Becoming a virtual assistant means you can work from anywhere helping business owners and professionals become more productive by freeing them off various tasks. I first became a virtual assistant in 2017 by accident and it’s something I’ve come to love so dearly.  I still work with the client who first hired me for virtual assistance services to date and I’ve gained several others along the way.  It’s fun to be a virtual employee (I’ve also lost others along the way) and that’s part of the business – not everyone is your client.

Virtual assistance in other terms known as an online administrative assistant is coming out as a coveted online job for those who love time and place flexibility. If you’re looking to kick start your side-hustle or replace your current job with virtual assistant services then this is the right post for you.  Let’s look at the skills you need, services you can offer as an online personal assistant and tools you can use to help you help others effectively.

First, I’ll start by answering a common question; Is virtual assistant a good job?

Yes, it’s the right job for you if;

  1. You’re well organized to work with different clients at a go. One of the skills required by most clients is organization where you help them keep their work organized so you have to be an organization nerd.
  2. You’re hardworking and don’t need shortcuts to deliver results. Your clients are most interested in the quality work you can deliver, clearly not for the lazy.
  3. You’re a good time manager
  4. You can grow your business while growing your clients business. Your clients business is a top priority but you also need to grow as they grow. That’s the only way you’ll be sustainable in your course.

What exactly do virtual assistants do?

The list can go on and on, but I’ll list them in the order of their demand. You can offer one service exclusively or an ala carte of the services- a mixture of different services.

  • Social media management
  • Community management and moderation
  • Calendar management and travel arrangements
  • Editing and proofreading
  • Project management
  • Transcription
  • Content research
  • Editing videos
  • Keyword research
  • Performing outreach
  • Email management
  • Managing product launches
  • Bookkeeping
  • Creating sales pages
  • Data entry

How much can you make as a virtual assistant?

There are two ways of pricing your services; project wise or an hourly rate. You can also offer the hourly rate in packages for instance if you charge $10 per hour then you can offer a starter package of ten hours so $100 USD package. It’s typical to find virtual assistants charging 10- 40 USD per hour. The more technical the skills, the higher the rate you’ll charge. For instance, html skills and graphics work may require you charge higher rates than social media management. The rate you set entirely depends on you and the goals you’re looking to achieve. At the beginning, you may set lower rates, but as you sharpen your skills and gain more experience you can raise the rates appropriately.  You can even raise the rates with existing clients upon giving an adequate timeline and reason for a sustained relationship.

You can also charge more for clients who need their work done earlier than the agreed deadline.

Remember to factor in the deductions applicable to you such as taxes, health insurance e.t.c. This explains why you should not charge lower rates that compromise your desired or basic lifestyle.  When it comes to getting paid, there are various methods you can use such as Paypal and direct bank deposits.

Who Can Use a Virtual Assistant?

Very many types of industries and businesses can benefit from an online personal assistant’s services.

Below are some of the businesses that can hire and work with a virtual assistant:

  • Consultants
  • Real Estate Agents/Realtors
  • Attorneys
  • Insurance Agents
  • Telecommuters
  • Physicians
  • Startup or Small Businesses
  • Speakers, Coaches
  • Web-Based Businesses
  • Independent Professionals
  • Marketing Consultants
  • Independent Professionals
  • Entertainment Industry
  • Executives

Virtual Assistant Software Tools that Optimize Productivity

Online business tools help up your productivity and become more organized.  It also saves you costs and helps you deliver quality results.  

  1. Scheduling
  2. Business apps and file-sharing/storage
  3. Social media
  4. Time tracking

 There is a need to go deeper, to understand this widely:

Scheduling

 If you’ve been relying on a virtual assistant for scheduling, you might have just found a solution. Below are some software programs that you may need:

  • Doodle

  It will help you speed up the scheduling process. You’ll no longer have to go around searching through people’s schedule. Doodle integrates with some of the top calendars such as office 365, Google, ICS feed, and others, and will therefore help you set appointments, and send manual reminders.

 Basically, it takes all the hard work you’d have done.

  • World time buddy

 It’s such a convenient world clock, online meeting scheduler, and a time converter. It helps virtual assistants in comparison of time zones, and schedule web meetings appropriately.

Business apps and file-sharing/storage

You need these to safely store and organize your files as well as those of the clients. Usually clients have their own storage apps thus the knowledge of how to use them is important. The last thing you’ll want is to mess up with your clients work.  Most of these storage software have a free version that you can play around with as you practice how to use them.

  • Google apps

 It’s among the world’s most-used business apps. Who isn’t familiar with G Suite anyway! A Google app can co-edit spreadsheets, share documents, as well as create them, schedule meetings, and also store files in the cloud.

  • Dropbox business

  Dropbox will be the best alternative if at all you don’t like, or you’re probably not comfortable with Google app. It has the capability of sharing robust files. You could also share and create photos, videos, and other documents with it.

  • Huddle

 Best option as you grow larger and have lots of documents to store. It  offers you a chance to share files, and it has more elements that will help in content management, collaboration, and project management.

Social Media

 Social media management for virtual assistants would be a hell of stress, in the absence of various software programs. Below are two of them:

  • Buffer

  It’s easier to manage social media profiles when they are in one location. And that’s exactly what Buffer does: It brings the profiles in a single location that’s more convenient. The point is, you can bring both your Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and more other social media profiles together using buffer, instead of having to login into each of them separately.

  • Meet Edgar

 It’s a scheduling tool, which can automatically build a library of each update you upload and be sharing them again and again on your social media profiles. This way, your updates will get a chance to be seen by a new audience, and that exactly what you need: finding an audience.

  • Hootsuite

Time Tracking

Time is off essence and how you track your time can be the measure of how you get paid.

One of the free tools I’ve used to track time is Toggl – very reliable and easy to use.

Others include;

  • Upwork time tracking tool – You’ll need an Upwork account to use it
  • Harvest
  • Clockify
  • Hubstaff

Websites to Find Virtual Assistant Jobs from Home

The demand for virtual assistants is increasing day after another.

  • Flexjobs

 Flexjobs carefully screens any listing, to make sure it’s legit thus protecting you from scammers. You, however, need to pay a monthly cost, to use their services. Best deal? You a chance to see the type of jobs they offer before you pay the monthly costs.

  • Upwork

This is among the world largest freelance jobs platforms in the world. It is highly competitive and has both low paying and high paying jobs listed with clients from U.S and overseas.

  • Toptal

Toptal helps link you to your dream employer. They have jobs ranging from designers, software engineers, virtual assistants, and even consultants.

  • Craiglist

Before you rule it out, this might be something you’re looking for.

 Note that, you could also get clients offline, as a virtual assistant. Here are some places you could land your dream client:

  • Word of mouth
  • Referrals
  • Networking events
  • Social media groups – remember to offer value and not just seek opportunities
  • Professional organizations
  • Companies that hire virtual assistants
  • Subcontracting under other virtual assistants

Here’s why business owners prefer virtual assistants to office employees

  • Saves them time

 It will not just take you a day to create an advertisement, do interviews, and hire the best person to help out in your business.  Fortunately, you can skip all those processes by hiring a virtual assistant.

  • Reduces Costs

   Instead of hiring a part-time or full-time employee, business owners can hire a virtual assistant by the hour for specific jobs. A single employee needs training, space of work, and tools for work, but a virtual assistant, will appear all strategized, and ready to give you what you need.

  • Utilizes Other Staff Better

You save the client and employees, from the struggle of performing the routine duties such as scheduling social media, and answering emails. 

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