How to Become a Virtual Assistant
Since starting Upsource, the most common question we get (after What is a Virtual Assistant?) is: How can I become a Virtual Assistant?
We get it, it’s the dream job! Flexible working hours, no commute, working with endlessly inspiring small businesses and entrepreneurs.
To help you get started and set up your brand new Virtual Assistant business, we’ve put together a few FAQs to give you some pointers. Let us know if we’ve missed anything!
How can I start a Virtual Assistant Business with no experience?
Although starting out as a Virtual Assistant, you might not have any formal experience working remotely, you have a whole range of experience and skills from your previous careers. You are an expert in something, where you are most experienced, and most passionate, is a great starting point for the kinds of services you could provide as a Virtual Assistant.
The Virtual Assistant industry is so broad that it essentially covers any service that you can offer remotely – be that admin, bookkeeping, social media management or process management. So play to your strengths! And on the other hand, just because you have experience in a service, it doesn’t mean that you have to offer it. You’re the boss!
What foundations do I need to create a successful Virtual Assistant business?
As in any field, to be successful, it’s really important to set up your VA business with strong foundations. That means making sure you’re registered with HMRC, the ICO (if you’re UK based), you have the right kind of insurance, you have your pricing structure sorted and you have contracts ready for all your new clients to sign.
Then it’s the same combination of hard work, relationship building and magic as you need in any industry!
How can I find clients for my startup Virtual Assistant business?
Your experience and the services you’re able to provide will help decide who your target client base will be. If you have a background in the travel industry, it makes sense for you to target businesses in that industry. It’s easier to market yourself when you’re talking to a specific group of people, whether that’s in terms of the industry they are in, or the problem that you can solve. The clearer you are on who your client is and how you can help them, the easier it will be to find clients and help them see that you’re a great match for them.
Where can I find Virtual Assistant jobs?
There are lots of different ways to find customers for your new VA business. A great way to publicise your business and find clients is by networking. Start telling all your friends, family, acquaintances and toxic exes about your new business, what services you provide and for what industry. Ask them if they know anyone that might need help, tell them to spread the word. Start talking about your new VA business on social media, join VA Facebook and LinkedIn groups, industry groups and service provider groups. You can approach businesses directly and ask if they need help, or you can join a Collective like Upsource and start building your portfolio as an associate.
Do I need training to become a Virtual Assistant?
You don’t need any formal training to become a Virtual Assistant, although there are many courses out there that will help you in setting up your business. As VAs tend to offer services based on their already established skill set, you just need to get started! However, at Upsource we pride ourselves on constantly upskilling, and learning new systems, tools, softwares and skills.
How can I build a successful Virtual Assistant business?
Once you’ve launched your new business it can be really easy to get caught up in client work. But it’s really important not to forget that you are also a small business owner! To become really successful you’ll need to balance your paid client work with working on your business, whether that’s upskilling, working on your marketing strategy or doing your admin. Of course, you could always outsource (Upsource!) some of those tasks.
There are some amazing resources out there for new and established VAs. The Society of Virtual Assistants is a great place to start, with advice on everything from choosing your business name, to training and equipment.
Virtual Assistants are by nature a collaborative bunch; we love working with different people across different projects, so we understand the importance of networking. One of the best things you can do to establish yourself as a VA is talk to other VAs! Join Facebook groups, speak to as many VAs as you can, let us know what your skill set is.
A mentor can also be a game changer. Someone who has been there, done that, and can give you some sage, hard won, advice. Amanda from VACT has been key in Upsource’s growth, and also offers training.
Here at Upsource we love meeting and working with new Virtual Assistants. If you’re getting started and are interested in associate work, get in touch.