A virtual assistant or remote executive assistant is a professional that offers endless opportunities to individuals, small businesses, organizations or companies as a result of the internet.

Many people hear about ‘virtual assistance’ and associate it to administrative assistance for example a secretary.

But today, while a virtual assistant can continue tasks as a secretary, there are many other facets that make up the scope of a VA. Other tasks as an example can include content writing, graphic design, audio/ video/photo editing, bookkeeping, social media management, project management, transcription and more. These are just a brief example of tasks VA’s are performing for their clients online, virtually as one might say.

Becoming a Virtual Assistant

Easy as it may sound, becoming a VA still requires hard work, it’s not an easy job that anyone can just do. So before ditching your old job and jumping into the world of remote assisting, do your homework and learn as much as you can about the job.

Steps to Becoming a Virtual Assistant

If you’re looking to work from home or a dedicated office space as a virtual assistant, here’s a quick guide to becoming a Virtual Assistant to get you on the right track.

Familiarize yourself with what a VA does and what online working is all about

To start, you can ask around, read some great articles, attend free webinars, find people who are already VAs and ask about their job. Connect with them. There are forums for VAs, and many VAs are more than willing to share their work experience.

Find out the PROs and CONs to becoming a virtual assistant. You must understand them in order to keep moving forward.

Equip yourself with the right tools

Once you’ve decided to work in this industry, it is important to equip yourself with a reliable internet connection and a good computer. It is also recommended to have a good microphone and sound devices to help keep communication between you and your client open and clear.

An email account, a file storage account (like Box.com), Skype and Office tools are must haves.

If you work for a virtual assistant company office, like Pathcutters, Phils. there is no need for you to have your own equipment as they already provide the necessary equipment for you to start your work.

Create a Plan

Once you’ve decided to work as a VA, map out a plan that will help you organize your thoughts and guide you to the right direction. Your plan might include:

  • Target Client. Based on your self-assessed skills, what segment of the business are your services best suited? Admin, writing, web design, editing, transcribing etc. This will help you get the work that you will enjoy doing because you are experienced and good at it.
  • Work hours. What working hours do you prefer? Many VAs work non-traditional hours including weekends and holidays. Do you want to work full-time or part-time? Are you comfortable working outside your time zone?
  • Your services. What services can you offer? Make a list of your skill-set. Are there areas you want to improve? Identify skills you want to learn to help you become more attractive to clients. Continue to learn new things.
  • Your Pay rate. Your pay rate will depend on training and the skills that you can offer to your clients. Virtual assistant rates vary.

Get your first job

Concentrate on getting your first jobs as a virtual assistant. There are a lot of businesses in need of remote assistants – and a lot of established sites that offer online jobs like Odesk and Elance. However, these are not the only players in the market – so you need to do your homework.

Be also mindful of scams and too-good-to-be-true offers. Ask for help from experienced online workers to point you to the right direction. Request for recommendations and do your research.

Being a Virtual Assistant is a great work opportunity and it is something many people want to do. If you have skills that can turn into Virtual Assistant services, and you think you have the passion to help clients grow their business online using today’s technology to deliver your services globally, then join the BPO revolution.


The role of a virtual assistant is rapidly evolving as the Internet helps individuals connect easily on a global scale.

This evolution translates to more rapidly changing business practices moving away from ‘how’ they did business 10 or so more years ago, and as a result is creating new opportunities for remote executive assistants.

As many entrepreneurs and business owners work with virtual assistants to grow their businesses, VAs work as an active behind-the-scenes partner to the CEO and Senior Level Management, contributing on the administrative side, Day-to-Day Business Operations, right through to other critical support roles.

A few of the emerging Roles for Virtual Assistants include:

1. General Virtual assistant (performing a range of general support duties)

2. Audio / Video Editor

3. Content Writer

4. SEO / Web Marketer

5. Graphic / Web Designer

6. Web Developer

7. Social Media Manager

It’s important to acknowledge and appreciate that each of these tasks are different and separate unique roles designed to be performed by different people. Irrespective of the role or tasks within that role, every task should be approached with a consistent and extraordinary mindset if you are going to stand out from the crowd.

How Does One Pursue work excellence as a Virtual Assistant?

We often have a sense of bettering ourselves to become excellent at something, maybe even impress others with what we do or simply try to see how good we are at a given task. But, what does it really mean to be excellent?

Love What You Do

Loving your work and loving your role is one of the primary basis of being able to deliver excellent work 99% of the time. When you understand your role and you know that what you do matters to the success of the business, you will see that no task is ordinary.

Continue To Grow As A Person

As we contribute to the growth of the company, we also grow as a person and as a professional, which makes this job even more interesting and enjoyable. The world we are involved in is constantly changing – the internet is always updating, new things are always emerging and businesses are busy keeping up with these changes. These ordinary tasks become extraordinary as we continue to up-skill ourselves by learning new ways to become better and more efficient at these roles.

Be Technologically Savvy

Keeping up with the latest trends in technology is a critical factor for VAs as the internet is where you’ll spend most of your time.

Be a better VA and work to deliver an excellent outcome by learning and becoming more technologically savvy. This means you must continue to advance your Internet skills, which include file sharing and synchronization (Google docs and Dropbox), updating applications, using online calendars, email auto-responders and other internet services.

Understand Social Media and Other Media

Be social media savvy by using social media monitoring and benchmarking software. Understand how to use and get the most out of that software – For example using tools like Google Alerts to monitor new content ideas or keeping an eye out for trending ideas within a specific industry.

Be multi–media savvy by having basic photo, video and audio editing skills.

Most Importantly, Be Productivity Savvy

Be office productivity savvy which means become a master of Office tools used for word processing, spreadsheets and creating presentations.

Striving for excellence is an important part of professionalism in any job. Put quality into everything you do no matter how ordinary you think they are, and continue to up-skill yourself. This attitude will separate the achievers, who make rapid strides in their career from others.



We hear about it – and often times wonder what a Virtual Assistant (VA) is, how do they work, and what they do.

While more people are becoming familiar with the term ‘VA’, in reality there is still a lot of confusion as to what a VA really is.

Before you dive in – it is best to first do your homework, and find out what a Virtual Assistant is and what a Virtual Assistant does.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

With the introduction of the Internet, the gap is bridged for businesses, entrepreneurs and business managers to manage people ‘Online’.

A Virtual Assistant helps a business run, and is very similar to an ‘Executive Assistant’ where the employee works remotely from a different location from where the physical business is located. Virtual Assistants can provide a massive range of tasks for their clients from professional support services through web design and administration.

Dependant on the type of client you work with, you may either work from home office, in a cafe or as is becoming more common, working for clients from a physical ‘office space’, structured in a similar way to a BPO. Whilst BPOs are nearly ALWAYS linked to call centres, in this case Virtual Assistants are off-site professionals who focus on administrative tasks that are similar to those of an executive assistant or secretary.

The Philippines is a major hub of growth for Virtual Assistants and people that work within well structured Offices find they are able to expand their skills within a relaxed and fun environment, at the same time experience the job stability of a BPO.

What does a Virtual Assistant do?

With the aid of today’s advancing technology, VAs are hired to carry out a variety of tasks. Listed below is ‘just a sample’ of the type of tasks Virtual Assistants perform remotely for their clients.

1. Email Management

2. Setting up Autoresponders (Aweber, Mailchimp)

3. Booking appointments with clients

4. Following up with clients/customers (sending thank you and other reminder emails)

5. Receptionist duties (answering occasional calls)

6. Scheduling / Calendar Management

7. File Management (organizing files using Dropbox etc)

8. Database building (eg. updating email or contact lists on CRMs)

9. Research on certain topics for blogposts, newsletters or others

10. Personal errands (purchasing gifts for loved ones / family members online)

11. Hotel and Flight Bookings

12. Transcription (transcribing voicemail, video or audio, podcasts etc.)

13. Taking down minutes of meetings

14. Creating basic reports (reports on weekly tasks, deliverables, sales)

15. Preparing Slideshows (Powerpoint Presentations)

16. Liaison between the client and other team members

17. Recruitment (source for other team members like writers or graphic artists)

18. Socials tasks:

  • Set-up Social Media Accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube)
  • Manage and update Social Media Accounts
  • Participating in discussion forums or message boards (more promotion)

19. Blog tasks:

  • Manage Blogs (Basic WordPress Skills)
  • Publish posts on Blogs
  • Filter and reply to comments on blogs
  • Answering support tickets (with the use of Zendesk)
  • Blog commenting (to increase links to your site)

There is a lot of scope for growth within the Philippines as the overseas demand continues to soar. If you have ever considered a career as a Virtual Assistant, note that it is more exciting than ever before, especially if you find the right business to join.

Before you do join, make sure you fully investigate how they work, what they offer and the how legitimate the potential client really is. Like with any new venture, ensure you are protected before you decide to take the plunge!