If you have superb organizational and time management skills, there’s no reason to stay stuck in an office from 9 to 5. You can put your skills to work from the comfort of your home by becoming a virtual assistant.
While it might be unfamiliar territory, becoming a virtual assistant is relatively easy. With just a few simple steps and referring to helpful resources like Indy Contracts to develop a contract, you can begin helping others manage schedules and files, provide customer service, and more. You’ll enjoy a host of benefits that come from leaving your traditional office job behind.
Here’s what being a virtual assistant involves and an easy step-by-step guide to becoming a virtual assistant.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
The simplest way to understand what a virtual assistant (VA) is to think of them as a remote administrative assistant. From tasks such as schedule management to customer service and client outreach, VAs handle most of the things administrative assistants oversee in an office setting.
Of course, every arrangement is unique, so some VAs might also handle tasks such as invoicing, payment processing, and social media. What your role as a virtual assistant looks like ultimately comes down to the unique skills and expertise you can offer to your clients.
Some advantages of serving as a virtual assistant include a low entry barrier, better pay than traditional administrative assistant jobs, and more growth opportunities.
1. Choose What Services You Offer
The first step in becoming a virtual assistant is deciding what types of services you want to offer. There is no rulebook that limits what you can or can’t do as a VA, so it’s really up to you what types of services you want to provide to your clients.
Typical VA services include managing inboxes, returning phone calls, and managing schedules. If you have expertise in social media, website management, or copyediting, you’ll want to include those too.
2. Decide Your Pricing Structure
Determine your pricing structure. Like any freelance job, the right amount to charge for your services depends on your skill set, experience, and what you need to be profitable.
As you set your rates, remember that you need to pay taxes on both the employee and employer side of things, you aren’t entitled to benefits, and there may be some other expenses, such as office supplies and website hosting. Because of all these extra costs, it’s typically a good rule to inflate your take-home pay by a minimum of 25%.
Whether you charge a flat rate, hourly rate, or something else, it’s best to aim high to ensure you can support yourself and be profitable.
3. Launch a Website and Social Media Accounts
Once you’ve decided which services you’re going to offer and how much they cost, it’s time to establish your online presence. Creating a website can help you market yourself by giving you a platform to communicate your services and value proposition. It’s also a way to establish and promote your brand.
By following SEO best practices, you can further optimize your website so that you are more likely to appear in search engine results when people search for virtual assistants.
Beyond your website, you can market yourself by using social media channels, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, to connect with prospective clients.
4. Network to Establish Clients
Once you create an online presence and begin marketing yourself across various platforms, it’s time to land some clients. While it can be tricky to establish your first few clients, once you’ve developed a rapport with these clients, it will be easy to land more.
The top way to secure clients is to network and pitch your services proactively. By identifying potential clients, you can begin cold-calling or finding mutual contacts who could help pitch your services.
You can more easily find clients by creating an Indy Profile to showcase your work and attract new clients.
5. Create a Contract
To help ensure alignment with your client’s expectations and that you are protected in the event anything goes wrong, it’s best practice to have a virtual assistant contract in place. Things to include in your virtual assistant contract include services, terms, compensation, expenses, invoices, considerations, cancellation, dispute resolution, and renewals. Touching on these areas helps define your work scope and ensure you don’t get pulled in too many directions down the road.
Become a Virtual Assistant Today
Once you know what it takes to become a virtual assistant, you can get to work on creating your new and exciting independent business venture. By thinking through what services you’d like to offer and your pricing structure, establishing an online presence, and outreach to prospective clients, you can start strongly as a virtual assistant.