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.