Make Money From Home as a Virtual Assistant
Looking for a way to make money from home?
If you’ve found yourself at 3:00 AM researching “work from home ideas” more times than you can count, you’ve likely been frustrated from the results.
Save your time… Here are the most common results you’ll find:
Survey Taker: Yes – because spending 2 hours taking a survey for 89 cents sounds like a great idea.
Direct Sales: Enough of my friends aren’t selling monogrammed bags and patterned leggings already…
Dog walker: Sounds fun at first, until you are waiting for that dachshund to pee when it’s 30 degrees outside as you wonder, “THIS is what I got my degree for!?”.
Working from home doesn’t have to be miserable. There are real opportunities out there for you to use your skills and work on your own schedule.
I’ve led countless women and men down the path to working for themselves. And it’s not because they won the work from home lottery or something.
It’s totally possible to make money from home.
It does take work (like – a LOT of work) to make money from home, but if you have a plan and stay diligent with it, you can start making 5k-10k per month working on your own schedule.
Virtual Assistance, baby.
So if you’re sick of selling overpriced jewelry and reversible handbags to try and fill your bank account, read on.
Table of Contents
What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) is a super broad term.
The common breakdown. Sometimes VAs say that they are “online secretaries” just to make it easy for people to understand.
However, you are much, much more than that.
A virtual assistant can be any type of remote assistant who provides administrative, creative, or technical support services for online or brick-and-mortar business owners.
A Virtual Assistant is a remote assistant who provides administrative, creative, or technical support services for business owners.
As a virtual assistant, you are an independent contractor. This means you set your own hours, work on your terms, and create your own systems for working (invoicing, payments, etc.).
There are a ton of services that you can offer as a virtual assistant. You can provide general admin work, or become a specialist in one particular service.
Here are a few of the services that you can offer as a virtual assistant:
- Scheduling / Sending Emails
- Social Media Graphic Creations
- Social Media Scheduling
- Writing / Blogging / Content Creation
- Web Design Services
- Calendar Management
- Webinar / Live Workshop Assistance
- Customer Service
- Travel Research and Booking
- Appointment Setting
And this is just a start. For a full list of services that you can offer as a VA, check out this post.
Maybe you have grand aspirations of being a full-time blogger or running some kind of other online business.
Virtual Assistance is a great launching pad to that. It’s a way to bring in quick money by providing a service. For many people, virtual assistance allows them the income to put into building another online business like coaching, blogging, creating online courses, or creating an online store.
I started my virtual assistant business in 2015, as a way to stay at home with my kiddos.
I mean… who wouldn’t want to stay home with these cuties?
At the time, I was scouring the internet daily, looking for opportunities that would yield real results and allow me to actually make money from home.
Finding a whole lot of nothing, mostly.
One day, my friend Nicole mentioned that she had a friend who was a virtual assistant and it sounded like something that could be right up my alley.
That night, I think I read every article ever written about becoming a virtual assistant.
And… I launched my business that next day.
(I’m not one to wait to do things I’m excited for!).
It was crazy, y’all. Within one month I had sold out my services. Within four months I had four subcontractors working under me.
Not only was I working from home on my own terms – I was actually making money while I was at the park with my kid because of the subcontractors I had hired to help me.
Fast forward a bit and I was able to pass the clients I was working with on to my subcontractors because I landed my DREAM client, and I only worked 20 hours a week.
That client alone provided me with more than I was making working with subcontractors under me. My husband was able to work towards quitting his job (which he DID! #goals) and I was able to help provide financial security for my family.
Working for my dream client freed up time for me to launch my passion project- The Virtual Savvy. Now, I no longer do client work at all. Instead, I help other virtual assistants launch and grow their business from scratch.
It’s the most rewarding job in the world. My team and I get messages and emails like this on a daily basis:
Yeah… I may cry when stories like this come in. #noshame
It’s my passion to help other women find the freedom and flexibility that can come from starting their own online business.
Let me tell you – this can work.
You can make money from home!
It takes persistence and some grueling hours up front, but it’s totally possible.
You can read more stories from our amazing students here!
So… Where do you find clients?
The biggest objection I get when telling people about virtual assistance is “How would I even find people to hire me!?”.
I’m glad you asked : )
One of my favorite places to find clients for your Virtual Assistant business is through Facebook.
To find clients on Facebook, do these three things:
- Join 30+ entrepreneurial groups.
- Make yourself visible. Show up every day and let people know who you are and what services you can provide.
- Follow up. When someone posts about needing a Virtual Assistant or VA – send them a Facebook message and SHOW them what you can do. Send examples, do some research on their business and suggest ways you can help them.
In addition to Facebook, there’s a few other places where you can find your first client:
- Message Business Owners on LinkedIn
- Search on Upwork or Fiverr
- Go to live networking or Meetup Groups
- Friends and Family (check out our personal outreach template!)
- Cold Pitching Online Biz Owners via email or Facebook
- Cold Pitching Physical Biz Owners via door-to-door
- Referrals – ask those you know who they know…
Let me tell you – getting that first client is the biggest battle. Once you get over that first milestone – it’s downhill from there.
You start to realize, “Hey… I can really do this! Someone will pay me for the services I have to offer!”.
How much can you really make?
The starting rate for a virtual assistant can range anywhere from $10-$50.
I know – that’s a crazy difference.
Most of our students start their services at no lower than $18 per hour.
Here’s a guide on how to set your rates as a virtual assistant!
Here’s a quick guide to what our students generally charge:
If you have general Admin, Design, or Marketing Skills (data entry, social media posting, simple graphics, basic calendar management, etc) the going rate is $25 – $40 per hour.
If you have Advanced Skills (Creating graphics, WordPress Edits, Writing Optimized Content, Course Creation, etc.) you can easily charge $30 – $50 per hour.
If you have Specialized Skills (Web Design, SEO, Building Landing Pages, Social Media Strategy, Infusionsoft, etc) your rates should be no lower than $50 per hour. You can go up from there as needed.
If you need help choosing your rate, click here.
So – the question remains… how much can you make?
That, my friend – is up to you.
How many hours can you commit to the business?
If you can work 40 hours a week and charge $30 an hour – you’ll be bringing in about $4,800 a month pre-tax.
If you leverage subcontractors, you can work 30 hours a week at $30 an hour and pay a subcontractor $15 an hour for 30 hours a week (while you still charge $30 to your client).
In this case, you would be bringing in $1,350 per week, or $5,400 per month pre-tax.
Increase the number of subcontractors you use, raise your rate, or introduce high-end packages and you can easily scale your business to bring in 5k-10k every single month.
Do I need special skills to become a virtual assistant?
When I first started my virtual assistant business, I literally knew NONE of the skills that I now know.
I came into my business with a willing attitude and determination…
… and the ability to watch YouTube videos really well.
Seriously though – there’s this little thing called the internet and I swear – I’ve learned more from taking online courses and watching tutorial videos than I did from getting a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree.
Don’t tell my alma mater…
I’m not telling you to position yourself as an expert in something if you are not. Start by choosing services that you already know how to do. Then, pick a few that you would like to learn how to do.
If a potential client asks you to do something that you don’t know how – be honest.
Here’s what I would usually say when this came up…
“Honestly, I haven’t used that program before but I am familiar with it. I would love to learn it, as it will help me out by improving my skills. I won’t charge you for time that I spend learning a new software”.
85% of the time, potential clients were super happy with this answer and hired me anyway.
The more clients you get, the more your experience will grow.
Promise me this – don’t let the fear of not being an expert stop you from getting out there and getting clients for what you DO know how to do!
How much does it cost to start a VA business?
Here’s one of the reasons I love introducing women to virtual assistance…
It is one of the most LOW COST businesses you can start!
Seriously – you literally can get your first client and start working for FREE.
Here’s a glance of some of the expenses you may (eventually) want to invest in:
- VA Toolbox– All the contracts and templates you need to start your business.
- The SavvySystem – A complete step-by-step course that teaches you how to start and grow a VA business from scratch.
- The SavvyVault – Our online tech training library. There are currently over 50 tech courses, and we add at least one each month!
- A logo – Although I teach you how you can make a free one here.
- A website – We recommend Squarespace!
- Accounting and Invoicing Software – We recommend Dubsado!
- Making your business an LLC- Costs vary by state. My friend Danielle answers your legal questions here.
- Trademarking – My fave website for this is Trademarkia.
While it’s not technically an “expense” – this is a good time to remind you that you want to save enough of your income to pay about 30% back come tax time!
Like I said earlier – none of these are absolutely necessary when first starting your VA business. Get out there and get your first client. Then, as income starts coming in – start putting some of it into your business so it can grow more.
I want to do this. What are my next steps?
If you want a step-by-step guide to guide you through this process so you can make money from home as a virtual assistant, the SavvySystem is the best step for you.
Most students enrolled in The SavvySystem get their first client within the first 30 days of enrolling – which will often pay for the price of the course itself!
To go ahead and gear up for your business, I recommend taking the following steps:
- Choose a name for your VA Business
- Choose what services you are going to offer
- Set your Rates
- Land your first client
To help you out – I’m giving you full access to my “Sell Out Your Services” Swipe file. In it, you’ll get:
• A daily checklist/marketing plan to help you accomplish the goals listed here
• An editable copy of the email I used to get my first paying client
• A massive list of all the entrepreneurial groups I recommend joining
Ready to make money from home as a virtual assistant? Let’s build your VA business together!!!
Abbey Ashley is the Founder of The Virtual Savvy. She helps aspiring virtual assistants launch and grow their own at-home business from scratch. She's since gone on to grow a multi-six figure business and retire her husband ALL from her at-home business. It's now her passion to help others start their own VA business so they can taste the freedom and flexibility of entrepreneurship as well.
This free one-hour training combines thousands of hours of research, years of experience in growing a virtual assistant business!
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