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How to Become a Virtual Assistant and earn up to £130 per day
Do you have great organizational skills? Are you a whiz with computers and technology? If so, you may be the perfect candidate to start your own virtual assistant business from home!
Want to learn more about virtual assistants? Keep reading!
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant or VA is a remote worker who provides administrative, and technical assistance to businesses. As an independent contractor, a VA also assists with digital marketing, social media, and other tasks.
Often self-employed, virtual assistants can work from home or anywhere in the world. The duties of a virtual assistant vary according to the terms of the contract and the needs of the client.
For example, a client may task a virtual assistant specialising in social media and internet marketing to run his social media pages or blog. Another client may task a virtual assistant to carry out bookkeeping tasks.
VAs are remote workers which means clients do not provide the same benefits similar to full-time employees. For example, a business offers paid time off, maternity leave, pension plans, and other benefits to full-time employees.
When it comes to virtual assistants, they do not receive these benefits as they are independent contractors who work part-time. Since a virtual assistant is a freelancer, he or she needs to pay for her own PC, router, high-speed internet, software, and others.
What Do Virtual Assistants Do?
The following are tasks that VAs do.
- Diary management
- Booking travel
- Event organization
- Report writing
- Email management
- Content writing
- Market research
- Social media management
- Email marketing
- Managing files
- Customer service and much more.
Before becoming a virtual assistant, consider your skills, experience, and what you can offer.
What Are the Qualifications of a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is like any other profession which means there are essential qualities one must have to function.
- In-demand VA skills
- Administrative VA skills
- Executive VA skills
- General VA skills.
If you want to succeed as a virtual assistant, you must have the in-demand skills.
Individuals and businesses looking for VAs must have faith that the information provided is accurate. Therefore, clients place a high value on a VA’s written communication skills. In particular, they emphasize the VA’s ability to convey their comprehension of challenges, progress, and tasks.
Besides written communication skills, VAs must be fluent when communicating orally. This is because the majority of clients hold regular face-to-face meetings.
Individuals and businesses require VAs with computing knowledge. As such, you should have experience in using operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS. VAs should also be familiar with document processing software, including PowerPoint, and Word. Knowing about project management, research, the internet, and CRMs is an added advantage.
Time management is another skill VAs should have. With time management, VAs can prioritise responsibilities, establish deadlines and stick to them. They can also deal with strict time constraints and competing priorities. In addition, VAs have multiple duties which they work on simultaneously. The ability to organize and arrange their time to balance routine and urgent tasks is a must.
Individuals and businesses rely on email to communicate with their clients. As a VA, you should be proficient with email systems such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, and others. You should also familiarize yourself with sorting emails, and responding to emails.
This is because clients require VAs to respond to emails on their behalf, and schedule meetings with their clients. By doing so, VAs save significant time for their clients.
Social Media Management:
Social media is an integral part of every individual and business. With social media management skills, you can organize your client’s social media pages. By giving your clients expert-level social media assistance, they can connect with more clients. They can also expand their social media presence and boost their brand’s awareness.
If you lack social media skills, you’ll be unable to handle your clients’ social media activities. Not only that. You’ll fail to give them updates. By failing to update them often, prospects and customers will notice. Eventually, they will lose faith in your client’s brand.
Other skills you should have include:
- Data entry
- Lead conversion
- Passion for lifelong learning and education
- Search engine optimization
- Decision making
- Attention to detail
- Project management
- Reliability and much more.
You should also have a high school qualification or higher, and have prior experience as an administrative assistant.
What Do I Need to Get Started as a Virtual Assistant?
The following are steps to help you get started as a virtual assistant.
Step One – Register Your Business
While VAs are self-employed, to get started, you need to register your business. Start by coming up with a business name, or you can use your own name. Make sure to check with the National Business Register to ensure the name is not registered. You should also check that your business name-to-be is not trademarked. Failure to do so can result in serious trouble in the future.
After you register your business, register with the HM Revenue and Customs as self-employed. This is free, and you can do it in 10 minutes or less. Failure to register as self-employed can spell trouble for you. In fact, the HM Revenue and Customs will penalize you for failure to register and pay taxes.
Next, you’ll need to find the right insurance coverage and register for VAT once your taxable income is over £85,000.
Step Two – Start-Up Costs
You can become a virtual assistant without needing to spend a lot of money initially. However, there are a couple of things you’ll need.
- High-speed internet
On your computer you should have the following tools:
- E-signature tools
- Task management tool
- Invoicing tool
- Office suite
- Payment processor
- Online calendar
- Graphics tool
- Appointment scheduler
- Virtual Private Network
- Online note tool
- Email marketing tool
In addition, you should have:
- Social media profile – LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more
- Website or blog
Many of these do not cost much, and with less than £1,000, you can get started as a virtual assistant.
Step Three – Finding work as a Virtual Assistant
Now that you’ve the equipment, skills and have registered your business name, it’s time to find work as a virtual assistant. You can find a virtual assistant agency and sign up. One website you should check out is the Society of Virtual Assistants. This is a free service with loads of information on virtual assistants.
Remember, if looking for virtual assistant agencies, avoid any advertising on “get rich quick” VA jobs.
Besides virtual assistant agencies, you can also find work on freelancing platforms such as:
- People Per Hour
You’ll need to sign, create your profile, list your key skills and experience before you start searching for jobs or bidding for them.
Having your own website is a good way of selling your skills and experience as a virtual assistant. With a website, you can build your own online CV where you showcase your skills, experience, and employment history. Once you set up your website, promote it on social media.
You can self-promote on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
How Much Do Virtual Assistants Make?
The average salary for a virtual assistant in the UK is £15.38 per hour. Entry-level VA positions start at £25,106 per year, while the most experienced VAs can earn up to £55,000 a year. This data is according to UK.talent.com.
According to Indeed UK, the average salary a virtual assistant earns in the UK is £12.77 per hour and £131 per day.
As you work and gain more skills and experience, you’ll increase your earning potential whether it’s by taking more work or upping your rates.
Before getting started, it’s a good idea to research and find out how much entry-level VAs in your niche earn.