There are many career paths you can explore from anywhere in the world if you want to spend your life as a digital nomad. Working as a virtual assistant digital nomad is one of the most popular options for those who want to travel full-time. A virtual assistant can be any skill level and encompasses a wide range of needs and knowledge.
Over the last few years, this profession has been the primary source of income for tens of thousands of people. If you’re interested in becoming a virtual assistant, you should know exactly what it entails.
In this article, you will find out what it’s like, what talents, experience, and training you’ll need, where and how to look for opportunities, the drawbacks you’ll face, and other helpful hints for your new possible career. Let’s begin!
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is a self-employed freelancer who provides businesses or entrepreneurs with remote services.
To put it another way, it’s a personal assistant who performs remote work. Virtual assistants do a wide range of professional (and personal) activities for small or big business owners, like task scheduling, social media management, and email inbox organization.
Types of Virtual Assistants
One of the trickiest answers that digital nomads face is what type of virtual assistant they want to become. Although there are many types of virtual assistants, they mostly fall into four categories outlined below.
General Virtual Assistant
Responding to emails, organizing files, formatting blog posts, online form filling jobs, data entry, and other entry-level works are all tasks that a general virtual assistant can be expected to do.
Most of your tasks are general day-to-day things, so an in-depth knowledge of your client’s products and how the business is run won’t be as essential as in other types of virtual assistant roles. As a result, it is one of the most beginner-friendly freelancing jobs for newbies and those who are looking to begin their digital nomad life.
Virtual Administrative Assistant
An admin virtual assistant assists with work relating to a client’s niche and is occasionally in charge of supervising other, lower-level virtual assistants.
Virtual assistants who work in administration are paid more, but they also have more responsibilities. This remote job is great for people who like to teach others and take ownership of tasks.
Specialized Virtual Assistant
This type of virtual assistant specializes in a specific skill set that a customer requires. For example, some specialized virtual assistants work solely on social media, product management, SEO, or graphic design.
The harder you are to replace and the more niche your skill is, the more money you can charge. Such digital nomad virtual assistants conduct important tasks and often work with different clients. This is why this type of remote work might be challenging for some since apart from having a skill set, they also have to deal with finding clients regularly, as it’s important for any freelancing virtual assistant to have enough of their own client base to pay the bills.
Project Launch Virtual Assistant
A product launch virtual assistant is recruited for a specific project to help achieve a particular goal, such as launching a product or performing website maintenance activities.
While many clients run tight ships and prefer a strictly business connection with as little touch as possible, others may desire to create a long-term working relationship. You may spend so much time working together that you’ll become friends. You’re effectively getting paid to maintain and grow business connections as well as your employment responsibilities. Get ready to work with past clients frequently.
What Does a Day In The Life of a Digital Nomad Virtual Assistant Look Like?
Depending on the type of work you’ve been tasked with and what kind of virtual assistant you are, a day in the life can vary. As a digital nomad virtual assistant, your days can be as varied or as regimented as you allow it to be. Overall you can expect your day to look pretty similar to what is outlined below.
The first thing will be to check the calendar or task manager that has what your assignments are listed for the day. It’s important that as a virtual assistant that you are organized and able to quickly and efficiently get an overview of your day.
Not everyone can adapt so easily to a life where you have to make your own schedule, and be punctual at the same time when needed. A digital nomad virtual assistant’s greatest struggles are often related to time management.
Your tasks should take no longer than 3-4 hours per day to accomplish for the right job, but you’ll need to be driven and task-oriented to be successful. It is also important to be able to prioritize and effectively work on your assignments. Remember that you can make your life easier if you don’t commit to more projects than you can handle at a time.
After you complete everything you can achieve that day, you are free to spend the rest of the day however you wish. Many take up new hobbies and travel in their spare time, as their days are significantly more flexible than working a typical office job.
What Are Virtual Assistant Skills?
If you want to work as a virtual assistant, you’ll need the following office and clerical skills:
- You don’t necessarily need to be a genius when it comes to IT questions. However, because your laptop will be your primary working tool, you should have good computer skills.
- You must also be willing to learn and adapt to new situations. Each client and assignment might be unique. There may be a requirement to use new tools and applications, and each company will do things differently.
- You must be a problem-solver with a can-do attitude. Your tasks might be complex regularly. Things you’ve never done before and don’t know how to do might come your way.
- A high level of self-motivation is required, as with other digital nomad freelance jobs. You’ll likely be able to determine your schedule and work environment. It’s easy to become distracted when sitting in a gorgeous beach café somewhere in Thailand. On the other hand, your client expects you to complete your work, so make sure you can stay productive.
- Also necessary are consistency and a strong work ethic. Clients frequently entrust you with critical and time-sensitive tasks. Don’t let them down; instead, do your best to complete the task.
- You may be required to communicate with your client’s customers. Thus excellent writing, verbal communication, and organizational skills are also necessary.
- When you have multiple clients, you must be able to plan and prioritize your task to provide a high level of quality to everyone.
- Working with clients isn’t always straightforward. Oftentimes communication is more difficult because of miscommunications through mediums that aren’t face to face. You’ll need a lot of patience at times. Either you have to wait an eternity for them to respond, or simply because the two of you have different personalities.
- It would also help if you had some business experience, though you can learn a lot on the job or get an online course about business. Luckily there are hundreds of online courses to help fill in the knowledge gaps.
How To Become a Virtual Assistant as a Digital Nomad
Because the tasks of a virtual assistant are varied but not rocket science, no formal training is usually required. However, there are some important skills that you need to develop, including time management, punctuality, creativity, and patience.
What Training and Experience are Needed to be a Virtual Assistant?
Any office or administrative experience is advantageous. Perhaps you had to do a lot of research in your previous job, had to organize events, or manage a small team. Any similar experience can be beneficial.
Personality is more important than training and experience. Because you’ll be working closely with your clients, you should get along personally as well. It can be difficult and demotivating in the long term if you don’t have the correct chemistry.
What is Important Virtual Assistant Equipment?
One of the reasons why working as a virtual assistant is a wonderful option for digital nomads is that: You’ll only need a few types of equipment. All you may need is:
- Reliable and fast laptop
- Headset/microphone with good sound quality
- Reliable smartphone
- Strong internet connection.
- Software: Strongly depends on your tasks and clients, but here are some suggestions:
- Microsoft Office
- Online communication, for example, Skype, Zoom
- Accessories if needed, for example, a mouse, portable power bank, dongle, or external hard disk drive
What are the Most Common Tasks in Virtual Assistant Work?
You undoubtedly want to know precisely your responsibilities before becoming a virtual assistant. These jobs are varied and heavily reliant on your knowledge and agreement with your clients.
However, we can categorize the general role of a virtual assistant as described in the following:
- Private/Personal Virtual Assistant
- Business/Executive Virtual Assistant
As you can see from these two positions, your tasks are either related to a person’s or a business owner’s personal life or have more to do with their professional life. A lot of the time, you combine the two. You’ll get to do whatever has to be done.
Private or Personal Virtual Assistant
In general, virtual assistants will be responsible for a variety of administrative tasks. Private and personal virtual assistants might do some of the following:
- schedule management
- typing or transcribing
- data entry
- travel arrangements, booking of travel or events
- taking minutes
- handling emails or phone calls
- dealing with customer requests
- producing reports
- scheduling meetings
Business or Executive Virtual Assistant
Some virtual assistants can also agree to perform more specialized work. A virtual business or executive assistant might do some of the following:
- writing blog posts
- crafting marketing campaigns
- doing SEO copywriting
- managing social media
- doing web design
- preparing presentations
- running social media ads
- doing market research
Don’t be surprised if clients come up with unusual, but still professional proposals. You might get tasked with finding the right lunch spot, maintaining a client’s social media image, and remembering to send loved ones gifts for holidays. Flexibility, creativity, and a sense of humor are all important qualities that digital nomads need to have in this type of remote job.
Where Do You Find Jobs as a Virtual Assistant?
The most crucial aspect of becoming a digital nomad virtual assistant is knowing where to look for work. Again, taking a look at your many possibilities may be beneficial. Do you want to work remotely for an agency, for a permanent position in a company, or as a freelancer? What type of remote assistant do you wish to become? Here is how to find work remotely!
Virtual Assistant Companies
Many staffing and recruiting organizations specialize in working with virtual assistants. You apply to the agency directly, and they match you with a client.
The advantages usually include a few days of paid vacation and the fact that you don’t have to actively seek clients. On the negative, you don’t have much control over the clients you work for or your work hours.
Permanent Position in a Company
A virtual assistant can also be a regular company employee who has a full-time job. You’d perform the same activities as a freelancer but on a more permanent basis. Along with that come the usual benefits and drawbacks, such as a consistent income but less flexibility and location independence.
In order to find these positions, your best bet is to look for job openings on their website or various job boards. If there’s a company you have in mind, it never hurts to check for open opportunities.
Networking is an effective strategy to find remote jobs. Perhaps the company where your friend works is looking for a remote virtual assistant? Employee referrals are one of the easiest ways to gain employment.
Alternatively, you may start working as a freelancer. Occasionally, freelance jobs can turn into long-term employment through the company.
Most virtual assistants are likely to be self-employed. You get to pick your clients and workload, but there’s no guarantee of income if you fail to find clients.
Finding clients on your own might be a better choice. You can create your own website to showcase your work, be active on all the social media platforms, and promote your abilities. Again, networking is a key way to get your name out there.
There are also freelancing websites such as Upwork, Fiverr, or others where you can start submitting proposals to virtual assistant jobs. Get your profile in great shape, start working for different clients, and then you can also enjoy your digital nomad life, traveling, and enjoying everyday life.
Virtual Assistant Digital Nomad FAQ
How to score jobs as a Virtual Assistant?
Demonstrate to your future clients that you’ve read their ad. How may your previous experience help your potential clients? What method of communication do you prefer to use? What method would you use to resolve a problem? What are your working hours and your hourly rate? How do you generally go about your business?
You do not need to write three pages. However, incorporate some unique facts and avoid using typical phrases. Clients want to get along with their virtual assistants personally because they work closely together. As a result, include some information about yourself as well.
How much money do Virtual Assistants make?
That’s entirely up to you. It all comes down to your skills, experience, past client positive reviews, and how efficiently you sell your services. Based on the hourly rate you set, clients obtained, and what kind of work you’re doing the pay can range anywhere from $15 to $150 an hour.
What are some of the drawbacks of working as a virtual assistant?
Being a virtual assistant has many of the same drawbacks as working remotely in general. You and your clients are frequently in different time zones, which can cause confusion and make communication more difficult.
As a virtual assistant, you’ll likely have to make many phone calls, which can be costly when you’re working from another country, and the quality of the connection can be poor at times. Many clients want you to handle their actual mail, print documents, and distribute them in real time.
Although the possibility of becoming a virtual assistant is exciting, it is not without its drawbacks, especially if you wish to work full-time. You need to organize your time well, have a strong commitment, and perseverance.
In the end, if you are thinking about becoming a virtual assistant, know that virtual assistant services are needed for companies of all sizes, and one of the most popular choices is doing virtual assistance work, so it can be competitive. The digital nomad lifestyle might not be for everyone, but if you are reading this, then it may be something you wish and can do.
If you love doing remote work and travel at the same time, become a virtual assistant at home first and establish your reputation online before travel arrangements.
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