The term virtual assistant wasn’t even heard of three decades ago, yet these days, many businesses and/or individuals couldn’t live without them.
Thanks to advancements of the internet in the 1990s, virtual assistants, or VAs, came into existence. High speed internet, the ability to document share and multiple other apps that are built around business needs have made it possible for people to work remotely. Here’s why being a VA has opened so many doors and is the perfect side hustle from home.
1. Why is a VA Such a Popular Gig These Days?
It is hard to define the role of a VA, as they essentially can do anything – there are no limits on the position. With the rise of online businesses in the past few decades, the need for external help is also in demand, and work relationships are no longer confined to an office place.
Unlike your typical office assistant, a VA can cover much more than just admin work, such as marketing, social media, sales, design and more. The more skills you are, the more desirable you will be to a client, so it always helps to spread your wings. Of course, some people choose to specialize in particular areas. For example, a bookkeeper VA will do all these tasks, but only for bookkeeper clients, developing their niche.
The role of a VA is essentially a support one that is extremely widespread. You are helping someone else’s business or someone else’s side hustle and letting them guide you into what they need done.Virtual Assistants are skilled assets that organize your chaos and help keep you on the path of professional sanity. #SideHustle #VirtualAssistants Click To Tweet
2. Do I Need Qualifications?
While there are multiple courses out there you can undertake (just do a quick Google search), your skillset and experience is essentially what will make you stand out as an expert VA in the industry. Let’s face it, anyone can market themselves online these days, so you need to stand out above the rest.
One of the most important qualities of a VA is communication. Tasks pop up in businesses all the time and it is hard to plan for them, so a VA is needed to be ‘on-call’ ready to receive and act on this at any time. If you aren’t great at responding to emails or answering regular phone calls then you may need to rethink whether this work is for you.
Here is a brief rundown of some of the skills expected of a VA:
– Experience in Word, Excel and Google spreadsheets
– Available to answer emails
– Data entry
– Calendar management
– Booking travel
– Website maintenance
– Typing and grammar skills
– Administration skills
– Social media skills
3. Pros Vs. Con
Pro: Working from home
Obviously one of the biggest pros is being able to work from the comfort of your home. There is no need to fight peak hour traffic day in and day out, and you can also hold other side hustles at the same time.
Con: Not as much flexibility
Unlike many other freelance jobs, however, it is harder to choose your hours. You need to be available when your client needs you and to get tasks done in a timely manner. This means it offers less flexibility than other side hustles.
4. What Kind of Money Can I Make?
How long is a piece of string? Firstly, you have to decide whether you want to make it on your own, or if you are looking to work for a VA site like some of the ones listed here.
If you are choosing to work for yourself, then your best bet is to start building out a portfolio. Offer out your services for a cheap price to start out, or help out a friend with their business. All it takes is some glowing reviews and a great skillset to have you on your way. You also need to decide if you are going to specialize in a particular niche, such a real estate, or cover it all. Many VAs working for themselves charge between $20 to $40 an hour, however this can go up to $100 depending on your skillset.
If you are choosing to go through a VA site, take a look at what they charge their clients and how much of this is passed onto to you at the end. Some sites change per month for a number of tasks, while others sell a block of monthly hours to buyers. Do your research and look at what works for you. The bonus of signing up to one of these sites, is that you don’t have to seek out the work, it will come to you, which can save a lot of time, so make sure you factor this into your decision.
The term virtual assistant wasn’t even heard of three decades ago,
5. Where to Find Your VA Side Hustle
Once again, this one depends on whether you have decided to go it alone or to sign up to one of the VA sites.
If you are going it alone, then you are likely to land yourself a variety of one-off gigs for different companies. You can look for work on the following sites.
It’s important to note you are competing with people around the world, and some offer their services for a lot less than you would be willing to go (think $3 an hour). You need to make sure your skillset and experience stands out! Focus on gigs looking for people based in your area – this will provide you with a built in competitive advantage.
Think you have what it takes to be a VA? The best thing to do is launch yourself into it and give it a go. There is so much scope for the work of a VA and the freedom of working from home is a big bonus.
Start by writing down what skillsets you have, where you need to brush up, and put yourself out there. You may find this type of work becomes addictive and you have found yourself a new passion in the process.