I’ve always enjoyed the idea of working from home and having a job that I love. Although I have had several jobs that I was superb at, we must be honest, they would not have been what I want to do with the rest of my life. I decided to see what career options were available I could do from home, and found that I could become a virtual assistant with no prior experience.
If you are considering working from home and beginning your own business, working as a virtual assistant might be a good option for you. It is now easier than ever to begin a work from home job; the percentage of remote workers has doubled since 2014.
The great thing about becoming a virtual assistant is that you don’t need a college degree to get started. Plus, you can earn a lucrative income from your own VA business if you do it right.
You probably already have the skills necessary to work as a virtual assistant. Review these crucial steps on what virtual assistants do and how to become a virtual assistant with no experience!
What does a virtual assistant do?
An easier question would be, what do virtual assistants not do! However, they offer a host of duties to company owners, such as administrative tasks and social media marketing. Hundreds of assistant software are available for use.
Virtual assistant skills to build
What skills you have or what you can learn can determine what jobs you can provide. Business owners need help with their everyday tasks.
Coordinate travel arrangements for your clients when they go on a trip. You may also perform any research that is necessary for their trip.
Help with email marketing for your patients. You can also assist them with their messages and keep their email folders organized.
Provide your patients the opportunity to reach potential customers by cold calling. Make sales and help new customers to discover your brand.
You may assist with billing and other financial tasks. This allows you to free your clients up so they can focus on their business.
Encourage your client’s upcoming appointments and help them to organize their schedule. Having an understanding of different organizational programs, including Google Calendar and Asana, can be handy.
Handle your client’s social media calendar, posts, and other information. You need to be able to master various social media platforms to do this properly.
If you have the proper training, you can handle bookkeeping for your clients. You’ll be in charge of all financial transaction paperwork for their business.
Your clients may want to help you with creating content for website pages, blogs, etc. If you enjoy writing, this is a skill you can use. Understanding keyword and topic research is essential.
Your clients may request help writing blog posts. You may create new posts or expand on existing content.
Data entry is when you input information into a computer. Your clients may want this to keep track of different aspects of their business.
If your customers have online stores, you can help by market research and management services. Assist with sales and other daily operations of the store.
If your client’s business involves a great deal of customer support, they may want to ask you for help with that. This could include helping customers make appropriate purchases and answering questions they may have.
Choosing a provider that you know something about or can learn is an easy matter. You should only select something you are willing to do.
Benefits of virtual assistant work
The best benefits of working as a virtual assistant are being able to work from anywhere and under one’s own schedule. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits before discussing how to become a virtual assistant with no experience.
Be your own boss
A great aspect of being a personal virtual assistant is the flexibility that comes with it. The start-up costs are very low, and you can be your own boss while working from home. This could be useful if you are a mother.
Being a self-employed person rather than an employee has its advantages. You can to some degree select the clients you work with and the services you provide.
You will also be able to find ways to improve your income and expand your business if you want to run your own company. These freedoms make being your own boss appealing for many.
When I became aware of how much time I wasted commuting to and from work each day, I was shocked.
The average commute time in the United States is 27.6 minutes one-way to get to work. So, driving five days per week for a full year, I’d spend around 239 hours in the car each year!
I am able to work from my home office, giving me more time and less stress from driving to a job.
Work when you want
Another wonderful perk of being a virtual assistant is the freedom to make my own schedule… somewhat. Since your client’s needs may change over time, you are able to make schedules of your own. You can pick your own hours instead of working the 9 to 5 grind.
You should always discuss with your customers about their desires to make certain you meet your deadlines.
Work where you want
Working remotely also allows you to work from anywhere. If you want a change of scenery, you can head to a local coffee shop and work from there instead. Many personal assistants travel as well.
When you figure out how to become a virtual assistant with no experience, you will be eager to have a job with such great flexibility.
What virtual assistant training do I need?
Like you, I wondered, “How can I become a virtual assistant?” The awesome thing about becoming a virtual assistant is you don’t need a high-priced degree or expensive virtual assistance training to get started.
If you would like to, you may take an online assistant training class, but you can start without it.
Use your existing skills
You can use the skills you have as a virtual assistant to identify what you will provide and what tasks you can take on.
For example, if you have customer service experience, you can use it to provide services such as customer support for businesses. Are you interested in social media? You could manage businesses’ social media profiles that include Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Look back at your previous jobs and find methods to apply to your new career.
Learn new skills
There are several ways to get free virtual assistant training, and there are many ways in which these skills can help with the success of your business. Be willing to learn new skills to help your company grow.
You can learn essential skills for managing calendars and schedules by reading online articles and books. In addition to learning how to be organized, you will become a fantastic timekeeper! Snacknation.com provides a comprehensive list of calendar-management tips.
Graphic design could be a vital talent for virtual assistants. One example is, if you like creating brochures and graphics, then you can enroll in the Canva Design School program for free.
Google actually provides free courses and certifications in social media, content marketing, and more. These skills are particularly valuable today because social media is a major part of business.
You can also find free virtual assistant training videos on YouTube on the aforementioned topics and more. This includes freelance writing, bookkeeping, customer service, and more.
The great thing about being a virtual assistant is you can learn as you go along, and you can start with the skills you have right now. You improve over time, and your income grows as a result.
How much do virtual assistants make?
Let’s get down to brass tacks. We all want a career that we like, but it’s even more wonderful to have a career that earns us money.
The pay range is very broad, depending on your experience and skills. Your pay can lie anywhere between $15 and $60 per hour if you work for a business or yourself.
You will make less by working for a company than you will by working for yourself. However, it can be difficult to find clients in the beginning. Make sure to keep in mind that information when transitioning into a new job.
Depending on your financial resources, you can decide to start part-time and switch to full-time once you have learned how to become an independent contractor with no experience.
Average virtual assistant salary working for a company
You don’t have to start your own virtual assistant business yet if you don’t want to. There are plenty of ways to get started, such as working for a virtual assistant company.
The best thing about working for a firm is that you don’t need to go out and find your own clients. The bad thing is your hourly rate is capped at a lower amount than if you found your own business.
Average virtual assistant salary working for yourself
As you gain experience and expertise, you can charge more per hour as your business grows. There are several methods to charge your customers for your services.
The first hour is hourly. When you first begin your business, you may charge $15 to $25 per hour depending on your qualifications and the services you provide. The average salary for a virtual assistant is $20.53 per hour according to Indeed.
But be aware that you are paying by the job you do. You may make more money performing certain tasks such as accounting and digital marketing.
The second way is to create packages and charge by the package. For example, I offer social media packages for Pinterest and Facebook. They say that what is included in a bundle is stated up front.
If you would like to start with a bronze, silver, or gold package, you can choose from those three options. The bronze may include basic services, the silver offer more, and the gold consists of the most time spent and services.
Of course, you can price your services in any manner you choose and establish custom packages that make sense for what you offer. These are just examples to demonstrate how it works.
The third way to charge your services is by charging a monthly fee. A monthly fee is a flat fee for the entire month’s work.
This endeavor requires close attention to detail because sometimes your clients will add on an extra task for the same price.
The goal is to eventually earn enough to charge by the package or retainer per hour so you can earn more per hour. The faster you finish your assignments, the more money you make as you are being paid for each job rather than by the hour.
If you charge $250 for a package that takes five hours to complete, then you earn $50 per hour. The more quickly and accurate you are, the more funds you can earn as a virtual assistant.
How to get started as a virtual assistant
To begin your virtual assistant job without experience, you will need to know where you should begin. As this new endeavor can be overwhelming, you must not let it overwhelm you. With a sound plan, you can quickly start your own company.
The first steps towards starting your virtual assistant firm are deciding what services to provide, pricing your services, setting up your business legally, building your website and social media pages, and finding clients and networking.
Let’s take a closer look at each one of these topics to help you succeed.
1. Decide what services to offer
There are numerous services to offer as a personal assistant, but you will need to select a few to provide to your clients. This is because when you master a small number of skills, you position yourself as an expert rather than a general personal assistant.
Premium services cost more, which is much better than having a general practitioner constantly treat you. Trust me, you will save a lot of money by preventing yourself from overtreatment and overdiagnosis.
You could choose 3-5 services to start and try them out.
You can always add to your business or change it as you go along. This is YOUR company and you get to do what you want!
2. Price your services
Before I could price my services, I had to determine how much other virtual assistants were charging. After studying what virtual assistants nearby were charging, I found that the average hourly rate was $20.53 per hour.
I suggest that you look at your competitors’ websites and other vendors’ products and services to get a feel for how to price your offerings. You need to keep prices as low as possible and yet supply a lot of options.
I calculate 3 to be the number of variants needed to provide excellent customer service. This number provides enough options to please customers without making them feel lost or overwhelmed.
For example, I have three different packages for my Pinterest Packages. It provides the buyer with a range of options according to their budget and preferences.
Keep in mind that you will need to subtract your income taxes from your earnings. Be sure to set up a tax-dedicated savings account for this purpose, so you may afford to pay your taxes when due.
When determining your prices, try to determine what you want your net income to be, which is your after-tax income.
3. Set up your business
When setting up your company, be certain you comply with correct legal procedures. You must figure out whether you’ll be operating as a Sole Proprietor or a limited Liability Company. Furthermore, secure any licenses or permits that are essential for running your company.
You may want to consult a lawyer and accountant to make sure you are prepared to incorporate your company.
Compile your contracts so your clients know the rules of the services and are assured of timely payment. Legalzoom.com, rocketlawyer.com, and lawdepot.com give numerous free contract templates to get you started. These templates do not replace an actual attorney.
Also, get commercial insurance to cover your business and private equipment in the case of a lawsuit.
4. Create your website & social media networks
Some say it’s not necessary, but I believe that it’s very beneficial for your company to have a virtual assistant website and social media accounts.
In my opinion, having a website will help you look more serious, and it is a great way to showcase your company. You can also list your prices and let customers find you! Some familiarity with WordPress and website design may be helpful.
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, are a great way to market your company. These websites give you access to free tools that allow you to promote your business to millions of potential customers and establish company pages that serve as central hubs for your clients.
If you want to become a social media virtual assistant, this is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your talents.
5. Find clients & network
Once your business is up and running, it’s now time to start finding customers. It may initially seem intimidating to find your first customer, but it will become easier with practice. In order to become a virtual assistant with no experience, it is extremely important to learn where to find clients.
You can start by announcing your new company on your own social media profile pages. Invite your friends and family to your new company website and profiles. You might be surprised who your friends and family know in need of the services you are providing.
You can find prospective customers by contacting local enterprises or on the internet. Check out Manta to find local businesses and their contact information to get started on acquiring clients!
A popular way to attract customers is cold emailing. Cold emailing is when you send emails to businesses to introduce yourself and offer them your services.
There are numerous virtual assistant jobs available on sites like Upwork and Indeed as well. Upwork takes 20% from your earnings, while Indeed lets your earnings reach up to 20%. You can also use a free google business page to list your services for customers to find you.
Look for opportunities everywhere when starting your company. I was fortunate enough to meet another author at his book signing who needed an assistant, but he didn’t know it at the time. She was a busy mother of two and a best-selling author who needed assistance with tasks she did not have time for.
She gave me her card, and I decided to help her with some assignments while she was away. You never know who may need your help. Be proud of your new company, and seek customers when an opportunity arises.
What do I need to become a virtual assistant?
Your assistant business requires the use of some helpful resources.
Computer and internet connection
An important tool for online business is an excellent computer; essential for these programs are computers that perform at top speeds. You should have a computer that can perform at high speeds for programs like Zoom and Skype. Purchase a used vehicle if you do not wish to pay for a new one.
You will also need to have an Internet connection with a sufficient download speed to perform your duties remotely.
Working with multiple screens can make your work easier if you work with many tabs open.
There are many apps available for virtual assistant work, including Google’s Workspace, Slack, and Trello. These programs allow you to communicate with clients and organize your work. Many platforms offer free versions, and you can start using those to cut down on startup costs.
How to become a virtual assistant with no experience: extra tips
Perhaps you are wondering, how to become a virtual assistant with no experience? And you want more advice. Here’s some additional advice to get you started in this profession.
Show your experience
You may think you do not possess any of the skills necessary to be an assistant in a dispatch center. But if you have worked in an administrative capacity, even as a volunteer, you may have more skills than you think.
If you frequently organize parties or plan them for friends, that is event planning and organization. If your account is outstanding, this may be considered to be management of social medial platforms.
Then consider any other administrator-related duties that you can put on a resume. Even if you are able to make excellent phone calls, these are still worth highlighting.
Starting small can be good. To start off VA work, look for odd jobs on Upwork, LinkedIn, or FlexJobs, to add to your resume. As you complete several tasks, you will be more confident when performing full-time work.
Get a job at a company to gain experience
By working at a company that offers virtual assistant services, you can gain experience that could help you launch your own business. You’ll learn how to perform tasks the proper way and determine whether this line of work is right for you.
Reach out to people you know
Tell the people you know that you are opening a business. Because they are aware of your work ethic and reliability, they are likely to provide you with small tasks or hook you up with important projects. They could know individuals who are hiring!
How to manage time as a virtual assistant
One of the things I had to learn when I became a virtual assistant was how to manage my time efficiently. I think time is money, so you should use your time as effectively as possible.
I once claimed to excel at multitasking. I soon found that multitasking is actually less effective than concentrating on a single task at a time. The key to saving time is batching your tasks.
So, if you handle email management and social media marketing, then perform your email marketing tasks in a designated segment and your social media tasks in a different batch. This reduces time switching between various tasks and increases workflow.
You should also use the time-blocking technique when creating your schedule because it maximizes focus and production. Time-blocking is when you block out chunks of time to finish your work.
For example, I will block off nine am to eleven am to complete my social media work. These two hours are solely for this task. You can time-block everything you need to do to keep yourself on track and on-task.
I love using Google Calendar to schedule my time because the program enables you to color-code your time blocks with different colors. It’s free, too.
You can have a successful career as a virtual assistant!
Now that you know how to become a virtual assistant without experience and don’t need expensive virtual assistant training, you can begin your new career.
It takes determination to run your own business, but the rewards are great. Be sure to create a financial plan and set goals. This way you will be successful!