How to get (a high-paying) job as a virtual assistant

How to get (a high-paying) job as a virtual assistant

This is a follow up post to an article I just wrote about hiring a VA or getting and author assistant.

Getting a job as a virtual assistant seems like an easy, low level thing: you can do basic internet stuff, you can write well, some people are making money but are too busy, why not just help them out?

The problem is, busy business people or authors don’t have time to teach you all the things you will need to do to help them, and some of them (authors especially) have no idea what exactly they would ask you to do.

They know they need help, but they are overwhelmed. Being there waiting for them to give you a job to do can actually add more stress because they know they’re wasting money on you if they don’t give you any work.

But also, if you can’t help them with a direction and a plan, you have very low value. You might make $5 or $10 an hour. But instead of that, you should be figuring out exactly how to help the people you’re aiming to be an assistant for. I saw some people on Facebook trying to get jobs as a VA or a Personal Assistant, so I made up a huge list I thought would be helpful. In fact I’m pretty ready to hire someone who can do all this stuff. But a lot of the VAs who are looking for work can’t  do most of this stuff (and that’s the basic stuff authors or any online business person could really use a VA for – the stuff that will actually increase traffic and sales).

So if you want to assist someone, take the time to learn about their business and how to grow traffic and what kinds of content you need to be making to support their efforts. Then you can package that all together specifically for your target audience and launch a service (don’t charge hourly, charge by package, you’ll make double for your time if you can prove that you’re an expert and you know exactly what they need).

Then, make a deal: say “this package is usually $500 a month but it’s only $100 a month for the first 10 clients if they give me a testimonial” – then advertise that on Facebook to your ideal audience. Get 10 clients. Work your ass off and overdeliver to earn glowing reviews. Now you can set the price up to $250 and do another round. This is how you build a service business quickly. Don’t be a robot. Stand out by figuring out exactly what people need and give it to them.

A Comprehensive Guide for Aspiring VAs in the Book Marketing and Publishing Industry

Virtual assistants (VAs) have become increasingly popular in the book marketing and publishing industry. If you have a knack for organization, marketing, and a passion for books, a high-paying job as a VA for authors and publishers may be the perfect fit for you. This article will guide you through the skills, services, and strategies needed to excel as a VA in this niche.

Understanding the Role of a VA for Authors and Publishers

As a VA for authors and publishers, your primary responsibilities may include book marketing, social media management, and administrative tasks. This role involves providing support to authors and publishers in promoting books, managing their online presence, and handling various administrative tasks.

Skills and Services in High Demand

  1. Book Marketing: Understand the different stages of a book launch, including pre-launch, launch, and post-launch. Learn to create a marketing plan, schedule promotions, and engage readers.
  2. Social Media Management: Master the top social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Create engaging content, schedule posts, and manage interactions with followers.
  3. Email Marketing: Learn to use email marketing tools like Mailchimp or ConvertKit. Create email campaigns, design newsletters, and manage subscriber lists.
  4. Online Advertising: Gain expertise in running online ads on platforms like Facebook Ads or Amazon Advertising. Learn to create ad campaigns, set budgets, and analyze performance.
  5. Administrative Tasks: Develop skills in managing schedules, handling email correspondence, and providing customer support.
  6. Design and Formatting: Acquire skills in graphic design and book formatting. Use tools like Adobe InDesign, Canva, or Vellum to create book covers, promotional materials, and format manuscripts.

Best Skills to Learn

  1. Digital Marketing: Take online courses or attend workshops on digital marketing. Focus on strategies like content marketing, SEO, and influencer marketing.
  2. Communication: Develop strong written and verbal communication skills. Practice writing emails, blog posts, and social media content.
  3. Project Management: Learn to use project management tools like Trello or Asana. Understand how to manage multiple tasks, set deadlines, and prioritize effectively.
  4. Technical Skills: Familiarize yourself with tools and software used in book marketing and publishing, including email marketing platforms, social media management tools, and graphic design software.

Where to Find Clients

  1. Freelance Platforms: Register on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. Create an impressive profile, showcasing your skills and services.
  2. Networking: Join online communities and forums related to book marketing and publishing. Participate in discussions, share your expertise, and connect with potential clients.
  3. Author Websites: Reach out to authors who have a strong online presence. Offer your services and explain how you can add value to their book marketing efforts.
  4. Social Media: Use social media platforms to promote your services. Share content related to book marketing, engage with followers, and showcase your expertise.
  5. Referrals: Request referrals from satisfied clients. Word-of-mouth recommendations can help you build credibility and attract new clients.

How to Hire a VA and Boost Your Business

  1. Identify Your Needs: Determine the tasks you need assistance with, such as social media management, email marketing, or administrative support.
  2. Research Potential VAs: Look for VAs with experience in book marketing and publishing. Check their portfolio, reviews, and testimonials.
  3. Interview and Test: Conduct interviews to assess their communication skills and knowledge. Consider assigning a test task to evaluate their expertise.
  4. Set Clear Expectations: Clearly outline the tasks, deadlines, and payment terms. Establish communication protocols and provide any necessary training.
  5. Delegate and Monitor: Assign tasks to your VA, monitor their performance, and provide feedback. A skilled VA can help you save time, boost your online presence, and increase book sales.


Becoming a high-paying VA for authors and publishers requires a combination of skills, knowledge, and dedication. By focusing on high-demand services and continuously improving your skills, you can establish a successful VA career in the book marketing and publishing industry. Whether you’re an aspiring VA or an author seeking support, understanding the role and value of a VA in the book marketing and publishing industry is essential for success.

1 Comment

  • Jen Lindblad Posted

    Great advice, Derek. I’m on track – spending every Wednesday attending webinars and researching the business of those I support – authors, coaches & speakers. I have certification in two of these areas, but there is always more to learn.

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