How do I become a virtual assistant

Become a virtual assistant: this is how you get started! » Become a virtual assistant: this is how you get started!

Working from anywhere has a number of advantages. A great solution, especially for globetrotters, because whenever you get wanderlust, you grab your seven things and you're good to go. To be completely independent of one place is a dream for many. And there are some jobs that offer that freedom. An example: the job as a virtual assistant.

In the last few years the demand for online services has increased enormously. Many new jobs have been created, especially in the social media area. Anyone who knows a little about online business has probably come across the term “virtual assistant” at some point. What exactly is behind it and how you can build up a location-independent business as a Virtual Assistant (VA), you will find out in the following article.

Also exciting:

What is a virtual assistant

In short: As a VA, you take on all tasks that are too time-consuming for your customer. This means that you save him both time and money with your work. Because we know: time is money. All tasks of VAs can be carried out without the necessary presence of the person. That means you can work for your client from anywhere in the world. What kind of tasks can that be? Answering e-mails, phone calls, customer acquisition, creating websites, maintaining social media channels - your creativity is given free rein.

VAs usually work as freelancers, which means that they are not employed, but work as self-employed. Your respective online service is booked by customers for a short or long-term collaboration.

Become a virtual assistant

As a very first step, you should think about what kind of service you want to offer. Don't be put off: You don't need a professional education to become a VA. What counts are your skills and, over time, your references. You can acquire everything you need. When looking for a suitable online service, focus solely on what you enjoy and where your skills lie.

Start by thinking about what you especially enjoy doing. Are you a very creative person, are you familiar with color psychology and do you love to design new things? Then maybe web design would be something for you. If you are very eloquent, you could work as a ghostwriter and write captions and newsletters.

When you are clear about what you want to offer, the point is to find a niche for yourself. What is meant by this: a niche is basically a specialization in a certain subject area and thus an exact target group. This is very important because your goal is to sell yourself as an expert.

As an example: You are a travel blogger and you are looking for a virtual assistant to take care of your Instagram account. First and foremost, your concern is that the creation of the daily posts is relieved of you, so it is important that your VA is able to express himself well and thus appeal to your target group.

Wouldn't it be much more appealing to hire a virtual assistant to apply as a social media manager for travel bloggers on Instagram than someone who has relevant experience in the VA business but who has overseen the Instagram pages of both butchers and nail salons in recent years ?

Perhaps a somewhat drastic example, but I think it gets to the heart of what I am saying.

The niche is everything in online business!

What can always be an advantage at the beginning is the exchange with experts. Here, too, there are Facebook groups especially for VAs who can help you. However, personal support is always the better way, because especially if you are completely inexperienced as a self-employed person, there is a lot to consider.

Therefore, the help of a personal coach is advisable. Be it one-on-one support or an online course. It is worth it to be supported by someone who has walked exactly the path that you just have in front of you.

Fidan Güntürkün's course is recommended. Fidan has specialized in looking after virtual assistants on their way to self-employment and providing assistance.

Win customers: how does it work?

Your tasks as a VA not only include the actual work for your customers, but also online marketing to draw attention to you. You have to sell yourself and your service as a product and actively acquire customers.

But how is that supposed to work? Not as complicated as you might think. The first step you should take: join Facebook groups. Yes exactly! You can find most job postings in the social media area on Facebook. Relatively plausible if you think about it more carefully, after all, you want to work here too. On the laptop, on the Internet, on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, ...

Always keep up to date on which jobs are currently advertised. It's best to take a look through the new posts every evening to see if there is a suitable job advertisement for you.

In order to reach potential customers, you need to build an online presence. An Instagram and Facebook business page are a must to get noticed. Find out about your target audience. Send friend requests to people who meet your expectations of a desired customer and comment on their contributions. Make sure you can't be overlooked. Then you will have your first job faster than you might think now.

Here are the links to a few Facebook groups for VAs:

Time management is the be-all and end-all

As a self-employed person, time management is everything. You have to tackle your day well because your ultimate goal is to make as much money as possible in the least amount of time possible.

You should get into the habit of writing down all of the tasks that are due for the day. In this way you make sure that you don't forget anything and also later know when you did what work for which customer. This can make writing invoices at the end of the month a lot easier.

There are a few apps here that can help. One example is the “Wunderlist app”. Here you can create different to-do lists, prioritize the individual tasks and set reminders at certain times.

Full-time or part-time

First of all, it makes sense to build up self-employment as a part-time job. Because those who are self-employed pays the contributions to the health insurance themselves. If you are employed, the contributions are paid by the employer. Therefore: Until your online business has started properly and you have enough jobs, it makes sense to be a permanent employee.

What else should you watch out for?

You should contact the finance and trade office for the purpose of registering a business. Get advice on whether your self-employed activity can be classified as a trade or a freelance job, as there are some differences in terms of taxes.

It is also important to find a tax advisor who can advise you on tax issues. An expert can give you useful tips, especially if you do not have any experience as a self-employed person.

As I said, I would recommend to any VA newbie to get help from a personal coach. You know exactly which steps you have to take if you want to build an online business.

If you are interested, find out more about the courses offered by business coaches for virtual assistants. We conducted an interview with Fidan on the subject:

About the author: Ann-Katrin Schäfer has been working on a cruise ship for almost two years and has already seen one country or another as a result. In addition, she is currently building a mainstay as a virtual assistant as a part-time job. On Travelicia, she reports regularly on her learnings and experiences.