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Figuring out what kind of work you want to do from home can feel like a minefield!
Being a virtual assistant might sound good to you, but then you start worrying about what services you will offer. Do you need to offer them all? Can you specialize in just one or two?
We have Lauren Golden, founder of The Free Mama Movement, on the blog today to answer the question “What does a virtual assistant do?” and show you how to decide what services you will offer.
Take it away, Lauren!
What Does a Virtual Assistant Do? (How to Identify Your Skills)
You are pumped! You just discovered this thing called freelancing and you believe that “virtual assistant” could be your calling. The thing that helps you make money for your family while taking care of your babies.
There’s just one little problem… you’re not quite sure what a virtual assistant does. Or at least, not entirely sure what you will have to offer.
Have no fear! By the end of this blog post, you’ll have identified what skills you already have so that you can clearly communicate the services you’ll offer in your new virtual assistance business.
Before I tell you what a virtual assistant does, I want to make sure you understand why it’s so awesome.
As a virtual assistant, you are in charge of your own business — you’re not an employee. Don’t like a client? Walk away! Want to give yourself a raise? Go right ahead and raise those rates! Plus, you can work from anywhere. All you need is a computer and a strong internet connection.
If you’re looking for real freedom, this may be your answer. The barrier for entry is non-existent, meaning you don’t need a degree or certification to get started. You get to decide what services you offer — and which ones you don’t offer. You can even switch it up whenever you darn well please.
Have you ever heard the saying “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Let me tell you that when it comes to services you could offer as a virtual assistant — it’s kind of like that. The world is your oyster! The possibilities are endless! If someone will pay you to do it, it’s a service you can provide in your business (assuming it’s legal, obviously).
But before you get overwhelmed, let’s rein it in a little…
I typically break VA skills out into 7 categories: administrative, organizational, email marketing, social media management, content writing, design, and websites.
Let’s dive in.
Did you know you can earn a living checking other people’s emails? Yup. Answering customer service emails, basic bookkeeping, following up on invoices, sending out thank you notes, creating reports, and even editing of videos or podcasts are all tasks you’ll find a general VA doing to support busy business owners.
Type A? Make a career out of it! So many entrepreneurs don’t have good systems in their business, which often hurts their bottom line. If you love organizing your drawers and you’ve never forgotten a doctor’s appointment, consider becoming a VA who organizes virtual folders (GSuite and Dropbox), assists with calendar management and booking appointments, or inputs data into programs like Excel.
3. Email Marketing
Have you ever gotten an email from a business? Someone wrote that! And someone else likely sent it. Companies use software programs to manage their email subscribers, create email campaigns around product launches, and set up email sequences and auto-responders. All of these tasks are often outsourced to a virtual assistant.
4. Social Media Management
Billions (with a “B”) of people worldwide are using social media every single day, and companies big and small know it. Social media management can be as simple as responding to people’s comments in a Facebook Group and scheduling already written posts, or as complex as recommending a comprehensive marketing strategy and writing the content and designing the images. And you know what? There is a huge demand for both!
5. Content Writing
If you like writing, you’d be shocked by how many opportunities there are for you in the freelancing world. Blog posts (like the one you’re reading), emails, newsletters, press releases, research papers, ghostwriting books, transcribing podcasts… The list goes on. Not much of a writer, but love reading and catching errors? You could be a proofreader! Check out Proofread Anywhere to learn how you can use your eagle eyes to earn money from home.
Much like social media, there are a lot of ways a virtual assistant can scratch her creative itch. If you’re a highly trained graphic designer, you likely have skills and software that will help you make a business’s brand come to life. But even if you’re entirely self-taught and operating on the free version of Canva, people need your help. In the online world, people need graphics for everything from Pinterest images to e-book covers to Twitter cover art.
7. Websites (or Funnels)
This is for you tech wizards and tech wizard wannabes. I have very little professional training in this area and even I know enough to be dangerous, which means you can learn it too. You can build landing pages for websites, manage SEO (that’s search engine optimization), and more. Software companies like ClickFunnels and Kajabi are making it easier for entrepreneurs to do business online, and even easier for nonprogrammers to make a real impact creating websites and sales funnels without taking a coding class.
Wrapping it up
Now you know what services you can offer as a virtual assistant. Remember you are the boss! You don’t have to know how to do everything — no one does, not even Beyonce — so stick with what you know and enjoy and don’t be afraid to tell a client no or to learn something new.
Which categories are most in alignment with your current skill sets or interests? Maybe things you already do at work or know you’d enjoy doing. Tell me in the comments below!
If you’re visual like me and you want to see all of the services we discussed today written out, be sure to download my 70 skills checklist. And if you want even more information about becoming a virtual assistant, make sure you check out my free training where I'll be breaking down the right way and the wrong way to make money from home.
If you liked this article or have any questions about how to start your freelancing business from home, please let me know and I’ll meet you in the comments below.
Lauren Golden is the fearless leader of The Free Mama Movement and a thriving community of tens of thousands of women who don’t want to choose between family and financial stability. Her mission is simple: Lauren wants to ensure that no mother ever has to sacrifice time with her babies in order to provide for them. Lauren is also a 2 Comma Club Award winner and a #1 International Bestselling Author. In her book, The Free Mama: How to Work from Home, Control your Schedule and Make More Money, she shares her own story — along with plenty of practical advice for anyone looking to leave the 9-5 behind and make a real living from home.
Thanks so much for breaking down the kind of tasks virtual assistants do, Lauren! I personally hire several virtual assistants. Some of them do a mixture of tasks like customer service and community management; others specialize in tasks like graphic design or building funnels. The main thing is they all help me grow my business! Bloggers and course creators like me desperately need virtual assistants. We can’t do it all on our own!
Think you could excel at some of those tasks and want to know how you can get started? Lauren’s course Quick Start Freelance Success Kit is included in Work-At-Home School, which is open for enrollment right now! If you want a sneak peek into what Lauren has to offer, check out Lauren's free training to get started today!