Virtual Assistant – Perfect First Freelance Job

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20 September 2022
A virtual assistant is a perfect job if you’re starting out on the freelance work market. It gives you a chance to capitalize on the skills you already have and make your first step towards a full-time salary on your own terms.

It’s still a growing industry, there are many ways in which you can start your own business as a virtual assistant. In this article, we will help you understand what skills could be useful, how to find your first job and what tools you can use to succeed.

Who is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant is an independent contractor that provides all kinds of support services to clients while working from a remote location. A person working as a VA can assist with administrative, business development, social media, creative, or research tasks. There is no set scope of tasks that a VA can perform, and assignments vary depending on the client’s needs. In most cases, virtual assistants work part-time, or contract based.

Like any freelance job, this brings both benefits and disadvantages. While you are the one deciding on your work hours, location, or tasks that you want to tackle – in most of the arrangements, the client doesn’t provide you any typical employee benefits. That means you have to deal with your taxes, insurance, equipment, and working space. It also typically takes some time and field experience to be able to have a stable income guarantee. 

How Can You Help Your Clients?

As a virtual assistant, you can assist your clients in multiple tasks, depending on their needs and your qualifications. The most common tasks outsourced to VA’s are:

  • Administrative tasks – phone calls, scheduling appointments, organizing calendars, research, data entry;
  • Bookkeeping – budget management, clerical support, invoicing;
  • Social media management – responding to comments, communicating with brand’s followers, content management and creation;
  • Customer service tasks;
  • Data entry and transcription.

Your workload will depend on the type of business your client is working in. While bigger companies might need more help with administrative tasks, small clients might be entrepreneurs who want to focus on more high-value actions. Your goal as a virtual assistant should be to help your client to ease their workload, giving them more time to focus on what matters to them the most.

What Skills Do You Need?

The basic skill that you need to succeed as a virtual assistant is excellent time management and the ability to work and communicate well with others. The rest can be entirely up to you – as you can assist clients from many industries, there’s a fair chance you can find an employer that is looking precisely for your skill set. This makes it quite easy to start your first contract without any previous experience.

We recommend sitting down for a personal brainstorming session to figure out what skills you already have. Are you an avid social media user, or an exceptional conversationalist? Do you like to write? Organize vacation sightseeing? Most likely, you already have a skill set that can be handy to a client, and the question you should be asking yourself is how you can strengthen it. If you’re afraid none of the skills you possess might be enough, there are plenty of options for virtual assistant targeted certifications and training.

For the beginning, make sure to start with the basics. Brush up on:

  • Microsoft Office;
  • Google Workspace;
  • Canva.

For a first freelance job, good time management, the ability to multitask, and interpersonal skills should be enough – from there, any new skill you gain can be a marketable prowess you offer to your future clients.

How to Find Your First Job

The best place to find your first virtual assistant jobs are freelancing services websites. Most of them provide an easy way to invoice your clients without registering your own business, giving you a chance to check the waters before you commit. We recommend starting with the most popular ones, such as UseMe, UpWork, or Fiverr.

When you gain some courage, try messaging your favorite local business and asking around. Most likely, they will benefit from your help!

Useful Tools to Manage Your Clients

As a virtual assistant, you will make use of many software tools that will help you with efficient work. While you can keep track of multiple clients using simple tools such as Google Calendar, it might be worth investing in a designated client management tool at some point. Some of the most useful ones are:

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