Business owners have now realized the benefits of outsourcing certain tasks to virtual assistants. A virtual assistant (VA) adds tremendous value to their business and reduces their operational costs as they work from a virtual office.
However, if you’re thinking of becoming a VA, setting up your virtual assistant business without proper guidance may seem daunting.
That’s where virtual assistant training programs come in.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about virtual assistant training, including how to select the best virtual assistant training course. We’ll also highlight the top three virtual assistant training courses.
This article contains:
(Click on a link for a virtual jump to that topic)
- What Is A Virtual Assistant?
- What Are Virtual Assistant Training Courses?
- Top 3 VA Training Courses
- 7 Steps To Get Started As A Virtual Assistant
- Virtual Assistant FAQs
Let’s get started.
What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is any professional who provides full-time or part-time supportive services to a business, but virtually.
How do you know if this is the right career for you?
You can opt for a virtual assistant career if:
- You’re good at administrative tasks, like email management.
- You would like to work at home and have the flexibility to choose your work hours.
- You aim to take a unique career path as an independent contractor and spend time doing what you’re passionate about.
- You’re fascinated by the ‘Digital Nomad’ life that uses technology to accomplish any work task while traveling the world.
Now many people consider a virtual assistant to be just an online administrative assistant.
Sure, a VA may perform some basic administrative tasks. But the services offered by a modern virtual office assistant can go way beyond that. Some of these include:
But how to ensure that you have the skills required to run your virtual assistant business?
Fortunately, there are many virtual assistant training programs you can take to train or upskill yourself and make money as a virtual assistant.
What are virtual assistant training courses?
Virtual assistant training courses are programs that teach you the important aspects of the VA business. They also provide step-by-step practical guidelines to help you get started as a professional virtual assistant.
Why should you take a VA course?
You may be confident about your social media management or bookkeeping skills, but running even a small business requires an entirely different skill-set.
That’s where a training course can come in handy.
These tutorials are often designed and conducted by a successful virtual assistant and include various tips, tricks, and dos and don’ts. These first-hand guidelines can help you avoid making rookie mistakes while starting your own business.
Additionally, many of these courses have their own support group and even a Facebook page to answer your queries. Having experienced mentors will enable any aspiring VA to work in this field with ease.
3 types of VA training
Whether you have some prior VA experience or are a complete newbie, there are different types of online training courses available today:
A. Training for beginners
These training courses can get you acquainted with the basics of starting your own VA business, like how to select your niche, how to find a potential client, etc.
B. Well-rounded training
This course would be a great option if you’re already well-versed with some administrative tasks and are looking for a particular niche, such as becoming a Pinterest virtual assistant, etc.
C. All-inclusive training
If you’re looking for a program that offers basic + advanced training, an all-inclusive program would be your ideal choice.
How to choose the right course?
Classifying the courses into the above categories will help you shortlist some.
However, you might have to narrow those multiple VA courses down as well.
For this, you can look into several aspects of the course, like:
- Price: The training program should fit your budget without compromising the quality of the learning material.
- Quality of lessons: The lessons should be easy-to-understand and well-organized so that you remain engaged and get the most out of the program.
- Business basics: In addition to providing lessons on VA skills, a good course should also include lessons about what you require for a successful and thriving virtual assistant business.
- Actionable training material: The course should include quizzes, tests, exams, and reviews to ensure that you get hands-on training.
Top 3 VA training courses
Here are some of the best online VA training courses that can help you learn at your own pace:
1. $10K VA
The 10K VA course is created by Kayla Sloan, a VA who boosted her business from $0 to $10K per month.
This online course offers multiple modules, which include:
- What is a virtual assistant?
- How to find and pitch virtual assistant jobs?
- Pricing services and getting paid.
- Building client relationships the right way.
You get access to a private Facebook group to connect with Kayla and other VAs.
Certain qualified students also get direct access to Kayla’s large client base, consisting of individuals looking to hire a VA.
The 10K VA standard plan costs $497.
2. Udemy virtual assistant training courses
Taking a Udemy course and receiving their certification can undoubtedly add value to your business. The platform offers plenty of online VA training courses.
Here are two of their best ones:
A. Work from home as a virtual assistant
The Work from Home as a Virtual Assistant course is created by Tina Marie Hilton, an expert in the virtual assistant industry.
This beginner-level course covers content such as:
- Is being a virtual assistant right for you?
- Creating your business.
- Before you launch, and various other helpful modules.
They also offer bonus lectures on client gifting – which is an essential skill because it’ll help you win over clients and earn their loyalty with ease.
The Work from Home as a Virtual Assistant course costs $49.99.
B. Must-have tools for virtual assistants
Must-Have Tools for Virtual Assistants is a beginner-level online course created by Erin Booth – a virtual assistant mentor.
This course covers topics like:
- Protect yourself with a contract.
- Time tracking
- Finances, etc.
This course is excellent for understanding the various tips and tools you’ll need to use as a virtual assistant.
The Must-Have Tools for Virtual Assistants training course costs $39.99
3. Fully booked virtual assistant
The Fully Booked Virtual Assistant is an all-in-one training course developed by Gina Horkey. She’s a full-time webpreneur who helps people start their virtual assistant businesses.
The program provides step-by-step guidance for creating a stable and successful VA business.
This course starts with a VA Foundation Course that includes:
- Laying the foundation.
- Getting online.
- Finding new clients.
- The art of selling, and more.
The foundation course combines their 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success, Project Management for Virtual Assistants, and various other modules.
After completing the foundation course, you become Horkey Handbook certified virtual assistant. But to get the virtual assistant certification, you need to clear the final exam with at least a 70% score.
Additionally, you also get bonuses such as turn-key templates and worksheets, including a custom pitch-tracker and rate calculator.
The Fully Booked VA system costs $497 for 3 months or $1,194/year.
7 steps to start a virtual assistant business
Having the right training is only the first step towards starting your own VA business.
To help you out, let’s explore what else you need to do to kickstart a VA business:
1. Decide on your business structure
You first need to decide the nature of your business.
You can decide the structure after considering a few important points:
- What are professionals in your area looking for?
- Is there a specific target market or type of business you would like to work with?
- What skills do you possess?
- How much risk are you willing to take?
2. Complete all formalities
Once you have the groundwork ready, you need to ensure that you complete your business’s legal and financial formalities.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Decide the structure of your business – LLC, sole proprietorship, etc.
- Open a dedicated business bank account.
- Check if you need any permits or licenses to operate your business from your home office.
- Take the help of a lawyer to create a client contract.
You can talk with a lawyer or accountant to help you figure out exactly how to complete all other tasks as well.
3. Decide the services that you’ll offer
If you’re just starting out, you may feel lost when it comes to deciding the type of virtual assistant service you should offer to your potential client.
Checking emails, managing the client’s calendar, returning phone calls, and other supportive admin tasks may be a part of the services you offer.
However, you don’t have to limit yourself to just this!
Depending on the skills you have, there are many other services that you can offer.
You can even become a:
- Blog management virtual assistant: If you already have experience in WordPress.
- Real estate virtual assistant: If you have some basic knowledge about the requirements of a real estate firm.
- Social media management VA: If you have moderated a Facebook group or other platforms before.
- Website creation and management VA: If you’re tech-savvy and know some coding.
As and when you acquire new skills, you can always change the services you offer. You can also stop offering the ones that you don’t really enjoy doing.
4. Decide your pricing structure
While there’s no fixed formula, you may need to decide your rates depending on the complexity of the skills offered.
For example, you could charge more to build and maintain an e-commerce website than manage the client’s calendar.
There are three main types of rate structures:
- Hourly: You get paid for every hour you put in. This is the most common way for VAs to charge their clients.
- Retainer: In this method, you and your clients agree upon what you’ll do during a week or month and decide a dollar value for that time.
- Product-based: You can have set rates or packages for different services. For example – $600/month to manage their Pinterest account, or $200/month to create three social media marketing posts per week, etc.
If you’re unsure of the standard rates in your area or state, you can search online to see what other VAs are charging for similar tasks.
5. Enhance your networking skills
As a newbie, you’ll need to greatly refine your networking skills to become a successful VA.
The chances are that you’ll be able to land your first clients through acquaintances. You can ask your friends, family, or even neighbors to ask around in their circles if you can provide virtual assistance to anyone.
Once you clear the first few obstacles, the rest of the race will be mostly about utilizing the gained experience to reach the finish line. And that’s where your networking skills will matter the most.
6. Establish your online presence
An online business needs an online presence.
While working virtually, you need to ensure that people know that you’re open for business.
You can advertise yourself on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social media platforms. You may even create your website or Upwork account, which describes the kind of virtual assistant service you offer, your personal story, your pricing structure, etc.
Use the website to display various client testimonials, which can increase your credibility.
Following and connecting with leaders in the VA industry is also a good way to know the trending groups, hashtags, and forums.
However, avoid excessive self-promotion.
Don’t jump into a new group and go on only talking about yourself. Try to participate in discussions by honestly answering queries and being genuinely helpful.
7. Keep making your clients happy
After you’ve successfully handled your first clients and increased your online presence, you’ll gradually be able to build up your client base.
However, the most crucial aspect of retaining your clients is keeping them happy.
Be in touch with them regularly. Ask if there’s anything else they need. Remember important days like their birthday and send a small gift.
The more work you do with a business owner, the more invaluable you’ll become. If you make their life easier, you’ll definitely earn some long-term clients.
Here are some more tips to start a virtual assistant business.
Virtual assistant FAQs
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:
1. How much can you earn as a virtual assistant?
According to PayScale, the average base rate of a virtual assistant in the US is $16.08/hour.
2. What skills do you need to become a virtual assistant?
The type of skills you require as a VA depends on the services that you wish to offer. It’s more important to focus on your qualities and work ethics.
Being organized, having great time management skills, punctuality, adaptability, trustworthiness, and flexibility are the qualities that can make you a successful VA.
3. What tools would help you work effectively as a VA?
Having sound knowledge of the various software tools will help you stay ahead in your game in today’s digital world.
Some of them include:
- Time tracking: Time Doctor is a powerful time tracking and performance management tool that’s used by large and small business owners to boost productivity. You can use it to track time and bill clients accurately.
- Business apps & file sharing / storage: Google Apps like Docs, Sheets, Forms, etc., enable you to easily collaborate and share documents with your team.
- Social media management: An online tool like Buffer allows you to manage all your social media accounts from one location.
- Scheduling: Doodle is a scheduling tool that automatically sorts through the connected calendars to find available slots for meetings.
Working as a virtual assistant is definitely a lucrative career, either as a full-time job or a side hustle.
It becomes even more promising when you have the right tools and training to complement your skills. A comprehensive VA training course will guide you on the right path and help you successfully achieve your goals.
We hope that this article helps you select the right online course for your needs.
Happy (Virtual) Assisting!
Liam Martin is a co-founder of Time Doctor which is software to improve productivity and help keep track and know what your team is working on, even when working from home.