I am not new to the position of virtual assistant nor as an office administrative assistant. I began my business in 2003 as a virtual assistant, utilizing my skills as a bookkeeper, administrative assistant, secretary, and office assistant. Even as a file clerk for the San Diego Employment Development Department, or at the time it was called the unemployment office, nearly 40 years ago. The age of index and punch cards. Funny when I think about it, compared to the skill levels of today’s office assistant.
The job title for the person who supports the administrative staff with the various tasks of managing an office will change. There are many tasks which overlap in an office. There are specific skills required, opportunities to diversify and strengthen your particular skill set.
All office skills you have acquired over the years are transferable to becoming a virtual assistant. The expertise is in demand. You may choose to work from your home office or the client’s office. I offer both services to my clients.
If you wish to work from home as a virtual assistant you have to invest in proper equipment. A decent computer, a printer, with perhaps a fax, copy and scanning capabilities. A phone, preferably one with a noise cancelling headset. (You can purchase just the headset if your phone has a plug in or you can purchase the phone with headset. Prices vary from $40 to $600. Remember to read the fine print, not all headsets are 100% noise cancelling.)
A good computer is essential, there is a need for speed both with the computer and the internet service you choose. Depending on where you live you may have few options for an internet service. Go low cost and build up. There are many tablet and laptop companies that offer systems at a low cost.
The Virtual Assistant Job Search Begins
Once you are set up with the essentials, it is time to find clients. The virtual assistant jobs vary, from customer service options to clerical. There are many companies on line today offering databases and job leads, many charge a nominal fee, but they are affiliated with the same companies you can join for free. Don’t spend the money on these databases.
Books, on line learning resources, and more training than you can imagine is available to help you develop your virtual assistant business. Some cost a great deal while others are free. The basics are simple and there is no need to spend a great deal of money to learn. Especially considering your skill set developed working off line.
Your Task List to Consider:
Virtual Assistant Jobs are available. The following chart shows the search numbers for virtual assistant jobs as reported by Google Trends.
A few Key Points:
- Create a budget: expenses for starting your home business and personal expenses. Know your cash flow.
- Know where to look: research classifieds, membership sites, shop around.
- Know what your specific skills are
- Create a resume highlighting not only your skills but how they relate to the job you are applying for.
- Research the virtual assistant job market, know your competition
- Create a web presence, social media and use a blog or vlog to show off.
- Set up your home office with the necessary equipment. Find a quiet place, somewhere you won’t get too distracted.
Most important of all: Know your competition. Here is a chart that reflects the most sought after virtual assistants: The Phillipines is the top at 100% search.
The following websites offer a free and fee paid membership. The process is to set up a profile, bid on various jobs in your specialty. The draw back is many of your competitors are in other countries where they can afford to underbid you. The competition is high. Get a feel for the way others have created their profiles, what the average bid rate is and decide if you can do the job for less.
This is only the beginning to the various jobs available on line as a virtual assistant. Many companies are looking for the following:
- Graphic designers
- Software designers
- Writers, bloggers, content marketers,etc
- Virtual Administrative Assistants
- Personal Assistants
- Database developers
- CRM specialists
- Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, and other platform specialists
- The list is endless
Where will your journey take you?
Hang out your shingle: Virtual Assistant for Hire. Contact me today to learn how I will best serve your needs.
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It is not easy to find good advertising sites that won’t cost you a fortune. Small businesses and those who are working as an independent contractor do not have an advertising budget like the corporations. It is important to advertise your services. You can use ad submission sites like this one:
Other sites include:
- Backpage.com Free Classifieds post to your locale or for a small fee multiple cities, low cost to keep your ad on top, sponsored, or highlighted for weeks. Extra charges do apply to post to internet and print.
- eBay Classifieds is another free advertising resource.
- Craigslist is a free advertising with restrictions to the number of times you can post the same ad. You will have to edit or rewrite your ads to repost.
- CLAZ is another resource for free advertising. Place your classifieds here, select the partners option and your ad goes out nationally with little effort on your part.
This is not an inclusive list. These sites I use, trust and frequent for my searches as well as classifieds for household items, clothes, jewelry, animals, and to post my business ads.
As I explore and give the others a try, I will keep you posted.
If you have a trusted resource for free advertising, one that won’t fill your email inbox with junk email, then let me know. I will be happy to post it here and share your website as a referral. You can use my contact page to reach me.
Happy classified advertising.
I am slowly working toward updating my services, my directories and providing more relevant articles to you.
Not neglectful, just in the planning stages and research for valid work from home opps, resources, and training programs.
As you know there are many ways to earn a living offered for those who wish to work from a home office. They are not all viable options when you need money immediately to keep the electric on. I am in the process of reviewing a few that are of interest and offer future potential.
Stay tuned for more.
Working from home has many perks, but it also includes many not so great attributes. Setting up your home office is exciting. The work area, decor, view or no view, equipment. You get to set it up to fit your style and interests. The space you take up is important, will you spread out or stay confined to a corner? Do you want a large desk or a small computer desk? Plants or no plants? Bookshelves filled with books and if so what type?
Those decisions seem to be the first ones we tackle. Then the computer and accessories are next. Which internet and phone provider will you choose? Before you decide consider the security features, if any, offered by the provider. Internet security is not something the other person needs to consider, it is something you need to consider. Hacks happen to anyone these days. Not just large corporations.
For instance, lets look at the most recent discovered vulnerability to the internet: Heartbleed. This affected everyone, everywhere. It was a hole in the heart of the internet code that allowed your email address and passwords to be hijacked. Yes, your email address is in the hands of someone out there, maybe the highest bidder, but someone has it, can log into your email account and gain access to important information about you. Have you changed your password? I have on all accounts that required it and then a few more.
A very important note: Heartbleed is not a virus, it is a hole in the internet code that keeps you secure.
Now as much as I have done to keep from using Microsoft products, I am back using many of them again. Why? Because I have clients with specific needs that only Microsoft has to offer. I prefer Gnu software, but there are some limits, believe it or not. With that said, I have had to learn a few more security measures to keep my information safe from prying eyes. As well as my clients’ information.
This article from Microsoft regarding OneDrive discusses a few simple security measures to take to ensure your information remains secure. The suggestions, including password security, are great to follow with all your software, memberships, and online accounts.
You may not think you are that important to a hacker, but think again. They don’t know that until they invade your privacy. Then it is too late. You can still be sold to the highest bidder. Some can use that information, even if it does not seem important to you.
Take precautions, keep your information secure, and any client information you store. Confidential emails, they can be shared, so secure them. The simplest step is your password. Make it secure.
My favorite password saver keeps my information secure, LastPass, it is free and very secure. Or, if you have McAfee they provided a Security Vault, very similar to LastPass. Security Vault is included in the McAfee Total package. They have yearly fee. I have tried a few of the freebies, prefer to stick with McAfee. But you may find adequate protection in the free services. Check Cnet’s download site for more options.
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