How to become a virtual assistant

by
Karen Wilson
Published:
October 26, 2021

In 2021 everything  changed. Employment opportunities shifted. The flip flop of where we work is now driving more and more businesses to make virtual teams a permanent solution.

Wouldn’t it be nice to work from anywhere in the world, create your own hours, choose your clients, and have consistent predictable income?

It’s no surprise that more and more people just like you are considering a career as a virtual assistant, so they can do just that. So how do become a virtual assistant? Let's review the most common questions.

What tools do you need?

Virtual assistants need a comfortable and productive home office that includes:

  • A solid internet connection (preferably high speed).
  • A good reliable computer, and headset of some kind. (this can be microphone earbuds).
  • A quiet working space like an office space, a bedroom corner, or if necessary an empty walk in closet.

How do you start?

Choose something you know how to do well. Stefan Palios, Author of “The 50 Laws of Freelancing” says that Law # 1 is to “Know your Expertise.” 

You'll have more success in your VA career if you start with something you actually like to do, rather than just accepting anything and everything. It takes time to grow a relationship with a new client. If you can prove your value by being incredibly successful at one thing to start, you'll set the stage for expanding to other areas of your client's business. 

For example, if you’ve created a strong Instagram presence for yourself, and it’s something you enjoy, a great place to start would be as a “social media manager.'' Your specialty would be managing and growing Instagram for clients by utilizing the entire platform.

You may want to brush up your skills through affordable online courses, such as the ones offered through the Virtual Gurus Academy. Then as you are applying the learning with your first client, you’ll continue to build your knowledge through real-life application. We talk more about this in our blog post So you want to be a virtual assistant? The basics are the same across all platforms and skill sets. 

The Virtual Gurus Academy has many courses to get you started. Enroll in social media 101 , or Instagram strategy for beginners to get a head start. And since all of the Academy’s courses are taught by virtual assistants, you’ll also get mentorship from a VA who has been there.

What skills do you need?

You probably have virtual assistant skills already. Write down all the things you know you could do remotely and enjoy. Are you a master at organizing things like email, schedules, and folders? Are you really good at customer service, reception, or sales calls? Do you love writing? How about making stunning visuals for social media and PowerPoint presentations?

Those are just examples of skills you may already have. The more you practice and deepen your knowledge through client work, the more polished those skills will become.

The core soft skills you need to become a virtual assistant are:

  • time management 
  • communication
  • emotional intelligence
  • conflict management
  • decision making

No matter where you are in your career, there is always room to grow and enhance your skills. The Virtual Gurus Academy has courses on all of the above that are affordable and under two hours each

Where do I start finding clients?

When I started teaching fitness classes, I had a choice. I could get clients to pay me separately for classes and do my own advertising, accounting, and enrolment myself (giving potential for more earnings per class), or I could be paid a lower flat rate per class by the gym and let them promote it to all members of the gym.

I chose to be paid separately to maximize my revenue. But, nobody knew me, so my classes had low enrolment. I hadn’t built up a reputation yet, so there was hesitancy to go to the “new girl’s” class. It was a high energy format and I really needed more people in the room to make it a better experience for all.

So, I switched to being included in the membership and the class filled up. Only then was I able to build my class, my reputation, and trust. In the end, I earned more overall since my classes were well-attended.

When I pivoted into the virtual assistant space, you’d think I would have learned my lesson and found a community right away, but I tried to go it alone once again. I was grateful for the clients I had, and I did build a strong relationship with them, but the workflow was up and down. 

I was trying to balance finding clients in my less busy times, but it was a ton of work. I posted my services on social media, I posted and bid for jobs on Upwork and Fiver, I browsed LinkedIn, accepted work that was outside the scope of practice I wanted, and spent more time seeking work than working. It was frustrating.

Then I found Virtual Gurus. It was a bit of a journey to go through the application process, but I found that encouraging. “They must be good,” I thought. 

And  they are! Being part of the Virtual Gurus VA community means I don’t  need to do my own advertising. I have full control over how many hours I work, and they match me with clients that are within my desired zone of expertise.  They also the accounting and billing. 

That means I can focus on what I do best -- the actual client work. Plus, I have a community around me that helps me deepen my practice, and I’ve met some amazing friends along the way.

In the question of where to start finding clients, I recommend applying to work with an organization like Virtual Gurus. Build your reputation in a trusted environment. You never know where it will take you if you just start.

Looking to learn more about becoming a Virtual Assistant? 

Check out the Virtual Gurus Academy here and begin your career as a Virtual Assistant today.

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Karen Wilson
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