If making money while you sit in your pajamas at home is your kind of work, you might want to listen closely to this opportunity. Have you ever heard of virtual assistants?
Becoming a Virtual Assistant (Also called VA for short) is pretty simple and requires no prior experience necessarily. As entrepreneur’s continue to build out small empires, they need people to help them with the upkeep of what they have built in order for them to focus on continuing to build what they have built.
For example, bloggers all around the world have a zillion things to focus on in a given day to continue to drive their blog or multiple blogs forward. Since bloggers don’t generally have office space to keep their expenses low, they generally rely on others that are also virtual to help them with their day to day.
This is just an example of why virtual assisting has become so popular. Entrepreneurs only pay you for your time to help them and you get to work from home in your pajamas if you want to. How cool is that?
What exactly would I be doing?
Let’s take the blogging professional for an example again, although this is not just related to people who run a blog.
As a blogger, I may want someone to check the email box and respond to people that need something of me. Whether that be a partnership opportunity or maybe someone wants to be added to one of my group boards on Pinterest, this all takes a slice of the day.
Too many slices out of the day, and as a blogger you may not ever get to the areas of focus that could really drive your blog to the next level.
Here are some other things that you could be doing:
- You may be responding to phone calls
- Doing some data entry
- Scheduling calendars
- Writing or Editing Blog Posts
- Email Management
- Booking Travel
- Blog Outreach
- Social Media Management
- Email Marketing Management
- Accounting or Bookkeeping
- Returning or monitoring Voicemails
- Generating Reports
- Conducting Targeted Research
- Transcribing record audio
- Creating a ecatalog or ezine
- Digital Ad Spend Management
- Keyword Research for Digital Ads
- Manage Affiliates
- Webinar Management and Promotion
- Manage a Product Launch
- SEO Management
- Coordinate a Contest/Giveaway
- Direct Mailings
- Graphic Design
- Online Chat
- Manage a Project
- Follow up on Leads / Sales
- Event Planning
- Product Sales Assisting (Ebay, Amazon, Etc.)
The areas of focus are vast and that’s the fun part of being a virtual assistant, as the work can vary day by day greatly all depending on what needs to be done.
How much extra money will I get paid?
This varies greatly depending on what type of virtual assistant work that you are doing and the level of expertise or specialization that you are partaking in. I have seen people make anywhere between $15 to start or even up to $100 / hour for your more specialized assistance.
The work is generally hourly, but as you become more specialized and build that expertise, some entrepreneur’s may want to secure you more long term with either a contract, retainer or perhaps even a permanent job offer. If you do a great job as a virtual assistant and knock it out of the park consistently, that’s when people come back for more.
How do I get paying Gigs?
There are a couple options that you can begin to find you first gig.
Option 1 – Freelance Platforms
The following freelance platforms are a great place to start to finding your first gig:
- UpWork – UpWork is a great site that you can offer your services up on and build a following based on delivering quality work. The more quality work you can produce, the more people will trust you for bigger and higher paying gigs.
- Freelancer – Freelancer is similar to UpWork, connecting thousands and thousands of people who need something done with independent people like yourself who can help get things done.
Option 2 – Join an Established Virtual Assistant Companies
The following companies specialize in remote virtual assistant work where you can work from home:
- Belay (Formerly eaHELP) – Belay has a client list of over 800 companies that need virtual assistants to help them get things done. This is more so where you would have to apply for the the job and be accepted as one of their virtual assistants that they in turn offer up to one of their clients.
- Priority VA – I have to admit, I’m not much a fan of their web site, but this is another company like Belay that you could consider applying to in order to become a virtual assistant.
- Fancy Hands – This is a pay per task type of company, where any random task could come in and you could get paid anywhere between $3 – $7 or up per task. Virtual assistant tasks generally range around 20 minutes of your time but depend on how long it takes you to get them completed successfully.
- Flex Jobs – Flex jobs is a site where you can go to find telecommuting jobs in general, including becoming a virtual assistant.
Option 3 – Market Your Own Web Site
With both of the options listed above, you are being paid by a company that is acting as the middle man between the clients that need your help and you. Those middle men receive a small cut of your earnings as essentially a fee for making that connection possible. You do have a 3rd option to go it alone and build your own business.
In my post “How to Start A Blog in 4 Simple Steps” I walk you through the 4 simple steps that you can take to put your own WordPress web site together and you don’t need any technical background to do it. I got my web site up and running in about 15 minutes and it’s super cheap to host the web site.
You could even get your own web site up and running and use it as a selling tool to showcase all the services you could offer to your clients as you also post via Option 1.
Option 4 – Contact Bloggers Directly
There are thousands and thousands of bloggers around the world that could use someone like you. Coupled with your web site as mentioned above, you can contact bloggers direct and offer your services to them. The great thing about bloggers is that they usually are very forward on their web site in listing their personal email address or at least a way to contact them directly.
If you take this route, you must have a web site to show them that you are serious about your virtual assistant offering (See Option 3). You might consider giving them a few hours for free if they were willing to give you a trial run.
Option 5 – Network with other VA’s
As you get deeper into the business, you will find that you run into other virtual assistants. Keep their contact information handy and reach out to them on a regular basis. Virtual Assistant work for some can come in waves and you may find that some of these virtual assistants could use some help at times keeping up with the amount of work that they have.
If you have already networked with them, they may think of you to reach out to the next time they are overloaded with a big project.
How much demand is there for Virtual Assistants?
More than you realize! I have talked a lot about the thousands of thousands of bloggers out there that need your help. Let me see if I can help you put this into proportions on how big of a need this is.
According to a recent press release, Transparency Market Research Group has estimated that the virtual assistant industry will rise to be worth a massive US$7.9 billion by 2024. That’s a B for Billion! Clearly there is a lot of money to be earned with a strong future for growth if you have interest in this profession. As you develop your skill sets in this field, you can rest assured that there will be plenty of work for decades to come.
How do I get help? What about training?
I’m glad you asked! I would highly recommend that you check out Laura Pennington’s Course on Your Way to VA. She is the best of the best when it comes to becoming an expert in this industry. She has been there and done that many times over.
She will show you the ins and outs, coupled with all the secrets that she has gathered over the years. It’s worth a look if you have any interest in this type of work. She has a great personal success story to share as well.
All you need to do is pick a path and jump in heads first. Before you know it, you will be a virtual assistant making some extra money on the side or making it a full time gig to fully provide for your family. Now, go do it! I believe in you that you can do it!