Side Hustle Spotlight: Virtual Assistant

Blog | August 23rd, 2021

The virtual assistant community is growing at a rapid pace. Virtual assistants assume responsibility for tasks that used to be handled by a personal assistant, with the notable difference being that virtual assistants handle these tasks entirely online. Typical responsibilities include schedule management, travel arrangements, file organization, answering calls, maintaining records, and billing.

Virtual assistants must be extremely detail-oriented. Most virtual assistant gigs are not full-time (it is a side hustle after all), and assistants must manage their time carefully to ensure the needs of their clients are met. The role of a virtual assistant can vary considerably from client to client, but generally speaking, a virtual assistant can expect to spend a few hours each day completing their duties.

Networking and social skills are essential for virtual assistants. Not only do assistants need these skills to advance their own careers, but they will often need to work with others to achieve the goals issued by their clients. The most successful virtual assistants sometimes transfer to the field full-time and manage multiple concurrent clients.

How to Get Started

Getting started as a virtual assistant can be trickier compared to some other side hustles. As an assistant, you will be expected to handle tasks assigned to you with little supervision. You may also be required to manage confidential information, such as payment accounts, for making business-related purchases.

Trust is essential in the client-assistant relationship. Because of the need for trust, it can be challenging to become a virtual assistant without an established reputation. Sites like FlexJobs offer a place for those seeking virtual assistants to post their requirements. When first starting out as a virtual assistant, it will be necessary to send many applications for these positions, each with a cover letter introducing yourself and your skillset.

Over time, you will develop a history of successful client relationships. It will become easier to find work as a virtual assistant. When first starting out, you can consider approaching those you already know and inquiring about the need for virtual assistants. Many people can benefit from the services of a virtual assistant, and it can be helpful to sell your services to those around you.

Training and Certifications

There are no formal certifications that indicate your preparedness to be a virtual assistant. The lack of universal training standards highlights the need for competence to win a client’s trust. The best certification for a virtual assistant is professionalism; if clients see you as a competent professional, they are more likely to provide business in the future.

Expected Return

Virtual assistants who are just starting out tend to make around $10 per hour. As you become more established, your rates are likely to increase. Assistants with well-established reputations can charge significantly more for their services. 

In contrast, those who are new or who make frequent mistakes aren’t worth the risk of a high cost. On the high end, virtual assistants can earn upwards of $50 per hour. Currently, the average salary across all virtual assistants is $28 per hour.

Related: Side Hustle Spotlight: Delivery Driver