15 Essential Virtual Assistant Skills to Get Started With
There are so many virtual assistants in the world and the number is growing everyday. But the question is – are all of them skilled? Definitely not.
If you’re planning to step into the industry and earn your living through this profession, you need to differentiate yourself from other remote workers. Check out the following skills and see which ones you already have. And for those that you don’t have, start working hard to gain them for a better future.
15 Essential Virtual Assistant Skills
1. Great communication skills
Be an active listener and understand what the client wants from you and how he wants to communicate. Since you will be working remotely it is always important to maintain good communication and transparency of your work. Text, email, instant messaging apps will be your primary means of communication. Good writing skills with proper grammar usage are important as you will probably be writing to each other most of the time.
Once assigned a task, you must be capable of deciding if the client is not around to address your queries. In such situations, explore the possible resources to come up with a solution rather than waiting for your client to return. Be confident in your abilities, make suggestions on how to improve the operation, take charge – this will help you stand out.
3. Great computer knowledge
Almost all the work you do will require the use of a computer, so be skilled at it. Cloud-based knowledge is important as you have to share your resources using them (Google docs, Dropbox, Google drive) and learn how to use Microsoft office tools.
Be skilled at surfing the net, you may have to gather all your information from here. Use a password manager so that your clients can safely share their confidential documents with you. In some cases, a good typing speed is also essential.
4. Sales skills
Convincing clients about how the services provided by you will improve their business in some way is important. Tell your clients about the things you are good at and how these benefit them.
5.Attention to detail
Spend an extra hour checking your work for errors. Go the extra mile looking for scopes to make your work stand out.
Be creative when creating content for someone’s blog, social media, or website. Making videos, designing advertisements, or editing pictures will require your creative juices to flow.
7. Time efficient
Working remotely equals unsupervised work and getting accustomed to it may take a while. Plan ahead, create schedules, timelines, set deadlines, use time-tracking apps and be accountable for your actions. You may be working with multiple clients but each of them needs to think they are the most important one.
8. One task at a time
Learning how to focus only on a task at a time will help in the long run. Finish a project before starting a new one. Multitasking will stress you out and will lead to frequent mistakes.
After learning to focus on a single task consider batching. Finish as much of the same task as you can before jumping to the next one. For example, do not reply to an email as soon as you get it, instead, continue with the task in hand and pick a fixed time twice or thrice a day dedicated only for replying to emails.
9. Ability to find the right clients
Look for a job listing posted on a freelance marketplace and reach out to the client if the job interests you. Know how to screen and locate potential clients.
10. Professional and Organized
Set up a home office or set aside an area for your work. Store the important documents and files safely, away from children or pets. If you are storing them in your computer be sure to have backups. Try maintaining the highest degree of professionalism when dealing with clients.
11. Basic accounting knowledge
Noting every business transaction down will always be beneficial. You can track the clients who pay their bills on time, the most profitable ones, the time of the year which brings in the most business, how much you are spending, and the clients that require a rate increase.
Even if you are working remotely, you must consider yourself as part of the company. You know how your client’s business operates, how they get customers, the challenges they face- be invested in it. Your effort to add value to the company will not get unrecognized. . Things like updating your website or redesigning it, organizing are important but they don’t directly bring in cash, hence prioritize the task that generates revenue. Remember making your clients money will make you money.
13. Disciplined and motivated
When you spend most of the day working alone it’s common to feel lonely, hence you may get side-tracked even with the slightest distraction. Being a virtual assistant allows you more freedom, but you must be disciplined and motivated enough to stick to the schedule. Focusing on work can be difficult at times, since you will be working without supervision. Non-work-related emails, phone calls, social media notifications, other domestic distractions will cause you to lose focus. The ability to get the work done even with all these distractions is vital.
14. Responsibility for mistakes-
Don’t avoid responsibility if you make a mistake. Assess the situation, make improvements to stop it from repeating, and apologize to your client.
15. Continuous learning and improvement
Mastering new skills will help maintain your greatest form and stay at the top of the game. You will not succeed unless you love what you do and work hard for it. Look out for the learning curves and treat every day differently.