How to Become a Virtual Assistant (VA) (With Little or No Experience)

by | Jul 17, 2022 | Live Work Play Travel, Work Online + remote & nomad Life | 0 comments

Becoming a Virtual Assistant (VA) with no experience is fast becoming one of most lucrative side hustles or full-time careers for many. Why? Well because so many people are working from home and they need help with different things. But they don’t need full-time help, just help in a specific area or areas. This is where a VA comes in. So if you have ever wondered how you could put your skills to good use without having to set foot outside of your home, then read on. In this post I will explain what a virtual assistant is and does and how you can become one with no or little skills. Let’s get into it.

 

What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?

 

A Virtual Assistant (VA) is someone who assists someone else, but does it virtually. Virtually meaning doing it all online on a computer remotely from anywhere in the world. It is similar to being a personal assistant or executive assistant in an office but you will not be working in an office, well, you may be working from your own home office. Your home office could be sitting by the beach in Bali, in a co-working space in Georgia or in your lounge room at home! And your day will be varied as you may not be working for just one person, but for a number of people – your clients. Being a Virtual Assistant isn’t for everyone, but here are some pros and cons of being one to help you decide if this is for you.

 

Is Becoming a Virtual Assistant for You? The Pros and Cons of Being a VA

 

Pros of Being a Virtual Assistant

 

Some very good reasons to start a VA business include:

  • You don’t need a degree or specific licenses to offer VA services. You can be someone who is very good at something like social media, writing or typing.
  • You can work to your own schedule as long as you get the work done on time it doesn’t matter when you work.
  • It is quick and easy to set up and doesn’t cost a lot either.
  • You can work in your PJs if you so wish.
  • You can save on transport costs to and from a traditional office.
  • Have a bette work / life balance.

 

Cons of being a Virtual Assistant

 

As with all types of jobs there are some cons to consider.

  • Finding clients can be a challenge – I talk about finding clients further on.
  • You need to stay abreast of the latest trends in your chosen field.
  • You will be competing with many VAs for work. You may need to undercut to get work yet still offer a higher standard of work.
  • Do your own accounts and follow up on unpaid invoices.
  • It can be lonely working from home.

 

Sharyn McCullum Being A VA From Her Hotel Room.

Me, working online as a VA in my hotel room

 

What Skills Do You need for VA Work?

 

The skills you will need to be a VA will depend on the skills and services you offer as a virtual assistant. Some essential skills include:

  • Good organisational skills
  • Effective communication both written and verbal (in the preferred language of your client)
  • Very good knowledge and understanding of working online
  • Time management

As well as these skills you will need skills and / or experience to offer some of the services that VAs are called upon to do. You can specialise in just one area however, when starting, it is best to be able to offer a few different services. The top virtual assistant services that are in highest demand are:

  • Social Media Management (Posting on social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
  • Administrative Support (Booking in appointments and calls, drafting emails, creating reports, managing files, preparing presentations, setting up spreadsheets and data entry)
  • Email Marketing and Management (Designing email templates, scheduling emails, writing newsletters)
  • Graphic Design (using software such as Canva to create ebooks, pins, logos, etc)
  • Online Marketing (Creating SEO-friendly landing pages, creating sales pages, setting up paid advertising campaigns)
  • Customer Service (Handling customer inquiries in real-time using Live Chat, Processing orders, chasing payments)
  • Finance Management
  • Content Writing/Blogging (Writing blog posts, Keyword research, making blog posts SEO-friendly, scheduling of posts)
  • Website/Blog Management (Repairing broken links, updating plug-ins, tracking performance on Google Analytics, improving a website’s SEO)
  • Financial/Tax/Bookkeeping Management (Tax Planning, Processing payments, Bookkeeping)
  • Data Entry

 

READ MORE: 18 Digital Nomad Jobs For Beginners You Can Do From Anywhere

What if you have No or Little VA Skills?

 

If you don’t have any, or little little VA skills I suggest you do some courses and get some. It is wise to have knowledge and skill in the service/s you offer. You don’t want to sink before you start swimming!

 

What Gear Do You Need to Offer Virtual Assistant Services

 

The gear you will need to offer VA services will depend on the services you are offering. As work is done online, you will definitely be needing a computer or laptop. You will then need somewhere comfortable to work. Get the lowdown on the gear you will need here.

 

How Much Can You Earn As A Virtual Assistant?

 

How long is a piece of string? The truth is, most VAs set their own rates of what they think their services are worth. But if you have a look at the website Payscale you will see virtual assistants are earning anywhere from about US$15 per hour to around US$30 per hour. Once you have your hourly rate you can work out how many hours per week you will work. Some VAs work full-time, some work only part-time while some do extra hours as a side hustle to their full-time employment. In the end, how much you will earn will depend on how much work you can and will do.

 

How to Become a Virtual Assistant With No Experience or Little Experience in 5 Easy Steps?

 

  1. Decide on the Service or Services You Will Offer – Do courses to gain skills if needed
  2. Set Up Your Business Structure – Do a Business Plan outlining name of your business, what you will offer, what you will charge and other logistics of your VA Business like how you will get paid.
  3. Decide How Much You Are Going to Charge and What Services you will offer
  4. Have the appropriate equipment to offer the services. Read my posts setting up at home, digital nomad gear.
  5. Put your name out there by building your online presence to find jobs or register with online organisations to get work
  6. Follow up on invoices to ensure you get paid

 

How Can You Find a Virtual Assistant Job?

 

Many seeking VA work will register on websites that link you to clients such as the following:

  1. Fiverr – Read my review on working on Fiverr here
  2. Upwork
  3. Flexjobs
  4. Belay Solutions
  5. Equivity
  6. Fancy Hands
  7. Virtual
  8. Facebook Groups

 

A Real-Life Story from VA Rachita Saxina

 

Rachita Saxena working remotely on her laptop with a view

Rachita working remotely as a VA

 

Read Rachita’s story of being a Virtual Assistant here. The interview I did with Rachita is very informative.

 

Are You Ready to Become a Virtual Assistant?

 

So, there you have it. The ins and outs of becoming a Virtual Assistant. I’m sure you agree having the flexibility and work / life balance that working online as a Virtual Assistant offers is a great career move. And it can be done from literally anywhere as long as you have a good wifi connection – your home, a hotel room, co-working space, a coffee shop or a van. You will not only be making money but you will be the one in charge of your lifestyle. Please ask your questions about becoming a Virtual Assistant in the comments following. Or if you are already working online as a VA I would love to here below also.

 

Female Who Became A VA and Works From Anywhere

Thanks for sharing!

Useful Travel Resources for Your Next Adventure!

 

Accommodation: Where Will You Sleep Tonight? If you want a bed in a hostel dorm find a great deal with HostelWorld. I mostly stay in hotels now, Booking.com is my favourite site for booking hotels from budget to ‘I feel like splurging’. For something completely different I house and pet sitting through Trusted Housesitters – this has saved me thousands on accommodation, no joke!

Flights: I always head to Skyscanner first to find a cheap and flexible flight.

Car Rental: When I need to rent a car I turn to RentalCars.

Train Travel: I love riding the train rails and get the best value from raileurope. And Japan has a great one too – JapanRail Pass.

Bus Travel: Check out Busbud for bus tickets.

Pre-organised Tours: I’ve been on a few in my time with Contiki being my first and favourite. if you are 18-35 years of age you should check them out.

Jump-the-queue entrance tickets: I don’t enjoy standing in long queues which is why I book my entrance tickets and day trips in advance. My favourite website to book them in advance is GetYourGuide.

Travel Insurance. There are a number of reasons why travel insurance is important and I never travel without having bought a policy as you never know when something might happen. SafetyWing is great digital nomads and long-term travellers.

 

Sharyn McCullum In A Black T-shirt With Her Live Work Play Travel Logo In The Shape Of A World.

Hi. Sharyn here, the face behind Live Work Play Travel. I’ve been travelling all my life thanks to my dad who worked for an airline. My aim with this blog is to help you work abroad or work online and travel the world.   Read more.

 

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Hi, Sharyn here. I’m the face behind Live Work Play Travel. I’ve travelled all my life thanks to my dad who worked for an airline – thanks dad! I’ve been a travel writer/blogger and living a location independent lifestyle since 1993. My aim with Live Work Play Travel is to provide you with the info to start living, working and travelling around the world like I do. I currently live in Melbourne with my partner and 2 kids. 

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