How to Become A Virtual Assistant

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor October 9th, 2015 Posted in Inspiration and Love Stories, Travel Blog 9 Comments

On Becoming A Virtual Assistant

Everyone has his own set of skills. I am not sure if I am the right person to write about this topic, but I will write based on my experience anyway. A virtual career depends on what services one can offer to a client. Being a virtual assistant, specifically, calls for different sets of skills. Everything starts with honing one’s administrative and technical skills.

Few months ago, I wrote the article “How I Started Being a Digital Nomad” and the “Different Kind of Digital Nomads”. I started low just to get my online experiences. Eventually, I was able to raise my hourly payment. As a freelance, I can switch from one client to another.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant is an entrepreneur who provides professional assistance to business owners. Business owners may need help in creative writing (blogging, ghostwriting), technical (editing, WordPress setup), administrative (data entry, web research) and a lot more. It really depends on what the client needs.

After quitting my office job, I decided to give this career a try. As a virtual assistant, I work at home with my desktop computer (which I eventually upgraded to a laptop for the advancement of my digital nomad life), and communications are done via email, IM and Skype.

You will most likely never meet your clients as they may be in a different country with a different time zone, or probably just in town for a couple of weeks. I’d say that as an advantage – you don’t have to meet them face to face. All information and instructions will be sent via email and you can start working on them in your own personal space.

Know and Acquire Skills

1. Word processing skills

I learned to type using a typewriter before I went to high school, so, by the time I was in front of the computer keyboard I have fast typing skills of at least 60 words per minute. As a virtual assistant, possessing good word processing skills like data entry and typing is important.

2. Computer skills is a must

Having strong computer skills is a must because the work is obviously done on computer. You have to be proficient in using Microsoft Office tools such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher. I learned this when I was in high school.

3. Strong communication skills

As same as working in an office where it is important to have strong communication skills to communicate with our superiors, we also have to communicate effectively to our clients through speaking and writing.

4. Strong writing skills

Most of the communication is done through email, IM or Skype so it is needed that you have strong writing skills. If you are not confident about your writing skills, you may opt to sign up for online courses about basic writing. You can also look for a local community college that will help you improve your writing skills. I am not a good writer myself but I started blogging to improve.

5. Strong organizational skills

You may possibly have several clients at once, so organization and efficiency are two important skills. Set a time when you should be working for client number one, number two, etcetera. You need time management.

6. Being technologically and internet savvy

You need to know how to access the internet, use the email and do research online if needed. There are instances that your client may need you to update their business websites.

You must also know how to use fax (if needed for work), use Skype and other instant messaging platforms. Keep up-to-date with the latest trends in social media applications and tools that may be essential for you and your clients.

7. Being motivated

Motivation is essential in becoming a successful virtual assistant. You need to wake up early in the morning and get ready for work. As for me, virtual assistance gives me so much freedom – and that in turn makes me motivated to travel.

8. The love of learning new skills

As a virtual assistant, I am always open to new challenges of learning new skills from my client. In some instances, I learn them from fellow VA’s. I also make time to do self-study and learn new skills through seminars or by joining forums.

If you have the experience of working in the office, chances are you already possess most of these skills. If you don’t have the skills needed, you can learn them and improve your skills as you work.

Acquire the tools you need

You need a computer, an internet connection and an email account. You need Skype, Dropbox and Google Drive for sharing and storing files; Paypal to connect it with your bank account for receiving salary, project management software, etcetera.

You can start setting up your online presence by creating a website, a blog and other social networking profiles.

Getting your first client

As I’ve mentioned from a previous article I wrote here at Two Monkeys Travel about the different kinds of digital nomads, you can find jobs at Upwork, Elance and Virtual Staff Finder. As for me, I got my first VA job through a referral.

Is there anything you can add on becoming a Virtual Assistant? For experienced VA, what tips and advice you can give for those who are starting out?

Monkey DividersAbout the Author

Different Kinds of Digital NomadRoxanne M. Tamayo is the blogger and photographer behind iTravelRox. She is an aspiring digital nomad and a volunteer, among others. Her one-country-a-year travel started in September 2013, until she got the idea of solo backpacking during her trip to Palawan in September 2014. The rest of the story is ever progressing.

Monkey Dividers

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9 thoughts on “How to Become A Virtual Assistant

  1. Loved the content. I believe that there’s a place for everyone in the VA industry. Personally, motivation and the love of learning new things would be on my top 2 list. Great article!

  2. Plenty of tips for those who want to start their career as VAs. Earn money while at home (earn a lot of money as your income will depend solely to your capacity and skills), sometimes you can also have the privilege of working during your own hours. Great job on writing these blog. I will definitely bookmark this for future reference.

  3. Hello. Im Len Dagatan and will turn 53yo in a couple of days. I really love to travel but of course need to always consider my financial capability. I am interested to be a VA but dont know how and where to start. I worked in an office for 17years and decided to quit for my growing up boys. Now that they have their own life i can do my own thing as well but need a jobto do it. Please help me and will really appreciate it. Thanks a lot and thanks for this helpful i nformatio .

  4. Great tips, Roxanne. I actually started working as VA at Online Jobs PH and it was a bit crazy as I lack some essential preparations and tools. Thanks to my hubby who patiently taught me everything he knew about SEO and image editing/banners creation thing. One thing I like about being a VA is I always have free time and I can look after my kids while working.

    1. Hi Jenefer,

      Indeed working as a VA with kids is really a convenient job. You are so lucky coz you’re husband is really supportive and knows about SEO and image editing. You are so blessed. 🙂

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