Are you a virtual assistant (or hopeful) who wishes to get ahead in this ultra-competitive industry? As an independent entrepreneur who works remotely and uses technology to deliver services to clients all over the world, you must know what you’re doing and you must be focused on superior customer service if you hope to keep working long into the future. The good news is that the pool of working VA’s is still small, which means that you have a chance to truly make it, as long as you can find the proper virtual assistant jobs to sustain you.
How small is the market you’re aiming to dominate? Entrepreneur magazine recently started that there are about 2,000 virtual assistants worldwide. A virtual assistant can also stand to make a fair amount of money from any home or office. According to a survey recently put out by Virtual Business Alliance, the average full-time virtual assistant working in the United States grossed nearly $40K in income last year.
In order to become successful at your virtual assistant career and to make that amount of money or more per year, most VA’s will tell you that it takes plain old hard work and a solid work ethic to truly make it.
Sharon B. Williams of the 24-Hour Secretary told Entrepreneur, “To become successful, you need a good marketing strategy in addition to that phone, PC and Internet connection.” She adds that many virtual assistants work 14 to 18 hour days, some during weekends and holidays. Of course, the part that Sharon leaves out is that you are your own boss, so you can work as often as you’d like and essentially make however much you like. It’s all up to you.
If you have the drive and work ethic, the rest all comes down to finding the best and most ideal virtual assistant jobs. If you are still a hopeful who wants to know how to become a virtual assistant, the best practice is to just go ahead and do. So roll up your sleeves, search for virtual assistant jobs using the following methods and be prepared to earn your keep doing what you do best.
First, the Tried and True Methods of Finding Virtual Assistant Jobs
·Get a Website: Your virtual assistant website should answer every question a potential prospect might have. This includes your experience, qualifications, virtual assistant jobs you’ve successfully completed in the past, case studies, proof of your track record and a few testimonials from satisfied clients. Your site doesn’t need to be fancy, but it does need to be thorough with quality and pertinent information clients might seek.
·Start Networking: When your website is complete, get on the various social networks if you haven’t already. Get on Facebook and Twitter, for sure, but LinkedIn is another important one if you have time. Fill out your profiles with the same concept you used when filling out your website, and that is to be thorough with any information clients may ask. Then start talking-to and meeting people. You never know when a professional connection may develop.
·Ask Your Personal & Professional Circles for Help: Talk to your former boss, co-workers, brother, mother, neighbor and check-out woman at the grocery store to see if they might know someone who owns a business and needs a little help. You may want to pass out business cards that explain what you do along with your contact information. By exhausting all of your resources when searching for virtual assistant jobs, you’ll be less likely to let any opportunities pass you by.
Be Proactive When Searching for Virtual Assistant Jobs
ELance: Whatever you wish to do as a virtual assistant, you’re bound to find the ideal listing or listings on ELance. Create a profile and you’ll be able to search for virtual assistant jobs, apply for them, send samples to clients and essentially set your own rates. Of course you’ll need to abide by whatever clients will be willing to pay; but if you’re ready to search for work, ELance is a good first step to take.
Virtual Assistant Job Boards: These platforms do for virtual assistants what Monster does for regular job seekers. VirtualAssistants.com and VirtualAssistantJobs.com are two great examples, but there are quite a few others out there. If you can’t find a job on ELance, you might find it on one or more of these platforms. Create profiles and check them daily for best results.
Craigslist: This platform isn’t just for finding old furniture and selling your old car; it is also ideal for finding work. More specifically, you might just discover the perfect virtual assistant project by searching Craigslist. At least it never hurts to put it on your list of daily sites to check.
You now have several ways of preparing for and getting work with one or more virtual assistant jobs. To stack your deck and to ensure that you stand out among the 2,000 other virtual assistants you’re competing against, you might want to focus on getting some extra training.
The simple fact is, clients will be more likely to hire you if they can get away with providing you with little to no training when you’re first starting out. You can also get away with charging more money for your services. Where do you get training? There are several methods, actually.
·Local Schools: Many schools offer virtual assistant courses, and sometimes they’re offered at a discount to entice more students to sign up.
·Online Courses: Virtual assistant training can also be had without having to leave your office desk. Search the various universities online for courses that fit within your specialization, and visit Udemy.com to see if there are any courses on there that interest you.
·Experience: Of course if you want to learn how to become a virtual assistant and you want more training at the same time, it might pay off to fake-it-till-you-make-it. Just start applying for jobs, research how to do the aspects of the project you’re unsure of and you’ll gain on-the-job experience. You’ll become a virtual assistant and you’ll begin steadily getting better. That’s the best way to go, and it’s the way many virtual assistants have gone to get to where they are today.
Now you know how to become a virtual assistant and how to excel at it. Choose one or two specializations and get ready to make money using nothing more than a little hard work and your favorite computer or mobile device.