Just about every day another big company is closing its doors. While that means it won’t be there anymore, what it means even more, is that many people will now be out of work. Even if this is not you, you may be looking to supplement your income with something online. Why not work from home as a virtual assistant?
If you are already an administrative assistant where you work now, this transition should be a piece of cake. Although it will require hard work, make no mistake about that. Most jobs today, whether you drive to them or find them online are yours if you have the determination, enthusiasm and dedication that helps you to land them in the first place.
Virtual Assistants – What Do They Do?
You will provide your support services to a company from where you are. You work remotely, but there will times that through Google or Skype you will be “getting together” so everyone knows they’re on the same page. You may work for a company as a full time VA or on a part time basis. Then again, you may work for multiple companies, filling in their support when needed.
Virtual assistants (VAs) work remotely on many different tasks for a company. Some of these are:
- Social Media Assistant. Do you love all things Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.? Companies oftentimes get bogged down in trying to keep up with daily postings to all of their social media accounts, and that’s where you come in.
- Editor. You may be in charge of all articles which have been written, and depending on the size of the company, you could be busy all day long. Reports, blogs, website material, marketing material, ebooks and all written content will be passed through you to proofread, edit and publish.
- Website Design. If you have expertise in website design, find companies that need your services. So many business websites can stand a makeover; often they don’t even list their information properly or everything looks dated. You can step in and use your artistic and creative skills to make them shine.
- Personal Assistant. Just like a secretary you would be responsible for answering emails, scheduling meetings, following up with phone calls, creating new content for email marketing, taking care of files which you access through a remote company sight. It’s a little bit of everything.
- Market Research. Businesses often need to know who their competitor’s are, especially when they are introducing something new in a product line. You’ll be hired to find out where their audience is hanging out, what they already have or would like to purchase, and how best for that company to reach their target audience. Your market research will be invaluable to a company that is looking to discover what they should be focusing on next.
- Writer. Many companies have blogs but no one to write them. Or they just don’t have the time to do blogposts. Hiring an additional writer, someone remotely, can make their life so much easier. If you are hired to manage a blog, you may have complete reign over what goes there going forward. No one likes going to a blog that hasn’t been updated in two years; it’s very telling about what kind of a company or business this may be.
Being a VA in any of the above categories or one not listed, is a great way to work from home. This type of arrangement is great for the company too; they don’t have to pay out for office supplies, vacation time, or benefits, that is all left to you.
Who Makes a Great VA?
Usually those who have clerical or admin experience do very well as virtual assistants. You will be involved in the nitty-gritty of the business every day; crossing all the “Ts” and dotting all the “Is”. That doesn’t mean if you don’t have that background you won’t make a great VA.
Stay-at-home moms, teachers, retirees, accountants, nurses, paralegals, and human resource pros possess many of the traits that a good VA must possess. If you are:
you will make a great virtual assistant.
How to Become a Virtual Assistant
Okay, so you know you have all the attributes of a great VA, but where do you start? There are so many directions to go in, but it’s up to you to decide on what area of virtual assisting you want to concentrate on. Occasionally a company will have you doing ten different jobs; most often, they want a VA for something specific. A niche position. You decide on the niche you want to pursue.
The advice for newbies: start small. Now that you’ve decided on what area you want to work in, start looking for potential clients, so you can establish yourself as a expert in that field. It’s always easier to find an interest and go after that, then to be all things to all people, because that never works. Look for proofreading gigs, or just see what is offered under the title of ‘virtual assistant’. You may just happen upon something that is perfect for you. If you look long enough and hard enough, there are numerous opportunities for VAs online.
Where To Find Jobs as a Virtual Assistant
Many companies will hire you as an independent contractor. They serve as the go-between for you and the company you will be working for. Many of these types of companies look for experienced VAs so if you are just starting out, look at a few other options:
- Time Etc. If you have any type of clerical or receptionist experience, check them out.
- Upwork. This huge jobs platform has many and diverse VA jobs and new ones listed every day.
- FancyHands. This is a great starting point for all VAs. Every VA has access to client tasks and you work on them as you get them. For every task, you get paid.
So whether you are a real estate assistant, social media manager, blogger’s assistant, ecommerce assistant or general assistant, becoming a VA is a very lucrative and rewarding career. All from your laptop and all from the comforts of home.