Become a Freelance VA (Here’s How!)
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Several years ago, I replaced the full-time income I made working at an office by working from home only 20 hours a week (with a new baby)… HOW, you ask? By becoming a freelance virtual assistant!
In this post, I’m sharing with you some of my top tips for becoming a freelance Virtual Assistant.
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Have you ever wondered how people REALLY make money working from home?
You know it’s possible… you’ve read the blogs, you’ve seen the pins on Pinterest of people making money from home, but you can’t help thinking, how is that REALLY possible?
What do people REALLY do in order to earn an income working online?
If we haven’t met yet, I’m Abbey Ashley, and I’m the founder of The Virtual Savvy.
I made the transition from employee to making money by working from home myself, and the way I did it was through becoming a freelance Virtual Assistant.
I started my business in 2013 when I was actually pregnant with my very first child. I was able to quickly book out my services, which meant that after maternity leave I didn’t have to go back to work.
It was a huge turning point for me and my family.
We started to taste how flexible life really could be. We started to go on vacation more often. We didn’t have to check in with the boss to see if taking my PTO was okay because I was the boss.
Virtual Assistance changed our life and is the reason why I created The Virtual Savvy — to help other people discover a life-changing career path, too.
In this post, we’ll cover 3 topics to help you get started: what a freelance Virtual Assistant is, the services you can offer as a VA, and my top tips for finding clients as a VA.
1. What is a Freelance Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant can be any type of remote assistant who provides administrative, creative, or technical support services for online or brick-and-mortar businesses.
Generally, as a Virtual Assistant, you will be starting your own business. There are a couple of exceptions. You can go to work at a Virtual Assistant company, or you can be hired on as a W-2 employee (even as a Virtual Assistant).
However, the people that I train are usually starting their own Virtual Assistant businesses, which means that you get to charge the rates that YOU want to charge, work the hours that YOU want to work, and find clients that YOU want to work with.
I love the freedom and flexibility that comes with that. 🙂
I do want to note that as a freelance Virtual Assistant, you will be an independent contractor. What does that mean as opposed to being an employee?
As an independent contractor, you set your own hours. You set your own rate (which means you decide how much you charge for your services) and you decide when, where, and how you will work.
It means that a client can’t necessarily say that you have to be online from 9-5 or require you to be somewhere at a specific time, and it also means that you create your own systems for working, including invoicing, payments, etc.
Completely new here?
Click here to read more about what a Virtual Assistant is.
Okay, so now that we know what a virtual assistant is, and we know HOW you’ll be working (a.k.a. we know you’re in charge and you’re the boss), it’s good to know what types of services a Virtual Assistant can actually offer.
What will you actually be doing for your clients?
2. Virtual Assistant Services
Most Virtual Assistants fall into two categories. Either someone is a general Virtual Assistant or a specialized Virtual Assistant.
Most people start out as a general Virtual Assistant, which I think is awesome. You most likely already have the transferable skills from a previous job or from volunteer experience to make you qualified to become a VA.
Here are some of the most requested tasks for people starting out as a general Virtual Assistant:
- scheduling and sending emails
- social media
- graphic creation
- social media scheduling
- writing or blogging
- content creation
- web design
- calendar management
- webinar or live workshop assistance
- customer service emails
- travel research and booking
- appointment setting
You might be thinking, Abbey, some of these are really easy tasks. Why would somebody hire me to do these?
The thing is, as a person’s business grows, their time becomes more and more valuable.
So if you can come in and help with some of the more mundane tasks or the things that don’t require a specialized skill, that frees up the business owner to focus more on big picture items or the things that make them more money.
This is why a general virtual assistant is a very important role. I have found that sometimes the first hire a new business owner will make is a general VA.
They need somebody to help with invoicing. They need somebody to help with answering some of their customer service emails. This is where you come in when we’re talking about services to offer as a Virtual Assistant.
Maybe you already have a high-end service that you can offer currently, or maybe you’re going to start out as a general Virtual Assistant, but eventually, you want to learn a high-end service.
One of the best ways to raise your rates is to learn a high-end specialized skill.
So when we ask what skills a freelance Virtual Assistant can offer, one of the best things to do is to look at what’s really possible.
Oftentimes people will transition from being a general Virtual Assistant into offering these more specialized skills. Some of these skills include:
- Pinterest management
- Instagram management
- Facebook ads
- course launch strategies
- online business management
- graphic design
- web design
- affiliate management
Even if you don’t know what high-end service you would like to offer right now, that’s okay. It can just stay on your radar for now as something that you eventually want to learn and become an expert in.
Remember, nobody was instantly an overnight expert.
Everybody started from zero, so even if you don’t already know a certain service, don’t discredit yourself. You can still learn. You can still become an expert in a particular field.
Just go ahead and put it out there and decide this is what I think I eventually want to pursue. That way you can be open to those opportunities when they come along.
Looking for more examples of services you can offer?
Check out this list of 50 services you can offer as a Virtual Assistant!
At this point, you may be wondering, OK Abbey, but how do I go about finding the clients?
3. Finding Clients as a Freelance Virtual Assistant
This is actually the #1 question that I get from people starting out as Virtual Assistants: Where am I going to find people to hire me?
I want to preface this discussion by saying there are no shortage of freelance jobs. According to a recent study, there are 57.3 million people already doing freelance work in the United States.
In fact, by the year 2027, the majority of workers in the U.S. will actually be freelancers.
Yes, that’s right.
When you look at the number of people who are employees compared to the number of people who are freelancers, freelancers are actually going to outnumber employees by 2027.
Crazy, right? But it does make sense with the way the world is going.
More and more people are comfortable hiring remotely.
We all realize that you don’t have to live in the same city as somebody else, especially if they’re the best fit for the job. Time zones, even countries don’t necessarily matter as much when it comes to hiring people to assist you in your business.
The world is getting bigger and now is the perfect time to jump into the freelance Virtual Assistant world.
Now you know what a Virtual Assistant is and you know what services you can offer as a VA, how much do you think a Virtual Assistant may be the right career path for you?
We also know that there is no shortage of virtual freelance jobs, so where do you actually find these clients? How do you market your business?
I’ve created a free 60-minute web training called Become a Booked Out Virtual Assistant and I would love to have you join me for it. You can get instant access by going to thevirtualsavvy.com/bbo.
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