The Virtual Assistant industry, quite honestly, is a topic that I’ve not written about in quite some time. Although I’ve got great friends who are VA’s, like Denise Griffitts, I took it for granted that most everyone had a VA or knew about them.
I know I know…shame on me! 🙁
Listen, I really dig the virtual assistant industry. VAs have one of the most lucrative and flexible jobs on the planet.
Not only are VAs able to work from anywhere in the world, they usually work with high profile business owners — which means the pay is often quite high.
Finding VA opportunities involves searching in both traditional and non-traditional places. Let’s take a look at several places you can begin your search.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Focus on what you do best and outsource the rest #VirtualAssistant” quote=”Focus on what you do best and outsource the rest #VirtualAssistant” theme=”style2″]
Finding Virtual Assistant Opportunities
You can literally spend hours and hours on Craigslist browsing VA opportunities. When searching Craigslist, be sure and check “telecommute” before hitting the search button.
The screenshot below is of a search performed here in my area for virtual assistant jobs. As you can see, I can specify my search to Dallas, Fort Worth, the mid-cities area (Arlington, TX) or even an area in North or South Dallas.
Since virtual assistants are not geographically limited, start by checking the largest cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Also make sure to check your own area, as some employers want to meet you in person before hiring you.
Join a VA Firm
A Virtual Assistant Firm is another great place to start looking for VA opportunities. Unfortunately, some firms won’t work with an online virtual assistant who is truly virtual.
This is usually because they have their own in-house staff that they source out as virtual. Sort of takes the “virtual” out of virtual assistant, right? 😕
That said, there are other firms who work with virtual assistants exclusively.
Perform a Google search to find active firms, then apply to them directly. Apply to at least ten. The more you apply to the higher your chances of getting the job.
A word of caution: beware of the numerous virtual assistant jobs scam online. Check out the company/person and research them thoroughly before making any commitments with them. If they ask you for an investment up front before starting, then be wary.
Try oDesk, Freelancer, Elance etc., these websites usually have a bidding system in which you must stand out among other applicants to win the job. You can do this by writing a nice cover letter accompanied by presentable portfolio and good feedback from previous clients.
You might not cherish the thought of taking a “VA job” at first. However, if you are just starting out and looking to hone your skills before diving into full-time self-employment as a VA, then this could be the best route to go.
LinkedIn is a phenomenal way to meet potential VA clients. Using LinkedIn, you can network your way to the people who both need and can afford your services.
Start by crafting a detailed LinkedIn profile that showcases your most relevant work experience. Give a detailed chronology of your previous work experience, and list any relevant skills you have that would help with the job.
Then use your network of contacts to work your way to people who might need a virtual assistant. For example, presidents, vice presidents, executives, and other busy professionals will often need a virtual assistant.
You may want to target small to medium-sized companies in the beginning rather than large corporations. Getting in touch with high level executives of a large corporation can be quite difficult.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The projected valuation of the #VirtualAssistant industry in 5 years is approximately $5 billion dollars.” quote=”The projected valuation of the #VirtualAssistant industry in 5 years is approximately $5 billion dollars.” theme=”style2″]
“Who Do You Know…?”
Tap into your own network by asking people in person or by phone if they know someone who could use your services.
If your friends know that you’re very good at what you do they may know someone who could benefit from your services. They won’t hesitate to make the reference, especially if you pay them a “finders fee” for the referral if they become a customer. 😉
Make sure you phrase what you do in an easy to understand way. Not everyone knows what a virtual assistant is or does.
Explain exactly what it is that you do. Be sure to focus on the benefits they will receive by hiring you. Focus on the “pain” that can help alleviate for them.
For example, “I help executives save time and money by managing their schedule, booking their flights and accommodations, entering data and doing anything else that needs to be done. It’s similar to being an online secretary.”
Creating a Facebook page or joining a Facebook group is another great way to find VA opportunities. For instance, my friend Denise Griffitts Facebook group is a great place for VA’s to network and learn and share with one another.
When joining a group, always be mindful of the group rules. As a rule of thumb and courtesy, always give back as much or more than what you receive.
[clickToTweet tweet=”You can’t afford a #VirtualAssistant ? You can’t afford not to!” quote=”You can’t afford a #VirtualAssistant ? You can’t afford not to!” theme=”style2″]
Finding virtual assistant opportunities is the toughest in the beginning of your career. However, once you get rolling you’ll be able to get clients via referrals.
Before you have a solid client base, pick just one of the above techniques to get the ball rolling. Once you’ve mastered the first one, then move on to the next and so on.
Consistent, persistent, and organized effort is the key to becoming a successful VA. If you do not already posses these skills, then begin working on them now.
If you’re not organized and running your business smoothly, then how can you expect to help keep other people’s business organized and running smoothly?
Question: How did you get your first customer as a VA?
All that’s left to do now is leave me a comment and share this post! 😉