What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) is someone who offers support to businesses and professionals. A virtual assistant uses technology to perform tasks remotely rather than commuting to a physical location.
There are several reasons why business owners hire virtual assistants, including
Making business operations run more smoothly
Scaling business growth
Ensuring that tasks outside of the business owner’s core competency areas get done
For example, a virtual assistant can take on administrative tasks such as data entry, email management, or scheduling appointments, enabling a business owner to focus on serving customers, developing new products, and planning the next growth phase. Take Pritish Kumar’s Guidance and become a virtual assistant.
How to become a virtual assistant
In this section, you will discover how to become a virtual assistant from home or anywhere in the world.
1. Decide the services you will offer.
Answer these questions to gain clarity:
- What kinds of businesses, start-ups, or entrepreneurs do you want to help?
- What business core competencies do they need to focus on?
- In what areas of business operations do they need the most support?
- What holds their business back from growing and scaling?
- What services can you offer that would allow businesses to focus time and energy on their core competencies?
- How would your service save them time, increase their efficiency, and improve
- How will you package and price your services?
2. Build relevant skills.
Once you know who you can help and how to help them, assess your skills and experience. What skills are your ideal clients looking for in a virtual assistant? What skills do you already possess that can help you offer value to clients? What skill gaps will you need to fill?
To build virtual assistant skills, consider taking online courses you can complete at your own pace. For example, you can prepare to help businesses improve their marketing efforts with skills developed in the Google Digital Marketing and E-commerce Professional Certificate and the Meta Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate.
To gain experience, consider finding an entry-level position in your skill area, remote or onsite, or completing short-term projects on a freelance basis. Be sure to gather letters of recommendation and testimonials from satisfied clients
Reflect on your growing skills and experience to deepen your understanding of potential clients and what they need so that you can tailor your services accordingly.
3. Create an online presence.
An online presence can make it easier to promote your virtual assistant services, display your skills and experience, and find new clients. Review your services, skills, experiences, letters of recommendation, and testimonials. Draft clear, compelling copy, such as a value proposition, mission statement, services list, and About Me paragraph. Then, set up any or all of the following:
- Online portfolio
- Profiles on virtual assistant talent marketplace sites
- Social media accounts specifically for promoting your VA services
You may also find value in joining professional organizations, attending networking events, and connecting with businesses that may need your services.
4. Look for virtual assistant jobs.
There are several ways you can earn income as a VA, including:
- Part-time virtual assistant jobs
- Temporary VA gigs
- Remove virtual assistant jobs
- A long-term VA position
- Starting your own VA business
As you start looking for potential clients or employers, be sure to keep your online presence up to date, enhance your resume, and hone your interviewing skills.
What are the most in-demand virtual assistant services?
Browsing today’s job listings, we’ve found these seven tasks and requirements to be some of the most in-demand services for freelance virtual assistants and virtual administrative assistants:
Cold calling is when you call up people to try and get them interested in a product or service. What makes it “cold” is that the people you call haven’t previously expressed interest. You’ve likely heard this called telemarketing. In these jobs, you’ll typically make a lot of calls each day, follow a sales script, and have a very specific goal, such as ‘sell product X’ or ‘get them to agree to watch a demo.’
To succeed, a VA will need to be able to handle rejection well. Working from home can make that a little easier, though.
Taking customer calls
Many companies are outsourcing their phones as administrative tasks. This means you’ll get a phone dialer or number and be responsible for answering when someone calls. Depending on the company and call, you might provide customers information or be required to look up details—such as order information—for callers. Often, you’ll route calls to the correct person after understanding the caller’s request. This requires a good understanding of business departments and the ability to think on your feet.
Some companies have switched from phone-based sales to email communications because it’s becoming
easier to get some customers to answer an email than pick up a phone. Online businesses also may not have traditional phone lines, so email is a way to offer customer service too.
Email communications work for virtual assistants covers many different topics. You may respond to customer requests and questions. Or you could write sales emails to send to people after a meeting or when they sign up for a newsletter or promo coupon on a website. Professionalism and an understanding of the customer can help a lot.
Small business owners often hire people who have just become a virtual assistant to help with some of their daily tasks. One of the most important items is scheduling customer meetings, calls, and follow-ups. For these tasks, you’ll generally be focused on the schedule and have to look through a person’s email first. You take all of the meeting requests from their emails and put them on a calendar.
In advanced jobs, you might need to sit in on the meeting itself to help schedule a time for follow-up meetings. Often, you’ll also need to connect with your boss to see who has set a follow-up meeting or needs to set one. Then, you’ll be in charge of reaching out via email or phone and trying to schedule that customer’s time.
File management and maintenance
Many companies need organized people to manage their documents and files so that everyone at the company can find it. Virtual assistants are a tremendous help here because your tasks will be to quickly look at documents and sort them into the correct places. You might also need to rename the files so that they fit a consistent style. Maintenance of files means looking through shared folders or drives, like OneDrive or Google Drive, to ensure all files are in the right place and named the correct way.
Attention to detail and the ability to closely follow directions are an immense help for these tasks.
Almost every business needs a presence on social media, but not every business leader has time to create
that. So, they’ll hire you to create and post content on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. These posts need to look and feel like the company while being appropriate. Every company will have unique style requirements, so pay close attention.
On top of posting for organic marketing, you’ll also be required to create social media posts and advertisements, then use the ad platforms within those services to post. You’ll work not only with content but also budgets and metrics, so a good sense for business and the ability to think strategically can help you find the perfect mix of content to make the most of the budget your client has.
LinkedIn lead generation
This is perhaps the most specialized on our list, but it’s in high demand for companies whose clients are other businesses. Many service providers use LinkedIn to identify potential target customers based on location, industry, company size, and more. For these jobs, the virtual assistant will use software and searches to find people on LinkedIn, create lists of potential targets, and then send introductory messages to them once your client approves the list. Having a strong business sense and knowing how to talk to business leaders is a plus for this skill.