Hey babe! I’m guessing the reason you’ve clicked on this article isn’t that you’re already totally killing it in your own VA business, but because you want to be.
You are aspiring to become a total badass #bossbabe, and we are totally here for it! All current and past boss ladies have been in a very similar place to where you are right now.
I, personally, was googling articles just like this one just over a year ago. I’m here today to help guide you, support and encourage you to chase your dreams, as is our amazing founder, Ms. Sarah Williams.
Now, let’s get down to business…
What exactly is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is a person who offers virtual services to other business owners in exchange for an agreed-upon fee.
I see ‘virtual assistant’ as, like, a topic, for example, publications. There are tonnes of genres of publications, and virtual assistance is the same.
What Does A Virtual Assistant Do?
The term virtual assistant covers a vast range of services; there are literally over 150 skills that a virtual assistant could offer, and it is really up to each particular virtual assistant, as to what they would like to offer.
What skills do you currently have, that you would enjoy putting into action in your future virtual assistance biz?
Depending on your skills and interests, you’re almost guaranteed to find something that will appeal to potential clients. Here are a few examples:
- Customer support
- Processing online orders and refunds
- Website design
- WordPress maintenance
- Graphic design and layout
- Calendar management and travel arrangements
- Content creation for blogs and ghostwriting
- Editing and proofreading
- Content research
- Keyword research
- Email management
- Data entry
- Creating sales pages
- Managing product launches
- Performing outreach
- Lead generation
- Editing videos
- Social media management
- Project management
- Community management and moderation
The list goes on and on!
How to Become a VA
I’m sure you’ve already googled this exact Q, I know I did, like, multiple times. There’s so much advice out there, and it’s easy to get lost within the articles and become overwhelmed really fast.
Rebel Office is here to make things easier for you, babe.
In order below are the five basic steps you need to follow:
Step #1 Choose your business structure
The four most common business structures in Australia are:
It’s important to understand the responsibilities of each structure because the structure you choose will affect the tax you’re liable to pay, asset protection and business costs.
In Australia, you are never locked into any structure and you can change the structure as both you and your business evolves.
If you’re uncertain which business structure would suit you best, we recommend you talk to your tax, business or legal adviser.
Every country will have different structures available, different laws, and taxes. It’s super important you take your time checking off all the boxes you need to, to help your business run as smoothly as possible.
Step #2 Decide which services you’ll offer your clients
Generally, when people think of virtual assistance services, the main things that come to mind are checking email, returning phone calls and managing their client’s calendar; just like, regular admin stuff.
As we discussed above, the virtual assistance you offer can totally be ‘just your regular admin stuff’, or, it can be whatever you want it to be.
I recommend starting this decision-making process by finding somewhere comfortable to sit, with a pen and paper, no time limit, and some soothing tunes.
Next, I want you to write down all the things that you are good at, work-wise, and actually enjoy.
Do you enjoy spreadsheet-ing things out?
Do you love being on the phone, helping customers with their questions? Or would you prefer to chill at home with just a coffee, your laptop, and some graphic design projects to work away at in your own time?
Once you have 2-3 things you are dead-set on offering clients, that you can totally envision yourself doing, you’re ready to start!
Remember, what you want to offer as a virtual assistant is totally up to you.
Step #3 Choose what you’re going to charge, and how
I seriously feel like at least once a week, or whenever I meet a new person in person or virtually, they ask me ‘how much does a virtual assistant make?’
I swear I never got asked questions like this when I was managing gyms or pulling all-nighters at my first full-time job in high school.
I think because the whole idea of virtual assistance is still very much ‘out of reach’ in many people’s minds.
Like, particularly in Australia, if your neighbours don’t see you leaving for work, or coming back from work during the week, they’re going to straight-up think you’re just a bludger receiving a pension.
None of my neighbours have ever asked me what I do, and they don’t make any effort to talk to me, even when I compliment their gardens or ask how their day is. But they will go out of their way to stop and chat with my husband (who they see leave and come back from work each day).
I know there are many people who love going to work and being in a busy office environment, but I also know there are even more people who would love to get out of that repetitive environment.
Becoming a digital nomad and working for yourself is a real option for you, and you can totally make the kind of money working remotely as you would if you were working in an office.
So, what amount of money is worth your time? (Kind of a trick question, but let’s just hop into a non-spiritually aware mindset for a sec.)
What would you like to be earning each month? Really think about this. You don’t want to be earning just enough to make ends meet, I want you to live in comfort, and I want you to want that for yourself too. You deserve it.
If you’re planning to charge hourly, you are trading your time for money so it is key to consider several important factors:
- You’re not an employee. You’re a subcontractor and in most countries, that means you have to pay and organize your own taxes.
- You are not entitled to receive any benefits from your clients (major bonus if you do) – no sick days, paid holiday leave, maternity leave, health insurance or superannuation to name a few.
- You’ll have outgoings to cover — like the cost of keeping your website up and running, office necessities, software subscriptions, etc.
What many virtual assistants do is calculate the usually paid wage of the tasks you are charging for, and inflate that value by at least 25%.
Step #4 Create your online presence
Babe, if you’re going to be working online, providing your virtual assistance from wherever in the world you’d like to, it only makes sense that you have an online presence.
When it comes to social media, I recommend focusing on 1-2 main platforms to start with; for example, IG + LinkedIn or FB + LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a fantastic place to find clients, so definitely focus on getting your brand on there.
I highly recommend joining groups on Facebook where you could potentially find your ideal clients. Use the power of social media and free advertising to build your brand, and get your name out there.
Step #5 Start pitching and networking
If you didn’t know this already, our Founder, Sarah Williams is a total pro at pitching and networking (I’m still learning the ropes tbh.) I highly recommend going and picking her brain about this particular topic!
The final and most important step towards launching a new VA business is, of course, finding your first few clients.
Getting from client number 0 to 3 takes a lot more work than getting from 3 to 6. Over time you will gain more exposure, confidence, and most likely some referrals too!
From experience, I can tell you, getting started is the hardest part. Once you book your first few clients, and as long as you stay consistent with your online presence, I can just about guarantee you will find your flow in the virtual world.
So, babes, we have come to the end of my 5-step list to getting started. I want you to keep the following in mind:
As virtual assistants, our main goal (apart from living the laptop and latte lifestyle), more often than not is to help our fellow fempreneurs grow their businesses, and it can be such a rewarding process. If you’re anything like me, you will always be aiming to provide as much value as possible.
But whilst doing your virtual assistance thang, you mustn’t let yourself forget that you are also building your own business. You need to make sure you are setting yourself clear boundaries, and working in a way that resonates with your #goals-worthy lifestyle.
If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. And if you haven’t already, check out our badass Resource Library at Rebel Office. It’s full of goodies and support to help you become the best fempreneur you can be, in the most direct, stress-free way.
Do you have more questions about becoming a virtual assistant?
Drop them in the comments section below and we will answer them!