How To Become a Virtual Assistant With No Experience And Earn $5,000+ Month!

Claire Bullerwell | Updated 5 January 2024

Do you want to work from home, use your existing skills & experience, and make more money than a regular full-time office job?

Then welcome to the amazing and exciting world of becoming a freelance virtual assistant!

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

This post also covers how to become a virtual assistant for free, and how to get your first clients for free!

We all have different reasons why we want to change our working circumstances, and it has become increasingly obvious that working from home is on top of a lot of people’s priority list.

Some people want to replace their job with a home-based business, while others just want to earn some extra money from home.

So no matter what your reasons and personal lifestyle choices are, let’s delve into becoming a virtual assistant with no experience to help you fulfill your money and lifestyle dreams.

So What Exactly is a Virtual Assistant?

Well, I’ve actually been a virtual assistant myself, so I can tell you first-hand of what it entails and how you can become one.

The great news is that there are literally hundreds of virtual assistant services to offer, and there are many ways to get freelancing virtual assistant jobs – also called ‘gigs’.

A virtual assistant, also commonly known as a VA, is a person who provides support to small businesses and entrepreneurs, both offline and online.

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A virtual assistant works remotely from home and has a home office where you would ‘commute’ to each day. So this is very much a remote working environment, but you will be communicating with your clients each day, so you won’t be totally isolated.

Freelance Virtual Assistant

By being a virtual assistant, you will be offering a freelance service, so in essence, you will be self-employed and running your own virtual assistant business.

Therefore, you will have to:

  • Register as self-employed with the IRS / Inland Revenue
  • Market your own VA services
  • Be accountable for your bookkeeping, and
  • Completing your end-of-year Tax Return form.

So yes, there is a learning curve not only in starting a virtual assistant business, but to also become a self-employed business owner. But don’t worry, this can all be taken in your own stride

So now you know what a virtual assistant is, and that you will become a freelance VA, running your own home-based business, let’s look at some virtual assistant services.

Virtual Assistant Services

As I briefly mentioned above, there are literally hundreds of virtual assistant services which you could potentially offer.

I have written a separate blog post which lists 169 virtual assistant services that are in high-demand.

Services to offer as a virtual assistant will depend on your current skills, and/or what skills you want to learn.

But to quickly give you an idea of VA services, here’s a short list by niche. There will be many other services to offer within those niches.

Niches within niches!

16 Virtual Assistant Services by Niche:

  • General Administration
  • Email Inbox Management
  • Project Management
  • Content Production
  • Email Marketing
  • eCommerce Store Management
  • Podcast Management
  • Video Production
  • Social Media Management
  • Customer Service
  • Finance
  • Event Management
  • Website Maintenance
  • SEO Services
  • Graphic Design
  • Community Management

Remember that these are niches, and there are many tasks and services within those 16 niches.

So in essence, you could go deep into a niche and only provide one particular service such as a Pinterest service to bloggers; which is within the Social Media niche.

Related Reading: 169 Services To Offer as a Virtual Assistant


How to Become a Virtual Assistant

Now we’ll go over the first few essential steps to get started, then we’ll take a look at how to become a virtual assistant for free i.e. no upfront costs, or at least very minimal. And lastly, I’ll show you a few ways to carry out paid advertising to get clients if you wish to spend some money.

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Is Self-Employment for You?

The first thing you want to determine is if self-employment is the right choice for you.

As I’ve already mentioned above, becoming a virtual assistant is offering a freelance service, and effectively running your own home-based business.

Therefore, it’s imperative that you know what self employment entails and that you are willing to take on those extra self employment tasks.

See the section ‘Freelance Virtual Assistant’ above to see the self-employment tasks again.

Also, when running your own virtual assistant business, you’ll need the following:

  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Time management

Assessing Your Skills and Interests

Once you know that self-employment is the right choice for you, you now want to find a service to offer.

Identifying transferable skills

It’s best to focus and offer a skill which you already have. Therefore, I suggest you do a self-assessment on yourself to find your:

  • Skills
  • Experiences
  • Strengths
  • Weakness
  • Likes, and
  • Dislikes

Be totally honest with yourself, because you might have a particular skill but actually dislike doing it – so you’ll not want to offer that skill as a service!

Then when you’ve completed your self-assessment, head back over to the 67 Virtual Assistant Services post and see what skill(s) you can offer as a virtual assistant.

Virtual Assistant Pricing Structure

Once you know what services you’re going to offer, you need to price them accordingly.

Virtual Assistant Hourly Rates

When you’re just starting out, it’s best to keep things as simple as possible. Therefore, set yourself an hourly rate.

Do some research and find out what other virtual assistants are charging for the same services which you’re offering.

You can look inside Virtual Assistant Facebook groups and ask in there, and also just do some general research online.

Once you have a few prices which your competitors are charging, then set your own hourly rate.

I always advise not to undercut your competitors as this has a psychological impact on potential clients that says you aren’t very professional. Either charge the same hourly rate or slightly higher.

Generally, hourly rates can vary from $25-$50 per hour depending on what service you offer.

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Virtual Assistant Package Prices

Virtual assistant packages are when you take on long-term clients (the majority of your clients will likely be long-term) and they pay you a set amount for a set amount of work to be done on a monthly basis.

These packages are usually referred to as ‘retainer packages’ because they are an agreed block of hours reserved for your work every month. You’re guaranteeing xxx amount of hours each month for $xx.xx amount.

How To Earn $5,000 Per Month

This is a little fun scenario, but as you’re about to see, earning $5,000 per month as a virtual assistant is totally doable.

Let’s say you become a Pinterest VA. So you’re creating pins and posting them daily for your clients.

You’ve done your research and you’re charging a retainer package of 60 new pins for $350 per month.

It takes you about 15 minutes to create and schedule these two pins each day for each client.

So you could realistically take on 16 clients, each paying you a retainer package of $350 per month – which is a approximately four hours of work each day.

350 x 16 = $5,600 PER MONTH.

So ideally, what you’re after is to get as many monthly retainer clients as you can.

For one-off or ad-hoc clients, you can charge your hourly rate.

Please note: This is just a hypothetical scenario, I don’t know how much a Pinterest VA charges for 60 new pins each month.

How To Become a Virtual Assistant for Free

So now you know what skill(s) you want to offer and what your prices are, let’s take a look at some free ways to get your new business off the ground and get your first few clients.

Building a Strong Online Presence

You’ll want to build up an online presence so you can get noticed by your target market and get referrals from other virtual assistants.

Create a Professional Email Address

You first need a professional email address to reach out to potential clients, and to communicate with your new clients.

You can use the free Gmail email service and have your business email such as

However, and I know some people might disagree with me on this one, but I really think that you should register for a professional business email.

With Namecheap you can get a professional email for under $1 per month!

You don’t have to create a website at this stage, but when you are ready to create a website, then you’ll already have the domain!

What looks better and more professional to you?


Everyone knows of Gmail and that it is a free email service. So potential clients will likely wonder how much of a business owner you are if you’re using a free email address.

I always register my domains through Namecheap, and I’ve been using Namecheap since around 2005.

Register a Business Email With Namecheap

Create a Portfolio

Although you may not start off with having a website, you should eventually (sooner rather than later) get one built for your VA service business.

A portfolio is a very essential page on your website which you will use for marketing purposes.

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Here, your portfolio will showcase:

  • The variety of services you offer.
  • Some examples of your work.
  • Customer testimonials.
  • Customer case studies.
  • Your pricing structure

But of course, the question you’re likely asking yourself now as a virtual assistant with no experience is “How do I create a portfolio when I’m brand new and haven’t even had one client yet?

So here’s the answer to that…

Offering Free or Low-Cost Services Initially

When you’re just starting out as a virtual assistant, you won’t have any testimonials or client work to showcase. Therefore, it’s a good idea to do some work for very low cost, or even do pro bono (free) work to get some experience and client testimonials / case studies behind you so you can put these in your portfolio.

To get low cost or pro bono work, go to one or two of the above-mentioned Facebook groups and make announcements that you are just getting started as a virtual assistant and that you’re offering your services at a substantial discount and/or the first three clients will get full pro bono VA tasks so you can put them in your portfolio.

Make sure you make it a stipulation that they are getting these VA tasks done at low cost in exchange for a testimonial.

Once you have your portfolio nicely full with a few testimonials etc., then start charging your full rates.

Dominate One Social Media Platform

Next, you’ll want to choose one social media platform where you want to post to on a daily basis.

If you’re not creating a website from the start of your new VA business, then you’ll need a good, strong platform presence on a popular social media platform.

You’ll want to choose a social media platform where your target market hangout the most.

  • If you’re targeting busy professionals, then choose LinkedIn
  • If you’re targeting bloggers and solopreneurs, then choose Facebook groups
  • If you’re targeting the younger generation, then choose TikTok

… and so on.

You might be tempted to get started on a couple of platforms at the same time, but my advice would be to focus on one first, work on it daily until you get a really good following and engagement on this one platform, and only then move onto a second social media platform.

How to Get Clients as a Virtual Assistant

This is the ultimate question when first becoming a virtual assistant with no experience.

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When you create a system to get your first 3-5 clients, then you know you have a system that works for you, which you can use time and time again, to always have a full calendar full of high-paying clients.

How To Get Your First Client as a Virtual Assistant for Free

So let’s start off by looking at the best free ways to get clients as a virtual assistant.

But before we delve into the free ways, you must understand that these free marketing techniques do take up a bulk of your time.

Your time is the trade-off for getting free marketing as opposed to paid advertising.

So make sure you schedule marketing activities into your daily diary.

Facebook Groups

Let’s start off with Facebook groups because they are an absolute goldmine for getting clients – if you do your Facebook marketing the right way.

Most virtual assistants, coaches or indeed any type of service-provider use Facebook groups to get clients.

Virtual Assistant Groups

So in our case, I would recommend joining one or two Virtual Assistant Facebook groups.

By joining these, you will be able to get free advice, tips and guidance, and there will be plenty of virtual assistants who will pass on work to other virtual assistant – so make sure you’re in the running to get new client work!

Blogging Groups

I would also join a couple of good blogging Facebook groups, if your target market are bloggers.

I see people asking for help in their blogging business quite often, so you should be able to pick up some work in these groups too.

Bloggers tend to need VA help with:

  • Freelance writing new blog posts.
  • Pinterest pin creation and pinning.
  • Email marketing.
  • Email customer service.
  • Graphics creation.

This is a post from a virtual assistant who is replying to a blogger (in a blogging group) who is looking for help with email marketing…

Become a Virtual Assistant

So if you feel that you could become an integral part to helping people grow their blogging business, then consider joining one or two blogging Facebook groups.

Entrepreneur Groups

Then of course, there are other ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘women in business’ Facebook groups. These groups are inundated with small business owners covering a multitude of different types of businesses.

So if you want to work for a specific industry, say health coaches for example, or to offer very specific VA services, such as Podcast management or eCommerce store management, then you’ll find plenty of leads in these groups.

Tip: There are LOADS of coaches in all genres in Entrepreneur Facebook groups.


Identifying and Navigating Freelance Platforms

Another way to get clients as a virtual assistant is to register on freelancing platforms.

These platforms are a win/win for both freelancers and for people looking to hire freelancers because everything is advertised and negotiated on one platform.

 Over the years I have seen a number of these platforms come and go, some have merged, and some have changed their name and branding. So as I write this, there are still two main contenders worth considering.
  • Upwork
  • Fiverr


Upwork (formerly Elance) is one of the oldest global freelancing platforms which connects businesses with freelancers, allowing employers to find talent for various projects across different a variety of industries.

It offers a wide range of skills and services, enabling businesses to hire professional freelancers on a temporary or project basis.


Fiverr was founded in 2010 and is a marketplace where freelancers, known as “sellers,” offer a variety of digital services or “gigs” at fixed prices.

Users can find services ranging from graphic design and writing to programming and marketing.

Fiverr emphasizes quick and affordable services, making it popular for small, one-time tasks.

I have actually hired many freelancers from Fiverr over the years to help me in my small businesses.

Here’s a table to show you the difference between Upwork and Fiver:

Aspect Upwork Fiverr
Joining Cost Free for freelancers; clients pay fees. Free for freelancers; buyers pay service fees.
Bidding System Yes, freelancers bid on projects. No bidding; freelancers set fixed gig prices.
Payment Structure Hourly or project-based; set by freelancers. Fixed prices per gig; no hourly payments.
Service Range Diverse skills and services across industries. Diverse digital services, often creative.
Platform Fees Up to 20% for the first $500 billed to a client; decreases with higher billings. 20% on transactions up to $500, then 5% beyond.
Client Interaction Communication through platform messaging. Communication through platform messaging.
Job Matching Clients post jobs, freelancers apply or are invited. Buyers browse and directly hire freelancers.
Rating System Both clients and freelancers receive ratings. Ratings for sellers based on buyer feedback.

Leveraging Free Online Tools

You should also leverage the use of as many free online tools as you need.

These tools are meant to help you with your work productivity and to help you streamline your work systems. In fact, some of these tools actually automate some of your tasks (e.g. social media posting) so its definitely worth trying out some of these tools in your virtual assistant business.

I won’t go into these free tools here, as I have written a whole blog post on the top 20 freeline tools anyone can use to run a small business.

Here’s a list of  my top 20 online tools to run a small business, divided into categories: Admin, Planning, Marketing & Finance.

Just note that there will always be a paid version of these free tools, but for some of them, it is surprising how much functionality the creators give you for free!

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Takeaway Thoughts & Additional Tips

I hope that you have found this guide helpful on how to become a virtual assistant with no experience – and for free.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I used to be a virtual assistant myself (email customer support) and so I do have some experience and knowledge in this area of online business.

I know from experience and also witnessing in Facebook groups, that most people get really excited when setting up and starting their virtual assistant business, but soon get hit with a bang of reality when they have to go out and actually find their first few clients.

I know finding clients can be challenging, but the good news is that you now how some excellent free ways to get clients, so this shouldn’t be such a big challenge for you.

Here are some additional tips to help you decide if a virtual assistant business is the right choice for you:

Pros Cons
Flexible Work Schedule Lack of Job Security
Remote Work Opportunities Isolation and Lack of Social Interaction
Diverse Job Opportunities Variable Income and Instability
No Commute Dependency on Technology
Work-Life Balance Potential for Overwork
Independence Limited Career Growth
Skill Development Potential for Miscommunication
Cost Savings Lack of Employee Benefits
Global Opportunities Difficulty in Establishing Boundaries
Low Entry Barriers Competition and Market Saturation
Autonomy and Control Unpredictable Workload
Networking Opportunities Finding Clients and Building a Customer Base
Set High Hourly Rates Competing with Overseas VAs Offering Lower Prices

When considering the challenges of finding clients and competing with overseas virtual assistants, it’s important for you to develop strong marketing skills, build a solid online presence, and showcase your unique value which you bring to clients.

Additionally, staying updated on industry trends and continuously improving skills can help in standing out in a competitive market.

Yes, there are literally thousands of virtual assistants online, but there are equally more small businesses and solopreneurs looking for good, trustworthy virtual assistants.

So the demand for virtual assistants is as strong as ever!

Good luck!

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