Today we’re back with (another) guest post all about how to become a freelance virtual assistant! I’ve had my friend Sara cover how to be a freelance graphic designer, and I’ve shared my experience as a freelance writer, so this feels like the perfect addition.
As a freelancer, you can set your own hours, make money online, and basically be your own boss. There are a lot of freelancing myths, but it’s also a lot of fun! I do it full-time, and it’s my dream job.
Dale of Simplifying College has a lot of experience to share about how she became a freelance virtual assistant, so let’s dive into it.
If you’re interested in making money online as a freelance virtual assistant, here is everything you need to know to get started!
I have been working as a virtual assistant for close to a year now, and I make over $600 a month working about 5 hours a week.
Being a freelance virtual assistant is a great freelance job to have because it’s so flexible. This is the perfect side hustle for college students or recent grads wanting to make some extra money.
What Is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?
A virtual assistant (or VA) is someone who provides services remotely. You can work from anywhere as a virtual assistant.
Many online businesses are looking for virtual assistants to help with tasks such as bookkeeping, social media management, email marketing, customer service, freelance writing, and content creation.
So how can you become a virtual assistant? Here are 4 tips to help you get started!
1. Choose Your Niche
The first thing you should do is determine your VA niche. What type of clients will you serve? What services will you offer?
Many of the most successful VAs specialize in one area, such as Pinterest.
For me, I had already been blogging for over two years when I came across my first virtual assistant opportunity. Because of this experience, I knew I wanted my clients to be other bloggers.
I was able to offer various services (including content creation, research, email marketing, and Pinterest management) because I was already experienced with them myself.
Some other niche ideas for VAs include:
- Small business owners (especially if you target a specific type of business — ie. restaurants, retail stores, beauty, etc)
- Publications or bloggers
- Marketing agencies
- Professionals (lawyers, doctors, architects…anyone who’s busy and might need extra help)
- Teachers and educators
- Other freelancers!
Think of who you’d like to serve with your freelancing business and go from there.
2. Create a Website
If you don’t already have a website, you should create one for your virtual assistant business.
If you’re already a blogger, you don’t really need another website and you can typically use your blog as a “portfolio” of your work to showcase your skills. You can add a “services” page to your blog with information about the virtual assistant services you offer.
If you’re creating a website from scratch, you can follow Samantha’s steps for creating a freelance writing website. The process is the exact same for creating a virtual assistant website!
3. Determine Your Price
Everyone always wonders how much you can make as a freelance virtual assistant!
The good news is that it’s possible to make quite a bit. As a freelancer, you can set your own prices and take on as few or as many clients as you want.
There are two main options for determining your prices:
Hourly rate: You can quote an hourly rate to your clients. If you are brand-new and don’t have any experience, I think $15 an hour is a reasonable rate to start with. However, if you have experience in the services you are offering, you can definitely set a higher rate. Many experienced virtual assistants earn $30-40 an hour.
Package rates: Some virtual assistants offer monthly service packages. For example, if you offer social media management services, you might offer two tiers of packages. One for basic management at $600 a month and one for premium management at $1,000 a month. It’s up to you to determine exactly what your packages will include and what’s a reasonable price to charge for them. This can be easier than charging by the hour.
Either pricing model works, and it’s just a matter of preference which one you choose.
4. Look for Clients
The final step to becoming a virtual assistant? Landing clients!
This can be the most daunting part after you set up your business.
Here are some of the best places to find virtual assistant clients:
- Freelancing platforms: Search on freelance websites like FlexJobs and Upwork
- Facebook: Join Facebook groups for VAs and freelancers – not only is it great for networking with other VAs, but you can also get lots of job leads this way
- Networking: Keep an eye out on bloggers and businesses you follow to see if they’re hiring
- Cold pitch: Send cold pitches to bloggers and businesses in your niche offering your services
The way I found both of my virtual assistant clients is through the third suggestion — keeping an eye on bloggers and businesses I already follow. One of my clients mentioned she was looking to hire a VA in one of her blog posts, and the other sent out an email newsletter mentioning she needed someone to help with a project.
I was able to contact them immediately after seeing they were looking for help, because I already followed them and was familiar with their business.
Another good option is Facebook groups. While I have not personally found a client this way, I know many other VAs who have.
Finally, never underestimate the power of word of mouth referrals. Once you land your first client, do a great job and they will be happy to recommend you to others!
Become a Successful Freelance Virtual Assistant
Being a freelance virtual assistant is incredibly fun and rewarding. I love how flexible it is and how I get to help my clients grow their businesses.
While it takes some effort to get started, becoming a virtual assistant is absolutely worth it!
Dale is a recent college grad, blogger, and entrepreneur writing about all things college lifestyle at Simplifying College.
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