I’ve had people ask me what I do as a VA. When I was starting back in 2012, I didn’t have a clear answer. I was new to the industry and didn’t actually know what I was doing. I just know I could write (I started as a freelance writer and researcher). But as I kept writing and researching for my clients, I began to learn more! I began to see “education” in a different light and have loved learning since then. So, I am so grateful for the grace that led me to discover the virtual assistant industry.
If you are asking the same questions, “How can I become a virtual assistant?” or “How can I work at home and actually earn a living?” then read on. I’m going to share some of the steps I’ve taken to enter the industry.
How You Can Become A Virtual Assistant
Starting alone is easier than starting a full blast VA business. I did not consider starting a VA business until 2014, which was not officially registered until late last year on October 2016. So, consider starting alone first, working in the comfort of your home. Here’s how I did it.
1. Have Courage
If you are going down this path, you need all the courage you need. Why does it sound scary? No, it isn’t scary; it is honest (which makes it sound scary)!
Working as a virtual assistant at home means you’re going to have to use YOUR resources. There’s no company to provide you with your workstation or tools to use. There’s no team leader or trainer to tell you what to do and what not to do on a project. You will receive different projects from different clients. You will get different instructions for each task.
If you let these things intimidate you, then you are not fit to be a virtual assistant!
2. Love Learning
If you are afraid of everything new to you, then you get nowhere. You can overcome your fears by learning. Love learning and you will see the difference.
Warning: If you fall in love with learning, you will become greedy… greedy for knowledge and skills, that is! I know this is what I’ve become (and I’m happy about it).
We are so fortunate to have so many resources within our fingertips. The Internet is a giant library that, when used properly, can help anyone become successful. So, if you want to be an effective virtual assistant, then fall in love with learning.
3. Improve Communication
English communication skills are important because you will deal with a lot of content. Even if you start out as a graphics designer, you will always need to read instructions and requirements in English.You’re starting out as a freelance writer? All the more, you need to have a strong grasp of the English language.
This is my number one advise to aspiring virtual assistants under my training — learn English as your second language. If it isn’t your first language, I’d also recommend you take English language training (alone or with a tutor).
4. Service to Offer
Can you ever open a bookstore for business if it doesn’t have books in there yet? Of course, not! This works the same way with starting a virtual assistant career. You need to decide what service you want to offer before you start contacting prospect clients. No idea yet?
Think about what you are passionate about. Can it be turned into a service? What are you good at? Can you sell it? Once you’re done with this, then move on to the next step. But if you can’t figure out what you love to do and what you are good at, then take a virtual assistant training. We offer this as a service, too!
5. Online Presence
Create a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is your online, professional identity. It is your resume, although some prospects would still require resumes and cover letters in Word document or PDF file formats.
6. Join Job Boards
There are several virtual assistant job boards that are based in different countries. The biggest and most popular is Upwork (formerly oDesk). Some freelancers claim to also have found good clients from Craigslist. Job boards and freelancing platforms are great places to start your freelancing and virtual assistant career.
7. Send Proposals
Start sending your proposals. As much as possible, do not copy and paste. Each job post has different requirements and qualifications. Make sure to read what they are before composing your proposals.
Once you’ve started sending proposals, you’ll get into the waiting period. If you do not have much experience to show on your LinkedIn profile, it may be hard to get clients right away, but keep sending proposals. Make sure you don’t spam but only respond to job posts you know you can do. Read the job board or the website’s terms and conditions before sending proposals. Some sites do not like multiple proposals.
Tell us about your story when you get your first client, then your second… then your third, etc. I’d love to know if these steps have worked for you.