ll find all sorts of jobs available. This gives you a lot of different opportunities to find a good virtual assistant job.
That said, Upwork isn’t as “high end“ as FlexJobs. While there are a lot of big bloggers and companies that pay well there, the majority are smaller bloggers and business owners, many of which come from developing countries.
This means that you can’t expect to see the same rates as those in FlexJobs. And, be ready to avoid really low priced bids unless you’re just trying to gain experience.
Fiverr is another place where you can find VA job opportunities. But, don’t expect many high paying opportunities.
As its name suggests, most gigs here cost $5. Although, you can charge extra fees for tasks. This allows specialists like graphic designers to charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for one piece of work.
Learning how to become a virtual assistant is key in getting a good job that pays well. The steps above will show you what you need to do to be able to get a great job that pays well and allows you to do things you’re good at.