Freelance Virtual assistant
Are you interested in becoming a freelancer, but you aren’t sure how to earn your money? You may consider whether or not you have the skills needed to become a virtual assistant.
Before we discuss the necessary skills, let’s first talk generally about working as a freelancer. There are many perks to working on your own, but there are drawbacks as well that you need to consider.
You probably have already thought about all the benefits of working as a freelancer. Once you have made a name for yourself you can choose your clients and rates. You can work from anywhere, including your kitchen table. You don’t waste time commuting, picking up dry cleaning, or attending staff meetings.
On the other hand, there are some drawbacks to working as a freelancer. You have to pay for your own benefits. You have no sick leave or vacation days. You have to pay self-employment tax, which includes the employee and the employer tax.
Besides fiscal considerations, there are emotional ones as well. You may love the idea of being able to avoid office drama and politics, but working as a freelancer can be a bit lonely at times. Even though you no longer have to attend staff meetings, you also don’t get invited to a Friday night “happy hour” either.
Of course, we don’t want to discourage you from becoming a freelancer. But we think it is important to know what you are getting into before you quit your day job.
Are you still interested? Great! Here’s what you need to know about becoming a freelance virtual assistant.
Necessary Skills to Become a Freelance Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants need to have an extremely wide array of skills to perform the duties of the job. You have to be an excellent communicator, technologically savvy, and have the ability to multitask.
More than anything else, you have to be trustworthy. As a virtual assistant, you may have access to an individual’s email account and website.
Here are some of the most common tasks that someone would expect to have completed by a virtual assistant:
Responding to emails
Offering customer support
Maintaining WordPress websites
Managing a schedule
Managing social media accounts
Making travel arrangements
You also have to be able to focus on tasks and work whatever hours are necessary. Working as a freelancer is not easy. If you aren’t working, you aren’t making money. It is definitely not the life for someone with a less-than-impressive work ethic.
How to Become a Freelance Virtual Assistant
Here are some general tips on how to become a freelance virtual assistant.
1. Find a mentor.
It is not necessary that you speak with a mentor before you start work as a virtual assistant, but it makes it a whole lot easier. Someone who has worked in the field will be able to give you practical pieces of advice on how to spot shady clients, how to handle taxes, and how to improve your skills that clients want you to have.
2. Obtain clients.
Of course, the most important step in becoming a freelance virtual assistant is to find clients. If you have worked as an executive assistant in the past, or if you have a lot of business contacts, you may be able to reach out to the people on your LinkedIn network to find your first clients.
If you don’t know a lot of people, you may find it necessary to become a member of a freelancing website, such as Fiverr or Upwork. There are benefits of working through a freelance website. You can apply for jobs that interest you, and the company acts as an intermediary if there are problems with a client.
The disadvantages of working through a freelance website is that there is a lot of competition. Until you build your profile, you may have to work at a low rate. Also, you have to pay to be a member of the website. You also have to pay a percentage of your earnings to the company as well.
3. Develop relationships.
Once you have found a few great clients who are willing to give you stellar reviews, you can increase the amount you earn for each job. Be careful to give your clients good, quality work as you increase in productivity.
After you have a little more experience, you may want to reach out to higher-paying clients. They will be more likely to hire someone with a proven track record.
Good luck with a career as a freelance virtual assistant.