A virtual assistant is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely from a home office.
Virtual Assistant Association Of South Africa VAASA
The concept of VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS (VAs) in South Africa is still a fairly new one. The UK and USA have thousands of VAs, and the USA even have an online site of the Top 10 VAs in the USA. We believe South African Virtual Assistants can, and are, some the hardest working, professionals around. We believe that an Association to increase awareness of Virtual Assistants in South Africa is exactly what is needed to educate businesses and professional people, in the benefits of using Virtual Assistants.
When you join VAASA you have a place to exchange ideas and meet like-minded professionals committed to excellence. Joining VAASA gives you the opportunity to be recognised as a professional in your field. You get the benefit of years of advice, mentoring, templates and the opportunity for RFP’s from potential clients.
How to Become a Virtual Assistant
There are many tricks, considerations, and principles of becoming a successful virtual assistant. I will take you through the route to becoming just that. Here we go:
Contractual or Freelance:
This is the first question. A contractual VA is very close to a normal office assistant, because they get an official, contract-based job, with its taxes, strict responsibility, and so on. It’s just that the employer’s chair is in his or her home not the employer’s company. A freelance VA is the one that feels the true and complete freedom of this job because a freelance VA works on whatever they choose—mostly low- to medium-sized projects.
Management, Creation, or Both:
You have to be clear about your skillset. Management skills include—but aren’t limited to—making calls, emailing, organizing schedules, media marketing, and customer service. Creation skills span things like writing, graphic design and creating marketing campaigns.
The Where and the How:
To start as a virtual freelancer, you should first consider what experience you have. If you’re still beginning, aim low, because shooting high will waste your time and frustrate you. Now, considering your already-existent connections is a good first step. After that comes the role of freelancing platforms (e.g. Freelancer, Upwork, South African Freelancers’ Assoc.), where you will look for jobs that match your skill set and apply to them.
So, now that you know your fair share about the VA scene, you should understand that becoming a VA is a waste of time if you won’t be serious—even very serious—about it. And there are a few principles you should follow, like focusing less on money than on creating a strong network and deep connections, only ever applying to work that you know for sure is within your ability, and, finally, choosing pay per task overpay per hour when you’re still starting. In short, becoming a virtual assistant is a very profitable venture for anyone who likes freedom and variety, knows a thing or two and has patience and dedication.