The online world is a haven for jobs, provided you know your way around and the demand for freelancers/remote workers is increasing from time to time. There is a freelance opportunity not many people are talking about, at least not in Nigeria. We are talking about virtual assistants. You will be surprised how much money virtual assistants are making.
What Is A Virtual Assistant?
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 decided to create such a broad definition.
What Services Does a Virtual Assistant Provide?
The second most common question we are asked revolves around the types of services that you can offer as a VA. The truth of the matter is that there is no cut and dry list of activities that a virtual assistant does.
- Customer support
- Processing online orders and refunds
- Website design
- WordPress maintenance
- Graphic design and layout
- Calendar management and travel arrangements
- Content creation for blogs and ghostwriting
- Editing and proofreading
- Content research
- Keyword research
- Email management
- Data entry
- Creating sales pages
- Managing product launches
- Social media management
- Project management
The list goes on and on! For many busy entrepreneurs, the greater the variety of tasks you can handle, the better.
How To Become A Virtual Assistant
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.
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?
What types of clients will you be working with?
What type of VA work will you be doing?
Your personal situation (ie. spouse, family, children and liabilities).
What is your personal risk tolerance?
Decide Which Virtual Assistant Services You’ll Offer Your Clients
Making a decision on services 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.
When most people think of the typical VA services the things that come to mind are checking email, returning phone calls and managing their client’s calendar.
In many instances, it can include those things, but there are plenty of other services you can offer as well.
You’re completely free to grow and adapt your business as you see fit. This means changing, adding or eliminating services based on client demand, profitability, your available time commitment and your personal interests.
Decide on Your Pricing Structure
Everyone wants to know “how much does a virtual assistant make per hour?” What the right amount to charge and how much is enough (but not too much).
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: most notably your bills that will be incurred.
To give you some personal context, you can start out charging $10 (N3,600) per hour. You can later increase this accordingly or move from this hourly model to a more a fixed or retainer rate.
Launch Your Website and Create Your Online Presence
We feel strongly about the idea that if you’re going to be working online and providing virtual assistant services from your desired location, it only makes sense that you have an established online presence.
In most case that includes both a website and a social media presence. No matter how you slice it, the combination of those two items makes it much easier to market your business to potential clients.
As a general rule, we recommend WordPress and a custom theme when setting up your website.
When it comes to social media, we recommend that you keep things as simple as possible. Instead of trying to juggle multiple social media platforms just follow one simple rule: be where your clients are.
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 few clients.
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 and confidence. Once those four ingredients begin to kick in, the growth process becomes easier.
The process that we encourage both new and experienced VAs to follow when building their business is simple. It involves being both proactive and consistent in your efforts and we have a simple process for finding virtual assistant clients:
Step #1: Know who your ideal clients are.
Step #2: Find the ideal prospects in your target market.
Step #3: Begin building a relationship with potential clients.
Step #4: Pitch new prospects daily. Until your business grows to the point where referrals are consistently rolling in, you need to rely on pitching.
Step #5: Offer a trial period.
Step #6: Check in early and consistently. Communication is important.
Step #7: Make yourself irreplaceable. If you are interested in keeping a client for the long term, the best thing you can do is provide as much value as possible.