Starting your virtual assistant career, you might have a lot of questions or you might not even be sure if you have what it takes to become a VA. Honestly speaking, it’s always good to have some previous experience but it’s definitely not necessary to have a school or knowledge on everything because you can learn most of the things on the go.
However, I want to talk about skills that you should master, and that can help you grow your client base. Let me ask you a question. When you think about virtual assistants, which skills do you think are the most important ones? Before you answer that, did you know that when I’m talking about skills that VA should master, there are two types of skills? That’s right! They are both very important to have in order to be a virtual assistant but here is the difference.
Soft skills are skills that are a combination of character and personality traits, but also the skills you’ve learned over time like being good in strategic planning and your communication skills. Hard skills are more about your expertise like copywriting, email marketing, website building, or the actual tools you are working with. You need to be able to combine both types of skills because even though you might be great in copywriting, without being good in communication with your client or being punctual with your deadlines, you will most likely lose the client.
Here are some of the most important SOFT SKILLS that you should master:
Organizational And Planning Skills
Being on top of things is a skill that you NEED to have as a VA. No matter what you’re doing, every person who is hiring looks for VAs that have either good organizational skills or are good with strategic planning. For some jobs, ideally both. Having these skills is usually something that you either have or not but you can also learn how to improve it if it’s not your biggest strength.
When working with clients but also on growing your business, keep in mind long-term goals, so you know which way you are heading and what you want to achieve. Be strategic and intentional about every step of the way because having everything in place and being organized will help you save time in the long run.
Being flexible is MUST. Things in the world are changing fast and so does the Instagram algorithm. That could be just an example, but you have to be able to adjust to different situations when not everything goes as planned or when your client decides to change something that was already planned out. Will you solve the problem when it occurs or just find excuses why it can’t be done? You need to be able to act under pressure and act fast
Being flexible means being open to other people’s suggestions, switching things up, or learning new things instead of being stuck and not being able to adapt to new situations.
Having several clients at once can be stressful and overwhelming if you can’t manage your time effectively. Plan out your days and weeks in advance, so you know exactly when you’re working on which task. Be disciplined and stick to deadlines that you set up for completing tasks. By being strict and following your to-do lists, you will become more productive, and you will be more efficient.
You can use one of the many project management tools that can help you stay on top of your tasks like Asana, Trello, Google Calendar, or just regular paper-version planner.
Good Communication Skills
Communication is a key and that’s not just a phrase! By being a virtual assistant, you will most likely never meet most of your clients in real life and that’s one of the main reasons, why both verbal and written communication is so important.
Ask questions, have regular meetings, and choose one platform that is used for every-day communication. These are some essentials that you need to start implementing from the beginning of your collaboration to be clear about what’s expected from both parties and how to communicate if there is anything you need to go through.
Attention To Detail
Being detail-oriented is one of the skills that many people require in their job postings. You might be great in the job you are doing but if you keep on repeating the same small mistakes or you don’t get the essentials that are must for your client, you won’t last long working with them.
Clients want people who they can rely on, so they don’t need to check up on every single detail that you send them over. Make sure you triple-check the content you write or the task you do to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
Technologies and tools are improving and in order to stay on top of the game, you should be watching trends within your industry and continue learning to uplevel your skills. It doesn’t mean that you have your VA business and you should stop educating yourself. Keep upgrading your skills and invest in your growth because only that way you will be able to scale your business and get to the next level.
Here are some of the most requested HARD SKILLS that businesses are looking for:
Social Media Management
Social media has been huge during the past few years and because it takes a lot of time to manage accounts, businesses and entrepreneurs are outsourcing some or all of the tasks related to it. For example, you can have a client who needs a full IG management including writing posts, engagement, research, or you can have a client who only needs IG engagement done.
One of the TOP requested skills these days! Having so much content online whether that’s podcasts or blogs, people want their already existing content repurposed, so they can link it with their social media posts. As a VA, you can listen to the podcast and write a description for that specific episode or read a blog and make a social media post from it.
With over 700k active podcasts and over 155 million who listen to a podcast every week in 2020, podcast management is a very popular skill to have! Podcasts are not just about recording each episode, but also about editing each episode, writing show notes, adding links, and much more! It’s a very time-consuming task and you could also be helping with PR and reaching out to potential podcast guests.
Do you need any previous experience to become a VA? No, you don’t! Although, you do need a combination of soft and hard skills that will make you a perfect candidate for your future client. Combining soft skills like being good in organizing, communication, continuous learning, and being flexible or have an eye for detail are skills that make you more professional. However, having hard skills will convince your potential client that you are an expert in what you do, whether that’s social media or podcast management, content repurposing, or anything else. Make sure you keep on improving but also mastering your skills and learning new things to uplevel and scale your business while working with your ideal clients.