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I hired a VA because I was running a one-man operation, and I was spending too much time on administrative tasks. Things like customer outreach, marketing, and bookkeeping were cutting into the time spent working on my actual products. I decided I needed help when I started to miss deadlines, even though I was working until 1 or 2 a.m every night.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the resources to bring on a full-time assistant, so a VA was my best option.
Hiring a virtual assistant requires a lot of trust. Especially if you’re used to doing everything yourself, you have to learn to let go and allow them to handle their tasks. If you hover over them or hold their hand while they do everything, then you might as well just do it yourself.
It took me a long time to learn how to let go. Even after I trained them thoroughly, I still found myself watching their every move, reviewing their work. But a virtual assistant doesn’t save you any time until you’re able to just ignore them and trust that they’re getting the job done.
I hired my first VA on Upwork. Unfortunately, they exaggerated their abilities, so our relationship didn’t last very long. Luckily, I identified their shortcomings during the training process, so they didn’t have the opportunity to cause any serious damage.
After that experience, I reached out to some friends who I knew had worked with virtual assistants. They referred me to a few people, and I reached out to all of them. Now I work with a real pro. I could go offline for a month and trust that she’d keep everything running smoothly while I was away.
I’d recommend a VA for those repetitive tasks that take up a lot of time but don’t necessarily require a specialist.
For example, my VA proofreads all of my blog posts and uploads them to WordPress. She runs them through Grammarly, then goes through the process of posting and publishing them. When I was doing this, it’d take me over an hour to finalize each piece.
What Skills Do You Need To Become A Virtual Assistant?
In order to become a virtual assistant, you should have some basic skills.
You need to have good wood processing skills as most of your work will be done this way.
Oral and written communication is an absolute must. As you will not meet most of your employers in person anyway, your only forms of keeping in touch will be through written and phone conversations.
Your computer skills are imperative. The ability to work on different media platforms is essential.
Having self discipline and motivation are imperative. You are not going to have a supervisor standing right behind you, so you will need to be able to have the ability to sit and get the job done.
You always have to be able to want to work and learn all the time. This is a new realm of what we consider an office. You need to want to be open to learning new methods.
Having the ability to think quickly and effectively is going to be crucial as well. Your decision making has to be precise, quick and have confidence in what you do.
How Much Do Virtual Assistants Make?
The range is a big one. It depends on whether you have special skills or if you just stick to s certain skill set such as document prep, or typing.
Some virtual assistants make as high as sixty per hour. Although, one thing to keep in mind is the higher the rate, the harder you need to work because realistically some employers are on a budget, and if you fail them, they can terminate the contract.
Who Hires Virtual Assistants?
There are several companies out there who hire VA.
The most popular are
Virtual Office VA
99 Dollar Social
How Do I Become A Virtual Assistant At Home?
You can go through several sites that are already established and become a freelancer through them. If you are looking to become a virtual assistant at home and want to make your own business without going through a company to help, you need to figure out what services you’re going to offer. Decide if you want to have anyone else work with you to help with special skill sets, etc that you may not feel comfortable with. Make a very polished resume and cover letter. Advertise yourself through as many social platforms as you can.
What Exactly Does A Virtual Assistant Do?
Absolutely anything. It can be from digital tasks such as email management, schedules, appt setting, to answering phones for your offices, writing content for blogs. Literally virtual assistants have a bit more leeway than those in offices if you think about it. There are no company politics to deal with if you need an errand run, insurance costs are less.
So literally a VA can do anything that is needed.
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