Becoming a virtual assistant; that is a question many people have been asking ever since the dawn of the digital era. I have received many emails asking how I do it and if a level of income similar to mine can ever be achieved, and let me tell you, it can be done. Yes, it can be done.
Last year I had been in the exact same position these persons emailing me were in. I was looking at various major bloggers and thinking how nice it would be to also earn a decent income from something like a blog.
Now, I can comfortably say that I am in a similar position than these big bloggers. I am earning a decent side income from my own blog, but I am still constantly on the lookout to increase this.
In the past I have made quite a few post about how achieving extra income can be done. I have also delved into how to become a freelance writer, something a lot of people find enjoyable. I sincerely hope these posts have been helpful to you since I have many more of them planned.
Firstly I am planning an article about exactly how to find your niche when you are starting your own blog, something I will also explain in details. There are countless other posts planned but if you feel the need to have an article about something specific, please let me know and I will look into it.
I receive a lot of question about how exactly I find the virtual assistant positions I am employed in. Let me start of by saying that I am no expert, but I have done a lot of research on this topic to be able to assist you to the best of my abilities.
The advantage to helping you, is that I am also helping myself at the same time. The downside to this is that all the ideas put forth is not always tested specifically by me, but I have learned how to filter out the great ideas and methods from the bad ones. This can make me 100% confident that the ideas discussed here, will also work for you.
As previously said, I am not of age in the blogging sphere, and virtual assistance is something I started doing only recently. As of yet, it does not form a very big part of my income, but at least it is something. I like to keep my income as diverse as possible.
A lot of websites can be found advertising virtual assistant positions. Some are gems in the making, offering honest work for a salary that, even if not able to support you fully, definitely helps closing gaps in your budget. Unfortunately there are darker elements to these very same websites that would leave you of better if you steered away.
The services range from the mundane to the insane, with clients offering any task you could possibly think of doing. Some try to lock prospective workers into a race to the bottom, openly stating that the cheapest one will get hired. I don’t necessarily blame them, but these are the type of clients that will expect you to move mountains with a shovel.
Fortunately, there is a saying stating that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. These clients normally have a high staff turnover, but unfortunately they don’t care.
Something else you may find on these sites are clients asking you to engage in unethical behaviour, from solving captchas to giving out negative commentary towards competitors.
But do not fret, as there are still a lot of clients out there that offer a friendly working environment where you can be proud of your contribution. The best way of course, is to source clients directly by networking with other bloggers and building a name for yourself.
How to become a Virtual Assistant
As in many other industries, word of mouth is the best advertising you could have. Allow me to give you a few pointers as to getting hired as a virtual assistant.
Start your own blog
It helps to have your own blog where prospective clients can view progress you made over the months or years you are busy, reviewing your style and commitment towards your work. Starting your own blog also showcases your talent to the general public, where someone may see it and direct a client towards it.
Your blog does not even have to cost money, as there are many free services which will allow you to host it. You also do not need technical skills to start your blog as many blogs support WordPress. Granted that the advance features of WordPress does require skill, it will allow you to grow into these features as you see fit.
Take a course
There are a number of virtual assistant courses that you can take that will really assist in expanding your abilities and teach you what to be on the lookout for.
Talk about your expertise
Without experience in the field, just like in the regular job market, not many clients will hire you. This is unfortunately how life works.
There is a way to get in though, but it will require hard work and dedication. It may not even be worth your time in the beginning but stick it out to get your name out there.
You can compare it to being an unpaid intern. Yes, there is many controversy regarding unpaid work, but even if you don’t work for free, you can still join the race to the bottom and offer your services for cheap to gain the experience necessary.
This will allow you to build up your work portfolio. Keep note of everything you have done and ask clients if they would be willing to have you share their contact details in order for them to vouch for your services.
On your portfolio, make sure you state your experience in industry related terms, as prospective clients will definitely steer clear of someone that does not even know the lingo.
So instead of saying that you aided a website to get higher publicity by writing an article for their website, say something different instead.
Saying that your article, with natural embedding of keywords, aided on-site SEO and allowed higher SERPs. IF you are unsure what I just said, feel free to research it, it may open a whole new world to you. But beware, once you go down that rabbit hole, nothing on the internet will ever be the same to you again.
Again, I cannot highlight this more, state any and all of your achievements.
The first platform that you can advertise on is your own blog. Unfortunately, when just starting out, not many people will see this. There are however many boards and forums that will allow you to advertise on. Similarly there are also a lot of websites that allows you to advertise your services.
Advertising at these sites do come at a price though. Fortunately, these websites also offer a wide selection of jobs ( or gigs as it is called in the freelancing industry ). Highlighting the best site between them all but I can give you a few examples of these sites.
Odesk, Elance and Freelancer.com are but a few of these sites. The advantage of these sites is that they allow you to build up a history, with prospective clients able to view other jobs you have done for clients whom have also hired you through the site in question.
Another great subsection of the site Reddit.com also allows you to advertise your services or look for jobs for free. This can be found in the forhire, writerforhire or slavelabour sections, with the latter concentrating on short one time gigs or repetitive tasks not much unlike Clickworker.com or Amazon’s Mturk.
If you are not quite ready to commit yourself to clients, Clickworker and Mturk offers tasks that can be completed in seconds between your other daily errands. There are also websites dedicated to only to virtual assistant jobs . One that specifically comes to mind here is Zirtual.com
The most professional way of getting your services out to the public however, still is to run your own blog. It sends a message that you are committed, and makes it easy for somebody to stumble onto your services.
Befriending other bloggers is also a great way to gain clients. Somebody may contact them for a service they know you offer, and they can easily refer you. Various ways can be used to achieve this, with the best being social media. In the social media world, it is not uncommon for people to contact each other, even when they do not know each other.
It allows an easy platform to strike up conversations about events posted, or other niche relevant topics. Direct contact by email can also be used, although it could be viewed as spam by some. Email conversations tend to be regarded as personal contact these days.
Another great way is through your own LinkedIn profile, which makes finding like minded individuals easy. Linking to similar members is also not something uncommon, which allows you to expand your network without coming over as abusive. It is also easy to list your achievements on your profile, where they can be easily found by prospective clients.