How to Start Working From Home as a Virtual Assistant – How one woman took her side hustle and turned it into a full-time income while she works from home!
Raise your hand if working from home sounds like the dreamiest dream job ever! Everyone wants that life! You know by now that I’m a big fan of side hustles and finding ways to earn from home (not talking about MLMs or things like that).
Which is why I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend Kayla. Kayla has found a great way to make it work as a virtual assistant, and now she’s sharing it with you!
If you’ve ever felt like you wanted to work from home but just didn’t know what you wanted to do, you need to check out what Kayla has to say. Because you too might become a virtual assistant and make a full-time income doing it!
If you’re looking for other great side hustle ideas, check out some of these below:
- Make a Full-Time Income From Home Proofreading
- My Jewelry Side Hustle That Makes a Full-Time Income
- 5 Side Hustles That Pay For My Groceries (and More!)
- Make $40,000 per Year From Home as a Bookkeeper
- How To Make $20 an Hour Teaching English from Home
- 6 Easy Ways to Make Money From Home
- How to Start a Profitable Blog the Right Way
Tell me a little bit about you and how you became a virtual assistant and a freelancer.
Hi, I’m Kayla and back in 2013, I started my blog, KaylaSloan.com, as a hobby. I simply wanted a place to share my thoughts and feelings as I worked my way out of debt.
At the time, I had no idea what a VA was or that you could make money online from home.
Instead, I fumbled around, made a lot of mistakes with my website (including completely deleting it by accident once, whoops!), and finally found my blogging rhythm.
Then I started connecting with other bloggers in my niche. Reading their income reports was eye-opening for me. It made me realize that I could earn extra money from home as a writer (this was my initial goal!) to help pay off debt. But, I still didn’t know what a VA was.
I landed my first freelance writing job by simply asking around to see if any of my blogger friends knew of any opportunities. One of them actually became my first client!
After a few weeks of working together, I noticed that the posts I was writing hadn’t been published. Since I always want to keep my clients happy, I simply asked if there was something I needed to do differently.
I wanted to make sure that I hadn’t done something incorrectly, which was keeping her from publishing the posts. That’s when she mentioned that she was very overwhelmed and needed help with some other tasks too. (Mainly research and social media.)
She asked me if I was ok with this type of work since it’s different than writing. Since I was desperate for money to get out of debt, I said yes.
That first month, I earned $285 and I was ecstatic!
What does a VA do?
There are actually TONS of different types of things you can do as a VA, which means you can find the opportunity that best fits your skills, knowledge, and interests. Some types of VA work may pay higher than others because they take more skills or knowledge, but you don’t have to have any kind of formal education to become a VA.
Administrative VAs will do simple tasks like sending emails, scheduling meetings, light bookkeeping work, etc. But, if you have knowledge of blogging, marketing, WordPress, etc. you can earn more money with those VA skills and services.
Do people really need VAs? Is there a demand for them?
There is a HUGE demand for VAs. I am constantly being asked if I can take on new clients. When that happens, I pass them on to my coaching and course students since I can’t take on any new work.
Think about it! Every business has behind-the-scenes work that needs to be done, like social media, email management, customer service, newsletters, etc. And business owners can’t (or don’t want to) do all that work themselves.
They got into business to see the big picture, not to manage these day-to-day details, which is where a VA comes in. Business owners want to hire you to handle these things so they don’t have to do it themselves or worry about if it’s being done timely and correctly.
What does a typical VA make? How long does it take to start to earn?
When I first started out as a VA, I was earning $15 per hour. Before long, I learned new skills, tools, and took on new tasks, which allowed me to raise my rates significantly.
These days $15 hour is on the low-end for a starting VA and I don’t recommend new VAs in the US to take any less than that. In fact, if you have some basic skills already, you should be charging more from day 1!
Depending on how you charge your clients, either up-front or hourly after you’ve completed your work, you can get paid before you do any work at all. If you charge for work already completed, you’ll likely get paid at the end of the first month of working with your first client.
What makes a person a great VA? What kinds of skills would a person need?
Having a few skills will help you stand out from the competition and become a super successful VA. They sound easy and simple (and they are!) but it’s still worth mentioning because many VAs lack these skills that will set you apart.
The things you need to be a successful VA are:
- Reliability – You MUST meet your deadlines! A shocking number of VAs don’t do this!
- Good Communication Skills – Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Over-communicating is better than under-communicating.
- Integrity – Never, never, never take advantage of your client, their business information, etc. As a VA you will be privy to a lot of behind-the-scenes information that should NEVER be shared.
- Time Management Skills – You’ll have to juggle multiple clients, projects, and deadlines. You need to be able to prioritize your work and make the best use of your time.
- Problem Solving and Resourcefulness – Although asking questions of your clients is a good thing, do your best to be a problem solver too. I try to present options to my clients when I go back to them with a question. This saves them time, which is the whole reason they hire a VA!
- Ability to Add Value – Can you think of ways to save them more time, money, etc.? Are there ways they can earn more money?
- Following Up – As silly as it sounds, being willing and able to follow up on things to make sure they are fully completed is one of the biggest things I do as a VA.
How much does it cost to start?
Being a VA doesn’t require much. You do need a computer and a good internet connection. Other than that, you can bootstrap your business to get it off the ground.
I invest money into my business now, but when I started I tried to save as much as possible. I was actually able to start without spending any money at all since I already had a computer and internet at my house.
The only thing I regret not spending money on when I started was not getting a coach or mentor. I know that I could have grown my business faster and avoided a lot of newbie mistakes if I had had more guidance from someone who had already been there.
What is the best thing about being a VA and a freelancer?
There are so many things that are great about being a freelance VA.
- You can set your own hours.
- You set your own rates.
- You get paid to learn.
- The ability to work with business owners you admire is so fulfilling.
- Plus, I love working from home in my yoga pants every day. 🙂
How can I start? What kind of training do I need?
Although you don’t need any formal education, taking a course or hiring a coach who’s been there and done that, so to speak, can help you grow your business much faster than you could do it on your own. It took me a year to earn $2k/month and quit my day job, and another 14 months to hit the $10K/month mark. I know I could have saved a lot of time growing my business if I would have had someone to go to with questions. It would have saved me from many, many mistakes as I grew my business.
In fact, with my help, Kim Studdard was able to go from making $283 per month her first month in business, to earning enough money to bring her husband home from work permanently. She’s also on track to earn $10k/month in the next couple of months (at her current rate of growth).
Working with Kayla was one of the best decisions I could have made when it comes to my business. My first month of being a solopreneur, I only made $283. Now, I make double what my husband and I used to make in a month! I’m actually on track to earn $10,000/month by the end of the year. -Kim Studdard, The Entrepremomer
What are some tips that you’d give to someone who is on the fence?
Especially if you don’t have to spend more than a couple hundred dollars to get started, what do you have to lose? You can more than make up for your small startup costs in a month or two after landing your first client!
Do you think that being a virtual assistant is right for you? Go grab $10KVA and start your own business from home today!