Have you ever thought about becoming a Virtual Assistant?  If you feel like you are constantly running around juggling work and home and are looking for a career that allows you the flexibility to work from home you have probably considered becoming a Virtual Assistant. VA’s are becoming increasingly popular due to the increase of small businesses running entirely online. Though their companies are now online, these business owners still need assistance and you can help them from the comfort of your own home! Not exactly sure what VA’s do? No worries! We have created an overview to help you determine if becoming a VA is right for you.   You might also like to check out this guide to becoming a VA

What does a VA do

Virtual Assistants can be responsible for many different tasks. They can answer and make phone calls for clients from sales calls to appointment setting. Handling emails and providing customer service for common questions is another common task you can expect to provide.  Many VA’s help clients with social media and marketing activities as this is essential in today’s environment. There really is not a limit on what you could be doing as a VA! A good comparison is to think of tasks that a regular Assistant may do, but imagine doing them a virtual setting and likely more expanded. The Horkey Handbook has 150+ ideas of specific niche areas you can offer your services in, although there are many more you could offer. This is by no means an all-encompassing list because it will depend on what the company needs are.

Who is suited to being a VA

VA’s must possess the ability to handle many different tasks at once and be able to keep track of it all. If you are not detail oriented, this may not be the best option for you. If you love variety and doing different types of work, there are endless business types you can support. Reliability is a must in this role. Businesses are depending on your skills to sustain or grow their business. Communication skills are essential to communicate virtually with your client and to help their customers. Miss deadlines and it won’t be likely that you will keep many clients. Another aspect you need to be comfortable with is being self-disciplined. Working at home means that there are not any managers or co-workers helping you stay on task. You will need to motivate yourself to get everything completed to keep your clients happy. VA’s must be okay working independently as they are home. If you are comfortable working on your own, you will not have a problem. On the other hand, if you are a social butterfly who enjoys chatting with co-workers you may go stir crazy.

Who do VAs work with

Anyone can hire a virtual assistant, which means professions from a dog walking service to law firms could be clients. A solopreneur may need some help with blog posts and social media from time to time to give them time to focus on other things. Small businesses may need a dedicated VA to manage their general inbox so they can focus on business generation. Even a large company may find the need to source talent to assist with items that their current team just doesn’t have the bandwidth for. Any company that has a need to any sort of help with tasks that they just can’t get to or have little experience in.

VA’s are not just Administration

Don’t confuse being a VA to just doing administrative functions. VA’s are involved in social media, virtual reception, graphic design, and organizing. Social media is so huge for customer engagement currently and many business owners just don’t have the time to do it. It makes more sense for them to outsource things like reporting and social media to an expert who can get it done quickly and right. This allows them to focus on other parts of their business or have more flexibility in their time. Get your dream job by doing the right PD for your career

How do I become a VA?

Online courses are a great way to improve your skills in specific areas or to get started with setting up your own business.  SkillShare has a fantastic course ran by Rosie Shiloh, author of “VA VA VOOM” and owner of Virtually Yours VA, one of the largest VA networks in Australia.  Her introductory course takes less than two hours to complete and gives you everything you need to get started as a VA.  If you sign up to SkillShare using this link, you’ll get two months of premium membership as well. The Horkey Handbook has a more comprehensive program, as well as loads of useful resources including contracts, templates, and guides on all aspects of your VA business in their 30 days or less to VA course.   They’ll teach you everything from how to set up the foundations of your business to get it right the first time, how to land your first clients, pitching to clients and how to manage your VA business once it’s up and running. Other programs such as the VA Classroom and Virtually Yours are also highly regarded. This is a good way to get step by step direction on how to become a virtual assistant. It would also be a great addition to your resume to show you are skilled. The Virtual Assistant Community has a ton of information on Virtual Assisting including VA courses specific to Bookkeeping, Content Management, Real Estate, and Social Media. Another option is contacting companies like Interim Business Solutions that provide VA services directly to see if they are looking for additional talent.   Of course, being a VA can be lonely at times.  Connecting with other VA’s through networks such as Virtually Yours, you can access training, support, and find other VA’s who’s willing to share their ideas and learning as well. Becoming a Virtual Assistant may be the perfect option for you. If you are detail oriented and love the idea of helping people from your home this is a great fit. There are some great resources on the market to help train you to get started today! Would you become a VA?  or know someone who might like to know more?  Share this article and let them know! This post contains affiliate links – this means they are products I personally use and recommend. If you make a purchase from an affiliate company, you will never pay more than usual, in fact, you might get a special deal, and I may make a small commission on the sale.

About the author:  Tanya is the founder and owner of Employment Avenues.  She is passionate about career change and helping parents find flexible and family-friendly jobs that allow them to use their hard-won skills and knowledge in meaningful ways.  Having been through two major career changes herself, she now helps other mums take action on their career dreams too.

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