3 Tips for Becoming a Virtual Assistant

I first started working as a Virtual Assistant in 2011. Since then defining the role and duties of a work-from-home Virtual Assistant, and what that means for online businesses has changed. In 2011, many online business owners didn’t know what a Virtual Assistant was. Now it’s much easier to break into the industry as a Virtual Assistant.

People often ask me questions about becoming a virtual assistant, so I’ve put together three essential things you can do now to start or grow your virtual assistant business.

Highlight Specific Qualities

Build on your soft skills. Soft skills are defined as personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. A lot of online business owners look for virtual assistants that are good with communication, highly organized, detail-oriented, and good at time management. I realize some of this can be learned, but if you naturally excel in the areas of communication or details, this will impress potential clients.

Working remotely from your computer means that you are expected to be somewhat tech savvy, be able to learn programs quickly, and be problem solvers. Highlighting these qualities and giving examples from previous work experience will help you to land clients. Most of the time, if you are a quick learner, then a client will be willing to teach you individual programs rather than requiring you already know them. If they feel you are the right fit, then they are more likely to invest time in you.

Tip: Once working with clients, if you don’t know how to do something with an online software, Google it for the answer because clients get irritated if they need to explain things you could figure out yourself. You need to know when to go to the client, and when to troubleshoot yourself. Keep in mind; you need to take things off their plate, not add more. When you are first getting started, of course, you will have more questions but again use your common sense and problem solve on your own as much as possible.

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” ~Anthony J. D’Angelo

Start Learning Online Programs

Learn the most popular software programs for online business. There are several online software applications for every business need you can think of, but you don’t need to worry about knowing them all. Learn three or four software programs for online business to make yourself more valuable to clients. Some of the top ones to know are Asana, Google docs, Zoom, Buffer, and Hootsuite. Asana is a trending project management program that has an amazing free account. Basecamp, Trello, and Teamworkpm are a few other common project management platforms, but not nearing as popular as Asana.

Everyone’s business I have worked with uses google docs and dropbox, so add those to your list. They both have free accounts so you can start getting familiar with them now. Many clients use a webinar program like Zoom, which also has a free account. When you already know the basics of several online platforms, you will impress potential clients and therefore grow your client base faster. If you can use one type of program like Zoom for webinars, you will be able to understand the other webinar programs since most have similar features.

Work on Your Online Presence

When getting started, it is very helpful to have a substantial online presence. All you need is to update your LinkedIn page and keep your personal and professional social media pages reputable. Make sure your social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest posts and pictures are free from anything negative or inappropriate. Many potential clients check out your public profiles before hiring. They feel it gives them insight into the type of person you are, so having your public profile drama free is important. Otherwise, if it’s full of drama, negative posts or very crude pictures potential clients may feel you bring that into your work with them and they will skip over you.

Also, wait on building a website because you don’t need to spend a ton of money and time creating a fancy website to get started. Instead, join VA Facebook groups and post your portfolio on online platforms such as upwork.com or freelancer.com. Network with others to get your first few clients. Once you have found your niche, then build a website. Building your website too early will often take money that is best spent elsewhere and early on you often don’t know what your focus will be, so you end up spending lots of time changing your site. I didn’t have a website for at least the first year of my business, then I used a template and did it myself for very low cost.

I hope you find these tips helpful in becoming a Virtual Assistant. Getting started doesn’t have to be expensive. If you want to learn more about becoming a virtual assistant you can grab my free 3-part Virtual Assistant Starter Kit here. It goes over the top 10 programs you need to know for online business, covers the nine mistakes VA’s make and how to avoid them, and the number one tip on being a successful VA.

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