The gig economy is facilitating new and creative ways to earn money. People are using their skills and talents to make a living by taking advantage of technology. Freelancers contribute nearly $1.4 trillion annually to the U.S. economy, according to a recent survey.
One way to work from home and make money is by being a virtual assistant (VA). A VA provides clerical or administrative help to companies or people remotely. Some VAs work on a project-by-project basis while others work out deals that essentially make them long-term contractors.
How to make money from home by being a virtual assistant
Because VAs typically work from the comforts of their own home, they can often perform tasks at their own pace, even at odd hours of the day or night.
The beautiful thing about being a VA is that although you’re working for a firm or person, you’re your own boss, so the dynamic between your client and yourself is totally different from a worker-boss relationship. Because they aren’t conventional businesses, VAs can negotiate their project needs without the red tape normally associated with traditional businesses.
VAs also typically have a direct line to a top executive or proprietor of the business, which in some ways gives them even more power than regular employees.
Virtual assistants are seen as partners to small businesses, especially since they do the important legwork necessary for the company to succeed.
How much do virtual assistants get paid?
VAs can make as much as $100 per hour, depending on the organization and its budget. More realistically, if you’re just starting out, $25 an hour is a good starting wage, especially if you just want to see if it’s for you or not.
As secretarial wages have climbed, so has the pay of VAs. Virtual assistants have been a vital part of international business for more than two decades. VAdirectory.net started in 1996 as A Clayton’s Secretary and has been connecting businesses with virtual contractors the whole while.
How to find virtual assistant jobs
A quick search in Google pulls up hundreds of VA jobs. Remember, it doesn’t matter where the jobs are based, you’re working from home. Indeed.com and Flexjobs.com (which charges a fee but vets its listings to weed out scams) are just two job sites with VA jobs listed.
3 ways to succeed as a virtual assistant
Decide what services you’ll provide: You may be able to do a million things well, but when it comes to utilizing your skills, you’d better enjoy doing what you’re good at. That way, when and if business picks up, you won’t be stuck completing tasks that actually make you miserable. Come up with services that you know you can perform without complaint.
Reach out to new companies: If you see new buildings popping up in your city, see if you can either stop by or email an executive to see if they need help with any administrative tasks. New businesses don’t have to be in your locale, if you read about new ventures on the internet or via Linkedin.com, they just might be able to benefit from your services.
Grow your business: Once you land your first client, nurture the relationship with good communication and special deals on your services. It’s also a good idea to offer them discounts for word-of-mouth references. And don’t forget to ask them to support your business either by giving an online testimonial or endorsing you on Linkedin.
Virtual assistance jobs are only one path to freelance success. Here are a bunch of other ways to make extra money.