Usually, when people hear the word “assistant”, they think of some sort of college intern. This person is very young. This person doesn’t make much money. But they have all the enthusiasm in the world. Well, you may be a little bit older. But senior citizens actually make good money as virtual assistants.
You have to understand that as more and more businesses discover the power of the internet to connect with labor, a lot of them are outsourcing digital work. If you are putting up an online business, you probably would need to do research.
You can do this yourself or you can hire somebody to do it for you. If you don’t have the skills to do a task, you can hire somebody through the internet to perform all sorts of tasks for you. The best part to all of this is you don’t have to pay employment taxes, you don’t have to pay workers compensation, plus you don’t have to comply with all sorts of regulatory headaches in your particular state.
Please understand that in the United States, labor regulations vary from state to state. California, for example, has a very restrictive labor and employment code. Other states like Texas are more forgiving. But the good news is when you hire a virtual assistant, all that goes away because that person is your contractor.
They basically do a job for you and once the project is done, that’s the end of the relationship. Compare this with an employer-employee relationship. It can easily turn into headache. It is no surprise that a lot of seniors are hiring themselves out as virtual assistants.
How much money can you make?
Virtual assistants in the United States can make upwards of $50 per hour or more. It all depends on the tasks being assigned. Obviously, you’re not going to take tasks that are low skilled. You’re not going to take tasks that can be automated because if it can be automated, your perspective employer would not approach you in the first place.
They’d just download a piece of software, install a bot and be done with it. Instead, they’re looking for virtual assistants with a specialized body of expertise. In other words, they’re looking to rely on your life experience.
This is how older American VAs blow away the competition. You can not compete against younger virtual assistants by saying, “Well I can do research, I can look for stuff on Google and I can fill out forms.”
Well, let me tell you, everybody can do that. In fact, they don’t even have to be in the United States to do that. Somebody with a decent command of the English language, be they in the Philippines, India or Bangladesh, can do that.
The problem is if that’s the best you can offer, you’re going to have to work for peanuts. Some VAs charge very little money. We’re talking about less than $5 per hour. That is awesome in places like the Philippines and India, but completely unacceptable in the United States where monthly rents in certain areas are north of $5,000.
You have to offer highly specialized services.
Do a skills audit
What are you skilled in? Can you program? Can you code? Do you have a medical background? Do you have a legal background? What kind of specialized knowledge do you have? The more specialized you are, the more money you can command on an hourly basis. That’s the name of the game.
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