There’s never been a better time to learn how to become a Virtual Assistant.
In this guide, we’ll break down each if the essential steps in detail and provide you with a clear path to get started. Here at Fully Booked VA, it’s something we’ve helped thousands of students do since 2015.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Virtual Assistant?
- What Services Does a Virtual Assistant Provide?
- What are Some Common Virtual Assistant Skills?
- How to Become a Virtual Assistant
- Balancing Your VA Business and Client Work
- Is the VA Market Saturated?
- Your Next Steps
In this article, we’re not going to waste any time. We’ll explain everything you need to know in order to start a rock-solid virtual assistant business, including defining just what a VA is and what kinds of services one can provide.
By the time we’re done, you’ll have a solid understanding of the steps you need to take and how you can get started building your own virtual assistant business today.
What Is A Virtual Assistant?
Although this industry is growing by leaps and bounds there are still plenty of people who don’t really understand what a virtual assistant is or how they can play a vital role in supporting small businesses — both online and the traditional brick and mortar version. A quick search online for virtual assistant jobs will demonstrate the vast potential of the industry.
Many people look at VAs as little more than executive or personal assistants. But there’s much more to it than that! It’s true that there’s a wide range of services and skill levels involved in VA work, including performing some of the “traditional” remote administrative assistant tasks.
The list of services that a VA can offer is amazingly diverse. Essentially, there’s something for everyone when it comes to providing virtual assistance!
Getting back to exactly what a VA is, though, based on our experience we typically use this definition:
A Virtual Assistant is anyone who offers services to other business owners from afar in exchange for an agreed-upon fee.
Pretty simple right? As you read through this post, you’ll quickly begin to understand why we use such a broad definition.
What Services Does a Virtual Assistant Provide?
One of the most common questions we’re asked is, what kinds of services can a VA offer? In reality, there’s no cut-and-dry list because a virtual assistant can fulfill just about any need a business has.
We wrote an in-depth post that covers 50+ service options as a great starting point, and it will give you an idea of the potential for building a business doing work you enjoy.
Depending upon your skills and interests, you’re almost guaranteed to find something that will appeal to you. Here are some examples:
- Social media management and social media marketing
- Community management and moderation
- Content creation for blogs and ghostwriting
- Data entry
- Lead generation
- Email management
- Website management
- Customer support
- Processing online orders and refunds
- Project management
- Content marketing
- Managing product launches
- Website design
- WordPress maintenance
- Graphic design and layout
- Calendar management and travel arrangements
- Editing and proofreading
- Content research
- Keyword research
- Data entry
- Outreach and PR
- Editing videos
The list goes on and on! In the bigger, longer-term picture of your business, the more skilled you are at a few select services, the better.
What are Some Common Virtual Assistant Skills?
Services are one thing, but you might be wondering, what skills or traits you need to get started as a virtual assistant?
Have you ever run your own business?
Have you taken and specific virtual assistant training?
Obviously, if you’re planning to work online, a general understanding of how to navigate the internet is a good place to start. Having specific skills and experiences will make easier to find virtual assistant jobs and it’ll definitely help with landing those first few clients. But don’t let a lack of experience stop you from pursuing your dream.
And guess what? Here’s the great news – you already have virtual assistant skills, experiences and strengths that can be translated into services right now. If you’d like some help learning about you can check out this article here.
It’s really a matter of taking inventory of your existing skillset and figuring out how you can turn that into services that businesses need. And don’t worry – it’s not always cut and dry, but rather sometimes involves getting creative.
For example, do you have some natural writing chops? Get started providing writing services!
Have experience with customer service working in the food or hospitality industry? Then you likely have customer service skills that businesses desperately need!
Are you super organized or have experience with administrative tasks? Maybe email management is a great place for you to start or possible managing calendars?
Get the idea? The important thing to remember is that these are places to get started – easy entry points, if you will. Because that’s the reality – you can get started offering services very quickly and expand into other skills and service areas as you begin earning income and building your business.
The name of the game is being a constant learner and continuously building your skillset. The result is that you’ll build an online business doing work that stimulates and energizes you. Over time, that you’ll be able to charge higher rates for as a VA.
It’s important to note that a perceived lack of skills should never be a deterrent. When it comes to bringing skills to the table as a new virtual assistant, a high degree of motivation, good communication skills and a desire to learn are equally, if not more important.
Go from “I have no idea how to make this work” to #FullyBooked Virtual Assistant…
How to Become a Virtual Assistant
Here at Fully Booked VA, we’re big fans of keeping things as simple as possible and taking consistent action. In fact, we’re huge believers in the idea that success is really an accumulation of consistent actions – even “small ones” – over time. If you’re here looking for some kind of secret, there isn’t one.
Just get started! And then, don’t stop.
From our founder, Gina:
The first Virtual Assistant client that I contracted with was a successful online entrepreneur. Through back and forth emails, I sensed he was having a little trouble keeping up with his inbox.
We had a friendly exchange going and I got the impression that I could help him, he’d be fun to work with and that I might benefit in more ways than just earning a paycheck (i.e. by learning the inner workings of his business).
Basically, I stepped out and boldly told him he should hire me. Can you say nerve-wracking?
He said yes and we ended up working together for a little over two years. My inklings were right on the money — I enjoyed working with him, I learned a ton and the regular paycheck was great! Although we’re not working together currently, even to this day we’re still in contact.
The “takeaway” is that I spotted an opportunity and pitched myself as the solution. In other words, I essentially created an opportunity. And when it comes to VA work (or anything, really!), opportunity really is all around you!
Let’s break this down into some simple steps, shall we?
- Choose your business structure.
- Decide which services you’ll offer your clients.
- Decide on your pricing structure.
- Establish your online presence.
- Start pitching and networking.
Side Note: VA Foundations, our flagship course (formerly called 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success) included in The #FullyBookedVA System, goes into much greater detail on these steps. It’s a systematic, step-by-step virtual assistant training that walks you through 12 modules, 85+ lessons and over 145 minutes of video (with more being added on a regular basis!).
One thing to keep in mind as you read through these is that your objective is to start promoting and pitching your services as quickly as possible. Acquiring clients and generating revenue should always be at the top of your priority list.
1. Choose Your Business Structure
There is no such thing as cookie-cutter advice when it comes to selecting your business structure. The answer will vary depending upon a variety of different criteria including:
- Where is your business physically located? Do you want to work with people in your surrounding community, solely online or both?
- What types of clients will you be working with? Is there a specific industry you’re familiar with, or type of business you love?
- What type of VA work will you get started with? What skills do you already have? What do you love doing? What comes easy to you? Keep in mind that this can evolve as you learn new skills and discover things you’re passionate about.
- Your personal situation (ie. spouse, family, children and liabilities). When do you want to work? How responsive can you be to your clients?
- What is your personal risk tolerance? How will your income be changing as you make the transition to full-time self-employment? (Unless you’re looking to start a side hustle, which is totally cool too!)
While none of this is set in stone, it’s a good idea to sit down and spend some time thinking about what you want your business to “look like.” After all, one of the major perks of being a virtual assistant is crafting a business (and life!) by design in a way that totally works for you.
This is an area where we definitely think it’s worth your time to speak to an accountant or attorney. They can provide you with valuable feedback that is specific to your particular situation. For you, that might mean sole-proprietorship, LLC, a corporation — such as an S-Corp or C-Corp in the US, or a partnership. If you’re located in Canada, you might consider a sole-proprietorship or a Canadian Controlled Private Corporation.
2. Decide Which Virtual Assistant Services You’ll Offer Your Clients
Making a decision on services to get started with is a sticking point for many new VAs. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be. There’s no rulebook anywhere that says you have to stick with a specific service offering once you start and again – you want to pick a few services (ideally two to three) that you can get started with right away.
As you start earning income, you can decide which services and skills you’d like to learn more about and branch into as you build your business!
When most people think of typical VA services the things that come to mind are checking email, returning phone calls, managing social media and managing their client’s calendar as well as other remote administrative support.
In many instances, VA services can include those things, but as we’ve covered previously there are plenty of other services you can offer as well.
One of the main things I did for my first client was to manage his inbox. I checked and sorted his email, responded on his behalf and drafted templated responses for different inquiries.
We also had a weekly call (via Google Hangouts), which was super beneficial. The more I was able to learn about his business, the better equipped I became to help him.
Like many entrepreneurs, he was juggling multiple projects and responsibilities from consulting, coaching, writing courses, managing his blog and subscription list and more.
He’s brilliant and an inspiration, but I like to think one of the ways I helped was by reining him in from time to time and keeping him accountable for some of the things he needed to do. Especially the things that weren’t always his favorite tasks (like email!).
He’s also voiced that our weekly meetings were his favorite part of working together (because we would get so much done).
You’re completely free to grow and adapt your business as you see fit. This means changing, adding or eliminating services based upon client demand and profitability as well as your available time commitment and your personal interests.
As you’ll discover in launching your VA business, freedom to choose can be a double-edged sword. We can’t tell you how often we hear from people who are in the process of starting their business and who are struggling to decide on their service offerings.
Here’s what we recommend:
- Take a look at 50+ Services article I shared previously and download the list you’ll find there.
- Highlight the ones you feel like you could get started with and/or learn quickly.
- Pick 2-3 ideas that you feel you’d like to begin with and then….
Whether that means emailing some friends to let them know about your new VA business and asking for an introduction or checking out some of the virtual assistant job boards that are out there, don’t just wait for the perfect client to appear!
Without exception, this is the most important step you can take. Once you take the first step, you’ll begin to gather momentum and each successive step will become easier.
You can adapt and change over time in a way that suits your business. For example, you might decide to move from an hourly rate to a retainer or maybe even productized services. There is no “average virtual assistant salary” — forget about boundaries! The sky’s the limit and you can build your business exactly as you’d like!
3. Decide on Your Pricing Structure
Everyone wants to know, “How much does a Virtual Assistant make per hour?” What’s the right amount to charge and how much is enough (but not too much)? Go back and read the previous paragraph about boundaries.
The reason the answer varies so much is that the role itself can vary quite greatly — and so can your skillset and experience. We wrote an extensive guide to setting you virtual assistant rates but we’ll also cover the basics here because you have to start somewhere.
When you’re setting your rates, figure out what would make it worth your time. If you’re planning to charge hourly (at least initially), you’re trading time for money so it’s important to consider several important factors:
- You’re not an employee. You’re a business owner and a subcontractor. In the US, for example, you need to pay both the employee and the employer side of taxes (i.e. self-employment tax).
- You also aren’t entitled to any benefits — no sick days, paid vacation, health insurance or retirement contributions are coming your way (with some rare exceptions).
- You’ll have an overhead that needs to be covered (although for most VAs this is super low) – things like office expenses, some software subscriptions, etc.
Because of these expenses, for which you are responsible, you can’t really compare what you make at your salaried day job (or what you could make at a part-time job) with that of your new VA role. This is a mistake that many virtual assistants make when first getting started.
We recommend that you take whatever wage you think would make sense from a take-home pay perspective and inflate it by at least 25%.
Most business owners will understand that you face these additional costs and if need be, you can break it down for them! A few clients might push back, but stand your ground.
Also, keep in mind that from the perspective of business owners, there are definitely perks to hiring a freelance virtual assistant instead of a part or full-time employee. Your client doesn’t have to incur the cost or the time involved with setting up (and many times training) a new employee. Nor do they have to worry about a whole slew of additional expenses and responsibilities that typically come with taking on an employee.
To give you some context, Gina, our founder, started out charging $34 per hour. Eventually she moved from this hourly model to a fixed or retainer rate as she became more efficient, developed better time management and could do more in less time.
With a retainer rate (rather than an hourly one), you’ll have a set of tasks to complete and you can complete them on your schedule, rather than having to track your time and feel like you’re “on the clock.”
An hourly rate is just one reason why many virtual assistants decided to escape from corporate America but that might not be the case for you. Take a look at the different virtual assistant pricing options (hourly, retainer, contract or productized services) and pick the one that works best for you.
As you become more skilled, you’ll also become more comfortable charging adequately for your time. It’s a matter of “you get what you pay for” when a businesses make the decision to hire virtual assistants. Keep that in mind as you’re putting yourself out there and talking with potential clients.
Reaching a little higher than the number that pops into your head. It’s easy to undercharge in order to secure the job, but that’s not what’s going to keep either you or your client happy for the long term.
4. Launch Your Website Establish Your Online Presence
If you’re going to be running an online business and providing virtual assistant services, it just makes sense to have an online presence. As a general rule, a basic website is the best way to achieve this goal.
Do you need a website to get started as a VA! Technically, no. But is it a good idea? Absolutely! The other quick and simple ways you can establish an online presence is via Linkedin or another social media channel (more on this in a bit).
We wrote an article about planning and creating your website which you can check out when you’re ready. Here’s a quick summary:
We recommend WordPress and a custom theme when setting up your website. And don’t worry, if it seems too overwhelming, we’ve created an in-depth video-based tutorial that will walk you through each step of the process. We also have a post that explains some of the most important elements to consider when creating your virtual assistant website.
The most basic steps include:
- Why you should choose WordPress and an appropriate theme
- Deciding on general branding elements including colors and fonts.
- Creating a simple yet effective logo for your business.
- Determine and communicate your value proposition.
- Committing to the process of gradual and ongoing improvement.
In this digital age, having an online presence legitimizes you as a professional and aids in the “know, like and trust” factor which is so important when connecting with potential clients. Demonstrating your understanding of this by having even a basic, well designed website will go a long way towards attracting more clients.
While you’re in the process of creating a website, you can establish your online presence by setting up appropriate social media accounts – we recommend focusing on one to two platforms and either creating profiles or repurposing existing ones that highlight your virtual assistant business. LinkedIn is a great place to connect with VA clients, for example, and you can even set up a services page there.
Keep things as simple as possible. Instead of trying to juggle multiple social media accounts just follow one simple rule – be where your clients are.
In most (but not all) cases this means Facebook or LinkedIn. But going deeper than that, you also want to be in the same groups and communities as your prospective clients.
Use social channels to create and build relationships over time – never jump into a new group and start promoting yourself. Instead, look for opportunities to be genuinely helpful and let relationships grow naturally.
5. Land New Clients by Pitching and Networking
The final and most important step towards launching a new VA business is, of course, finding your first client. Here at Fully Booked VA, our experience of providing virtual assistant training to literally thousands of new VAs over the last several years, has show us that client growth happens exponentially.
Meaning that getting from client number 0 to 3 takes a lot more work than getting from 3 to 6. The difference seems to be a result of time, exposure, experience, confidence and again, consistent action-taking. Once those ingredients begin to kick in, momentum builds and the growth process becomes easier.
Here are seven simple steps to follow:
Step #1: Know who your ideal clients are.
To put it another way, know your target market. That means figuring out the types of businesses and markets that interest you and where you can find them.
Step #2: Find the ideal prospects in your target market.
What attributes are you looking for in an ideal client? This could include businesses that are profitable, who need help and even those who have a history of hiring virtual assistants. It might also include strictly online businesses (but it doesn’t necessarily need to).
Step #3: Begin building relationships with potential clients and other virtual assistants.
Sometimes we call this courting simply because we want you to understand that building relationships — even business relationships — takes time. Although cold pitching is the best way to find virtual assistant jobs, in the long run, the best clients are a result of strong relationships that come from authentically networking and making connections.
Step #4: Pitch for new virtual assistant jobs daily.
Until your business grows to the point where referrals are consistently rolling in, you need to rely on pitching your virtual assistant services. To put it another way, if you want work, you’ll have to go looking for it because when you first launch your business, clients won’t even know you’re open for business.
We recommend pitching daily, sending at least ten pitches per week and following up on previous pitches consistently. Make pitching one of the first things you do each day — part of our “always be marketing” philosophy.
Step #5: Offer a trial period for your Virtual Assistant services.
Until you’ve established some trust, clients don’t really know what to expect. And to be fair, neither do you. A short trial period is a great way to test the waters and see how well you are able to work together. It also takes away some of the risk and fear that comes with making a long-term commitment early in the relationship.
Step #6: Check-in early and consistently.
In The #FullyBookedVA Community, we help you find virtual assistant jobs by providing client leads. These leads are typically business owners who are looking for help to grow or scale their businesses.
One of the most common complaints we hear about their past experiences is that their VA had poor communication skills. It’s an easy problem to overcome! All you need to do is create a regular schedule for checking in with your client to make sure their needs are being met.
Step #7: Make yourself irreplaceable.
If you’re interested in keeping a client for the long term, the best thing you can do is provide as much value as possible. Make yourself an invaluable part of their business. Exactly how you do this will vary with each client but let’s look at solopreneurs as an example.
Many solopreneurs and small business owners are juggling multiple tasks at once. They work long hours and sacrifice personal time, time with their families and even their own health.
Find a way to take specific tasks off their plate, relieve productivity bottlenecks and help them get their weekends back. By doing so you’ll be providing more value than someone who simply exchanges a few hours of time for money.
You’ll become a valued member of their team and that’s a win-win scenario!
Go from “I have no idea how to make this work” to #FullyBooked Virtual Assistant…
Balancing Your VA Business and Client Work
As a Virtual Assistant, your goal is to help entrepreneurs and small business owners successfully run and grow their businesses. It can be an extremely rewarding process to help someone bring their vision to life and achieve their goals.
Don’t forget that you’re also building your own business. It will definitely serve you to set boundaries and expectations and run your business in a way that works for you. If you don’t take care of yourself and your business, growth and satisfaction are usually the first two things to suffer.
One of the ways you can approach this is to set aside clear blocks of time in your week to work on your business, versus in your business. Adopt the mindset of treating yourself like a client – after all, your business, goals and dreams are just as important as your clients’, right?
Working in your business refers to delivering services and the actual work you’ll do for your clients. Working on your business includes things like:
- Tending to your VA-dedicated social media profiles.
- Sourcing, pitching and following up with potential clients.
- Pursuing marketing strategies like email marketing, creating blog content or attending virtual networking events.
It’s easy to get caught up in client work and to view all your available time as time you could be exchanging for money. Don’t fall into the trap of having an “employee mindset,” though. The work you do on your business is crucial to its long-term success and sustainability.
Is the VA Market Saturated?
Lastly, one of the questions we field occasionally is about whether there’s still a demand for virtual assistants and is there enough demand that one can charge decent rates.
If you recall, we started this post off with the statement that there’s never been a better time to learn how to become a virtual assistant – because it’s absolutely true!
Freelancing, in general, has been on a major rise over the last decade. In fact, the number of freelancers in the US has been on a steady rise (8.1% over the last 4 years), and if this trend continues it’s predicted that 50% of our workforce will be working from home in 10 years (Source: Forbes).
As previously that there are definite financial “perks” for business owners to contract out for services, and there are others as well. Consider this list:
- On average a business owner can save up to $11,000 per employee every year just by outsourcing to at-home contractors.
- Virtual Assistants specifically can save up to 78% on operating costs annually.
- On-site employees experience higher levels of job-related stress (32%-37%) than remote Virtual Assistants (17%).
- The Virtual Assistant industry has grown from approximately $85 billion to over $100 billion in the last three years.
- More than half of Virtual Assistants (59%) hold full-time positions.
If you weren’t sure if being a virtual assistant is really a “thing”, those are some pretty compelling statistics!
The other part of our response to this question also involves something touched on earlier – choosing services (for the longer-term, not “starter services”) that you can specialize in.
Not only does Fully Booked VA teach you to start your business but we also teach you how to scale your businesses. This helps ensure a stable, long-term, sustainable business that will not only “pay the bills” but that can open the doors to endless possibilities.
Scaling a VA business can be done a few ways, but one of the primary methods for doing so is specializing your services. As an “expert” in a particular service area, a VA can accomplish a few things:
- Make the shift from being a “doer of tasks” to more of a business consultant.
- Provide a specialized service that is in high demand in the marketplace.
- Command higher rates.
- Ensure their relevancy over time and their ability to stay competitive.
In essence, specializing your services is a way to set yourself above the rest, establish above average virtual assistant rates, grow a business and scale your income over time.
When you consider that the demand for virtual assistants is on the rise and that there are many, many avenues to building a long-term, scalable business, the question of market saturation becomes, well, irrelevant.
Your Next Steps
If starting your own VA business is something you’re passionate about, including all the amazing perks and opportunities for living a life by design that it offers, your next step should be to educate yourself.
While information and learning are crucial to any new endeavor, we are big believers in the power of a supportive community and learning from others who have already been down the road you want to travel.
Our #FullyBookedVA System offers a complete, step-by-step walkthrough of exactly how to get your business started and land your own clients. It’s also a place to be part of a close-knit community of successful virtual assistants who are open to sharing their knowledge and experience – and celebrating successes and providing accountability.
No matter where you are i your journey, the most important thing is always getting started – and to always be improving. The only people who don’t succeed at this are the ones who quit. Getting started as a VA is one of the most powerful ways to start an online business and open entrepreneurial doors you may not even be able to imagine right now.
The sky really is the limit!
Ready to start your journey as a Virtual Assistant? Get started here with VA Foundatons!
69 thoughts on “How to Become a Virtual Assistant (And Find Remote Work From Home!)”
Thanks, Gina! The free course was great and full of lots of substantive information (no fluff!), and the list of 125 tasks really breaks down the variety of work a VA can cover. Definitely keeping this on my radar!
Glad to hear it Madeline – thanks for sharing and best of luck to you!
Thank you for the insight into becoming a VA. I’ve been doing so many of the services for many community groups on Facebook for no cost. I enjoy the work to help friends organize and promote their dreams into becoming profitable. Never have I had to care about making an income because I have always been a stay at home mom that offered help to friends, homeschooled my children, managed FB support groups, and created a non profit helping families like myself that have lost a child. Now I have found myself divorced with no income other than child support and no paying work history for the last 20+ years… With many odds against me I am broke, car-less, and desperate to find a way to use what I know I’m good at but have never charged any one. I have no way to purchase your lessons, but I’m hoping I will find my way out of my current circumstances and finally reap the benefits of all I am capable of…
Thank you and again I hope to be able to join this VA world with you. 🙂
Cynthia, thanks for stopping by.
Our blog has four years’ worth of free information for virtual assistants.
Hope you find something useful that will help you move forward.
Hi Gina; thanks for the wonderful handbook and all the useful info there in.
Just wondering ;does the 30 day or less VA course include the e mail management course!
I am a single mum trying to explore the VA opportunity so that I can financially take care of my family . I don’t know where to start from.
A few weeks ago; I checked and saw that you were offering a 25% discount on the email management course; I think the discount expired around June 14; unfortunately did not have the lump some to pay right away just wondering how often you normally offer these discounts ?
The email management course is separate from the VA Days or Less to VA Success course. Our recommendation is to start with the general course first if you haven’t set up your business yet. If you do have some experience working online, go straight to the specialized course.
We’re offering 10% off all courses on Sunday, June 30th ONLY. You can use the coupon code June10%.
Thanks for all the info! I like the idea of focusing on just a few clients at a time. I also think I will raise my hourly rate.
Thank you Gina. My transition from admin assistant to virtual assistant has not been smooth. No clients yet. But I trust that all will be well in the next few months.
Hey Sarah, getting started is the hardest part. You can do this! Best of luck to you.
Hi I was recently contacted by someone to become a VA and do payroll for his company. He wants me to setup a paypal account to recieve reimbursements from other coworkers, sometimes my weekly pay, and money to purchase supplies. Im extremely new to this and feel a little uneasy. Do you have any thoughts on what to be cautious of as a VA?
Hey Shannon – this sounds a bit shady to me… would the PayPal account be in his business’ name or yours? If it’d be in yours, I’d run far, far away as it has the feeling of a scam. Best of luck to you!
Hi, Gina! I’ve been a PA for about 2 years now and every summer in college. I am ready to jump into the world of being a VA. I do believe the hardest part is getting started. Thanks for all the great information!
You bet Kris – sounds like you have an excellent background, so what are you waiting for? 😉
Where can you learn about self-employment tax and how to calculate how much of your $$ is going to taxes? Also, how do you budget for “paid vacation” and making sure you have health insurance. I’m considering side hustling to become a VA, in hopes that I could translate my full time job to a part time VA position. However, I want to end up with around the same pay or more. It’s so complicated with all of the extra things to consider!
We touch on taxes/vacations/benefits in the course, but ultimately it’s dependent on where you live – i.e. even in the US each state has different (or no) tax rates. My best advice is to start setting aside 20-30% of your net income into a separate savings account for taxes and of course to consult with an accountant as your business grows.
As far as vacations go, it’s best to prepare for them as unpaid, but dependent on the client you might get paid or be able to front and back load your work (i.e. work more before and after it).
Health insurance is a different beast and again is dependent on where you live – we’ve had private health insurance for four years now (and are currently on a Christian health share plan). If in the US you can look into your state’s exchange or get in touch with a health insurance agent. Hope that helps some!
I really appreciate your post. I’ve been a VA for over five years. The company I work for is in New York and I handle all their books and work closely with the accountant. It’s a win-win because the company can afford to pay me a lower rate than someone in New York City. That being said, I am paid well and I’m able to do this part time.
That’s great Kate – thanks for sharing! I’ve never even thought of that part, but I bet NYC, San Francisco and other areas that have a higher cost of living would really benefit. Thanks for the enlightenment.:-)
Kate, how did you end up working for this company? I’m actually in the San Francisco Bay Area –trying to get started in the VA business.
I have done bookkeeping from my home for 18 years plus now. I am looking into becoming a VA. I am in TN. How did you go about landing a bookkeeping client? I have also worked in a CPA office and know the inner-workings of that side as well. I have used Quickbooks for 19 years and am very efficient with it. I’m thinking that getting their information would be the tricky part. I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks!
What do you charge a client daily?
Or, how do you recommend figuring out a daily vs. hourly charge?
Daryn put together a pretty comprehensive guide about setting virtual assistant rates. Here it is: https://fullybookedva.com/virtual-assistant-rates-guide/
I started 4 months ago, I didn’t know a single thing about working virtually. However, I am very happy to learn and serve. I hope to charge more soon because I think that I have an advantage over other people: I am a polyglot. I talk Spanish, French and English but I don’t know if that could be a niche. I am going to read your guide and hope to discover the answer. Any kind of advice would be awesome. Thanks.
does your course show specifics on ‘how-to’ do some of the common tasks you would be expected to do as a VA? I like visuals and step by step details so I am sure I will be knowledgeable doing what I might be asked to do. even things like planning someone else’s calendar – what program do you have to have on your own computer and then does the customer send all the needed appointment details to you and you just plug it in? it can’t be that simple, or they would do it themselves, plus they would need current information so not to miss their appointments. do you see what I am asking here? I would like to do things like that, just not sure I would be able to. (called Fear and Self-Doubt probably)
I would hate to say I could do something and then find out I really don’t know how or have the resources to do it and look like a failure. Especially when you are new or haven’t done it on the job, just in college courses.
seriously considering your program, at least I guess it can’t hurt, right?
The course goes in depth on content management, social media management and inbox (email) management. We’re also in the midst of building a new training platform to make even more skill specific training available by the end of this year.
It seems like the most successful VAs already have administrative, technical or creative work experience. What if a person has the skills, but not the work experience? Would it be hard for them to land clients as a VA?
I’ve been researching becoming a VA for some time now. It’s a bit overwhelming. LOL! I have looked at both your VA and Pinterest VA courses. I’m not sure which one to pick. Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance for your help!
Hi Ebony. If you’ve already learned about what it takes to become a VA, I think you can jump straight into the Pinterest VA course.
But if you still need to learn the basics of setting up an online business, and offering more than one service, you can start with the VA course. I’d start with that one if you haven’t worked online/virtually before.
Hope that helps.
I was on another site and it had a link that was supposed to take me to a course on how to be a Pinterest VA but I do not see it on this page. Was the link incorrect?
Here is the link to the Pinterest VA course.
In the modern world many professions are emerging. And, that’s one of them. I liked very much!
Thank you very much for sharing this content. It was what I was looking for, very good
I’m very interested in becoming a VA. From many of the posts, I see that a oft requested service is bookkeeping. This is not a skill that I have, nor is it one that I can see myself acquiring. Is it possible for me to grow a VA business without offering bookkeeping services?
Hi Esther, Offering bookkeeping services is definitely not a requirement for becoming a VA.
Have you had a look at this list of other VA services you could pick?
I have been working as a VA for more than a year now and I agree that there is a wide range of skills clients look for while hiring a VA.
It works for me as I also get to learn a lot about my client’s business model while working as a VA.
Hi Gina and Team!
Seriously considering investing in the course. I’m looking more for concrete skills training rather than business management. I love your list but don’t have all the skills. Does your course show things like quickbooks, social media marketing, and other task how-tos? If not, where could I find those online for free vs paid to be confident and skilled at my services.
Hey Moriya! In the current version of the course (it’s continuously being updated!) we teach you the business of starting a VA biz from scratch – choosing your top 2-3 services, defining your target market, deciding how much to charge, prospecting for clients, onboarding them and working effectively and efficiently. Additionally, we dive deep into three services you can offer (email, social media and content management), plus cover another half dozen or so, including interviews with experts in those fields.
Hey Gina, thank you for this in-depth article. I am thinking of starting out as a VA but I am afraid I don’t have many skills. The skills I have are customer service; phone support. Data entry and data analysis.
I am looking into learning social media management with time. Do you think I can find work with those set of skills or I need to learn more before I put myself out there?
Thank you very much.
We’re big believers in just getting started around here.
It sounds like you already have a solid background, so why not try to get clients that need these services – customer service, data entry and data analysis? If you want to pivot into other services, you can always do that once you’ve tested the market.
In the meantime, you can always keep an eye on our Courses page >>> https://fullybookedva.com/courses/
We’ll be adding some skill-specific courses soon.
Hi Gina !
Thank you for this insightful article, im intersted in becoming a virtuel assistant but i dont know if it will work for me as im from morocco and i live in it considering that we dont have such kind of online job in mmy country !
If your English skills are good (and I think they are), you could try working with clients from other countries. We have VAs in our community who are not based in the United States, yet they still work with U.S. clients.
I’ve been looking for jobs to work from home because I am a mother of a 1 year old and I have been struggling to find a babysitter so, he’s been from different babysitter since he’s been born and this time I have no other option of a babysitter and I will be force to quit my job and no income coming in. I’m sorry I am not the type to give a sob story, I just do not know what to do anymore. I was wondering if I could get help with finding jobs through your website after I take the courses you provide. Thank you so much….
Hope you have a wonderful day.
Yes, we do post exclusive leads in our closed Facebook group for students. We work as an intermediary connecting virtual assistants who take our courses to clients who need a VA.
We don’t do the actual hiring of VAs, but we have an excellent track record – a lot of the VAs in the group who pitch the leads we post DO get hired.
I don’t have an assisting background but I do have an extensive background in customer service and I have always thought that with my skill set I could make a great assistant. I have also been thinking about starting a business but wasn’t sure what that business could be. Being a VA sounds like something that I would definitely be interested in but I have no experience in assisting or business ownership. Do I need to go out and try and get some assisting experience or is becoming a VA something you can learn to do on it’s own? Besides your course is there any other certifications I could or should look into? This post is really informative! Thank you!
We’re glad you found the post helpful.
We use “virtual assistant” as an umbrella term for working online (remotely) for clients. So there’s no such thing as “assisting” as a profession. Taking into consideration your extensive background in customer service, you could specialize in that, in different capacities. You can leverage your skills in any online business that has face-to-face customer interaction.
Have a look at these three posts to see how others are doing it:
Case Study: Bringing a Virtual Assistant on Board to Foster Excellent Customer Experiences >> https://fullybookedva.com/virtual-assistant-customer-experiences/
Case Study: Tech Startup Hires a Virtual PM to Close the Customer Feedback Loop >> https://fullybookedva.com/hire-virtual-project-manager/
4 Reasons You Should Hire a Virtual Assistant for Customer Service >> https://fullybookedva.com/hire-a-virtual-assistant-for-customer-service/
Hi! I always wanted to do VA , but felt I didn’t have email management skills or Real Estate. So I stopped looking. Lately, I been looking more into it and I want to learn how to do email management and Real Estate. I do have data entry and customer service skills. If I want to learn to do email management and Real Estate, will your course help me learn how to do those things? I never had experience or been a VA
Yes, our courses will help you how to do email management (step-by-step), and how to become a real estate virtual assistant (again, step-by-step).
In the meantime, you could start with our free resources:
Email management: https://fullybookedva.com/virtual-assistant-email-management/
Real estate VA: https://fullybookedva.com/real-estate-virtual-assistant-case-study/
I’ve been in business support roles for 20 years, with various companies, I feel bored, tired and constantly unfulfilled, so have been considering a career change.
A friend mentioned being a VA and that running my own business might be what I need, my worry is that I’d still feel the same as I do now or does working for yourself re-energise and provide more fulfillment?
I think it’s ultimately up to you to know what you find fulfilling and energizing. But I would recommend to have a look at this list we’ve put together. Maybe one of these 50 services you can offer as a VA will speak to your heart.
Hi, I’m really interested in this course. I just wanted to know, are there any requirements as to the type of computer system and or programs, that you need ti access this course.
The course is hosted online, so as long as you have internet access, you should be able to take the course.
Hey Gina, this is me Aleena from India and I make videos on YouTube. I’m currently in process of making a video on VA as a career option. I’d be glad to mention your website and guide to my viewers. Thanks ????
We grow together!
Thanks for including 30 Days or Less to VA Success in your YouTube videos, Aleena. Here’s a page with all of our courses: https://fullybookedva.com/workbooks-courses/
hi, I really want to be a virtual assistant. tell me, what happens when you need a break if you are a virtual asisstant? say like a vacation, or maternity leave? won’t you lose clients?
This really comes down to communicating properly with your clients. As long as you provide some advance notice there shouldn’t be any issues. You can also make yourself available for a reduced number of hours when you’re away. As the VA, you’re an independent business owner so it totally up to you how you decide to structure your business in order to keep your clients happy and maintain a work-life balance.
I read throughly your website. I am 36 years old working in Dutch-Bangla bank ltd in Bangladesh for the last 9 years. How can I get a job after finishing your course? Because I am living outside of USA and I am a male person. Is there any chance of getting jobs from Bangladesh? Please give me the details.
When it comes to being a VA there is opportunity for everyone. There are graduates of the course in our community from a variety of countries, and opportunities can be found on a local, national and international level. While different countries vary in their business practices, we offer specific strategies for sourcing and pitching potential clients in the course that can be applied to building a business from anywhere in the world.
Hello, is there a possibility of someone who lives in Africa to be a virtual assistant for a US company. I’m not sure if the rules say you have to live in the US, have US education and work experience.
While we’re not up on the labor laws of your particular area, in general it is absolutely possible for people in other countries to be VAs for US-based businesses, and it happens all the time! That’s part of what’s so wonderful about being a VA, there is a ton of opportunity and it’s available to pretty much everyone willing to go after it.
I would very much like to get started as a VA. I have a Business Management Diploma and I worked for many years (+- 15) as a director of administration in an engineering firm. I am also very proficient in English and with writing (business letters included). Please advise the way forward.
It sounds like you’ve got a great foundation for building an awesome business Penny! We’d advise hopping into our course, 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success (https://fullybookedva.com/30-days-virtual-assistant-success/) to learn all the essentials of starting your VA business. Best of luck to you!
It sounds like you’ve got a great foundation for building an amazing business! We’d definitely recommend checking out 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success (https://fullybookedva.com/30-days-virtual-assistant-success/) to learn the essentials of getting your business up and running.
I am a Virtual Assistant with a master’s degree in Communications, but the truth is schools (no matter how fancy) don’t teach a lot of this stuff. I’ve been working mainly in marketing, but have begun to lean more towards organizational management (lots of VA stuff) and consulting/coaching. I’m curious if your 30-day program focuses mainly on skill development, or would I get a breadth of knowledge on **how to bring in several clients or one big client?** I really need the latter. I saw one of your success stories received a really great virtual job with a company. I’d love to put my maters to work and receive a job or even better a contract role working for an awesome company. After working with clients for over 4 years and working to keep them happy etc, I’d love to just start working with companies who really do need and can afford longterm contracts/employees. Does this program help in this area specifically? If not, is there another program you’d recommend?
Thank you for being incredible.
Hi Melissa, thank you for the kind words and great question! It sounds like you have an awesome foundation to move your business in the direction you want. While we do have skills-specific courses, and our 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success course does cover some skills, it is primarily focused on building a successful VA business and all that entails – including sourcing clients in your chosen niche and how to reach out to them. There are also resources there for focusing your efforts and marketing your business, which should definitely help in your situation!
I love this article, Gina! I always refer anyone wanting to get started a virtual assistant to it.
Thank you Tara! We so appreciate it 🙂
thank you for sharing I am currently pursuing as an intern at uiz berlin looking towards the future
Best of luck in your pursuits Clara! We’re glad you enjoyed this post.
Hi Gina, Thank you for the informative article. I am really interested in becoming a V.A. Currently, I am a master’s student at the University of Queensland, Australia. I am a little unsure about becoming V.A in Australia. Can you suggest any idea about becoming a V.A in Australia?
Hi there! Fortunately VAs can work from anywhere in the world. You just need to be aware of the commerce and tax laws in your area to stay compliant and up to speed, and you can source work from anywhere you want to – whether it’s in Australia or other countries.
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