How to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant
So you want to make the jump towards becoming a Virtual Assistant. You can’t wait to be acknowledged for your skill by a company that needs your specific talents to function properly. You’ve quit your job, ready to look for some quality online work… but where?
Becoming a Virtual Assistant isn’t as easy as it seems and there are a lot of things you’ll have to consider before your career starts to take off. You have to be prepared to work hard—maybe even harder than when you worked a 9 to 5, but once you get the hang of it, the work will be much more fulfilling. After all, you’re earning money on your terms.
That being said, here are a few things to keep in mind as you start building yourself up as a Virtual Assistant:
Can I afford it?
Let’s not sugarcoat it. Unless you happen to get lucky, it will take time to find your first few clients. Then there’s the agonizing wait after you give them an invoice, just staring at your PayPal until you receive payment.
Figure out if you can hold out until the client stream is in full swing, otherwise you may find it difficult to put some food on your plate, much less land that sweet online gig.
What’s my brand?
You’re going to have to market yourself heavily if you want to get anywhere in the online employment game. It helps to have your own website or a portfolio of your work (or both) in order to impress the companies you hope will pick you up.
Apart from the increased exposure, this also allows you to advertise the things you’re good at, so you increase the chances of an employer looking to hire you for the right reasons, instead of shoehorning you into something you’re not as well-versed in.
What’s my rate?
Know what you’re worth. More importantly, know your worth within the market you’re in. Figure out what the industry standard is and judge your own level of know-how and experience.
You’ll need to decide if you want your rate to be hourly, by project, or by day (though most VA’s have a combination of all these). You also have to figure out your retainer rate if you want that kind of work.
What’s my platform?
Find the a hiring space that works for you. Maybe it’s adding your name into local business directories. Maybe it’s using hiring sites like Upwork or Monster. You could even use social media if you have a big enough network.
You need to pinpoint the quickest way to get your name out there and just go for it. You’re responsible for how people see you, or if they even see you at all, so be sure you cover all possible angles for exposure.