How to become a VA

Selecting A Virtual Administration Niche

Virtual Assistants have a wide range of clients to choose from. Everyone can start as a general assistant doing administrative and secretarial services and make a substantial income. Yet, by choosing a niche you can actually attract more clients. No matter which decision you make, you’ll find that the freedom gained from taking control of your career will be both challenging and rewarding. Meadows Resources will help you connect with the type of work that is best for you. Check out this post about What You Can Do As A Virtual as a start. 

First decide what to offer and how your skills will be benefit clients. Who are you really wanting to work with? What are your favorite things to do? Likewise what things do you not enjoy doing? These questions will help you narrow down your expertise and your ideal client. As a result you will set yourself up for success and generate a stable income.

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Sales funnels may sound like a buzz word in any industry, but they are actually a keep part of virtual assisting success. You may have to seek your first few clients out via job boards, but once you have some clout and background, you want to create a sales funnel so that people who come across your portfolio page or website want to learn more about you and what you can offer.

A sales funnel usually begins with offering a very reduced-rate or free piece of information to grab readers and clients into your email list. From here, you can leverage that information as you please, whether it be getting more people chatting about you as a virtual assistant or reaching out to potential clients on what more you can offer besides the freebie.

Below are tips on how to create a successful sales funnel and niche-specific examples:

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As a virtual assistant, your goal is to acquire clients in which you are both a great fit for each other, the job fits your schedule, and you can sustain-ably work the job in terms of payment. The first step before all of this happens is to navigate job boards as a means to find valuable virtual administration employment.

A job board in any field may be a little intimidating, but as a virtual assistant, you need to ensure you are not only searching for jobs catering to the virtual assistant world but that the job itself is legitimate–as the internet can be a scary place.

Below are tips on how to successfully navigate a job board from your first look to after initial outreach of jobs you apply for:

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Any field has their busy months and their slow months and virtual assisting is no different. You may not be in office, but you will have to ride the high’s and low’s as any other employee would.

Slow times can be scary, especially as a virtual when you may or may not be a salaried worker and pay is not guaranteed. While you should always be keeping a sharp eye on those aspects of employment, below are some ways to leverage slow months in a positive way so that when busy season starts up again, you are ready to take on virtual administration at an even more experienced level:

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One of the first questions you may have as a virtual assistant when navigating your first clients to work with is how much you should charge. A simple step could be jumping onto the Bureau of Labor Statistics to get a rough estimate based on your niche. Beyond that, you may want to take a look at typical payments that virtual assistants receive based on their specialty or ask fellow virtual assistants for their own information regarding payments in groups and forums.

A note that one size does not fit all. You may be applying for a job with a certain title, but are coming in with a desirable specialty that could benefit a client. Do not shortchange yourself when first applying for a job.

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Get A Virtual Assistant Business Started

After a lot of thinking and weighing options, you have decided to embrace the future and start a small business. The idea of setting your own schedule and taking control of your life was a dream that you had to reach, and you decided to set up a virtual assistant business. Now that a choice has been made, where to start?  Virtual assistant businesses have become an ideal business opportunity for experienced administrators to use their skills in a virtual environment. With all of the available technology, it’s easy and affordable to start a virtual business. Lots of decisions will need to be made on where to start and there is a world of advice available. Meadows VA school has resources that can guide anyone through the steps of successfully setting up your business.

Legalities – Getting Licenses and Permits in Place

A virtual assistant, discovers that there aren’t too many regulations to getting your business up and running. Licensing in each state vary, so make sure to check and see what your state requires. No matter what is required, make sure to follow your state and Home Owner’s association rules regarding the use of homes for a business. The Small Business Association has, Permit Me, an online tool that allows anyone to research the requirements in their state. As a result of the lack of regulation virtual businesses are an easy fit for a shoe string budget. 

Business Structure

One of the earliest decisions faced is the actual structure of a new business. Many business owners opt for sole proprietorship at the early stages, because it doesn’t require much set up. This is an acceptable option, but could ultimately leave you open to financial risks as your clientele grows. Business models such as LLC/PLLC, corporations, partnerships and co-ops will help you separate personal liabilities from business ones and protect the owner better. Setting up an LLC is a relatively inexpensive method of establishing a business as a separate entity and allowing owners to get an EIN and bank account set up easily. To get an idea which structure will best suit your business, check the resources on sba.gov.

Getting to work

As a freelance business owner, the tax paperwork will be different than as a employee. After a business is open and starts to book clients having a W-9 filled out for each new client along with a contract is recommended. This contract will include a statement of work which will help establish the scope of responsibilities and tasks  contracted to perform for each client as well as things such as deadlines and client details. Finally, make sure to set up a file for each client to keep all paperwork and calendar details organized.

On the Job

Once work has started and clientele is growing, you will have other tasks to deal with. On top of the work you’ll be doing for your clients, you’ll need to be tracking your invoices and expenses. A good accounting program will be essential, and Quickbooks Online is the most highly recommended for independent business owners. It will help any business track all of their expenses easily. 

Secrets to Building a Successful Business

As you are building a business, you will find yourself wanting to grow it quickly. This is a trap that most entrepreneurs fall into. Make sure that you learn how to manage your time and learn how to say no. It’s okay and often essential to be able to draw boundaries with your clients. This is your business and you have the choice to run it as you see fit.

Any new business venture can be tricky, but with proper tools and resources, you can learn to manage your time and your clients. You can learn to have the work/home life balance that all entrepreneurs are working toward and truly enjoy your life and your career. Meadows Resources and Meadows VA school has the resources you need to get started on the right track. Also, check out our in depth Ebook Meadows VA School Quick Start in our Swipe File Section to learn more.

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Being behind a computer screen can connect you to the world, but it also can be isolating if you do not continue to create new connections. One thing that can get a bit harder in virtual administration is networking for virtual assistants. You are not meeting people daily and not able to really speak with others about your capabilities and how you can help their company attain its goal as a virtual assistant. 

While it may be harder, networking is not impossible virtually and here are some options on how to network digitally:

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When becoming a virtual assistant, you always wonder what clients are going to be out there for you to work for. While you might be looking to create an income working from home, most virtual assistants go into the field because they want to make a difference in a client or company’s business experience. Working with the ideal virtual assistant client can make life and work a lot easier.

While your expertise or niche may be finance, administrative, or another facet of virtual assisting, is there a type of client that may work best for virtual assistants to start out with?

Below are some clients in which virtual assistants seem to work best with and why:

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What was once looked at as a side project for adult women or where young teens posted their personal thoughts is now a viable career for virtual administrators wanting to create content online by blogging as a virtual career.

Blogging is very versatile, especially now that many companies have realized that content is key and not even just the content itself, but the continued creation of new content to keep the website up-to-date and fresh with new material.

This changing of the tides for blogging has really opened the doors to many virtuals with a skillset in writing crisp and clear copy and has a lucrative pool of potential clients looking to begin and maintain a blog.

Below are reasons why positioning yourself as a virtual blogger can be a very great career choice and also some considerations:

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Some people go into virtual assisting for a full-time career, leaving behind an office job or just going straight into virtual work out of college. Others want to get into virtual administration but may not know how to navigate part-time virtual assisting.

Virtual assisting offers the great ability to work as much or as little as you need–as different clients have a different amount of work they need completing on a weekly and monthly basis.

Taking the time to research, network, and put yourself out there with your skillset as a virtual assistant is the main way to find work, but once you are out looking, you also have the availability to find work that fits your schedule and lifestyle needs.

Below are some virtual assisting positions that are great part-time opportunities for virtual administrators.

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