The market for virtual assistants is booming. According to Statista, the size of the sector has grown substantially over the past five years and is predicted to grow even further by 2021. Being a virtual assistant can prove a lucrative path, with full-time VAs earning up to $70k a year, according to Payscale. If your business thrives, you even have the option of evolving it into a VA agency.
Becoming a VA is an attractive prospect for many, but how do you turn the prospect into a reality? One thing that’s crucial is finding the right connections. When BestofBudgets.com interviewed 9 successful VAs in the post “Becoming a Full Time Virtual Assistant,” all of them cited connections and networking as being the most important factors in succeeding as a VA. By knowing where to look for potential leads, you’ll be able to develop your VA business over time and – hopefully – make a good living from it.
Here’s a list of 10 websites you can use to build your client-base – some obvious, some less so:
Upwork gets mentioned a lot on HomeWorkingClub; Upwork isn’t specifically for virtual assistants – it’s a huge global marketplace for freelancers of all kinds.
Upwork has a huge range of opportunities for VAs. To start, you’ll need to create an account and bid on jobs. You’ll find some valuable Upwork tips here. Remember that the client’s job post and your answering ‘bid’ is the first step in your communication process – so be clear, thorough and confident.
2. Assistant Match
Unlike websites like Upwork where you have to actively search for work, Assistant Match matches VAs to clients. Payment depends on experience but the company also trains beginners, which could help if you are just starting out. The one catch is that you must be based in the US.
FlexJobs is an online platform which offers a range of home-based positions. It’s inevitable that these sometimes include openings for virtual assistants. We’ve reviewed FlexJobs in detail here, so be sure to check out that review before committing.
LinkedIn is THE social network for business, and many people find it a rich source of leads for freelance work. It’s best suited to VAs who already have a well-established network of business contacts. Sometimes, finding a new role is as straightforward as reaching out to those who already know you and have confidence in your abilities.
If you are a US-based virtual assistant, it’s worth checking out Zirtual. It’s an agency for virtual assistants, and serves big-name companies including Zynga, TED and Apple.
At the time of writing, Zirtual is recruiting for full-time VAs and paying from $13-18 per hour. The company hires these VAs on a 1099 independent contractor basis.
As with Upwork, competition is fierce on PeoplePerHour. This pushes rates downwards, especially as VAs in less-developed countries can enjoy a good standard of living while charging far less. The realities of this are discussed in this article.
Indeed is a traditional job board, but you do still see companies on the site recruiting for home-based virtual assistants. These are usually full-time jobs with a single company rather than freelance opportunities. However, if you’d enjoy that security more than the hustle of building up a client-base, it may be worth looking what’s out there.
8. Fancy Hands
Fancy Hands is a platform which hires VAs to complete various tasks. These involve everything from making calls to finding hotels for clients. To sign up you need an audio headset and a fast internet connection.
Fancy Hands pays on a “per task” basis, with rates from $3-7 per task. Skilled VAs have the opportunity to move up to management positions.
Craigslist is somewhere you may find local leads for VA work. Clients are sometimes more comfortable with a VA they can meet up with and interview in person, and Craigslist is somewhere you could find such leads, especially if you’re in a busy and entrepreneurial city.
Be sure to exercise caution, both with ensuring you get paid and with meeting people in person. Scammers and criminals are out there.
Fiverr is a great website if you are looking for quick one-off jobs, and any client you meet on the platform has the potential to become a “regular.” As a virtual assistant, you create set tasks you can perform and then wait for clients to contact you. The site takes 20% of your income.
Fiverr is something of a “bargain basement” marketplace and competiton is tough, but it’s worth a look, if only to see what your competition is offering.
There are all kinds of places to find virtual PA work, and all kinds of ways to build your VA business; You have the choice of trying to find work with a single company, complementing a part-time VA role with a handful of freelance clients, or building an entire business around a varied base of individual customers. Hopefully this article will give you some idea of where to go looking for your next client.