Many think that working from home is the dream. As a mother of two boys, I can tell you it is about as close as I can get. However, I had to quickly learn how to get as much done in a short amount of time as possible if I could be a successful virtual assistant while also homeschooling. Needless to say, it’s a lot to tackle! To maximize my time, I have learned a ton of tips and tricks over the years. Today, I’m going to share 9 tips for virtual assistant beginners so you, too, can get things done efficiently.
9 Tips For Virtual Assistant Beginners
Choose Your Services
First of all, do you know what type of VA you want to be? There are three main types of VAs:
- Administrative VAs handle day-to-day tasks for clients such as emails, sending invoices, data entry, and customer service.
- Technical VAs help with websites, social media, SEO, and other online tech needs.
- Creative VAs use their skills to assist with tasks such as writing, design, and marketing.
The good thing about becoming a VA is you don’t need a ton of skills or a bachelor’s degree to get started. All you need is a basic skill set such as understanding email culture, using Office Suite, type decently fast, etc. Start with what you know and work your way up!
You can’t be a jack of all trades, no matter how much you want. By really focusing on one skill set, you can become a master at it for your clients.
This can mean offering specialized services such as only email marketing, social media management, customer service, etc. From there, you can niche down even further. For example, you can work solely as a Pinterest manager for someone needing social media assistance.
Niching down can also mean working with clients in one kind of industry only, such as real estate, food, fashion, health, etc.
Know Your Social Media
Everyone knows that social media a must-have these days. Everyone from restaurants to authors needs to have a presence online to market themselves! It is a good skill to know not only for your clients but also for marketing yourself.
Check out a range of social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat. Figure out which ones you like best and stick with them. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You also don’t want to stretch yourself thin. Dedicate your time to 2-3 platforms.
Training and Courses
Whether you’ve just started today or have been working as a virtual assistant for years, you should always continue learning. Staying on top of trends is essential for working online.
There are many online courses, both free and paid, that you can invest your time in. Remember that time is money, so choose a few good courses instead of taking every free one you can get your hands on.
Other amazing free resources include subscribing to industry newsletters, joining VA Facebook groups where members share their advice and firsthand experience or follow some of your favorite thinkers on social media.
In fact, I have a course coming out soon all about helping moms start their very own virtual l business if this sounds like you, join my Facebook group of aspiring working moms or sign up for my newsletter to get updates on my course or the VA latest tips.
To make money, you’re going to need to find some quality job leads. If you’re first starting and have no experience, begin with portfolio projects. Offer your services for free in exchange for letting you include the work in a portfolio. Make sure you set a timeline for the project, such as a month, so your free services aren’t abused.
Once you have some experience under your belt, you can find clients online through job boards, local businesses, networking, social media, Facebook groups, and freelance agency websites like Upwork. Make sure you’re a good fit for the job, and they’re right for you too.
Also, be sure to make a website for yourself to highlight your services, portfolio, testimonials, and contact information. Spend your efforts on marketing yourself for free online, and do not pay for ads until you can afford to.
To figure out your rate, determine how much money you want to make annually. Then, figure out how many hours do you want to work in a week. This will help you determine how much you must charge per hour to make that total amount of money.
While you can charge hourly, this same process applies to figuring out a monthly retainer rate. Estimate how many hours it will take you to complete your tasks, and make sure to factor in time for emails, meetings, and other management tasks. Give a total rate to your client rather than an hourly one.
Lastly, remember to increase your rates every year. This helps to factor in inflation as well as your increased skillset and experience. Every year you are a better VA, and your prices should reflect that!
Tools for VAs
There are SO many amazing tools to include in your VA toolkit. A project management tool such as HoneyBook or Asana can help keep you organized and handle multiple clients, for starters.
LastPass is handy for safely storing and sharing passwords with your clients so you can access their emails, social media, websites, and more.
For content creation, Canva is a free and amazing design tool. I also like to use a scheduler, such as Tailwind, to help me schedule my content to social media.
For those working with emails and newsletters, and email marketing software is a must. I use ConvertKit for my newsletter and love it!
Finally, always invest in a good laptop or desktop computer. You’ll be using it pretty much every day for extended hours, so you want to make sure it is fast and easy to use. Backing up files to a hard drive or online storage system like Dropbox is also something that should be done regularly.
Once you have your business up and running, you need to learn to focus your time efficiently! First things first, know what time you work best. It can be mornings, afternoons, evenings, or even weekends. Set up a schedule, try to stick to it, and do your most difficult tasks when you’re the most productive.
Don’t forget to be flexible and take breaks frequently. We are not machines! Sometimes, you don’t get as much done as you initially planned, and that’s okay.
Invest In Yourself
When you’re busy, it’s easy to push aside your own business to get client work done. Make sure to schedule time for your own business every week to get tasks completed like blogging, social media posts, educating yourself, working on a new income stream, sending invoices, etc.
And, don’t forget to invest in a good home office setup! Anything that makes you get the job done fast or makes you more comfortable is worth it.
Follow these VA tips for beginners, and you’ll be a pro in no time!
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Are you ready to start your own virtual assistant business? Let me help you get started today!
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