How to Be an Online Personal Assistant? Let Me Count the Ways
How to be an online personal assistant? This question has been a mainstay in my inboxes (website and social media). So instead of writing a canned response, I thought it would be better to write some sort of a guide that will help newbies and not-so-newbie peeps through the process.
How to Be an Online Personal Assistant?
Here are five ways that can help you become one.
1. Are you fit for it?
Becoming an online personal assistant requires you to have a sound mind in a sound body. Believe me – the struggle is real – especially if you deal with multiple clients and hold key positions. How well can you handle stress? Can you adjust your sleeping hours if and when the job calls for it? Do you have very young, clingy kids that can get in the way? Do you have a day job that leaves you high and dry? These are some of the questions you have to answer on how to be an online personal assistant. Of course, these issues do not mean that you won’t fit the job, but you’ll have to address them first.
2. Know the tools of the trade
Be aware that personal or virtual assistance needs you to have not just one, but several sets of skills, depending on the needs of specific clients. Just take a look at a sample job description of real estate virtual assistance. Quite a lot of tasks, right?
But on closer inspection, you’ll see that the most important tools and skills to have are MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint); email creation; scheduling and bookkeeping.
For these tasks, you’ll need to learn (if you haven’t already) the following:
Appointment schedulers: Capterra has a great list of appointment scheduling software that you can find here.
Bookkeeping: Business News Daily has a neat list (with links) of accounting software.
And since you’ll be working with a majority of foreign clients, you’ll need to have good, if not excellent English communication skills. One of the websites that can provide you with a comprehensive list of tips is LEO Network. Read and live the tips.
3. Secure a stable internet connection
Yes, we still have to wish for a highly reliable and stable internet connection in the Philippines, given the circumstances of our ISPs. But all is not lost. Based on my experience, you can have a better connection if you are aware of which ISP works best in your area. Oh, and in case you lose connection, call your provider. I know it can be time-consuming and nerve-wracking, but it’ll help to let them know that their service sucks (as if they don’t already). Invest in a pocket wifi as well for moments when your regular ISP fails to serve you the way it should.
4. Create/Upgrade your profile
What drives you to check a certain product when you’re shopping? The beautiful package, right? Similarly, your online profile must be packaged with oomph in mind. Use a profile picture that depicts the professional, credible YOU, not the fun and exciting you. Create a title that’s short and specific so it’ll be easily remembered by clients. TIP: Use power words. And complete your profile – this has been proven to give better chances of getting hired.
How to be an online personal assistant? You’ll have to do a lot of research on your own. Asking FB groups can speed up the process, but then, that’ll be defying the very reasons why you choose freelancing: independence and autonomy. Besides, nothing will sharpen your wits better than learning things on your own. It’s like giving your brain cells a well-deserved massage.
Do you have more ideas on how to be an online personal assistant? Then please feel free to write them in the comments box below. Thanks!