Virtual assistants are in great demand these days. Businesses and even individuals are turning to freelancers for services instead of working with offline employees because of the many benefits associated with such people. If you are therefore thinking of delving into the world of online virtual assistants, you can be assured that there are many job opportunities that will enable you to cater for yourself and pay your bills. Just like any other job, virtual assistant jobs require one to be adequately prepared before they can work effectively. But the good news is that you can start out as a beginner and quickly learn the ropes along the way to expertise and skill. Most of those working as freelance virtual assistants actually got their training while doing the job. The only thing you need is the willingness to learn and ability to pay attention to details. This write-up is intended to provide some effective tips that you can use in landing yourself some good online virtual assistant jobs.
Why virtual assistant jobs?
Virtual assistant jobs are among the many freelance jobs available on the internet today. The reason for their growing popularity is their ability to provide income while allowing one to enjoy the freedom of working at their convenience. The major challenge with the 8-to-5 jobs is that the worker hardly gets the time off from work to do own stuff or improve themselves. Freelance work, of which virtual assistants is part, grants you the unique opportunity of adjusting your work schedule so that you have time for family, leisure and other important activities. And the fact that you will be doing something you love and being paid for it will make it even more enjoyable.
Research has shown that about 40% of freelance workers are millennials. Millennials are known for embracing work patterns that are quite contrary to the traditional work model. This implies that as time goes by, many more people are going to take up freelance work as their primary means of earning a livelihood. And this realization has caused many companies to start adjusting their workforce towards dealing more with such employees. You are therefore guaranteed numerous job opportunities if you take up online virtual assistant work as a career.
What skills do you need?
Freelance virtual assistant work is very varied. So varied that a virtual assistant can do virtually anything. An online virtual assistant basically is the traditional personal assistant but working from a remote location. They are able to offer support services to individuals, businesses, and institutions which allow such organizations run effectively. The type of services ranges from simple administrative activities to the more complicated marketing campaigns on social media and other online platforms.
To be able to provide such services effectively, you require some essential skills. The various categories of virtual assistant jobs will, of course, require different skills, but there are some basic skills that cut across the board. Such skills include:
Communications skills: These are the most crucial skills. Because your job will involve communicating with your client from a remote location, you need to be skillful at communicating effectively. Timely responses, clarity in expressing ideas and information, courtesy when addressing various kinds of people are just a few of the important communications skills that you need. Ensure also that the channels of communication are kept as clear and effective as possible so as to avoid misunderstandings.
Professionalism: a client will only hire and use your services if they are convinced that you will deliver quality work according to the standards of their industry. Make a point of getting some form of training in your field so as to carry out the assigned tasks with professionalism.
Organization: Freelance work usually requires that you manage your time well so as not to delay the clients’ assignments. And one way of ensuring this is possible is by being organized. You have to draw a work plan for the duties you have every day and stick to it. And because you are your own manager, you can as well include in your schedule regular rests and leisure activities to refresh your body and regain lost strength. Online virtual assistants who are not organized always find themselves missing important deadlines for submission of work, losing or misplacing a client’s work or even getting fatigued due to overworking.
Patience and honesty: You will definitely need to be patient in dealing clients. Quick tempers and short fuses always destructive to good working relationships between the virtual assistant and their clients. Honesty is also important in your work as a freelance virtual assistant. You have to tell the truth to the client at all times. Sometimes freelancers lie about their ability to work on certain projects and thereby end up disappointing their clients.
Types of virtual assistant jobs
Sometimes a virtual assistant cannot make up their minds which niche they should specialize in. This is true especially for those that are just starting out but have no specific skills to fit a particular job. If that is the case for then, you don’t need to be worried. There are quite a number of virtual assistant jobs that you can choose from these include:
1. General administrative jobs
This category includes all the jobs that have to do with normal office duties. A general admin virtual assistant is responsible for such things office communication like picking and placing calls, responding to emails, maintaining of office records, data entry among many others. Almost any business organization can use a general admin virtual assistant. Even individuals can hire a virtual assistant to assist them in some of these tasks that they are too busy to perform by themselves.
2. Blogging jobs
Website owners usually hire freelance virtual assistants to create, edit and even post content on their websites. They also help maintain the sites so that it is kept in an updated state each day. The owners themselves may not be available to do such work or may simply lack the skills required for such tasks. And that is why they hire a virtual assistant to help them out.
3. Real-estate jobs
Real-estate agents are involved in the selling and buying of property. As such, they have many dealings with both homeowners and buyers. An average real estate agent may, therefore, have numerous engagements in a day, meaning that they will need someone to help them handle some simple tasks for them. A realtor’s virtual assistant’s job will involve such activities as booking appointments, sending of reminders, contacting prospective clients on behalf of the relator, managing a calendar of activities and even placing of adverts in the various advertisement platforms.
4. The social media jobs
Social media is the new frontier for business advertising. That is why every company is struggling to maintain a presence on various social media platforms. But this is usually hard work for them. That’s why they normally hire a virtual assistant to post updates for them, manage and maintain conversations, automation of certain services and promote brand awareness for them
5. E-commerce jobs
These require virtual assistants to come up with product descriptions, promote sales, respond to inquiries about products from clients and many other tasks. Such jobs are found in online product stores which have numerous products for sale.
Where to find such jobs
The best place to find the best virtual assistant jobs is, of course, the internet. A simple search on the internet will provide numerous options for online jobs for you to choose from. There are two approaches to use in finding such jobs:
Make use of the contracting companies
Several companies exist on that act as the middleman between the virtual assistant and the client. Such companies usually source for clients that need work done and then connect them with potential candidates to carry out such work. The companies normally charge a nominal fee for this service, incurred by either the client or the virtual assistant. This approach has the benefit of finding clients quickly because they are all on the same platform. It would, therefore, take you less time to land a potential client who can hire you.
Contact the clients directly. This is the option of finding online work as a virtual assistant. It involves identifying a client who is in need of your services and contacting them directly. Sometimes it involves even contacting clients who have neither advertised or realized that they need your services. This is referred to as cold pitching. It’s one of the ways of finding good clients but you should be prepared to work hard at it because you are not sure which client will respond to your offer.
As it can be seen, becoming a freelance virtual assistant and landing some jobs is quite a process that requires some effort on your part, just like any other job. But the good thing is that once you do the right thing, then you can be assured of earning a decent income and enjoying it immensely as well.