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How to Become a Personal Assistant to Earn More Income

You can become a virtual personal assistant and start making money without leaving the comfort of your home! Private personal assistant jobs are in high demand with businesses, entrepreneurs, and other busy clients. You can keep your day job and become a part-time personal assistant or go all in. 

Why Become a Private Personal Assistant?

Private personal assistant jobs offer many benefits, which is why you should consider making this move. The most obvious benefit is that you can be a part-time personal assistant which makes you work from home, a coffee shop, the beach, or virtually anywhere you can get an internet connection. Not being tied down to an office means you don’t have to worry about commuting to and from work, dealing with traffic, will be putting less wear and tear on your car (you may not even need one, depending on your situation), and save on gas. 

Spend more quality time with your loved ones and friends with more time to spare without the hassle of commuting. You won’t spend as much on food because you didn’t bring your lunch or are coming home too late to make dinner. These benefits of becoming a private personal assistant give you back time and money to be spent in better ways. 

You can do many types of jobs online, but a virtual personal assistant is one that you have the potential to make a stable income. You’re free to set your rates, and if you specialize in high-demand skills, you can charge more. 

It boils down to that becoming a personal assistant means you are your own boss and work on the terms you want. Talk about a great career opportunity!

What Is a Personal Assistant?

A personal assistant often called a virtual personal assistant, is someone who helps clients remotely with their services. There are a wide variety of services that a personal assistant may offer. It could range from simple data entry, responding to emails, making travel arrangements, to managing social media accounts. 

The wide range of tasks that people need a personal assistant to provide is incredibly useful. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from hiring a virtual assistant to handle their jobs. 

Personal Assistant Salary

The salary for a personal assistant can vary widely by the type of tasks you take on. A personal assistant salary could range from $10 an hour to over $30. The average pay for personal assistant jobs is around $19 per hour. Offering more specialized services like social media management will typically equate to a higher rate.

Personal Assistant Skills

The tasks that you will ask to do may vary greatly from client to client. However, certain skills will help set you up for success. Here are some personal assistant skills that you should work on improving below:

Good Communication Skills

To build a good connection with your client, you need to be good at communicating. Since you are working virtually, you won’t benefit from having a face-to-face meeting with your clients. So communication with them frequently is key. 

Give your client a daily or weekly update on what you’ve accomplished. Be sure to include how your work has benefited them. You don’t need to write up a long email. It just needs to show them that you are an asset to them. Here is an example:

  • Updated the Instagram account, and you have 100 likes, 40 new followers, and 36 shares
  • Drafted 2 Facebook posts for your review
  • Started the new promotion on Facebook, and so far, there are 30 new sales

Flexibility

It would be best if you were flexible to cater to your clients’ needs who may be in different time zones or cultures. Set expectations around when you can be available. But also be understanding that a client may need to reach out to you in emergencies on rare occasions. If you need to be available outside your regular hours due to an emergency, make sure you communicate what that looks like beforehand. For example, let them know you will charge 1.5 times your standard rate for these hours. 

Organizational Skills

There are many tasks that personal assistants take, requiring strong organizational skills. Being able to organize your time and set priorities is particularly important for personal assistants. You will probably get a big dump of different tasks for you to manage each week. Plus, if you have multiple clients at a time, you’ll need to juggle these priorities on a timely basis. 

Basic Skills That Every Personal Assistant Needs

Finally, there are some basic skills that you’ll need to be successful as a personal assistant. These include:

  • Typing at least 40 words per minute or more; Must also be accurate
  • Understand how to use a Mac or Windows computer or laptop
  • General knowledge of using the internet and email systems
  • Time management skills
  • Basics of social media marketing
  • Can adapt to various brands or people’s voices

Besides these personal assistant skills, you will also need the right equipment. A laptop or computer connected to high-speed internet and programs such as Excel and Word would be ideal. The more you know about management tools like Trello and Asana and social media posting tools like Buffer, the better as well. 

Services That Clients Are Looking For

Personal assistants can provide a wide variety of services. You may find some jobs that have very specific tasks that they need you to perform. Other clients are looking for someone that can handle a wide range of work. Here are some things that you might find yourself doing for clients and consider brushing up on your knowledge:

  • Data Entry
  • Content Creation
  • Social Media Management
  • Blog assistant
  • Blog writing
  • Transcription
  • Keyword research
  • Proofreading
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Converting documents to other file types
  • Formatting books for Kindle
  • Newsletter creation
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Conducting research
  • Letter writing
  • Proposal writing
  • Creating spreadsheets
  • Invoicing
  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Event management
  • Updating websites
  • Phone answering service
  • CV writing
  • Developing Powerpoint presentations
  • Video editing
  • Translation
  • Answering phone calls
  • Scheduling social media content
  • Customer support
  • Curating content

As you can see, there is a vast range of things you could do for clients. Get familiar and home at least 2-3 of these skills. You’ll be able to be more focused when going out to find clients.

Other Personal Assistant Jobs

There are still the traditional personal assistant opportunities that are still available in these times. For example, if you want to offer services to people in need for emotional benefits, consider becoming a personal assistant for the elderly. Senior citizens may need people to help them with daily tasks like grocery shopping, preparing meals, housekeeping, and technology help. Becoming a personal assistant for the elderly allows you to base your prices on jobs or hourly. 

If you’re good at giving others advice and making a suggestion, you could be a personal shopping assistant. A personal shopping assistant can net you a yearly salary of between $24,000 and $58,000.

Another area you could go into is becoming a personal travel assistant. Your main goal as a personal travel assistant is to facilitate travel arrangements for individuals or companies. If you enjoy traveling and have spent extensive time working in the travel industry, this could make a great niche. 

How to Become a Personal Assistant

Ready to start making money as a personal assistant? It doesn’t take that long to get working. But it would be best if you did some up-front planning so you can start landing clients. Here are some guidelines on how to become a personal assistant:

Decide on What Services to Offer and Skill Up!

The first thing that you should decide on is what type of personal assistant services to offer. If you have prior experience, as you worked as a customer service agent, consider focusing on those skills. Or, if you’ve always had an interest in social media, you could offer up related services. 

You don’t need to have experience in the areas you choose necessarily. Of course, that will be helpful. But you should take time to get educated. For example, there are plenty of free resources to teach you about social media ads or learn about keyword optimization.

Determine How Much You’ll Charge

Decide on how much you’re going to charge. Your rates will depend on your experience, the type of services you offer, and your skillset. Now, if you want to build up your portfolio and skills, you might consider charging less initially. You’ll be likely to attract more clients, building your experience. 

When setting your prices, consider the following:

  • Make sure your rates will cover self-employment tax; You’ll have to cover this when you start bringing in clients
  • You won’t be getting benefits; There are no sick days, health insurance, retirement contributions, or paid vacations, so those things will come out of your pocket
  • There are other expenses that you might have to do your work; Software subscriptions, office expenses, etc. could be costs that you could incur while working

When you’re starting as a personal assistant, it’s generally a better idea to charge by the hour instead of a flat rate. That’s because you won’t fully grasp how fast you work and how long some projects may take. 

You don’t want to be put into a situation where you’re working for countless hours that you won’t be adequately compensated for. Once you’ve figured out how long these services take, you can switch to a flat rate model. 

Create a Portfolio or Website

Does a business these days even exist if there’s no webpage? Potential clients need a way to find out more about you, what you can do for them, and whether you could be a good fit to work with. Plus, they need a way to get a hold of you!

Consider building a professional website where you can showcase what services you offer, how to contact you, your resume, and eventually testimonials from previous clients. Don’t forget to add a personal touch by including a recent, professional picture of yourself.

Here are some things you should put on your website:

  • Introduction of who you and what services you offer
  • Previous experience, examples, and your portfolio
  • List of current and past clients
  • Current rates or your starting rates
  • Testimonials from current or previous clients
  • Contact form

Find Clients

Landing your first client is always the most challenging part of this process. You have to put yourself out there, even though you may have no clue what you’re doing. You’ll need to leverage your network to find potential clients. There also could be some local networking opportunities in your community that you can attend. Remember, it’s not just big companies that need the services of a personal assistant. 

Reach out to local businesses to find out if they need help with managing their workload. They might not be able to hire full-time help, but someone like you that could assist for a few hours a week could be something they hadn’t considered before. 

Social media websites are another good source to find potential clients. Facebook specifically has many niche groups that you can join that are related to personal assistant work. You’ll need to put in time and effort to network online, but it works! You’d also be surprised how posting about your services could lead to landing your first personal assistant job. 

Other places you can find personal assistant jobs include:

  • Flexjobs
  • Belay Solutions
  • Fancy Hands
  • Zirtual
  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • People per hour

Continue to Learn and Improve 

When you become a personal assistant, it’s not a job that goes stale. So it would be best if you always were looking to learn and keep up to date with the latest. In any field you choose, improving your craft requires a motto of “Never stop learning.” 

Business owners and entrepreneurs often need help related to new social platforms, tech-related problems, and business tools. Invest regularly in yourself to increase your knowledge through podcasts, reading, and taking classes/courses.

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