Virtual Assistant Newbies: 5 Facts You Need To Know

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This article has been reviewed and deemed factual by our content auditor with 8 years of banking experience.

Article Approved By Banking Expert

This article has been reviewed and deemed factual by our content auditor with 8 years of banking experience.

If you’d like to work for yourself and earn as much as $15 to $30 an hour, virtual assistant work may be for you.

If you’re new, you may have some doubts. But virtual assistant jobs are in high demand according to the Virtual Assistants Association.

So, if you’re on the fence or hesitant about becoming a virtual assistant, this article will answer your most pressing questions. If you’re ready to jump in, good.

This article will prepare you even more.

Whether you’re a student looking to earn extra money on the side or already work full-time but crave a change, VA work can make for a rewarding side hustle or whole new career path.

These are the most pressing questions people new to the virtual assistant have:

  1. What is a virtual assistant?
  2. How much do virtual assistants make?
  3. How to get started as a virtual assistant?
  4. What type of virtual assistant should I be?
  5. Where do you go for the best virtual assistant jobs?

We answer all of these and more below. Read on for the answers.

What Is A Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant (typically abbreviated to VA) is a self-employed assistant who works remotely.

Virtual assistant jobs vary, from virtual customer support and virtual administrative support to research, writing, social media and website management plus more.

Like any job, the more skills you have, the more marketable you are, the greater your responsibilities and the higher your pay.

But you’re probably wondering “Do you need a degree to be a virtual assistant?

You don’t need a degree or certification to become a VA! 

All you need is a computer, an internet connection and skills you already have.

How Much Do Virtual Assistants Make?

VA are the backbone of many businesses, responsible for helping everything from administration to operations run smoothly.

Depending upon your area of speciality, as a VA you can make anywhere from $14 to $30+ per hour, or roughly $21,372 to as much $64,066 a year according to PayScale and Bryant & Stratton College.

Virtual assistant pay is going to vary based on experience, location, employed versus self-employed VAs and other factors.

RELATED: Make Money As A Virtual Assistant

How To Get Started As A Virtual Assistant?

This question stresses new virtual assistants out more than any other. How do I get started as a virtual assistant?” is a question with a million answers.

There’s no one guaranteed way to land your first virtual assistant gig, but finding and sealing that very first deal can be especially nerve racking.

As Carrie Smith Nicholson, the founder of Careful Cents, put so perfectly in her April 2018 story on getting started as a VA:

The quickest way to start getting paid is to market a skill you already know…”

Leverage your past experience to showcase skills already in your resume.

If you’re still stuck, keep reading. This neat exercise will get the creative juices flowing in no time…

What Type Of Virtual Assistant Should I Be?

Grab a pencil, paper and draw three vertical lines. In column one, write your work experience and professional credentials.

Stuck? Start with your professional background, past titles and hard skills.

Next, in column two, write your soft skills. These are the skills that allowed you–or perhaps attracted you–to those roles in the first place. (Don’t think too much about how you’re going to be a virtual assistant yet).

Have a background in accounting? That’s column one. Consider yourself to be a data driven, organized person? (That explains the interest in accounting, as an example). That’s column two. Even if you don’t have much experience, give it a try.

In column three, add any achievements, personal interests orunique experiences. Traveled the world? Put that.

Jiu jitsu black belt? Volunteer EMT? Climb mountains?
Follow your interests!

Put those in the third column, then circle back and add additional skills or lessons you’ve learned as a result of those experiences into column two.

Column one and three should give you an idea of who to contact, while column two–those skills–will give you an idea as to what value you’ll actually be providing.

An accounting pro who moonlights as a martial artist whiz? Contact local martial arts schools and offer to help balance their books.

This exercise has an added benefit: if you’re uncomfortable with selling in the traditional sense, this is going to mitigate a lot of that.

Because it forces you to focus on potential clients who do work that’s tied to your interests. That makes it a natural fit, not a hard sell. Start there.

Virtual Assistant Jobs

If you’re still biting your nails at the thought of reaching out to a prospect, don’t worry…

Because the following sites have thousands of jobs for virtual assistants. These virtual assistant job sites are a great way to learn the ropes, get your feet wet and build your virtual assistant resume.

  • Guru has been a trusted source for virtual assistant jobs for past two decades. Started by way back in 1997, it’s since become one the Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies in the U.S.
  • Upwork is a technology company based in Mountain View, California. Started in 2015, it’s become the largest and most trusted resource for freelance and virtual assistant jobs. Clients on Upwork are willing to pay top dollar, so bring your A+ game when applying.
  • FlexJobs is the first place you should visit. With an A+ rating from the BBB, and features everywhere from Fast Company to Forbes, they’re as legit as it gets as far as VA jobs go. Unlike most job portals, this company puts as much care into screening the companies who post positions as the people seeking them.

RELATED: VAs made our list of The Top 3 Work From Home Jobs For 2019

Brian Roberts

Brian Roberts

Editor at CarefulCents
Featured in The Washington Post and published in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Business Insider, Time, Inc., CNBC and others.

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