What is a virtual assistant?
According to Virtual Networking Association (www.vanetworking.com), a Virtual Assistant (VA) is a highly-trained independent entrepreneur who provides a myriad of business support services virtually via phone, fax and internet based on technology to support and meet the growing needs of businesses worldwide.
Who is a virtual assistant ?
Generally a virtual assistant is self-employed who provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to his clients remotely from a home office.
How much do Virtual Assistants Earn
What is the duty of virtual assistant ?
Most of the virtual assistants are contract or freelance workers who tend to do their jobs from home and their focus is on administrative tasks that are similar to those of an executive assistant or secretary.
You see, beginning a virtual assistant business is just one of many ways of working from home. If you have experience in an administrative field, or can offer virtual services to business clients, then you are a prime candidate for having a successful virtual assistant business.
Getting started as a virtual assistant requires a few simple steps. There is no formal credential process to become a virtual assistant, but there are several companies who offer training and their own credentialing. This is not absolutely necessary to be a successful virtual assistant, but it can be helpful in obtaining jobs as a newcomer. Before you sign up for any program or course, do your due diligence and investigate the company. Get recommendations from other successful virtual assistants and consider finding a mentor who can help you get started.
Once you’ve set up your home office, you’ll need to establish your virtual office. On the Internet, you’ll use a website or social media to advertise yourself as a virtual assistant. Having a website or a blog is essential to establishing your presence. If web design is not in your skill set, find someone who can make a website or a blog for you. Try to contact other virtual assistants and see if you can barter for the design if its something that you cannot afford to begin with.
On your website or blogs you should, at minimum, list your services and who you are. You can also include an hourly rate, although many virtual assistants like to charge by the project instead of by the hour. As far as services go, don’t offer services that you don’t like to do. If you can make spreadsheets but don’t like to do it, then don’t offer that service. If you have background in a specific field, for example law, then list this as a specialty. You can also specialize in the type of work that you offer. Many virtual assistants limit their business to writing and editing, web design, data management or planning, but some offer a mixture of all types of services. Remember, this is your business and you can choose what tasks that you want to perform.
The best way to get virtual assistant jobs to begin with is to start networking. Your best leads will come through people that you already know, whether they are online or in your hometown. Let people know what you are offering and promote your website address so people can see who you are and what you are doing. Make sure to include up to date contact information on your web page, including a phone number.
When you get your first client, its important to have a contract set in place before you start working on a project. You can get many sample contracts online that you can adapt for your needs. Make sure you and the client are both on the same page about the type of work that you will be doing. That way there are no surprises when you deliver the project and your bill.
After you have a few projects under your belt, you’ll begin to build a reputation. Then your virtual assistant business will grow naturally to include repeat clients and new projects. When you consistently do good work, your reputation will precede you and you may have more projects that you know what to do with in a short period of time. Make sure not to overbook yourself, and collect a network of other virtual assistants who are willing to take overflows for you if the need arises. Getting your virtual assistant business off on the right foot is simple when you follow the basic steps mentioned above.
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• General education development.
• Earning a high school diploma.
• For taking business a college degree is required otherwise it’s not necessary.
• Get the training program of virtual assistance.
Skills and equipment required
• Above-average computer.
• You must have email and Internet skills.
• Fax machine, copiers and scanners.
• Skill of office productivity software, including word processing and spreadsheet programs.
• Marketing, organizational, and written and verbal communication skills should also be considered.
Some additional skills may require some times
• virtual assistant some times are expected to have real estate industry experience
• Virtual assistant is expected to have excellent writing skills and experience posting content on a range of social media outlets.
Basic and mandatory equipment
• A landline telephone in your home. It ensures to attend important calls as the poor signals of cell phone annoy the clients.
• A hand-free telephone headset is also required as it has some special features like “mute” and ‘volume control.
• High-speed internet connection in your home. It’s because many employers required their virtual assistants to have the access of online databases so for the sake of productivity a good internet speed is must.
Platform to fine jobs of virtual assistant
There are online resources to find jobs regarding this such as you can try:
Some other Work at Home Companies
Arise Virtual Solutions-IC (www.arise.com)
Elance-IC (www.elance.com )
VIPdesk-IC and EM (www.vipdesk.com )
LiveOps-IC (www.liveops.com )
Talk2Rep-IC (www.talk2rep.com )
Kelly Services-EM (www.kellyservices.com )
See the 20 out of the over 100 task/works you can do as a virtual assistant.
1) Process mailings for clients
2) Perform outbound telemarketing calls seeking clients/sellers/buyers
3) Enter contacts into MS Outlook or other database management program
4) Set/cancel appointments
5) Work with Excel spreadsheets to organize leads and other data
6) Work with MS Word to create mail merges and process mailings
7) Answer incoming calls
8) Return phone calls
9) Type and send letters or contracts
10) Make travel arrangements
11) Call for quotes for other services
12) Order services on the client’s behalf
13) Screen and answer emails
14) Prepare newsletters
15) Plan events or meetings
16) Arrange and put together seminars or teleseminars
17) Proof read your written materials
18) Transcribe meetings
19) Correspond with clients/tenants regarding payments and late fees, via mail and phone
20) Mail outs such as postcards or letters for marketing purposes
21) Check voice mail; return calls
22) Photos (edit and list on websites)
25) Create PowerPoint presentations
See the complete list of over 100 task/works you can do as a virtual assistant.
Just in case Virtual Assistant Business is not just your kind of thing, why not take a look at transcription jobs.