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What you will learn about becoming a virtual assistant
In this post, you will learn where to find information on what a VA (Virtual Assistant) is, what they can do, and how to become one.
Most of these resources are by VAs that have been in the VA industry for more than a year and have a lot of informative blog posts and resources on their websites.
They will show you what is a VA, what they can do, and what tools or software they use.
Some even offer courses and mentor programs so you can have more in-depth learning to gain the skills and confidence to work with potential clients.
You will also learn a bit about business law and how to protect yourself from being taken advantage of by your work.
For example, you should never do work without having a contract in place and signed by your potential client. You want to have proof and something to refer to if any disagreements or problems arise.
Some of these resources also have a paid membership where you can pay a monthly plan or a yearly plan to access their exclusive content. Like the Association of Virtual Assistants.
I found most of them not helpful in my research of becoming a VA, when I asked a question, I was told to look for the answer in the forums but most of the resources and answers in the information seemed to be outdated. I wanted more up-to-date information on tools and resources since things change faster in the online world.
The Association of Virtual Assistants is a good VA association, they are still a bit new and they have a Facebook group you can join. Their membership is affordable too.
What can a Virtual Assistant do?
Each virtual assistant has different skills and services to offer. If you have admin skills from a previous job, you can offer admin services. You can offer one set of services for a certain area like graphics design and Pinterest marketing or graphics design alone.
But one VA can’t do everything alone, it will become too overwhelming and stressful trying to do everything at once. It’s easier to stick to one or two skills that you enjoy doing. And if you are hiring a VA, you may need more than one to help run your online business.
Other things a VA can do: graphic design, website maintenance, digital marketing, Pinterest, Facebook group moderation, email marketing, and copywriting. There are a lot of different skills a VA can offer.
Virtual Assistant Resources
Your VA Mentor is one of the first places you want to check for information and resources on being a Virtual Assistant.
Tracey D’Aviero is a VA trainer and mentor and is a part of a couple of VA associations, she really knows what it takes to be a VA and has a lot of useful information to share on her website.
VACT (Virtual Assistant Coaching and Training Company) is run by Amanda Johnson who is a business coach, mentor, and trainer. You should definitely check out her website for everything about becoming a Virtual Assistant.
Reese Ben-Yaacov shows you how to start your own VA business with her course, training, and mentoring programs. She also has a free course that is one of my favourite free courses to take online.
The VA Handbook has a lot of useful info on her blog and has awesome downloadables and training lists.
The Techie Mentor has a lot of useful tips and information about starting your own VA business. She also has a Facebook group you can join to connect and learn with others.
Virtual Miss Friday offers mentoring, courses, and useful info on her blog.
Virtual Assistant Trainer by Lisa R. Wells has lots of VA useful information and resources.
Horkey Handbook has a handy list of services that a VA can do that you can download at her site. She also offers a VA course and a freelance writing course.
Networking in Forums, LinkedIn groups, and Facebook groups.
Finding clients to work with is not easy, especially if you’re an introvert. You need to build your network and build trust. You can show off your skills on your own website and on your social media profiles.
Network in places where your potential clients hang out, whether that be Facebook or LinkedIn. Talk with people by voice or video so that they know you are a real person.
There are many forums, LinkedIn groups, and Facebook groups available that you can join. However, not all of them are the same. Some groups may be for beginners or for those that have been in the VA industry for several years.
And please remember when joining a group or forum to read the rules before posting, not only is it polite but it shows that you’re respectful and professional in this industry. This reminder goes for all other forums or groups you join, for example, a group for entrepreneurs or business coaches.
Tools you can use and some I highly recommend
If you’re just starting your Virtual Assistant business, you don’t need expensive tools to provide your services. You can use the free tools listed below.
Grammarly: a tool that corrects your spelling and can give you grammar tips and advice to improve your writing.
Evernote: This is one of my favourite tools. It can synchronize your notes on almost any device that you are logged on and at the same time. I can take my notes anywhere and update them anytime. I also like their Google Chrome extension where they have a screenshot feature and I use that to take screenshots of what I’m working on or if something’s not working and I can show customer service where I’m having difficulties.
Trello: Trello is a great organizational tool where you can rearrange your content too. I use it to organize my social media marketing strategies, client work, and the online courses I’m taking.
Toggl: You can use Toggl to record the time you are working on your client’s work.
Workona: Do you have a lot of tabs open when you’re using the Internet? I used to have 2 or 3 different browser windows open with about 30 tabs open on each. It was a bit annoying having to set up everything every time I’m working or researching something on my computer.
This tool helps save each different workspace with the tabs I want to open at the same time and open up everything at the same time. For example, I have a workspace for blogging where all the tabs that I use when blogging are all together in one space. I can click on blogging, and the tools, my notes, and WordPress account are all set up and ready to go then opening a new window and loading everything one by one.
Canva: Canva is a popular tool used to create social media graphics. People both love it for its simple use, and others dislike it for some design limitations and other reasons I’m not sure why. I still use it because it has templates that help you create images faster instead of taking more time to design each individual graphic for my content.
Tailwind: Tailwind is an official partner of Pinterest. It can be used to schedule your Pinterest content and build traffic to your website faster. It has a lot of great features to grow your Pinterest account.
Awesome Screenshot: A Google chrome extension tool and another great screenshot tool and you can make little notes on it too.
Loom: I use Loom to record tutorials on how to use some tools or review and give feedback to someone about their website for example.
Zoom: Zoom is where you can host your meeting and create webinars.
Wisestamp: it’s kind of like a digital business card that is added in the signature area of your emails.
Building a business
When working as a VA, you learn how to run and grow a small business and business legalities, this will vary from where you are from. I’m not an expert in business legalities both online and offline but Lucrezia & Marina at Blogging for new Bloggers offers affordable legal policies you can use for your business and website.
You will learn how to market your business by learning how to create catchy headlines, create social media graphics, customer service, time management, and other aspects of running a small business. These are things you don’t learn all at once but learn on your online business journey.
How much money can you make as a virtual assistant?
It’s really up to you and how many clients you can work with. It also involves how much you will charge for your services. I usually charge in US dollars because it has more value than Canadian dollars.
My thoughts and advice on becoming a VA
I find that you don’t really need to join any VA associations listed here but it is nice being a part of one. I didn’t join one until I was a little over a year in my business but I did learn a few things from their free resources and blog posts.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to become a Virtual Assistant. You don’t even need to have a website but it does have its benefits, like another source of income (affiliate marketing) and showing that you are serious about having an online business.
You don’t need to have a professional certificate, diploma or degree of some kind, but it is something that is nice to have, I’m still working on my bachelor of science degree.
There are free tools you can use, like the ones I mentioned above, and there are a lot of free resources to learn certain skills if you do your research you will find them. Youtube, Pinterest, and blogs by VA’s and online business owners are great places to start.
After having everything set up, you can start building your audience, awareness for your business, and network. You need to network and build trust to gain clients. If no one knows who you are or sees the kind of work you can do they are less likely to work with you. You can build trust faster by making videos and sharing some of your real life, people will feel comfortable knowing how you look and that you’re a real person.
Where to find potential clients, go where they hang out, like Facebook or LinkedIn. If they’re on Facebook, create a Facebook page, show your face, and join Facebook groups that are related to your niche. Then network, build connections, even friendships.
This route does take a little longer when launching your business on a small budget but you do learn a lot of things along the way and you became a really good problem solver. I learned a lot of new techie skills and where I can find free or affordable tools to use with a small budget.
If you have a larger budget when launching your VA business, your business journey can be faster. You can purchase courses, memberships, and ebooks related to your niche like how to use Pinterest more efficiently.
If you’re not sure which one to take or purchase, you can check out this post Where to find free online courses where I share reviews on what courses I have already taken.
If you have any questions about becoming a VA, you can ask them in the comments and I will answer them as soon as I can 🙂