How To Become a Virtual Assistant and Make Money Online


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Being a Virtual Assistant is a great way to make money online for experienced professionals or beginners who want to have flexible working hours and work remotely.

Becoming a Virtual Assistant is also an excellent option for existing Executive Assistants who want to start working remotely with more flexible working hours. In fact, because you have experience already working as an Executive Assistant, you could brand yourself as an Executive Virtual Assistant.

The title of Executive Virtual Assistant does not only sound better, but you could demand much higher pay as well!

With that said, whether you are new to the idea of being an assistant or have experience already, let’s get into the subject of “How To Become a Virtual Assistant and Make Money Online”.

Top Benefits of Becoming a Virtual Assistant

  1. The top benefit of working as a VA is that you will get to work remotely. This can be incredibly beneficial to your lifestyle and personal wellness.
  1. The second benefit is that you won’t have to commute anywhere, so you save one or two hours a day that most people just waste away by sitting in traffic. Plus, you won’t even have to pay for the extra expenses of owning a car or taking public transportation day after day.
  1. The third benefit is that you can focus more on your mental and physical health with the extra time you’ll have working from home. So use that time to meditate, work out, or take up a hobby like cooking or something else to benefit your health.

Is Being a Virtual Assistant a Good Side Hustle For Making Money?

Many people ask the question “Is Being a Virtual Assistant a Good Side Hustle?”

The answer is YES it is!

Being a Virtual Assistant is one of the most profitable options for making money in your spare time. Plus it has a lot of upward trajectory for becoming a full-time career path if it’s something you are passionate about and want to pursue further.

Because you have a ton of flexibility and can work 100% remotely online you can do it from anywhere, even if you have another full-time job.

What Kind Of Qualifications Does a VA Need To Have For Success?

To be successful as a Virtual Assistant, you do need to have a minimum amount of qualifications beyond just specializing in a particular type of job role, industry, or skill set.

Let’s review the additional things every Virtual or Executive Assistant is required to have for long-term success.

Reliability

You must be reliable and consistent with the work that you provide, especially when you are working remotely. So make sure you reliably get the work done you say you will get done, in a timely manner.

Integrity

Since you will be exposed to a lot of company documents, you will need to have integrity and not share private documents with others outside the company. You’ll also be trusted with many trade secrets and other private information, so trust and integrity are a must with any role as a Virtual Assistant, whether you are a freelancer or a permanent employee.

Time Management Skills

Time management skills are essential to being a successful Virtual Assistant. You’ll be working on constant deadlines and moving various tasks between many people on a team. So if you are not good with being on time or tracking the time between deadlines, being a VA might not be for you.

Problem Solving and Resourcefulness For Finding Solutions

Like any job, being a VA will require problem solving and being resourceful for finding solutions to any problems that arise during a project. Sometimes the answer is easy to find, other times you’ll need to get on the internet and search Google for an answer.

If you cannot reach a solution to solve the problem yourself, you’ll need to know when to escalate and communicate with others on your team for direction on how to find the best answer or solution for a problem.

Ability to Add Value

When someone hires you for a task or job, they want to receive value. If you can offer them extra value in the job you do as a Virtual Assistant, you’ll be more likely to have a longer duration of a job with the business that hired you. So it’s important that you go the extra mile and offer something extra with the work you do.

Following Up With Others

I cannot stress how important this skill is for a VA, the ability to follow up with people on a team. 

Especially when others are horrible at responding or communicating deliverables for a project. By being the proactive communicator on a team, you’ll provide tons of value for being able to follow up with others.

The business you work for will admire this skill a lot, and keep you around much longer for it.

How To Get Clients or Find Virtual Assistant Jobs So You Can Work

Finding new clients or getting a VA job is pretty easy once you have some experience behind you. If you don’t have experience, it will be more of an upfront effort to get someone to hire you

There is good news however, if you have no experience! At the end of this guide, I give you some steps on how to quickly launch your VA career.

A lot of new VAs ask the question: So where is the best place to quickly find jobs for being a virtual assistant?

The answer to this question is pretty much anywhere a job or gig might be posted. Think of job sites like Monster.com, Craigslist, Indeed, GlassDoor, Flexjobs, and the like.

For more VA Tasks or Long Term Gigs, try freelancing platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.

What about Virtual Assistant Website Services?

You can use these platforms too, just make sure they don’t pay you too low. Some examples of VA Website Services are: Belay Solutions, Equivity VA, Fancy Hands, and Va Va Virtual.

Lastly, you can network with friends, family, and other clients to get referral work.

Also try Facebook groups, Reddit Groups, Direct Outreach, and Virtual Assistant Networks.

How Much Money Can You Make as a Virtual Assistant?

Making money working as a Virtual Assistant has a wide range of pay depending on your skill level and experience.

Overall, being a Virtual Assistant is extremely profitable. Working within the United States, you can expect to earn an hourly rate of between 15 to 60 dollars per hour. The pay range is mostly based on which industry you are working in and your experience level.

Deciding how much to charge per hour as a VA is entirely up to you. If you are new and entry-level, expect to earn closer to the 15 – 20 dollar per hour range. If you are experienced and can land VA jobs as more of an Executive Virtual Assistant, expect to make closer to 40 – 60 dollars per hour, especially if you are freelancing and working for yourself.

Typically, the higher-paying jobs for VAs are in the following industries:

Medical, Legal, Online Marketing, Science, Finance, and Technology.

According to a 2022 Indeed VA Salary Study, Virtual Assistants Averaged out making $4,000 per month in the United States (including benefits.)

The highest paid VA job came in close to $78 dollars per hour, for a company called Riot Games.

So there is no doubt that being a virtual assistant is extremely profitable, especially if you do it full-time. As you work your way up to better and better jobs/gigs, you’ll have no problem earning over $100k per year, working remotely from home.

Various Types Of Jobs and Tasks That Virtual Assistants Do [With Some Examples]

The various types of tasks and jobs available as a Virtual Assistant are endless. Below we are going to review some of the biggest opportunities and explain a bit about each one. A lot of these examples will change over time so be sure you do your own research to find out where the best opportunities are for yourself!

Some Executive and Virtual Assistant jobs require you to be a generalist of multitasking across many different types of job activities. So if you are the type of person who enjoys working and learning many different types of business activities, you’ll really enjoy being an assistant.

Here are some popular industries and examples of roles in which Virtual Assistants can thrive in.

Online/Digital Marketing, Advertising, and Social Media Management 

If you have a digital marketing, advertising, or social media background, you’ll find lots of virtual assistant opportunities online. Especially if you have experience and skills relating to copywriting, blogging, graphics design, social media, email newsletters, social media, and other similar skills.

Some example roles and tasks include:

  • Creating Pins for Pinterest: If you are good at using graphics software programs like Canva, you can get paid to create Pins for businesses.
  • Managing a Business’s Blog: Some duties include proofreading, formatting blog posts, and creating catchy blog titles. As well as selecting images and scheduling blog posts to be published. A background in SEO will help a lot too and give you a higher earning potential.
  • Keeping Social Media Feeds Updated: Curate Social Media Feeds For Businesses that want to keep their feeds engaged for their existing followers. Some important Social Media platforms include: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Linkedin.
  • Social Media Management: If you enjoy producing various types of content for Social Media, or writing Social Media captions, you’ll enjoy managing a business’s social media accounts. If you have experience running Social Media Ads, that will give you a huge boost in your earning potential.
  • Email Marketing Management: If you are good with creating email templates and copywriting newsletters, you’ll feel right at home managing a business’s email marketing campaign.
  • Managing Google Adwords: If you have a passion for doing keyword research and writing headlines for Google PPC ads, you’ll have a bright future working with Google Ads.
  • Researching Articles for Companies: If you enjoy doing keyword or trend research for a particular market, a company will pay you to find new headlines and ideas for upcoming articles they want to produce.
  • Miscellaneous Advertising and Marketing Tasks: Every business has a different playbook for executing a marketing and advertising strategy. A lot of times they will rely on a Virtual Assistant to backfill various tasks which will help keep things running smoothly.

Accounting, Bookkeeping, and Finance Management

If you have an interest and skill set for accounting and business finance, you can make a decent amount of money by putting those skills to work as a virtual assistant.

Some example roles and tasks include:

  • Financial Records Management: Working with a big business’s financial records is a huge responsibility. If you have a finance background, you’ll be able to earn a nice hourly rate helping a business manage all of their financial records.
  • Bookkeeping: Every small business owner has limited time, so they’ll always be in need of help with bookkeeping.
  • Organize Financial Paperwork: Helping to organize online receipts, invoices, and statements, and tracking expense categories can be a big help to a business owner.
  • Work for a CPA: Organizing paperwork for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) just before tax time is in huge demand.
  • Misc Finance Assistant: Any other misc tasks that a business will train you on, to make organizing and tracking the finances of a business easier for a business owner, investor, or executive team.

Graphics Design Assistant

Many businesses need help with graphics design for their website, marketing, and advertising. You don’t need to be an expert to start assisting in graphics design projects either. Especially if you can use Canva, which is an easy-to-learn graphics design solution.

Some example roles and tasks include:

  • Creating Business Cards: If you’ve got skills in Canva, you can easily create a business card design for a business and get it sent off to an online printer like VistaPrint.
  • Graphic Project Coordinator: Work with expert designers to get a concept delivered on time for a big website project, or other large-scale graphic design-related projects.
  • Basic Graphic Design: Using Canva, you can easily select a lot of graphics already made and use templates to create stunning designs. You can hand-pick stock photos for blogging and social media content. Lastly, use Canva to make graphics for landing pages on a business’s website.

Website Design and Support Assistant

There are a lot of web design firms out there that need help with their web design projects. If you’ve ever worked on a design project of any kind, you know there is a lot of back and forth between clients, designers, and coders.

As an assistant, you can fill in the gaps and help facilitate communications or even work on the graphics, text updates, and planning.

Some example roles and tasks include:

Assistant Project Manager: Assign and manage tasks between the designer and coders by communicating feedback directly from the client.

Assistant Graphic Designer: Assist the head graphic designer in creating concepts and logos for websites.

Assistant for Customer Relations: If you are great with talking to customers, you could be the liaison for communications between the client and your design team.

Podcast and YouTube Video Editing

Content creators who produce Podcasts or YouTube videos need lots of help editing episodes after recording and filming is done.

You don’t have to be an expert video or audio editor to get the job done either. For smaller creators, they already have a system in place and will gladly train you how to do it just the way they like.

Some example roles and tasks include:

Editing Different Clips From Long-Form Podcasts: Normally podcasts are around 30 – 120 minutes in length. For these long-form episodes, you’ll create smaller audio or video clips that will be shared on social media and other places where people want to consume a shorter version of the podcast. Please note: Cutting Podcasts to shorter clips is more common for video podcast shows vs. being audio only.

Adding Sound and Visual Effects: Lots of content creators for Video Podcasting and YouTube want to add visual and audio effects to their videos. Things like Titles, Background Music, etc. It’s normally pretty easy to learn how to do this and again, some creators will actually train you on how to do it.

Basic Video and Sound Editing: Many content creators for Podcasts and YouTube are providing information to others. The editing needs for informational content are very straightforward and basic. But, it is a challenge for content creators to do it themselves because it’s a time-consuming process. So if you can learn how to do basic cuts and adjust audio volume levels, you’ll be able to edit and produce video or audio podcasts for a decent amount of money.

Administrative (Generalist) Virtual Assistant

Being a generalist Virtual Assistant is not on the higher-paying end of the scale, unless you are in one of the higher-paid industries we discussed earlier, such as Medical, Legal, Online Marketing, Finance, or Technology.

If you can work up to the title of Executive Virtual Assistant, you will get a bump in your pay!

To be an effective Administrative Virtual Assistant, you need to be a fast learner and able to multitask the following types of tasks for a business.

  • Data Entry Into Spreadsheets
  • Managing Meetings and Calendars
  • Setting up and Managing Executive Email Inboxes
  • Copywriting or General Writing Assignments
  • Basic Graphic Design
  • Working with third-party vendors for Marketing or other Business Projects where Freelancers are Involved
  • Helping Customers via email or answering the phone
  • Online Research for new business ideas
  • Provide First level tech support to company employees
  • Being a transcriptionist
  • Planning and Handling Travel Arrangements for Employees
  • Managing Online Spaces for Customers, such as a Facebook Group.

You’ll also have to quickly handle any other miscellaneous tasks that come up!

Being a generalist and doing administrative VA work is probably one of the harder types of virtual assistant roles out there. But it provides a lot of long-term stability because you can do a lot of things for a business, then change it up as the needs of the business changes too.

How To Quickly Get Started as a Virtual Assistant

  1. Using the list of examples in the previous section, talking about various VA Jobs and Tasks, figure out (and really think about) what type of industry and tasks you want to do as a Virtual Assistant.
  1. Get as much entry level work experience and educational training as you can for the industry and role you want as a VA. For example, if you want to get into Online and Digital Marketing, start self learning as much as you can about the online marketing space, then apply to entry level VA jobs in that space.
  1. If you find you cannot specialize yourself in an industry and role because you like working as a generalist, you might want to think about the VA role of being an Administrative Assistant (General Business Support Assistant). Then, as you gain more work experience, you’ll quickly figure out where your passion is and which path to take if you want to specialize in an industry.
  1. Never lose sight of making more and more money for yourself as you get better VA skills and experience. Pick a path as a freelancer, employee, or even starting your own business, and only accept the higher-paid VA jobs that come your way.
  1. If you do decide to freelance or start your own VA business, don’t be shy to promote your services on Social Media, and with friends and family. Also, you might want to consider starting your own website and blog so you can charge more money, because your clients will take you more seriously.
  1. When you are an expert VA, don’t be shy to change your title to Executive Virtual Assistant! This will help filter out lower-paying opportunities, whether you are working a job or freelancing.

Biggest Drawback of Being a Virtual Assistant 

The biggest drawback of being a Virtual Assistant is you most likely will have many short-term gigs as a freelancer or contractor. So you’ll want to have a way to create a steady stream of new work coming in every month.

In order to create a steady stream of new VA work, you’ll either need to do a lot of promotion through Social Media or rely on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and a Website.

Or utilize one of the Virtual Assistant Freelancing Platforms and Agencies we mentioned earlier!

To get consistent VA work and referrals, be sure to focus your efforts on providing the best possible service to your clients. This will ensure you always have return clients, referral work, and a great chance of landing a long-term job with a client.

Final Thoughts

Working remotely as a Virtual Assistant is a great way to make money online and work from home. Keep in mind however that being a VA is not an easy job, that just anyone can do.

You’ll have to be good at working with people and setting tight deadlines for client projects! 

You need to have all of the minimum requirements we spoke of earlier, in addition to any other industry knowledge and experience that is required for a particular job.

I hope this guide is helpful and gets you started on your journey to becoming a Virtual Assistant, who can make money online.

Make sure to check out my other articles on personal finance and making money online.

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