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Virtual Assistants (VA): Build a business working remotely for clients

Updated: May 29, 2022

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

There has never been a better time than now to start your own virtual assistant business!

Since the 2020 pandemic, we have seen a huge workplace shift as more people are working from home and companies are modifying their positions to benefit remote workers.

I foresee a future where most people are working remotely as more companies rethink their in-office policies! So let’s dive into the world of making money as a virtual assistant and see how you can take advantage of this exciting remote work opportunity, even if you have no prior experience.

Let's go!

What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?

A virtual assistant is an employee or freelancer that works remotely. Small businesses need the help of virtual assistants as they grow, so they can delegate their day-to-day tasks and focus on different aspects of their business.

As someone who has hired multiple VA's, I can tell you just how necessary it is as a small business owner to have a VA to delegate simple tasks to. You do not need extensive knowledge of a subject or specialized skills to get started.

Lots of business owners just need an extra set of hands to take care of their easy tasks so they can focus on different aspects of their business.

That is where you come in.

What does a Virtual Assistant do?

This is the aspect of being a VA that caught my attention.

As a virtual assistant, YOU get to decide exactly what types of tasks and services you offer and market yourself accordingly to find clients that may need your specific services.

Being a VA is more like freelancing and running your own business than it is like being an employee of a company.

Most people looking to start their own business as a VA begin by assessing which services they would like to offer and what their skills are.

Here is a useful list of types of VA services you can offer your clients.

This is an extensive list and you do not need to know how to do everything! The services you offer as a beginner VA could be as simple as answering emails, creating social media captions, data entry, order fulfillment, or setting appointments.

As you continue your journey as a VA I highly recommend taking courses to up your skill level and offer more services to your clients. The more specialized you are the more you can charge for your services!

Skillshare is my favorite resource for low-cost classes, with a monthly membership you'll have unlimited access to their library of courses taught by professionals.

A well-constructed course can save you hours and give you the necessary skills and confidence to add value to your clients.

Where do I start?

Step 1: Educate yourself

Step 2: Find your community

Join these Facebook groups so you can connect with other VA's and get advice! Here are two groups to get you started but join as many as you can until you find ones that you like.

  • Take any questions that you have and type all of your questions into the search bar in these groups to see if they have been asked before and what the answers were. You can learn a lot in a short amount of time this way!

Step 3: Find your first clients

  • Wondering where to find clients? Try using this method:

  1. Go to Facebook and search for niche groups.

  2. Join as many groups for business niches as you can: e.g. wedding photographers, real estate agents, entrepreneur communities, etc.

  3. The larger the group the better.

  4. Go to the search bar of the groups and search for keywords like virtual assistant, VA, hire, hiring, help, etc.

  5. Filter by most recent posts and see if anyone is looking for help with their business.

Now here is the most important part. The VA niche can be a little competitive sometimes and there may be multiple comments on a post.

What you can do to stand out from the crowd is reach out to your potential client and offer value immediately.

Most of the comments on a post like this from other VA's will be, "I'm Interested". I want you to do better than that and go above and beyond right out of the gate.

Take your time to do some research on what they are looking for, their type of business, and send them a message with exactly how you can help them.

Some of the other best ways to find clients are:

  • Ask your friends and family. (I know, this isn't everyone's favorite choice but you're not asking them for a job.) Just put it in their minds that you are starting a virtual assistant business and if any of them know of a small business owner who might need your services you would love to be connected with them.

  • Reach out to companies you love directly and ask if they are hiring. It doesn't hurt to ask! Some small business owners may have even been considering hiring a virtual assistant and just may not have known where to look or the services that they can provide.

  • Networking events! Go where the small business owners are and say hi. This may seem scary but you won't be pitching your business to anyone quite yet, you're just going to mingle. Your goal with these events is to get as many business cards as you can and try to get to know the local business owners in your area. You probably won't even be doing much talking yourself, business owners love to talk about what they do so just introduce yourself and get to know them. After you network you can reach out via email to the people you met, tell them it was nice to meet them, and introduce your VA business and offer your service.

Step 4: Make a plan

Make a to-do list & ask yourself these questions:

  1. What tasks need to get done for you to get started?

  2. What skills do I need to learn?

  3. What programs/websites do I need to create accounts for?

Step 5: Take ACTION

This is the most important step and I urge you to get started as quickly as you can.

Pro tip: no matter how many courses you take or how many videos you watch you will never feel completely ready. You can get a lot of quality information from the internet but it is no substitute for real-life experience.

Run through these first 4 steps as quickly as you can so that you can take action and only then will you start to see some real results!


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