Thursday, August 23, 2012

What is a Virtual Assistant?

The current flourishing of the use of the internet and the global economic status gave rise to the idea of outsourcing work outside of the country with much lower cost but still effective and dependable staffs working for you or your business.

Virtual Assistant as defined by Wikipedia is generally self-employed and provides professional, administrative, technical, or creative to clients from a home office. 

They are termed virtual because all of the dealings are done through the use of modern technology like internet, telephone and other form of communication without any actual contact like the regular employment which you have to report at the physical office. Thus, besides income consideration the advantage of being a VA is to work anywhere possible for you: if you are mother or father , you can work in your home where you could be with your family most of the time and if you are an adventurer , you could work anywhere in the world provided of course you would still have access to internet.

What are the types of projects or work a VA do?
  • General Administrative Assistant or Personal VA - email filtering, data entry, transcription, preparing powerpoint presentations, research, customer service/answering email or phone calls(answering support request/live chats/twitter inquiries), events planning, travel arrangements, calendar management, monitoring of group accomplishments or status of other VAs(hiring other freelancers for the client/handle payments to freelancers/managing tasks accomplishments), blog management, social media management (twitter, linked in, facebook, squidoo).  Specific tasks could include VA to get contact details of blogger within the niche of the client, regularly market your services in craigslist, submit press release article to press release websites, submit affiliate programs to affiliate directories
  • SEO Specialist - keyword research, niche market analysis, link building, blog management, competitive analysis. Specific examples are setting up/optimizing your google adwords or facebook ads campaign, use of market samurai or google analytics for keyword search and of course identify SEO opportunities from keywords that drive traffic to your site,  
  • Article/Content Writing - write articles either for their blog contents, websites, e-books, or SEO requirements, marketing or advertising of products, directory submission, press release articles
  • Web Designer -  programming, create websites, set up and maintain wordpress blogs, software updates and plugins, design graphics/webpage layout
  • Graphic Designers - although this could be under web designers, there are a lot of new projects for graphic designers that does not fall under web designers like character illustrations for advertising collaterals, logo design, picture books (children's books)
  • Bookkeeping/Accounting - for Accounting graduates, invoicing, bookkeeping for business of clients

How to earn as a VA?
A Virtual Assistant can take as many clients as he/she can handle without of course letting his/her performance suffer and thus increasing the possible income any VA can get compared to standard employment. The rate will vary based on the tasks being handled by the VA. You can check from how the VA rate was computed.

Where to apply as a VA?
Well, there are a lot of sites encouraging you to join them as part of the pool of VAs but so far here are the top VA hiring sites you can join to apply as a VA:


Where to get training as a VA?
There are a lot of free resource available in the internet about VAs but if you want to learn fast and be part of community of Filipino VAs you could join Jomar Hilario's Mastery Group in Facebook or attend or download his seminars specifically tackling how we could be a hireable and highly paid VAs.

What do they say about hiring Virtual Assistants?
Tim Ferriss - Tim is the author of the best-selling book "The 4-hour Workweek" which introduced the concept of hiring Virtual Assistants. He teaches entrepreneurs how to maximize their time by outsourcing . One of the use of VA for Tim is to manage his inbox and customer service communication to his clients by giving clear instructions and templates.

Pat Flynn - is the one behind the Smart Passive Income Blog, he discussed about VA in one of his post entitled "Hiring a Virtual Assistant - Everything You Need to Know" and hired his VA for his website creation, designing wordpress themes, article writing.

Brendon Burchard - teaching individuals and entrepreneurs his marketing secrets and branding strategies thru his The Experts Academy. He started his online business with just one VA, he believes that there are tasks that needs to be focused on and delegate the rest to your VA.


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  2. As a virtual assistant you should basically be a jack-of-all-trades. You must skills in blogging, data entry to email management. You can work at home, but you need a decent laptop or a desktop computer, best virtual assistant companies does not need to have high end specs, and of course a decent and stable internet connection.