Chapter Three

Finding Work As A Virtual Assistant

While you can start your own virtual assistant business, you do not have to to find work as a virtual assistant: You can either work as a freelance virtual assistant or you can apply to work for a virtual assistant company.

Freelancing is a popular option for those who want complete control over how they work, when they work, and how much they make. The internet is ripe with bidding Web sites (i.e. Elance, Guru, and Rent-A-Coder) and message boards where you can find work.

Bidding sites are a popular source of finding clients and projects for many freelancers, and most require a fee (either a monthly fee or a transaction fee or both) to bid on projects.

While using a bidding site may be a good way of getting your foot in the door and helping you to build a strong reputation as a virtual assistant, you must protect yourself when dealing with people in such a setting. Always have an agreement in place before you begin work, and make sure you get a deposit.

The sad fact is that, as a freelance virtual assistant, you will, more likely than not, not be paid at least once in your career, even if you have a contract in place. Getting a deposit will help ensure that you at least get some of the money that is owed to you.

Beware, however, of scams, especially if you are looking for clients on the internet. Never pay for leads, unless you are dealing with a reputable bidding Web site. If you are worried about being scammed:

  • Do an online search for the company for which you are considering working. This is often a good way to find out if others are complaining about them or if it is a scam.

  • Check with the Better Business Bureau.

  • Join a virtual assistant discussion forum, and ask if anyone has heard of or has had problems with the company.
  • If you prefer not to work as a freelance virtual assistant, you may want to consider applying with a virtual assistant company that hires VAs. Find a virtual assistant recruiting firm that does not charge you a membership fee. You also want to be able to verify its reputation by checking with the Better Business Bureau.

    A good rule of thumb to always keep in mind when either looking for clients or applying with virtual assistant companies is: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    Next: Chapter Three: Starting Your Own Virtual Assistant Business

    Previous: Chapter Three: The Cost Of Becoming A Virtual Assistant

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