I accidentally became a Virtual Assistant in 2019. Now, I want to teach you how to become a virtual assistant in Nigeria with no experience, using free tools. I had started blogging two years before that and knew that a lot of people made money from home. It appealed to me and I set up my content shop to sell products online from articles, email series, e-book templates etc.
I knew I wanted to make money online like other bloggers. So, I stalked other Nigerian bloggers to learn how they were making money and everything was about beauty, skincare, fashion, books or natural hair. I wasn’t really interested in writing about all that and could not bring myself to consistently post on Instagram so I could gain popularity.
I knew it had to be a product or service for me.
Then I thought maybe Nigeria is the cause of my problem. If I were abroad things would have been different. I would have been able to make money from home and even make money while I sleep. Trust me, it’s easy to get sucked up in the hole of self-pity.
I decided to keep learning until I figured things out. That was the best decision I made for myself and it lead me to becoming a virtual assistant in Nigeria.
So when the opportunity rose, I offered my service for free. Someone needed an ebook and I volunteered to do it for free. After I submitted the job, she went on to a platform of over 200 bloggers and sang my praises. Honestly, it made me feel good. I neither recognized the impact I had made nor the fact that I had just gotten my very first testimonial.
I got a few inquires and jobs from other content creators on the platform before it was short down.
About two months later, I got a direct message from a stranger. It was a pleasant surprise.
When she talked about needing a virtual assistant, I told her I didn’t know what that meant and had no experience. She explained a little and I immediately knew it was a fancy name for what I was already doing. And in the next couple of hours, I signed up my first retainer client. We’ve been working together for over two years now.
Truth is, I didn’t know what to expect or how to do a lot of things. I wasn’t even tech savvy but I was determined to learn quickly.
I started googling about virtual assistance and how to make something out of it. I checked out a lot of online courses but they cost anywhere from $300. They weren’t even courses by Nigerians for Nigerians.
I started putting myself out there and telling people what I did and word spread. I started making enough money to sustain me for the month working from the comfort of my bed.
For me, virtual assistance sort of clicked.
In the last year I have learned a lot, built this website by myself, packaged my services etc. It sounds so easy to say now but it did take a lot of hard work, grit, costly mistakes and learning to get to where I am now.
But I know that if someone was willing to teach me how to start the right way and sell my services better and most importantly price the right way, I would have signed up without a second thought!
About six months after starting my virtual assistance business, I started getting a lot of questions about how to make money online. Like me, most of them didn’t know what a virtual assistant was or what they can do to make money online and I spend a lot of time explaining things to everyone individually. That can be tiring.
So I decided to create a segment on this blog dedicated to teaching people how to make money online. I do this with the free blog posts I publish under the VA tips category on this website and my free email course.
If you are still reading this, then you might really be interested in becoming a virtual assistant and making money online.
I’m here to help as much as I can.
Who Is A Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is someone who works virtually (online) to help people achieve their personal and business goals. Virtual assistants can work from anywhere and don’t all fit into one box.
What Services Can You Offer As A Virtual Assistant In Nigeria?
The services provided by virtual assistants vary greatly. In fact, there are more than 100 services you can offer as a virtual assistant. So there’s a lot for you to choose from and you can easily find something that you are passionate about and good at.
Here are some services you can provide as a virtual assistant:
- Copy writing
- Book keeping
- General research
- Web design
- Email management
- Blog management
- Calendar management
- Community management
- Graphic design
- Ghost writing
- Social media management
- Customer Service
So from this you know that a virtual assistant can provide any service, as long as they’re willing to learn it.
From my experience, I’ll say this- you really don’t have to know the exact services you want to provide at least before you start. With time you’d surely discover what you like and build on that.
If you’re like me, you’d want to try out a couple of services and pick your strong points. You can always switch when something is just not working for you.
Take These 7 Easy Steps To Become A Virtual Assistant In Nigeria
The good thing about becoming a virtual assistant is that you don’t need to have a degree or be a guru. A lot of people think you need to be tech savvy in order to become a virtual assistant. That’s so wrong. If it were that difficult, I would never have become one.
All you need to be is self-motivated and organized. I said self-motivated because it is super simple to get carried away with a lot of things these days. From working as a social media manager, you might find yourself scrolling through the profile of your secondary crush and stalking all the girls that have liked his recent photos.
It’s easy for you to lie on your bed all day doing nothing. You have to be disciplined enough to set a schedule to work and rest. Becoming a virtual assistant doesn’t mean you get to be lazy. You’d have to pick your lazy days.
1.) Decide To Start
Really. It’s that simple. All you need to do is decide to start making money online. It’s easy to get caught up with worrying about how you’ll make it work because the only thing you know how to do is update your WhatsApp status. You can take all the time you need to plan and give yourself numerous reasons why you’d fail. Or you can simply decide to start and see where it goes.
Take it from someone with zero tech background. I don’t even know how to type with all my fingers on the keyboard. Even Marvis Beckon was unable to teach me typing.
But I type a lot of blog posts and documents for my clients anyways.
So if I am doing it, then anyone can. Literally.
Except my great grandmother, because she’s dead.
So what’s your excuse?
Are you dead too?
Okay, I’m not saying becoming a virtual assistant is as easy as pie. It will actually require effort especially at the beginning.
You’ll have to invest your time and money into learning new skills and improving the ones you already have. It’s like that with every kind of business.
If you aren’t willing to do the work but want to make money in your sleep, then you will fail even before you start.
What’s your decision? Have you decided to start or you’d rather rest because you can’t kill yourself?
2.) Decide And Define The Services You Want To Offer
Remember I mentioned that you can offer a variety of services as a virtual assistant? Trick is, it is better to offer a variety of services especially when you are just starting out. What you are trying to do is test the waters and see what you like and what you should build on.
Whatever you choose, there’s always a market for it. All you have to do it put yourself out there and tell people what you do.
Note: In my free email course I go into detail and tell you the exact virtual assistant services that are currently selling in Nigeria so you can narrow down more easily.
3.) Get The Tools You Need
I know everyone talks about how you can start your virtual assistant business for free. However, you’ll need some basic things like a phone/laptop, internet and a working email.
Note: In my free email course I share a list of some of the FREE tools (20+) I use in my VA business. These apps make my job easier and help me look like a pro at everything I do.
4.) Legally Protect Your Business Or Get Screwed
When I just started working as a virtual assistant, I didn’t know that it was important to protect my business legally and I lost a lot of money. Now I have an iron clad virtual assistant contract clients sign before working with me.
This isn’t a long document and I recommend hiring a lawyer to write one for you instead of writing one yourself. The free versions available online are either too lengthy (clients are looking to hire you to save time, you won’t be helping with your textbook sized contract) or just not comprehensive enough.
You can get some good virtual assistant contracts online anywhere from $200 and above. Or take advantage of my contract template. I got a lawyer with more than 10 years experience to co-write it for virtual assistants in Nigeria. I understand that you are trying to make money online and don’t have $200 (or more) lying around. Your contract should contain the key points below and a dozen more:
· Work Overview
I did this wrong from the beginning. This made me do a lot of work for free. Don’t make the mistake of not explicitly explaining what you’ll be doing. Don’t leave room for assumptions please. You’ll regret it like I did. Take time to give a description of the work you are going to do for your client so they know what they are paying for and not pass on extra work to you.
· Payment Terms
Don’t play with this please. You need to clearly state how much you will be paid for each service you provide, how you will get paid (payment structure and details), When they’ll get your invoice and when payment is due.
Note: I share the free tool I use to create invoices for my clients and how I set up my payment structure in my e-course
· Non-Disclosure Agreement
There’s no doubt that working as a virtual assistant might require your client to give you access to sensitive information like their passwords, marketing strategy, and clients personal information. As a virtual assistant, you’ll need to clearly inform your client about how you store their information and basically create a non-disclosure agreement so they can have their peace of mind.
· Termination notice
Like every relationship, working with some clients might not be possible. You might need to part ways with some clients and it isn’t pretty if you don’t plan in advance. You’d need to have what is called a termination notice in your document. This notice includes information on payment at the time of termination, who can file for a termination, and how it will be delivered. Trust me, you don’t want to complete your work and your client decides to terminate your appointment because they don’t want to pay (True story, it happened to me).
· Independent Contractor Agreement
Emphasis on independent. You need to be treated as a business owner because you work with clients and not for them. You’re not their employee but an independent business partner meeting their needs, so you need to be treated as such.
Some terms in the agreement include:
- You aren’t entitled to any benefits such as health insurance, paid maternity leave or paid vacation.
- As a VA, you can work from anywhere, at any time, as long as you deliver your clients’ work on time.
· Non-Solicitation Clause
This is an important document you need to take seriously. Some clients will not want you to market your services to their clients. Even if you aren’t in the same niche.
So they might present you with a non-solicitation clause and ask you to sign. It is important to read it carefully and have a lawyer vet it before you do. Why? Because it may sometimes be too broad. So if you include one in your own welcome packet, you’d put them at peace and they might not need to present you with their own more rigid documents.
5.) Price Your Services
I assume you have chosen the services you want to provide. Now you want to choose how much you’ll charge for each service. Well done!
If you read materials online about how much to charge for your services you’d see anywhere between $15 to $100/hr. That would be easy if your business wasn’t based in Nigeria or if you aren’t looking to work with Nigerians. But I assume you are (that’s why you’re reading this). My blog is focused on becoming a virtual assistant in Nigeria.
So I’ll say this; people really don’t like paying per hour in Nigeria. They pay per project, week or month (retainer).
PS: You’d want to sign on more retainer clients even if you’d be required to charge less (I explain why in my course).
That said, there’s no single price that covers all the services you can provide once you become a virtual assistant in Nigeria. But in my email course, I explain how much you can charge for all the popular services so you don’t cheat yourself like I did when I first started.
6.) Market Your Business And Get Your First Client
Market your business on social media- Facebook and WhatsApp groups are good places to start. Try cold emailing and asking people in your network. It might look like nobody is listening but keep getting the word out. Something will eventually click.
I can’t emphasize how much having a website for your VA business helps you position yourself as an expert. Although I had a blog when I started, it as a health/wellness blog. I hated it and eventually shut it down and started this blog. (Long story for another day).
However, I still made it work and looked professional even without a website. Hiring someone to start a blog/website for you in Nigeria cost an average of 35k (I charge a minimum of 35K). I know that might be on the high side for you especially if you aren’t working yet, so I have two alternatives. (Of course I’ll share them only in my email course).
Ready To Become A Virtual Assistant In Nigeria?
From the steps I’ve laid out it’s really simple to become a virtual assistant in Nigeria or anywhere! A lot of people have taken the first step even when they weren’t sure it would work out. Remember, I got my first VA job even before I knew who a virtual assistant was and have grown since. I currently make a 5-6 figure monthly income from my side hustle and it is growing. I work only one week in an entire month because I have a full time job.
Choosing to start my VA business and improving my skills is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. And all you really need to replicate my success, is data and the resolve to start right now.
7.) Take Action Now
What’s that thing they say? Erm… you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it sing. Or something.
If you’re interested in becoming a virtual assistant in Nigeria, but still need guidance and knowledge, I highly encourage you to sign up for my email course
I’ll walk you through the process of becoming a virtual assistant in Nigeria, step-by-step, so you don’t have to worry about missing or forgetting anything.
If you prefer the option of working with me one-on-one to get your VA business up and running successfully in no time, feel free to contact me
Have you thought about becoming a virtual assistant? Need to bounce a few ideas off me? I’m ready.