Six months ago, the term Virtual Assistant was just something I heard quiet mumbles about. I would see the occasional posts about freelancers and VA’s but I didn’t give them a second look. I assumed I wasn’t qualified for something like that and moved on.
As the terms showed up more frequently, my interest was peaked. As I buried myself in research, excitement took began to take over. Why didn’t I know more about this job field?
Realizing quickly that this up and coming job field was not yet a hot topic, and there are probably a lot of people out there who could benefit from exposure to the VA world, I decided that TVC needed to be created.
After all the hours spent researching flexible jobs, that still allowed me to do something I loved, making this discovery was like coming up for air. Before this, every single lead I got was for MLM companies, which just wasn’t something I was interested in. MLM is multi-level marketing, such as Herbalife, Beach Body, It Works, and so on. Convincing myself to try and sell something I had no passion behind seemed crazy. As much as I wanted to work from home, settling for anything just seemed wrong.
So, the search continued.
You know what else continued? The struggles, the second guesses, and the “should I just get a normal 9-5 and stop kidding myself” thoughts that I couldn’t keep from creeping into my mind. I’m guessing that’s where you are now. Read on, my friend, I promise the best part is yet to come.
It started small, the efforts to craft my dream job.
The first step came with Rina Losing It, my first blog and my baby. Crafting art through words has been my love since before I can even remember. It had to be a part of whatever dream job was on the horizon. Blogging proved to be so much more than just writing from day 1. There is a whole world of social media marketing, email campaigns, endless hours of networking, and trying to get yourself seen.
You know what I found out though? The back end of blogging got me just as excited as the front end. Learning about SEO, SMM, drip campaigns, scheduling, pitching, and so on.
It was exciting, it was terrifying, and it was EVERYTHING I had been looking for.
What if I could help other people with the behind the scenes work that they don’t have time for. How can I help other people succeed in making their dreams reality, without asking them to invest heinous amounts of money into it first? How could I make a difference, and love every minute of it?
Enter the world of a Virtual Assistant!
What exactly is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant is essentially a master of all trades. There are hundreds of subfields to specialize in, making it possible to master and excel at the specialty of your choice, or offer a mix of skills to help a client in all their needs. The possibilities are endless, and you are in control. Although I can’t hit on every possible subfield, here is a quick list of 45 VA tasks and specialties, just to give you a glimpse into how diverse Virtual Assisting can be:
1. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
3. Website Design
4. Website Maintenance
5. Email management (inbox, replying, scheduling)
7. Technical Support
8. Customer Service
9. Calendar management
10. Database design and management
11. Event planning
14. Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Word, One Note)
15. Blog management
16. Content writing
17. Booking and following up with clients
18. Webinar presenting
19. Graphic design
20. Video editing
21. Creation and management of ads for social media
22. Management of groups (Facebook, Linkedin, etc.)
23. Email campaigns, drips, and subscriber management
24. Podcast management
25. Public relations
26. Client retention
28. Product launch management
29. E-commerce development
30. Game or mobile app development
33. Audio production
34. Branding and logo design
38. Creative and blog writing
39. Grant writing
40. Resume and cover letter writing
41. Paralegal services
42. Lead generation
43. Market and customer research
44. Marketing strategy
45. Financial planning
There is something for everyone, and you don’t have to know how to do all of them. Decide what you want to be doing and make yourself an expert in that field. If you want to specialize in SMM, then go research trends, learn scheduling apps, find out the proper dimensions to every social media platform, know how to grow a following. Take advantage of the hundreds of online tutorials. Google and YouTube are your BEST friends.
Yes, some online training programs or classes can be costly, but there are also TONS of free resources as well. Follow fellow bloggers/Va’s with experience in the game because they have been where you are and have a wealth of knowledge to share. Build yourself a tribe of others in the same field. Swap stories, talk goals and share what has worked and what hasn’t. We all need support to grow, if you don’t have a solid support system, go out and make one!
Who needs a Virtual Assistant?
As the world moves to a more digitalized society, there are so many professionals who work from remote places, but they still need the back up of an assistant. When you are growing a business, every free moment is precious. There is nothing more stunting to creative juices than an overwhelmed and stressed out mind.
It makes sense, business owners in brick and mortar institutions need a staff beneath them to get things done. Virtual business owners need the same! This has opened up a whole world of opportunities for VA’s. Whether you are cold pitching clients or using a job search like Upwork or Fivver, the possibilities are endless. It’s not a matter of “can I really do this?”, it’s a matter of networking your ass off and booking great jobs!
How do Virtual Assistants get hired?
There is a pretty broad range of ways to get hired as a Virtual Assistant. To read my in-depth post on writing proposals and getting hired, click here! For the sake of this post, we will just do an overview.
With Virtual Assisting, you can find jobs through job boards (Upwork, Fivver, Linkedin, etc.), market yourself with cold emails, create a crafty website to draw attention, go to marketing events/trade shows, and so on. It may not be easy to get your foot in the door, but be fearless with your approach. There are upsides and downsides to each of these, but through experience, I enjoy the person to person interaction in cold emailing and networking. Word to the wise, Upwork and Fivver take a fee out of what you are paid. So essential, if you are charging $20 an hour on Upwork, you will only actually be making $16 after the 20% fee is taken out. I get it, they are providing a service and need to make money, but it’s a hard pill to swallow. Like most people who don’t know what the hell they are doing, my career began with Upwork. I’m thankful for that, and the quick access to jobs with the little experience I had as a beginner. There is no wrong way to start, or to continue on, just make sure you have all the facts you need to ensure you are getting paid what you are worth.
So, you still think it sounds too good to be true? It’s not…if you are willing to put in the work. This is NOT a get rich quick scheme, I’m not going to teach you how to make $45,000 in 2 weeks. That’s not realistic and if it was, don’t you think everyone would be doing it? I can’t believe some of the things people claim they can teach you to do in crazy expensive webinars. Nothing in life worth having comes without hard work.
Sounds like the perfect gig, right? Poke around the blog, learn as much as you can, and reach out with any questions or assistance you may need!
Are you a current or aspiring VA/Freelancer? Share your stories in the comments!