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As VAs and online business owners, we have to stay ahead of fast-moving trends in digital marketing and technology. To that end, regular high-quality training is critical. When that training is free, so much the better! So here are 14 free virtual assistant training courses and resources to help spark your creativity and sharpen your skills.
Virtual Assistant Gig Goldmine (free ebook)
This short course, currently being offered free on AppSumo as a 19-page ebook, will teach you where to find top-paying clients for your virtual assistant business. You’ll also learn how to choose a profitable niche and specialize so you can charge premium rates.
Besides offering some great free training for VAs, AppSumo is the number one software deal site for entrepreneurs and online business owners. They partner with leading tech companies to offer freebies, lifetime deals, and steep discounts on software, courses, and digital assets.
I use AppSumo to get deals on stock photos for my blog and Pinterest, but they have tons of other products as well. Here are a few of the things they’re offering for free right now:
- Free lifetime access to Yay Images Startups – get access to over 2 million stock images – FREE (save $1,000)
- ApproveMe’s Ultimate Contract Template Library – over 100 contract templates for your business – FREE (save $499)
- One year of free access to Intellifluence influencer marketing software – FREE (save $1,200)
- 75 No-Code Business Ideas e-book – FREE (save $19)
View all their current freebies here.
If you ever need to purchase software to help manage your virtual assistant business, it’s a good idea to check AppSumo first in case they’re running one of their deals. (Or if your client needs a specific type of software that’s on sale or free, you can give them a valuable tip.)
Pinterest Primer (free course)
Pinterest management is an increasingly in-demand service that virtual assistants can offer their clients, or even specialize in. In this free Pinterest course by McKinzie Bean of the Moms Make Cents blog, you’ll learn how to optimize your (or your clients’) Pinterest profile, create viral pins, and drive more blog traffic.
If Pinterest is your jam, you might also be interested in my post about the best Pinterest courses for bloggers.
Start a Money-Making Blog (free course)
Recommending tools that you use as a VA is a fun way to make some extra money while running your virtual assistant business – not to mention, the virtual assistant skills you learn from creating and marketing a blog are invaluable. As an example, I sell transcription services on this site, but I also earn some monthly affiliate income by recommending my favorite transcription equipment and courses.
In this free blogging course, created by Ana Skyes of The She Approach blog, you’ll learn how to create, grow, and monetize your first blog.
FreeU virtual assistant training workshops
Freelance University, formerly known as VAClassroom, is an online university and certification program for virtual assistants and freelancers, run by husband-and-wife duo Craig and Kelly Cannings.
When Craig and Kelly started their virtual assistant business in 2003, training materials for VAs were scarce. So in 2008, Craig and Kelly launched Freelance University to solve this problem and have since trained over 16,000 virtual assistants and freelancers in over 75 countries.
The FreeU website hosts a selection of free workshops, which currently includes:
- Seven digital marketing skills you can add to your virtual assistant business
- Ten ways to create profitable online courses, and a simple method of making money from them before you create them
- Ten freelance services that clients are seeking in the midst of the COVID pandemic
Go here to browse the free workshops.
If you choose to become a premium FreeU student, you’ll get access to 80+ certifications and courses teaching a wide range of marketable virtual assistant skills. The training materials are organized into eight specialized tracks: Social Media, Digital Marketing, Digital Media & Events, Content Creation & Management, Business Management, Technology Management, Graphic Design, and Web Development.
Additionally, FreeU includes courses on how to market your virtual assistant business, including Attracting Clients, Getting Referrals, Networking, Digital Cold Calling, and Leading a Winning Discovery Call. You’ll also get access to Freelance 101, a course that teaches the fundamentals of building a freelance business from scratch.
The certifications you earn from completed courses can be embedded on your website or LinkedIn profile. New courses are added regularly to keep up with trends in the fast-paced virtual assistant industry.
In addition to the video trainings and downloadable templates and manuals, FreeU students also receive:
- Access to a private Facebook group where you can network with peers and instructors
- Monthly Q&A with Craig
- A live, interactive workshop every month focusing on in-demand VA and freelance skills
- Access to the freelance directory, where you can advertise your virtual assistant business to potential clients
- Masterminds with mentors and other freelancers
- Access to a software sandbox where you can practice using the premium software tools your clients need you to know, such as ConvertKit and Leadpages
- Discounts on popular business software
All in all, Freelance University offers comprehensive training in the complete range of modern-day VA skills, and at $49 a month, it manages to do so at a lower cost than most other VA training programs. Whether you want to be a jack of all trades or specialize in a specific VA niche, such as Content Creation & Management, FreeU covers all the bases.
Craig and Kelly have a reputation among their students as being friendly and supportive, and they offer a generous 15-day refund policy if you decide the training isn’t a good fit. Learn more about Freelance University here.
Free list of 275+ VA services you can offer
There are so many different ways to be a virtual assistant, and everyone has at least one skill (and likely multiple) that other people will gladly pay for. While it’s good to be well-rounded as a VA, you can charge higher rates if you specialize in a specific area. Some examples of in-demand VA niches or areas of specialization include:
- Real estate VA services
- Instagram or Pinterest management
- Online business management
- Email management
- E-commerce VA services
- Social community management (i.e., helping manage Facebook groups, etc.)
If you need some inspiration about services you can offer as a virtual assistant, check out this free list of 275+ different services people hire VAs for, authored by Gina Horkey of the popular VA blog Horkey Handbook.
HubSpot Academy (free certification training for virtual assistants)
HubSpot is a globally recognized leader in inbound marketing. They create an all-in-one inbound marketing tool suite consisting of marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software.
The company’s online learning platform, HubSpot Academy, is “the worldwide leader in free online training for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service professionals.” If you’re a virtual assistant who works with professional bloggers or who otherwise provides marketing services, that includes you!
HubSpot Academy offers free marketing certification programs, such as Inbound Marketing, Social Media, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Inbound Sales, and Digital Advertising.
The certification process includes:
- Watching the video courses and completing the quizzes for each lesson
- Passing the certification exam
- Completing any practical exercises included with the certification program (these are graded by the HubSpot team)
When you’ve completed a certification, you can add HubSpot’s industry-recognized badge to your LinkedIn or Upwork profile. You can also embed the certification badge on your virtual assistant website or download a printable copy of the certification.
HubSpot is a recognized and respected name in the digital marketing community, so if you provide marketing services of any kind for your clients, a HubSpot certification can give your virtual assistant business a credibility boost. You can also use the skills taught within the certification programs to promote your VA business.
In addition to their marketing certifications, HubSpot Academy also has free short courses on topics like SEO, website optimization, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, WordPress, and business blogging.
Transcription Foundations (free mini-course)
This free general transcription mini-course was created by Janet Shaughnessy of the Transcribe Anywhere blog. I’m a student of Janet’s legal transcription training program, and hers is the only general and legal transcription training I recommend on my blog.
To be clear, this mini-course will not teach you how to transcribe or go into detail about finding work. But it does answer commonly asked questions about starting a transcription career or investing in a transcription training program.
The free mini-course covers:
- What kind of clients use transcriptionists
- The biggest myth about transcription
- Signs you may not make a good transcriptionist
- How much you can earn as a transcriptionist
If you have questions about the content in any of the seven lessons, simply type your question at the bottom of the lesson and you’ll get a response from Janet.
If you decide to take the leap and enroll in either the general or legal transcription training program, you’ll learn how to transcribe using the proper equipment, the terminology you need to know (for example, legal terms), how to market your transcription business and pitch clients, how to set your rates, how to handle billing and taxes, how to write a transcription cover letter and resume, and how to pass transcription hiring tests.
Unlike most transcription training programs, not only does Janet teach you how to transcribe, but she also teaches you how to build a real business and get your own clients so you can earn professional rates.
To learn more about a career in transcription, sign up for the free mini-course here.
Proofread Anywhere (free webinar)
If you love to read, why not add proofreading to your virtual assistant repertoire and get paid to work from anywhere? In this free workshop, Caitlin Pyle talks about what’s involved in starting your own proofreading business and finding private clients.
Caitlin consistently made between $3,000 and $4,000 per month proofreading for just 20-30 hours a week before she started teaching others how to build their own successful proofreading businesses. As is typical with free webinars, Caitlin will make you an offer at the end of the workshop in case you’d like to enroll in her proofreading training program, so be aware of that when you sign up.
Social Media Marketing Foundations (free LinkedIn Learning course)
Formerly Lynda.com until its LinkedIn acquisition, LinkedIn Learning is an e-learning platform focused on professional development training. It has over 16,000 expert-led online courses for learning business, creative, and technology skills. Although most of its courses fall under the premium category, LinkedIn Learning occasionally offers free courses too.
Social Media Marketing Foundations is one such free course, and it packs a lot into 52 minutes of video. In the course, you’ll learn how to create a social media strategy based on your business goals.
The course covers:
- Defining your audience
- Choosing the right social media channels
- Publishing content and managing your editorial calendar
- Interacting with your audience
- Selling on social media
- Measuring your social media activity
Once you’ve completed a course on LinkedIn Learning, you can showcase the completion badge on your LinkedIn profile if you have one.
For $29.99 per month or $299.88 per year (a savings of 33 percent), you can get access to all the courses on LinkedIn Learning. They currently offer a one-month free trial.
Some premium courses on LinkedIn Learning that may be useful to virtual assistants include:
- 43 Ideas for Starting a Side Business
- Social Media Marketing: Managing Online Communities
- Managing Email Marketing Lists and Campaigns
- Become a Digital Marketing Specialist (this is a “learning path” that includes multiple courses)
- Become an Administrative Professional (another learning path with multiple courses)
Udemy (free courses for virtual assistants)
Udemy is my absolute favorite marketplace for both paid and free virtual assistant training. To date, I have enrolled in 121 courses on the platform and clocked many hours of study! Udemy has over 130,000 courses on every subject imaginable. You can filter for free courses by typing into the search bar and then setting the “Price” filter to “Free” (currently, this feature only works on the mobile app).
Here are just a few top-rated free virtual assistant training courses on Udemy to help you grow your business:
- Social Media Marketing – Complete Certificate Course
- Email Automations + Email Marketing Mastery with ConvertKit
- How to Create a Website Using WordPress (Step by Step)
- Advanced Social Media Marketing for Picking Up Clients
- A Quickstart Guide to Getting Clients with Cold Emails
- Create Better Facebook Ads
Skillshare is an online course marketplace that has over 29,000 free and premium video courses in subjects like animation, graphic design, photography, entrepreneurship, web development, and more.
Here’s just a sample of their free courses for virtual assistants:
- Typography that Works: Typographic Composition and Fonts
- Building Your Freelance Business: From First Steps to Getting Paid
- Growth Marketing Essentials: Build Effective Acquisition Funnels
- Email Marketing Essentials: Designing Effective Emails
- Creating Dedicated Landing Pages: How to Get Better ROI for Your Marketing Spend
A monthly subscription to Skillshare costs $19 per month (or $8.25 per month for an annual subscription). They offer a free seven-day trial, which gives unlimited access to all their classes.
CreativeLive is an online education platform that offers a catalog of 1,500+ classes in creative inspiration, business basics, social media, writing, communication skills, entrepreneurship, marketing and sales, online business, and more. They also regularly broadcast free live classes from top experts. Classes on CreativeLive are taught by over 650 world-class instructors, including business and marketing experts like Seth Godin, Marie Forleo, Neil Patel, and Tim Ferriss.
CreativeLive has free and premium courses available. Some of their free training for virtual assistants and other online business owners includes:
- How to Advertise on Pinterest: Social Media Training
- Branding Strategies to Ignite Your Marketing
- Legal Steps Every Business Owner Should Take
- Put Your Money to Work: Take Control of Your Business’ Finances
If you’re interested in any of the premium classes, you can buy them one-off, or else purchase a subscription, called the Creator Pass, for $39 per month (or just $10.75 per month for an annual pass). The Creator Pass gives you access to their library of 1,500+ classes. It also lets you also download class materials and lessons for offline viewing. New classes are published every month.
View upcoming free broadcasts on CreativeLive.
Canva Design School
If you’re a working virtual assistant, you’re likely already familiar with Canva, the free graphic design platform that lets anyone make beautiful social media graphics and other visual content, no graphic design experience required.
Canva Design School is an arm of Canva with free video courses that teach how to use various aspects of graphic design, such as fonts, color, images, backgrounds, shapes and icons, layouts, and branding.
The free courses currently include:
- Become a Pinterest Creator with Ashley Schroeder
- Personal Branding with Dr. Talaya Waller
- Canva for the Classroom
- Social Media Mastery
- Graphic Design Basics
- Branding Your Business
- Presentations to Impress
In addition to these video courses, Canva Design School has a selection of tutorials that walk you through each feature of Canva so you can use the platform to its fullest potential. Many of your potential clients are already using Canva to create social media graphics, so if you can position yourself as a Canva expert, you’ll be ahead of the curve!
Hootsuite Platform Certification Course
If you’re a social media management VA, you’re likely familiar with Hootsuite. Their social media management software lets you monitor and automate multiple social networks for different clients.
Although it’s a bit tricky to find on their pricing page (you have to scroll down past the paid plans), Hootsuite offers a free plan that lets you manage three social profiles and schedule 30 posts per month. This should be enough to get you started with your first social media management client, or else to promote your own virtual assistant business on your social channels.
Hootsuite also offers a range of social media certification courses, collectively known as Hootsuite Academy. While most of these are premium courses, you can take their Hootsuite platform certification course for free.
This video course, which runs two hours and 30 minutes, will teach you how to use the Hootsuite software to manage and automate your social media. If you want to obtain the industry-recognized certificate for this free training program, you’ll need to pay a fee. You can showcase the certificate on your VA website and other online profiles.
More virtual assistant training
I hope the above resources help sharpen your skills as you continue to offer high-quality virtual assistant services to your clients.
If you’re ready to turn up the heat with your VA business, check out my recent post about the best premium virtual assistant training, which gives an in-depth summary of Gina Horkey’s #FullyBookedVA system, a comprehensive training program for virtual assistants. #FullyBookedVA covers everything from building a virtual assistant business from scratch, to specializing in the top VA niches, such as real estate. (Gina is the creator of the popular 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success course, and #FullyBookedVA is her revamped virtual assistant training program. You can learn more from Gina herself in this interview.)
And if you’re a virtual assistant, transcriptionist, or work-from-home enthusiast, you might also be interested in the following posts:
- 75+ online transcription jobs
- 32+ online proofreading jobs
- 10 part-time online job ideas
- Online transcription jobs for Canadians
- What is an online business manager?
Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Please come again soon – and if you have a free virtual assistant training program or course to recommend, share the wealth and drop a comment!
What kind of virtual assistants are in demand? ›
The most in-demand virtual assistant services are social media management, email marketing, and project management.How can I learn virtual assistant skills? ›
- Take training courses. You've got to prepare for working as a VA and running your online business. ...
- Determine the work you like and can do. ...
- Figure out the prices to charge. ...
- Create an online presence. ...
- Start applying to jobs. ...
- Learn about yourself and clients.
- Reliability. Employers need to know that the people they hire are reliable, especially virtual assistants who are only accessible online. ...
- Communication. ...
- Time-management. ...
- Resourcefulness. ...
- Self-motivation. ...
- Organization. ...
- Creativity. ...
and getting the step-by-step guidance to starting a successful VA business is something most people don't regret. So yes, Virtual Assistant training is absolutely worth it if you want to save time and start a successful VA career sooner than later and without spending hours trying to figure out your next step.Do you need to be certified to be a virtual assistant? ›
The VA Industry does not have a committee or governing body that has certified specific standards that Virtual Assistants must meet to be considered certified. It's not like the specific industries where there are governing bodies and true certification programs.What is the highest paid virtual assistant job? ›
- Data entry clerk. National average salary: $38,735 per year. ...
- Bookkeeper. National average salary: $42,616 per year. ...
- Human resouces assistant. ...
- Personal assistant. ...
- Administrative assistant. ...
- Virtual receptionist. ...
- Customer support representative. ...
- Virtual event coordinator.
Social Media Management
This is one of the most in-demand and highest paying niches in the media industry. This is because many people hire virtual assistants or social media managers to manage their overall social media accounts depending on the goal that they need it to serve.
- Communication Skills. A good virtual assistant will have exceptional communication skills regardless of whether they have years of experience or not. ...
- Project Management. ...
- Time Management. ...
- IT Skills. ...
- Excellent Attention to Detail. ...
- Good Decision Making. ...
- A Love for Learning. ...
- Social Media Management.
- 1 – Word Processing Skills.
- 2 – Oral Communication And Writing Skills.
- 3 – Computer Skills.
- 4 – Self Motivation And Discipline.
- 5 – Quick Thinking And Effective Decision Making.
- 6 – Understanding Real Estate Listings.
- 7 – Managing Facebook Groups And Pages.
- 8 – Email Management.
These are time-based and can range from 10 – 75 hours or more. You'll have a ton of flexibility and have support along the way to make the most of your demands. Additionally, as there's an agency in place, they provide you with virtual assistance to handle disputes over virtual assistant work.
What's your greatest weakness as a virtual assistant? ›
Three common mistakes virtual assistants can do: Trying too hard. Being too general. Employee mindset.What are hard skills of a virtual assistant? ›
- Communication skills. ...
- Planning and scheduling skills. ...
- Mastery of various project management tools. ...
- Computer skills. ...
- Basic research skills. ...
- Writing skills. ...
- Basic accounting skills. ...
- Familiarity with social media.
Typical tasks a virtual assistant might perform include scheduling appointments, making phone calls, making travel arrangements, and managing email accounts. Some virtual assistants specialize in offering graphic design, blog writing, bookkeeping, social media, and marketing services.How much does 90 day VA cost? ›
When you sign up for 90 Day VA, you get six months in this private Facebook group at no extra charge. But to stay in the group beyond that, you'll need to pay a membership fee. It's $49 per month, or $199 per year.How do I start a virtual assistant business? ›
- Pick your niche or services offered. ...
- Write a business plan. ...
- Register and name your business. ...
- Invest in the tools of the trade. ...
- Choose how to price your services. ...
- Create a contract.
As a VA, you can collaborate with inspiring startup founders and rising business executives to drive impact and make a name for yourself. As a Virtual Assistant, you get an exclusive window into what it takes to build or lead a game-changing venture.What is Va course? ›
This diploma is for anyone wanting to work as a Virtual Assistant (VA). You will gain excellent skills to help you provide a good service but also skills required to be able to run and market your own business.Is virtual assistant a good job? ›
Virtual assistance is a rapidly growing career field because of the benefits it offers to both employees and the people who employ them. Employers can save time and money by outsourcing tasks to virtual assistants instead of hiring full-time employees or performing the work themselves.Is 90 day VA worth it? ›
TL;DR – Is 90 Day VA worth it? The 90 Day VA program teaches you everything you need to know to launch your virtual assistant business in 90 days or less. If you want to shave down your learning curve and are willing to put in the work, then 90 Day VA is worth it.How do I start a virtual assistant business? ›
- Pick your niche or services offered. ...
- Write a business plan. ...
- Register and name your business. ...
- Invest in the tools of the trade. ...
- Choose how to price your services. ...
- Create a contract.