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During my one too many trips to Google village I came across the idea of a virtual assistant.

Who is a virtual assistant and what does he/she do. 

Is virtual assisting an opportunity you can do online as a Kenya. 

How does a Kenyan get a job as a virtual assistant. 

In the following complete guide to virtual assisting, we’re going to get into the details of what a virtual assistant is all about. And how a Kenyan freelancer can benefit from becoming a virtual assistant in 2019/2020 online. 

The following Table of Content will help you scan around for the topics you love/want. 

TABLE OF CONTENT

  1. Who is a virtual assistant
  2. What does a virtual assistant do. 
  3. How much are virtual assistant paid
  4. Where does one get a job as a virtual assistant in Kenya. 

I wondered why was it that I could do a lot of things: arranging trips, respond to emails, write personalised letters, blog, article write, bookkeeping for amateurs yet I failed in my financial accounting class with a mere B grade.

I wondered: Why am I always so talented?. Blowing my own horns here.

I will sew for you, freelance sewing. I will overlock, run a daycare, tutor your kids, write curriculums for you, be a babysitter, you know … A JACKIE OF ALL TRADES.

God, why do I always have to do a lot of stuff?

Oh and this Jackie loves to learn it’s part of my culture.

I feel empowered when I learn and when I can teach … makes me get out of my introvert shell of … I’m afraid of noise.

Story for another time.

”DO NOT BE A JACK OF ALL TRADES, CHOOSE A NICHE”.

I will use a question and answer format. My blog vision for 2017.

WHAT IS A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT OR A VA?

This is a multifunctional, multidimensional individual who engages in a myriad of tasks online which include but not limited to:

bookkeeping,

scheduling appointments,

booking,

travel planning,

answering the phone,

customer service,

tutoring.

Again it can be an individual who engages themselves in social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimisation, content creation etc.

You may be engaging yourself as a va unknowingly because you must have been doing this at one point or another. Beg to differ with my definition? Well, it’s an open space.

WHO IS A VA?

It can be a man, woman or any person 18 years and above doing office work or a myriad of tasks not limited to office work, offline or online.

Mostly, the focus is online hence the name.

This person can offer services like:

  • passport application,
  • visa application,
  • running errands,
  • delivering items to your doorstep among others. (My professors dislike among others).

WHAT DO I DO AS A VA?

As a va you can involve yourself in tasks that an executive assistant, administrative assistant or secretary does which include:

  • Answering telephone calls, transferring, taking messages and relaying information. Anything to do with telephone manners.
  • Taking messages.
  • Protecting your boss.
  • Courtesy.
  • Voice mail etiquette
  • Time management.
  • Sales
  • Marketing.
  • Microsoft office, publisher, outlook, excel, knowledge.
  • Email etiquette.
  • Travel arrangements: business, personal and leisure.

*Please add another one you can think about.

WHY DO I WORK AS A VA?

I believe I have several talents to offer.

But, I mostly love working as a customer service va.

Always looking for ways an office can utilise my services.

For example, I want to see a non sleeping economy, where the online shops get engagement.

I want to see businesses do their best to provide feedback about their services and products, to early shoppers.

I want to see powerful reviews about an online store and that’s where I come in.

I want to see people travel cheaply but comfortably.

Nowadays, there are a number of services you can use like airbnb to get safer accommodation, trusted, at your best location, to cook for yourself with housemaids, even with pets.

Could you afford such leisures long time? Probably but not in diversity.

With my help, I will facilitate travel for executives.

I will facilitate leisure by sorting out what you are looking for suiting it to your budget.

Is your mission to backpack across the world?

I will help you backpack whether you are 18 or 68, so you find board, places, activities to do, at affordable rates.

How do I achieve or overachieve this? By RESEARCHING, PLANNING AND LISTENING.

Huh? People listen online? Oh yes. That’s why I am your va.

DO I NEED A NICHE AS A VA?

Oh my God, I asked the same thing when starting out working as a virtual assistant.

It may seem like an oversaturated field but sure is not. It has potential for growth and revolutionising how work is done in Kenya.

I take customer service as my niche. I am a solver. When it comes to solving, contact me.

Are your customers leaving extremely bad reviews? Are your customers simply tired because you offer no improvement to your business?

Take me on and you will never regret. You know what? I charge an extremely nicer amount.

For monthly expenses I charge 500 dollars, depending. For my hourly customers, 15 dollars will do, for my email subscribers, 10 dollars.

And the mantra of my business is always this: REDUCE YOUR OFFICE COSTS, MAXIMISE ON PROFITS.

HOW DO I GET CUSTOMERS AS A KENYAN VIRTUAL ASSISTANT?

When I started out as a va, I began by working for my other half … booking flights.

Then I went on to work for other independent clients who I got as referrals. But this is how you get clients as a va in Kenya:

  • Blog. Don’t know how to create a blog? There are lots of tutorials online these days to help you with that. No need to ask for developers, but if you want, you can ask me to set it up for you, for a charge of course. Just ask me.

  • Offer unique services like farming advice for would be farmers, search on their behalf info regarding aquaponics, report back and you will be offering, virtual assisting services. Create youtube videos  for branding and educate people on what a va does.

  • You must scour the internet for virtual assistance networking services.

  • Work for free. My God, in this day and age someone can tell me to work for free? I never mind, in fact, I love to offer services for free and do it well. Do extraordinary and your name will talk for itself.  I have done some short stints for non governmental organisations in times when they needed a secretary. I volunteered for a while but I got some stipend. And from there, reputation soared and there is nothing as best as a good reputation. You will be remembered years later.

  •  I connect a lot through social media. I have not been very busy on facebook or any social media lately. I didn’t think of social media as buyers. I looked at it through the exhaustive noisy side it has. And it quickly waned through me like bad rubbish. Then I read a blog on Snappa, wow, I immediately changed my facebook password and dived right in … like a fish. Do check linkedin for any job connection you are looking for. I am diving into it.

  • Cold approaching. This means online, I don’t like cold calls, some sound rude, don’t have courtesy or strategy. I gave a client a cold approach and he liked my idea, we are still in talks. How do I convert him into a buying customer? I simply remind him of my business mantra: I do not carry a risk, rather profits and I can do it from anywhere while he’s assured of success for his company. He decided to try my services, a trial. So let’s see what happens …

  • Simply ask  friends. Though I do not have a big inner circle of buddies, I thought, wow, one of them might be having something I am looking for. Sure most of them have, now I sell to them my ideas. Some have ”full” offices but once in awhile you get referrals or curiosity .

  • You should attend a lot of business conferences, conventions, events, seminars etc. Those can help you create some valuable meetings with individuals and some will remember you when they need some unique, affordable services.

  • You must learn unique services explore different waters like programming and coding or html, css and java. Did I say, am still pursuing my programming school. I since switched to java programming.

  • Import your offline skills to online and bring customers along. As long as you are not violating any codes for the other business.

  • Check online job boards. I have one which is a paid version. FlexJobs and only have good things to say about it.
  • Advertise on olx, star classified ads. co. ke offers a unique way of advertisement.

HOW DOES A VA WORK?

As an independent contractor and as all online work is.

You are responsible for creating your own schedules, paying taxes, using or misusing your funds. You are on your own. So you must have these qualities:

  • Dependability
  • Independence
  • Reliability
  • Self learning and innovative
  • Adaptability
  • Organised
  • Time Manager.

Never mind my disorganisation: I didn’t have a sewing table so I used my study table as a sewing table. hehe.

HOW DO I MARKET MY BUSINESS? OH, I CAN START A VA BUSINESS?

You will market your business through various social media channels:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • You Tube.
  • Business Directories both offline and online.

Oh yes, a va can be a business. This is how you start by writing your business plan. Want business plan templates?

NOTE:

We shall discuss how to market through these channels one by one. So far, have I piqued your interest on becoming a Va? I am adding more details here so, WATCH OUT.

Meet me for other sweeties I have prepared in part two of these segment which will include:

I WANT TO TAP INTO THE VA MARKET IN KENYA, WHO CAN BE MY TARGET GROUP?

WHAT ORGANISATION DO I NEED TO JOIN TO TRAIN AS A VA?

IS A VA SAME AS A PERSONAL ASSISTANT?

HOW DO I GET PEOPLE TO TRUST ME?

HOW MUCH DO I CHARGE AS A VA?

I DON’T WANT TO WORK ON FREELANCING SITES, HOW DO I GO ABOUT THIS?

WILL I GET A LOAN AS A VA?

HOW DO I MAKE MONEY?

SHOULD I QUIT MY JOB? 

WHAT COMPANIES SHOULD I APPROACH AS A VA?

SPEAK:

WOuld you work as a virtual assistant? If you work as a va, what services do you offer? What am I missing to say? I want to make this as compact as possible because we are empowering everyone to join us online.

We are looking for healthy competition and job creation channels. Please, join in the conversation.

Has this piqued your interest to ask more? Please get in touch by subscribing, sharing, so that businesses and jobless youths can know they have a voice. And also to get updates on my part two and three four and five and finally a resource on anything virtual assisting.


stephanie

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