As more and more entrepreneurs are beginning to create successful online businesses, there is an increasing need for them to hire people to assist them. The person who assists someone in running their online business is called a virtual assistant (VA). The VA field is quite new and expanding rapidly. With its large variety of work you can perform, this is one of the best work-from-home jobs out there, in my opinion. Here is what you need to know about how to become a virtual assistant.
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What is a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistants are people who freelance online by assisting other people with work that they need to accomplish. VA’s perform jobs such as such as freelance writing, editing, transcription, proofreading, email management, social media management, customer service, graphic design, video editing and more. Most virtual assistants freelance, but some work as employees. Here is a list of 150 virtual assistant jobs.
There is a lot you need to know in order to be a successful virtual assistant. Once you’ve got a skill, or once you’ve chosen a skill that you would like to learn, you need to know what you can do with this skill so that you can earn money with it as a VA. The ideal place to get virtual assistant training is with 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success, an online course created by former VA Gina Horkey.
Who is Gina Horkey?
Gina is a millennial wife and mom of two who lives in Minnesota. For 10 years she was working in personal finance and seeing success, but she wasn’t happy and she wasn’t fulfilled. So in 2014 she began freelance writing on the side. Then she began working as a VA. Then Gina founded an online business called Horkey Handbook and created a course to help other people learn how to become virtual assistants.
Gina’s course, 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success, is now the top online course to teach people one of the best work-from-home jobs. This is a comprehensive course where you will learn about:
- Exactly what is expected of virtual assistants
- Traits that make an excellent VA
- How to find the virtual assistant niche that suits you best
- What types of virtual assistant services you should offer
- What title you should give yourself
- Establishing and growing an online presence for yourself
- Finding clients and networking in person
- Job boards, marketplaces and agencies
- How to set up a business
- Establishing proper rates
- Invoicing and automatic payment
- Working with clients
Q&A with Gina Horkey
Q. Who is a good fit to be a virtual assistant?
A. What I hear from clients over and over is that they’re looking for someone that’s:
- A self-starter
- And reliable
So while they’re looking for people that can provide certain services, the personal traits they are looking for are the above. As long as you know how to train, you’ve got a shot!
VA’s also need to have either a desktop or laptop computer and reliable internet. Don’t worry about having any fancy programs or applications – most of your clients will give you access to their cloud-based tools and software programs that you need to complete your work for them.
Q. What is a virtual assistant’s salary?
A. From the little research that exists, the average North American virtual assistant earns between $25 to $40 per hour.
How much money you can make as a virtual assistant is going to depend on your experience, skillset and areas of expertise. I.e., the more specialized your services and the more experience you have, the more you can charge.
I’ve seen people in our community charge as little as $15 per hour and others earn more than $100 per hour (including myself). Ultimately it comes down to being really good at what you do and finding clients that value what you’re offering them.
How quickly you start earning depends on how quickly -and frequently – you begin putting yourself out there for hire. Click here for some real-life examples of VA’s in our Horkey Handbook community who have built successful businesses after their virtual assistant training.
In my opinion, independent contracting and working virtually is the way of the future.
Q. Most virtual assistants are freelancers. What are some important ways life as a freelance virtual assistant will differ from life as an employee working in an office?
A. This type of work is especially suitable for folks that are self-directed and able to manage their time well. If you seem to finish your work quickly and are twiddling your thumbs until something hits your inbox, becoming a VA will give you the option to scale your income in relation to what you’re able to get done in less time.
There’s also a whole lot of freedom that comes along with working online as a virtual assistant. For the most part, you can complete your work on your terms – i.e. on your schedule and from wherever you are that has reliable internet.
Q. What kind of results can people get from your online course?
A. Most students make their way through the material in a month or less.
Many of my students end up getting hired by their first client before they finish. Results vary based on the time someone has available, the amount of action they take and the skill set they enter the course with.
Some people have the goal of bringing in a few hundred extra dollars each month, while others want to replace a six-figure salary. We’ve seen numerous students accomplish both goals over the last several years. Most land somewhere in between.
Q. How does a freelance VA get clients?
A. We cover more than a half dozen prospecting methods in 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success but a few of our favorites are:
- Using social media
- In-person networking
- Tapping into your natural market
Methods for finding and attracting high-quality clients haven’t changed much over the last decade, but really understanding what they are, which you’re best suited for and how to go about them in the right way are important. Luckily for our students, prospecting and building effective client relationships are kind of our specialty.
Q. What specific challenges did you encounter when you were a freelance virtual assistant, and how did you conquer those challenges so that you saw success?
A. Getting one’s first client is probably the most challenging part in the beginning.
It’s much easier to land client #2 once you’ve landed #1. You’re not as scared to “put yourself out there” and you have some experience under your belt.
You have to feel the fear and just do it anyway – landing clients and delivering services to them is kinda how you get paid as a VA. 😉
Click here to watch Gina’s free webinar about how to become a virtual assistant!
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