How to go from PA to VA in 3 months

How to go from PA to VA in 3 months

People often ask me how long it takes to become a Virtual Assistant and my answer is usually “it depends”. But now I have a definitive answer: if you set aside time every day to get on and focus on the things you need to do in the right order then it should take you no more than three months tops. And this is exactly how you do it:

Get your head around the idea

First you need to realise that it’s perfectly feasible to go from being a PA to a VA and get paid well to do all the things you’re currently doing every day as part of your job.

Thousands of successful VAs all over the world are living proof this is possible.

The owner of your company is just a regular person (although they may actually have horns under their hair). They can’t do everything themselves so they allocate different jobs to different people in different departments.

Depending on the size of your company they may also outsource tasks to contractors such as web designers, marketing agencies and accountancy firms.

Your line manager is just one of these people and because they also have their own job to get on with, they get you to do all the adminy stuff, organise things and generally do all the ‘machine oiling’ bits that need to be done in order for your department and/or your boss’s life to run smoothly.

Well you may be surprised to hear that owners of smaller businesses will also pay you to do the same things your company does…

Except you get to work when you like and keep all the money!

More than one of my DIY VA course students has said to me:

I’m just so surprised that people will happily pay me to do all the things that I find really easy.

This is because you’re so used to the traditional 9-5 working-for-someone-else model, being told what to do and being able to do your tasks so easily, that you can’t believe anyone else will pay you to do them if you go solo.

But why? The reason your company pays you to do those tasks is because they need doing!

Go From PA to VA in 3 Months

Steps to becoming a Virtual Assistant

These are the things you need to do in order to set up your own Virtual Assistant business and the time they should take you.

It’s actually not as hard as you would imagine – it’s just that you’ve never done it before.

  • Analyse and identify your skill set in order to work out what services to offer, the types of people who might want those services and any niche(s) you may already have but aren’t yet aware of.
    TIME – half a day to a day at the most.
  • Create an online presence (LinkedIn and maybe a website) to tell potential clients what you can do and provide evidence that you’ve done the kind of work they would want doing.
    TIME – 1-7 days for LinkedIn and 1-6 weeks for a website depending on whether you build and write it yourself plus 1 day to 3 weeks for a logo if you decide you want one.
  • Think of people you both know and don’t know who might hire you then make a list of those people.
    TIME – half a day to 2 days tops.
  • Research 10 people you don’t know so you can contact them.
    TIME – 1-3 days but you’ll be doing this in a rinse and repeat motion forever throughout your career anyway.
  • Write an email template to contact those people.
    TIME – half a day max.
  • Send those emails.
    TIME – half a day max.
  • Research and do other marketingy things. Because if you think you can get away without letting people know what you do then you’ll never get paid!
    TIME – 1-7 days.

TOTAL – 12 weeks at the most

Now I know that life can get in the way and you may not think you have loads of free time to get these things done in the timeframes I’ve given you.

But you kinda do if you’re honest about it.

Sometimes if you really want something then you just have to make time for it. You put aside half an hour in the morning or evening, you miss Eastenders or Corrie, you sneak off for an hour at the weekend…

You choose to prioritise your future and you make the time.

Discover what tools you need to set up as a VA

If you want to go from PA to VA in 3 months:

It will not surprise you to know that I have a DIY VA training course that covers everything I’ve listed above!

It has a section for every step, videos on how to identify your niche, services and clients, examples of how to write your LinkedIn profile and prospect email, templates and downloads, a guide on how to get clients, a video walk-through on the exact method in that guide, and private trainee-only Facebook group where you can ask questions.

My course means you can do the lot in 3 months… if you want to.

Going from bored, undervalued, underpaid, stressed PA to happy, in-control, flexible working, confident VA is something really quite exciting. It’s doable and it’s completely within your reach.

You just have to go and do it!

See testimonials and read more about the DIY VA course here.



Thank you Jo! This post is exactly what I needed to read today after thinking about setting up as a VA for a few months now and making some small steps. I will get a move on!


This post came at just the right time – thank you Jo! I love reading all your advice as it always give me a kick up the backside. I’ve started my website (designing it myself) but life got in the way…again! Back on track this week!

Jacquie Steel

Thanks Jo,
Just the kick up the backside I needed!
Almost there….just got to get my head round the marketingy bit you mentioned!
Would you do me a huge favour if you have a minute…..go and have a look at my new website and drop me a line to let me know what you think….would be much appreciated, Ta

Joanne Munro

Good work Jacquie! Unfortunately I don’t have time to review people’s websites (I’d never get any work done!) but I do offer it as a paid service which you’ll find on the Training and Resources Page and the Downloads Page. x

Sarah Walker Shread

Hi Jo, I’m a stay at home mum but my little boy is now at school and I have been working part time for a private physiotherapist practice 3 mornings a week (which is about to come to an end). Work involved allocating payments, banking, credit control, speaking to new patients and admin work but I wouldn’t really say I was a pa (more like a secretary/admin lady). Prior to starting my family I worked for 10 years also doing admin and purchase ledger. I would really love to sign up for your course but I’m not sure if I have the skills or confidence to do it. I would be happy to take refresher courses in Microsoft Word, Excel (in fact anything to gain lots of knowledge) but would this be enough? Also I really love the idea of not having to physically meet people and want to know if most communication is Skype based/emailed or on the telephone as again I struggle with confidence. I am a hugely organised person and I know I can probably do any task asked of me but I am as I say lacking in confidence. What do you think?


Hey Joanne,
i am a mother to a 1.3yrs girl. currently in a one month contract and wil be ending in a few weeks. i would like to enroll in the VA course. am in Kenya and would love to know more about VA and if its possible to do it here and get genuine clients as well as know how to do the course.
i have been going through some of your advises and i think i landed on the right person. thank you

Joanne Munro

Hi Janet, thank you for leaving a comment. I just Googled ‘Virtual Assistant in Kenya’ and a few came up so there must be a demand for it where you are. Obviously it’s up to you to do your research and find out the viability of your services, but wherever people are needed to do admin in an office, a virtual solution is always an option.

You can find all the information on what the course covers by clicking here. x


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