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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Maheshwari

How to Become a Virtual Assistant

Everything you need to know about becoming a VA


virtual assistants


Who is a VA?


A Virtual Assistant is an individual who works remotely from home. Similar to a secretary, this person assists with various simple tasks related to administration (paperwork), marketing, or personal life organization. A VA is a real person working remotely; it is not a robot. All VAs work 100% remotely, and their working hours are flexible. They can choose whether they want to work 20 hours per week in the mornings, 5 hours per week only in the evening, or any other combination that works well for them.


What is the purpose of a VA?


The main purpose of a virtual assistant is to save time for the person they are assisting and help them become more organized. It's not just about saving time but also about reducing stress, demonstrating that someone else is thinking about their obligations, reminding them of tasks, completing some of those tasks, and providing support. Being an entrepreneur is not easy; every entrepreneur dreams of an assistant who will support them on their business journey and stay on top of their business tasks.


A good assistant understands that when a busy entrepreneur hires them, it's not about managing another person but having someone who comprehends their business goals and proactively helps them achieve those goals. As an assistant to very successful people, you get to learn a lot from them on a daily basis. One of our VAs mentioned that she learned more in 3 months while supporting two entrepreneurs than in 5 years in her previous job.


What kind of personality do you need to have to be a VA?


All Virtual Assistants MUST be proactive and organized.


Organized - This is often linked to how people were in school. If they are used to making to-do lists for themselves and others, keeping materials neatly, organizing folders, and setting priorities, a VA needs to stay on top of a client’s schedule. Remind them where to be, when, save all their passwords or files, and always know where to find them. So, how would one do that if they are not organized personally.


Proactive – Assistants work with successful people who are struggling with a lack of personal time. The last thing they need is to be reminded to do their work. A fantastic VA proactively suggests tasks, ideas, and systems that they think will be helpful for the client. Taking the initiative to improve the client’s life and business. Don't wait for something to be asked of you; constantly proactively suggest ideas and activities that could bring value to the client.


Reliable – Always meet deadlines, do what you say you will do. We simply know that when our VA says it will be done, we can be confident that it will! We know we can count on them.

Productive – Doing things, hands-on. Not overthinking or making excuses. Getting things done. Solving problems.


Problem-solving mindset - Be resourceful. Clients want someone to come to them with solutions, not with problems.


Trustworthy - As a remote assistant, we share passwords, secrets, personal responsibilities, duties, contacts, schedules. It's extremely important to trust that they won't misuse our data.


Communicative - Can tell or write to the client everything they've done for them in a polite way.


Independent - Since you work alone from home, you must be able to accept work independently, find solutions.


Attention to detail and good concentration - So you don't book an event for the wrong date for the client or send an invoice with the wrong numbers.


Confident - Entrepreneurs are people who have little time, are under high stress, and usually don't have the capacity to pamper someone. They need a person who isn't afraid to say what they need or ask for help.


Bonus…


Assertive - Feel when people don't want to be bothered, know how to tell them what you need and want while making them feel comfortable.

Enthusiastic - Everyone loves to be around someone who brings good energy and motivates the people they work with.



virtualo assistant part time


What kind of tasks will you need to perform as a VA?


You can specialize in just one category, or you can choose to work on various different projects if you are a generalist.


Personal Virtual Assistant – Performs tasks such as booking restaurants, planning trips, ordering gifts, finding nannies, sourcing cleaners, calling utility companies, and conducting research about local sports activities, etc.


Admin Virtual Assistant – Supports entrepreneurs with inbox management, organizing documents, drafting contracts, filling out forms, shortlisting suppliers, research, bookkeeping, invoicing, arranging meetings, preparing proposals, and providing support with writing court claims…


Marketing Virtual Assistant – Offers help with creating social media posts, community growth, newsletters, content writing, LinkedIn outreach, tracking and nurturing leads, seeking speaking gigs, designing PowerPoint presentations, and updating website content.


What tools do you need to use as a VA?


These are the basics for remote work that every Remote Bob VA needs to know. If you don’t know how to use these tools, you can’t work as a VA. This is the bare minimum.


For arranging meetings - Google Calendar, Calendly, Google Meet, Zoom, Teams

For communication – Outlook, Gmail, Slack

For tracking tasks – Asana, Monday, Clickup, Notion, Trello…

For tracking working hours – Clockify, Toggl, or something similar

For documents – Google Drive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Social Media – LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok

LastPass – for sharing passwords safely


Most VAs also use

For bookkeeping and invoicing – Xero, and QuickBooks

For newsletters – Mailchimp, MailerLite, Hubspot

For cold email campaigns – Apollo, Active Campaign, Constant Contact

Updating website – Wix, Squarespace, WordPress

For designing posts – Canva

For scheduling social media posts – Buffer, Hootsuite, Blue Strawberry, Later

For managing online membership platforms – Thinkific, or Kajabi

For sending contracts for signature online – DocuSign, or PandaDoc


remote work


What are the basic business phrases that you need to know?


Startup

Pitch Deck

Supplier

Angel Investor

VC

Outreach

MVP

Funding round

Speaking gig

Incubator or accelerator


How does the job of a VA look like?


All VAs work 100% remotely, and they have flexible working hours. They can choose whether they want to work in the morning, afternoon, or evening. They can also decide whether they want to work 10 hours per week, 40, or 5. They are paid per hour, a common feature for all VAs.


The specifics depend on the project or the interests of the VA. It could be something simple and routine, like sending 100 emails a day for the next 12 months, or something dynamic where the VA ends up in a position where the company owner appreciates them for organizing both personal and business matters.

The nature of the tasks really depends on the client. The best assistant ever was Donna from the series "Suits"; if you've watched the show, it's clear. And if you haven't, I'll try to explain with a few examples...


Example #1

George is a Senior Software Developer. He doesn’t like calling people on the phone unless he is forced to do it. He hired a VA to help him with his personal tasks – finding a nanny, calling cleaners to clean his home, planning his next trip, ordering groceries, and calling the utility company when they send the wrong bill, etc.


Example #2

Bernadette is organizing fashion shows. She hired VA Angela to write descriptions for dresses, prepare content for her website, and design images for social media. Angela is also helping her with invitations for people to attend her fashion shows.


Example #3

Leonard is a Virtual Assistant to Julia. Julia is a banker in London, highly organized, overloaded with work, and building her career coaching consultancy on the side.

She created a schedule for Leonard; she wants him to prepare 5 LinkedIn posts on Mondays, 5 Facebook posts on Tuesdays, write a blog on Wednesdays, write and send a newsletter on Thursdays, send 100 event invitations to LinkedIn contacts on Fridays, track expenses from last month in Xero, invoice clients, and do a little research on the best vegetarian restaurant in North London and reserve a table for Saturday.


Example #4

David hired Mia as a Virtual Assistant for 20 hours a week, or 4 hours a day from Monday to Friday. David has his own company producing innovative karaoke.

He constantly feels scattered, has too much work, doesn't get anything done, often forgets to pay bills, doesn't respond to emails, leaves work for later and then forgets about it. He wants to be more organized and hopes Mia can help with that.

Luckily, Mia is an experienced, smart, organized, and proactive Virtual Assistant. She took matters into her own hands, called David to learn more about what matters to him...

She found out that his most important emails are from clients, then from employees, and that he's not interested in the hundreds of emails in his inbox from people trying to sell him something. She also heard that his wife will kill him if he forgets her birthday again, and that he really wants to go to the gym at least twice a week but always forgets.

Mia started sorting emails, responding to less important ones, or summarizing long relevant emails so that David can understand what's going on in 5 seconds. She set a reminder in Google Calendar for his wife's birthday and a few days before so he has time to order her a gift.


Every morning, Mia sends a short voice message to David, motivates him, and lists what needs to be done that day. This way, she managed to improve his self-discipline and encourage him to go to the gym regularly. The rest of her time, Mia is supporting David with content for karaoke, adding lyrics to songs. Ha, what an interesting job!


Example #5

Thomas has a marketing agency and hired Lucia to help him with various tasks. He said he wants Lucia to always be online and ready to help him from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. He will send her different tasks every day when he sees what he needs help with.

Last week on Monday, Lucia researched the vaccination requirements for a trip to Africa. On Tuesday, he asked her to send inquiries to 5 companies for business card printing and forward him the contact of the fastest and most cost-effective one. On Wednesday, he asked her to log into his Tinder profile and respond to all unread messages. On Thursday, he asked her to prepare text descriptions for the new website, and on Friday, she prepared 3 invoices for his clients. She was also helping him to find a good accounting agency.



Become a VA education, is it for you?


If you still don’t know some of these tasks and tools, and you would like someone to guide you, feel free to apply for our VA Training Education.

Click here for more details: https://www.remotebob.co.uk/va-training

This online training is a combination of lectures, interactive group workshops, and practical assignments. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6.30 to 9 PM CET, online.


Become a VA training


Upcoming dates: First Edition: 19 March - 18 April (English language)

Second Edition: 3rd September - 3rd October (Croatian language)

Third Edition: 19th November - 19th December (English language)

Or, if you prefer, you can buy recorded sessions and do things at your own pace

The best candidates from VA training usually get an offer to work with us on projects after the training. They don’t have to go through the recruitment process.


Can you apply for a job at Remote Bob?


If you already have experience working as a virtual assistant, or you are confident in those tasks and tools listed above, feel free to apply directly for a role at Remote Bob. Send your CV in English to hr@remotebob.co.uk with the subject "VA Role."


How does it work?

We are receiving a lot of applications, so keep in mind it might take some time for us to get back to you. All our VAs go through this process: Questionnaire, the first round of interviews, a test task, the second round of interviews, an offer, signing a contract, onboarding 1, onboarding 2, onboarding 3, work on internal tasks, introduction to your first client. Depending on the flow of projects, some steps might be done faster or slower.


During this process, we will ask you how many hours per week you are available, when you would like to work (mornings, afternoons, evenings, or weekends), and what kind of tasks you would ideally like to do. We will match you with an upcoming project that fits your needs the best.


Even if you are available for 40 hours per week, you may initially receive only a smaller project as we gradually build trust. You will get access to our community of VAs, our education, and other useful materials and resources.


You can work in the morning, afternoon, or evening, as per your preference, except when you have scheduled meetings. During meetings, you need to coordinate with the people involved.

Our company is constantly growing, and we hire 5-10 new VAs every month due to incoming projects. So, if you see this ad a few months later, feel free to share your resume anyway. All our VAs are self-employed. Some people become Virtual Assistants and enjoy the flexibility for decades, while others use this position as a stepping stone to become Marketing Managers, Project Managers, HR Managers, or Operations Managers. It depends on your ambition and how well you showcase your skills


Work from anywhere


Working for agency, or going solo? How to become a virtual assistant?


Going solo – You will earn more money per hour, but you will be on your own. You need to attract clients, convince them to hire you, spend time doing sales. If you face a challenge with communication, or a task, you need to figure it out on your own. Also, you will need to deal with legal, and financial issues personally if client doesn’t pay you.


Working for agency – Agency will charge a commission from your hourly rate, but they will find clients for you. You will get access to community of VAs, educations and there is a mentor who is always there to help you if you face any issue with a client. Remote Bob agency guarantees that you will always be paid on 6th in the month. We had situation where client died, another one went bankrupt, and the third one has mental issues and decided not to pay – we got our VA’s back, we paid them regardless of this. We are handling it.



Money and Taxes


You can find virtual assistants on the internet who work for 3 GBP per hour, only know how to use email and Word, and barely speak English. On the other hand, you can find assistants who charge 35 GBP per hour, know several languages, Excel, design, WordPress, and are so organized that they can create a schedule for the director.

As self-employed individuals, every VA needs to take care of their own taxes based on local rules. If they want someone to handle it for them, we recommend using Native Teams.


Reach out to hr@remotebob.co.uk if you have any questions!





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