What is a Virtual Assistant? A definitive guide to starting a career in VA
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is someone who provides Administrative, Technical, and Business support services to clients through the internet and works usually at home.
They are Contractors or Freelancer workers with skills like excellent communication, written skills, intelligent software knowledge, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities.
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What are the duties of a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual Assistants perform various tasks like answering E-mails and phone calls, managing the online calendar, arranging online meetings with clients, and providing them with technical guidance.
The other work includes bookkeeping, making travel arrangements, maintaining blogs, monitoring social media, content writing, proofreading, and many more.
I hope now you have got an idea about Remote Assistants and their duties.
Now I’m going to provide you with the details about the Virtual Assistant salary, job scope, skills required, educational qualification, etc…
Job Scope of a Virtual Assistant
Skills required for Virtual Assistance Jobs?
Roles of a Virtual Assistant
What are some common Virtual Assistant (VA) jobs
Making Phone Calls
How to Start your career as a Virtual Assistant?
Choose your Service
Choose your Clients
Develop a business plan
Choose a Business Name
Decide the Type of Ownership
Build your Website
Get Permits and Licenses
Market your Business
Decide your pricing structure
Investment in Business
Salary of a Virtual Assistant?
The salary of Remote Workers differs according to their job role, location, and country too. But anywhere in the country they commonly charge $1 – $100 per hour.
The average salary in the United States is $16.47 per hour and $57,306 per year and the salary varies up to $75,000 based on their work.
In India, the average salary for a Virtual Assistant is Rs. 1,83,296 per year and Rs. 15,565 per month.
The individual salary report varies from Rs. 102,000 – Rs. 600,000 based on their position in their work. The bonus points for the salary given are Rs. 25,025.
Here are some of the popular jobs with their salaries:
- Administrative Assistant – $15.01/hour
- Executive Assistant – $19.43/hour
- Care Assistant – $10.96/hour
- Training Specialist – $20.88/hour
Some Remote Assistants charge $ 40 – $ 75 per hour for higher-level marketing tasks. In other countries, the average salary ranges from $ 28,000 – $ 73,000 per year.
Job Scope of a Virtual Assistant
The Job scope of virtual assistance is increasing day by day in this busy world as people need them because they can complete even difficult tasks quickly and efficiently.
Retrieving and computing data is necessary everywhere and so virtual assistance becomes widespread nowadays and complex.
Currently, many virtual assistant technologies have been developed by companies E.g. Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa.
Car speakers and smart home devices are a few examples of remote assistance where they support people everywhere at any time.
Virtual assisting devices are in demand between the consumer market and enterprises. These devices can translate language when speaking another country’s language.
So people can build their career in this field and it is a good choice from the business point of view, as they provide a physical space, get more work done and reduces wastage of time.
VA devices also manage data, e-mails, electronic bill payments, telephone calls, business analysis, etc…
The above-mentioned task is important for business development and the research says 40% of the interaction happens through virtual assistants.
So, the scope of the Virtual Assistant job plays a major role in every works especially in business development.
Skills required for Virtual Assistance Jobs?
1.) Good Communication skills: As a Virtual Assistant, you have to talk to your clients often to clarify their doubts, needs, etc… So good communication and writing skills are essential to survive in this job.
2.) Resourcefulness: You should provide proper resources and details to the need of your clients and also give them suggestions to recover from the problem too.
3.) Reliability: A Virtual Assistant (VA) should be trustworthy to his clients. He/she must provide quality performance and not cheat them.
4.) Accessibility: A remote worker should be easily reached by the clients. This will improve your client’s rate.
5.) Time-Management: You should complete your tasks on time which were given by your multiple clients. This needs a multi-tasking capacity.
6.) Technical Skills: Should be skilled in handling digital tools with computer knowledge.
7.) Accuracy: A Virtual Assistant (VA) should provide accurate results and information to your clients and avoid doing mistakes.
8.) Friendliness and Respectfulness: A Virtual Assistant should be friendly and give ears to listen to his clients and customer. Respecting the clients will increase the bond between them.
9.) Security: The clients should feel secure towards their data. So a remote Assistant must protect the data of the customers and their documents properly.
10.) Work Independently: Ability to work independently without the help of others.
11.) Management skills: As a Virtual Assistant, you should manage your boss’s project works and the necessity to build a good management team.
12.) Stress tolerance: Should be able to work under pressure and should not relay your stress on a client.
13.) Smart Work: It somewhat relates to the abovesaid stress tolerance. Working smartly with intelligence will avoid more stress and also attracts customers.
Roles of a Virtual Assistant
The common roles of a Virtual Assistant are as follows:
- Customer service support and inquiries
- Processing orders through telephone, e-mail, or chat
- Calendar management for clients and business
- Creating and Updating Blogs Eg.WordPress
- Social media monitoring and publishing press releasing news
- Managing and updating social media accounts
- Online Research on topics for blog posts, newsletters, etc
- Scheduling online and offline meetings
- Making travel arrangements like booking flight tickets, hotels, etc
- Copywriting, Content Writing, Editing, and proofreading
- Design, Advertise, and Manage Website
- Electronic bill payments
- Maintaining customer data and documentation
There is no specific Educational Qualification required as it depends upon the company’s needs and the type of job.
But a basic school education will help you to cope with work effectively. If you are a graduate then it will be surely helpful in taking business, software, and management studies.
In addition, there are virtual assistant training programs available to train you to commonly use computers, fax machines, copiers, scanners, etc.
The basic skills are that you should have good computer knowledge, email and internet skills, and spreadsheet maintenance.
Additional skills include organizational, bookkeeping, and good communication with writing skills are required.
Many employers prefer and hire experienced virtual assistants for their work.
If you have worked as an administrative assistant, writing assistant, or office manager you will be taken for a job easily by other job applicants.
What are some common Virtual Assistant (VA) Jobs?
1. Making Phone Calls
A Virtual Assistant appointed by a company makes phone calls to clients and place orders, arrange an appointment for a meeting, listen to customers’ queries, and provides a solution to them, etc.
The clients provide a Google voice number where the remote assistant can make a call and if he’s not attending, he can leave a voice message.
2. Editing Assistant
An Editing Assistant provides support services to all the publications like books, journals, digital, print, magazines, sports, etc.
They support editorial staff for the publication, correcting documents, obtaining rights to use materials from other publications, filing, and summarising the written work.
Also, the work includes photocopying, commissioning articles, writing and editing some pieces of publications, proofreading, providing administrative support to the chief editor, use SEO to make more customers for the website.
3. Writing Assistant
The main role of a Writing Assistant is to fact-check the written content, proofread grammar mistakes, punctuation, and research new topics.
They do other activities that include filing, emailing, faxing, attending phone calls from writers, and providing administrative support to the chief writer.
4. Email Correspondence
Some virtual assistants manage Email by filtering and keeping only the most important ones.
They respond to e-mails that are sent from other organizations, clients, etc.
Email Correspondent reduces the business owner’s tension, and alerts him by periodically checking the e-mail and update every time.
5. Online Research
Virtual Assistants are assigned to conduct online research jobs to search and provide details about any information, on a company’s website.
Some other roles of an online researcher are finding new products, exploring potential employees to get business contacts, etc.
6. Data Entry
Data entry jobs are increasing in demand to transfer written documented data into the digitalized form.
This seeks virtual assistants for many companies to enter, protect and document their data in cloud computers.
7. Social Media
Virtual Assistants monitor social media and publish recently released news, they manage and update the accounts, interact and respond to messages, etc.
Many companies and businesses are focusing more on Social Media. Hence, it increases the need for efficient people who can manage Social Media platforms.
You can do this work from your home and carry out activities like posting updates, news, and reviews on the company page.
8. Travelling Management
Virtual assistants are a very useful source for booking flight tickets, finding good hotels, exploring new travel places, and guiding awesome locations for the tour too.
9. Data Presentations
In the case of arranging a huge meeting just representing the data in a PowerPoint presentation or a word document reduces the waste of time.
Almost all this job is also done by the Virtual Assistant.
Virtual Assisting Jobs are doing great support in the bookkeeping for the business.
They maintain records, bills, and financial transactions up-to-date daily.
This helps the business owner to work freely.
11. Managing Blogs
Virtual Assistants create, and update blogs with the latest content and maintain it.
They research and find new topics for blog posts and they post them every day.
12. Bill payments
They manage and provide proper information about all electronic and other bill payments of the company periodically.
13. Project Management
Managing and providing new suggestions for the projects of the business, to clients, etc is done by a Virtual Assistant.
14. Graphics design
A graphic designer creates visual concepts using system software to develop layout and production design of business for various applications like advertisements, corporate reports, magazines, etc.
These are some Virtual Assistant Job providers like 24/7 Virtual Assistant, Belay, RedButler, Freelancer, FlexJobs, People Per Hour, and more.
How to Start Your Career as a Virtual Assistant?
If you have decided to start your career as a Virtual Assistant, here are the steps to be followed:
a. Choose your Service
First of all, decide which type of service you want to start.
There are a lot of virtual assistant services like emailing, bookkeeping, calendar management, project management, customer support, and more.
Based on your passion and interest choose one service and offer it to your clients. If you wish you can also provide many services.
b. Choose your Clients
Make a list of potential clients for your service and meet them to introduce your new business.
If you don’t know about any clients just move to the possible marketplace that needs your virtual support services E.g. Realtors.
Alternatively, you can submit your resume with the Virtual Assistant Websites. In another article, I have covered the list of websites that hire Remote Workers.
c. Develop a Business Plan
Create and develop a business plan that includes the location of your business, to whom you work, and what (nature of business)?
You should also mention how are you going to fund your business, manage the finance, and adopt marketing strategies?
So be clear about all those things and provide an adequate source for your business, especially the financial part, because improper cash flow can damage your business.
d. Choose a Business Name
Choose a name for your business that looks unique, professional, understandable manner and can be viewed easily by people.
e. Decide the Type of Ownership
Another important thing is that you should choose your ownership, being a sole proprietor is good but you should have enough financial sources, assets, and liabilities to lead your business.
If so obtain LLC to protect your liabilities and to get flexibility. If not have a partnership with your trusted community.
f. Build your Website
Once you have planned to start your virtual assistant business you need to build a website to make your presence online and to be competitive with other businesses.
Creating a website will help you to attract more clients and gives you a place to market your business and services.
You can create a website in minutes easily by using the best CMS tool called WordPress.
Also, when it comes to social media, I recommend you use LinkedIn and Facebook for your business.
g. Get Permits and Licenses
Avail of necessary licenses that your country issues and get a fictitious name statement if your business name does not carry your name.
This statement provides a connection between your business name and your name.
This allows the customers to know your business information clearly. Open a business bank account too.
h. Market your Business
Once you have built your website the next step is to market your business to reach more clients and the target market. Here is a list of ways to market your business:
- Email marketing
- Social media
- Advertising online and via Tv channels
- Print advertising
- Public speaking
- LinkedIn groups
- Facebook groups
- Instore advertising
- Cold calling
- Lead generation
- Forum Participation
Once you have got a place for your website it’s time to actively market your business to reach profit and customer range.
i. Decide your Pricing Structure
Once you market and run your business decide your pricing for the services. Everyone knows about how virtual assistant charges for work.
You decide to charge the right amount per hour or month for service.
Think about all the expenses you had behind your business and prepare competitive pricing. As a beginner, you can charge $10 – $30 per hour.
j. Investment in Business
Once you have a good financial flow reinvest the money for professional development.
It includes online courses, books, membership sites, teleconferences, webinars, etc, that fit your budget.
It will make you gain knowledge about your business and obtain more skills to succeed in your business with profit and fame.
Finally, the advantages of starting a virtual assistant business are that it is affordable to start.
There is no need for specific licenses or education. You can decide on your services and create your schedule of working hours.
All you need is to help people grow their businesses. But don’t forget that you are also building your own business too.
You have to learn more and be very passionate about your virtual assistance business.
I hope everyone has gained some knowledge about virtual assistants. If you have interest to work as VA, follow the abovesaid content and reach success in your life.
All the Best!
Get to know the Websites, that hire people for virtual assistance. Click here to get the list of Virtual Assistant Websites.