“A virtual assistant is someone who assists you from where they are, not where you are” Virtual assistant matchmaker, VA trainer and coach Melissa Smith said.

Not only does she train VAs, Melissa also matches clients with VAs and works to help them be successful in business.

Melissa explained that being a VA can be a side-hustle for someone who wants to increase their income, or a full-time job for someone who wants to become a digital nomad. The goals of hiring a VA align with the goals of digital nomads, these are freedom and flexibility; that’s why many VAs and many clients who hire VAs are digital nomads.

She added that the advantages of hiring a VA over a traditional assistant are the availability of a bigger talent pool, offering a different perspective, helping you get into a market which they understand.

Currently, the most demand for VAs is coming from the fields of podcasts and online courses.

“Anticipation of the client’s needs” Melissa stated was the most important skill for a VA. The client shouldn’t always have to tell you what to do next, a VA needs to be able to identify the pain points of the client an strive to make his life easier. “When you deliver this peace of mind, people will pay your rates, they will value you”.

She offers in the interview several tips for setting your charge as a VA, and some other tips like how to know the client is the right fit and the communication strategy to follow; her top tip for someone starting as a VA is “Don’t promise what you can’t deliver”.

Melissa advises clients who want to hire a DA “to hire a VA before you need one”, she added that, by the time you need a VA everything would have collapsed, and the problems won’t end overnight, the VA will still need onboarding, and if you are not relaxed, you might not be able to do that.