Are you looking for a way to make money from home but don’t know where to start? A virtual assistant job could just be the big break you’re waiting for.
If you’re worried about your lack of experience, don’t be. You can learn how to become a virtual assistant with no experience and earn good money.
But to be a successful virtual assistant, you’ll have to work hard. Although you might not have experience, with determination, you can make it.
You can start earning as a virtual assistant today. All you need to start is a computer and a good Wi-Fi connection.
Read on to get the details.
What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?
Companies hire virtual assistants to help them remotely. A virtual assistant performs certain tasks for a company that include but are not limited to administrative jobs.
Some of a virtual assistant’s roles include:
1. Administrative duties
Some firms need virtual assistants to answer phone calls, manage calendars, book appointments, and enter data.
Are you also wondering how to become a personal assistant with no experience? You can step in and relieve the business owner of these duties.
If your client has a blog, they could task you with creating content for it. Part of your job could include writing, editing, and proofreading content. Also, you can manage ads on the blog.
3. Social media
Most people are on social media, so navigating it comes naturally. With businesses trying to reach the online market, social media savvy virtual assistants are an asset.
Some financial duties may not require you to have experience. For instance, some firms may hire a bookkeeper instead of a full-time accountant to handle their finances.
As a virtual assistant, you can be a bookkeeper without experience.
5. Graphic design
If you’re the creative, arty type, you can help firms with their graphic design needs. Such services include designing Facebook ads or creating Twitter covers.
6. Business development
Are you the convincing kind? You can put these skills to use as a virtual assistant. A business owner can hire you to research leads and reach out to potential clients.
Are Virtual Assistants in Demand?
Virtual assistants are in demand because they support the day-to-day running of a business remotely. Also, as companies look to cut costs, the demand for virtual assistants has gone up.
The upside of a virtual assistant is the low hiring costs. Usually, hiring a full-time employee requires interviews, tests, and days of training before they can start working.
Businesses hire virtual assistants to improve efficiency. By employing people who work remotely, business owners avoid high overheads. Firms avoid costs to set up or create office space. They also don’t have to incur expenses such as office beverages and lunches.
Also, companies now prefer virtual assistants because they will most likely be equipped with the tools they need for the job. As a result, companies don’t have to buy these tools.
Plus, a virtual assistant allows a business owner flexibility. Usually, virtual assistants can be on hand to assist businesses at any time, depending on their needs.
Some of the in-demand services you can offer as a virtual assistant include blogging, administrative tasks, email marketing, and social media management.
Who Hires Virtual Assistants?
An entrepreneur working alone may find their business becoming more engaging as it grows. They are required to make bookings, schedule meetings, bill clients, and even do some bookkeeping, among other tasks.
All these might eat into the valuable time they could have used strategizing. Therefore, a virtual assistant comes in handy, allowing them to focus on their business’s other money-making aspects.
A small business owner looking to outsource tasks without paying a high fee can hire a virtual assistant.
Instead of having a permanent employee, they can engage a virtual assistant a few days a week. The number of engaged hours will depend on the amount of work. They may have too little work for a full-time employee.
A client looking for a freelancer to do a one-off job may also engage a virtual assistant.
How Many Hours Does a Virtual Assistant Work?
As a virtual assistant, the number of hours you work depends on several factors.
One, it could depend on your availability. When you get into a contract with a client, determine how many hours you can work for them daily.
Another way to work around the time issue is to go with the client’s needs. Some clients may require you to work for more hours than others. For instance, your client might need more support during their business’ peak season than when it’s off-peak.
On the other hand, a big business may have tasks for you all year round.
What Skills Do You Need to Become a Virtual Assistant?
As a virtual assistant, you must possess skills that will make you a valuable hire. The most crucial skills include:
Time-management – It’s important to deliver quality work without being supervised. The best way to ensure timeliness is to create a timetable and set deadlines.
Organizational skills – The more organized you are, the better quality work you’ll do. If you don’t have a home office, clear up some space in your house where you can work.
Word-processing skills – How many words a minute can you type? You must improve your typing speed and data entry skills while ensuring accuracy.
Communication skills- Be clear in your communication. Ensure you and your client agree on what mode of communication to use. Do they prefer to communicate on email or WhatsApp?
Computer skills – Because you will work remotely, you must familiarize yourself with cloud-based software such as Google Drive for file sharing. You’ll also be required to be able to navigate software such as Excel and Word.
Multi-tasking skills – Some businesses will require you to handle various tasks at a go. So, being able to manage all tasks effectively is a must-have trait for a virtual assistant. Besides, multi-tasking ability will also be crucial when you have several clients and deadlines to beat.
Is Being a Virtual Assistant Hard?
It all depends on which side of the divide you’re on.
Being a virtual assistant is simpler if you’re not a complete beginner and already have in-demand skills.
When you have no experience, you have to learn new skills, which can be very demanding. But, with the right attitude, patience and resilience, you can be successful.
The catch to cracking the industry is to become a pro in your area. Find a niche and then perfect it. That way, you can do away with the competition and avoid fields crowded with virtual assistants who have basic skills.
How Do I Become a Virtual Assistant with No Experience?
Even though you don’t need experience to be a virtual assistant, doing it the wrong way can lead to frustrations. Setting up a business will need patience and determination. So, you may be wondering, how do I start working as a virtual assistant? Here are six simple steps you can follow:
1. Choose a business name
Getting an eye-catching name for your business doesn’t have to be hard. You can make a list of possible names and shortlist as you go on.
The trick is to pick a name that corresponds to your services and is simple for clients to remember.
One thing to avoid is a name that is either too long, or people won’t take it seriously.
Lastly, check if the name is available by doing a search.
2. Find your niche
First things first, you must decide which services you want to offer. Different clients will have different needs and will require you to offer a wide range of services. However, having a niche will help you perfect your skills and offer quality services.
Whatever services you choose aren’t cast in stone. You can add more services down the road or remove whatever doesn’t work for you.
The number of services you offer may depend on the in-demand skills or how much time you can offer a client.
Besides, you can also choose your services depending on what you’re already good at or what you love doing.
The best way to find your niche is to make a list of the services and narrow it down to your preferences.
3. Determine your pricing structure
For most virtual assistants, deciding how much to charge is where the rubber meets the road. You don’t want to overrate your services, but you also must know your worth.
How you set your rates depends on various factors such as the amount of work a client requires you to do or how many hours you’ll be working for them.
You can consider these when setting a fair rate:
- Remember you’re a subcontractor, and you’ll be paying self-employment tax.
- Note that you won’t get any benefits such as health insurance except in rare cases. This means you have to accommodate these charges in your ratings.
- All overhead costs are on your end. For instance, you’re paying your own power and internet bills, and you’re responsible for expenses like web hosting.
As a beginner, you might find it more comfortable to charge hourly. You can charge up to $32 per hour. But, as your business grows, you may put clients on a retainer.
4. Build a website and market yourself online
Creating a website is one of the quickest ways of letting potential clients know you’re open for business.
Besides, most business owners look for freelancers online. So, make sure you have a strong online presence.
Your website must explain concisely what services you offer and how clients can benefit from choosing you.
The ideal virtual assistant website is appealing, meaning it easily draws in clients. Plus, the website must be easy to navigate.
Make sure it has a call to action button. If you want your clients to contact you, ensure this is simple and clear. You can have this button at the bottom of every page where you talk about your services.
Finally, for a wide reach, link your website to your social media pages. Not only is this a good way to show clients you have a good grasp of social media, but it also brings more traffic to your site.
5. Pitch to potential clients
For most virtual assistants landing the first client is a tricky affair.
The smart way to do it is first to identify your target market. It could be small businesses struggling with daily operations or big businesses with a history of engaging virtual assistants.
The next step is to build a rapport with the prospective clients. But you must be patient because it takes time.
Then pitch to these potential clients. As a new virtual assistant, you need to keep pitching your services constantly. Don’t worry about having to do it every day because later, you can rely on referrals once your business is established.
Once clients give you a chance, you must offer such quality services that clients find hard to replace. How? Look for ways to increase their business productivity.
6. Find a support group
Most social media platforms such as Facebook have groups you can be a part of. You can use these groups to reach out to other virtual assistants in the same niche as you. This way, you’re always aware of new trends or in-demand services.
It is also in such groups that you learn about best practices to grow your business.
Besides, having a little moral support from people who most likely face the same challenges you do doesn’t hurt.
How Do I Get Clients for My Virtual Assistant Business?
Like most freelancers, it is normal to wonder where to get clients as a virtual assistant. Well, there are various strategies, and you can choose whatever works for you.
The truth is, to get your business off the ground, you may need to do cold pitching.
Although you may be lucky to get referrals once in a while, they might not be consistent at the beginning.
Cold pitching might take time to work as some clients may not jump on the idea. Besides, if you do it wrongly, you have lower chances of landing a client.
The trick is to research companies before approaching them to give those emails a personal touch. Clients will mostly ignore generalized emails. The trick is to do a follow-up. When you finally land that interview, your efforts will be worth it.
Apart from cold pitching, here are a few other places to look for work.
Virtual Assistant Jobs for Beginners
If you’re looking for virtual assistant jobs from home, no experience, you can use two strategies to get clients: Either look for jobs online or apply for a job with an agency.
To work with an agency, you might have to take a skills test. Therefore, you might have to wait to gain some experience with clients before applying to an agency.
1. Time Etc.
If you have no virtual assistant experience but have worked in an administrative or clerical role, Time Etc would be an excellent place to start.
Plus, this platform is also good for those with little time to spare.
As a popular site for virtual assistants, Belay has some higher requirements than the rest. A bachelor’s degree is a requirement in most cases. Having experience doing remote work is also preferred.
But, don’t let that discourage you from applying. Belay can overlook these qualifications if you’re great at your work.
Whether you’re looking for a part-time or full-time role, FlexJobs has thousands of jobs to choose from. The good news is that they have a section for virtual assistants.
But, you have to pay a monthly fee of at least $14.95 to access the jobs.
If you’re available for only a few hours a day, you could try Fancyhands. On this platform, you can get jobs that take 15 minutes to complete. It is, however, not the best site for experienced virtual assistants.
Upwork is one of the biggest platforms for freelancers. The beauty of signing up with Upwork is there’s a job for everyone regardless of their experience level. To get a virtual assistant job, you’ll have to send your bid to job advertisements.
6. Remote Job Boards
A great site for remote jobs, this platform offers opportunities by category. There is an administrative assistant category, meaning you can get a job as a virtual assistant.
7. 99 Dollar Social
Set up to help small business owners, 99 Dollar Social focuses on social media roles. Fortunately, you can get a job at 99 Dollar Social without experience as long as you can write in American English.
8. Vicky Virtual
If your interest as a virtual assistant focuses on phone work, Vicky Virtual could be the perfect platform. The company’s virtual assistants help their clients with various duties.
All you need to do to qualify is be able to multitask, be a fast learner and easily operate a computer.
Apart from providing a great platform to network, Facebook can be an excellent source of jobs. There are many Facebook groups for freelancers where ideas and jobs are shared. As a virtual assistant, join the group that best fits your skills.
For instance, you can join The Virtual Savvy to interact with others in the industry.
As a community of business professionals, LinkedIn allows you to showcase your skills. You can also build networks, which could result in job leads.
Although the free version of LinkedIn is limiting, you can upgrade to the Premium one. Under the upgraded version, you can pitch your services to potential clients directly.
If you’re looking for a place where you can learn even as you look for a job, this site offers what you need. VANetworking.com has free resources for virtual assistants.
Here, you can also interact with employers and other job seekers in your field.
Zirtual is a great platform to get jobs from because they look for clients on your behalf. Therefore, they eliminate this hassle. However, you don’t have the freedom to come up with your own rates. You’ll have to be content with Zirtual’s rates.
Do you want to build your portfolio as a newbie? oDesk provides such a platform.
The job board allows you to bid on jobs, and although the pay can be low, it’s a good place for a beginner.
Although you will find more traditional jobs on this site, Indeed also has virtual positions you can apply for. Applying a filter and putting in keywords like “remote” or “virtual” can help you to get virtual assistant jobs on Indeed.
15. Virtual Assistant Forums
This online forum will link you up with potential clients. Also, you can connect with other virtual assistants and learn from them.
You can get various virtual assistant jobs on this site daily. The beauty of ZipRecruiter is that employers are fond of it for matching them to the perfect candidate. With a good portfolio, you’re likely to match a client’s need sooner than you thought.
Part-Time Virtual Assistant Jobs for Beginners
If you are employed or only have a little time to spare in a day, you can get a part-time virtual assistant job.
You can use the sites mentioned above and agree on the number of hours you can work for a client. Fancyhands is a great place to start because you can get tasks of up to 20 minutes, easy to finish.
What Is the Best Virtual Assistant Company?
If you want to join the best virtual assistant company, look for each’s requirements and see if they fit you.
You have to consider factors like the experience needed and certificates. You also have to ask yourself whether you’re more comfortable receiving a fixed rate or setting your own prices.
For instance, Zirtual doesn’t allow you to set your own rates.
Plus, some companies require a monthly subscription, which you might be unable to pay as a beginner. So, if you’re on a tight budget, you may have to rule out FlexJobs.
Besides, although excellent for virtual assistants, companies like Belay might lock you out due to lack of experience.
What Software Does a Virtual Assistant Need?
As a virtual assistant, you may need software to work more efficiently. The software may be a necessary expense for your business, depending on the kind of work you’ll be doing. But don’t worry; most of what you’ll need as a beginner is free.
A few examples of the software you can get are:
Social media platforms: These are free and valuable for marketing.
Time trackers: These are especially necessary if you charge your client hourly. The client will need to know what time you clock in and out. You can get some free trackers online, such as Toggl.
Google Drive: You can store all your work here, and the client will easily have access to it.
Project management: Try Asana if you’re looking for a free project management tool.
Invoicing software: A good way to track your payments and expenses is through invoicing software. You can try Freshbooks, for which you’ll pay a monthly fee. This software is not necessary, especially if you’re a newbie.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Virtual Assistant Business?
Did you know that starting a virtual assistant business is very cheap? Well, it is. If you have to spend money, this could be on software.
The basic expenses are:
1. A decent computer
Like any other freelancer business, to be a virtual assistant, you need to buy a computer if you don’t already have one.
If you have a computer that needs upgrading, you may need to get a replacement.
The cost of a computer will depend on the type you’re going for. It can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands.
But, if your computer is in good shape, that’s how to become a virtual assistant for free.
2. A good phone
Because most people have phones, this doesn’t necessarily add to their costs. However, if your client requires you to be on the phone most of the time, you can consider buying a separate personal phone.
3. Reliable internet
Generally, most virtual assistant jobs are done over the internet. Going cheap on the internet might slow down your work and, as a result, make you lose money. So, go for high-speed internet.
But as a beginner, you can settle for a more affordable option as long as you upgrade to a higher speed later.
4. An appealing website
Although having a website can boost your virtual assistant business, you don’t have to prioritize it. If you’re not ready for all the expenses that come with setting up a website, you can hold it initially.
But, if you have the money to create a website, go for it. Some of the costs you’ll incur include website hosting, creation, and design.
5. Training costs
You can be a virtual assistant without training and still be a success. However, if you have some money to spare, some training will give you an edge over your competition.
6. The right tools
Some of the tools you might need to work more efficiently are invoicing, Client CRM, a tool to track your time, and another to monitor your expenses.
Although these are not essential to start your business, they come in handy when it comes to deadlines and efficiency. For instance, a tool like Freshbooks is all-inclusive.
Besides, you can buy more tools as your business grows. But don’t sweat the tools when the business is still young, and you want to keep your expenses low.
7. Paying for memberships
As a beginner, this is not a cost you might want to incur. However, as you go along, consider joining professional memberships such as Gina Horkey’s Facebook group. Here, you can get exclusive insights into the business.
Get The Right Virtual Assistant Training
Becoming a virtual assistant with no experience is all good, but should you remain at the entry-level? No. If you want to grow your business, you have to keep learning.
It all depends on your budget. You can go for discounted online courses such as those found in Udemy. These courses’ beauty is that you don’t have to leave your home’s comfort to train as a virtual assistant.
Should you have a little bit more money to spend, you can choose more high-end courses. For instance, Kayla Sloan’s 10KVA course costs $497. But, you’ll learn from the expert.
Or you could settle for Gina Horkey’s course, which is $498. But if the positive reviews are anything to go by, you can start making money in 30 days or less.
Still, if social media is your area of interest, you can get specific training. For instance, Megan Johnson has a course that trains Pinterest virtual assistants.
Google and Facebook also have free courses.
The goal is to determine which skills are in demand and train on them to boost your income.
How Do Virtual Assistants Get Paid?
Before you do any job, set the payment terms and conditions with your clients.
Virtual assistants who charge an hourly rate will need to calculate the number of hours worked and invoice the client. Time tracking tools also offer an invoicing option, making everything automated.
If you agreed on a fixed rate, you could invoice at the end of a project, for instance.
A proper invoice should have the details of your company, such as the name and address. It should also have a date and the services offered.
Further, the invoice should include your bank and PayPal details.
Start Without Experience Today
There’s no shortcut to becoming a virtual assistant. You have to put in the work.
The first thing is to pick an unforgettable name. Next, check for in-demand skills to set your niche, build your website and a strong online presence. Then, look around to see who needs your services and pitch.
It’s simple. That’s how to become a virtual assistant with no experience.
Don’t let your lack of experience stand in the way. Get started today.