What Is A Virtual Assistant?

What is a virtual assistant?

If you are CURRENTLY a virtual assistant, you are probably well familiar with this question!

Did you know…. that once you learn something, you lose the ability to remember what it was like to not know it?

This is called the “Curse of Knowledge.” Don’t feel bad – it happens to everyone. It’s like, you can’t just open with a punchline without first providing the setup.

As a Virtual Assistant, have you ever caught blank stares – or, worse – wandering eyes from people when you’re talking to them about your Virtual Assistant business?

As a Virtual Assistant, it’s YOUR job to help clients reverse their curse of knowledge when running their business or speaking to customers. However, we can fall prey to the same curse if we’re not careful.

I wrote this post to act as the setup to your punchline – to give you words that help explain to your clients (and family and friends) what a Virtual Assistant actually IS.

Today, we’re going back to the basics. Elementary, my dear Watson.

But first, check out this quick video I recorded to give you
a bit more insight into
“What is a Virtual Assistant?”

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A Virtual Assistant is a professional who offers services to clients virtually.

Virtual Assistance is best understood as an umbrella term. Under the umbrella of Virtual Assistance exist an incredible number of services. There are even specialists inside of each service. For example, Virtual Assistance covers the service of Social Media, which in turn covers specialists like Pinterest Managers or Facebook Ads Managers.

This umbrella covers administrative, creative, design, financial, management, marketing, personal, social, or technical skills, among others!

Some virtual assistants may offer a variety of services, and some may choose just to specialize in one or two services.

Virtual Assistants can also choose to “niche down” by industry, like the wedding, construction, or photography industries.

They may have a range of services or one specific service.

Their services may change over time.

They may call themselves a Virtual Assistant or something else.

As you can see, there are a LOT of nuances – but all in all…

If you’re working remotely and providing a service to another business owner, your business technically falls under the Virtual Assistant umbrella.

What Services Can I Offer as a Virtual Assistant?

If you’re reading this and are interested in possibly starting a virtual assistant business, I’m glad you are here!

If you’re just starting out and you feel like you don’t have anything to offer – think again. You ABSOLUTELY do!

(Trust me – I’ve been around Virtual Assistance for a long time.)

Some of my first tasks as a VA were simple. I performed tasks like data entry, email/calendar management, appointment setting phone calls, and customer service emails. You can learn more advanced skills in the future, but you can start TODAY with what you already know. If you already have a competitive skill, like web design, graphics, or Facebook ads, that gives you an even bigger edge in the VA world.

If you’re still stuck on ideas, here is a list of the 30 most common services offered by virtual assistants:

  1. Email Management
  2. Calendar Management
  3. Customer Service (email or phone)
  4. Content Creation (blog posts)
  5. Email Newsletters
  6. Video Editing
  7. Sales Funnels
  8. Facebook Ads
  9. Graphic Design
  10. Web Design
  11. Custom Sales Page Creation
  12. Social Media Management
  13. Community Management
  14. SEO Services
  15. Webinar Setup and Assistance
  16. Proofreading
  17. Editing
  18. Transcription
  19. Data Entry
  20. Billing and/or Processes
  21. Internet Research
  22. Responding to Blog Comments
  23. Maintaining an Editorial Calendar
  24. Ghostwriting
  25. Social Media Graphics
  26. Ebook Content and Design
  27. Accounting and/or Bookkeeping
  28. Affiliate Management
  29. Branding Services
  30. PR / Press Releases

(Pssst… Check out this post for more services to offer as a VA – 101 to be exact!)

Don’t feel like you have to learn everything there is to know before you begin working with clients. Your business exists to fill a need – which may simply be getting email and calendar out of the way for a client. This is a basic skill that anyone can do. All business owners need customer service. You can literally get paid to be nice to people all day! 🙂

Most clients are willing to train the right person for the job. Don’t let fear hold you back when it comes to offering services as a Virtual Assistant.

What are Virtual Assistant Rates?

I recommend all Virtual Assistants begin with an hourly rate (or package their services by hourly increments). The reason I say this is because most new Virtual Assistants won’t be familiar with how long a certain task may take. The hourly rate protects both parties from spending too much time or too much money on tasks that take longer or shorter than expected.

The hourly rate also helps you, the Virtual Assistant, have more control over which services you offer to which clients. Remember – it’s your business, your schedule, your rates, and your rules.

For a more in-depth look at setting your rates, check out this blog post:
How to Set Your Rates as a Virtual Assistant

I highly recommend all Virtual Assistants start their hourly rate at $25/hour MINIMUM. Remember, Virtual Assistants are self-employed, which means almost 30% of all income will go to taxes. After covering your own health insurance and vacation time, that $25/hour starts to break down very quickly.

If you have some specialized skills, you can charge more for your services – think tech or design.

As a general rule, I see most virtual assistants start their rate in the $25-$30 per hour range.

As they become more advanced in their craft, they raise their rates to $30-$50 per hour to keep up with client demand. Once they become an expert in a certain subject (like Facebook Ads or Pinterest Management), they charge $50+ per hour for their services.

On the plus side, a Virtual Assistant business is one of the most low-cost business options available. There is little to no overhead, and you can get started today using equipment you most likely already have at home.

You literally only need two things to start:

  • A laptop or desktop computer
  • A reliable wi-fi connection

How do I get started?

After you’ve answered the question, “What is a Virtual Assistant”, most people want to know “How can I become one!?”

Remember, when you start your own VA business, you are an independent contractor.

That means you get to choose your own hours.

You get to choose when and where you work.

You choose your rate and what services you offer.

It may seem overwhelming to figure out how to do all of that on your own.

Don’t fret, dearie. We’ve got you covered.

We lay out how to get you started TODAY in the VA Checklist and Starter Kit. We show you exactly how to set up the business side of things.

The very next step (if you’re ready to get started!) is to download the VA Checklist and Starter Kit.

Let’s launch that virtual assistant business, shall we?

 

 

 

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