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Who is a Virtual Assistant?


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You've probably heard the term Virtual Assistant before but you're not too clear about what it's about. Or, maybe you've never heard it. Either way, let me educate you a bit.

A Virtual Assistant is an independent contractor. What does that mean really? Basically, a Virtual Assistant, also called a VA, is someone who owns his or her own business and is contracted to offer general or specialized services. 

VAs usually provide services in three main categories: administrative, creative and technical. Let’s dive into each of these categories.


In a traditional work environment, employees perform duties such as typing, sending and receiving phone calls, sending and receiving emails, and drafting correspondence. These are examples of administrative services that your VA could handle. 

To add to this list, your VA could also help with data entry, posting on social media, bookkeeping, and scheduling. 


The term creative refers to any task that requires your VA to apply creativity or design skills. Straightforward right? Examples of creative jobs are creating graphics for social media posts, creating YouTube videos, and copywriting.


This category is for the individual who has a knack for systems, software, apps, and so on. Persons who offer services in this category may help a business owner set up back-end processes. Examples of technical services include automating your onboarding process, setting up your payment system and live events or setting up courses in your Learning Management System (LMS) such as Thinkific.

All of these activities could be done in an office. But the great news is they can be done remotely too. In other words, you don't have to focus on creating a physical space for your VA to get the job done. 

Sounds like a win-win if you ask me 😉

How Many Hours Do VAs Typically Work?

It is common for Virtual Assistants to work anywhere from 20 to 40 hours a week. Some may work more or less depending on the needs of their clients.

Some virtual assistants work set hours, while others may have more flexible arrangements, such as working during specific days or times. The key is to discuss the hours and schedule that work best for both the virtual assistant and the client. Then, establish a clear agreement regarding the number of hours and the expectations for work completion.

How Does a Virtual Assistant Get Paid?

VAs are typically paid on an hourly or project basis. Payment methods include wire transfer, PayPal (and other payment gateways) or direct deposit. VAs who work with agencies may also receive benefits such as paid time off, health insurance, and retirement plans.

How Much Money Do You Need to Start a Virtual Assistant Business?

Starting a virtual assistant business can be done with limited funds. You can start by using tools and platforms that are free or low-cost, such as a laptop, internet connection, phone, and email account. You may also need to invest in training, marketing and networking to find clients, but the startup costs can be kept to a minimum.

Do You Need a Degree to Start a Virtual Assistant Business?

No, you don't. However, a relevant education, training or work experience, and having the right skills, can be advantageous in a highly competitive market. A virtual assistant's role often involves tasks such as data entry, customer service, appointment scheduling, social media management, and administrative support. It may be helpful to have expertise in the specific skills and tasks you want to offer to clients.

Do You Need a Lot of Experience to Be a Successful Virtual Assistant?

Not at all! However, having relevant skills, experience, and a strong work ethic can make you stand out in a competitive market. Here are some other ways to help you  increase your chances of success as a virtual assistant:

  • Familiarize yourself with the tools and technologies commonly used by virtual assistants, such as project management software, video conferencing tools, and office suite applications.
  • Create a portfolio with samples of your work.
  • Offer competitive rates.
  • Effectively communicate with clients. 

Are you thinking about  being a Virtual Assistant bit you’re not sure what to offer?

Check out this free download with a list of services you can offer.


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