If you want to become a virtual assistant you need to know that it isn’t the same as finding a job. It’s becoming the CEO of your own business. Instead of a resume, you’ll need a website and a filled-out LinkedIn profile with a full portfolio of examples of what you can do for the client. To become a virtual assistant you will need to have a deep understanding of how it works, and who you want to work with. Below are some beginner tips, but if you really want a comprehensive “start from scratch” course on how to become a virtual assistant, the Making It Pay Lifestyle course is for you!
Choose Your Niche
Who do you want to work with the most, and what skills do you offer them that they need? Do you want to work with speakers and help organize webinars or in-person events? If you have skills in that area, you can do that virtually. Technology has enabled us to do all kinds of things without being there in person, but it’s always good to define your virtual assistant niche.
Develop Your Skills
If you want to serve certain people, such as coaches for example, and there are services that they need that you don’t know how to do yet, you can learn. In fact, there are enormous opportunities to learn. For example, any software you’d like to learn, you can seek information about training directly from them. If they don’t provide training, investing in courses is tax-deductible, and much needed if you want to increase your services.
Name Your Business
Choose a name with the future in mind. If you want to be the name and face of your business, use your own name, but if you want to be able to sell your business in the future without you having to keep working, consider giving a more niche-focused name that can transfer. Also, consider setting up an LLC with a general name that will enable you to create multiple offshoots as DBAs.
Once you’ve picked a business name, you’ll need to find out how to set yourself up legally in your local community. Some places require licenses for county, city, and state. Others do not. You can check with your county office, or a local SCORE.org office, or even your local community college for information about that. At the least get an EIN free from the IRS if you’re in the USA.
Set Up Financials
Determine how you’re going to do your billing, and keep track of your income and expenses. There are many free and paid software programs, and you can also use a spreadsheet. Some software to look at includes Freshbooks, Waveapps, Xero, and Square.
Determine Your Rates
You can bill hourly or you can bill by the project or a combination of the two. It’s important to have an understanding of what you will bill for each thing because that’s how you’ll become profitable. Don’t set your rates too low, because you’ll have some overhead. A good way to figure out rates is to determine what you need to earn per year to live plus have some fun, and divide that by how many billable hours you have room for. Then, market your butt off!
Build a Website
Do not build a free website. Use a good service like self-hosted WordPress.org to make a professional website. Find a host (we fully endorse Siteground), and pick a theme like those from Elegant Themes (particularly the Divi Theme). Virtual Assistant Club also offers a Website and Logo Package for just $427 for members!
The final component of becoming a VA is to start promoting yourself as a VA. Use social media, networking in person and online, and every means at your disposal to get the word out about your business.
Anyone who sets their mind to becoming VA can do so. The industry is wide open and needs a variety of people with different skills to serve all the people who need someone to partner with them in their business.