Working from Home or While on the Road in your RV

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Being a virtual assistant is a job that can be done almost anywhere that you can get an internet connection. One of the reasons that I really like my job is that my husband and I like to travel in our RV and it gives me the freedom to work on the road. My husband is disabled and has several medical issues and needs someone to be close by so I stay at home with him. Freelance work gives me the best opportunity to work and be there for him as much as possible. I also love article writing, editing, blog posting, forum moderating and helping others so this is the perfect job choice for me.  If you are a full-time RV’er and you have marketable skills then this is something to really consider doing when you are out on the road.

First you will need to figure out what services you can provide and what your niche will be. Think about the skills you have and write them all down. Some VA‘s specialize in one or two areas but some offer a wide variety of services. Sometimes, they do this and then subcontract out what they don’t have the time or skills for. A good way to be able to provide a broader range of services is to collaborate with a few other people who are great at doing different things and then trade services with them.

There are several freelance websites that you can use, including Elance, Odesk, and others where you can bid on jobs. You could even advertise your services on Craigslist or other free classified ads and have the business come to you. You can try to get work by distributing business cards, flyers, community bulletin boards or calling local businesses to see if they would like to use your services. Just be sure to explain to them why and how you can save them money by doing tasks for them. Think of it as a business proposal because that is exactly what it is. Always, get a signed contract so that everything is spelled out so there is no misunderstandings about payment or services. Here is a example of a contract.

The great thing about being a “virtual” assistant is you can work for people whom you have known for years or people you have never met. This is great when working out on the road in your RV. One of the best ways to create a steady income is to offer packaged services for a monthly fee. Some VA’s even get paid retainer fees. Build yourself a good repeat customer base and you could have more work than you could ever want.

Some of the services you could provide include :

  • SEO
  • Link Building Services
  • Ebook Writing and Editing Services
  • Social Media Marketing Service
  • Data Entry, Data Management
  • Blog Setup and Management
  • Guest Blog Posting
  • E-commerce Website Setup and Management
  • Customer Service Followup calls
  • Logo Developing
  • Email Management Service
  • Ghost Writing
  • Internet Research
  • Pre-employment Background Checks
  • Virtual Recruiting and Interviewing prospective Employees
  • Book Travel Arrangements
  • Transcription
  • Contact and Client Management
  • Create Newsletters or Brochures
  • Google AdWords
  • Marketing Plans
  • Bill Paying
  • Press Releases
  • Appointment Setting/Calendar Management
  • Paralegal Services
  • Real Estate Assistant
  • Billing Services
  • Ebay Listings
  • Lead Generation
  • Pay Roll
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Virtual Assistant Contract Agreement Free Form

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Have been working on a new contract to use with my clients. It is very important to have a written and signed contract when you are contracting services, even if it is a familiar client. If anyone balks at having a signed contract then you should probably walk away from them. Remember this is your business and you need to do what you need to do to protect yourself, in fact the contract also protects your clients as well. It might help to point that out to them when you ask them to sign the contract.

Below you will find a copy of the contract I use. Feel free to use it if you wish. It would be wise to have a lawyer look over any contract you chose to use for your company.  It just makes sense to do that.

WORK FOR HIRE AGREEMENT

This work for Hire Agreement (“Agreement”) is made this Thursday, November 17,2011, between Virtual Assistant Services (<- your VA Company name here) and «Company» having its principal place of business at «Address1», «City», «State». In this Agreement, the party who is contracting to receive the services shall be referred to as the “Client” and the party who will be providing the services shall be referred to as between Virtual Assistant Services.

1. DESCRIPTON OF SERVICES. Beginning on «Start_Date», Virtual Assistant Services will provide the following services (collectively, the “Services”): «Services»

2. SERVICE LOCATION. The Service to be provided by Virtual Assister under this Agreement shall be performed at Virtual Assistant Services place of business. (i.e. Home Office)

3. SCHEDULE AND DAYS OFF. Virtual Assistant Services Assistance is generally available to provide Services during normal business hours. Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm CST, excluding national holidays.

4. PAYMENT FOR SERVICES. «Company» will pay compensation to Virtual Assistant Services for the Services based on «Fee_Amount». This compensation shall be payable and due upon receipt of invoice. Payments accepted: Credit Cards through PayPal, Checks, or Money Order.

5. TERM/TERMINATION. Either party upon 5 days written notice to the other party may terminate this agreement. Provided, however, that each party may terminate the Agreement immediately without prior in the event of a breach of this Agreement by the other party. Upon Termination, Virtual Assistant Services shall invoice «Company» and payment will be expected in full – immediately upon receipt.

6. NON-DISCLOSURE AND NON-SOLICITATION. Virtual Assistant Services shall not directly or indirectly disclose to any person other than a representative of «Company» at any time either during the term of this Agreement or following the termination or expiration
thereof, any confidential or proprietary information pertaining to «Company», including but not limited to customer lists, contacts, financial data, sales data, supply sources, business opportunities for new or developing business, plans and models, or trade secrets. Furthermore, Virtual Assistant Services agrees that during the term of this Agreement, and for 6 months following the termination of this Agreement, Virtual Assistant Services shall not directly or indirectly solicit or attempt to solicit any customers or suppliers of «Company» other than on behalf of client himself.

7. RELATIONSHIP OF PARTIES. It is understood by the parties that Virtual Assistant Services is an independent contractor with respect to «Company» and not an employee of «Company». «Company» will not provide fringe benefits, including health insurance benefits, paid vacation, or any other employee benefit, for the benefit of Virtual Assistant Services.

8. WORK PRODUCT OWNERSHIP. Any works copyrighted, ideas, discoveries, inventions, patents, products, or other information (collectively, the “Work Product”) developed in whole or in part in Virtual Assistant Services in connection with the Services shall be the exclusive property of «Company». Upon request, Virtual Assistant Services shall sign all documents necessary to confirm or perfect the exclusive ownership of «Company» to the Work Product.

9. LIABILITY. Virtual Assistant Services will not be liable for loss, damage or delay of Client’s project due to circumstances beyond Contractor’s control. Such circumstances may include (but are not limited to) acts of God, public unrest, power outages, and inability to contact Client. In the event of such loss, damage or delay, Virtual Assistant Services will make every effort to notify Client immediately.

10. CONFIDENTIALITY. Virtual Assistant Services will not at any time or in any manner, either directly or indirectly, use for the personal benefit of Virtual Assistant Services, or divulge, disclose or communicate in any manner any information that is proprietary to «Company». Virtual Assistant Services will protect such information and treat it as strictly confidential. This provision shall continue to be effective
after the termination of this Agreement. Upon termination of this Agreement, Virtual Assistant Services will return to «Company» all records, notes documentation and other items that were used, created, or controlled by Virtual Assistant Services during the term of this Agreement with the exception of items purchased by Virtual Assistant Services and not reimbursed by «Company».

11. SEVERABILITY. If any provision of this Agreement shall be held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall continue to be valid and enforceable. If a court finds that any provision of this Agreement is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting such provision it would become valid and enforceable, then such provision shall be deemed to be written, construed, and enforced as so
limited.

Party contracting Service:

By:________________________________
Date:__________________

«Company»

Service Provider:

By:_________________________________________
Date:_________________

Jane Doe

Virtual Assistant Services

Tips for Starting Your Virtual Assistant Business

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Virtual assistants are remote workers who are usually diverse in their skills, backgrounds and locations. They use technology to deliver their services to clients all over the world. Most work from a home office and most have their own websites. Many VA‘s offer clerical or secretarial type services but there are several that specialize in areas like marketing. web design, social media management, accounting, legal services, tech support and more.

Clients are more likely to hire assistants to save money when they need temporary help or when they just cant afford to hire a full time employee. Most Virtual Assistants pay their own taxes, equipment, training and healthcare which can save a business a large amount of money. Real Estate, life or business coaching, financial services, accounting and legal services are the industries that hire most frequently.

Here are just a few tips to help you.

  • Decide just what type of services you have adequate experience in and will be able to offer to your clients.
  •  Determine your niche. You should consider specializing in just two to three services to make it easier to market.
  •  Decide how much time you have to commit to your business venture. Will you work part or full time?
  • Do some thorough research to determine the need for your services in your local area.
  • Outline who your clients will be and how to access them.
  •  Do  market analysis. Find out your niche and focus on how you will apply it to your business.
  •  Know your financial limitations and what your expected income will be, your possible expenses and how long you will be able to hang on until your business is running all on it’s own.
  • Write a business plan and go over it often to manage any future changes.
  • Make sure your equipment, software and office space will meet your business and client needs.
  • Name your business, secure a domain name and build a website. Try to use the same name for all to avoid confusion.
  •  Market your services continously. Othewise the clients won’t be knocking on your door and you will likely fail.
  • Consider joining a professional organization. It can be a great networking opportunity and you could reap big benefits.
  • Don’t be afraid to contact business’s who could possibly use your services. Send them a brochure or business card.

Writing on Vacation

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This past week, my husband and I spent time in Colorado and Wyoming on vacation. We rode a narrow gauge train in Durango CO and spent time in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. We had a great time and I was still able to write a few articles for my employers blog. That felt great to be able to work when I felt like it. I actually was able to complete several articles and came up with many other ideas from inspiration from things we did and saw on our trip.

Reasons to be Your Own E-book Publisher

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Here are several good reasons to self publish your own writing. It is a profitable way to elevate your writing career to the next level. No need to have a big publishing house involved when you can do it yourself. Ebooks are all the rage and there is no reason that you can’t get in on it and what better way that by being your own publisher?

  • You keep a larger percentage of the price of the book. You are the one who spends those long hours working hard to research and write your  material so you should be reaping the most rewards from it. With self publishing, you should be about to retain up to 80% of the price of the book in some cases.

 

  • There are very few obstacles. All you need is a computer, software to write with, internet accessabilty, a basic idea for subject matter, and the time and passion to write.

 

  • Less time from the formulation of the book idea, writing it, to publishing it in the marketplace. This can take as little as a few weeks or months.

 

  • Become a recognized authority and help your career take off. Having a published book is not something that everyone will do in their lifetime. Having a book that is published is a great way to promote yourself and is even better than the traditional resume.

 

  • You are in charge of your own marketing and selling of your book. This is a good thing because the publisher will market a lot while the book is new and then it will drop off after a few months. This way you can make sure to keep the momentum of your book and profits going.

 

  • Because of the internet, the process is very fast so you can market and sell books all over the world. A single person can manage their own self publication operations very successfully to the worldwide audience.

Freelance Writing as a Work from Home Job

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Finding a work from home job can be difficult but not impossible. Consider doing freelance writing from home. The jobs are not high paying in the beginning but residuals can build up over time. You don’t even have to be an English professor to write articles. But you do need to have a desire to write and topics to write about. You can write about things you are knowledgable or passionate about like hobbies, relationships, or sports.  If you can do enough research, you can write on just about any subject you want that interests you.

In the beginning apply to write at places like suite101.com, about.com, yahoo, and other similar websites. The pay is not great but the experience is worth a lot. You can use your work on these sites to build your writing resume. Post a link to your writer’s profile from these sites on your resume as well. If you have been unemployed like I have been, you know how important it is to have a something to write down as your current job when you are job hunting. Employers want an explanation for times you were unemployed. Freelance writing will help you “fill the gaps” on your resume even if you don’t plan on it being your full time career.

After you have some published work and feel confident in yourself, you can begin to look for “bigger” jobs. A really good place to find work is on craigslist. I found one of my higher paying jobs there but just be careful of scams. You can also use sites like freelancer.com, elance.com, and other freelance sites.

Ebooks are easier than ever to write. You no longer need to have to have a publisher and you can submit directly to sites like amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.  Just go to their site and research their requirements prior to writing just to make sure you are familiar with their formatting. You  will need to come up with a cover for your ebook, however.  The book itself doesn’t necessarily have to be very long either. It is very important for your content to be good and especially the first chapter since this is often used as a free sample if people want to preview it prior to purchase.

Writing is obviously not for everyone but I do think with enough research and practice most people can write. It is definitely worth a try and you don’t have anything to lose. You may find out you love it and want to make it a career.

Services

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My main passion is writing but I can help you with many clerical and administrative tasks. I can advertise, screen and interview employees for you. I can make and keep up your social media sites for business or personal use. I will edit your ebook and help you make it more professional. I can call your customers and do follow ups after a sale or service. Just ask me what your need is and I will do my best to help you out at a reasonable price.

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