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How to Become a Virtual Assistant | Unlock Remote Work Opportunities

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With the emergence of remote work, the demand for virtual assistants is greater than ever.

For that reason, shifting to the former career might seem like a wise option. The problem is that many people struggle to break into the remote work world.

Luckily, becoming an online assistant is achievable. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can figure out how to become a virtual assistant and unlock a world of opportunities!

An Overview of Virtual Assistants: A Primer

As the name implies, a virtual assistant is an independent contractor who provides administrative services to multiple clients, whether an individual entrepreneur, a small business owner, or an organization.

However, a virtual assistant’s scope of work extends beyond administrative tasks. They are responsible for technical support as well. The former is a remote job, making it great for people with anxiety.

While the responsibilities can vary depending on the needs of the client, typically, virtual assistants perform the following tasks:

  • Administrative support: This includes email management, scheduling appointments, data entry, organizing documents, and calendar management.
  • Customer support: Provide customer service by responding to inquiries through various channels, handling complaints, and troubleshooting, among other tasks.
  • Social media management: This includes creating and scheduling social media posts, managing different social media accounts, and engaging with followers.
  • Travel arrangements: Booking flights, accommodations, and transportation for business trips.

That said, it’s worth mentioning that virtual assistant services focus mainly on business tasks and don’t extend to personal errands.

How Much Do Virtual Assistants Make?

It’s difficult to determine how much virtual assistants make since it varies depending on several factors. These include experience level, skill set, location, industry, task complexity, and working hours.

However, on average, a virtual assistant can make between $18-$21. Some freelancing websites and companies offer $30-$40 per hour.

You can make $100 or more if you have a broad skill set, such as online marketing, building email campaigns, and creating WordPress sites.

A female Virtual Assistant making video conference call

Some virtual assistants prefer project-based payments or offer packages.

Regardless, this work-from-home job can make for a great side hustle that helps you make decent money online. For that reason, the former is one of the most popular gig jobs that helps people increase their income.

What You’ll Need to Become a Virtual Assistant [& Associated Costs]

You’ll need various technical equipment and certain qualifications to become a virtual assistant (VA). Here are some key requirements to become a VA:

Equipment and Software

Since this is a remote job, you’ll need many pieces of equipment. You’ll also work through various software programs. Here’s what you need to get started as a virtual assistant:

  • Laptop: Ideally, your laptop should have RAM of at least 8 GB, an Intel Core i5 processor or equivalent, and a 512 GB SSD. Such devices fall within the $800-$1200 price range.
  • Stable internet connection: Fast internet connections of 200mbps typically cost between $60-$75 per month, depending on your network provider.
  • A headset: Most quality headphone sets fall in the $100-$400 range.
  • Landline: On average, landline services cost $5-$42 monthly.
  • Printers: Printers range from $100 to $1000, depending on the features.
  • Copying and scanning machines: home copying machines are around $200.
  • Software: Generally, you’ll use Microsoft Office and Google G Suite a lot as a VA. The former costs  $150 for a one-time purchase, while the latter provides a monthly subscription plan for $6-$18.

Personal Skills and Qualifications

Becoming a virtual assistant doesn’t require a specific degree. However, clients will scan for certain qualifications, like management, communication, and technical skills, among other requirements.

The good news is that many online platforms offer virtual assistant training courses. Such material can cost you between $500 and $3000. You may need to pay for non-related courses like establishing and running your website.

Here are some of the core materials you’ll learn when taking those courses:

  • Data entry
  • E-commerce product research
  • Calendar and travel management
  • Lead generation
  • Event planning
  • Online purchases
  • Social media maintenance
  • Administrative and executive assistant skills
  • Accounting and finance

Dedicated Workspace

Setting up a dedicated workspace helps you work comfortably without distractions. Look for a quiet area in your house to enhance your productivity and make you look professional.

This might not cost you anything; an old desk and some curtain panels can help you build a workspace room within your home.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Virtual Assistant?

You can expect to spend a minimum of around $1750 on equipment and training courses. You’ll also pay an additional $100 in monthly bills.

For higher-end products and subscriptions, you can spend about $5,500. The former price doesn’t include monthly internet, program, and phone subscriptions.

Is it Hard to Become a Virtual Assistant?

Becoming a virtual assistant can feel like a lot of work. You need to work on skill development and find clients.

Not to mention, you’ll have to put in a lot of effort to build trust with your employers. That includes adhering to their schedule.

In some cases, working as a virtual assistant can feel like having different overnight jobs due to the time zones.

Aside from the job itself, managing your business and finances can be a challenging task.

On a lighter note, getting a virtual assistant job isn’t difficult since the former is highly in demand, regardless of the niche.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Virtual Assistant?

Since the job doesn’t require a specific degree, most virtual assistant training can take 1-2 months to complete. The period will vary depending on your existing skill set, experience, and the amount of time you’re willing to dedicate.

A male Virtual Assistant working on a laptop in a living room

How to Become a Virtual Assistant in 5 Simple Steps

Here are five simple steps to help you kick-start your virtual assistant journey and attract multiple clients.

Step 1: Determine Your Skills

Before searching for an open virtual assistant position and offering your services, you need to identify your skills. That helps you determine your strengths and know which skills need polishing.

Not to mention, this step makes building your resume easier so that you can offer your services right away. Read a VA job description and ask yourself questions that’ll help you know your strongest suit. Examples of the former include:

  • What computer programs can you use? (Microsoft Office, Google G Suite, Zoom, Skype, and so on)
  • What social media platform are you most experienced with?
  • What communication skills have you mastered from previous jobs or school?
  • Do you have other skills or hobbies that are useful for the job? (writing, editing, researching, or creating content)

Step 2: Decide Your Services

After making a list of all your qualifications, you can decide which service you’re confident in and willing to perform.

Try to research the market to know which skill sets are highly in demand. That can help you focus your marketing efforts and attract a wide client base.

Here’s an example of the services you could offer:

  • Digital marketing (website building, email marketing, content creation, and managing sales funnels, among other skills)
  • Social media management
  • Scheduling, answering emails, and other management tasks
  • Customer service
  • Billing and invoicing

Step 3: Set Up Your Business

Setting up your business doesn’t have to be costly. You can build a website or create a social media account for clients to find you. You can use an online job board like Upwork.

Alternatively, you can apply for virtual assistant positions at companies that offer such services as Time Etc.

Regardless of the option you choose, make sure to create a compelling portfolio and bid on relevant jobs that’ll add value to your resume.

Plus, make sure to communicate professionally, even if you reject an offer—you don’t want a bad review on your profile that’ll scare potential clients away.

Step 4: Determine Your Pricing

One of the perks of freelancing as a virtual assistant is that you get to set your prices. There are two things to consider before deciding your fees: taxes and market prices.

Sure, you can go with the average or increase your prices, depending on your experience. However, taxes vary from one state to another. As a rule of thumb, freelancers charge 25% more than the average pay for full-time employment.

Aside from hourly payments, you can also charge per task, project, or service. Alternatively, you can request monthly wages for unlimited services.

Step 5: Market Your Services

Once you’ve completed the above steps, all you need to do is establish your online presence! Several ways can help you market your business. However, social media marketing is probably the most efficient way.

Close-up of a female Virtual Assistant working in her office

Create a professional profile on multiple platforms and include your contact information. You can ask previous employees to leave some reviews of your work to increase your credibility.

Reasons to Consider Becoming a Virtual Assistant

Oftentimes, great work/life balance is one of the perks working as a virtual assistant provides. However, that’s not the only reason you should become a virtual assistant. Here are some other benefits this job offers:

  • High-income potential: While entry-level VA positions might not pay you much, you can start earning an excellent wage once you build your experience.
  • Remote working: Work-from-home jobs offer great flexibility, allowing you to work in various geographic locations.
  • Make use of existing skills: Virtual assistant jobs require various skills you probably have from previous experience, regardless of your niche. That can be useful for those looking for a gig alongside their primary job.
  • Independence and autonomy: Virtual assistants are usually self-employed. Consequently, you have the freedom to choose your work, set your rates, and select the clients you want to work with.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common FAQs if you’re still having questions about becoming a virtual assistant:

Can I Apply as a Virtual Assistant Without Experience?

Yes! You can apply as a virtual assistant without experience. This position doesn’t require a specific degree or prior VA experience. You can easily land a virtual assistant job if you have the required qualifications.

Are Virtual Assistants In Demand?

Generally, yes, virtual assistants are in demand. This job is required in various niches. Not to mention, businesses lower their costs since they only pay for the service without offering other benefits.

Similar Gigs to Check Out

Here are similar gigs to check out for those still debating whether or not they should become virtual assistants:

  • How to Become a Copywriter: You need to complete an English or communication degree and gain relevant experience to build your portfolio.
  • How to Become a Photographer: To become a photographer, you need to study photography and identify your niche. Then, gain practical experience and market your work.
  • How to Become a Bookkeeper: Learn accounting and take courses in finances. Afterward, take and pass the Uniform Bookkeeping Certification exam.

Wrapping Up

Becoming a virtual assistant can open up a world of opportunities and provide a fulfilling career path.

By identifying your strongest suit, establishing your online presence, and setting your prices, you can learn how to become a virtual assistant in a short time!

Please share the article if you found it helpful and let us know in the comments below if you still have any thoughts or inquiries.

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