Are you looking for a side hustle or business to start from the comfort of your home? Stay-at-home jobs seem like a pipe dream, but thanks to the internet, it’s possible to earn a decent living from home. One of the best options is to become a virtual assistant (VA) to an online or local business.
Finding stay-at-home jobs that require little experience and no advanced degree is a challenge. That is often not the case with becoming a virtual assistant. If you want to make money as a virtual assistant, this guide shares what you need to make money online.
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What Is a Virtual Assistant?
Many people don’t realize exactly what virtual assistants are and the services they offer. The definition of a virtual assistant is fairly vague, but basically, a VA is someone who performs online tasks for a business.
As a VA, you can put your skills to good use by helping businesses run smoothly. You’ll complete tasks that range from answering emails to basic accounting to social media management.
And you can do it all from your own home on your own schedule.
This may sound like most virtual assistant jobs are similar to being an executive assistant. While a VA can operate as an executive assistant, considerably more goes into the role.
A virtual assistant can do anything that doesn’t require their physical presence, though some work with clients in-person. No two virtual assistants are alike, and the money is in offering specialized services.
The work, and possibilities, as a virtual assistant are endless. This is especially the case if you and your spouse work together to increase your offerings.
Read our guide on other shared side hustles that let you work with your partner to earn more.
My favorite resource to grow a virtual administrative assistant career is the webinar, $10K VA. I discuss how the course works later in the post to help you offer virtual assistant services to clients.
How to Become a Virtual Assistant
There are no secret tricks to get started as a virtual administrative assistant. However, following a few basic steps puts you in the best position possible to secure work.
Here are the steps you want to follow to work from home as a virtual assistant with no experience.
Determine the Structure of Your Business
When looking to become a virtual assistant, it’s important to do your research. You don’t have to spend much time on this step because on-the-job training and learning is always better but take the time to determine the structure of your business.
Before starting, establish if this will be a side hustle, or if you plan on replacing your full-time job as a virtual assistant. You’ll also need to do research for your city, state, and country, to learn what you need to file to run your side hustle or business legally.
For example, in my state, I only needed to file a Doing Business As (DBA) and register with the state to pay quarterly taxes. Some states may require you to file to be an LLC or to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Because locations vary, and even counties and cities, make sure you follow up with the correct party to make sure you’re legally, and financially, covered.
Start a Website
You will perform most of your work as a VA online. As you get started as a virtual office assistant it’s good to start a simple website to promote your services.
This provides a place for potential clients to contact you, not to mention accolades received from previous and current clients. The site doesn’t have to be complex, merely a professional face to your business.
Bluehost is an excellent choice to create a website and they can help you launch the site with a few clicks. Don’t overlook using social media to promote your business and direct businesses to your website.
Decide on Your Services and Pricing
Once you’ve figured out legalities and launched a site, it’s time to decide on what you will offer and charge. Even if you’re trying to become a virtual assistant with no experience this is a crucial step to consider as you want to set yourself apart.
This helps ensure you’re offering services that are valuable to prospective clients.
What Services to Offer
Virtual administrative assistants can offer any number of services. Here are just a few of the services that you can provide as a VA:
- Customer service: via online chat, email, text, etc.
- Email management
- Online personal assistant services: booking flights, setting appointments, etc.
- Email marketing
- Social media scheduling
- Blog post writing
- WordPress management
- E-commerce: writing product descriptions, customer service, listing items, etc.
- Facebook Group management
- And more…
There are dozens of services that you can offer as a part of VA jobs, and the above are just a few. Not sure what they all are? That’s okay!
You could begin with just about anything. If you want to learn new skills and build your service offerings, you could always take cheap online courses on a site like Udemy.
You can also take a course to help you learn how to grow your VA business.
My favorite course to learn how to grow your business is $10K VA, run by my friend Kayla Sloan. The course walks you step-by-step through how to become a virtual assistant.
The course offers numerous helpful ways to grow your business, including:
- Learning what a virtual assistant is
- The services you can offer
- How much to charge
- How to pitch to new clients
You also receive access to worksheets and documents, including a contract (that every new client should have), and email templates.
Kayla Sloan, the creator of $10K VA, started as a virtual assistant herself and built a six-figure business before creating her course. In it, she includes everything that she wanted and needed to know when she first started as a virtual assistant five years ago.
She created the course with newbies in mind. Courtney Seabert, a student of the course, has this to say: “$10K VA was helpful in so many ways! I definitely learned something new in each lesson. There was a lot of stuff that I hadn’t even thought of on my own. I probably never would have put anything into motion had I not taken the course.”
While you don’t have to take a course to become a virtual assistant, a course like $10K VA can be invaluable in helping launch your business.
How Much to Charge
Before you start looking for part-time virtual assistant jobs from home, you need to decide how much to charge your clients.
You need to keep several things in mind when determining your rate. Because you’re a contractor, you have to pay for your own taxes – which is specific to your situation.
You’ll also have to pay for any and all overhead, like technology, online tools, a co-working space, and other items.
While you can become a VA for no money at all, you’ll likely incur costs. It’s best to set aside a small portion of your income to pay for expenses related to your business (such as technology and continuing education) so you can pay for them as they arise.
How Much Does a Virtual Assistant Make?
As with any work-from-home job, you need to determine how much you can make. In running your own business, you need to decide what price point to charge for your services.
As a new VA, you can expect to make in the range of $15 per hour. Depending on your location or skills, you can expect to increase that to $20 or so per hour.
If you have online experience or have a specialty that’s in high demand, like IT or software development, you may be able to charge upwards of $30+ per hour.
Regardless if you charge $20 or $30 per hour, you can easily earn $100 a day online with a bit of focus.
It all depends on your skill set, what you have to offer, and availability. It’s not unheard of to make high five figures to six figures per year as a virtual assistant.
If you’re willing to put in the work, being a VA can be a well-paying job. As you add new skill sets to your repertoire you can earn even more.
Read our review of other $20 an hour jobs if being a VA isn’t for you.
How to Find VA Work
Do you want to know how to find virtual assistant jobs, but don’t know where to start? Finding VA jobs works like finding any other job online, but with a twist.
It’s possible to have multiple clients, but you may also have just one client. You need to determine which model you plan to follow while looking for jobs.
You can use social media, such as Facebook groups to let people know you’re looking for VA jobs. Beyond that, you can use one of the following job sites to find VA jobs:
- Career Builder
- FlexJobs (use the code “JOBS” to receive a 50 percent discount)
Read our review of FlexJobs to learn more about that job search tool.
Don’t overlook cold calling local businesses to see if they need virtual assistance. You can also cold pitch directly to potential businesses and people that you admire and want to work with.
If you see an entrepreneur talking about how stressed and overworked they are, send them an email and let them know you can help.
If you notice a business needing social media help, offer that as a service and pitch your business to them.
Getting yourself noticed and making connections can be rather simple to accomplish.
Networking is truly the key when you’re trying to become a virtual assistant. Getting your name and services out there, and building up a clientele, is the number one way that you can continue to build your side hustle, even if you don’t have a huge skill set.
While becoming a virtual assistant isn’t hard or expensive, it takes time and effort on your part to grow it as a sustainable side hustle or business. There are many different ways to become a virtual assistant, multiple services you can offer, and out of the box ways to get new clients.
However, to land part-time virtual assistant jobs, all you need is a little grit, an internet connection, and some free time to build a great, and possibly lucrative, side hustle.
What services would you be able to offer as a VA? How much money would you need to earn to quit your job and work from home? What makes you apprehensive about working online?
Kim Suazo has been a freelance writer and business owner for over four years. When she's not writing for Frugal Rules, you can find her on other publications like Chime, Discovery, and Due. She also owns her own websites The Entrepremomer and Part-Time Profit, where she teaches overworked moms how to streamline their new businesses so they can scale without a team.