What is a virtual assistant?
Often a freelancer or contractor, virtual assistants (VAs) can take repetitive or time-consuming admin tasks off your hands, freeing up vital time for your top-level priorities. VAs are particularly effective…
As virtual jobs continue to rise in popularity, thanks to new technology and flexible working setups, more and more people in personal assistant jobs are becoming a virtual assistant. With added flexibility and convenience, it has become a fantastic option for those looking to even out their work-life balance.
However, the transition to a virtual assistant role requires plenty of forethought and preparation – it’s not just a case of dropping everything on Friday and starting up on Monday. So if you’re interested in how to become a virtual assistant, look no further than the following tips:
Becoming a virtual assistant won’t happen overnight. It’s worth putting a plan in place as early as possible. Because you’ll likely be setting up as a freelancer, you need to treat the endeavor as a business, setting targets for business development, pitches and completed work. You can even create a path plan, identifying milestones and the skills and experience needed to reach them.
When starting out, it’s all about who you know. Start networking with decision makers, calling on old acquaintances and connections to build a database of potential clients. One of the best ways to find potential clients and useful contacts is via LinkedIn, so spend time learning how to use LinkedIn effectively.
Another fruitful avenue for networking is with fellow ‘digital nomads’ working remotely. These could be other virtual assistants, or freelancers in other fields who may nonetheless have good advice and connections. Your best chance to meet these peers (and to have a break from the home office!) is in co-working spaces.
As part of becoming a virtual assistant, it’s imperative to make sure your online presence represents your brand as well as possible. These days, setting up an impressive and professional-looking website is very simple through services like WordPress and Squarespace. Having an easy-to-find online space with up-to-date contact details and information about your services will be one of the biggest drivers of new business. You should likewise treat your LinkedIn profile as a shop window, ensuring it reflects your achievements, services, and career aspirations.
Do your research before engaging any clients. Know what the industry standard pay rate is, what normal turnover rates are and the average weekly hours. This will protect you from being taken advantage of, but it also shows prospective clients your depth of knowledge in your field.
At the same time you should learn all you can about businesses or clients you’re approaching. Show them from the start that you have an understanding of their work, their industry, and what would be required of you. This will certainly pique the interest of target clients.
Make sure you have all the equipment ready to go. This includes a fast computer and internet connection, microphone, headphones and, of course, a quiet space to work. For help setting up your own personal den of productivity, check out our guide to creating a home workspace.
The move from PA to VA is a natural one in the increasingly online world, but it’s not always obvious how to become a virtual assistant. If you keep these principles in mind you’ll have a much greater chance of success as you head off in this exciting new direction!
Looking for a virtual role, or in need of a VA? Tiger can help – get in touch today.
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