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.