- What is a Virtual Assistant?
- Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
- What do Virtual Assistants Do?
- Benefits of Virtual Assistants Hiring
- Why Hire Virtual Assistants?
- History of Virtual Assistant
- How to Hire the Right Virtual Assistant?
- Things to Consider When Hiring Virtual Assistants
- How To Become A Virtual Assistant?
- Benefits of Being a Virtual Assistant
- Types of Virtual Assistant
- Drawbacks of Working with a Virtual Assistant
- Virtual Assistant Hiring Process
- Virtual Assistant Websites
- When to Hire a Virtual Assistant?
- Cost of Virtual Assistant Hiring
- Salary of a Virtual Assistant
- Common Tools Used by Virtual Assistants
- Common Skills of a Virtual Assistant
- Virtual Assistant Hiring Models
- Top 5 Virtual Assistant Providers in the USA
- The Future of Virtual Assistant Jobs
- Virtual Assistants Trends
- Virtual Assistant FAQs
If you are searching for a virtual assistant ultimate guide to know what virtual assistant is, how online assistants work, remote virtual assistants jobs, how to hire a VA or how to become a freelance virtual assistant, you have come to the right place.
A Virtual Assistant, in short, VA, is an assistant who can be personal or admin. But assist you from a remote place.
That means a Virtual Assistant’s job is to offer services that a regular personal or admin assistant might provide. The only difference is place.
In brief, most of the services of virtual assistants, not all, are done completely online.
This ultimate VA guide will help you to understand more about online assistants, VA tools, the virtual assistant hiring process etc.
So, don’t close the page. Go through the ultimate VA guide.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistants basically work as contractors. A freelance virtual assistant is a contractor who performs specific tasks for a business.
Suppose you have a small business. But there are tasks that your in-house employees cannot do. In that case, you want a person who will work for you. But you do not have the financial ability to recruit him in-house or do not want to. So, you can hire an expert who will work virtually. That is an online assistant.
Previously, people thought VAs only worked for small companies since these companies needed more services but did not have enough in-house space.
But the idea has been changed.
The virtual assistant jobs market is now very wide. Businesses of different sizes are hiring online assistants.
So, what is a virtual assistant, then?
A remote virtual assistant is a person who has the following:
- Prior experience
- Outstanding organizational skills
- Outstanding communication skills
- Limited ‘learning curve.’
- A remote location
So, a freelance virtual assistant is a person who gives support to other businesses. Nowadays, online assistants are in high demand by entrepreneurs and online businesses.
Businesses that do not want full-time staff in a specific location are mostly hiring online assistants.
An online assistant doesn’t need to always be a person. AI (Artificial Intelligence) is also a remote virtual assistant.
You might have noticed in ecommerce applications or websites that a chatbot starts to chat with you whenever you appear in their application. That is also another form of online assistant.
Besides, while posting something on social media, you may check your writing or edit your photo. Online assistants are the app or websites that help you correct your writing or edit your photos.
The freelance virtual assistant is a part of BPO (Business Process Outsourcing).
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
BPO is a combination of B, P and O. Where B refers to Business, P means Process, and O works for Outsourcing. That means BPO directs to hiring someone to maintain any of your business processes.
In a business, there are a lot of processes to perform, for example, Talent Acquisition, Human Resources, Accounts or Quality Assurance (QA) etc.
But if any company decides not to perform any of these processes but rather hire someone remotely to perform that specific role or maintain any specific department.
In that case, this outsourcing process is BPO or Business Process Outsourcing.
What do Virtual Assistants Do?
Suppose, you have a business. But you do not want to maintain its administrative tasks in-house.
In that case, you can hire an online assistant to perform your administrative tasks. For example:
- Scheduling appointments
- Making inbound and outbound calls
- Managing a client’s inbox
- Booking travel arrangements
- Content creation
- Project management
- Customer service
Generally, virtual assistants’ jobs are huge. The ultimate VA guide presents some common online assistant responsibilities:
- Email management
- WordPress development
- Social media management
- Graphic design
- Accounting & bookkeeping
But without these tasks, online assistants do many more things.
Suppose anybody wants to be a freelance virtual assistant. In that case, she should focus only on her expertise since every remote virtual assistant’s job are different.
If you want to become a freelance virtual assistant, the ultimate VA guide suggests you focus on a niche.
Select your expertise area, and be an expert in your niche area. It will help you to fix a high range for your virtual assistant salary.
Benefits of Virtual Assistants Hiring
Virtual assistant hiring benefits are huge. Many businesses and organizations are hiring freelance virtual assistants and creating opportunities for remote virtual assistant jobs.
Freelance virtual assistants help you focus on the most important part of your business. You can outsource the other tasks that will require much time. Rather you can hire a VA who will perform the tasks in a very short time.
Online assistants also help organize and keep track of data by scheduling. In addition, VAs help most in customer services and sales.
Suppose you have an ecommerce application. When people place their orders on your app, you must make a phone call to confirm the order. But you only have a little time. So you can hire a VA who will handle incoming calls and emails and follow up with customers on your behalf.
Apart from these, the ultimate VA guide found an online assistant can also help you with the following things:
- Simplified Taxes
- Lower prices
- Better talent
- Work hours
- Different attitude
- Pay only for what you need
- Flexible number of workers
- No physical space
- Saves time
- Regain balance
- Improve workflows
Your company’s taxes depend on the number of employees in your business. But a freelance virtual assistant works as a contractual. So, you do not have to mention him or them as your employee. It will help you reduce your tax amount.
An in-house employee requires space, internet, electricity, health insurance and many other facilities. This maintenance cost is huge. But virtual assistant hiring is very simple and helps to reduce your cost since he works from a remote place. You just need to pay for the task he is assigned for.
Online assistants work remotely, so you can hire a VA from wherever you want. It benefits you to break the concept of the locality. You can find better talent from a better place. But, in the case of in-house recruitment, you do not get that chance.
If you hire a freelance virtual assistant from a distant place, there will be different time zones. So, if you sleep, the online assistant won’t postpone your tasks.
I am sharing a personal experience here in my ultimate VA guide. I was working on freelance writing. Suddenly the provider told me to submit the task by 11:59 PM. But then it was already 11:37 PM in my time zone. I completed the task at 2:00 AM and submitted it. The advantage was on that time his zone time was 7 and a half.
Human behavior varies on cultural differences. Sometimes you may find someone with a very good manner that you might not find locally. It is also related to the living expenses of an online assistant.
Pay Only for What You Need
Suppose you have hired an online assistant from an online assistant provider company. In that case, you can only pay for the services you need. You need not pay for a full package that may include unnecessary services.
Flexible Number of Workers
VA provider companies have expert remote virtual assistants. Suppose you have hired a VA from a company to handle your business email.
But suddenly, you notice that business is growing rapidly, and you need another remote virtual assistant.
The VA provider company can easily solve your problem.
No Physical Space
VAs do not require office space. You do not have to buy a desk or chair for them. Another advantage is you do not have to provide them with computers.
Overall, VA hiring can be a great way to save time. It will also help you to increase efficiency in your business.
Since VAs focus on the tasks they are expertized in, you will get enough time to focus on the complex tasks. Ultimately, your business will grow.
The research found that in 2021, 66% (Sixty-Six percent) of managers reported burnout. In this era of remote work, the rate of worker burnout is increasing rapidly.
Remote virtual assistants can help in this matter with a balanced schedule. A qualified remote assistant can help you manage your calendar and handle basic customer service. That will inspire your in-house team to regain their energy and return to the job with dual energy.
Remote virtual assistants can take on the day-to-day work. You will be free to step outside of these processes. By this time, you can find where you should give more focus. Overall, you can improve your workflows.
Why Hire Virtual Assistants?
The research found that in 2019, the global outsourcing market reached $92.5 billion (Ninety-Two point Five Billion US dollars). The amount is increasing every year.
Virtual assistants hiring causes are huge.
As mentioned above, many businesses do not want to perform administrative tasks in-house. Some need an assistant to manage social media platforms. Or others want someone to handle customer services.
The ultimate VA guide has already discussed the benefits of remote virtual assistants.
Let me express the importance of virtual assistant hiring.
Suppose you have a game development company. But now you have reached a stage where you failed to find any new idea on which you can develop a game.
You feel the importance of someone who can provide you with ideas on various things. But as an employment agency, keeping an idea generator in-house is very expensive.
In that case, a remote virtual assistant can help you solve all of the raising issues.
Online assistants provide a company owner to focus only on the most important matters where he is the only person. Making the owner free up, they provide cost-effective solutions.
In addition, unlike the in-house employee, you can pay a freelance virtual assistant only for his work hours.
Furthermore, remote virtual assistants add a fresh perspective and new skills to your business.
History of Virtual Assistant
In 2009, Tim Ferriss first introduced virtual assistants to the business world through “The 4-Hour Work Week.”
The book’s main objectives were to teach people how to work less by outsourcing repetitive or disagreeable tasks to an offshore contractor and how it helps businesses to concentrate more on higher-value work. The author encouraged people to focus on what they like most such as traveling and adventure.
Companies liked the idea, and various virtual assistant businesses and freelancers started to offer their services. They follow different models to hire virtual assistants.
How to Hire the Right Virtual Assistant?
Suppose, you have already decided to hire a remote virtual assistant for your business. In that case, you may worry about how to select the right VA for your company.
But, the ultimate VA guide is ensuring you not to be worried. Here I am adding the tricks to select and hire the right virtual assistant (VA) for your company.
These tips are:
- Define your needs
- Do your research
- Ask for referrals
- Interview candidates
- Make your decision
Define Your Needs
Before searching for a remote virtual assistant, keep some time to think. Think about what you need from an online assistant.
For what tasks do you need a virtual office assistant?
At what times do you need them?
All of these questions will help you to find a virtual assistant.
Do Your Research
Now you know what you need a remote virtual assistant. You can start your research to find an online assistant at this stage.
When you search for the best virtual assistant website, you will find many VA services available in the market.
You may get confused that which one you should select.
You should take some time for the research. Note down the different options and reviews of these best virtual assistant websites owner.
By doing so, you can shortlist the best-fit virtual assistant websites.
Ask for Referrals
Today, many companies are hiring VAs for their businesses. So you can grab the chance to help.
Ask these businesses if you know someone. The companies who use online assistants can help you by providing references.
The previous two methods will help you to narrow down your candidates. Suppose you have selected the 5 best virtual assistant websites for your company.
This is the right time to arrange interviews with the selected VA provider companies or VAs.
You can know about them and measure whether they will be the best fit for your company or not.
While interviewing, ask about the following things:
Make Your Decision
The final task is to make your decision.
Think about the companies you have already interviewed. List their offerings, values and other related things. Find the best one among them.
Things to Consider When Hiring Virtual Assistants
Before hiring online assistants from the best virtual assistant websites, there are some things that you may consider. If you follow these things, you can find the best VA for your company.
So what are these things?
The ultimate VA guide presents some tips to consider the following things:
Find a VA who will be the best fit for your business. A well-organized and efficient online assistant can provide you with the best result in the specific task for your virtual assistant hiring. Always make sure that the remote VA you are hiring you can trust.
Ensure that you are clear enough about what you want from the remote virtual assistant. You should discuss with them your expectations from them and provide them a clear instructions. You will not get the best result if you are not clear enough.
Always communicate with your online assistants. Try to be updated about what is going on in your business. Monitor their work and provide them feedback.
Check whether your online assistants have enough work on their hands. If you do not provide them with enough work, the remote virtual assistants will fail to help you as much as you need.
You need to believe in your virtual assistant hiring process. After providing instructions, let them freely do their job the best way they think. If you always micromanage your remote virtual assistant, you will not get the best from your VAs.
Suppose you consider the above things while virtual assistant hiring or after finding an online assistant. In that case, you can make the most for your business.
How To Become A Virtual Assistant?
Do you want to become an online assistant?
Here the ultimate VA guide also includes the tips and benefits of being an online assistant.
I have already discussed what a virtual assistant is.
So, how to become an online assistant?
The ultimate VA guide suggests you follow some steps to start your remote assistant career.
Step 1: Determine Your Services
Online assistants can offer a lot of services to a business, such as:
- Respond to emails
- Respond to phone calls
- Schedule meetings
- Book travel and accommodations
- Manage a contact list
- Prepare customer spreadsheets
- Keep online records
- Organize managers’ calendars
- Perform market research
- Create presentations
- Address administrative queries
- Provide customer service.
So, first, you must decide which one you are the master for. You should fix for which services you will work for a company.
You may provide more than one service.
But try not to start too broad. Sometimes virtual assistant hiring companies do not hire online assistants who cover a wide range of VA services.
So, select your niche first. In doing so, ensure that you do not limit yourself.
Step 2: Determine Your Rate
When deciding to be a full-time freelancer, specifically an online assistant, you should understand the payment system and strategy.
Every company fixes a budget for hiring in any post. But you should fix your rate too as a remote assistant. When you are fixing your demand, obviously monitor the market price. It will help you not select any unnatural demand, whether very high or very low.
Another thing is rate depends on the market location. So, you should select which market you will work for.
Step 3: Establish an Online Presence
If you decide to start your career as a remote virtual assistant, you must establish your online presence.
Suppose a company wants to hire virtual assistants. To find an online assistant, the company searches on Google. If you already build your online profile as a VA, your name will appear on the SERP. Then if your niche and the company’s need match, they will hire you.
But how will they hire you as a virtual assistant if they do not find you?
A strong online profile can generate people’s interest. It will increase your chance of virtual assistant hiring.
Another way to establish a strong online presence is to build a WordPress site for your business.
Benefits of Being a Virtual Assistant
There are a lot of benefits to becoming an online assistant.
The ultimate VA guide includes the top benefits of being a freelance virtual assistant. These advantages are:
- Work from home
If you start your career as a freelance virtual assistant, you can make your own schedule. You can take a break or go on a vacation whenever you want, which is not always possible in an in-house job.
Work from Home
You need not go to the office if you choose a remote virtual assistant career. You can join the office from your home, lying on your sofa set or anything informal.
You can choose your client on your own. Nobody can force you to work with anybody you do not want to work with. Moreover, you can ask clearly about the expectations and offers of your clients.
The most important benefit of choosing a virtual assistant career is you can fix your own rate. You are the only person who will fix your primary or secondary rates. If the clients agree to this, you will work for them, else not.
In an in-house job, you must maintain the dress code fixed by the authority. But when you start to work as a freelance virtual assistant, you can work wearing your most favorite shorts or trouser.
Starting your new career as a remote virtual assistant is cost-effective. You need only a laptop and a few tools to get started. To acquire new knowledge and skills, you may attend some courses. But that’s it. You will not require much money to start here.
Types of Virtual Assistant
There are a lot of kinds of a virtual assistants. Some focus on general administrative tasks, while others specialize in specific niches or industries.
There are also specialized services.
The ultimate VA guide attempts to show all the types of online assistants.
- Content Writing & Marketing VA
- Customer Support Representative
- Virtual Executive Assistant
- Admin Assistant
- Social Media VA
- Ecommerce VA
- Real Estate VA
- Business VA
- Personal VA
You may assume the type by hearing the name. So the admin assistant covers a wide range of administrative support services, such as:
- Customer service
- Data entry etc.
Real Estate VA
The real estate VAs covers the real estate professional area. He performs a lot of responsibilities, for example:
- Lead generation
- Transaction management
- Marketing support etc.
Social Media VA
Social media virtual assistant is more popular in the virtual assistant area or BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry.
Industries use social media to increase their branding and authenticity. Besides, social media management is also getting popularity in the business world.
The responsibilities of a social media virtual assistant are:
- Managing accounts
- Creating content
- Engaging with followers etc.
Virtual Executive Assistant
There is another type of virtual assistant, and that is the virtual executive assistant.
The virtual assistant provides the hiring company with a wide range of executive-level support services. These services are:
- Travel planning
- Email support
- Phone support
Customer Support Representative
Businesses, especially ecommerce applications or websites or others directly connected with the customers, need 24/7 customer support.
These virtual assistants work as customer service representatives. As mentioned above, AI or chatbots can also perform these duties.
So, the service helps businesses with the following things:
- Fielding questions from subscribers
- Responding to inquiries.
E-commerce virtual assistants work for ecommerce sites or businesses. They perform the administrative part of an ecommerce business, such as:
- Listing optimization
- Customer service
- Order tracking etc.
Content Marketing VA
Content marketing is a huge area. The content marketing virtual assistants perform various duties related to content.
A content marketing virtual assistant performs the following tasks:
- Content creation
- Website maintenance
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Content Writing VA
Content writing is a vast area. Freelance virtual assistants help a company with writing related everything. This service includes the following:
- Editing etc.
Business virtual assistants provide a wide range of services related to business support. A virtual business assistant can help you with the following services:
- Marketing research
- Financial analysis
- Business plan writing etc.
You can guess the personal virtual assistant service by hearing the name. A personal virtual assistant can help you as a personal secretary. He can offer you services like:
- Schedule management
- Travel planning
- Personal shopping etc.
Drawbacks of Working with a Virtual Assistant
In this ultimate VA guide, I have already included the benefits of virtual assistant hiring. However, there are some obstacles to virtual assistant hiring. You can easily get the most from remote virtual assistant hiring if you can overcome these obstacles.
So, here the ultimate VA guide presents the drawbacks of working with virtual assistants:
- Physical Tasks
- Language Barriers
- Cultural Differences
You may agree that there is nothing equal to verbal communication. But with a remote virtual assistant, you must communicate over email. So, effectively communicating over email or chat can be difficult. It may require some extra effort while communicating with freelance virtual assistants.
Another obstacle is physical tasks. Since virtual assistants work remotely, so you cannot use them in your tasks requiring physical presence.
Suppose you need some ingredients to cook a recipe. You need an assistant at that moment to buy those from a super shop. However, the virtual assistant cannot do that for you.
Language plays a vital role in communication, specifically in formal communication. So, if anybody can speak in English, it doesn’t mean he will be very good at emailing.
Since different regions follow different English forms, you should spend more time proofreading while sending emails to your clients.
Remote virtual assistants or freelance virtual assistant job seekers can be from totally different cultural backgrounds. You may not know their cultural norms.
Sometimes this can be a good thing. Either they will listen to your project carefully and perform effectively, whereas someone from your locality might back off. Or, sometimes, you may notice that you have to over-explaining things to them.
Suppose you are giving someone access to personal information. In that case, you will get security advantages to having someone local who you can sit down, interview and get some recommendations on. So, your remote virtual assistants need to be more trustworthy than your local employee.
If you hire someone in-house, you can monitor the equipment, such as computers, printers etc. But in the case of a remote virtual assistant, you cannot get the advantage of having control over equipment and software.
Virtual Assistant Hiring Process
If you are up to the process of virtual assistant hiring, the ultimate VA guide is here to help you the most.
Or, you may want to boost your career as a remote virtual assistant. This ultimate VA guide is for you, too, since it explains the process to which both of you are related.
So, what is the virtual assistant hiring process?
The virtual assistant hiring process follows some steps. These are:
Step 1: Document the Tasks You Do in a Week
Before reaching out to your network to hire the right freelance virtual assistant, audit your workflows.
First, document your and your team’s tasks in a week. Sometimes we perform tasks that we do not count as other vital tasks but require much time.
You must list these tasks, for example:
- Email inbox management
- Incoming and outgoing phone calls
- Basic content marketing
- Social media management etc.
So, keep note of everything. A virtual assistant may take more time to do these tasks than you, but after a period, you will notice that he doesn’t take much time and performs effectively.
Step 2: Choose Those You’d Like to Offload to an Assistant
You can consider this part as a fun part. In this step, you can offload the tasks that you do not like to perform. Distribute these tasks to others.
It is natural that a virtual assistant will not be very good at every task. However, you should list the tasks you expect from a new role. This information will help you to write a perfect job description (JD).
For an idea, an ideal VA can support you in the following tasks:
- Receptionist duties
- Product sourcing
- Customer support
- Basic photo editing
- Content marketing support
- Social media management
- Basic website management
- CRM management
Step 3: Convert Your Notes into a Job Description
Whenever you have the list of relevant tasks, you need to start step 3. In this stage, the ultimate VA guide suggests you prepare a job description (JD). While searching for virtual assistants, remember the competitive hiring environment.
Be clear in your JD. What opportunities you are able to provide and what tasks you are expecting, everything should be announced clearly in the JD.
After writing it, ask a few people to review it. It will help you ensure that you’ve captured the responsibilities accurately.
Moreover, your grammar, spelling and language should be professional.
Step 4: Come up with a Training Program for Your VA
Once you have a list of specific tasks, developing a training program on them is much easier. Freelance virtual assistants need to learn many tasks from scratch. You can make it easier with a training program.
So, to give him an in-depth introduction to your business workflows, you can do some things, like:
- Write a guidebook
- Shoot a few desktop videos
- Write a script for a webinar
Step 5: Post Your Job on a Board or Freelancer Platform
Now it’s time to post your job. For step 5, you should select some professional platforms to post that you are hiring virtual assistants.
For example, you can post it on the professional social media platform LinkedIn.
There are some groups related to the services you seek; you can also post on those groups.
There is another option. You can search on Google for the best virtual assistant provider company. Then you can choose one from the list according to your demand.
Step 6: Screen Applicants and Create a Shortlist
After posting your job, you will get a lot of CVs from the candidates. So, you must conduct a screening test to create a shortlist.
You can include the following questions on the screen:
- What is your employment history?
- Why do you want this remote assistant job?
- What skills make you a valuable virtual assistant?
- Your experience as a VA?
- What are your salary expectations?
You can note your expected responses to these questions. It will make sure that the right candidates meet your expectations.
You can also provide these questions when hiring from a VA provider company.
Step 7: Interview Shortlisted Applicants
From step 6, you have got the shortlisted applicants. So, in this stage, arrange an interview session with them.
Ensure the interview script must be specific to your business.
Monitor how they respond to your business need. Take your time to find a VA who will be the best fit for your company.
Step 8: Extend an Offer to the Best Candidate
Do not miss to note the responses of the interviewees. Now share your findings with your team. Sometimes you alone cannot take the best decision. Since the virtual assistant needs to collaborate with the team, the team should also measure the performance.
Consider the package you would like to provide a potential remote virtual assistant job candidate.
Another important thing is to keep an alternative if the first candidate you have selected does not agree with your package.
Step 9: If Necessary, Repeat Steps 4 to 8
Unfortunately, there may arise the situation that you do not find someone best fit. In that case, you must get back to step one and begin again.
Hiring a virtual assistant from a provider or BPO company can help you avoid these situations.
Virtual Assistant Websites
As mentioned above, there are many options when you are on virtual assistant hiring. Virtual assistant websites are one of them.
There are some best virtual assistant websites that can help you the most. Hiring from a managed service provider company can be the best option when you are searching for a reliable and consistent remote virtual assistant.
You will benefit more if you hire virtual assistants from a managed service provider (MSP) company. Freelance virtual assistants who are not engaged with any company can break your trust. But a renowned VA provider company with a virtual assistant website will never do so. Moreover, you can find their company value, and they have a physical office. So, its authenticity is more than a freelance virtual assistant.
The ultimate VA guide suggests the same for those who want to become online assistants or are freelance virtual assistants.
If you work under the best virtual assistant websites, you will have a confirmation of your job. It will increase both of your authenticity. You can avoid fake clients easily through the best virtual assistant websites.
When to Hire a Virtual Assistant?
Do you know when you should recruit a virtual assistant from an employment agency or a freelancer virtual assistant?
You may feel confused.
My ultimate VA guide presents five situations when you must hire a VA for your company. If you find any of these signs, you should instantly take the initiative. So, these signs are:
- You Feel Stressed and Overworked
- Your Work-Life Balance is at Risk
- Your Day is Filled with Time-Consuming and Distracting Tasks
- Important Things are Falling through the Cracks
- You Lack the Time and Energy to Drive Your Business Forward
You Feel Stressed and Overworked
If you notice that your daily work list is increasing every day and nothing of them is ignorable. Or if you feel that you are working dedicatedly but not getting the expected results.
These kinds of situations can expand the burnout rate and affect your mental and physical health. In addition, it will affect your business growth.
In that case, a VA can help you reduce pressure and increase business growth.
Your Work-Life Balance is at Risk
Are you always busy with your work or business life?
Don’t you have any time to hang out with family or friends?
Do you bring your laptop even on a vacation or tour?
If you are in these situations, you must find an online assistant for your business as soon as possible. VAs can help you balance your work and personal life.
Your Day is Filled with Time-Consuming and Distracting Tasks
Always remember time is the most precious resource.
So you do not kill your valuable time doing common tasks, such as
- Scheduling meetings
- Checking emails
- Posting on social media
- Preparing documents
- Invoicing etc.
Rather you can concentrate on the valuable tasks that you are expertized on.
The research found that in the USA, full-time employees spend 28% of their work-weeks reading and replying to emails.
While all these tasks may need to be done, they don’t all need to be done by you. With an online assistant, you can make sure all bases are covered.
So you can understand the situation.
Important Things are Falling through the Cracks
If you try to follow every step of your business, there may be a huge chance of falling down. You will not be able to perform your tasks on time. There will be some remaining every day.
When you are going through this situation, your important tasks will fall through the cracks.
You should hire an online assistant instant to focus on the most valuable things.
You Lack the Time and Energy to Drive Your Business Forward
Another sign is you are too busy with work, but your business is not growing that much. You failed to meet your goals, or the situation extremely frustrates you.
Since you are the head of your business, you must ensure that your time and energy are used efficiently.
So, you need to find an online assistant right now.
Cost of Hiring Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistant hiring cost depends on different factors. Usually, it depends on the services you require, whereas the others are the:
- Support etc.
The research found that the average cost of a virtual assistant hiring can range from $6-$70 per hour.
Who doesn’t expect a better ROI (Return on Investment)?
If you pay your virtual assistant 20$ (Twenty US Dollars) per hour and 10 hours a week, you are investing $200 (Two Hundred US Dollars) per month.
Think critically. Suppose the remote virtual assistant removes your 5 hours of work each week. In that case, you will get extra 5*4=20 hours to focus on the other valuable work.
That means if you count your time 50$ (Fifty USD) per hour, your return on investment will be $1000 (One Thousand USD) per month.
Salary of a Virtual Assistant
The salary of virtual assistant jobs depends on various things, such as:
- Skill level
- Years of experience
- Client etc.
However, the salary range of a virtual assistant is $34,000 (Thirty-Four Thousand USD) to $72,000 (Seventy-Two Thousand USD) per year, where a median annual rate of $52,981 (Fifty-Two Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty-One USD).
And the hourly pay range of a virtual assistant is $10.16 (Ten point One Six USD) to $29.49 (Twenty-Nine point Forty-Nine USD), where the median hourly rate is $20.34 (Twenty point Three Four USD).
Common Tools Used by Virtual Assistants
When working with a virtual assistant, you may require some tools. In fact, if you are a freelance virtual assistant, you should also run these tools to communicate with and run your tasks.
Here the ultimate guide suggests the following tools:
- An updated computer
- Zoom or Skype
- MS Office or Google Office
- High-speed internet
- Acrobat Connect
- SnapzPro X
- Google Web Apps
An updated computer
If you want to become a freelance online assistant, you must need an updated computer. Without a modern computer, you cannot communicate with your job provider and perform your tasks.
Zoom or Skype
You may already know about these virtual applications. Zoom and Skype allow users to conduct video calls, schedule meetings and etc.
So, before communicating with your provider or VA, you must ensure you have at least one of these applications.
MS Office or Google Office
To perform your tasks, you will need Microsoft Office or Google office. You may use one of them you are comfortable with. But, sometimes, you may need both depending on the client.
Email is one of the most formal platforms for official conversation, such as task assignments, task submissions, job offers etc. So, for assigning or submitting, both of you need an email ID.
An online assistant is a person whose total work is dependent on the internet. So, you can assume the necessity of high-speed internet in a VA’s job. Besides, as a VA provider or a recruitment agency, you must ensure high-speed internet.
Acrobat Connect is a tool for screen sharing. You can see others’ screens through video conferencing. Besides, you can control other computers from a remote place.
While working as an online assistant, you may need to take snaps of your screen sometimes. So the snapzPro X tool allows taking screencasts and screenshots.
Common Skills of a Virtual Assistant
As mentioned above, a virtual assistant is a remote person who works for other businesses.
So a virtual assistant requires to have some specific skills.
The ultimate VA guide finds the following skills very important for virtual assistants:
- Good Spoken English
- Good Written English
- Quick Learner
- Administrative skills
- Technical skills
- Digital marketing skills
Good Spoken English
If your virtual assistant is adept at spoken English, you can express your expectations and get his points easily. It will make your communications more effective.
Good Written English
Good written English is a must knowledge for a virtual assistant, as he is more engaged in sending emails. Moreover, in team communication, clients handling or writing reports, written English is the most important.
A person with a future vision is the best as an online assistant. A virtual assistant who can work off a to-do list can be helpful. However, if he can anticipate without being asked is incredibly valuable.
Whenever you are explaining anything about the work, your remote virtual assistant should get it. If you have to explain one thing, again and again, it will create an annoying situation for both of you. So hire someone expert in the technology or systems you use for your business.
A well-organized VA knows how to collect information and organize it in a useful manner. He needs to create folders to organize the assigned work. If you are an online assistant, you should keep track of multiple versions of documents and record important information.
Maximum virtual assistant jobs require at least some basic administrative skills. These skills may be the followings:
- Customer service
- Email inbox management
- Task and project management
- Calendar management
- Data entry
- Online research
The technical skills of an online assistant can vary according to their task category. The demand for virtual assistant jobs with technical skills is increasing, and businesses pay a high range for the job.
These tasks are:
- Website development and setup
- WordPress development and support
- Webinar setup
- Optimizing social media
- Process setup and management
- Troubleshooting and technical support
Blog posts related to crafting engaging or designing eye-catching graphics are related to creative skills. So, virtual assistant jobs related to these businesses highly require technical skills.
An online assistant’s technical skills are:
- Graphic design
- Branding support
- Creative writing
Digital Marketing Skills
Virtual assistant jobs with digital marketing backgrounds are highly demanding in online businesses. The digital marketing skills for virtual assistant jobs are:
- Sales funnel building
- Lead generation
- Facebook ad management
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Graphic design
- Email automation
Virtual Assistant Hiring Models
There are three kinds of virtual assistant hiring models available.
Businesses usually follow these three models of virtual assistant hiring. Sometimes a business can follow more than one model.
These virtual assistant hiring models are the following:
- Onshore (Domestic)
- Offshore / Remote
Onshore Virtual Assistant
In a virtual assistant hiring process, the virtual assistant hiring company and the provider company are from the same country. This model is called the virtual assistant hiring onshore model. Another name for this model is the domestic model.
If you hire a VA provider for your business from your own country, that will be an onshore VA.
Offshore / Remote Virtual Assistant
Offshore virtual assistants or remote virtual assistants are providers from a foreign country.
Suppose you have a healthcare service. You want to hire an online assistant to handle the 24/7 call center service for the business. You find a renowned remote virtual assistant provider company from another country for the task.
These remote virtual assistants are offshore VAs.
The remote virtual assistants model is the most popular in the virtual assistant hiring model.
Nearshore Virtual Assistant
It shows the proximity of the VA provider company and the hiring business. It is the nearshore virtual assistant hiring process when businesses hire a VA service from a neighboring country.
Top 5 Virtual Assistant Providers in the USA
As mentioned above, VA is getting more popular worldwide.
There are many online assistant providers. The ultimate VA guide found the top online assistant providers in the USA, and these are:
- Riseup Labs
- Remote CoWorker
- Time Etc
Riseup Labs is a very renowned company worldwide for VA services. They provide various types of VA services. For example:
- Content Writing & Marketing VA
- Customer Support Representative
- Virtual Executive Assistant
- Admin Assistant
- Social Media VA
- Ecommerce VA
- Real Estate VA
- Business VA
- Personal VA
The company helps you to reduce your cost and increase business growth.
Remote CoWorker is another virtual staffing agency that helps businesses to operate extraordinarily. It enables you to focus on the most critical tasks. The services of this provider are:
- Finance and Accounting
- HR services
Another US-based online assistant provider company is Time Etc. The company provides both a dedicated VA option and a customized option. The main services of this company are:
- Coordinating schedules
- Updating social media
- Managing email
- Data entry
UpWork provides both administrative and technical professional services. You can hire an online assistant to schedule appointments and meetings. So, the top services of UpWork are:
- Proofread documents
- Organize your inbox
- Travel arrangement
- Online research
Fiverr is an online marketplace that offers freelance virtual assistants to handle various tasks. Any type of business can hire freelancers for VA services. The most offered VA services through Fiverr are:
- Data collection and research
- Social media management
- Data administration
- Email management
- Customer support
The Future of Virtual Assistant Jobs
From the history to the present, researchers assume the future of VA. The future of online assistants is bright. In the near future, the following will be added to the online assistant:
- Personal Assistant
- VAs with IoT
- Smarter VAs
- Logical VAs
In the future, the VAs will work as personal assistants for every employee in a business. It will help employees by saving their time so that they can use assets effectively. You can record the occasion and make your important moves. Through email automation, you can focus on other tasks.
These VAs will work as a colleague.
VAs with IoT
Not so long, you will get a combination of VAs with IoT (Internet of Things). VAs are coming with gadgets, for example:
- Wearable devices
- Vehicle speakers
- Home Gadgets
These will provide a new dimension to the VA services.
Since the NLP cycle is progressing, not-so-long VAs will convert into smart VAs. The launching of smart VAs will add permission for using more such AI chatbots for more perplexing applications.
In the future, VAs will cover critical thinking abilities. Logical VAs will maintain a trustworthy relationship with the users. These new activities are:
- Determine responsibility
- Recommend feature works
- Relegate assignments etc.
Virtual Assistants Trends
As mentioned above, due to the spanning of conversational AI and smart speakers, the VA market is evolving continuously. Today online assistants can do various smart and intelligent works like,
- Customer Experience
- Uploading blog post
- Customer call service etc.
However, in 2023 you are about to see the new trends of VA. These new trends are:
- The growing army of remote freelancers
- Increased reach of high-speed internet
- The rise of remote-friendly startups
- Plan for outsourcing and cost savings
- Flexible work shift schedule
- Integration of digital tools
The Growing Army of Remote Freelancers
Researchers assume that by 2027, 86.5 (Eighty-Six point Five) million people could be freelancing in the United States.
People are switching their jobs from full-time to freelancing. Research showed that 59% of online assistants in 2022 are full-time employees.
In fact, companies are hiring online assistants to save time and money.
Increased Reach of High-Speed Internet
Due to the economic development in South America and the Asia Pacific have acquired a better internet connection. In fact, in 2022, mobile broadband networks cover 96% of Asia Pacific.
Moreover, an estimation showed that over the next decade, the US government would spend approximately $65 (Sixty-Five) billion to improve the digital infrastructure.
With the blessing of the internet and social media app development, people are enjoying more job opportunities than before.
Furthermore, the global VA market size will grow by $4.12 (Four point One Two) billion by 2025. And the CAGR will grow by 11.79%.
The Rise of Remote-Friendly Startups
Previously, startup businesses did not agree with remote jobs as they are just started their business. But stats found that 70% of startups now offer remote work.
In addition, both small and startups are outsourcing their tasks to VAs.
Outsourcing helps the average US employer with over $11,000 (Eleven Thousand USD) in savings in their operation.
Plan for Outsourcing and Cost Savings
You may already know that businesses faced a huge loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation has led the business to focus more on profit and save their cost as much as possible.
Research estimates that by 2023, global spending on outsourcing will hit $971.2 (Nine Hundred and Seventy-One point Two) billion.
And the most evolving services will be:
- Google Assistant
- Automatic speech recognition
- Conversational AI
The expansion will add great value to the VA market.
Flexible Work Shift Schedule
Businesses remove their idea from working for a long time. Remote employees work in a flexible work schedule. Freedom to work in the most productive time helps workers to provide their best to the company they work for.
In a survey in 2021, 43% of remote workers showed positive responses about flexibility and said that it helped them achieve greater productivity.
Remote VAs have access to work for 20 hours a week instead of 40 hours.
Moreover, in 2022, a case study of over 12,455 (Twelve Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty-Five) respondents found 20% of employee happiness grows due to remote work.
Integration of Digital Tools
Another upcoming trend for VA is digital tools. Digital tools work as a great helper in daily business operations by doing the followings:
- Reduce paperwork
- Manage payrolls
- Streamline team communications
- Make real-time updates
- Access customer satisfaction insights
- Unlock advanced automation capabilities etc.
Research on the topic found that in 2021, 79% of VAs and remote employees used online collaboration tools for digital transformation.
The ultimate VA guide attempted to present all about the virtual assistant hiring process and how to become an online assistant. In conclusion, the ultimate VA guide suggests that if you find the same sign that you need to hire an online assistant, do not hesitate. Virtual assistant hiring can grow your business with dual speed. And it would be a great decision if you hire a VA from a VA provider company. The VA’s upcoming trends will also add more dimension to using VAs. Online assistants will work for every employee in a business in the near future. Moreover, remote online assistants will play more variety of roles and will be an integral part of any business or company.
Virtual Assistant FAQs
Since the demand for the virtual assistant hiring process is increasing, people are more curious about online assistants. So, The ultimate VA guide combines the frequently asked questions about online assistants with answers.
A virtual assistant is an employee who offers services remotely. VAs can do the following task:
1. Scheduling appointments
2. Making phone calls
3. Arranging travel
4. Organizing emails.
Three examples of online assistants are:
1. Siri on Apple devices
2. Cortana on Microsoft Devices
3. Google Assistant on Android devices.
You can start your career as a VA by following these steps:
1. Take training courses
2. Determine the work you like and can do
3. Figure out the prices to charge
4. Create an online presence
5. Start applying to jobs
6. Learn about yourself and your clients.
There are some common skills that all kinds of VAs need. These skills are:
1. Good Spoken English
2. Good Written English
4. Quick Learner
Online assistants always work from a remote place or virtually. That’s why they are called freelance virtual assistants. They do not go to the office physically but complete the tasks from home.
People hire virtual assistants to measure their scalability. VAs allow businesses to scale operations with less risk.
This page was last edited on 18 December 2022, at 11:46 am
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