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How To Become A Virtual Assistant In 2023: Beginner’s Guide

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Are you looking for a way to work from home?

Do you have administrative or clerical skills?

If so, then you are likely interested in how to become a virtual assistant.

In this article, we will discuss what it takes to become a virtual assistant and how you can start working as one.

We will also explore how virtual assistants find clients.

What Exactly Does a Virtual Assistant Do?

Before you can prepare to become a virtual assistant (VA), you need to know the basics of working as a virtual assistant.

If you think you will enjoy performing the following tasks, then consider working as a VA.

1. Schedule Management

A virtual assistant, by definition, manages a client’s schedule.

It includes setting up appointments, sending reminders, and rescheduling as necessary.

You must stay organized and possess strong time management skills to succeed in this role.

2. Communication Management

An essential part of working as a VA is managing your client’s communication.

You might handle their email, reply to messages, and manage their social media accounts.

You should have excellent written and verbal communication skills.

3. Phone Work

You will also handle your client’s phone calls.

It includes screening calls, taking messages, and transferring calls to the appropriate person.

Consider how comfortable you are talking on the phone and using customer service skills.

4. Travel Booking

If your client travels frequently, then you may book their travel arrangements.

You will set up flights, hotels, car rentals, and more.

5. Accounting

Accounting and bookkeeping are tasks that virtual assistants typically complete.

A client might ask you to work on invoicing, tracking expenses, and preparing reports.

6. Personal Errands

In some cases, you might run personal errands for your client.

It could include tasks such as grocery shopping, picking up the dry cleaning, and more.

Can Anyone Be a Virtual Assistant?

Now that you know what a virtual assistant does, you might wonder if anyone can become one.

The answer is yes! If you have the necessary skills and qualifications, then you can start working as a VA.

Even though you might need to develop additional experience before getting hired, the basic skills aren’t difficult to acquire.

What Do You Need To Become a Virtual Assistant?

Let’s review what you need to get hired as a virtual assistant.

If you don’t have all of these qualifications and skills yet, know that you can work on them before working as a VA.

1. High School Diploma

The first thing you need to become a virtual assistant is a high school diploma or equivalent.

In some cases, your client may require you to have a college degree.

2. Relevant Work Experience

While not required, having relevant work experience can help you get hired as a virtual assistant.

If you have worked in customer service or administrative roles, then you should list this experience on your resume.

Additionally, consider whether you have completed any internships.

These experiences might help you when working toward becoming a virtual assistant.

3. Knowledge of Software Programs

As a virtual assistant, you will need proficiency in the use of software programs.

It includes word processing programs, spreadsheets, and presentation software.

For example, your VA work might require that you work with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

In addition to these programs, you should also become familiar with project management software and CRM software.

4. Communication Skills

Working as a virtual assistant will require excellent communication skills.

Make sure you know how to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.

Additionally, you should have strong customer service skills.

5. Time Management Skills

Since you will work with various clients, it is crucial to possess strong time management skills.

Can you juggle multiple tasks and meet deadlines?

If so, and combine these skills with organizational skills, then you’re a good fit for VA work.

How To Become a Virtual Assistant

Now that we’ve reviewed the skills and qualifications needed to become a virtual assistant let’s discuss how you can get started in this career.

vector graphic showing an illustration of how to become a virtual assistant

1. Gain Relevant Experience

The best way to become a virtual assistant is to start working in a related field.

Consider working as an administrative assistant, customer service representative, or data entry specialist.

These roles will help you develop the skills needed to succeed as a VA.

2. Hone Your Communication and Technology Skills

As we mentioned earlier, excellent communication and technology skills are essential for virtual assistants.

If you need to brush up on your skills, consider taking a course or two.

Many online courses exist that can help you develop the skills you need to succeed in this career.

3. Find Clients

There are several ways to find clients who want to hire a virtual assistant.

You can start by searching for job postings on job boards or freelancer websites.

You can also reach out to businesses directly and send them your resume and proposal.

Additionally, you can build a website or blog to showcase your services.

4. Apply To Virtual Assistant Jobs

Once you’ve gained some experience and developed your skills, you can start applying for virtual assistant jobs.

Tailor your resume and cover letter to each job you apply for.

List your resume on your website and job boards.

5. Get Practice

As with any job, practice makes perfect.

The more experience you have working as a virtual assistant, the better you will become at your job.

Consider taking on some pro bono work or internships to get started. You can also offer your services for free to family and friends.

It will help you get some experience under your belt while also building your portfolio.

Once you’ve built up a portfolio of work, you can start charging full price for your services.

How Do Virtual Assistants Get Clients?

Although we previously mentioned a few ideas about getting work as a virtual assistant, let’s review more detailed tips in this area.

If you expect to work as a VA, you can’t rely on one strategy alone.

Instead, you need to expose your resume and portfolio to as many people as possible.

Of all the social media platforms, LinkedIn is probably the best platform for finding work as a virtual assistant.

LinkedIn is a site that’s used primarily by businesses and professionals.

You can create a profile that highlights your skills and experience.

Join groups related to your industry and connect with potential clients.

Once you begin your LinkedIn connections, start reaching out to companies that may need your services.

Attend LinkedIn events and webinars to further connect with industry professionals.

Don’t blast the same message to every contact.

Customize each message to the specific company or individual.

Post a Listing on Upwork

Upwork is one of the leading freelancer websites.

You can create a profile and list your services.

When companies post jobs, you can apply for the ones that match your skills.

Submit proposals that stand out from the rest.

Include a detailed explanation of your services and how you can help the company.

Here are tips to stand out on Upwork.

  • Create a professional profile: Use a professional photo. Write a clear and concise description of your skills and experience. Include details about your education and any relevant certifications.
  • Bid on the proper projects: Remain selective when bidding on projects. You’re more likely to get hired if you bid on projects that match your skills.
  • Use details inside bids: The more information you provide in your bids, the better chance you have of getting noticed and hired.
  • Remain responsive: If a client contacts you, respond as soon as possible.
  • Perform well: Once you land gigs, take the time to perform above and beyond expectations. Doing so will get you top ratings. Over time, as your ratings accumulate, you will set yourself apart from other people competing on Upwork.

Look on Job Sites

In addition to job boards like Indeed and Monster, you can also look for virtual assistant jobs on general job sites like Indeed and CareerBuilder.

Other quality websites that list virtual assistance jobs include the following.

  • FlexJobs
  • Remote.co
  • Craigslist

Connect With Industry Professionals

Attending industry events is a great way to connect with potential clients.

You can also join professional organizations related to your field.

These organizations usually have member directories where you can find contact information for potential clients.

When connecting with industry professionals, focus on the needs of each potential client more than your qualifications.

For example, if you’re trying to connect with a real estate agent, focus on how you can help them with their business.

Perhaps you can take care of social media marketing or develop a system to help them keep track of their properties and clients.

Customize each message that you send.

You should also follow up after sending an initial message.

Professionalism is key when trying to build relationships with potential clients

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have a few questions about how to become a virtual assistant?

Here are the answers to two of the most commonly asked questions about the topic.

Is it hard to become a virtual assistant?

No, it’s not hard to become a virtual assistant.

However, it is important to have the right skills and experience.

Additionally, you’ll need to be comfortable working with different technologies.

The typical salary for a virtual assistant lands anywhere from $10 to $70 per hour.

Depending on your experience, it’s worth it to generate business in this niche.

What are the top 5 virtual assistants?

There is no definitive answer to this question since there are so many virtual assistant websites out there.

However, some of the top virtual assistant companies include Zirtual, Fancy Hands, Belay Solutions, and Time Etc.

These companies all have quality reputations and offer quality services.
These companies also offer opportunities for you to work as a VA by applying to work from their platforms.

Wrapping Up

Becoming a virtual assistant is a way to work from home and make money.

You can use the tips in this article to get started in the field.

Remember to create a strong resume and portfolio, connect with industry professionals, and look for job postings on various websites.

With hard work and dedication, you can become a successful virtual assistant.

Do you have additional questions about how to become a virtual assistant?

Ask us in the comments below so we can help you further.

If you’re ready to begin working as a VA, start gaining experience, working on your skills, developing a portfolio, and applying for work.

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