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Your Guide to Becoming a Freelance Virtual Assistant

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More and more people are starting to work for themselves as freelance virtual assistants these days.

Why is that?

It’s because there are hundreds of types of work you can do as a virtual assistant (VA). A lot of this work pays really well. Being a freelance VA also gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility in your work and your life.

Sound appealing? Keep reading. This virtual assistant guide will help you discover how you too can work for yourself as a freelance virtual assistant.

Virtual Assistant Guide:
How to Become a Freelance Virtual Assistant

What is a virtual assistant?

Not sure exactly what a virtual assistant is? That’s okay! A lot of people don’t really understand what virtual assistant means.

A virtual assistant is a freelancer who’s their own boss and is hired by people – usually entrepreneurs and small businesses – to do a specific kind of online work for them.

The types of work VA’s do is very diverse. The type of work you’ll do as a VA depends on what you want to do. 

When you’re a freelance virtual assistant, you can work full time or part time. You can do one type of virtual assistant job or more than one type of virtual assistant job. You can have one client, two clients or many clients.

For example, you can work for one client as a virtual assistant content creator while also working for another client as a Pinterest VA. Or you can work as an executive assistant VA for your primary source of income while also earning side hustle money as a customer service VA.

As a virtual assistant there are a huge number of ways to make as much money as you need by doing work that you are good at and truly enjoy. This is is one of the best work-from-home jobs for creating multiple income streams because you can easily do multiple types of jobs for multiple clients.

Young man sittinge at his computer reading a virtual assistant guid

How much do virtual assistants make?

The average hourly rate for virtual assistants is $41,986 per year or $16.04 per hour in the United States, according to PayScale. There is no standard rate for virtual assistant jobs, though. What you earn will depend primarily on:

  • what type of VA work you choose
  • how much you work
  • your experience
  • your location

Fully Booked VA, a bundle of online courses which trains virtual assistants and then helps them find jobs, says that their virtual assistant graduates charge $20 to $40 an hour. Fully Booked VA doesn’t let anyone hire virtual assistants through them unless they agree to pay at least this much.

The more skilled the type of virtual assistant work you do, the higher the pay you can earn. There are a ton of different types of virtual assistant jobs for which you can earn good money.

Related post: 11-step freelance guide 

Teal graphic depicting several work items - a desk, a bookshelf, an old fashioned alarm clock, phone, calendar, notebook, computer and internet connectivity icon all with dots connecting to each other

What virtual assistant niche is right for you?

There are so many different types of VA jobs that it can be overwhelming if you don’t know what type of job, or niche, is the right fit for you.

Your personality, your likes and dislikes, your skills and talents all help determine what virtual assistant niche you would be good at and enjoy.

When thinking about what type of virtual assistant job you should pursue, you can narrow it down by asking yourself these questions:

  • are you a people person?
  • are you an introvert?
  • do you like to read?
  • do you have good internet skills?
  • are you good with numbers?
  • do you have administrative skills?
  • are you a good typist?
  • do you have good technical skills?
  • are you good at grammar, spelling and punctuation?
  • do you have social media skills?
  • do you know how to write?

Also, importantly, think about these two questions.

  • What are you good at?
  • What do you like to do?

You might already have the skills you need to work in whichever VA niche you choose. If you’re interested in a niche which you don’t have the skills for, that is perfectly fine. There are online courses you can take to teach you whatever skills you need.

Get a free membership to VA Insiders Club & lots of free virtual assistant resources here

Blonde woman reading a virtual assistant guide on her laptop

 

7 Top Virtual Assistant Niches

There are hundreds of different virtual assistant niches in the world. What are the best ones? What you think are the best virtual assistant niches really depends on you and what you’re interested in. The following VA niches I chose as the top seven because job search websites and/or my personal knowledge tell me that they are the most popular, in-demand VA jobs out there.

1. Customer Service Virtual Assistant

This is a very in-demand VA niche, perhaps even the most in demand. Customer service VA is another term for customer service representative.

Customer service VA tasks may include:

  • responding to customer inquiries
  • handling emails
  • checking voicemails
  • making phone calls
  • proofreading documents
  • engaging with customers on the internet

You may be well-suited to be a customer service VA if you:

  • have good people skills
  • enjoy doing administrative tasks
  • are good at following instructions
  • know how to type
  • have good phone skills

2. Executive Virtual Assistant

In this virtual assistant niche, you do the work that administrative or personal assistants may do, at a higher level. Executive VA’s need to be very good at what they do in order to measure up to the “executive” part of this job.

According to Kaleidoscope PA Services, an executive VA “refers not just to the type of work we do, but the way we do it and the people we do it for.”

Executive VA tasks may include:

  • handling voicemails
  • making phone calls
  • handling emails
  • arranging business meetings
  • making travel arrangements

You may be well-suited to be an executive VA if you:

  • have great people skills
  • are very good at following instructions
  • are a great listener
  • are a great communicator
  • enjoy working on the internet

Man's hands on laptop working on a virtual assistant guide

3. Pinterest Virtual Assistant

Lots of entrepreneurs and small business owners use Pinterest to promote their business, and many of them hire freelance Pinterest virtual assistants to handle this work.

Pinterest VA tasks may include:

  • Pinterest strategy development
  • Pin design
  • board creation
  • applying to group boards
  • Tailwind scheduling

You may be well-suited to be a Pinterest VA if you:

  • love Pinterest
  • understand Pinterest
  • have experience with Pinterest
  • enjoy graphic design
  • have good analytical skills
  • have good communication skills

You can learn everything you need to know about working from home as a Pinterest virtual assistant with the very popular PinterestVA course.

One big benefit of the PinterestVA course is that its website also has a page for hirers looking for Pinterest virtual assistants. When you graduate from the course, any time a hirer fills out the job criteria form on the hirer’s page, you will be notified and given their contact information so that you can respond to them and let them know all about you and your services. This is how I found my own Pinterest VA.

You can watch PinterestVA’s free training workshop right here.

4. Virtual Marketing Assistant

A virtual marketing assistant helps a business properly market themselves in order to to grow their brand awareness and sales.

Virtual marketing assistant tasks may include:

  • conducting market research
  • conducting surveys
  • curating content
  • creating content
  • handling social media campaigns
  • handling email marketing campaigns

You may be well suited to be a marketing VA if you:

  • have a background in marketing
  • enjoy working on the internet
  • are a creative thinker
  • are good at social media
  • enjoy creating internet content

5. Real Estate Virtual Assistant

Real estate VA’s assist real estate agents and brokers. You do not have to have real estate training in order to find work as a real estate virtual assistant.

Real estate VA tasks may include:

  • preparing listings
  • generating leads
  • handling emails
  • managing social media accounts

You may be well-suited to be a real estate VA if you:

  • have an interest in real estate
  • have experience in real estate
  • have an understanding of internet marketing
  • are a visual person
  • enjoy working on the internet

Learn how to work at home as a real estate virtual assistant here.

Several items on a faux wooden desktop including a cup of cappuchino, a phone, some bills, Post-It notes and a cup of colorful pens

6. Legal Virtual Assistant

A legal virtual assistant works for a lawyer or a law firm performing tasks that do not require a legal education.

Legal virtual assistant tasks may include:

  • legal research
  • answering phones
  • transcription of legal documents
  • social media management
  • bookkeeping and accounting

You may be well suited to be a legal VA if you:

  • are familiar with the legal world
  • are interested in the legal field
  • are good at following instructions
  • have good listening skills
  • have good typing skills
  • enjoy people

7. Technical Virtual Assistant

A technical virtual assistant does the type of work on the internet that many people are intimidated by or just don’t know don’t know how to do.

Technical virtual assistant tasks may include:

  • customer service tech support
  • website maintenance
  • website troubleshooting
  • ecommerce website support

You may be well suited to be a technical VA if you:

  • have good technical skills
  • have experience working on websites
  • enjoy working on websites
  • have good analytical skills

6 Ways to Learn Virtual Assistant Skills

You might already have a skill that you can use to make money as a freelance virtual assistant. If you have a skill and you’re confident that you’re ready to find clients and start offering your services, then definitely go ahead and get started. Read the section below to find out where you can look for virtual assistant jobs.

If you don’t already have a skill that you can use to make money as a virtual assistant or if you want to hone a skill you do have, you’ll be glad to know that there are lots of online courses you can take to learn virtual assistant skills.

Some of these courses are budget courses and others are premium courses. You may be able to learn all you need with the more economical courses. Taking one or more of these may be the right fit for you.

You may want to go all in and take a premium course. The premium virtual assistant courses cover every aspect of what you need to know in order to start a career as a successful freelance virtual assistant along with lots of extras such as VA certification, help with finding clients and more.

Budget Virtual Assistant Courses

1. SkillShare

SkillShare offers several different virtual assistant courses which teach various aspects of how to become a virtual assistant. SkillShare is also a great place to take a course or two to learn a new skill or brush up on your existing skills if you already know what type of VA work you want to do. You can get a one-month free trial of SkillShare using this link.

2. Udemy

Udemy is another place where you can find courses on how to be a virtual assistant. They offer several courses which will teach you how to be a virtual assistant or learn specific VA skills. You can look through Udemy’s virtual assistant courses right here.

Premium Virtual Assistant Courses

3. Fully Booked VA

Fully Booked VA is a very comprehensive bundle of online courses which will teach you everything you need to know about how to be a freelance virtual assistant.

This bundle of courses will teach you how to do five different types of virtual assistant work:

  • real estate VA
  • social media VA
  • project management VA
  • email management VA
  • how to run a VA agency

This premium course also gives you:

  • live coaching
  • access to an exclusive VA community
  • client contract template
  • virtual assistant certification
  • and lots more

Fully Booked VA gives lifetime access to the VA Foundations course. Access to all of the other courses lasts for only 90 days.

You can learn more about how to become a virtual assistant and enroll in Fully Booked VA here.

4. Virtual Assistant Career Success System

The Virtual Assistant Career Success System gives you comprehensive training on everything you need to know to work as a virtual assistant. Their courses include:

  • how to grow a business
  • private VA Mastermind forum community
  • your own website
  • one-on-one business coaching
  • marketing skills courses
  • job board

Virtual Assistant Career Success System has three different levels: KickStart, Elevate and Dominate. Some components of the Virtual Assistant Career Success System offer only temporary access while others give you permanent access.

You can sign up for the Virtual Assistant Career Success System of your choice right here.

5. Work at Home School

Work at Home School is a bundle of more than 30 online courses, including several which teach you skills that you can use to earn money as a virtual assistant. This set of courses was not specifically created for VA students, but I’m including it here because it teaches you so many skills you can use to earn money as a freelance VA.

With Work at Home School you can learn:

  • writing skills
  • Pinterest VA skills
  • coding skills
  • website development skills
  • bookkeeping skills
  • + many more skills to help you earn money online

You can learn a lot more about Work at Home School by watching their free 90-minute masterclass right here.

6. PinterestVA

If you know you want to become a Pinterest virtual assistant, you can learn everything you need to know with the very comprehensive PinterestVA training course.

You can choose from two enrollment options with PinterestVA. It’s the second option – the self-study program + community – which will give you client leads so you can find Pinterest virtual assistant jobs. I found my own Pinterest VA this way!

Learn more about becoming a Pinterest virtual assistant with PinterestVA by watching this free workshop.

Where to find virtual assistant jobs

There are lots of ways you can find virtual assistant jobs. How to Become a Virtual Assistant - virtual assistant guide

One way to find virtual assistant jobs is to look on the many job search websites out there like Freelancer.com and Indeed.com. There are also many VA jobs listed on LinkedIn Jobs as well as on VirtualAssistantJobs.com.

You’ll want to start a website or a blog to let potential clients know that they can hire you as a virtual assistant. This may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be too difficult. You can learn about how to create a freelance blog here.

You can also find jobs through certain online virtual assistant courses. Three of the premium courses I detailed above help their graduates with finding VA jobs. Those three courses are:

  • Fully Booked VA
  • Virtual Assistant Career Success System
  • PinterestVA

Discover 5 of the best places you can find virtual assistant jobs right here.

There are so many great ways to find virtual assistant clients and the demand for virtual assistants is so high, you absolutely will be able to find work as a freelance virtual assistant.

Conclusion:

Virtual assistants have one of the best freelance careers out there. If you decide you want to become a virtual assistant, you’re making a very good decision.

Now that you’ve read this virtual assistant guide, you know step by step how to become a freelance virtual assistant. For some motivation and advice on how to work for yourself as a freelancer, download my free ebook How to Shift Your Mindset from 9-5 to Freelancing here.

Images by Alexandra_Koch, Hugo Hercer, Matt Wildbore, Renate Köppel and William Iven

Sabina Lohr

Sabina Lohr is a lifelong freelancer turned entrepreneur who created World of Freelancers to help others discover how to work for themselves online and live the freelance lifestyle. She’s always really enjoyed the freedom that freelancing brings, including several years on and off of working online while traveling and living abroad.

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