If you currently - or in the past - have worked as an office manager in a physical location, you can quickly turn those skills into working remotely as a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant often performs secretarial work for business owners at a distance using technology. A VA can really work for almost any type of business owner if the tasks they do can be done virtually.
To succeed as a VA for small businesses, you’ll want to create a package of services instead of offering yourself hourly because it’ll help you control your time better plus help you avoid scope creep. Any business that used to have a secretary or receptionist or needs one is a good place for you to consider offering your services.
For each of the ideas below, think about the things that they need completed that they don’t have time to do, and then create a package for the things you are skilled at doing. To get your first client, set up your website, social media platforms, and a system for capturing leads. Let everyone you know in on your secret so that they can tell the people they know. Then every single day demonstrate to the public via your own website and social platforms what you’re capable of doing for them.
Some specialties for virtual assistants to consider
• Real Estate VA (REVA) – Real estate agents need someone to help them list properties, promote them on social media, and other office-type work such as checking email, writing letters, and so forth. While you don’t need special licensing to become a real estate VA, you might want to consider getting your real estate license in order to be more competitive or investing in a REVA certification.
• Legal or Paralegal VA – If you have legal secretary or paralegal experience, transitioning to a virtual assistant will not be hard. Most of the work you do here doesn’t need to be in the office or in a location, although you may need access to specific databases and other information via your clients to do this job properly.
• Research VA – Many people, including scientists, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and others, need people to conduct research for them. If you are good at research, understand how to find scholarly works to back up ideas, this can really be a fun opportunity for you. You’d do it from your computer and just need a good internet connection.
• Coach and Speaker VA – Many coaches and speakers need an assistant to help find speaking gigs, answer customer service emails, create their marketing materials, and keep them organized and ready for their clients and speaking gigs. Sometimes you might even get to travel if you work with speakers, if that’s something you want to do. It’s not required as you can do it fully, 100 percent, virtually.
• Author Assistant VA – Many authors who work with publishing houses or on their own need help with all the things authors have to do today, from editing to marketing. If you have experience in publishing, you can help organize your authors with packages from websites, to social media, and more.
• Local Small Business VA – Many small businesses in your area have plenty of administrative things that need to be done, but often they either don’t do them, or they burn the candle at both ends because they don’t realize they can hire a VA part-time to help them. You can work for daycare centers, restaurants, beauty shops, and more.
You get the idea. It’s a good idea to specialize so that you can command higher rates. Plus, when you specialize in what you do, you set the tasks that you will do for them, as well as the rates, so you automatically know what you’ll be doing for them each day throughout the year instead of waiting for them to tell you what to do.
Working as a freelance writer is a remarkable, lucrative, and secure path to take if you want to freelance. However, there are both pros and cons to working as a freelance writer of which you should be aware. Let’s talk about what it takes, how you can get started, and the pitfalls you will want to avoid, making writing for others a successful freelance business for you.
"Working as a freelance writer is a remarkable, lucrative, and secure path to take if you want to freelance."
What It Takes
To be a writer today, you really don’t need a writing degree. What you do need is the ability to write in a conversational tone to the audience that is going to read the work per your customer’s specifications. How much you can make writing depends on your customers and the type of writing you do.
For example, if you write sales pages, you may be able to charge based on how much money you think they’re going to make from the campaign. If you write blog post content, you will likely want to charge per word or page of writing depending on how much research you need to do. You can make from $20 to $1000 a page. It really depends on your customers, their niche, and what the deliverables include.
If you are going to do the writing yourself, you’ll need to be able to set aside enough time to do the actual writing in addition to marketing your services. If you outsource the writing, you may need to hire writers, editors, and project managers to make the process run smoothly, or you may want to act as the project manager yourself.
It really depends on the type of work you want to do and how much money you want to earn. Some writers prefer to work alone, and others like building a big team, and do best finding clients for their team over finding clients for themselves and doing the work themselves. It’s totally up to you and the type of freelancer you want to become.
"This type of writing commands a higher rate, too, although it’s going to be harder to find clients. When you specialize, you can charge more, but you’ll work with fewer people too."
How to Get Started
To get started as a writer, you’ll need first to determine what skills you have. For basic content writing, if you know how to write an average of a 500- to 1500-word article about the topic in question, based on your research, you can likely get started with that now.
But for copy-writing that appears on sales pages, landing pages, and advertisements, which is more specialized writing, you may need to take a class or develop some experience since it’s a particular type of writing. This type of writing commands a higher rate, too, although it’s going to be harder to find clients. When you specialize, you can charge more, but you’ll work with fewer people too.
Articles are typically written at about the sixth-grade level and offer a general overview of the topic. More in-depth writing will require more knowledge and research chops, thus command a higher pay rate. Many website owners work with content writers to produce 30 or more articles each month, whereas they may only need one landing page a month or sales page a month.
Start with one type of writing for one specific customer for now. You can always add more services on later but starting with one type of writing for one type of customer makes it a lot easier for you to find your market than spreading yourself too thin at first.
When you figure out that one thing you want to do, set up a website, social media platforms, and an email autoresponder and do for you what you tell your customers you’ll do for them until you are working with enough people to fill up your time.
Finally, you’ll need to avoid the many pitfalls of writing for a living such as avoiding customers who are not the right fit for you, who want to underpay you for your expertise and time, and who don’t value you as a human. Of course, you’ll also need to ensure that you have set aside enough time to produce enough writing to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself monetarily while also providing you balance in your life.
Becoming a freelancer is a great way to take control of your life by offering services to people and businesses that need them but who don't want to hire full-time employees to do it. For example, freelancer conduct many types of work- from secretarial, to graphic design, to customer service, and more.
Be in Control of Your Destiny
You can find your destiny with a job too, but as a freelancer, you are 100 percent in control of when you work, how you work, and who you work with. You don’t have to wait for answers from a CEO who has never been on the ground. You don’t have to ask permission to miss work if you’re sick. You don’t have to ask permission to learn that new skill that can help you earn more money. You are in control of your choices and your destiny.
Work from Anywhere
While not all freelancers work from home, many do. It depends on what you set up for yourself how you’ll do it, but most of the time, you can create a situation where you can work from anywhere - or from locations that you desire to work from. As a freelancer, if you choose the right technology and skills to learn based on the lifestyle you want to design, you really can work from anywhere.
Every Effort You Make Rewards You, Not a Corporation
When you work for others, even if you manage to save them 100K by developing a new process, you’re not going to see any of that money. You might get a bonus or an employee of the month certificate. Still, it’s not going to affect you long term like it will the corporation. When you are a freelancer, your decisions pay off for you immediately, not someone else.
Experience Improved Job Security
Many people believe that jobs are secure, but the truth is they’re not. Most businesses work on a lean principle now of not hiring enough people and being able to fire and hire at will in order to keep costs down is a significant factor in that process. When you work for yourself, you can always change course if you need to in order to be where the money is. The job isn’t what is giving you security, the money is, and as long as you can keep making money, you’re going to be more secure because as a freelancer, you’re not counting on one stream of income.
Increase Your Confidence
It might seem scary at first, but the more you freelance, the more secure and confident you’re going to become and appear to others. This is going to rub off and help you serve more people with your freelancing gigs because you’re going to feel like you can do it as you experience doing it. At first, it’s scary, but as you move through the processes and create systems, you’ll feel very confident in your abilities.
Live a More Fulfilled and Happy Life
The truth is working too much is not suitable for your life. If you really want to have a happier and fulfilled life, you need to build balance into it. Make sure you schedule fun with family and friends in addition to plenty of working time. As a freelancer, you are in control of that schedule and can live a more fulfilled and happy life by managing your time to include all parts of your life.
Gain the Ability to Earn More Money
As a freelancer, you are in command of how much you get paid. You choose the rate, not the customer. You are in control of how you do everything and can make more money as a freelancer than if you are trapped in the hourly wages, paid time off, and vacation pay trap. You only do projects that pay enough to live because you oversee it. Also, since you’re just you, you can often end up charging less than a huge corporation and still end up more profitable as your expenses are lower.
Design the Life You Really Want to Live
As a freelancer, you can genuinely design precisely the life you want. You can command your schedule so that you have enough time to earn the money you need to live and then live the life you were meant to enjoy. You’ll no longer be counting on an employer to make the rules and give you raises. You’ll do that for yourself, and you really can design the life you want to live, exactly the way you dreamed it
The fact is, being a freelancer gives you more security, more options, and generally more money than working hourly jobs. You can stop trading hours for dollars and work with the people you want to work with in a way that enables you to have more flexibility with your family and your life. There really is unlimited opportunity out there if you know where to look when it comes to finding a way to freelance and change your life.