What Is Virtual Assistant: Everything You Need to Know

Are you an entrepreneur with too much on your plate? Do you constantly have to put off tasks that could actually help your business grow because there are so many administrative matters getting in the way?

In some cases, onboarding full-time support staff to operate from the office is simply impractical — which is where virtual assistants step in. They can take care of all sorts of things, including administrative tasks and bookkeeping – even marketing.

Outsourcing such aspects of the business by hiring a virtual assistant will free up your time and energy for what really matters: growing it. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about virtual assistant services and how they could benefit your online enterprise.

Short Summary

What Is a Virtual Assistant?

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Picture this scenario: you have so much to do—meetings, calls, things to prepare for those meetings—that the idea of organizing it all sounds exhausting. There's help: a virtual assistant who can take care of all of it for you.

A virtual assistant, or VA, is someone who provides support from afar. They can do lots of tasks like setting up appointments, responding to emails, and making plans for your work trips that haven't happened yet (also known as travel arrangements). If you have customers who ask questions about your products or services, a VA can reply to them, too.

Here's an example: Maybe you have a coaching business owner and want someone to plan when you talk to clients about their goals. A virtual assistant can do this for you.

They can find a time that works for both people and add it to your calendar. If something comes up and you need to change when or how long you're meeting, they can take care of letting others know.

Some VAs specialize in marketing or social media management, too. They might be able to create engaging content for your company's social media platforms, schedule posts, and/or analyze how well any campaigns are doing.

The beauty of hiring a VA is that they're flexible – and often cheaper than employing someone directly. You only pay for hours worked or services provided rather than having the expense of taking on a full-time employee who sits in a physical office.

What Can Virtual Assistants Do?

It's clear that a virtual assistant job has completely transformed the way businesses operate by providing flexible, efficient, and cost-effective solutions to a wide range of tasks.

From solopreneurs to large companies, using virtual assistants has become commonplace. Let's take a closer look at some of the key roles and tasks VAs can perform:

Customer Engagement

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Managing customer interactions is one area where virtual assistant jobs become their own. They can handle everything from answering customer queries and responding to emails to managing live chat support and even making phone calls.

By ensuring that all communications with customers are dealt with promptly and in a professional manner, they help maintain – or increase – customer satisfaction and loyalty.

They can also manage appointment scheduling, provide customer feedback back into the business, and analyze any complaints received so that outcomes tend toward positive rather than negative.

Administrative Tasks

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Administrative duties are often seen as bread-and-butter work for many virtual assistants. This includes everything an executive assistant would typically handle – managing calendars, organizing meetings, and arranging travel.

It might also include document preparation, setting up new projects in your project management tool, creating presentations, or running various "routine" tasks to keep an organization functioning properly.

Taking these tasks off a business owner's or manager's plate frees up valuable time that could be better spent focusing on core business activities.

Social Media Management

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In today's digital marketing world, having an active and captivating online presence is critical. Virtual assistants (VAs) can keep social media accounts up to date, schedule posts, interact with followers, and even create content.

Building a company's online brand identity and visibility are important for marketing and reaching out to potential customers - tasks most virtual assistants can help with, too.

They may also look at social media metrics to see what people enjoy seeing most, helping firms refine their sales strategy.

Data Entry

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Although it may seem boring, entering data is very important because it helps businesses run smoothly.

VAs will take information such as what customers have bought or contact details and put it into spreadsheets, databases, or other systems that companies use. They do it quickly and correctly.

Email Marketing

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A VA will set up email campaigns for people who might become your customers. This includes making templates, writing emails, and deciding which groups of customers to send them to.

Not only that, but these professionals may also study the results of past campaigns to make sure future ones are better.

This means that instead of just sending messages to anyone, you'll give readers something specific—which should help you get more sales in the long run—even if they don't buy immediately.


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Keeping track of how money moves in and out is something every business has to do. But it's not always easy.

Virtual assistants can take care of some parts of this process, like making sure invoices get sent out or recording what comes in so you don't have any late payments. They can also put details into reports if you want to see bigger trends in sales and spending.


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Virtual assistants have skills when it comes to research. They can go through data to find details about rivals or conduct a market study and summarise the findings. They can do this independently for any business aspect to help you come up with informed choices.

File Management

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Virtual assistants also sort out both digital and paper filing systems so that important files are easy to access and secure. They can manage your cloud storage, ensure backups are done regularly, and keep your virtual workspace clean and organized.

Website Management

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If you want an online presence for your business, then an updated website is necessary. Virtual assistants can help organize tasks (including marketing tasks) so that other employees can focus on what they do best.

VAs update websites, manage web pages, do basic troubleshooting (or work with tech support people), and make sure things are running properly enough that customers don't have problems.

And some of them also know enough about SEO to help with titles or meta descriptions. If analytics are part of the website package, then they'll also keep an eye on those numbers.

Virtual Assistant Skills

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Virtual assistants are indispensable to businesses as they have many skills. Here are some key skills that should be at your fingertips as a virtual assistant:

Pros And Cons of Virtual Assistant Hiring

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In case you are considering the option, prior to making up your mind, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a virtual assistant for your business.



Average Virtual Assistant Salary

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On average, US virtual assistants make $24.77 per hour. However, that's only an average. The actual range is from $15.10 at the low end to $40.62 at the high end.

You may command higher rates within this wide range if you have specialized skills or work in a tight niche. Some VAs charge much more for particular industries or tasks.

Virtual assistant pay also varies by location because salaries depend on local cost of living. For instance, if you're based in a major city or region with above-average expenses, you could negotiate higher rates than those living somewhere less expensive.

Finally, experience plays a role as well. Many virtual assistants find they can boost their income when they demonstrate expertise and years of service, delivering top-quality work to happy clients.

How to Become a Virtual Assistant

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If you want a career as a virtual assistant that is highly rewarding, read on for how to get started and train yourself well:

1. Skills Evaluation

Make an inventory of your current skills and shine the spotlight on the ones where you excel. Being a virtual assistant requires many talents — organization, problem-solving, communication, and technical aptitude, to name but four.

Which skills do you already possess? And which could do with some honing?

2. Virtual Assistant Training Opportunities

Aspiring VAs are spoiled for choice when it comes to training resources. Look out for online courses or even webinars/workshops specifically catering to would-be virtual assistants.

Typically, these offerings cover lots of bases — from client communication and business tools through time management and marketing strategies all the way up to entrepreneurship skills.

3. Certification Consideration

While certification is not necessary in order to work as a VA, having it under your belt might make potential clients sit up and take notice. Several organizations offer certification programs designed to validate individuals’ knowledge and skillset in this area – examples include:

4. Obtain Experience

Experience that is practical becomes priceless for a virtual assistant beginner. To develop examples of work for your portfolio, you may want to do some volunteer jobs or offer your services at a discount rate to friends, family members, or local businesses.

5. Create an Internet Presence

If you want to get clients as a virtual assistant, it is important to have an established online presence. You can create a professional website to show people what you offer and how skilled you are.

You could also use social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with potential clients or others in the same industry.

6. Advertise Yourself

After you have finished training and are ready to start working as a virtual assistant, you will need to think about how you are going to find clients.

Prepare a short, interesting speech that tells people what makes you different from other people who do the same thing as you. This is called an elevator pitch.

Look for jobs on websites where lots of employers advertise at the same time, or sign up with a company that finds jobs for virtual assistants.

Some virtual assistants get most of their clients by meeting people who know someone that they can help – so make sure that your friends and family know exactly what kind of work you are looking for!

7. Keep Learning

Things change quickly in the world of virtual assisting! You can stay up to date by joining an industry association, going to online discussion groups or webinars, or doing short courses from sites like Udemy.

The more you learn, the better your chances of getting clients who need someone with lots of experience – but who also knows about all the latest technology and best working practices.


In the current world of business, virtual aides are very important. They do many jobs, like organizing meetings, answering calls and emails, and talking to customers. This way, they help reduce the amount of office work that needs to be done.

Even though hiring remote employees has its good and bad sides, organizations can benefit from VAs because of their multitasking. They come with their own skill set, and before settling on a price tag for their services, there is always room for discussion.

Whether you are running your own establishment or working in a large firm, VAs might help streamline how you do things.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Exactly Does a Virtual Assistant Do?

A range of jobs like office work, record keeping, planning meetings, helping clients, and aiding in advertising are some of what is done remotely by a virtual assistant.

How Do Virtual Assistants Get Paid?

Hourly or project payments are ways someone who works as a virtual assistant might be compensated. They can use online ways like PayPal or traditional ways like direct deposit.

Is Virtual Assistant an Easy Job?

How hard it is to be a virtual assistant depends on which tasks someone does and how good they are at them. It can make things easier (even if they're already pretty tough, like having lots of clients) by learning more about something specific or how to manage time well.

How Do I Learn Virtual Assistant Skills?

Some examples include online classes and webinars, joining organizations for virtual assistants, finding a mentor who can help you get better at what you do, or doing an internship (and learning that way).