When you become a virtual assistant, you can create your own remote job and work from anywhere, which makes this a popular choice as a job for digital nomads.
If you want a career where you can set your own schedule and use skills you already have, then learning how to get started as a virtual assistant (VA) is for you.
A virtual assistant is someone who is self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely.
As a VA, you have the freedom to:
- Create your own schedule
- Work anywhere in the world on your laptop
- Start your workday at your preferred time
- Take vacations whenever you like
- Decide who to work with and who to pass on
What exactly does a VA do?
There are over 250+ different tasks that a VA can do. When you become a virtual assistant, you’ll use your own background and expertise to choose your specialties.
The main goal of being a VA is to complete tasks that can free up time for business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs.
Here are a few examples of the type of work VA’s do every day.
- Calendar management
- Phone tasks
- Personal assistant
- Content creation
- Customer relations
- And more!
Each virtual assistant is different, and each client they work with will have a different process as well. It is important to niche down your skillset and decide what tasks you would enjoy helping a client out with.
Take a moment to write down every skill you have from past jobs, volunteer work, life experiences, or educational training. Those will be the basis for the services you’ll offer.
Qualifications to get started as a virtual assistant
One of the coolest things about becoming a virtual assistant is that you can use your skills from any past job or life experience.
For example, if you have experience in retail you can utilize your organizational and customer service skills as a virtual assistant. You could also target online retailers as a customer base, since you know the industry.
Other job experiences that are helpful to have as a virtual assistant include sales, administrative, and customer care associates.
Here are a few qualifications and skills that will help you become a VA.
- Decision-making skills
- Basic computer skills
- Self motivation
- Time management
- Communication skills
- Desire to learn
The great thing about these skills is that they are easy to learn and put into practice.
Training to become a virtual assistant
There are so many VA training tools to choose from, but you need to watch out for scam training classes.
The first free VA training tool to use is YouTube. There are many videos on YouTube that explain how to use different software systems, how to create your website, and how to get started as a virtual assistant.
A second way to train for a career as a VA is to do some freelancing jobs with small businesses in exchange for practice with your skill and a testimonial to help build your brand trust. Reach out to any small business owners you know and ask if you can do some work for them to help build your portfolio.
Finally, if you are looking for a reputable VA training tool, then check out these courses on Udemy. Even when you are a seasoned VA, learning new skills through Udemy will help increase your skillset and allow you to market yourself for different client opportunities.x
Work from Home as a Virtual AssistantThe most popular VA training course on Udemy is a great bargain to train for a new career.
Things you need to launch a VA business
Once you have your skills in place, you are ready to launch your own VA business.
There are a few things you will need.
A reliable computer/ laptop
Since being a VA means all of your work is done online, you will want to make sure you have a reliable laptop to use wherever you go. Make sure you have enough storage available on your laptop as well.
You will want reliable internet so you can complete your projects quickly and efficiently. There are so many great mobile hotspot plans to choose from to help you and your business while you are traveling around and working as a virtual assistant.
You will want a website so you can direct people to your services and give them a way to contact you. In the beginning, you can opt for a simple website like Linktree, but eventually, you will want to look into getting your own domain name. I suggest creating a WordPress-based website, as WordPress is a very reliable and efficient website platform.
Siteground has been our host here at Indie Travel Guru for years, and we love them. They offer reasonable prices, easy coordination with WordPress, fast speeds, strong security, and good customer service.
Branding is a huge part of becoming a virtual assistant. You want to be able to stand out from the other virtual assistants, and also want your brand to be recognized by business owners.
With branding, you will choose your business name, colors, logo, and font choice. All of these items will then be incorporated into your website, email, and social media accounts. If you are skilled in creative design, you can do your own branding, or you can hire someone to help you.
Make sure your branding and business name reflect your niche, specialties, and target market.
As a VA, you will need a variety of software systems to help keep you organized and on track.
You will need…
- A customer relations management system to keep track of your clients. (Monday, Hubspot, etc)
- An accounting system to keep track of invoices. (17 Hats, Quickbooks, etc)
- A calendar system to manage your appointments and help with time management. (Google Calendar, Calendly, 7 shifts)
- A project management system to help manage your clients and their projects. (Asana, Monday, Airtable, etc)
- A time-keeping system to help you keep track of how much time you are spending on each task or project. (Toggl, Click Up, Clockify, etc)
Where to find VA clients
There are many ways to find clients for your VA business.
One way is to join various virtual assistant Facebook groups. I really enjoy the Virtual Assistant Savvies group and the Female Digital Nomads Group. You can also join Facebook groups for the niche of clients you want to work with and post about your virtual assistant services in those groups.
Another way to find clients is through various job websites that post VA opportunities. One great resource is Hire My Mom, which has membership options and posts VA job opportunities.
Using resources such as Upwork or Freelancer are both great ways to get clients. When using these platforms, you submit proposals to potential clients. Beware of scam job opportunities on these sites, and never give out your personal information or pay them any money.
Become a virtual assistant
Ready to get started as a virtual assistant? There is no better time than the present. Use the skills and resources you just learned to help you begin your virtual assistant journey.
FAQs about becoming a virtual assistant
You become a virtual assistant by using your current skill set and using various VA training tools in order to help you set up your VA business.
To start your career as a VA you will need to assess your skills, a laptop, reliable WiFi, and a website.
Becoming a VA is the perfect job for a digital nomad. You are able to use skills you already have, work from anywhere, and even set your own schedule.
Tina Goyzueta is a digital nomad and the owner of The Wandering VA, a successful virtual nomad