How to work as a virtual assistant from home
Want to work as a virtual assistant from home? Read six tips to help you get started.
Working from home has become increasingly popular, especially among mothers. Faster internet speeds, software developments and the proliferation of co-working spaces have led to more work opportunities available outside traditional 9-5 office set ups.
And one work from home career option that many women turn to is becoming a virtual assistant. By working as a virtual assistant you can choose your own hours from home (or anywhere you wish to work from), and leverage the skills and experience you’ve acquired throughout your career to date.
But how do you get started as a virtual assistant? Here are six tips to help you.
1) Work out what tasks you want to offer
Before you launch yourself as a virtual assistant, it’s helpful to take a look at a virtual assistant guide to get an idea of the basic tasks you’ll need to master – to confirm that you’re a good fit for the role, and that you’ll enjoy it.
Some of the basic tasks that you may need to do as a virtual assistant include:
- Data entry.
- Internet research.
- Responding to emails or calls.
- Graphic design.
- Social media management.
Of course this list is far from extensive. In reality, many virtual assistants offer a wide range of skills to their clients. And some even specialise in key areas (increasing their prices to reflect their level of expertise).
You can read a more extensive list of some of the services you may want to offer here.
2) Create a website
If you want to attract new clients, and help them decide whether you may be the virtual assistant for them, you ned a website.
Your website needs to showcase your experience and skills, as well as social proof from current and previous clients (or employers and colleagues if you don’t yet have any clients).
Here are some the things you need to consider including in your website:
- Your experience and any relevant qualifications.
- The services you offer.
- Packages (if you offer them).
- Reviews and feedback from previous clients.
Remember too to include any skills that may set you apart from other applicants, or that are attractive to companies looking for virtual assistants. (These can also open you up to more work from home ideas).
Depending on where you live and what your ideal clients are looking for, some of the skills you may wish to highlight are:
- Proficiency in English.
- Proficiency in foreign languages, such as French, German, Chinese.
- Coding or other specialist technical skills.
- Design skills.
- Immediate availability on Skype.
- Existing PayPal account.
- Proficiency with online file-sharing platforms such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
3) Take online courses
Want to build up your skill set (and confidence) so you can add extra proficiencies to your offering? You can also consider taking online courses in topics you know clients are looking for.
These can include mastering social media platforms for business (such as Twitter), extra languages or technical skills using specific software, like Photoshop or Indesign.
4) Improve your ability to solve problems and think outside of the box
While you will have a set job and a bunch of rigid tasks to do a lot of the time, this will mean that you won’t be independent.
There may come a time when you reach a stumbling block and will not know how to proceed. This is where problem-solving abilities will come in handy.
Whether you are simply trying to write high-quality content for a business or whether you are thinking of B2B marketing ideas, you’ll have to think outside of the box from time to time. Improving your creativity and expression will help this along the way.
5) Be patient
Finding virtual assistant clients is just like looking for any job – it will take time and patience. So don’t panic if you don’t land a client in the first week.
What you do need to do is have a plan, and keep plodding away at it, day after day after day. You can read practical tips to help you create a plan to find clients in these articles:
- Two easy ways you can use Twitter to find new VA clients
- How to set yourself up as a virtual assistant
- The nine secrets of starting a successful VA business
- How to become a successful virtual assistant – infographic
It’s also important to ensure that your LinkedIn profile is set up properly, and that you network on the platform to help get your profile in front of potential clients. (You can learn how to do this here.)
6) Make sure you have a good home internet connection
And last but definitely not least, you can’t work from home successfully if you don’t have a fast and reliable internet connection (some employers and HR managers of online companies use internet connection speeds to filter out applicants, and may ask you to submit an internet speed test).
So check that your home internet connection works well. And if not, explore changing supplier.
Photo by Persnickety Prints