How to Begin Working from Home As a Virtual Assistant
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How to Begin Working from Home As a Virtual Assistant

The article describes how to start working from home as a virtual assistant with marketing tips and advice.

What is a Virtual Assistant? According to Virtual Assistant Networking Association, a Virtual Assistant (VA) is a highly-trained independent entrepreneur who provides a myriad of business support services virtually via phone, fax and internet based technology to support and meet the growing needs of businesses worldwide. The industry has become popular in recent years and many professionals are transitioning to working from home. Here are some tips on getting started in the virtual assistant field:

Decide the type of work you enjoy doing and market to your specialization. Do you prefer technical tasks, such as web design? Or is repetitive typing your forte? Do you enjoy speaking on the phone? Narrowing your focus will prevent you from seeking work that does not appeal to you.

Your niche will help in determining your office needs. A quality telephone system is essential in answering client calls. A computer with Internet capability is a must as well as up-to-date software and antivirus program. Backing up your computer at regular intervals will prevent loss of information and save you many headaches in the long run.

Make sure your administrative skills are top notch and current. The role of an assistant has changed over the years to include specialized responsibilities. Clients are asking for social media marketing experience, blogging and e-commerce, just to name a few. Invest in a course, if necessary. The VA Classroom ( is an excellent source.

If you are comfortable marketing your services to potential clients, there are several ways to find companies and individuals who need a virtual assistant. If you are just starting out and not quite sure what services you want to offer clients, try volunteering. Local nonprofit organizations are more than open to volunteers. In addition to routine administrative tasks, you may want to offer to develop a website, come up with new fundraising ideas, create a donor database or create a newsletter.

There are many freelance sites online. Keep in mind that you will probably not be able to demand your initial retainer rate but they are great to utilize when beginning your business. Some of the better known sites are:, and . Read all policy information carefully. You will need to know how to submit resumes and how/ when you will be paid. Create a profile that will stand out as you will be competing against many others.

Network and talk to EVERYONE about your business. Join social networking sites and create a professional profile to showcase your skills to both fellow virtual assistants and potential clients.

If marketing your services does not interest you, consider subcontracting with another virtual assistant. You are then free to focus on your skills and not trying to locate clients. Joining a virtual assistant forum, such as the Virtual Assistant Forum is an excellent place to meet successful VA business owners.

By researching the industry, networking and organizing, you will be well on your way to success as a virtual assistant.

Sources:  Virtual Assistant Networking Forum (

Virtual Assistant Forum (

VA Classroom (

ODesk (

Elance (

Guru (

Additional resources:

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Comments (1)

This is something I have been looking to as a natural extension of what I already do. Thanks for this!