Virtual assistants provide support to businesses and individuals remotely. This is one of the top work from home opportunities you can start on your own with little to no upfront investment. There are a variety of virtual assistant services you can offer to earn a steady income. Here’s what you should know about this growing career path.
What do Virtual Assistants do?
A virtual assistant’s job can vary depending on their skills and target clients. Some virtual assistants work on specific tasks like design or marketing, while others offer more general services. A successful VA is one that is interested in self-employment and providing excellent service to clients.
Common VA Tasks
Virtual assistants can handle a huge array of services for their clients. Here are some common virtual assistant tasks you may handle:
- Data entry
- Administrative tasks like organizing digital documents
- Inbox management
- Customer support
- Social media management tasks like scheduling and responding to inquiries
- Online marketing
- Blog commenting
- Drafting and sending press releases
- Proofreading and editing
- Graphic design
- Web development
How Much do Virtual Assistants Earn Per Hour?
Many virtual assistants work at an hourly rate. Others get paid for completing specific tasks. And some even charge monthly or yearly rates. Income varies dramatically based on skills and services offered. Since you’re technically a business owner if you become a virtual assistant, you’re in charge of setting rates on your own. However, VAs report earning an average of $19.46 per hour. And entry level VAs may expect to earn about $15 per hour.
What does a Virtual Assistant Make Per Year?
Virtual assistant salaries vary based on what services you provide, how many hours you work, and your skills and experience. If you have an in-demand niche or have extensive experience, engage in salary negotiation to get your ideal rate. Virtual assistant salaries often fall around $37,023.
How to Make Money as a Virtual Assistant
If you want to make money as a VA, here are some options for starting your own online business.
1. Find One Virtual Assistant Job
If you want to keep it simple and earn just a bit of money, find a job posting and apply just as you would with traditional employment. This would simply be a contract opportunity and you could enjoy a flexible schedule and remote work.
2. Freelance with Multiple Clients
Alternatively, you can work with more than one client to earn even more money. This may also require more time or allow you to work with companies that need help with just a few tasks each week.
3. Offer a Variety of Services
Some VAs basically serve as an administrative assistant, handling an array of tasks. This may help you appeal to more new clients. But it also requires a wider array of skills.
4. Create a Niche
Some VAs instead focus on just one area, like managing social media accounts or responding to customer inquiries. This can help you narrow a target audience and focus on the things you’re best at.
5. Work with an Agency
There are VA agencies and job boards that can help you find work. They may take a cut of each job or charge a fee. But it may help you find more opportunities.
6. Connect with Other Online Businesses
Once you narrow down the type of small business owner you serve, find other online professionals with the same target customers. For example, if you offer email marketing management, refer clients to those that offer content production services. You may get some extra referrals and provide even more value to clients.
7. Market to Local Businesses
Many VAs get clients online. But you can also market locally if that’s your niche. Advertise in local publications or meet business owners at local events to offer services.
8. Ask for Referrals
Once you work with some clients, ask them to refer others in their industry to bring in even more business. Testimonials can also help.
How to Get Started With Your Virtual Assistant Business
Working as a VA or online personal assistant means running your own business. However, you only need a few basics to get started as an entry-level virtual assistant, like an internet connection and computer or laptop. However, it is important to ask what does a virtual assistant do? Here are some other steps to take along the way to maximize monthly income:
- Take a virtual assistant training course: VAs don’t need formal education. But you may still benefit from training courses to help you build organizational skills or learn specific tools like email marketing software.
- Choose what services to offer: Consider if you’re able to handle an array of tasks like an online executive assistant or if you’d rather focus on a specific area like managing blog post content and creating an editorial calendar.
- Set rates: Then determine how much you’re able to charge for each offering. Browse VA sites to learn the going rate. But you may charge more if you have extensive experience or lots of demand.
- Find virtual assistant jobs: Many companies hire virtual assistants as they would other workers. Check your favorite job search site to find virtual assistant jobs in your niche. You can also check Facebook groups and local job boards. Similarly, look into how to find a virtual assistant so you can make yourself available there.
- Create an online presence: Some companies may want to see social proof or learn more about exactly what you offer. Your own site and social media platforms can help you seem more official.
- Market your services: You may even create sales pages and online ads to draw in more potential clients.
- Set your own hours: Lots of people are interested in becoming VAs because they’re some of the most flexible jobs around. Determine what hours you can work based on family and other commitments and then communicate that to potential clients.
How to Maximize Your Revenue from Virtual Assistant Jobs
The income you earn when first starting your VA business may not be your dream job salary. However, the following tips can help you earn more:
- Negotiate salaries and rates: You don’t have to take the first offer. Ask for what you want, and be willing to say no to opportunities that don’t fit.
- Automate repetitive tasks: You can get more done if you save time on admin tasks like invoicing. Invest in automation tools to cut out these items.
- Prioritize top clients: If you have enough work to keep busy, start saying no to low paying jobs and focus on those that pay the most.
- Develop new skills: You can charge more if you have in-demand skills. So learn new platforms and software that your clients value.
- Raise rates periodically: Once you’ve been in business for a year or two, you have more experience. Charge accordingly.
Can you become rich as a virtual assistant?
Most virtual assistants do not get rich right away, but it is possible to earn a decent income. Those with basic skills and just a client or two may just earn a few hundred dollars per month. However, those with high level skills, years of experience, and several clients can earn $100,000 per year or more.
This article, “How Much Do Virtual Assistants Make?” was first published on Small Business Trends