These days, many people want to try balancing out their careers and enjoying life by having flexible jobs.
If you want to work at your own pace and liberty, you may want to try to become a virtual assistant.
Now, you’re probably wondering how to become a virtual assistant with no experience.
It’s possible, and I’ll show you the steps you can take in this post.
Despite having no experience in the VA field, you can still work as one once you have the right niche and skills to offer.
Anyone can be a virtual assistant as long as they start training and cultivating the skills they already have.
Once you have what it takes to be a virtual assistant, you can now enjoy a perfect work and life balance.
In this post, you’ll find everything you need to know to become a virtual assistant.
How to Become a Virtual Assistant – No Experience
Now you have an idea of the basic things you should know about becoming a virtual assistant; you may now want to be one.
While some clients require specific educational attainments before hiring a VA, they still seek after skills.
As an essential requirement, virtual assistants should be knowledgeable about technology because of the work setup.
They need proficiency in most business programs and software, primarily if your niche is bookkeeping and data entry.
Of course, besides skills, you also need excellent values to be a successful virtual assistant.
In this part, you’ll read about the right way to start your journey as a virtual assistant despite having no experience.
Train and Take Lessons
The best way to start becoming a virtual assistant is to invest in honing your skills.
Some organizations and clients offer free courses to help you have an edge as a beginner.
If you are still trying to grasp the field, it is best to learn about it; these courses can help you with that.
The great thing is that most of these courses and seminars are online so that you can do it comfortably at home.
Regardless of your background or experience, training and taking lessons can help you dive into being a virtual assistant.
Choose a Specialization
After taking a few courses to give you the necessary knowledge, it’s time to pick your niche.
Choosing a specialization that is your strength and you are confident in taking is practical.
You’ll land a virtual assistant job quickly if you know your target client and services.
It is best to start with a focused niche to hone your skills efficiently and become an expert.
You can try different things as you move forward, so don’t stress yourself into learning everything.
By focusing on a single niche first, you can improve to be an expert and offer higher rates in the future.
To start picking a niche, list your skills and what you can do.
You already know about the different types of virtual assistants, so try to find which matches your skills.
There may be a lot of general tasks to do when starting, but you can find your color soon and be good at it.
Set Your Rates
Rates differ for virtual assistants depending on the tasks, experience, and clients.
You can start setting your rates after looking at other VA rates and comparing them.
You can highlight which one has the most similar to the tasks that you do so you know how much to charge.
There are virtual assistants with profile pages that you can visit and see their market.
Use it as your guide in charging your clients so you are not overpricing or you are not underpaid.
Your rates will depend on what you and the client agreed on, but make sure it covers essential expenses.
For example, check if they will cover your healthcare and other business-related expenses.
Since most virtual assistants are freelancers, their benefits and bonus pay may differ.
Promote Yourself Online
Put yourself out to the world and offer your services to clients.
They can be individuals, small businesses, startups, etc.
You can start by creating an appealing resume showcasing your accomplishments, experiences, and skills.
You also add an online portfolio if you have relevant works and certifications that can add bonus points to your profile.
The courses you took can also add value to your resume because clients will appreciate you taking lessons.
You can post your resume or portfolio on several online platforms, like LinkedIn and Indeed.
You also have FlexJobs, Upwork and Fiverr, where you can build your portfolio and allow clients to screen you quickly.
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Prepare Virtual Assistant Equipment
As you know, a computer is essential in the virtual assistant industry.
This career’s online and remote setup requires you to have a functioning and efficient device to work on with tasks.
Different VAs may need add-ons like additional monitors, printers, noise-cancellation headphones, and more.
If you are fortunate enough, some VA jobs will only require you to use a mobile phone, but it can be challenging.
However, computers are still a better option, especially those with at least high-performing features.
But overall, the most vital requirement is a strong and reliable internet connection to perform tasks online.
Don’t be afraid to invest in equipment. Tools can be a little pricey, but you can earn them back in no time.
Moreover, buying high-quality equipment can allow you to perform tasks efficiently and last longer.
Find Virtual Assistant Jobs
You took courses, chose a niche, set your rates, promoted online, and prepared your equipment.
The next thing to do is look for a job opportunity to help you grow and earn money.
Starts and small business owners often need VAs, so you have many opportunities.
You can work under a VA agency and freelancer, as not everyone wants to work under a company.
It is nice to build your career independently as long as you have what it takes and are confident to strive.
But working in a virtual assistant business that acts as your middleman with a client is also not harmful.
If you want to work under a company, you can try applying at PepperVA, Fancyhands, or Virtual Staff.
To become a freelancer, you can look to Flexjobs, Fiverr, and Upwork to promote your VA services.
Build Your Portfolio
It is not enough to just make a portfolio and stick with it. When you gain more experience, you can establish more.
You can ask for reviews from your clients and add the latest works to your portfolio to create social media presence.
Continue building your portfolio because more reviews will help you land better-paying opportunities.
Isn’t it satisfying to see your portfolio be longer as time passes while your skills pile up?
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What Hard Skills Do You Need to Have to Become a Virtual Assistant?
If you want to become an appealing contractor for your client, having hard skills is the way to go.
For virtual assistant jobs, specific skills you need to have that are relevant to the tasks.
Clients often prefer a VA with general skills because it makes them versatile and promising multitaskers.
So if you want to establish an appealing hard skill set for your potential clients, you should focus on these skills:
In virtual assistance, computer skills are the primary and essential trait you need to succeed in this field.
Applying for a VA position can be challenging for you if you do not know the basics of operating a computer.
Considering the nature of a VA’s work, it is essential to highlight that computer knowledge is crucial.
In almost any career, communication is a vital skill that employees should have because it encourages collaboration.
You also need communication skills when you are a VA, but it has to be great at online setups.
With VA’s remote work, you’ll need to communicate through emails, chats, or video calls.
Therefore, you need mastery in using platforms that host these mediums. Some of them are Skype, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.
Aside from the technical aspect, you must communicate professionally and politely among clients and your team.
It can help if you understand different English accents because your team can be anywhere around the globe.
Management skills are crucial in the VA world because you may handle different tasks simultaneously.
There are tools and programs available to use which are a lot of help in managing tasks.
Tools like ClickUp and Monday are some project management solutions that clients and VAs use to execute projects.
Aside from project management, you can also use your management skills as a virtual social media assistant.
The primary tasks of handling accounts, posting content, and analyzing metrics could be under your wing.
So aside from the previous tools mentioned, it will help if you have mastery in using social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Tiktok, and more.
Being organized is a great trait if you want to be a VA.
VAs with excellent planning skills help in scheduling and workflows.
Some clients find appointments overwhelming, so they hire VAs to help them plan their daily activities.
If your client is in the business field, they must have their meetings and tasks arranged.
As a virtual assistant, you help them ensure their day and activities go smoothly and will not overlap a schedule.
So not only do you have to plan their current events, but you also know their future tasks so you can plan them.
To have research skills in VA, you don’t have to stick your nose in books and spend hours researching in a library.
You just need basic research skills like searching the internet using reliable, credible, and legit sources.
In case some issues come up, you can easily find answers by doing internet research and gathering them.
If you are a good researcher, you may need to be a good writer, especially if you are a blogging VA.
But regardless of your niche, writing can be a big help because it means you can write grammatically and accurately.
This skill is vital when you have to respond to emails, create reports, write content, and draft proposals.
Aside from computer skills, English skills are especially vital to working as a virtual assistant.
Perhaps a great mastery of English is one of the selling points if you want to land a VA project.
Clients prefer VAs who can easily communicate with them, meaning you need to write and speak fluently in English.
If you are not yet on the native level, many online lessons and resources can help you improve.
Not every virtual assistant needs accounting skills, but clients will prefer it if you have this.
Accounting skills appealing to clients are reporting, journalizing, and adjusting.
You don’t need to have a diploma in accounting to learn these duties, as you can access them online.
It is a helpful way to showcase to potential clients that you have a valuable and broad range of skills as a VA.
Clients find virtual assistants with excellent multitasking skills to be perfect candidates for the position.
However, you need to multitask well and not just multitask because it can be overwhelming for some.
For some people, multitasking can result in inefficient outputs and overlapping schedules.
But with the proper management and scheduling, a VA can make multitasking work and complete tasks quickly.
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What Soft Skills Do You Need to Have to Become a Virtual Assistant?
Hard skills are not enough to land a virtual assistant job because soft skills will help you keep a job.
There are specific personalities that clients look for in a VA, so this list will help you know them so you can develop them.
A virtual assistant who pays attention to details can help lessen significant mistakes at work.
Of course, mistakes are inevitable but being detail-oriented will allow you to prevent more mistakes.
If you are not yet detail-oriented, you can develop it by double-checking your work for errors.
Sometimes, virtual assistants will not be under the supervision of their clients at all times.
So in some cases, you have to figure out how to solve some problems.
You can always rely on your employers, but it will help you to be dependent and resourceful to create solutions.
For example, you can quickly solve issues like a program malfunctioning by troubleshooting with online resources.
If you can’t solve it after trying a few suggestions online, you are free to consult your client.
You must face new challenges and learning opportunities headstrong and with an open mind.
A virtual assistant accepts any tasks they give, whether they come as a surprise or challenge.
Instead of seeing these challenges as a burden, an accepting VA will see them as a learning experience.
Some VAs leave their clients without notice or rarely reply to their emails or calls.
Clients find it a common issue in the VA industry because it makes communication harder.
So if you plan to become a virtual assistant, it is best to open your inbox and reply as soon as possible.
If you need to leave or take a break from working, you can inform your employer instead of being MIA.
As a virtual assistant working in an online environment, honesty is still the best possible.
While you think it is easy to lie because you don’t see them face to face, the truth always comes out.
If you are not honest with your client, it can damage the trust that you have with each other and may result in termination.
It can also be a bad record for you because some freelancer profiles allow clients to post reviews of you.
One other potential clients see that you have a case of dishonesty, you’ll get less likely to get a job.
So being honest is crucial as a soft skill, no matter how big or small, because clients appreciate honesty.
As a decent human being, being courteous should easily be a natural soft skill for everyone.
While you need other skills to improve your quality of work, being kind to other people is the best trait of all.
After all, despite being a freelancer, you still work with a team, and courteously treating them will help you achieve common goals.
With an easy, kind, and respectful attitude, more clients will consider you because you’ll be a great team member.
Becoming a VA with zero virtual assistant experience may seem like many processes, but never impossible.
If you start investing in your career today, you can get to business as soon as possible.
Many perks come with being a VA, such as a well-balanced life, high earnings, and a lot of time to spare.
But you need to learn a few things like the technicalities and, of course, believing in yourself.
Hopefully, this guide gives you enough details on what to expect as a virtual assistant and how to become one.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is a self-employed contractor or freelancer that provides administrative services to companies or clients.
They don’t have to work at their client’s office, so they typically work from home or in remote settings.
They still have access to necessary documents from their clients using digital tools that the VA and client share.
Different virtual assistant jobs can vary in working hours. Some work full-time, part-time, on-call, and shift.
Nowadays, VA jobs are rising, and many opportunities are available for anyone to take as long as you have the skills.
Most of the time, a client will need a VA with experience in administrative jobs or office management.
However, even if you don’t have this experience, you can still become a VA through the training some clients offer.
How Does a Virtual Assistant Work?
Virtual assistants work remotely, so they don’t need their client’s office. They can build their workspace at home.
Since they work as independent contractors, they do not have the same taxes and benefits as full-time workers.
Most clients do not provide the equipment, so VAs must have their computers, programs, and high-speed internet.
Sometimes, clients require a time tracker to count the clock in hours of a VA, especially the full-time ones.
A VA can also work under a virtual assistant agency that disperses them to various clients, like startups or small businesses.
Their rates are usually by the hour and depend on how many tasks they have to do and their experience.
Since VAs work remotely, they can be anywhere worldwide, receiving their salary through money transfers.
What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?
A virtual assistant’s scope of duties varies depending on their niche and the client’s needs.
Some VAs work as bookkeepers, appointment setters, social media managers, blog writers, researchers, and data entry specialists.
They mainly focus on administrative tasks, marketing, and many online support services.
In some cases, a well-experienced VA can perform all of the mentioned tasks, which means they also earn higher.
You can develop your skills and portfolio to increase your rates if you specialize in a specific specialization.
Change the sentence to: ‘Specifically, some of these specializations include social media management, email management, SEO, graphic designing, customer support, monitoring healthcare customer experience trends, and advertising.
What Are the Different Types of Virtual Assistants?
Before you become a virtual assistant, despite the zero experience, you’ll have to know the different types of a virtual assistants.
It can help you decide which type you want to pursue and which niche you want to improve in so you can meet your client’s needs.
An administrative VA covers everything relative to admin and business tasks. It may include bookkeeping, appointments, paperwork, and reports.
If specified, they can also perform as social media managers or customer service representatives for their clients.
Their assignment is mainly under the executives of a company who wants to lessen their workload in administrative tasks.
Social media VAs specialize in handling the social media accounts of their clients, primarily businesses.
They help create posts and content while tracking their social media activities across platforms.
Their work also consists of brainstorming ideas for posting, then preparing these posts in advance before it is up in their accounts.
They do not simply post anything because they ensure that their content positively affects their sales or goals.
So if you have a piece of excellent knowledge of handling Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, Linkedin, and more, you can try this one.
Companies usually hire a customer service VA to help them manage any customer-related issues.
They work under voice or non-voice to respond to concerns via calls, chats, and emails.
Depending on their client, they help refund, answer inquiries about products, and set up accounts for users.
An experience in the BPO industry can be an advantage in this specialization, but anyone can still learn it.
Some companies that employ VAs are e-commerce companies that need VAs to handle their site.
They help monitor the products available in a company, which means they also do product listing.
E-commerce VAs usually know Amazon, Shopify, and other similar platforms as they will help in increasing sales.
Another task they do is track items in an online shopping cart, so they will not be “lost” while exploring a page.
A data entry specialist focuses on inputting information into a database, transcribing, collecting contacts, and managing online calendars.
They compile, sort, and check the data they enter to ensure they are accurate, as these records are resources.
There are different online databases and data entry tools that clients and VAs use so both parties can access them.
Data entry VAs must be good at researching, organizing, and storing information because details are vital.
Bookkeeping VAs keep records of their clients to help manage the financial aspect of a company.
They can work under an accounting firm or a private client who needs bookkeeping services.
You must be good at using the computer, arranging records, and knowing basic accounting skills.
VAs can work under a real estate office to help with paperwork and property endorsement.
For example, VAs can help schedule ocular visits for a property or answer queries from potential buyers and sellers.
Real estate agents usually hire VAs so they can accomplish overwhelming tasks while agents focus on sales and clients.
Being a great writer is another trait that can help a virtual assistant land a job.
Blogging VAs greatly support new bloggers because they help with the tasks behind a published post.
They know the technical aspects of blogging and help them produce high-quality content.
Furthermore, VAs also contribute to brainstorming ideas for content, scheduling posts, and setting up blogs.
How Much Does a Virtual Assistant Make?
In the United States, a virtual assistant earns an average of $20.49 per hour, based on Indeed.
But mostly, these are the rates of seasoned virtual assistants. Beginners can earn at least $7 per hour.
For general virtual assistants, they can earn at least $1000 monthly, but VAs with specialized skills can make more up to $5000.
The rates purely depend on the tasks, experience level, and the client, so there is no fixed rate to follow.
Nonetheless, the better you are at your job, the more you can earn.
As a new virtual assistant, you may be willing to accept any salary, even the lowest, so you can gain more experience.
It is okay, but you must also ensure that you still work at a healthy pace despite the rate and workload.
Where to Find a Virtual Assistant Job?
FlexJobs is a famous freelancing platform available online. You can find almost all types of freelancers here.
FlexJobs offers virtual assistant jobs for anyone, whether you have no experience, are a beginner, or are an expert.
Their platform works by finding the VA job you want and binding on proposals.
You will compete with other VAs for the job before the clients hire virtual assistants.
Like many other VAs on this platform, finding a job may be challenging unless you have a great profile.
Over time, you can have better reviews, and clients can consider you to work for them.
Once you establish yourself as an excellent VA, you can build a positive reputation within the platform.
Indeed offers traditional office roles, but lately, they are open to more remote jobs because of their in-demand services.
You first have to sign up and upload your resume. You can customize your profile and set job preferences.
Then, you’ll simply enter the job title you want. In this case, “virtual assistant” is your keyword.
You can also choose your desired salary and location to filter your results and easily select.
Once you find a company or position that fits your preferences, go ahead and look at their “Company Reviews” page.
On this page, you’ll see ratings about the work environment, culture, benefits, security, management, and more.
Similar to Indeed, LinkedIn mostly posts traditional office jobs, but there are a lot of VA jobs available as well.
A LinkedIn account can build your network and find prospects to whom you can offer your virtual assistant services.
You must make an outstanding account by adding skills, experiences, and background to your profile.
Then, you can now start searching for virtual assistant jobs. You can also get notifications if there are new openings.
ZipRecruiter has become a helpful tool in the recruitment industry over the past years.
Their matching employers to candidates with best match their preferences makes everything easier.
Rather than a platform where VAs can post their profiles, it mainly focuses on recruiters.
You’ll find that every day, more and more virtual assistant jobs are available on the platform.
ZipRecruiter works by allowing employers to post a job and customize its description.
Then, ZipRecruiter will match the job with the best candidates so employers can invite them to apply.
Jobseekers don’t have to pay anything to create an account in ZipRecruiter.
They can subscribe to job alerts, bookmark jobs, post resumes, and apply.
How Long Before I Become A Virtual Assistant?
It is easy to become a virtual assistant, but it takes time to become an excellent virtual assistant.
You may read from this article that the first thing to do before becoming a VA is to take lessons.
Learning is not an overnight thing.
It involves a thorough process of researching, studying, and practicing.
You may need to figure out how a computer works, how a program runs, and more because knowledge and skills are crucial.
It can take three months to even a year before you grasp everything in the VA field.
But don’t fret; it will not take long if you are determined to learn quickly.
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