Let’s chat about virtual assistant jobs – what are they, what is the salary range, what skills do I need to become one?
Everyone knows it’s tough being a mom. But being a single mom is an entirely different ball game.
How do you cope with the demands of a full-time job, your children and still manage to perform all the other functions of a normal human being?
And what about a social life? Does such a thing even exist when you’re a single parent? (And no, having conversations with the cat or dog doesn’t count.)
Becoming a virtual assistant could make your life as a single parent a little easier. If you’re interested in learning how you’ll be able to work from home while earning a decent amount of pay, then read on.
Below you’ll find a summary of what the job entails, as well as a guide about how to enter the profession.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is exactly that! They are assistants that work remotely (i.e., online) for the company.
Due to the nature of the job, many virtual assistants are self-employed and work as freelancers for various clients, but some work for one particular agency or firm.
What do Virtual Assistants do?
In short, virtual assistants perform online tasks that are assigned to them by the company they are working for.
Here are some common types of services that virtual assistants provide:
- Customer Service
- Email management
- Calendar and schedule management
- Event planning
- Sales support
- Document management and organization
- Marketing support
- Research and document creation
- Graphic design and branding
- Copywriting and grant proposal writing
Why would a company hire a virtual assistant?
As you can see from the list above (which is not exhaustive, I might add), a virtual assistant plays quite a large role in managing many business tasks. Since an increasing number of these tasks are taking place online, companies need virtual assistants to keep everything running smoothly.
In other words, companies hire virtual assistants to deal with routine tasks that require a lot of time and effort on their part. Therefore, a virtual assistant can be of immense value to an employer because hiring one can increase the productivity of their business by taking the load off other employees.
This means that there’s quite a high demand for people in this profession, which, of course, is great news for you!
Virtual Assistant Jobs Salary
This is a difficult question to answer. This is primarily because you get to decide your own rates. Bear in mind, though, that your experience and level of expertise will largely impact the amount you can charge.
This means that they will likely reduce the amount of pay you’ll receive for services that don’t require a high level of expertise, such as data entry or customer service. It goes without saying that work that requires a lot more skill, like graphic design or SEO optimization, will earn you more money.
Naturally, the amount of experience you have affects your income in much the same way as your level of expertise.
So, what you’ll find is that it will become easier for you to start charging higher rates once you’ve made a bit of a name for yourself, unlike when you were first starting in the career.
In addition, try to remember the following things when deciding on how much to charge your clients as a virtual assistant:
- As a freelancer or contractor, you will not receive the things that permanent employees are usually entitled to, such as benefits or retirement contributions.
- You will also be responsible for your own expenses, such as tools and internet access.
With these in mind, you should charge a bit more than what you might think when deciding on your initial rates as a virtual assistant.
Now that you know all about what a virtual assistant does let’s move on to the kind of skills you’ll need to enter the profession.
How Can I Become a Virtual Assistant?
The truth is, you don’t need to have an insane number of skills or qualifications to become a virtual assistant.
Of course, any previous work experience you might have as an administrative assistant, office manager, secretary, or similar position will count in your favor, but this isn’t necessary to get you started in this career.
All you need is a laptop, an internet connection, and a few basic skills, including the following:
- Communication skills
- Reading, writing, and editing skills
- The ability to use Microsoft Office products, specifically Microsoft Word and Excel
- How to use Google Docs
- Knowledge of software editing programs
- Knowledge of organization and scheduling software such as Basecamp, Asana, Evernote, or Trello
- Accounting and bookkeeping knowledge, including QuickBooks
- Experience with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest
If you are not familiar with some of the programs mentioned above, fear not! There are several online courses that you can take part in to expand your skillset. You can also choose to specialize in a certain area in this way, focusing only on the things that interest you or those that you are good at.
Alternatively, you can opt to participate in an online virtual assistant training program (more on this below!).
Having certain qualities also make some people more suited to work as virtual assistants. These include:
- Being organized
- Time management skills
- Attention to detail
This last point is perhaps the most important one of all, and the thing that many people find the most challenging about working from home.
Alright. Now that I’ve covered all the bases, and since you’ve made it this far, this last section will provide you with some simple steps that will set you on the path to a successful career as a virtual assistant.
Consider taking an online course.
Taking an online course to learn how to become a virtual assistant is a great way to kick-start your career.
The $10K VA course by Kayla Sloan, a professional virtual assistant who earns more than $10,000 per month, is one of the best virtual assistant courses the internet has to offer. It will teach you how to:
- Pitch and land your first (and second, and third…) client so that you can build a stable monthly income
- Set your initial rate – and how to raise it
- Onboard your clients, as well as protect yourself and your business when it comes to legal matters
- Create an efficient system so you can maximize your billable hours
Learn from the best in the business
One way to establish a name for yourself as a virtual assistant is to find an experienced one who is willing to mentor you and match you with potential clients.
Another way for you to get your foot in the door is to get hired as a sub-contractor under another virtual assistant who has already established several clients.
Create an attractive website that showcases who you are. Include any prior knowledge, skills, or experience that will help you to market yourself as a professional in the field.
With the right amount of discipline and determination, virtual assistant jobs can come with a great salary, as well as be rewarding and fulfilling.