Becoming a virtual assistant (VA) is easier than you think.
Becoming a virtual assistant is an attractive option for those who wish to work from home or abroad.While friends and family may balk at your decision to become a full-time virtual assistant, they may be unaware of the lucrative opportunities that are arising from the rapid adoption of remote computing technology.
In an office setting, a traditional administrative assistant would be available for the company utilize on demand. A virtual assistant provides the same services for an organization remotely. In fact, there may be some evidence that shows that a virtual assistant could potentially outperform an administrative assistant.
An administrative assistant could get distracted at the office while a remote virtual assistant can focus on the task at hand due to no outside interference. Organizations are wising up to the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant.
Aspiring VAs with a background in executive assistance stand to profit the most from the rapid uptick in businesses hiring virtual assistant services.
How Much Money Can You Make as a Virtual Assistant?
The potential for earning revenues as a virtual assistant is unlimited. At first glance, you may think that you can only work a certain amount of hours for a specific agreed upon rate with your client. The fact is, the best virtual assistants have more employment offers than they can handle.
When you are first starting out, you may need to build up your portfolio with positive reviews to drum up business from clients willing to spend significant amounts of money per hour on your services. Once you begin landing those clients, some U.S. based VAs charge upwards of $50 to $100 per hour. Realistically, you could command $20-$40 an hour if you are an established virtual assistant within a particular niche.
In other parts of the world, the hourly rates are in-line with local rates.
The most successful virtual assistant businesses will subcontract work out to trusted entities and create processes that ensure quality control. Currently, the business of virtual assistance is still in the nascent stage.
Transparency Market Research recently published a report claiming that the global market for virtual assistance will be worth $7.9 billion dollars in the year 2024.
In 2015, the market was worth around $630 million dollars. The predicted spike in virtual assistant services will likely provide an enormous windfall to the businesses that capitalize on the growing global market. With this in mind, it could be a very good time to begin thinking about transitioning into your role as virtual assistant.
Finding Your First Gig as VA
It’s recommended that you take on a relatively easy first gig as a VA. You might be wondering, “How do I land my first client as a virtual assistant?”
These platforms can take 10% or more of your initial profits, so be prepared to pay these fees.
When you are first starting out on these freelancing platforms, your primary goal should be to earn as many positive reviews as possible. Don’t worry about commanding a high hourly rate at the beginning of your career or you may be setting yourself up for failure. The best way to land those high paying virtual assistant jobs is to build up a portfolio of positive reviews on the top freelancing platforms.
Put yourself in the shoes of someone looking for a virtual assistant; one of the first things you will check is the reviews provided by other clients. When you build a positive reputation as a virtual assistant, you will be able to command a higher rate as you gain more experience.
Think about the skills you currently possess and about the skills your client may require. When you match up these skill sets alongside the requirements of your client, you’ll be able to develop new streams of income while simultaneously charging your client a higher premium.
Establishing Yourself as a Trusted Virtual Assistant
Becoming a trusted virtual assistant is only half the battle. To make it in this competitive market, you must be willing to market yourself and become a master at networking to drum up new business.
Think about the things that separate you from other virtual assistants. Certain intangible factors could help catapult your virtual assistance business past other freelancers in the market. For example, if you currently possess any of the following intangibles, you could create a niche for yourself within the virtual assistant industry:
- Multilingual – English, Spanish, German or Mandarin Chinese
- Availability for phone conferences during office hours
- Written and spoken fluency in English
- Instant availability on platforms such skype
- The ability to perform tasks in person
- A positive, helpful attitude
- The ability to research and compile executive reports
- Proficiency with cloud based platforms such as Salesforce
Make a list of all the ways you can personally benefit a business that may require the services of a virtual assistant. Think about all the different ways your background matches up with your potential client’s requirements and begin promoting yourself as an expert virtual assistant within that niche.
Once you’ve gathered all of this data, think about creating a website that lists all of your skills and services. Be sure to include past examples of work provided for past clients. If you do not have any clients, simply create an example of the types of services that you offer and create a portfolio page that brags about your specialties.
Capitalize On Your Skillsets But Be Eager to Learn More
When you begin taking on more tasks as a VA, try to figure out if any of your clients have similar processes or similar goals in mind. In fact, there may be value in reverse engineering the processes provided to you by your client. Learn as much as you can about your client’s industry and determine if other businesses within this specific industry can benefit from your virtual assistant services.
When you discover an organization’s motivation for seeking a virtual assistant, you could potentially create your own niche within the virtual assistant industry. If you are fortunate enough to carve out a niche within the virtual assistant industry, it’s possible that you can safely ramp down your marketing efforts as your service could be known as the #1 player within this specific niche.
When you discover these hidden niches, you’ll be able to charge your customers a premium. Achieving this status in the virtual assistant market will help you set yourself apart from the competition.