Skills for the Upcoming Virtual Assistant

If you are starting out as a Virtual Assistant (VA) you may be wondering which skills are most necessary to help you find work and keep your customers happy.

The following list is by no means complete, but it will help you to get started and get your foot in the door of the industry and offer the kind of assistance most business owners are looking for.

Personal skills

These are important because it takes a certain type of person to be a Virtual Assistant.

Communication skills

Your communication skills will make or break your business. They will help you to be very clear on what your client wants, and when you work remotely, that can be a challenge.  The skills will also help your client understand exactly what you can and cannot do, and allow you both to agree on a specific outcome.

Time Management

You will be working on your own in most cases, so you are responsible for finishing the work on time. Clients are buying your reliability as well as your technical skills so you can’t afford to let them down.

Organisation skills

Often you will be juggling more than one client or one job at a time. It is important that you are organised so your client can be, too.  As your business grows and you become busier, your organisational skills will be what keeps you on track.

Technical skills

Bookkeeping

This is one of the things most business owners are keen to outsource. It’s a fiddly and time-consuming task for anyone who should be out there talking with and selling to clients. If you can accurately manage your client’s books and invoicing, you can be fairly certain you’ll be in constant demand.

Event Management

Some Virtual Assistants specialise in particular areas and event management is one of them. With events ranging from online webinars through to exhibitions or conferences, there are lots of opportunities for you to show what you can do.

WordPress

Again, this is an area of specialisation, but with many websites built with WP, you may be asked to update and maintain a client’s site. It’s also likely you’ll be asked to upload blog posts to the site, too. An understanding of the way WP works is essential, along with a familiarity with widgets and plugins.

Writing

Often VAs are asked to write blog posts or short content pieces.

Usually the role also involves writing emails and replying to incoming emails. You are responsible for maintaining the client’s professional image so good writing skills are essential.

Social Media Management

While this is an extension of your writing skills, it also requires you to understand how social media works, the difference between the platforms and how to formulate a message that suits each audience. You will also need to be comfortable with scheduling tools like Buffer or Hootsuite.

Email Marketing

Email is still a huge part of most marketing efforts and it’s the primary way businesses maintain contact with their current and potential clients. You will need to be able to use email systems like MailChimp or Constant Contact.

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the skills right now. If you have the personal skills, you are half-way there. Start looking around for short courses or coaching on some of the technical skills and you will be in business before you know it.

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