The life of a virtual assistant is varied, full of freedom and has the potential to bring in a substantial income; but you must possess the special skills that clients will be willing to pay for if you hope to become a virtual assistant in the very near future. Virtual assistants are helpful, they are excellent multi-taskers and they have an eagle-eye that can catch misspellings and errors of other sorts from a mile away. If these attributes sound familiar and you would like to become a virtual assistant who works from home or anywhere else as long as there is an Internet connection and a computer, then follow along. You are about to learn what it takes to become a virtual assistant virtually overnight.
What Does a Virtual Assistant Actually Do?
To become a virtual assistant, it might help to familiarize yourself with the various tasks you will be assigned by clients of every type. Just know that you are bound to get a few curve balls thrown your way by clients who may not be familiar with the proper terms, or by clients who are trying something that has never been done before and want you to help. The following list will give you a general idea of what you are likely to be tasked with as a virtual assistant.
When you become a virtual assistant, you may find yourself answering and responding to emails, essentially filtering them before they reach your client; you might set up autoresponder emails in email marketing platforms like AWeber and MailChimp, you might book appointments for your client, manage your client’s calendar, book hotels and flights, act as a liaison between your client and a team of others, or you might find yourself posting and responding to Facebook messages, Tweets and other social media platforms and popular forums.
You will essentially be handling all the day-to-day tasks that your client doesn’t have time to complete him/herself. You will act as their support system, their personal assistant and their task-handler, even though you might be miles or even continents away.
Running Your Virtual Assistant Business At Home of From Any Office
If right now you are saying to yourself, “I can do that. I can become a virtual assistant,” the first step is to put up a website, create a few social media accounts and start up a blog to let everyone interested know that you are open for business and accepting new clients.
The following will assume that you have found at least one client and will show you how to work as a virtual assistant from your home office, from office space that you rent out or from office space that you share with another business – essentially anywhere, as long as there is an online connection and a device to make that connection.
The virtual assistant starts the day by reading and answering emails from clients. This is generally how you will communicate with clients; however, some clients may want to talk over the phone, over Skype or via a team management platform like Basecamp.
Once all communications are answered and sent out, the virtual assistant will get to work. Being incredibly detail-oriented, the assistant most likely has a to-do list already set up for the day, which includes all of the client duties that are scheduled for that day, as well as any freelance business administration duties that need to be performed.
Remember that while a virtual assistant must be available for all clients and willing to complete a number of tasks to completion and void of errors, the person is also a business owner. This means that the virtual assistant must help clients and tend to his or her own business matters simultaneously. To become a virtual assistant, you should familiarize yourself with taxes (how to collect and properly pay them), time scheduling, invoicing, accounting and all the rest that goes into running a successful freelance business.
As you can imagine, the life of a freelance virtual assistant is never the same two days in a row. If that excites you and if you are tired of the drudgery of the nine-to-five, and if you love to help people, can multi-task like the best of them and if you have the ambition to do your best so that you outshine the earnings of any day job you’ve ever kept, then you just might have what it takes to become a successful virtual assistant.