The decision to become a virtual assistant is a big step that shouldn't be taken lightly. Although it may seem wise to cover all the bases and offer a variety of services, most clients seek a virtual assistant that can fill a specific need. Zeroing in on a specialization provides credibility that sets you apart and helps you attract more business. In turn, your work becomes more focused and fulfilling.
However, deciding between so many possibilities may make your head spin. Sit down, take a deep breath, and take time to think about your talents, passions and abilities. Before you know it, you'll find your niche in the virtual world.
Analyze your background and skills to determine your areas of skills and knowledge. For example, if you're a whiz at digging through the wealth of information on the Internet, and if you can sift through the chaff to find solid, reliable information, Internet research may be your skill.
If you're an ace when it comes to picking out misplaced commas, grammatical errors and typos, proofreading or copyediting may be your niche. If you have an ear for accents and you type like the wind, consider audio transcription.
If you're outgoing and enjoy interacting with others, you may decide that customer service, sales or event and meeting planning is to your liking. Conversely, if you're a quiet person who doesn't enjoy speaking on the phone, you may prefer a more solitary endeavor such as data entry, email marketing or word processing.
For virtual assistants with an artistic flair, web design or desktop publishing may be the way to go. Those with technical abilities may fulfill a need for website administration or database management. Twitter or Facebook fans may discover a market for their talents.
Once you've determined your strong points, ask yourself if you will be happy doing that work for several hours every day. If you aren't happy, your business will suffer.
Also, consider whether you need additional training. For example, medical transcriptionists may be in high demand, but transcribers with education and experience are hired first. If you're artistic but you aren't up-to-date on the latest desktop publishing software, you'll need training before you begin work.
When you've determined your virtual assistant niche, you can focus on your target market, and you'll be prepared to meet the particular needs of your clients.
Mary Dyer is an accomplished writer and editor. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego, and is currently taking classes to attain her copyediting certificate.