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How to Apply Your Skills to Become a Virtual Assistant

Dec 21, 2020
(updated: Feb 14, 2023)
Lesson duration: 5 min

Remote jobs are a trend that’s taking place for years and has been accelerated due because of the social isolation measures adopted in most of the world to contain the coronavirus. With the home office coming off the ground, people and companies realized that it is possible to guarantee productivity at work over the internet, which reinforces a profession that is consolidating itself: virtual assistance.

Virtual assistants are people who provide specific services for businesses or other professionals remotely. For example, if you have experience in human resources and a business owner needs assistance every month to help with the payroll, as a virtual assistant, you can work as their virtual assistant while attending demands of other companies, thanks to the remote operations and flexible schedule 

Being a virtual assistant is much more than working remotely, it is creating your own work and reinventing yourself every day. "But can anyone work with virtual assistance?" you may be thinking. The answer is yes, as long as you have a service to offer that can be executed in a virtual way and that there is a demand for this job. Some areas that are more common in this model:

  • Secretary
  • Administrative
  • Customer service and relationship
  • Sales
  • Financial
  • Personal assistance
  • Transcription of documents and videos
  • Marketing
  • Real Estate
  • Graphic Design

There are still many other task options for those who want to start acting as a virtual assistant. However, there are many doubts that may arise in the beginning, such as what types of services you’re providing, how you’re yourself, and how you can get the first customers. 

So, is that you? Do you want to be a virtual assistant, but don't know exactly how? No problem. In fact, many people start from scratch and create profitable careers. While this may take a while, you certainly can become a successful Virtual Assistant with the right combination of dedication, determination, and enthusiasm. 

To help those just starting out, I’ll share some valuable tips that can be used as a starting point for anyone who wants to become a Virtual Assistant.

Invest in self knowledge

I say that because the very first step is finding out what you can offer in the form of service. Ask yourself: “what can I do that can help other people or companies?” What are you good at? Administrative support tasks, spreadsheets, research… Only you will know.

Although apparently simple, this is the most challenging step because, after all, no one taught us to value what we know, and certainly, our educational system never bothered to teach us how we can offer our skills in the form of service. But you can do this. 

After defining what can be offered, other points of self-knowledge should be explored, such as production capacity, resilience, empathy with the client, responsibility with deadlines, among others.

Define the job niche

After an analysis of what can be offered, it is time to look at the market. Assuming that a person has identified that they can sell the customer relationship service; this niche, by itself, is quite broad. In order to be able to carry out the next steps - and close contracts with customers - it is necessary to define a scope, write down which functions will be performed and which ones will not.

And why is that important? Because it is much easier to find potential customers and establish yourself as an expert when you are focused on a specific group. As an expert, you will be able to charge higher rates and attract better customers.

Define your ideal customer

When you’re trying to find virtual assistant jobs, it helps with defining your ideal customer. Now that you know what you can sell and what activities are within your scope of work, you still need to understand who needs this service the most. The ideal is start by choosing at least 3 identities for your ideal customer, for example, dentists, doctors, lawyers.

The question that you should ask is "who needs help with the tasks I can do?" This step is very important so that you can design an appropriate and assertive communication to prospective customers, which will increase the value of your work.

Market yourself

Having a well-aligned sales pitch and communication strategies to reach potential customers is essential, although for many, after deciding what to offer, this is the most difficult part. But with all of the previous steps aligned, the difficulty is minimized.

If you know what and who you’re selling to, organize a strategy and show the customer why he needs your service. As a virtual assistant, you can offer several advantages for them.

I’m not a Marketing expert, but I’m always reading about the theme since the success of my freelance career is completely attached to my marketing strategy. I recently came across this article on how to create a marketing strategy for 2021 and I found it really helpful. You may want to check it out and see which tips are valuable and applicable to you.

Job search

The last - and more obvious - step is to actively look for work. There are endless websites where you can find freelance work (including Virtual Assistant roles), but it’s important to choose the right ones. We have dedicated an entire article to the best websites for freelance jobs that will help you to make that choice.

A great tip is not to limit your search to just general virtual assistant work. I say that because I know how competitive the market can be, and narrowing your search may make you miss out on great opportunities.

Instead, find out your most valuable skill set and search for jobs that are mainly looking for that. Anyone can call themselves a virtual assistant, but if you reach out and say how confident and experienced you are in regards to the skill and service they need, you will certainly allow more doors to open.


To put all this into practice, however, you may need further support. Here on Indy, you will find a lot of content that can help you start exploring the remote work world. 

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