Dip Your Toes into Freelancing by Becoming a Virtual Assistant

You know you want to freelance, but you’re not sure what to do exactly. You have a wide range of skills and interests that you want to put to good use. You dream of running a business where you do work that you’re good at AND that you enjoy, and where you can also make good money!

Becoming a Virtual Assistant is a great way to start freelancing, work from home and make money online. Here are the first steps to becoming a VA.

The idea of quitting the 9 to 5 and running a business sounds great, but what if you have no idea what kind of business you want to start? There are so many options, and all those choices can feel overwhelming!

Let me ask you this:

Do you have a range of skills that could help other business owners?

If so, maybe becoming a Virtual Assistant is the answer to your freelancing woes!

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a virtual professional that works from home using the internet and offers administrative, technical, creative or management support to those who need it.

Entrepreneurs all over the world are looking for people to help them with their day-to-day tasks and special projects. Their to-do lists are long and always growing, so they want someone to help them get stuff done.

VA’s are in high demand because it’s more cost effective for a business to hire a contractor than it is to hire a part-time or full-time employee. They can hire a VA to help out for a few hours a month or for occasional projects and save tons of money. Since VA’s are independent contractors, entrepreneurs don’t pay insurance, taxes or benefits like they would with an employee.

Who’s Hiring VA’s?

Short answer: lots of companies!

Big, small, online, offline…they’re all hiring VA’s.

The types of businesses looking to hire include, but are definitely not limited to:

  • business, life and health coaches
  • online magazines/publishers
  • authors
  • bloggers
  • speakers
  • graphic designers
  • web designers
  • fitness instructors
  • event planners
  • realtors
  • lawyers
  • accountants

Will Someone Really Hire Me to Do That?

“A lot of destined VA’s don’t realize that someone will pay them for their skills. This used to be me!” – McKella Sawyer

The above is from my wonderful VA, McKella. I reached out to her almost a year ago asking if she’d like to be my VA. I knew she was a creative writer and that I needed a writer on my team. She was not a VA at the time, but was willing to give it a go.

She helps me with my own projects and my client projects. This might mean creating social media content, formatting blog posts, sourcing images for blog posts, and proofreading and editing articles. She is a HUGE asset to my business and I’m grateful for her every day.

The types of services you can offer as a VA are varied and needed! You’d be surprised!

Just a few ideas of services as a virtual assistant

Administrative

  • Creating and updating databases
  • Data entry
  • Managing email inboxes (setting up labels, folders, and filters, and handling responses)

Bookkeeping

  • Basic accounting
  • Handling invoices
  • Collection calls

Creative

  • Creating graphics for websites and social media
  • eBook editing and formatting
  • Creating logos and banners

Technical

  • Editing and uploading videos
  • Setting up and managing webinars and podcasts
  • Setting up shopping carts

Content Writing

  • Preparing and distributing press releases
  • Copywriting
  • Creating social media content from existing content like videos, articles, and interviews

Online Business Management

  • Managing day-to-day projects
  • Hiring and training team members
  • Writing SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures)

Marketing

  • Creating and managing ads on Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, Instagram
  • SEO and keyword research
  • Arranging interviews with the media

So how does one become a Virtual Assistant?

It’s quite easy to get started as a Virtual Assistant. Next month, I’ll share how you can set yourself apart from other VA’s (to stand out and get more clients) and map out the services you can start offering.

Have you ever considered being a Virtual Assistant? Do you have any questions about becoming a VA? Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear them!

Want to learn more? Read about how to package your services as a Virtual Assistant.

Billie Gardner Billie Gardner is the founder of Desire to Done and the creator of VA Biz Academy, a series of courses that help aspiring Virtual Assistants ditch the cubicle and build profitable businesses. Her mission in life is helping creative women design a lifestyle that feels light, inspiring, and simplified. In her free time you’ll find her cuddling with her fur babies, watching funny movies, and scoping out new restaurants with her hubby. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • How would you become a VA? I’m a freelancer however I’m more than happy to help someone else as well. Will you still hold another session on how to set oneself apart from other VA’s?

    • Hi Thelma!

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

      I recommend listing all your skills, interests and software knowledge first then mapping out some service ideas. As you brainstorm your services, think about how you’d like to offer them and what your ideal client’s needs are.

      For instance, is your ideal client looking for someone to be on their team for on-going work or are they looking to purchase a package of hours to use as they need them? As an idea, you could offer a package of 5 hours that can be used, as needed, to create blog and social media graphics.

      I’ll be covering more on how you can set yourself apart from other VA’s next month, but let me know if you have more questions!

  • Claire Gillum

    I’ve considered being a VA quite a bit over the last few months. I’m an administrative assistant at a church… but with a wide range of job responsibilities; from date entry and answering phones, to managing most of our social media posting. Kind of looking to dip my toes into the VA world- maybe part time at first to build on my experience. I don’t know if that is the best route?

    • Hi Claire!

      Starting part-time as a VA is the perfect way to go. That way you can grow your business on the side and not stress about money coming in.

      I recommend mapping out your service ideas and getting clear on exactly what you want to offer. For instance, you could write out what a social media service would look like. How many times do you post a day and on which platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc)? Do you only schedule content or do you write it also? Do you use any type of automation services like Buffer to schedule?

      Once you map it out you can ask around to see if anyone could use your help. You could offer your service for free for a couple weeks or a month to get feedback on your process and get a testimonial. This will also give you time to see if anything needs tweaked before you offer your service to a paying client. Once you feel comfortable you can start offering your service to paying clients.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

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