How To Become A Virtual Assistant With No Prior Experience
Not upon till recently, virtual assistants weren’t a thing, thankfully technology cuts across all industries and fields, providing new job roles different from the traditional ones as more businesses are now comfortable working virtually. This is because it saves them time and in the long run less cost.
Virtual Assistance is one of such roles and one in high demand, it doesn’t necessarily need prior experience to land you really good offers. Being a Virtual Assistant (popularly called VA) comes with a lot of perks and doesn’t require specific education or experience to excel at it. Students, a 9–5 worker, a Stay at home Mum or a novice can all excel in different niches of being a VA
The good thing about being a Virtual assistant is that you need just your phone a good internet connection, a desire for financial independence and a zeal to keep learning
The VA role comes with the flexibility to create the perfect balanced lifestyle, you get to choose who you work for and what tasks you take on. You’ll be able to manage your schedule and work from anywhere and anytime.
Of course, no job is a bed of roses, hard work is compulsory especially in the beginning when you are trying to learn the ropes. You must be determined, know your strengths and you will be able to set up your VA business in no time!. After learning the basics, some gigs that come in within a month or two can make a full-time income.
Did you know?
- The average virtual assistant earns between $25 to$50 dollars per hour
- There has been a 95% increase in the demand for VA’s over the past 3 years
- A recent survey by Upwork has shown that 69% of workers are happier as freelancers than employed staff. This survey also projects that in 2023 there will be more freelancers than people in paid employment.
In this article, the following will be talked about:
- Who is a Virtual assistant?
- Roles of a Virtual assistant
- Services of a virtual assistant
- How to be a VA
- Where to find Virtual assistant jobs
Virtual assistants are people who do 1 thing primarily; offer support, help to other businesses from a remote location. VA’s offer clients some services on a day-to-day basis. This can be as a freelancer or employee.
A Virtual Assistant makes use of high-speed internet tools like software used for document sharing, conference calling systems and suitable gadgets (laptops and or a smartphone). Virtual assistants are employed or contracted by businesses and entrepreneurs that need support but don’t want to bring on full-time staff in a specific location, reduce cost and still give desired output on the business. Plus, it’s much more cost-effective to hire a VA than an in-office employee, money wouldn’t be spent on office supplies, health insurance, and other employee benefits programs.
Some other people who need the services of VA’s are busy professionals, small business owners, solopreneurs, and bloggers. These people outsource a VA to handle and support them in various ways, freeing up valuable time for them to work on projects and tasks only they can complete.
Depending on the types of services a Virtual assistant offers, their roles may include:
- Performing office and administrative-type tasks from a remote location.
- Email management
- Content creation for your employer. The content created may be for social, physical or press media.
- Bookkeeping and accounting
- Graphic designing
Services A Virtual Assistant Provides
The best way to start your VA career path is by finding your niche, something you are good at and developing it. A VA may be required to offer some or one of these major services.
This is the most popular and fastest-growing service offered by Virtual Assistants. Business owners already have an overwhelming schedule to be able to keep up with how fast social media can be, the trends and new platforms to master. A social media virtual assistant is employed for this.
Online businesses need a strong, active and interactive social media presence to make sales or offer a kind of service, therefore a virtual assistant is employed to manage the social media presence of the client by creating content, sharing and engaging with their audience.
Other business owners and corporate firms know that they need a social media presence, to stay relevant, interact and have a wide reach at their target audience.
A VA may manage 1 or all the social media accounts of the client ranging from Facebook pages, Twitter, Tik Tok, Pinterest, to Instagram accounts.
Social media VA’s are required to:
- Understand how to create catchy and interactive headlines.
- Be familiar with copywriting and marketing.
- Having a graphic design skill is an added advantage.
- Should be familiar with automation tools like Buffer, Tailwind, and Hootsuite
- Create engaging contents that relate to the brand and keep the target audience engaged.
- Hop on wholesome trends that promote the values or services of your clients. Don’t be late for the party
- Know how to creatively generate buzz and create brand awareness
This VA niche as mentioned earlier is the fastest growing and shows no signs of stopping. If social media is your thing, get to work you can be the pro that helps businesses, bloggers and brands attract new readers and grow a loyal audience.
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Bloggers are known to always want to be everywhere at all times, after all that’s how they generate traffic and paychecks too. They have a ton of work to do from creating, updating, engaging their audience and maintaining their blogs and online presence. It is difficult to pull off all of these alone. Therefore VA’s are required to supplement and carry out various tasks on the blog as required. Becoming a blogger’s VA is a great way to start if you have ever wanted to be a blogger. You’ll get first-hand experience and learn how to successfully run a blog while supporting your employer with more administrative tasks.
Blogger’s VA may be required to
- Create, edit, and proofread blog posts.
- Use graphic tools like Canva to create blog posts for social media
- Moderate blog comments.
- Improve SEO by optimising existing content, removing/fixing broken links, adding affiliate links where necessary.
- Manage and respond to readers’ emails.
- Support social media scheduling.
This niche is not very specialised but more suitable for people who may have had experience in an office job. A General admin VA would carry out pretty much every task that a general office assistant on-site would but is limited to tasks that can be carried out virtually only.
It entails administrative support which is very crucial to most businesses. Solopreneurs and small business owners need plenty of help especially if they also have full-time jobs. A VA would help with order processing, customer support and delivery. Marketing yourself to people in this category is not very difficult as they need your support and service.
As a general admin VA, your maybe handle tasks like:
- Appointment scheduling and reminders
- Managing calls and emails
- Making travel arrangements; flight tickets, hotel reservations, booking cab services etc
- File management
- Creating spreadsheet
- Data entry; Delivery information complaints log etc.
- Client support
An e-commerce store has a whole lot of effort and upkeep. Ranging from online store owners having hundreds of thousands of items in their ever-changing inventory, to orders, returns and general customer service inquiries to handle on a daily basis. It is an endless list of tasks to manage every day. And that’s when the services of a VA is required to help manage
- Customer service- responding to customer billing inquiries and support.
- Track orders, including order entry, shipment, and invoicing.
- Aid marketing, sales when a new product or feature is launched.
- Write product descriptions
- Track packages, handle returns/exchanges
- Manage inventory
- Website maintenance
E-commerce VA’s offer support and run the day-to-day operations of the store. E-Commerce stores you can reach out to include: Shein, Amazon, Jumia, eBay, Etsy and Shopify.
This is an important part of every business to grow and keep afloat. Individuals with previous finance and bookkeeping experience can look into becoming financial VA’s as a niche to generate more income.
Services offered may include;
- Payroll creation
- Payments processing
- Invoice preparation
This niche just like social media management is fast-growing and wouldn’t slow down. Every single business needs to put good content to attract their target audience and sales conversion. Content creation is broad and ranges from creating, curating, and editing images, making videos, writing a copy or an article to catchy headlines or captions.
Creating content good content can be quite tasking and time-consuming that is why most business owners employ a VA who is good at the job to undertake these tasks:
- Creating graphics
- Writing articles or blog posts
- Research content ideas that the target audience of the business can relate to
- Take product pictures where necessary
- Edit pictures
- Source photos
- Create and edit videos
The primary thing to do is find your niche, you should stick to something you enjoy doing, are skilled at or are passionate about. This will help you enjoy your job as a VA.
- Stick to your niche: It is tempting to want to diversify or offer other services. Focus on the skills you have and what you enjoy doing. Of course, you can have more than one niche, but make sure you offer excellent services at both. When starting you may want to be everywhere at the same time but there’s no reason to spread yourself too thin, especially at the beginning, when you have a lot to learn!
- Decide how you want to run your business before starting. You can set it up as a sole proprietor, this is an easy way to start and doesn’t require any special setup. It’s a one-man journey therefore you are bound to beR all the risks. You also set up an affordable LLC. Before you start your business, you should seek professional advice to set up your business the right way.
- Build your Social Media Presence and a website to upload your portfolio. Potential clients may want to look at how good you are through these means especially if you offer social media services. you will have to sell yourself as an online communication expert and this is the best way to do it
- Network, reach out and make friends In your niche
- After you land your first client, ensure to make them happy, ask for feedback so you know how to improve. Do not also hesitate to reach out to them for recommendations if they are pleased with your services. A happy client wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you to other business owners. You just need a handful of clients offering good-paying gigs to get a good income as a virtual assistant.
Finding a virtual assistant job isn’t difficult. Whether you are looking for a full-time job or a freelance position, plenty of businesses or corporate firms offer virtual assistant jobs that can be found on various websites. These websites list job offers that are verified and high paying gigs.