As you try to figure out if you can keep your day job as a moonlighter while you take a part-time freelance job, you might be thinking right now which services you can offer as a freelancer in the Virtual Assistant industry.
1. What services can you offer as Virtual Assistant?
This is something you need to figure out on your own. Start from the basic. First, make a list of what you already know and another list of skills you want to improve on later. This way you can start implementing your Virtual Assistant services.
Below is a list of the types of virtual assistants based on their services. This might help you in your journey as a Virtual Assistant.
Virtual Assistants are a valuable asset to businesses based on what they can offer.
But how do you know which type you need? It depends on your needs as well as the type of business you are running. Just as there are different types of businesses, there are different types of virtual assistants, which fall into one of two categories: generalists and specialists.
Generalists (sometimes called general Virtual Assistant) do standard administrative tasks that all businesses need to do. These are the skills that I currently offer. Some of the duties include:
- Microsoft Office work (document creation in Word, creation of Excel sheets and PowerPoint presentations)
- Data entry
- Appointment scheduling
- Calendar and email management
- Blog management
- Flight booking
- Graphic designs
- Social media management (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.)
- Creating reports and more…
They are a valuable asset to all business owners as long as you don’t need any specialized work done.
Specialists (sometimes called niche Virtual Assistant) are the Virtual assistant who offers specialized skills in a specific industry.
There are several different types of specialists that businesses can choose.
- Medical Virtual Assistant– They need to be familiar with the terminologies in the industry so they can better serve businesses such as hospitals and clinics. Their tasks include appointment scheduling and transcription.
- Legal Virtual Assistant– Just as in the medical field, there are special terminologies required to work for legal professionals such as lawyers. Tasks would include transcription and note-taking, preparing legal documents, appointment scheduling, and calendar management.
- Social Media Strategists – They can work for any business doing tasks like scheduling posts, creating accounts, and even running ads (they can also do analytics)
- Internet Marketers (as well as technical)- They do things like product launches, newsletters, and website design.
- Real Estate (REVA)– Working for Realtors, they do tasks like calling and database management, research, and data entry.
- Article/Content Writers – Expertise of article/content writing, directory submission, video blog transcription, and posting.
- SEO Specialists – Keyword search, niche market analysis, on-page optimization, benchmarking, online personal and corporate branding.
- Web Developers/Programmers – Set-up and maintenance of WordPress blog, software updates, and plugins, creation of business websites and niche sites
Of course, if you want to build your own niche and you’re craving to be a specialist in the certain field, there is always a room for improvement.
Online training is available to help you improve your skills or to add in your skill set to better serve a wide range of clients.
Here is a list of coaches who offer training online. I use them and I am currently enrolled in a few of them:
- Sheila Davis – Leapfrog VA
- Susan Mershon – The Techiementor
- Craig Cannings – VA Classroom
- Ali Rittenhouse – Geek Lab VA
- Rochefelle Rivera – Professional VA
- Tawnya Sutherland – VA Networking
- Facebook free training
- Alicia Fanelli Jay – New VA Advice
- Galena Jenkins Ojiem – The Virtual Assistant Clinic
- Try to check Russel Brunson he is known with his Click Funnel.
- Neil Patel Online Marketing Strategy.
- Pat Flynn Mr. Smart Passive income.
- Amy Porterfield online marketing expert and much more.
When you got already figured out what skills you have to offer your prospective clients, the next question would come to mind is how to get your clients.
2. How to get a client.
Getting client is difficult at first. You need to get out there to be known. Get outside of your comfort zone and be proactive. Join Facebook groups and engage, and engage more. Do the networking, follow friends who are in the social media that you like to emulate. Go ahead and make friends and connections. Establish that rapport with your prospective clients.
Engage in a conversation that you can offer help or share what you know and do best. It takes time to build a connection, but be patient, you will harvest your hard work in no time. Do not stop and keep going. Someone out there will need your services, will need what you offer, so do not be discouraged.
Do not forget to create your business page though, you will need it to post your services to get known and so your prospective client can find you and get to know you. Start to build your brand and keep exploring and learn from people you meet online, training and workshops.
While there are freelance bidding sites to bid on, they also offer relatively low rates to maintain your business if you are thinking to have one, or even not enough to sustain your needs. There are other freelancers who are successful in those bidding sites, but again very few had been successful and most of them got issues. It’s either they get a problematic client, they get disappointingly low rates, or they are being micromanaged.
However, if you are a newbie and looking for a client for the first time, as mentioned there are freelancers bidding site that you can register to get a client. Your experience might be different from what I had.
Please see below list to get you started:
- Upwork was previously known as Odesk
- Virtual Staff Finder, try liking their facebook page to see other open job boards.
Ms. Virgina Bautista – a freelance writer and LinkedIn consultant, can recommend ways on how to find or attract prospective clients who will respect you and your job with high-paying projects. Her advice is to build your portfolio, upgrade your skills and build personal brands to enjoy a sustainable freelance business. She also said that freelancers should treat freelancing as a business, not a job, to become independent instead of having to rely on third-party platforms in finding clients.
Now that being said, not everyone can do this because it requires hard work, consistency, and patience, but it will be worth a try. It will be one great way to get out of the shell to stop being addressed as “cheap Virtual Assistant”
Below are the things you can try doing to jump-start your career as a Virtual Assistant:
- Create a Facebook Page for your freelance business and market your services by posting on your chosen networking sites like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
- Make a video of yourself and post it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
- Optimize your LinkedIn profile and build your personal brand to get found and to get better clients. Ms. Virginia Bautista is a great go-to person to help you get discovered on LinkedIn.
- Polish your writing skills. Find your niche and start writing or blogging about your passion and what you love doing. Blogging allows you to show the world your area of expertise not only it helps you get discovered via social media, it also helps to reach current and potential customers. Again, this requires hard work, consistency, and patience. For some, blogging is innate to them. You can also try vlogging on youtube or podcasting. Go where you feel comfortable doing and start from there.
- Get a referral from the past and current client or a friend.
3. How do I get paid?
Most Virtual Assistants get paid through PayPal. This has been the standard for getting payment from clients. Your bank may get a service charge of 50 pesos each transaction, so if you receive multiple payments, it is better to withdraw it all at the same time to avoid multiple charges, too.
You can try to apply for EON card from Union Bank. They are the fastest one I know in transferring funds to your bank — it only takes 2-4 days maximum.
Just a few notes: PayPal is strict in their policies, they always want their users to get PayPal verified to avoid scam or fraud. So, if it is your first time using them, your account may be put on hold for 21 days or more. This happens to me, so I needed to ask my client to help me with this. This is good in some ways, it is just the waiting period that makes it frustrating because at some point we need our funds to buy necessities.
It has fast reliable money transfer. It takes only 3 days to get funds, and one of my clients does this for me. You may want to coordinate with your client to get the fund via XOOM.
I know there are other companies that offer great money-transfer services. Just try to find out which works best for you. PayPal and XOOM are the ones I used often.
4. Essential Virtual Assistant Equipment:
I got a question with one of my prospect attendees for the #VAPreneur workshop — what is the computer requirement. For me, I started with my old laptop and my desktop. I just upgraded my desktop to keep up with my surfing and browsing needs and viewing videos.
It always pays to invest in a good equipment, but if you do not have enough funds to buy yet, you can use what you already have. Just make sure it functions well because your client doesn’t care whether your computer is slow or your internet fails.
Here’s a list of equipment that you will need:
- Computer desktop or laptop with Microsoft Office – Microsoft Office is still the choice of most clients, and they will expect you to have it. And it should be Windows 7 or above. You can always upgrade later when income starts flowing.
- Reliable Internet connection – Invest in the one that offers good services in your area.
- Tape, Post-it notes, paper clips, highlighters….. You get the picture… you don’t need everything. Just get a few ready you might need it in a client meeting to take minutes of the project or to remind yourself of your priorities.
5. Few basic tools that every newbie Virtual Assistant should be using:
- Google App – Google offers professional email, online storage, shared calendars, video meetings and more. The apps are specifically designed for businesses and teams to share and collaborate securely, making it easy to collaborate with your clients virtually.
- Dropbox – Safely, securely, and easily store all of your documents, which you have access to on your desktop and mobile devices, without needing to meet face-to-face.
- Skype – Available on your desktop and smartphones. It is the most popular application on the market for making calls. Get everyone together with free group video calls. Send pictures and files, or share your screen for team collaboration.
- Software – After 6 years in business, I can honestly say I own a LOT of software licenses. And I currently subscribe to few and I use it for my clients, you will too! BUT: You don’t have to buy many different programs before you even get started. As you grow your business, you will learn what your clients need and what you need. Technology will change infinitely from year to year. Buy as you go and on an as-needed basis.
Another thing to remember is that we are Virtual Assistants and not an employee.
- We pay our own taxes and benefits.
- Our revenue depends on high-quality work and positive execution.
- The client only pays for the time we actually work.
- We show up for work rain or shine.
- We use our own office supplies & equipment.
- We do not have paid vacation days, no sick days, no overhead cost.
- We provide our own training for business and personal growth
Everyone is different, so you don’t have to worry about any competition because what the other already knew might be different from that of yours.
Generalist or specialist, whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong by choosing what type of Virtual Assistant you do best. You can kickstart your online work faster than you think.
Use those skills you already have, hone it and start from there, then work your way up to the top as you go along. Do not limit yourself, own it and I know you can do it. Figure out your specialty, if you increase your skills, you will increase your pay, too.
I hope these tips help you to kickstart your online journey. You are now on your way to being an awesome Virtual Assistant!