So, you’ve decided you want to become a virtual assistant, or you’re at least kicking the idea around. But is your lack of experience holding you back? Are you unsure where you should actually start? In this blog post, I am going to share my 9-step process for how to become a virtual assistant with no experience.
One great thing about starting a virtual assistant company is you don’t necessarily need a lot of experience. You can start by offering services that don’t require a bunch of experience, you can bring on beta clients to start with, and you can expand your services offered over time.
While I know firsthand how overwhelming it can feel to start something when you don’t have the experience, I am confident if you follow the steps outlined in this blog post, you will be able to successfully land your first paying clients!
What exactly does a virtual assistant do?
While there are many things you can do as a virtual assistant, at the core of it, you are helping a business with things that need to be done. This can range from customer service to data entry, project management to consulting, and more.
In reality, being a virtual assistant is not a whole lot different than filling a job role at a company where you are on payroll. The difference is that you are doing these tasks as a contractor instead.
What are the benefits of working as a virtual assistant?
Control Over Your Income – When you work for a company, they control your salary, your raises, financial benefits, etc. But, when you work as a virtual assistant, you get to set your own rates.
Choosing Who You Want To Work With – When you work for a company, you rarely get to choose who you work with. As a virtual assistant, you get to decide this for yourself. If you have a call with a potential client and you just don’t think it will be a good fit, you have the power to say no.
You Get To Be Your Own Boss – Being your own boss has many benefits like being able to choose what hours you are willing to work, taking days off when you need to without having to ask permission, the ability to work from anywhere, etc.
What are the downsides of working as a virtual assistant?
Client Networking – At the start, you will have to go out and find clients. This is something that can feel overwhelming if you don’t know where to go or who to talk to, but I’ve included some networking tips in this post to help you get started with this.
Expenses & Taxes – As a virtual assistant, you own your business which means you will have to take control of all your business finances, expenses, taxes, etc. If this isn’t in your wheelhouse, you might consider hiring a bookkeeper and/or accountant to help you manage this part of your business.
Is it hard to become a virtual assistant with no experience?
One great thing about starting a virtual assistant company is your ability to expand your services over time.
So, you can get started with services that don’t require extensive experience, or where you already have some skills, direct or transferrable. Then as you gain more experience and learn more skills, you can expand on the services you offer. This makes starting a virtual assistant company with no experience a fantastic option.
In this blog post, I speak directly about transferable skills which will be helpful for you as you start picking what services you want to offer.
How To Become A Virtual Assistant With No Experience – 9 Simple Steps
Step #1 – Decide What Services You Will Offer
First, you will need to decide what services you will offer. Some common service categories include:
- Customer Service
- Data Entry
- Executive Assistant
- Web Development
- Video Editing
- Graphic Design
- Social Media
- Project Management
For a full list of services that you can do as a virtual assistant, read this blog post.
And remember, just because you don’t have experience yet doesn’t mean you don’t have some skills that can be transferable. You can also learn skills as you go. So just focus on the services you want to offer, and don’t get bogged down by a lack of experience.
Step #2 – Niche down
To stand out against the competition, it can be extremely beneficial to niche down to an ideal client, service, or industry. For example, if you are a bookkeeper, you could niche down to be a bookkeeper who works with Real Estate Agents specifically.
Niching down this way can help you become known in your industry, be able to charge more, and land targeted clients. No matter the industry, most people would much rather work with someone who is already familiar with their industry and not just a generalist.
Here are some examples to get you started with choosing your ideal client.
- Real Estate Agents
- Fitness Instructors
- Wedding Planners
Step #3 – Set Up Your Business
Once you have determined what services you will offer and who you want to help, it’s time to get your business set up so that it is legit.
Naming Your Business – When it comes to choosing a name for your business, try to keep it simple. You want it to be something that people will remember and know how to spell so they can find you easily.
Name Your Services/Packages – If you will be offering different services and packages within your virtual assistant business, consider naming each. Again, keep this simple so that your potential clients clearly understand your different offerings.
Establish Your Pricing – Next, determine what your pricing structure will be for each service and/or package. If you don’t know where to start with your pricing, take some time to do some research to see what other VAs are charging in your industry.
Get Legal – I highly recommend talking to a certified accountant in your area as they will understand your local laws and will be able to provide guidance on how you should best set up your business legally. This will include the structure of your business, how you should approach your business finances, etc.
Step #4 – Create Your Website, Job Listings, Or Services Package
Next, you need to set up the things that will help connect you to potential clients. This can include a website, job listings, a simple PDF service package, or all of the above.
Website – If you want an all-in-one solution for your portfolio, your services page, pricing options, a place to book discovery calls with you, etc., then getting a website set up is something you will want to strongly consider.
The downside to landing clients through your website is you need to go out and get your potential clients onto your site. This can be done through social media, networking, etc.
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PDF Services Package – If you want to get started quickly, you can put together a simple PDF package that shows your potential clients your services and packages. While a PDF package may not be as ‘legitimate’ as a professional website, it is a great way to get started. Then you can take your time building out your website.
Job Listings – If you would rather work on a platform where people are already looking for your services, you might consider getting set up on a platform like UpWork or Fiverr and posting your job listings there.
The downside to these platforms is you usually have to pay the platform a percentage of all your income.
Step #5 – Get Active On Social Media
As you are getting your business set up, you will also want to start getting more active on whatever social media platform(s) your ideal clients are hanging out on. This will help you to start networking and connecting with your ideal clients and start becoming known as the expert in your industry.
Some common social media platforms you could use include:
I recommend choosing just one or two to start out with so that you don’t burn yourself out. It’s incredibly difficult to maintain a bunch of different social channels, so pick just the best one or two and focus on those.
Step #6 – Find A Couple Of Beta Clients
If you lack experience, one strategy that can really help you get your foot in the door is working with a couple of beta clients. With beta clients, you can offer your services for free or at a heavily discounted rate.
Working with beta clients will allow you to:
- Gain experience
- Learn the skills you need
- Add to your portfolio
- Get testimonials
If you do really good work with your beta clients, there is also potential for them to become full-paying clients that you keep on retainer. They may also send you referrals which would be a great boost for your business!
Step #7 – Create A Portfolio Or Resume (Depending On Your Services)
As a virtual assistant, you will want to showcase the work you can do for your future clients. For certain services, like photography or writing, the best way to do this would be with a portfolio. For other services like bookkeeping or customer service, the best way to do this would be with a resume and cover letter.
Creating A Portfolio – You can either create your portfolio directly on your website, or you can create a PDF portfolio package.
Writing A Resume – For certain virtual assistant services, companies may require a resume from you.
Step #8 – Find Your First Clients
Congratulations! You’ve officially reached the point where you can go and start finding your first full-paying clients.
Now, you might already be feeling overwhelmed simply by the prospect of having to go out and find clients. But I promise you, it doesn’t have to be hard. I would recommend choosing just one or two tactics and then doing them consistently. Don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to do all the things.
Here are some ideas of how you can find clients.
- Reach out to your existing network. This can be people you interact with frequently on social media, people you know in your industry, family, friends, etc.
- Network on social media.
- Go to networking events in your local area.
- Interact in Facebook groups where your ideal clients would be hanging out.
- Cold pitching.
- Offering free discovery calls.
Step #9 – Get Testimonials
Once you start getting clients, it is important that you do good work for them and collect testimonials. Testimonials are extremely beneficial to show future clients that the people who work with you love the work that you do.
You can add testimonials to your website, your social media accounts, your PDF services package, your portfolio, etc.
Now, it’s time for you to go and start implementing these tips to start your own virtual assistant business even with no experience. I hope that this blog post will help make the process faster for you!