How to Become a Virtual Assistant – The “Getting Started” Guide
The virtual assistant is one of the few types of jobs that aren’t very demanding in terms of skills or qualifications and can yet be a lucrative career. However, this also means that there’s a fairly low barrier to entry, meaning a higher level of competition.
Needless to say, this sometimes makes it difficult to find work, especially as a new virtual assistant (VA). That said, if you’re determined enough – and manage to find your first few gigs and ace them – you may very well be on your way to rising well above the competition and building a successful career as a VA.
For anyone looking to become a VA, either full-time or part-time, this article series (we have a follow-up article to this one right here) is going to be a great resource as we will discuss pretty much everything you may want to know about how to become a VA as well as find your first few gigs to get the ball rolling.
So with that said, let’s jump in.
Who Can be Termed as a Virtual Assistant?
Well, you may already be having an image in mind that you would refer to a VA, but it doesn’t hurt to get a clear understanding of the term. Now, while there’s not a very specific definition for this term and it’s rather a bit generic term, but it basically means anyone that works from a remote location helping their client or employer with things they need to be done but just don’t have the time to do them themselves.
So, yes, it can be a bit like a real assistant, except that instead of working from their office, you have the freedom to work from anywhere you want, and for clients that are located across the world.
Acquiring Specific Skills
Before trying to learn how to become a VA, you must know that if you want to command an above-average rate, you would likely have to acquire a few specific skills. While there’s a lot of demand for generalist VAs as well, they aren’t paid as well, especially the beginner ones without a lot of experience.
While there seem to be many niches you can consider getting into, you may want to focus on something you’re passionate about. This will make the work seem fun, and you will probably be able to take your skills to the next level faster, which would, in turn, help you fetch an even higher rate for your skills.
However, if you’re lost for ideas, here are some of the lesser-known niches with a significantly lower competition and skills that you may want to work on or develop before you hit the market looking for a VA job.
WordPress has recently become one of the most important skills to have as a freelancer of any type, and VAs are no exception. As more and more sites and businesses opt for WordPress as their Content Management Platform (CMS) for its ability to offer a simplified and highly user-friendly experience, the need for VAs that are familiar with WordPress steadily increases as well.
The good news for you (if you are interested in acquiring this skill) is that there’s a plethora of content and tutorials out there helping you understand WordPress in and out. There are also many Udemy courses you can look forward to, and for as less as $10 you may be able to learn basic to advanced WordPress skills.
If there has ever been a rapidly growing niche, it has to be digital marketing. And SEO has turned out to be the most crucial component of a site’s overall digital marketing plan. In fact, many businesses only prefer to work on their site’s SEO, while not bothering with any other form of digital marketing.
Some of the important SEO skills you need to have in order to get hired for one of those SEO virtual assistant jobs online:
- Understanding on-page SEO and being able to optimize a site for its on-page SEO
- Keyword research and the ability to optimize the content in a natural way for the keywords
- Learn about the different types of link building practices
- Learn how to do outreach – an important process of a white hat SEO campaign
Writing skills are something you just may not be able to do without, unless of course, you work with people from countries where English is not the first or second language, and the work involved too doesn’t require the use of the English language (it’s very rare to find a VA job in your native non-English language, mind you!).
However, for all the other types of online assistant jobs, decent writing skills are going to be a must. Be it working as an SEO VA or a customer service VA, you will find yourself having to make the most out of your writing skills.
In fact, even being able to find work on a consistent basis may come down on your English writing skills, as you will need to sell yourself to your potential clients. And if your writing is littered with grammar and other errors, you will likely be turned down by the clients regardless of what you bring to the table in terms of the skills.
Being Serious about your Client’s Work
Even if you have some great skills that are highly demanded by clients looking to hire VA, you may not be able to be a successful VA if you’re not serious about your work. So an important part of your virtual assistant training should be to learn to value your client’s work, do your best to help them with their projects, respect deadlines, not disappear from work suddenly without informing your clients in advance and pretty much everything that helps you be a reliable, responsible virtual assistant.
How About a Little Break?
Well, as you can tell by what we have managed to tell you so far, there’s actually a lot more to know about. However, we think that you may be able to grasp the concepts better if you go through a small amount of information at a time.
So with that in mind, let us end this post here. Once you have soaked in the above information, you can click here to get to the second part of this article which will help you learn the rest of the things you need to know about to become a successful virtual assistant, including a more in-depth understanding of how to be a virtual assistant as well as what does a virtual assistant do.