Businesses of any sizes need administrative help, but having a full-time employee, on site can become costly. Nowadays, freelancers are becoming increasingly in demand. This is because companies are beginning to appreciate the flexibility and cost effectiveness of their services. Even personal assistants (PAs), traditionally the heart-and-soul of an office, are able to work out of the office. In fact, the virtual assistant business has been steadily growing since its inception in the 1990s.

This is all down to technology (such as cloud software, video conferencing and instant messaging) becoming so advanced now. This digital transformation has created opportunities for people. Fro example, those who love being a PA, but not the lengthy commute or the long office hours. They can to do the same work as a virtual assistant (VA), from the comfort of their home.  With internet based technology at their disposal, there is little that they did in the office that they can’t do remotely!

virtual assistant

If you are thinking of starting a virtual assistant business of your own and have all the tools necessary to work with business clients, then there’s no time like the present!  If you’re not sure what services you can offer as a Virtual Assistant, here’s an infographic highlighting 16 Ways a Virtual Assistant Can Help a Business to help you.

For further advice and tips, two experienced Virtual Assistants, from different parts of the world (and backgrounds), have come together here to share what it means to be a Virtual Assistant. We welcome:

Julian Palmer (julivaglobal) and Lisa Kemp (virtualadminassistant).

Tell us a little bit about yourself to our readers.

Juli:

I am based in Jamaica. I love travel, fashion, volunteering, shopping networking and going to the beach. Even though I live on an island I can’t swim!

Preferring to be called Juli, I am a detail-oriented virtual assistant that is always there with an encouraging smile in my tone.

I currently hold a diploma in Social Media Management and a Bachelor’s of Science in Guidance and Counselling.

Lisa:

I’m Lisa from South Africa – my background is in Sales & Marketing. I have run my own business for 10 years and also help my husband on the admin side of his construction business. I have 2 teenage daughters and I love the small town beach life.

 

When did you start your VA business and what made you decide to become a VA?

Juli:

I don’t think it was much of a leap but an urge to try something new. I was unemployed and needed to have income coming in so I created a way for me to earn money. I researched through Google and found how I could make an income from home and the rest is history.

Lisa:

We relocated to a small town where employment was hard to come by. I took some online courses and decided to put my experience in admin to good use.

 

What qualities or skills do you need to become a successful VA like yourself?

Juli:

The most important quality I think one should have is resilience. This is because there will be days when you wonder if this is for you or not. In terms of skills set the demand is there to make an income from social media, website maintenance using programs such as WordPress, for example and email marketing.

Lisa:

Work to develop your strengths – find your niche. Preferably something you’re passionate about and do it well. So really, any skill will qualify you to become a VA. Persevere and follow your instinct, it will eventually pay off.

 

What services does your VA business provide?

Juli:

I assist female business owners in the back end of their business, by helping these women add their value to their target audience and presenting what they love doing.

My specialism is Social media graphic designs, WordPress and Autoresponder Maintenance.

Some of my services include creating social media templates. Sometimes when I carry out administration for some clients, I send out emails on their behalf. I also maintain websites and make branded templates to be used in email marketing and social media.

Lisa

My niche is social Media for small business. I am passionate about Instagram Marketing & I provide a start-up service for all Social Media platforms.

I also offer general admin skills, but mostly I find that Social Media is taking that over.

 

What do your clients often need help with?

Juli:

My clients often need assistance with their branded templates, which can be used on both their social media and email marketing. This can then be sent to their customers.

Lisa:

Mostly making their businesses have an online presence on social media. They also need help with re-branding and management of their pages.

I also help with lead generation & effective social media marketing.

 

Describe a day in your life as a VA?

Juli:

My day depends on what tasks I have planned for that day. On most days, I usually attend to emails first, then tasks that I need to get done for the day.

I also do some browsing on social media during the day and carry out consultations during the evenings.

Lisa:

Flexible. I sort out family first and then prioritize my tasks. I always take time to walk on the beach or do some exercise. I really take my day as it comes – I tend to enjoy a more spontaneous & balanced approach to life.

 

What is the best part of your job as a VA?

Juli:

The flexibility to work whenever you chose to as well as setting the amount you want to earn.

Lisa:

Working from anywhere and in my own time. It’s priceless!

 

What tips would you give for someone who is thinking about starting their own VA business?

Jul:

That anything is possible!  There are different careers to start your online business. I wish I had known ten years ago that the online industry was possible for me to make an income.

I would start off by signing up to this free Virtual Assistant email series:  http://bit.ly/FreeVAResources . I would say mid-way in starting my business; these emails guided me on what to do from plan A-B. Good luck!

Lisa:

Go for it! Find your niche – this is the most important part of starting out. Then market yourself. Don’t be afraid but just be consistent and follow your heart.

 

To find out more information about our two guests, you can find them here, using the following links:

 

virtual assistant

Name: Julian Palmer

Company/Business Name: JuliVAGlobal

Business Site: http://julivaglobal.com/

Industry: Virtual Assistant

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julivaglobal/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JuliVAglobal/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JuliVAglobal

LinkedIn: https://jm.linkedin.com/in/julivaglobal

 

virtual assistant

Name: Lisa Kemp

Company/Business Name: Virtualaaza

Business Site: http://virtualadminassistant.co.za/

Industry: Virtual Assistant

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/virtualaaza/

 

Virtual Assistant Business Resources

Entrepreneur.com has put together a list of resources, if you want to find out more about the virtual assistant industry. Here are some of them:

Worldwide Organizations

Networking and Support Groups

Free Worldwide Directories

Certification Programs

Summary:

So, what can we take away from these interviews? Here is a list of 12 tips; not only mentioned by these expert virtual assistants, but also other pointers you should follow in order to become a virtual assistant:

 

How to Become a Virtual Assistant

virtual assistant business

  1. Determine your niche and what skills you can provide
  2. Create a website describing your service packages and experience
  3. Ask yourself- who is your ideal client? What are their struggles? How can you help?
  4. Find your market – Where are they hanging out? Which social media sites will you more likely find them in? LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest?
  5. Offer expert advice – If your ideal client is hanging out in Facebook Groups, use the opportunity to offer helpful advice in a way that doesn’t make you look like you are trying to make a sale!
  6. Search online on recruitment pages that are looking for virtual assistants and register as a member.
  7. Apply for virtual assistant jobs and send in your CV and covering letter providing your best pitch.
  8. Conduct an online interview to determine if you are a good fit for the company.
  9. Sign a contract with the company/business owner, outlining the job description and agreed payment terms.
  10. Get to work! Try to get the tasks done, before the deadline initially, to show your efficiency, as well as ensure future work with them.
  11. Provide best quality results.
  12. Ask for testimonials to add to your website.

Good Luck! Hope your career as Virtual Assistant becomes a success!

Related Post:

Benefits Of Hiring Virtual Assistants Using The Cloud

16 Ways a Virtual Assistant Can Help a Business

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