Virtual assistants, in a nutshell, are simply people who help other people and companies get their tasks done. Not only do bloggers hire them all the time, but many, many small and large companies alike do as well. After all, it is much cheaper to pay someone to do a specific task from their home than it would be to hire another employee, set up an office for them, and pay them a salary and benefits. By being a virtual assistant, you can do a ton of great office work and social media type tasks all from the comfort of your own home and on your own schedule!
What Tasks Do Virtual Assistants Do?
There are a number of tasks that virtual assistants can do. These tasks include email management, calendar management, post research, social media account management, post scheduling, following up with clients and many more. Any task that a blogger or company owner has to do, but that doesn't have the time to do, can be hired out to a virtual assistant. You could literally get paid to be on Facebook!
What Skills or Experience is Required for Becoming a Virtual Assistant?
The specific skills or amount of experience you need to become a virtual assistant is really going to depend on who is hiring you and what they are hiring you for. For example, if you want to become a virtual assistant for a dentist's office, then some knowledge of working at a dental office or of secretarial work in general will be a plus. If you want to become a virtual assistant for a well-known blogger, then running your own blog will give you the experience that you need. There are no specific classes to take or requirements to meet. You simply have to know how to do the skill you are hoping to be hired to do, whether that is publishing on WordPress, calling clients, optimizing posts for SEO or contacting brands for sponsorships.
How Much Do Virtual Assistants Get Paid?
You can make good money as a virtual assistant, if you know what you are doing. You may be able to ask $20+ per hour for tasks like scheduling posts and approving blog comments. For more specialized skills like freelance writing, you may be able to get $350+ per post depending on the post length and research involved. Those offering social media management can easily warrant over $300 per month for scheduling status updates and community management.
Where Can I Find Virtual Assistant Jobs?
Here are some great places to look.
1. Telecommute Job Boards
There are some great job boards online that specialize in listing remote positions. A few of my favorites for those looking for virtual assistant work:
There are job boards for writers and designers, but things can be a little more difficult when looking for legitimate virtual assistant jobs from home. Because this work from home career encompasses so many tasks, there can be a number of great places to find new clients.
Hire My Mom, as the name suggests, helps moms find legitimate work from home jobs offering the flexibility they need. They list clients with not only virtual assistant job openings, but also those looking for research, writing, graphic design, editing, accounting, web design, customer service, marketing, public relations, bookkeeping, desktop publishing, medical billing, payroll, human resources assistance and more.
When it comes to first-hand experiences, we found several ladies more than willing to share.
Carrie Le Chevallier says, “I love it. I have been working with them for several years now. I have worked with at least 1/2 dz clients. They know that I am a Mom first, and get that.”
Corinne Kerston, a freelance writer and blogger, had this to say about her experience, “I have had good experiences thus far on HMM. The job listings seem to be of higher caliber. Posters know what skills they are looking for, but are also willing to pay a decent amount for those skills. The clients I have met on there have all been great and easy to work with. I like the setup, where you can respond to clients directly and there is no middle-man once you respond to an ad.
“While there can be some dry times, I have found both online and temporary clients on there and I find it to be worth the fee. I would recommend the site to anyone looking for online work. The site itself is easy to use and navigate, and there seems to be a steady stream of job postings to keep job seekers satisfied.”
Cost: $99 per year or $29.95 per quarter
This is one of the best job boards for telecommuters in my opinion. It is a paid membership, but they do the research for you, featuring only legitimate virtual jobs in over 50 categories – many positions are with well-known companies. And even though it is a paid membership, it is extremely affordable. One client and you will have more than made up the investment.
I have used FlexJobs in the past, so it has my personal vote of approval.
Cost: $14.95 per month
VAnetworking’s VAinsider Club
My first few clients as a virtual assistant came through the job board at VAnetworking. As a VAinsider, you will also have access to Monthly Group Coaching, Monthly Webinar Training, Monthly MotiVAtor, Private Brainstorming Network and The VAult which includes Business Templates, Seminar Archives, System Sheets, ebooks & Bonus Resources.
Cost: $37 per month
Virtual Office Temps
This site lists virtual assistant jobs. Be mindful that over 200,000 VAs subscribe to this site. Competition for these positions is fierce.
While you may balk at having to pay to have access to legitimate virtual assistant jobs, consider the time and energy it is saving you in the long run. In most cases, the leads have already been screened for potential scams. The clients are usually coming to the table with an understanding of what it’s like to work with a remote contractor and are ready to pay a reasonable rate to do so. You also have to consider you won’t be paying forever. Most will let you cancel anytime and after you have a client or two under your belt you can stop your membership.
2. Join a Facebook Group for Virtual Assistants
These can be tricky to find, but they are an absolutely fantastic resource if you want to be a VA for other bloggers. The pricing is generally fair and you can learn a lot in the groups. Many Groups include not only blog assistants but also bloggers looking to hire. Ask within your own network of virtual assistants if they know of any groups or would like to form one.
3. Ask Around
Who do you know who might be looking for a virtual assistant or know someone else who might? Ask around! Let people know that you are searching for work. There are also a few email lists to join:
4. Join Forums
Virtual assistant forums are a great place to network and get job leads. I recommend joining VAnetworking.com and VirtualAssistantForums.com.
5. Cold Email
Some companies don't appreciate cold pitches, but if you can find the right person at just the right time, you may be able to score a great job that you didn't even know what open. If you go this route, begin with companies or bloggers that you already have a relationship with or that seem to be particularly busy at the moment. Check out this free 5-day client challenge.
6. Companies That Hire Virtual Assistants
- 24/7 Virtual Assistant – hires US virtual assistants with a starting wage of $10 – $12 per hour.
- 99 Social – hires social media content specialists to handle client social profiles. You need to commit to a minimum of 10 accounts (approximately 3.5 hours per week). Pay averages $12 per hour according to the website.
- BELAY – These are high-level positions requiring a bachelor's degree and at least five years experience.
- Clara Labs – Hires email scheduling assistants on occasion. Keep an eye on the website as these positions go fast when they come available.
- eaHelp – Administration and task and project management are the skills needed to become an executive assistant with eaHELP.
- Equivity – If you are looking for a position that doesn't require a desktop, you're in luck. This one only requires a smartphone and laptop. And a bachelor's degree.
- Fancy Hands – This company pays on a per-project basis. Each task will be assigned a rate based on its level of difficulty and time required. They only hire within the U.S. Right now, they are only looking for specialized service providers. Please revisit their job board often.
- Firegang – No experience necessary. You need to commit to 15-25 hours per week. Pay is $15-$17 per hour.