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Did you know that according to Statista, in 2018, there were 56.7 million people doing freelance work in the United States?

‘It is projected that in 2027, 86.5 million people will be freelancing in the United States and will make up 50.9 percent of the total U.S. workforce.’

Source: Statista

The same source also reports:

‘About 32 percent of U.S. freelancers stated that the percentage of freelancing work that they obtained online had increased a lot in the previous year’.

Online employment is not something in the future. It’s here, right now, and many of us have wholeheartedly embraced it.

How about YOU? Have you been thinking of pursuing an online career recently?

If you haven’t, you might be missing out on more than you realize.

And if you have, but aren’t sure where and how to start, you’ve come to the right place.

Mind you:

This is NOT a guide on how to make easy money, but instead, it’s an invaluable resource on how to build a great career!

Work Shifts from Full-time to Free Agent Employment

‘Traditional employment will no longer be the norm, replaced by contingent workers such as freelancers and part-time workers. The long-term trend of hiring contingent workers will continue to accelerate with more than 80 percent of large corporations planning to substantially increase their use of a flexible workforce.

Source: The Intuit 2020 Report

Landing a work from home job as a Virtual Assistant (VA) is a perfect way to break into the thriving online work industry.

According to a report quoted by Virtalent, ‘the VA industry will grow at a CAGR of 4.4% between 2018 and 2022’.

So, if you haven’t considered this option before, NOW is the right time and here’s why.

As the benefits of becoming a Virtual Assistant, as well as the benefits of online jobs in general, are numerous and far outweigh any minor drawbacks, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t consider giving it a try.

To name just a few major benefits:

  • You can work from home, a cafe, a park, a mountain or anywhere else you like as long as there’s an Internet connection.
  • You set your own rates and your own flexible schedule.
  • You’re free to choose who you want to work with.
  • you don’t waste time commuting to the office, and you can enjoy the privilege of spending that extra quality time with your dearest ones.
  • You save money as you don’t have to pay for transportation or spend cash on business clothes and meals in restaurants.

In short, you are your own boss and work on your own terms.

Do you doubt that working as a Virtual Assistant is a viable career?

Let us reassure you and help you to start growing your business and income so that a much wished for family trip to Disneyland isn’t just a dream but instead becomes a reality.

And why stop at just Disneyland?!

Enable yourself to afford things such as the best possible education for your children and avoid future headaches when paying for things such as insurance, household and grocery bills that have a tendency to add up every month.

This in-depth definitive guide will help you to understand a variety of Virtual Assistant job roles, salary ranges and will teach you how to get started as a home-based VA.

Ready to dive into a whole new world of marvelous opportunities for growth?

Fasten your seatbelt.

How Much Does a Virtual Assistant Make?

Virtual Assistants worldwide can make anywhere between $3 and over $60 per hour.

Some realistic estimates of their monthly income sit between $500 and $800 for general Virtual Assistants, while VAs with specialist skills such as graphic design, copywriting, SEO, web development and other such specialties generate even more money, typically between $800 and $1,500 (sometimes even more).

Yet Virtual Assistants’ pay rates vary greatly throughout the world.

ZipRecruiter, one of the largest recruiting US companies, shows work-from-home Virtual Assistant salary ranges as:

  • per hour (from as low as $6.97 to as high as $59.86)
  • per week (from as low as $279 to as high as $2,394)
  • per month (from as low as $1,208 to as high as $10,375)
  • per year (from as low as $14,500 to as high as $124,500).

The table below represents the current salary ranges for the majority of home-based Virtual Assistant positions across the USA.

How Much Does a Virtual Assistant Make?
Salary rangeHourly RatesWeekly EarningsMonthly EarningsAnnual Salary
Low-end income$13$538$2,333$28,000
Average income$28$1,100$4,767$57,203
High-end income$35$1,404$6,083$73,000

Similarly, according to Indeed, Virtual Assistant salaries in the USA range from $7.25 to $38.40, averaging at $16.15 per hour.

Screenshot source: Indeed.com

Read on to find out what influences Virtual Assistant and other online workers’ earnings.

The amount of money you can make as a VA varies predominantly based on your:

  • skill set,
  • experience,
  • region,
  • the type of business you work for
  • and other factors.

Let’s consider each of these key factors now.

How the Level of Expertise Affects a Virtual Assistant’s Income

Skilled Virtual Assistants receive higher wages when compared to general VAs, who haven’t mastered specific skill-sets.

For instance, if you work as a Virtual Assistant for an online store and possess some store administration or copywriting skills, you’ll be able to demand higher rates than a general VA because you’ll know how to:

  • write compelling product descriptions,
  • update product details on the store website,
  • create website banners and product promotions,
  • select and embed high-quality images in the store web pages and much more.

That’s why it’s critical to the success of every Virtual Assistant’s career to be committed to lifelong learning and to strive for excellence in mastering new skills.

A high level of competence, when paired with work experience, makes a winning combination. We’ll show you how.

Image Source: Freepik by Yanalya

How Work Experience Influences a Virtual Assistant’s Earnings

The difference between a beginner and expert-level Virtual Assistant is significant both in terms of employers’ expectations and thus the amount of money they’re willing to pay.

It’s logical that the more professional experience you have as a VA, the higher your rates get.

Let’s consider the three levels of experience, their effect on a VA’s earning power and the scope of duties expected by an employer.

Beginner Virtual Assistants with a Basic Skill Set Get the Lowest Pay Rate

Newbies with little or no relevant professional experience usually fall into this category.

Due to a lack of proper experience and expertise, these workers are in the lowest pay bracket and their careers progress slowly.

Entry-level VAs and other online workers typically demonstrate routine skills and behaviors such as those outlined below.

Skills of a Beginner VA
Common Behaviours of a Beginner VA
Proper use of basic online tools, which they learnt at school (e.g. Gmail, MS Word or Google Docs)Usually lack a regular daily routine and see online work as an opportunity to work in pyjamas, while watching a basketball game on TV.
The ability to do basic research and collect data from the Internet, but without necessary knowledge on how to assess the data they collected.Enjoy working without any supervision.
Elementary level of grammar and written English skills and the lack of confidence when speaking English.Have NO dedicated workspace. Instead, normally work sitting at the kitchen table or on a couch in front of the TV in the living room while the whole family is around.
The ability to copy/paste or transcribe audio content into blog posts and other website pages, but without the ability to spot and correct any critical layout and formatting issues.Cannot self-assess their performance and comprehend employer's goals including the bigger picture, which typically results in being dismissed from jobs without them figuring out the reasons.

If you’re a Beginner Virtual Assistant and want to make headway in your online career, we highly recommend checking out this course; 7 Habits for Online Success. You’ll learn which behaviors and habits will bring about online employment success.

Experienced Virtual Assistants with Intermediate Skills Receive an Average Income

These VAs have either a few years of relevant online work experience, or they have undergone online job training. They demonstrate a thorough understanding of positive online work habits and are committed to their online career.

Experienced VAs have typically acquired the skills and behaviors listed below.

Skills of an Experienced VA
Common Behaviours of an Experienced VA
Higher ability to use common online work tools such as MS Office Suite or Google Drive (e.g. can use conditional formatting in Google Sheets to filter data).Very likely to have a regular routine and dedicated workspace which is separated from the family environment.
Advanced written English skills which enable them to create text with NO assistance from native speakers.Ready to invest earnings in high-quality work tools and a better Internet connection because they pursue long-term online work opportunities.
Have a thorough understanding of exemplary document layout and formatting, which they use to enhance communication.Possess the ability to work independently, set short-term and long-term goals and measure their own productivity.
Can do in-depth research, collect data from the web and provide low-level analysis with the ability to spot patterns in the data. Still, may not be able to implement any strategic changes.Take responsibility and initiative without having any fear of failure because they observe it as a valuable learning opportunity.

Experienced VAs have also perfected the behaviors and habits fundamental to the success of every serious online worker.

What’s more, experienced Virtual Assistants strive for specializations such as:

  • customer service,
  • copywriting,
  • design,
  • store administration,
  • social media marketing and other valuable skills

in order to boost their income and secure a stable and lucrative online career.

Now stay with us because, in the following subsections, we’re going to show you how mastering particular expert skills can raise any VA’s income above the average.

Expert Virtual Assistants with Advanced Skills Earn the Highest Salary

Expert VAs usually have considerable professional experience and regularly do extensive job-related training to keep abreast of the rapidly growing and ever-changing online work industry.

They are dedicated to developing their skill set so that they can increase their earning capacity.

The typical skills and behaviors that expert VAs display include:

Skills of an Expert VA
Common Behaviours of an Expert VA
Commonly have a specialisation in at least one related area such as web development, graphic design, copywriting, advertising or social media marketing etc. which enables them to create monetary value for a company with their advanced skill set.They are reliable, work efficiently due to their fixed, committed daily work routine and possess the ability to successfully deal with distractions.
Demonstrate outstanding written and spoken English skills with equally exceptional accuracy and fluency so that they can understand complex instructions and perform a wider range of VA tasks.Have a highly positive attitude to online work and a dedicated home office. Alternatively, share an office with friends or work from a co-working space.
Versed users of various helpful tools and apps which enhance online workers’ productivity and make them more competitive.

These individuals have adopted good work routines and have learnt how to communicate clearly with their employer as well as other remote team members. This makes them dependable and trustworthy employees.

These expert skills and traits result in a long-term, secure career with well-paying and reputable online companies.

Not only will employers treat an expert Virtual Assistant with respect, but they’ll also provide them with the highest hourly rates, frequent pay increases, and bonuses.

Now that you know what defines each level of a VA’s expertise and experience, it’s easier to figure out where you’d fit, isn’t it?

Knowing what sort of skills and behavior you need to develop will help you hit your target salary and become successful in the long run.

How Regional Differences Impact Virtual Assistants’ Pay Rates

Salary Negotiation Cheatsheet
Download your free cheatsheet of Salary Negotiation

There are huge regional pay gaps in the world of online work, which are dictated by local economies.

On no account does it mean that Virtual Assistants located in the USA are worth more than those who live in the Philippines or Kenya, for example. Neither does it imply that VAs from Indonesia are worth less than those located in the UK, Europe or the rest of the world.

Different regional pay rates for the same type of job simply reflect the differences in the cost of living across different worldwide economies.

The table below shows how much Virtual Assistants get paid in different regions according to their level of competence.

Region-Based Virtual Assistant Pay Rates
General Virtual AssistantVA with copywriting skillsVA with design skillsVA with customer service skillsVA with store administration skills
Average Regional VA Pay Rates
Western Europe$21$34$38$21$34
South East Asia$16$27$25$16$21
Africa$14$32$24$16$19
Western Europe VA Pay Rates
Beginner$11 - $20$10 - $20$20 - $35$10 - $18$12 - $20
Intermediate$25 - $30$25 - $45$40 - $50$20 - $30$25 - $35
Expert$35 - $50$50 - $70$55 - $70$35 - $45$42 - $65
South East Asia VA Pay Rates
Beginner$5 - $12$6 - $15$15 - $25$10 - $15$10 - $15
Intermediate$20 - $30$20 - $31$30 - $40$15 - $20$18 - $25
Expert$35 - $45$40 - $65$40 - $60$25 - $30$25 - $30
Africa VA Pay Rates
Beginner$5 - $12$6 - $15$10 - $15$10 - $12$10 - $15
Intermediate$15 - $20$25 - $35$20 - $30$15 - $20$20 - $25
Expert$25 - $35$40 - $50$35 - $40$25 - $30$30 - $45

Sources: Payscale, Toptenreviews, Upwork, Payscale Copywriter, Payscale Virtual Assistant, AcelerartechEcommercefuel, Roberthalf, Kopywritingkourse, Webpagefx (US based), Payscale Graphic Designer, Glassdoor, Payscale Ecommerce Manager, Practicalecommerce, Simplyhired

Virtual Assistants from developing countries typically charge less for their services when compared to those from first world countries.

Local medical insurance, overhead expenses, taxes and the cost of self-employment greatly affect these rates.

How Your VA Earnings Depend On the Business You Work For

This is not a matter of how much a particular employer is willing to pay, but how profitable their business is.

For example, an established eCommerce business might pay a competent Virtual Assistant more than a startup whose funds might be somewhat limited.

Similarly, a VA can earn more if they’reworking for a company which sells well-known software products, compared to another VA, with the same skills, who works for individuals selling their arts and crafts via Etsy or eBay.

Also, a VA possessing the necessary skills to work in a social media marketing agency or as an SEO specialist is more likely to generate higher income than the one employed at companies which deal with data entry or voice-over services, or as a VA who helps a photographer run and update their website.

Your pay revolves around how much unique value you can provide to an employer in addition to the business’ size and success.

Getting the point?

Apart from those listed above, other factors such as the complexity of tasks, work requirements (full-time vs. part-time) or previous successes (if any) can influence VA compensation.

However, there are also factors that do NOT affect how much a Virtual Assistant can make. For instance, and surprisingly, tertiary education doesn’t seem to matter that much.

How Does a Virtual Assistant’s Salary Compare to Other Common Offline and Online Jobs?

Online or offline workers; have you ever wondered who earns more?

Read on to find out the typical salary rates for common offline professions compared with the earning power of online employees working as Virtual Assistants and other related online workers with different skill sets.

Take a close look at the graph below:

Click the image to magnify

The first three roles represent regular offline jobs you can do anywhere regardless of your location:

  • bank teller,
  • teacher and
  • nurse.

The other listed positions are typical online jobs that occur in the fast-growing online work industry.

When it comes to offline jobs, highly skilled nurses obviously earn the most.

However, Virtual Assistants can earn more despite working fewer hours than nurses.

So, how does YOUR salary compare to a typical online worker’s income?

Would you earn more as a Virtual Assistant?

Working as a Virtual Assistant can unquestionably ensure your future financial security, especially if you keep sharpening your skills and gaining new knowledge.

And even with a high income, the other perks of online employment, such as flexibility and working from home,  should not be underestimated.

Sources:

Australia: Salaries for Professionals, Payscale Australia, Salary by Occupation, Average Salaries, Minimum Wages Pay Guides, Nursing Wages Salaries & Pay Rates

Kenya: Average Wage Earnings, Average Salary Nairobi, Monthly Salaries for Professionals, Salary Explorer, Best Paying Career Guide

New Zealand: Salaries in NZ, Who Earns What, Trade Me, Salaries and Wages in NZ, Seek NZ

Philippines: Occupational Wages Survey, Popular Job Pay Rates, Job Index, Average Salary Survey, Workers Wages and Salary, Salary Reports

Serbia: Average Salary, Average Wages, Belgrade Salaries

United States of America: US Average Salaries and Expenditures, Occupational and Employment Wage Estimates, Entry Level Job Salaries, US Wages and Salaries, Nurse Salary by State, Highest Paying States for Registered Nurses, Average Salary in US Survey, Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers, USA Jobs Salaries, USA Jobs

United Kingdom: Nurse salaries in UK, Average Registered Nurse Salary, Best Paid UK Jobs, UK Employee Earnings, Average Salary in London, Income in UK

What Are Common Virtual Assistant Rates and Job Salary Ranges?

Virtual Assistants may be engaged on a part-time or full-time basis and often get paid by the hour, week, month or per project, depending upon their employer.

Here’s a brief overview of Virtual Assistant pay rates, per hour and per year, ranging from the lowest to the highest possible salaries according to the skill set levels required for particular jobs.

Overview of Common Virtual Assistant Rates and Salary Ranges
Types of Virtual Assistant JobsVirtual Assistant Rates per HourSpecific Job Salary Ranges per Year
General VA$3 to $15$6,240 to $31,200
VA with Copywriting Skills$3 to $45$6,240 to $93,600
VA with Customer Service Skills$4 to $25$8,320 to $52,000
VA with Store Administration Skills$10 to $70$20,800 to $145,600
VA with Graphic Design Skills$7 to $45$14,560 to $93,600

Remember when we mentioned how VAs can significantly increase their income when they perfect in-demand skills?

Now you’ll see the exact numbers representing average Virtual Assistant pay rates, per hour and annual job salary ranges, categorized by their experience and competence levels.

The data summarized in the following easy-to-understand tables reveal how much common Virtual Assistant roles may expect to receive across the globe (in USD) whether they’re beginners, without any specialist skills, as well as more experienced and even expert employees.

Let’s dive in.

General Virtual Assistant Rates

Would you like to break into online work but have no specialist skills?

Then, it’s best to start as a general Virtual Assistant. Over time you can learn a wide array of skills by working in various areas of a business thus advancing your career and ensuring your income continues to grow.

Average Rates of General Virtual Assistants
Hourly RateAverage RateYearly SalaryAverage Salary
Beginner$3 - $6$4.50$6,240 - $12,480$9,360
Experienced$7 - $15$11$14,560 - $31,200$22,880
Expert$7 - $15$11$14,560 - $31,200$22,880

Now that you’ve seen how much you can earn as a general VA, take a look at the following subsections to find out how to boost your earnings by honing particular skills.

Rates of Virtual Assistants with Copywriting Skills

A junior Virtual Assistant with essential copywriting skills is expected to understand how to write decent product descriptions and standard blog articles.

Similarly, an expert VA with copywriting knowledge is expected to write product descriptions that convert, as well the ability as to create lead magnets which grab the attention of target audiences and urge them to become customers.

Average Rates of Virtual Assistants with Copywriting Skills
Hourly RateAverage RateYearly SalaryAverage Salary
Beginner$3 - $6$4.35$6,240 - $12,480$9,360
Experienced$7 - $20$13.50$14,560 - $41,000$28,080
Expert$21 - $45$33$31,200 - $52,000$68,640

Rates of Virtual Assistants with Customer Service Skills

Even if you’re an entry-level Virtual Assistant who works as a Customer Service Representative, exceptional written English and problem-solving skills are a must-have for success.

Average Rates of Virtual Assistants with Customer Service Skills
Hourly RateAverage RateYearly SalaryAverage Salary
Beginner$4 - $6$5$8,320 - $12,480$10,400
Experienced$7 - $12$9.50$14,560 - $24,960$19,760
Expert$15 - $25$20$31,200 - $52,000$41,600

Rates of Virtual Assistants with Store Administration Skills

As a Virtual Assistant with basic store administration skills, you’re supposed to know how to update product information, process customer orders and maintain inventory numbers.

At an expert level, you are expected to successfully build and run campaigns that will increase gross revenue and to skillfully manage holiday buying frenzies.

Obviously, the responsibilities between a VA with beginner and expert level store administration skills differ greatly, as will their pay rates.

Average Rates of Virtual Assistants with Store Administration Skills
Hourly RateAverage RateYearly SalaryAverage Salary
Beginner$10 - $25$17.50$20,800 - $52,000$36,400
Experienced$30 - $45$37.50$62,400 - $93,600$78,000
Expert$55 - $70$62.50$114,400 - $145,600$130,000

Rates of Virtual Assistants with Graphic Design Skills

If you aspire to become a more easily employable Virtual Assistant, acquiring some graphic design skills is a good idea.

To become competitive in the online market as a VA with graphic design skills, you’ll need more than just the basic use of Photoshop or Illustrator.

You’ll be expected to demonstrate a full understanding of typography, colors, and balance so that you can intelligently combine all your knowledge to create strategies for increasing your employer’s profit.

Average Rates of Virtual Assistants with Graphic Design Skills
Hourly RateAverage RateYearly SalaryAverage Salary
Beginner$7 - $10$8.50$14,560 - $20,800$17,680
Experienced$12 - $25$18.50$24,960 - $52,000$38,480
Expert$30 - $45$37.50$62,400 - $93,600$78,000

Key takeaway:

Honing in-demand specialist skills for online work is bound to secure you a higher and more stable income.

Happy for successful project
Image Source: Freepik by Yanalya

What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?

In the subsections to follow, you’ll find out the daily tasks that are commonplace for each Virtual Assistant job role and discover which match your skills and personality.

For instance, do you like focusing on one project at a time and diving into detail? Or, do you prefer to work on a wide range of tasks that are constantly changing?

Let’s consider the usual responsibilities and personality traits that are best suited to common Virtual Assistant job roles typically found in the online industry.

Responsibilities of General Virtual Assistants

Personality traits: administrative, detail-oriented, process-driven.

If your characteristics match the above, you will be best suited to working as a General Virtual Assistant.

Among a myriad of general VA duties, which are doable from anywhere in the world, you will handle a wide variety of routine tasks, such as the administrative, technical and scheduling aspects for the smooth operation of a web-based business.

A Detailed Breakdown of General Virtual Assistant Tasks
Administrative and Blogging Tasks
- Prepare online meeting minutes
- Conduct online research
- Manage blog publishing schedules
- Moderate blog comments
- Add tags and images to blog posts
- Basic lead generation work
- Format simple eBooks
- Transcribe videos and audio files
- Send client invoices
- Perform basic bookkeeping (MYOB, XERO & Quickbooks)
- Train and onboard new Virtual Staff
- Track deliverables
- Manage various short-term and long-term projects
Email and Schedule Management Tasks
- Filter emails to manage spam
- Reply to customer service emails or tickets
- Provide support via live chat
- Schedule appointments
- Manage the calendar
- Build a CRM database
- Manipulate data on spreadsheets
- Do data entry using Microsoft Word or Google Docs
- Organise cloud storage on Dropbox and Google Drive
- Store files and other organisation tasks
- Convert, split and merge PDF files
- Prepare keynote presentations using PowerPoint
- Provide reminder services
Social Media Management Tasks
- Create Facebook groups or fan pages
- Schedule and post Facebook insights
- Promote Facebook pages
- Collate and interpret Facebook insights
- Create the company Twitter account(s)
- Manage and increase Twitter following
- Schedule tweets, track mentions and hashtags
- Create and manage YouTube account
- Moderate YouTube comments
- Upload videos to YouTube
- Upload videos on other social media platforms
- Create and manage LinkedIn account
- Create pinnable images on Pinterest
- Schedule and track pins
- Respond to enquiries and messages on all channels and profiles
Email Marketing Tasks
- Create and schedule broadcast emails to promote content
- Edit follow-up emails and auto-responders
- Create lists in Email Marketing Software
- Add and remove subscribers from lists
- Create email Newsletters
- Proofread emails

Responsibilities of Virtual Assistants with Copywriting Skills

Personality traits: imaginative, storyteller, people-person.

All the content you receive in your inbox? Well, as a VA with copywriting skills and duties, you’ll be writing that and much more.

Your role in writing marketing materials like website content, emails, brochures, catalogs, etc. will be critical.

Let’s say you get a job in an online store, for instance.

In that case, your writing will be used to promote the sale of goods and services offered by that online store.

In simple terms, you will be responsible for informing the general public about all the good aspects of a particular product or service.

A Detailed Breakdown of the Tasks of VAs with Copywriting Skills
One of your main duties will be to create a clear and compelling copy with a distinct brand voice.

This includes writing:
- Various types of blog articles
- Content on the company website
- Landing and sales pages
- Internet ads: LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and PPC Ads
- Emails
- eBooks
- Social media posts
- Whitepapers
- Case studies
- Product reviews
- Press releases
- Newsletters
- Bios
- Sales presentations and slide decks
Other Types of Copywriting Tasks for VAs
- Interpret and understand copywriting briefs
- Edit and proofread copy
- Conduct high-quality research and interviews
- Use SEO principles to maximize copy’s reach
- Collaborate with graphic and web designers, PR and other professionals in marketing projects such as creating email campaigns, landing pages etc.
- Source for high-quality images and other content

Responsibilities of Virtual Assistants with Graphic Design Skills

Personality traits: creative, ordered, researcher.

Virtual assistants with graphic design skills need to employ their skill set to provide the online business they work for with an impressive visual brand.

They use their design and proper computer software skills to produce high impact visual concepts, which are aimed at communicating ideas that inspire, inform and captivate consumers on the Internet.

A Detailed Breakdown of the Tasks of VAs with Graphic Design Skills
- Advise clients on effective strategies to reach a target audience
- Determine the message the design should portray
- Select relevant colours, images, text style and layout
- Design websites, create mock-ups
- Design landing, sales, opt-in and other similar pages
- Design logos, banners, icons, eBook covers and headers
- Design Infographics and other types of visuals with the content which is provided to them
- Review designs for errors before publishing
- Perform basic video editing tasks - splicing intros and outros with raw footage

Responsibilities of Virtual Assistants with Store Administration Skills

Personality traits: technically minded, organized, thorough, engaging

As a Virtual Assistant with specific store administration skills, your main duty will be to ensure that all the items being sold in an online store are regularly updated, have the correct sizes, prices, and the like.

You may also be required to list store policies and help with configuring online shopping carts.

A Detailed Breakdown of the Tasks of VAs with Store Administration Skills
General Tasks
- Generate and update website content
- Plan, define and implement necessary website changes
- Monitor and improve the website's key performance indicators
- Maintain and update the store’s online marketing plan
- Work with agencies to build traffic and sales
Marketing Tasks
- Understand and develop store website traffic sources
- Create performance analysis reports of online marketing campaigns and promotions
- Explore new ways of generating additional online store traffic and orders
- Implement and support various marketing campaigns
Other Store Admin Tasks
- Update the online store's product information, content, artwork etc.
- Develop strategies on improving website sales, conversions and customer engagement
- Examine, deploy and record functional store projects and improvements
- Create website's displays e.g. banners, images, promotions
- Investigate and report any operational issues
- Collaborate with the internal and external support team to ensure flawless daily management of the website
- Manage configuration parameters e.g. payment options, stock management

Responsibilities of Virtual Assistants with Customer Service Skills

Personality traits: friendly, punctual, reliable, problem-solving.

As a VA with customer service skills, you will be interacting directly (online and possibly on the phone) with customers on behalf of the company you work for.

For instance, you’ll be required to provide information to customers regarding online merchandise, or service orders, if you’re employed in an online store.

This job role also involves attending to customers’ questions, complaints and comments, taking orders and processing product returns amongst many other customer service tasks.

A Detailed Breakdown of the Tasks of VAs with Customer Service Skills
- Identify and assess customers’ needs to achieve satisfaction
- Listen and respond to customers’ needs and concerns
- Establish sustainable relationships and trust with customers
- Provide customers with accurate and complete information on the company’s products, services etc.
- Research answers or solutions as needed
- Review and document customer accounts
- Records data on customer interactions
- Adhere to communication procedures and guidelines
- Take orders, determine charges, and oversee billing
- Generate sales leads
- Ensure to meet personal, customer service and team sales targets
- Follow up and resolve customer complaints
- Skillfully handle product returns
- Always tend to go an extra mile to engage customers
New career online job
Image Source: Freepik

Who Typically Works as a Virtual Assistant?

Online employment is currently experiencing massive growth around the globe.

That’s why an increasing number of many VAs are investing in learning highly sought-after skills and acquiring habits, which are bound to ensure their future stable employment and success in an online environment.

In short, the most rewarding jobs are reserved for the most skilled individuals who always strive for excellence.

Not surprisingly, Virtual Assistants with the most relevant skills are the ones who are paid the most as well as being the most employable.

In the face of rising job automation and a rapidly evolving online work industry, VAs, just like other online workers, cannot afford themselves a lack of proper expertise.

Let’s see who the role of a Virtual Assistant is best suited to, shall we?

Stay-at-Home Moms

Working moms and dads are a large sector in the online workforce. The ability to work from home is one of the online work advantages they find the most attractive.

Not only does working from home save on commute times but it also enables parents to be available for their children’s school activities.

Another benefit all parents appreciate is the ability to negotiate time-off when needed and organize flexible working hours during holiday periods.

Stay-at-home parents often accept a lower salary in exchange for the convenience of more easily managing their family duties.

This influx of stay-at-home mums and dads also explains why aspiring unskilled workers find it harder to get entry-level jobs.

Popular online job boards are getting overcrowded with people who have little or no adequate skills and who are competing for the same online positions.

To be a successful online worker in this group you need to undertake specialist skills training.

Career Switchers

People all over the planet are discovering that they can leverage their career and income by working in an offshore economy. Thus they opt to switch careers.

A typical example of this is English teachers from Eastern Europe, who have good copywriting skills, and are able to work for American employers as online Virtual Assistants.

The US dollar affords a more reliable exchange currency and they typically earn higher hourly rates from US employers than they could earn in their local economy. As a result, these people earn far more than a local salary would provide them.

There are other similar scenarios where you can work from one country and receive a higher income from another corner of the globe.

Sounding good to you?

Man smiling of the salary increase
Image Source: Pixabay by Alyibel

How to Land High Paying Virtual Assistant Jobs?

Now that you’ve seen all the typical VA earning opportunities, it’s natural that you might start wondering how you can land a high-paying Virtual Assistant job so that you maximize your earning potential.

To help you learn how to earn more, we’ve summarized the essentials into actionable steps that will improve your chances of success in the online work industry.

At first sight, some would say it’s quite simple. Learn, improve your skills and you’ll earn more.

But, we all know, that it’s easier said than done, isn’t it?

Learn what? From who? And where?

It’s well-known that the Internet is saturated with free resources that claim they’ll make you an expert in any given field.

However, this freely available knowledge is a two-sided coin. The content which is free and available in different formats requires you to choose the best one for yourself.

BUT…

As those resources are scattered all over the place it’s very hard to choose a tried and tested, and reliable career learning path for yourself.

Furthermore, anybody can publish anything online, so it gets quite challenging to pick the right material to learn.

Do you have the time to check every source? What guarantees do you have that the authors are credible and know what they are teaching?

You need reliable training with clear outcomes, don’t you?

Here are some steps you can follow to learn and earn more.

Get Educated

This first step is vital to boosting your earning power. Enroll in the Small Revolution School to learn new skills and how to profit from an online career.

Dedicate Enough Time to Studying

Create a regular daily routine for learning activities by setting goals and reaching milestones. Learn how to deal with distractions easily with the help of our courses.

Get Certified

Prove your knowledge by gaining online work competency records and learning transcripts. This will help you stand out in a crowded and highly competitive marketplace.

Create An Outstanding Resume

Your resume also needs to make a strong impression on your prospective employer. Ensure it is updated and an exact match for the job role you’re seeking.

Choose Your Employer Carefully

Be wise – advertise to the right employer, not just any employer you come across. Create a profile on a credible online job board that is an exact match for your skill set and your first online job is more likely to be your dream job.

Build a Reliable Referral Network

Join a friendly, experienced and supportive community who can help you find legitimate Virtual Assistant jobs. You can ask for a referral to someone who is hiring.

Learn How to Negotiate a Salary Raise

salary negotiation cheatsheet thumbnail
Download FREE Salary Negotiation Cheatsheet

Let’s face it:

Negotiating for a salary raise can be intimidating. And most of all, there’s the anxiety of rejection which can quickly turn into a reality if you negotiate the wrong way. Don’t let this be you.

Want to know how?

Let us help you learn how to effectively negotiate a salary worthy of your skills with a few expert tips.

And guess what, your next salary negotiation (a.k.a. “the chat”), will be far more successful.

So, let’s check it out!

1. Speak Up

First and foremost, you must speak up. Make no mistake about it. And here’s why:

“You may have considered changing your rates in the past, but for most of us, conversations about money are quite awkward, and ones we’d much rather put off. But unless you have ‘the chat’ you’ll gradually earn less and less per year and feel resentful at working so hard for such low prices.” – Talented Ladies Club

2. Everything is Negotiable

“No one will ever turn you away for work if you request a bit of leeway in the budget. Everything is negotiable.” – The Balance Careers

And that’s the simple truth. Sometimes all you need to do is…

3. Be confident

“To be successful in asking for a raise, be calm, collected, confident and professional. Make your case, present your evidence and then stop talking.” – Working Mother

Sounds easy enough, right? Read on!

4. Be a Niche Expert

“When you specialize, you become an expert in a specific field, and experts can charge more for their specialized services.” – Ryan Robinson, Skillcrush

Fair enough. But read the next point…

5. Demonstrate Your Value

“The best way to ask for more money and get it is to tangibly demonstrate your value.” – Success

Even better…

6. Surpass Client Expectations

“The less mental energy, correspondence and review time a client needs to spend in collaboration with you on ongoing tasks, the more they’ll be willing to pay you” – Angie Nelson, The Work at Home Wife

And then there’s also this aspect:

7. Your Work Speaks Volumes

“Treat every job with the utmost care and build your feedback rating. This is how you create a steady flow of work and command higher rates/pay.” – Money Making Mommy

But consider this:

8. Honor Your Worth

“Those clients who show up and try to nickel-and-dime you would never make good clients anyway, no matter how low your rates are.” – Leaving Work Behind

And this too:

“The first thing you must do as a freelancer is ascertain the lowest equivalent hourly rate you are willing to work for—your Minimum Acceptable Rate (MAR)” – Lifehacker

But before we go any further, you need to:

9. Know Your Numbers

“If you walk into a salary negotiation without a number, you’re at the mercy of an experienced hiring manager who will simply control the conversation.” – The Muse

And remember:

10. Don’t Make the First Offer

“While it’s important to show flexibility regarding salary (if indeed you can be flexible), don’t get into specifics early on, as you could leave money on the table.” – AARP

And you’d be right to…

11. Charge for Value

“Don’t make the mistake of presenting your clients with a price that is based on the amount of time you will be providing them a specific service. You should always price your services according to the value provided, not according to the amount of time you THINK it will take” – Career Addict

But first a warning:

12. Be Realistic

“A realistic view is important: on the one hand, asking too much for too little is hazardous; on the other hand, asking too little for too much is a pity.” – Experteer

Despite what you may have heard, you must:

13. Demonstrate Career Growth

“Raises and promotions are given to people who generate trust and demonstrate competence to handle more complexity,” Says Steve Levin. Focus on this, and the money will likely follow. – Monster.com

Here’s something else to keep in mind…

14. Don’t Apologize for Negotiating

“Negotiating is uncomfortable, and our natural tendency is to try to smooth the edges on a difficult conversation. Saying sorry could signal to the recruiter or hiring manager that you might be willing to back down, and that could be expensive. Don’t apologize for negotiating.” – Glassdoor

And finally,

15. It’s Never Final

“Never assume that the salary offered is the final amount that you can receive. Especially if the salary is lower than the average, you can (and should) negotiate for a higher number, particularly if you have experience in the field, strong skills, and also have previous telecommuting experience—all factors that can help command a higher salary.” – WAHM

You’re Now Ready for “The Chat”

The worst thing you can do is not negotiating at all. And now that you have all these handy tips, you are ready for “the chat”. Go on and negotiate a salary worthy of your skills. Speak up!

How to Get Paid Online and On-Time

Being a Virtual Assistant is simply NOT sustainable if you don’t get paid regularly, is it?

If you run your VA business smoothly, your cash flow is expected to be positive. Good organization and planning are critical for your positive cash flow – the lifeblood of your VA business.

You need to encourage your clients to pay you promptly so that you can pay your bills on time and to save some money to help you get through lean periods when you’re short of cash.

In other words, to be able to enjoy the benefits of this fruitful online career, you need to manage your finances wisely, make smart business decisions and correctly estimate your income sources and expenses.

From the following selection of helpful articles, you’ll learn what you need to know about the basics such as:

Can I Start an Online Career Without Any Virtual Assistant Training?

The answer is – YES. Of course, you can start your online career without any Virtual Assistant training.

You do NOT need a degree to be a Virtual Assistant.

BUT…

Another question might be:

‘Is it wise to just take a deep breath and plunge into the new business hoping for the best?’

Truth be told – this is usually NOT enough and doesn’t end well unless you know how important learning the ropes are and taking responsibility for your success.

Being a Virtual Assistant is much more than just managing your clients’ calendars and checking emails. You’re expected to add real value to your client’s business.

You can do that by being able to complete a wide range of time-saving and other VA-related tasks, competently, based on your employer’s needs.

For instance, can you:

  • edit images?
  • write SEO-friendly content for their webpages?
  • handle their billing, bookkeeping and other administrative tasks?
  • take care of their multiple Social Media accounts so that you engage and increase their audience?
  • run various email and Social Media campaigns?
  • conduct keywords research?
  • carry out research and present your findings neatly?
  • generate reports?

The list goes on and on…

The more skills you have, the more services you can offer and the more irreplaceable you become to your clients.

That’s a sure-fire way to secure your financial future.

This is only one reason why upskilling is important, especially before diving in and trying to operate effectively and efficiently as a newbie in VA business.

Yes, it’s true that there are tons of free learning materials available on the Internet and that you can learn on the job.

After all, shouldn’t you always be learning if you choose this career path?

Still, anyone can publish anything online nowadays. But how can you tell if a VA course is worth your time, effort and money?

It’s tremendously difficult e.g. for a stay-at-home mom who’s trying to kick-start a VA business and hunt for credible and trustworthy sources on the web while doing VA work and struggling with her daily mommy duties all at the same time.

It takes umpteen hours of research, which often results in people feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated. That’s a far-cry far from the work-life balance you hoped for, right?

Starting to see our point?

Our recommendation is always to start your VA career on the right foot. Whether you prefer ‘winging it’ or learning all the ‘ins and outs’ before you make a move in getting started.

Undergoing high-quality Virtual Assistant training is immensely beneficial for your future career.

Proper training can get you familiar with online systems, the latest tools and techniques popular in your area of expertise.

There’s no better way to stay one step ahead of your competitors, is there?

It can also connect you with a group of people attempting to achieve the same career goals. So, if you’re in a cohort of trained Virtual Assistants, there is an opportunity for a group of people to get hired.

Then, most training courses, Facebook Groups and online schools try to get jobs for their students to prove that the training they offer is worthwhile.

Make good use of any such gems you might find. Develop the skills that will benefit your career in the long run.

Remember – if you do not commit to your professional development, you will not move forward.

Even worse, you’ll move backwards because there’s no way you can stand still.

We bet you’ll choose to progress. In which case, specialist skills count.

Browsing online jobs
Image Source: Freepik

Where to Find Legitimate Virtual Assistant Jobs?

OK. You’re now fully aware of the most common VA tasks, their earning potential and what it takes to become a well-paid VA.

The next question on your mind probably is where to find legitimate Virtual Assistant jobs as there are many scams in the world of online work.

No worries. We’ve got your back.

Here’s what you need to know when you go job hunting.

You will usually find genuine VA work opportunities with prospective employers with an impeccable online reputation. Some of these may include:

  • Reputable eCommerce companies
  • Real estate businesses
  • Digital marketing agencies
  • Telecommunications companies offering remote customer service support
  • Established Virtual Assistant agencies
  • Travel agencies
  • Research agencies
  • Photographers
  • Bloggers
  • Consulting businesses
  • Educational businesses
  • Insurance agencies
  • Accounting and bookkeeping agencies
  • Event planning businesses
  • Legal businesses
  • Healthcare service providers
  • Project management agencies
  • Web design agencies
  • Software development businesses
  • Publishing and media agencies
  • HR and recruiting agencies
  • Other types of web agencies that have been in business for many years and
  • Renowned small entrepreneurs who need half-time or full-time help with their repetitive daily tasks.

Want to know more?

What Companies Hire Virtual Assistants?

We’ve gathered a comprehensive list of trustworthy VA companies and credible job boards where you can find legitimate work as a Virtual Assistant. Some of them are:

How to Recognize and Avoid Virtual Assistant Job Scams?

When you start your VA career, right after figuring out how to find legitimate work, you should ask yourself another critical question:

‘How do I find out if a job is legitimate?’

Unfortunately, the Internet also has an abundance of remote employment scams that you won’t want to fall victim to.

We can’t list all the dodgy VA jobs that exist out there, but what we CAN do for you is teach you how to identify and avoid VA job scams.

Check out these Top 10 Internet Job Scam Warning Signs:

Screenshot source: The Balance

So, the following warning signs should trigger alarm bells when a job offer may be (and very likely is) a scam:

  • A job listing doesn’t state any task details
  • The company requires too much personal data from applicants via email or phone (e.g. your social security or bank account numbers)
  • The pay is unreasonably high
  • A job interview is not required but you get hired instantly
  • The employer offers to pay you upfront
  • They ask you for entry fees or money upfront
  • You haven’t applied for work, but the job offer is emailed to you out of the blue
  • The job posting is full of grammar and spelling mistakes

Take a look at the Federal Trade Commission videos on job scams explaining the point:

Verify every prospective employer before you trust them.

Using BBB Scam Tracker is a good way of detecting dishonest job opportunities.

And if you happen to fall into such a trap, make sure you report it. This video explains how to do it if you’re located in the United States:

If you’re from Australia, visit Scamwatch.gov.au to learn how to protect yourself from employment scams and how to report a job scam.

Remember: better safe than sorry.

So, bear the scam warning signs in mind and read through all the linked resources to learn how to check whether a job is legitimate so that you can avoid work-at-home job scams.

Want to check how good you are at spotting scam jobs? Do this quiz and find out.

Great!

You’re equipped with all the essential information to start a prosperous Virtual Assistant career.

It’s your turn to make a wise move now.

Don’t waste your time. Act today!

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Photo courtesy of Freepik by @nensuria

Katrina
Author

I'm Katrina McKinnon, creator of eCommerce University, founder of McKinnon Group and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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