Get More Done in Less Time: What Is a Virtual Assistant and How to Leverage Their Skills

Get More Done in Less Time: What Is a Virtual Assistant and How to Leverage Their Skills

As more small businesses and entrepreneurs begin to understand the importance of automating their operations, they are increasingly turning to Virtual Assistants (VAs) as a cost-effective solution. But what is a virtual assistant anyway? Put simply; a Virtual Assistant is a highly skilled freelancer who provides administrative and business support services remotely. In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about virtual assistants. From what is a virtual assistant, the basic responsibilities of a VA to how much a VA is paid, we'll cover it all.

What Is A Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant can be a great asset to any business. Whether you're working on a project, launching a new product or service, or simply need an extra set of hands, VAs are there to help. Virtual assistants provide services such as administrative tasks like setting up appointments and managing emails, customer service support, and more. They work remotely, typically in their own homes or offices, and communicate with clients using phone calls and video conferencing technology like Skype.

What Does A Virtual Assistant Do?

A virtual assistant is primarily responsible for helping to reduce the workload of a business. They handle everyday tasks that would normally take up valuable time and resources, allowing entrepreneurs and small businesses to focus on growing their businesses. Some of the tasks a virtual assistant can do include:

Customer Service Support: 

Customer service support is often the main focus of a VA. They are responsible for responding to customer inquiries, complaints, and feedback on behalf of the business.

Project Management: 

Virtual assistants can also help with project management tasks such as creating detailed timelines, managing content calendars, and tracking progress and deadlines.

Social Media Management: 

VAs can help with social media marketing, creating content for your business's social networks, and responding to any customer queries or comments.

Data Entry and Analysis: 

Virtual assistants are often responsible for managing data entry, as well as analyzing data to make decisions on how best to optimize operations.

Virtual Event Coordination: 

A virtual assistant can help manage the logistics of online events, including setting up registration and booking systems, creating marketing materials such as emails and social media posts, and providing customer support during the event.

These are just some of the tasks a Virtual Assistant can do. In short, they are there to help free up time for business owners, so they can focus on their core business activities.

benefits of a virtual assistant

Benefits Of A Virtual Assistant

Below, we've highlighted some of the benefits of utilizing a VA:

Increased Scale Of Operations

Starting a business from scratch is an unpredictable process, making it hard to anticipate the needs of your organization in the next month or quarter. Assembling full-time employees and renting out spaces for them to gather can be a major expense that not all businesses are equipped to take on.

Investing in a virtual assistant is an excellent alternative that allows you to enjoy the perks of extra help at a fraction of the cost. It offers scalability and flexibility, allowing you to adjust your team size according to your needs with ease.

Improve Efficiency And Productivity

VAs come with a range of skills and can manage a variety of tasks. This means that your team is freed up to focus on more important or specialized tasks. Having an extra set of hands enables employees to get more done in less time, improving efficiency and productivity.

One good example is how VAs can operate in various time zones. If you're based in the USA and have clients or customers from Europe or Asia, a virtual assistant can work during their office hours to provide customer support or other administrative tasks.

Reduce Costs

One of the biggest advantages of hiring a VA is that you don't have to worry about paying for benefits or providing workspace. You can draw up an agreement that states exactly what tasks and services your VA will perform, as well as when they will be paid. This makes budgeting and managing expenses much simpler and more cost-effective.

Provide Specialized Skills

VAs come with a variety of skills, so you can be sure to find one who is experienced and qualified in the area that your business needs. Whether it's search engine optimization, website design and development, copywriting, or something else entirely, you can easily find an expert VA to handle these tasks for you.

how much is a virtual assistant paid

How Much Is a Virtual Assistant Paid?

How much does a virtual assistant make? Well, the truth is a virtual assistant's salary can vary greatly, depending on the services they provide and their experience level. The average rate that VAs charge is usually between $25 - $50 USD per hour. Experienced VAs can charge upwards of $100 per hour for more specialized skills, such as website design or copywriting. Summarily, the salary of a virtual assistant depends on their experience and the kind of tasks they perform.

What Are Some Must-Have Virtual Assistant Skills?

As a virtual assistant, there are a few key skills that you should have. Virtual assistants need to be organized and detail-oriented in order to handle the various tasks they are assigned. They also must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills as well as a good understanding of technology since much of their job is done remotely.

Virtual assistant jobs also require a wide range of technical knowledge that may require certification. As a business owner, it's important to be certain that the VA you hire is qualified in the skills they will be providing. This includes areas such as bookkeeping, website design, and development, search engine optimization (SEO), content writing, customer service, etc.

Below we discuss in detail some must-have virtual assistant skills:

Communication Skills

Good communication skills are essential for a virtual assistant, as they need to be able to effectively communicate with clients and colleagues. Virtual assistants must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills in order to convey information clearly and accurately. 

Time management skills

Organizational and time management skills are key for virtual assistants. Since they often juggle multiple tasks, it's important that they have the ability to prioritize effectively and stay on top of deadlines.

Listening Skills

Virtual assistants must be able to listen carefully in order to accurately understand clients' needs and requirements. Being a good listener can also help them resolve any issues quickly and effectively.


Virtual assistants must be flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances. They should be able to quickly pivot and adjust strategies when needed.

IT Skills

In order to do their job, virtual assistants need to have a good understanding of various types of software, including word processing, spreadsheets, project management tools, etc. A basic understanding of coding is also beneficial.

the best virtual assistant jobs for beginners

The Best Virtual Assistant Jobs For Beginners

There are tons of virtual assistant jobs for beginners. In this section, we'll go over some of the best entry-level virtual assistant positions and highlight how you can use them to start your career as a VA.

1. Personal Assistant

Average Salary: $49,136 per year

A personal assistant is a skilled professional who offers essential support to executives and senior management. They may act as a liaison between remote meetings, take notes, run errands, or coordinate significant events such as conferences or speaking engagements.

Moreover, they keep records tidy by entering data into databases; they collaborate with other departments for successful project completion; answer phone calls and emails promptly; and format & accurately edit important documents efficiently.

2. Remote Bookkeeper

Average Salary: $42,616 per year

Bookkeepers are responsible for keeping financial records organized, accurate, and up-to-date. They manage accounts payable and receivable; reconcile bank statements; generate financial reports; handle payroll processing; record transactions in the accounting system; analyze expenses, budgets, etc.

3. Customer Service Representative

Average salary: $54,413 per year

Customer service representatives provide customer support over the phone, email, chat, or social media. They answer customers' questions and inquiries; find solutions for their issues; process orders; manage invoices and payments; follow up on complaints and feedback.

Being a customer service representative doesn't require an overwhelming amount of knowledge. It's one of those fields where your people skills outshine your technical skills.

4. Data Entry Clerk

Average Salary: $38,735 per year

Data entry clerks are responsible for inputting data into a computer system accurately. They review documents for accuracy; verify and correct data; maintain records of incoming and outgoing information; respond to customer inquiries, etc. If you've got an eye for details and enjoy working with numbers, this might be the job for you.

5. Social Media Assistant

Average Salary: $51,199 per year

Professional social media assistants are responsible for crafting engaging social media content, devising successful campaigns, analyzing performance metrics to measure success, and optimizing existing posts according to modern SEO standards.

Good social media assistants should be able to handle customer service inquiries in a polite and professional manner; create compelling visuals; use analytics tools to track performance; write captivating copy; and stay up-to-date with the latest social media trends. Although some technical knowledge is required, most employers are willing to provide training and guidance.

important discussion points to establish a strong working relationship

Important Discussion Points To Establish A Strong Working Relationship

Establishing trust and collaboration between a virtual assistant and the employer is essential to ensure an efficient working relationship. Here are some vital topics that should be discussed before starting any job: 

Roles And Responsibilities

It's important to define both the VA and employer roles and responsibilities. All tasks should be detailed, including expected job deliverables and deadlines. This will help avoid misunderstandings down the line.

Working Hours

If you're going to be paying your VA based on the number of hours they've worked, then it's important to have a clear understanding of the hours they'll be expected to work. Tools you can use to monitor working hours include time-tracking software and an online clock-in system. You should also consider factors like time-zone differences and make an effort to be flexible if your VA is located in a different country.

Communication Channels

There are a variety of methods of communication available such as email, phone calls, text messages, online chat platforms, and video conferencing. It's important to decide which channel will be used throughout the relationship.

The most common channels for team-based communication include slack, google hangouts, and zoom.

Payment And invoicing

The payment and invoicing structure should be discussed in detail between the employer and VA. This includes whether you're going to pay your VA with an hourly rate, a fixed salary, or based on job deliverables. 

You should also decide when payments will be made (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly), what forms of payment will be accepted (Paypal, direct bank transfer, etc.), and any additional fees that may apply.

As a VA, it's important to keep accurate invoices and records of your work, as this is an essential part of running a successful business.

Tools And Technology 

Both parties should discuss which tools and software they will use to complete tasks. It's important that the VA has access to the right tools and technology, such as project management systems, text editors, and communication channels. 

There are a lot of tools available to help with productivity, collaboration, and communication. Some of these tools include Asana, Trello, and Google Docs.


Confidentiality is key when it comes to virtual assistant relationships. The employer must make sure that the VA will not reveal any sensitive information to anyone outside the company. You should also ensure that all confidential information is protected through data encryption and secure passwords.

One thing both parties can do is enter a contract and have the VA sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). This protects the employer's information and intellectual property.


So far, we've discussed the importance of hiring a virtual assistant and some key points to consider when establishing a successful working relationship with them.

Having a VA can help you save time and resources and also give you access to expertise in areas where your business may need help. However, it's essential that you discuss important topics such as roles and responsibilities, working hours, communication channels, payment and invoicing, tools and technology, and confidentiality before beginning any job. 

By discussing these topics, you can ensure that you have a successful working relationship with your virtual assistant. A good working relationship will bring many benefits to your business and help you get the most out of it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I be a virtual assistant without experience?

Yes, you can become a virtual assistant without any experience. However, it is important to have some knowledge of the skills that are needed in order to be successful. Additionally, having prior administrative or customer service experience may help give you an edge over other applicants who do not have the same level of experience.

Who usually hires virtual assistants?

Who needs a virtual assistant? Well, businesses of all sizes hire virtual assistants, including startups and Fortune 500 companies. Virtual assistants are often hired for tasks such as customer support, administrative work, data entry, content creation, and website design and development.

What qualifications do I need to be a virtual assistant?

Most virtual assistant jobs require at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Additionally, many employers prefer candidates who have prior administrative or customer service experience. Specialized skills such as website design and development, copywriting, search engine optimization (SEO), bookkeeping, and other technical skills may also be required depending on the job.

Some common Virtual Assistant Qualifications include the following:

• High School Diploma or equivalent

• Previous experience in customer service or administrative roles

• Proficiency with computer programs, such as Microsoft Office and Google Drive

• Knowledge of different software and coding languages

What Is A Virtual Assistant Job Description?

A job description for a virtual assistant will vary depending on the specific tasks they are hired to do. So make sure to read the job description carefully and make sure you understand what is expected of you.

How Many Hours A Week Do Virtual Assistants Work?

The typical workweek for a virtual assistant is 40 hours. However, some virtual assistants may be asked to work additional hours depending on the client's needs.

What Is A Virtual Assistant Agency?

A virtual assistant agency is a business that connects clients with experienced virtual assistants. The agency will usually provide training and support to the virtual assistant throughout their employment. This can help ensure a successful working experience for both the virtual assistant and the client. 

what is a virtual assistant infographic

Alex Quin

Entrepreneur. Podcaster. Go-Getter.

Alex Quin is a full-stack marketing expert and global keynote speaker. Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of UADV Marketing - a member of the Forbes Agency Council.

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