So you want to work from home but have no idea how to make it happen. All you know is you’re fed up with your 9-5, need a way to make money from home, and want to be your own boss, but aren’t sure how to proceed.
Well, I’m here to tell you that you already have the skills that the digital world needs — skills that you can offer as a virtual assistant (VA).
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What is a virtual assistant?
If you’re new to the digital business side of things, you may not know what a virtual assistant is. A virtual assistant is an independent contractor or business owner who works from home and provides administrative and/or high level services to clients to help grow their business.
For anyone with standard skills (or someone willing to learn new skills), starting a service-based business as a virtual assistant is really a no-brainer. It has a low barrier to entry so anyone with a skill, good internet connection, and a computer can get started overnight.
What exactly does a virtual assistant do?
A virtual assistant helps his/her client(s) grow their business. Whether that’s providing administrative help or implementing strategic avenues to explore, a virtual assistant can assist with anything.
Do you need a degree to be a virtual assistant?
Even though I’m a huge fan of learning, you definitely don’t need a degree to be a virtual assistant. Your experience and career history are enough to get you started. As you get more involved in the field and would like to expand your skills, you can always take courses to fill in the gap.
What skills do you need to become a virtual assistant?
While hard skills like being able to type, use a computer, navigate a website, etc., are important in becoming a virtual assistant, what’s even more important is having soft skills.
Soft skills are the skills you use every day to solve problems. Soft skills like being able to communicate, problem-solve, multi-task effectively, handle project management, be organized, and more will set you apart from the rest.
What services can you offer as a virtual assistant?
You can perform all types of services. In the beginning, most people thought of a VA as someone who solely handled administrative support duties. But today, a VA can work in as many areas as there are businesses.
I got started as a VA answering emails and managing multiple inboxes for my client. I also provide proofreading services. From there, I expanded my knowledge and was able to offer more high-level services like social media management.
Here are 101+ virtual assistant services you can offer.
Answer and organize emails
Send client invoices
Student support for online courses
Create CRM database
Send special occasion cards
Travel planning and arrangement
Transcribe video and audio files
Take and prepare online meeting minutes
Create forms, reports, templates
Moderate blog comments
Create standard operating procedures
Train new members
Create slidedecks for presentations
Write job listings
Post job listings
Follow up with leads/clients
Screen guest posts
Research speaking opportunities
Research guest post opportunities
Research and apply to affiliate marketing programs
Research programs and resources
SEO research for Etsy, Pinterest, Google, etc.
Joint venture research and follow up
Software and program research
Product price comparison
Write or edit audio or video transcripts
Website and sales page copy
Create and issue completion certificates
Blog posts images
Webinar/workshop slide decks
Design business cards, flyers, menus
Photography for websites
Create style guides
Schedule Facebook posts
Manage Facebook pages
Manage Facebook stories
Manage and moderate Facebook groups
Create Facebook graphics
Create and manage chat bots
Create Facebook ads
Moderate Facebook ad spend
Analyze Facebook ad analytics
Analyze Facebook engagement data
Pinterest profile setup: includes website
Verification & enabling rich pins
Create pin images for new or old content
Write pin descriptions
Create board covers
Create personal boards with keyword-rich descriptions
Fill personal boards with relevant pins
Apply to group boards
Follow Pinterest accounts
Manual pinning to personal boards
Manual pinning to group boards
Analyze current profile for improvement suggestions
Analyze boards for SEO optimization
Analyze pin descriptions for SEO optimization
Assist with brand styling for pins
Format blog posts
Updating websites and plugins
Website security and backups
Analytics reporting (Google Analytics,email, social media, etc)
Setting up goals in Google Analytics
Setting up UTM goals to track website traffic
Setting up or migrating email lists to a new email service provider
Setting up newsletter opt-in forms and sequences
Setting up secure websites (https)
Database creation and management
Shopping cart installation/maintenance
Creating surveys and online forms
Troubleshooting, IT support
Creating and managing affiliate programs
If you want this list and 70+ more services you can offer, grab this freebie.
How to Choose Your Virtual Assistant Services
To get started, inventory the current skills you’re already good at (or ones you want to learn) and would like to offer to others.
Perhaps you have a knack for design and would thrive as a graphic designer creating pinnable images on Pinterest.
Maybe you love numbers and could help a client analyze their Google Analytics stats.
Next, decide on the type of client you’d like to work with. Maybe you want to work in the personal training field helping female trainers.
Consider the following questions:
What type of person will you love working with the most?
Do you want to work with real estate agents?
Do you want to work with affiliate marketers?
Who do you want to work with exactly?
The key is to match their needs with your skills. When you’re choosing your service, it should be something your ideal client needs and something you can complete either with your current skills or new skills you can learn.
Keep in mind that there is no wrong or right way to get started. You can definitely get started in the administrative field providing general services, but in order to command higher rates, it’s best to specialize to stand out and be seen as an expert in that area.
Get very clear about what it is that you do and who you do it for, meaning your ideal client.
How do you become a virtual assistant?
After you’ve decided on your services and the types of clients you’d like to work with, decide on the prices you’ll be charging.
Will you be charging hourly or per package? Once that’s figured out, complete the business essentials like opening a business checking account, setting up how clients will pay you, and creating a website.
A website is no longer optional anymore. You need to have one as a virtual assistant.
Next set up your processes and systems. How will you handle when a client contacts you? What questions will you ask during a discovery/strategy call? How will you onboard new clients? How will you manage your workflow?
You must get these items in order before you get your first client.
I hope this gets your mind thinking because there are so many services you can offer as a virtual assistant. Don’t forget to download my list of 170+ virtual assistant services you can offer.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.