The Virtual Assistant Industry is booming and growing fast. There are many different types of virtual assistants, including Freelancers, Online Business Managers, Virtual Assistants, and Unicorn VA’s. But what does all this mean? In this article we break down the different types of Virtual Assistants and what their responsibilities are.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

There are a lot of terms out there to describe the work that a Virtual Assistant (VA) does. Here are some of the most common:

A VA is a highly skilled professional who provides administrative, technical, or creative support to clients remotely. They may be a part of an agency or work independently.

 Typically services such as office management, social media marketing, web design and development, customer service, data entry, graphic design, and bookkeeping fall under the roles of virtual assistants.  VAs are a great resource for entrepreneurs and businesses who don’t have the time or resources to manage all their tasks in-house. They can provide the support a business needs to succeed without having to hire additional staff.

A Unicorn VA is a rare breed of virtual assistant with a wide range of skills and experience. They are often able to take on complex projects and provide high-level support to their clients. Any virtual assistant can become a Unicorn VA – want to learn more? Click here to check out my new course Unicorn VA Basics.

There are many different types of virtual assistants (VAs), and each has their own set of skills and tasks that they can perform. Here is a brief overview of the different types of VAs and the tasks they can perform:

-General VA: A general VA can handle a wide range of tasks, from administrative work to customer service to social media management.

-Project-based VA: A project-based VA is hired to work on specific projects for a set period of time. Once the project is completed, the VA is no longer needed.

-Specialized VA: A specialized VA has expertise in a particular area, such as marketing or accounting. They are hired to perform specific tasks related to their area of expertise.

-Unicorn VA: A unicorn VA is a rare and elusive creature that possesses all the skills of a generalist VA, a project-based VA, and a specialized VA. These mythical creatures are few and far between, but when you find one, hang onto them!

(If you’re a VA already, head on over to our free Facebook Group to collaborate with other VAs!)

What is a Freelancer?

A freelancer is an independent contractor who provides services to clients on a project basis. Freelancers are not employed by a company and do not have the same job security or benefits as employees. They are responsible for their own taxes and insurance, and they set their own schedules.

Freelancers can work in a variety of fields, such as writing, graphic design, web development, and marketing. They often have specialized skills and experience that make them valuable to clients. Freelancers typically work with multiple clients at a time and may be located anywhere in the world.

What is a Business Manager?

A business manager is a professional who helps companies or individuals run their businesses more efficiently. The role of a business manager can vary greatly depending on the size and type of business, but typically includes responsibilities like overseeing finances, developing marketing plans, and coordinating staff.

Often, virtual assistants will move into online business management after gaining experience. To be an effective OBM, you must be highly organized, detail-oriented, and have excellent communication skills. You should also be comfortable working independently and have experience with a variety of online tools and platforms.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between Them All?

There are a few key differences that can help you tell the difference between a virtual assistant, freelancer, business manager, and unicorn VA. 

First, virtual assistants are typically more focused on providing administrative support, while freelancers tend to provide more specialized services. Business managers usually have more experience and may offer a wider range of services than either virtual assistants or freelancers. Finally, unicorn VAs are a rare breed of virtual assistant that possesses a very rare combination of skills. 

Here are a few other key differences to keep in mind:

Virtual assistants typically work remotely, while freelancers may work either remotely or on-site.

Business managers typically have formal training in business administration or management, while virtual assistants and freelancers generally do not. 

The services offered by a business manager are usually much broader in scope than those offered by either virtual assistants or freelancers. 

Unicorn VAs possess an extremely rare combination of skills which makes them able to handle just about anything thrown their way.


Each of these roles can be invaluable to a business, and choosing the right one for you depends on your specific needs. It’s important to understand the differences between each role so that you can make an informed decision about which is best suited to help you in achieving your goals. With the right combination of virtual assistant, freelancer, business manager, and unicorn VA, you can find great success within your organization.

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