The virtual assistant world is a gigantic online world, where there is a huge room of opportunities for virtual assistant’s career growth and unlimited learning and a marketplace to outsource resources for business development. A virtual assistant is an individual who is working independently at own space, whether at home or a shared-rented space. This is basically outside the common office-based set- up, wherein you are the one who will provide you resources such as your own computer equipment, internet line, and other work- related tools.
The necessity of virtual assistants is very essential in the following fields: customer service, medical, real state, advertisement and a lot more. A virtual assistant must be specialized in at least one area of expertise that is suitable for client’s specifications. One of the most common qualification is being fluent in the English language, because you will be working remotely, this means that your client might be anywhere around the globe. Another thing that you must possess is to be an internet savvy, especially if you will be working on research or writing.
If you decided to work as a virtual assistant, first, ask yourself these questions:
Are you the type of person who loves working at the comfort of your home even if you may find a lot of distractions especially if you have small children around the house?
Are you willing to set aside a lot of things like traditional 9-5 office set-up, travelling, packed lunches, regular monthly meetings, office mates hang-outing, and social life?
Are you fond of multi-tasking activities and always ready to take up new challenges?
If you answered yes to all, then, you are good to go to start a career as a virtual assistant. But, where to start? Here are some things that you need to understand first:
First, you must determine your goals. Discover the things that make you happy, because happiness takes a big part in your goal and you will be more willing to persist on the things that makes you happy even if you failed many times. If you succeed without happiness, it’s like an empty jar full of regrets. For example, writing makes you happy- so engage in writing, set up some goals like “I will be a known writer in just 5 years from now” or “I want to make an e-book that sells like pancakes”. Then, after discovering what makes you happy, make sure that your goals are achievable, realistic and measurable. This will help you track your way of reaching your goals. You can make short term goals that will contribute in achieving your long term goals. Always put focus on your goals, focus will help a lot in achieving your goals, no matter how big the obstacle are, you will still push through because of focus.
Know the cost, if you already have the equipment to start with, then, no need to worry about the starting cost. But, you must also consider the cost when you are establishing your career as a virtual assistant. At first, you may not get a full time job so this means that you are going to be a freelance. Are you willing to start as a freelance? It may be challenging to get clients that will trust you as you start, so, calculate the costs, you may be earning lower than your usual job but this may only take a few months.
It is recommended that you work on a particular niche so clients will be able to recognize your expertise. For example, your niche is real estate, then this means that you are working with real estate companies or clients, plus you are knowledgeable in appointment setting, customer service, writing and a lot more. Niche allows you to work on what you like, if you like a certain thing, then you will continue learning. Pursue the things that you are good at, then learn the things that you still don’t know. It is nice to have a particular niche, but, it is very rewarding to be familiarize with other niches, especially if you are aiming to create a virtual assistant business.
The online market is a very competitive place, you have to be fair with your rate, especially if you are just a newbie. The rate could be charged as by the project or by the hour depending on your client. Your rate grows higher depending on your level of expertise, do not undersell yourself, the client is more willing to pay you extra if you have a job well done. Aside from rate, you need to get off your shell and exposed yourself. Know how to market yourself, use social media and create your network, you can find a lot of groups on social media that can be very helpful. You can also make a personal blog so that you can make it as a reference for your clients’ evaluation.
When people heard of virtual assistants, the first thing that comes to their mind is “part-timers that don’t build their career”. Well, this is a misconception from a lot of people that doesn’t know about the virtual world. When you work as a virtual assistant, you are the one who is going to build your own career path. There is a promising career that awaits you, all you need to do is to be persistent. You are your own boss, you are the one who will recognize promotions and the one that will be responsible in promoting oneself. As you understand these things and decided to work as a virtual assistant, once you go on to the starting point, there is no turning back and the only way is to level up.