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What is a virtual assistant? You’ll be familiar with the concept of a traditional assistant: a business owner hires someone (the assistant) to come into their place of business and help out with certain tasks that either the owner has no time to do on their own, or doesn’t have the necessary skillset to do.
Simply put, a virtual assistant is also hired to carry out tasks that the business owner is unable to do on their own in order to reduce overwhelm and spend time on more central business matter.
The only difference is that a virtual assistant (often referred to as a VA) doesn’t actually come into your place of work, your relationship is carried out almost entirely on the internet and you often never meet in person, hence the ‘virtual’ aspect.
That doesn’t mean that a virtual assistant only carries out tasks that have to do with the virtual world.
Let me put it another way, what are virtual assistants? Well…
Working from home allows people the freedom to be with their families, to allocate time to the things they enjoy and the things that are good for them such as hobbies, cooking, going to the gym and traveling.
Not to mention that working from home reduces the cost of having to pay for an office space.
So it’s easy to see why business owners would prefer running their businesses from the comfort and cost saving home offices.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t need a team to work with.
That team then gets to work from their home office too.
That team is often made up of managers, accountants, web designers, customer relations people, content creators, all of which are, in many ways… you guessed it, virtual assistants.
So what does a virtual assistant do?
Although you can get a VA who’s zone of genius is online marketing, emails, social media, tech or web design, you can also find a VA to help with tasks like admin, customer relations, legal and accounting.
A VA can either do a wider range of tasks on a longer term contract or can be specialised and hired out for a special one off task.
If there’s an element of a business that can be outsourced, there is a VA who can do it.
The agreements are very flexible, since a VA sets their own rates and can work within their own hours.
Is it secure and how much do virtual assistants get paid?
There are protective measures that you can take in order to ensure that VA’s and their clients are both legally protected.
It’s a bit more difficult because you’re often not in the same country and you often never meet in real life.
For more information about legal security as a VA, I’d recommend looking into the laws in the country from which you’re working.
You’re probably more interested in knowing about financial security though.
The truth is, a VA, much like a freelancer, is paid per hour or per project and so most of the time, it’s on the VA to be looking for work.
Virtual assistants can get paid anywhere between $5 -$50 per hour (sometimes more) deepening on the level of expertise, how long they’ve been in the industry and the value of the work they’re providing.
An average rate for a virtual assistant just starting out could be between $15-30 but the more experience you get and the better you sell the value of your offers, the higher you can charge.
When you’re starting off, some months will be quieter than others and it takes some time to familiarise yourself with your niche, your ideal client and how to navigate the various platforms to find the resources and job opportunities to help you grow and get paid.
Very often, VA’s will have other sources of income to support them before fully embarking into it full time.
How did I become a VA?
Honestly, I kind of fell into it by accident.
In 2018, I attended a blogging retreat where I was getting more training in wordpress and social media, but because I was already quite good with both, one of the full time travel bloggers running the course asked me if I would consider doing a few tasks for her and getting paid for it.
I said yes.
Over time, I approached different people within various niches and got more work.
At the same time it was only part time since I was in law school and I was running my own blog and part time online businesses.
I was also taking courses to learn more about what I enjoyed in order to upskill and truly know what I was selling.
Now, there are a few things I know like the back of my hand.
My zones of genius are WordPress web design and blog management, social media content creation (mostly Instagram and Pinterest) and email management and marketing.
But my foundation, my ultimate passion, is in writing.
So, I am able to provide those services to business owners and entrepreneurs who need help battling overwhelm and who don’t have time to learn on their own.
Want to see what a Virtual Assistant website page looks like? CLICK HERE
Be sure to catch my other Resource for Creatives posts to help get you started on your online or social media journey!
Stay safe, grab some Oreos, and let’s see what life has to offer us next,