How To Become A Virtual Assistant (VA) In Simple Steps

How To Become A Belindavas Virtual Assistant (VA)

Busy professionals can always use more hours in their day, and deciding to hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) is one of the best and most recommended ways to create that time. In other words, it’s worth mentioning that Virtual Assistants (VAs) provide just about every support service you can think of that can be performed remotely. They work with a variety of potential customers.

These customers may include individuals, solopreneurs, small businesses, medium-sized teams, enterprises, etc. General VAs handle basic admin tasks, and specialized VAs with advanced experience in higher-level tasks, specific industries, or both. When you start to pick your tasks apart, you’ll realize that almost all of them can be taught to someone else.

And while you can’t always find someone to think like you, plenty of VAs will be able to act like you.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant (VA) As Newcomer

As mentioned, a Virtual Assistant (VA) performs any number of administrative, creative, or marketing tasks for clients. Technically, the client may be another VA who needs assistance, an individual or solopreneur, or a company or organization. While some VAs may work full-time for one major client, many opt to work simultaneously as contractors or freelancers for several clients.

However, this can add up to a full-time workload or even more. Eventually, the amount you can earn as a VA will depend on your skill set, depth of expertise, and whether you work for a VA company or yourself. As an entry-level VA with a company, you may make as little as $10 to $12 per hour, which may not be a livable wage, especially if this is your only source of income.

If you work for yourself, you can charge $20 or more per hour and raise your rate as you develop high-level or in-demand skills. Be that as it may, a Virtual Assistant can do their work in a few different ways.

Such as follows:
  • Business Owner: Expert VAs who own entities can charge more, usually starting around $25 per hour and raising their rate as their career continues. They schedule and determine which tasks they will and will not perform.
  • Intermediary Assistants: For a Virtual Assistant who works for a company that connects clients with VAs, their rate is usually lower, ranging from $10 to $15 per hour.
  • Freelancer Assistants: These VAs connect with clients through a micro-work website, like Fiverr. Instead of being employed on an ongoing basis, they perform quick, one-off jobs for clients. Rates are lower than hiring a VA through a company because tasks are simple, and the VA is at the very start of their career.

A perk to being a VA is setting your flexible schedule, but you do have to cater to each client’s needs and schedule, too. Being a VA requires little specialty training or equipment besides admin skills, business savvy, and internet know-how. With time, you can specialize in a niche and grow your business to serve high-value clients.

The Skills That A Virtual Assistant Needs

When wondering how to become a virtual assistant, you may assume that VAs only handle dry admin tasks. That’s part of it (clients don’t want to do those tedious tasks), but you can also offer more advanced services you enjoy.

Constantly communicate the value behind the task, no matter which services you offer. Appeal to what the client needs the most. What keeps them up at night? How can you solve that problem for them? Instead of simply stating your services, talk about why this will help them. Describe what life will look like for them once you’ve handled their email, social media, etc.

Blog Management

To offer blog management as a service, you need WordPress experience. Blogging comes with daily administrative tasks that clients won’t have time for, such as:

  • Formatting and optimizing posts to include headers, links and SEO
  • Adding images, meta data and captions
  • Proofreading drafts and scheduling posts to go live
  • Approving, deleting and replying to comments
  • Filling out plugin information, like keywords and alternatives in Yoast SEO
  • Organizing and updating posts with categories and tags

Customer Service

When clients want you to take over customer service tasks, you’ll have to get up-to-speed on their customer-facing business practices and products. You’ll probably offer customer support via email to do things like answer product questions, process refunds and troubleshoot account issues. You can also suggest they implement a knowledge base that you can write for (they can use a knowledge base plugin).

Email Management

Busy professionals can’t simply ignore their inboxes, but since email management can take up so much time, it’s a top priority that clients need to be handled. Email management includes:

  • Deleting, sorting, and replying to email
  • Moving emails into clearly labeled folders so the client can quickly tell what takes priority, what needs a response, and which emails are just informational
  • Processing emails, approving blog post comments, canceling or renewing subscriptions, and confirming appointments inside a booking plugin

Essentially, you want their inbox as neat and clean as possible for when they check it each morning.

Graphic Design

You don’t need advanced design skills to offer graphic design as a service, so long as you’re honest about your abilities and limitations. With a good eye, basic design skills, and an easy-to-use tool like Canva, you can create graphics like:

  • Advertisements
  • Featured images for blog posts
  • Flyers
  • Instagram Stories
  • Pinterest Pins
  • Postcards
  • Promotional material
  • Social media profile covers

Social Media

Social media is one of the first things that fall by the wayside, but that doesn’t make it any less important to the health of a business. Since clients know they should be handling social media but can’t seem to find the time or learn the skills needed, it’s an excellent skill for a VA to develop. Plus, social media management is a higher-tier task that you can charge a bit more for. Like email management, social media management requires consistency, so if you’re going to offer this service to clients, make sure you have the time to dedicate to it weekly or even daily.


When a client has a podcast, video, or webinar, your transcription services will come in handy. After transcribing the content, you can turn it into other forms, like blog posts, newsletters, or social media posts. You don’t need any advanced skills for transcription other than the ability to type fast, though you can invest in transcription software if you’ll be doing this for a lot of clients.

Even More Virtual Assistant Tasks To Offer

There are so many more VA services to consider when deciding how to become a virtual assistant, both basic and advanced:

  • App development
  • Audio, photo or video editing
  • Bookkeeping and data entry
  • Calendar and schedule management
  • Community moderation and management
  • Ghostwriting or copyediting
  • Keyword research
  • Lead generation and outreach
  • Programming
  • Project management
  • Researching
  • Travel arrangements
  • Website design

How To Niche Down As A Virtual Assistant

At first, you’ll probably be a generalist VA, offering a broad array of general skills. This is something every VA should be able to do. Even when it’s time to niche down, your clients may still need your specialty plus a routine service or two.

As a general VA, you’ll be sort of like the client’s gofer, doing anything and everything they want to be done within your list of basic services. After you’ve done that for a while, you’ll learn which tasks you like and what you’re best at. You can then learn more about those specific niches and develop your skills. Consider creating a sub-niche of your niche, too, to target a specific audience. For example, you can handle email management specifically for photographers or graphic design for wedding vendors.

When you want to develop proficiency in an area – eCommerce customer service, Pinterest marketing, social media advertising, WordPress management, etc. – help is available at all price points. For example, you can learn more about social media marketing by diving into niche podcasts, then take a free certification course, then get an advanced certification that comes with a price tag.

How To Find Work As A Virtual Assistant

Your potential clients are hanging out somewhere online, and it’s your job to figure out where that is. Are they on Reddit or in another online forum? Do they read articles on specific websites and leave comments? Is there a Facebook group or Twitter hashtag they participate in? Go where they are and offer advice for free. Once you’ve developed a rapport, lightly mention that you’re a VA.

Also consider connecting with other VAs online, like in social media communities. Experienced VAs may turn away work, and if they have you as a contact, they could send some clients your way.

Job boards will also have listings for VAs, or listings for other services that you perform, like social media marketing. If you’re a good fit for the role, even if it doesn’t mention “virtual assistant,” apply. The client may need some of the additional services you offer on top of what they’re hiring for.

There’s also the option to work for a VA company before branching out independently. There are pros and cons to this. The company will attract clients for you and pair you with work, but they may set your rate or take a cut of your income. When you’re starting, though, it’s an excellent way to learn the ropes and advance your skills without solely being responsible for the client-VA relationship. You can take advantage of the company’s resources to hone your skills.

How To Find Your Ideal Client As A Virtual Assistant

To build a client list, you’re excited about, you must create a client persona and vet potential clients thoroughly, then move forward slowly and carefully. It’s also a good idea to put each new client through a short trial period, like three months. That way, if one or both of you aren’t happy with how things are working out, you’re not roped into a long contract.

Define Your Ideal Client

Defining your ideal client lets you work with the people you want to work with while weeding out the ones who aren’t going to help you grow your career. Build a vision of your ideal client by clarifying the essential traits.

  • Industry
  • Niche and expertise
  • Age range
  • Entrepreneurial age (startup vs. established)
  • Income
  • Budget to hire a VA
  • Concerns and struggles
  • Skills they lack

Also, determine how much you want the client to participate in your work. Asking someone if they’re a micro-manager isn’t going to get you a truthful answer, but knowing your limits will help you decide whether or not to continue the professional relationship.

Use a Client Application Form

It would help to vet them before you officially decide to take on a client. Otherwise, you could find deal-breakers after moving forward with an agreement or contract. Your client application form will help you learn about your client and identify key tasks they need help with. You’ll also determine what you can’t help them with, making it easier to set boundaries and expectations. Gather all the helpful information.

  • Full name
  • Business name
  • Contact information
  • Preferred contact style
  • Point(s) of contact
  • Time zone
  • Social profiles and website
  • Referral source
  • Products/services they provide
  • Their target audience/market
  • Tasks they need assistance with
  • How many hours per day, week, or month they need from you
  • Budget for hiring a VA
  • Their other VAs you’ll communicate with

You may also want to ask about other VAs or VA companies they’ve worked with in the past and if the experience was positive or negative. This will clue you in to what you need to sell them. For example, if they felt a prior VA was unresponsive, let them know how and when you can be contacted, and make a point to always reply quickly.

Hold an Interview

Always have one phone or video interview before making any final decisions. You can learn a lot about someone by the way they speak. Is the client difficult to pull information from? You may not get the guidance you need to perform your job well. Do they go off on tangents and spin a 30-minute interview into a 90-minute chat? Pad how much you charge for regular communication.

Send a Welcome Package

Once you’ve decided you want to take on a new client, send them a welcome package. Start with something simple for now and then design a branded welcome package when you have the time. Your welcome package should include:

  • Your proposal for the services they need, including pricing
  • Clear invoicing guidelines, like accepted payment types, billing frequency, and due dates
  • Your full services list in case they need to add services in the future
  • The agreement or contract for them to review, sign and return

Maintain a Client Database

Every time you connect with a potential client, save the information, including:

  • Name and business name
  • Contact information
  • Contact dates and purposes
  • Quoted pricing
  • Notes, especially about red flags

It’s common for potential clients to reconnect months or even years down the line. When someone reaches out and says, “I don’t know if you remember me, but…” you can refer to your database and pull up all the info you have on them.

How To Create A Virtual Assistant Website

Get your VA website set up as soon as you can. Even if you’re going to work for a company for a while, your website can attract potential clients, and you’ll have somewhere to direct people when you do start building your own client list. Here are elements that you need on your VA website, along with a few optional elements you can add later on:

  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • About info
  • Case Studies
  • Testimonials
  • Contact page
  • Resource page
  • Newsletter opt-in form
  • Social media links or feeds
  • Featured image or gallery
  • Pricing for a la carte services and bundles

Especially early on, the most important items from this are clear services pages and opt-in forms. Without these items, you’ll see very few inquiries and you won’t grow your list of interested leads. We recommend using Divi for creating your website and one of these excellent opt-in form plugins that will give you the flexibility you need to create high-converting opt-in forms.

Articles and Blog Posts

To showcase your expertise and attract new clients, provide some free help on your website. Create content that answers questions and solves problems for potential clients. For example, if you offer basic graphic design services, you can write a post about “10 Things to Include on Every Pin” for clients who use Pinterest for marketing.

You’ll never be able to give away everything you know for free, so don’t worry about offering so much that people won’t need to hire you. Often, showing how much you know about a topic makes the potential client think, “Wow, I’ll never have the time to learn that much about it, I better hire that person.”

FAQ and Fine Print

Your FAQ or “How It Works” page should answer client questions about availability, communication methods, invoicing, turn-around time, and any other boundary-setting and workflow information they should have. Once you set those expectations, don’t cave. If months go by and you find there’s a better way to do things, by all means, change your strategy. Until then, though, stick to it.

Setting parameters from the get-go and showing clients that you adhere to them will make them respect you more, and you’ll be able to conduct a life outside of work. If you’re in a niche that has work-related emergencies, come up with a contingency plan that covers how you can be contacted and what constitutes an emergency.

Summary Notes:

Busy professionals can always use more hours in their day, and deciding to hire a virtual assistant (VA) is one of the best and most recommended ways to create that time. VAs provide just about every type of support service you can think of that can be performed remotely. They work with individuals, solopreneurs, small businesses, medium-sized teams, enterprises, etc. There are general VAs who handle basic admin tasks and there are specialized VAs who have advanced experience in higher-level tasks, specific industries, or both. When you start to pick your tasks apart, you’ll realize that almost all of them can be taught to someone else. And while you can’t always find someone to think like you, there are plenty of VAs who will be able to act like you.

Ultimately, the Belindavas Virtual Assistant Job Services are designed to optimize efficiency for business startup entrepreneurs seeking to elevate their ventures. From managing schedules to handling administrative tasks, we provide comprehensive support, allowing you to focus on strategic growth.

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