I’ve often joked that I might prefer being a virtual assistant than in a cubicle, answering to a boss. That’s because I’m so clueless and need constant reassurance that what I do is valuable and practical.
But how does a virtual assistant earn a decent salary without some work experience?
Yes, virtual assistant gigs are plentiful, and they can be found on sites like Upwork, Gigster, Mavenlink and Netvibes. Yet finding a virtual assistant job without prior experience is often harder than obtaining a job.
At least when it comes to hiring virtual assistants. Unfortunately, too many conversational assistant jobs require a certain amount of skill.
For example, a typical gig will need data entry and other administrative tasks for which no formal training is required.
On top of that, people need to be willing to commit to what seems like endless training in a conversational assistant job.
My advice is to make sure you have something of real value to offer. Fortunately, some websites do an excellent job of helping employers screen potential virtual assistants with the ability to do some pretty important things. It’s easier to hire virtual assistants with experience than without, but it’s a virtual job nonetheless. So if you want to become a virtual assistant, you need to find a job you feel confident in and offer something valuable in return.
For me, I offer assistance with creating virtual marketing campaigns. I’ve done this in virtual assistant jobs before and jobs where the client is ready to pay for my work.
With these jobs, I would help the client create a marketing campaign, then write and refine their marketing plan.
How does it help?
Creating a marketing campaign is something most companies have no experience with, and most of the time, they’re precious. Therefore, an assistant should always be a virtual marketing expert in addition to a conversational assistant.
But what if you’ve never even written a blog or researched marketing and social media?
Here’s what I’ve learned when it comes to creating a conversational assistant job, and what I suggest you do to do a job that pays just a little bit more than virtual assistant jobs that require some experience:
A Virtual Assistant Job Is Not Virtual Assistant Work
Unless a job is designed to do something virtual, such as running a virtual assistant company, there’s no real distinction between virtual assistant work and virtual assistant work.
While virtual assistant companies exist, it’s not virtual assistant work that they’re promoting. It’s virtual assistant jobs. That’s why I’ve always explained that conversational assistant companies aren’t the kind of businesses that will pay someone thousands to create a marketing plan.
My advice is to always point to the service you’re offering as a conversational assistant. People can’t help but get it when you explain that you’ll be building a marketing campaign and delivering a marketing plan for their business.
People immediately understand what a conversational assistant job is when they can say, “I’ve been creating a marketing campaign for two years. It’s challenging, and I’m constantly learning and growing, and I enjoy it.”
If you want to call yourself a conversational assistant and charge a salary:
- Tell people you’re creating virtual marketing campaigns that do something virtual.
- Offer to work for free to learn the basics.
- Go to work for an expert.
Make Sure You’re A Certified Virtual Assistant
Like any job, you should aim to become certified when possible. It only takes a little bit of work and effort to become certified. There are several programs available for virtual assistants.
One program I used was START (Virtual Training Association of Technology Specialists).
START is one of the better ones to create a conversational assistant certification.
Another program is VSAE (Virtual Assistant Executive Association). It’s designed for more advanced virtual assistants, but it’s a great place to get a little bit of experience.
If your website is relatively new, you may not have that many clients, so you may not want to spend a lot of time creating a website. Instead, you may want to save that for later or spend more time doing more jobs.
If you’re already established in your market, you may have more projects going on. That means you’re probably already managing some clients.
Find A Job That Will Create A Job
The most critical step in creating a virtual marketing job is finding a job that needs a virtual marketing assistant. Sometimes, a job is set up, so a conversational assistant requires a lot of experience, but other times, they need someone to help them put together a marketing plan.
You should always find a job that needs a virtual assistant as a requirement. But it’s always best to focus on jobs that require a virtual marketing assistant because people will pay you more money if they know you have experience.
My advice is not to limit yourself to just one task. Like virtual assistants, it’s straight forward to become involved in multiple assignments. When you limit yourself to just one job, you’ll lose money. You’ll work for less than you’re worth. So focus on helping people with whatever task they ask you to do, but then, if other jobs require your expertise, find the ones that need it.
- When I’m out in the marketplace, I’ve found the bulk of my clients ask for a marketing plan and a website build. That’s it. That’s all they ask for.
If you focus on helping with whatever people have asked you to do, you’ll be paid better for it. The tips above are just some of the basic things you should focus on as you work to create your own conversational assistant business.
You may not be able to create a million-dollar business, but you can build something better than you would have otherwise. I’m sure you’ve spent some time creating virtual business assistant jobs for yourself. But have you done a business out of it? If you have some more experience, some more knowledge, and some more know-how, you’re already way ahead of most people.