Skills needed to become a virtual assistant
Virtual assistants work from home helping different administrative tasks. Mostly their work format is contractual or freelancing. But the same as an executive assistant or secretary. There are different websites which are specialized to source a virtual assistant. For example, Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, People per hour. Fiverr is spammer free and all sellers are hard-workers. This writer is also a seller as a virtual assistant on Fiverr. You can take a look over me there.
I’ve actually been shocked by many of the stories I’ve heard. Stories that have not only been told to me by clients and new enquiries, but by previous VAs who are now looking to hire a VA of their own and can’t find one who comes up to scratch. Please read below required qualifications a VA needed.
VA should be reliable
This is one of the most important ones because sadly it seems to be the most common. A huge number of clients told me they’d been let down by flaky VAs who messed them about, didn’t report back on their progress, or simply didn’t deliver it at all.
Very often, a buyer had a chat with the VA and instructed something to do. VA got out of online and buyer is trying to reach VA out through calls, emails or any other media. But, VA messed everything up that the buyer didn’t expect.
This is damaging the industry reputation and no one will accept this kind of behaviour. Professionalism is very important for any kind of industry. So, whenever calls, emails you and you are out of reach. Whenever you get back online, call or reply to his/her correspondence.
Communication Skills should be good
Before you start each task from the first point, let the client know how their works are going to be done. Give them update time to time.
All I am having clients who liked my updates, one who was happy to just let me get on with the task. All my clients find me very responsive and focused on the task who liked daily feedback.
I generally work of Fiverr and all our communications go through the site private messaging. So, ascertain how your clients want to be contacted and how often. If in doubt update the client at the end of each day and if you’re running behind schedule then tell them asap. If a client is constantly having to chase you for updates then you’re not doing your job properly.
It has been found from the Research that you should focus on just one thing and multi-tasking is inefficient. You might have different tasks and different clients. But, don’t touch every task at a time. Don’t try to serve every client at a time. Another research has found that multitasking reduces 40% of your productivity.
So, plan ahead and spend half an hour for planning the day. Pick most important task up and start working. You can use Google Calendar and mark personal things in pink and work stuff in blue.
Working alone is desired by some people again someone might not come up with it. A virtual assistant should have the quality to work alone from home. There might not have any other colleague to share personal and professional things.
Sometimes you may feel alone, then read some article online how to overcome it. On Freelance Folder there is an article how to combat loneliness.
You can use co-working spaces of course and I sometimes work from coffee shops but being by yourself all week is something to consider.
Working as a virtual assistant seems to be easy and no specialization needed. If you want to be a VA because you think it’ll be an easy life and easy money then you’re in for a shock because the reality is very different. It’s a brilliant life once you’ve nailed it but there can be a steep learning curve at first.
You will miss having company or people to bounce ideas off. You will not get a regular set income and may not like that the buck stops with you.
I want to say running your own business and being your own boss is not an easy task and everyone doesn’t deserve it. But, if you can deliver quality and maintain abovementioned characteristics well, you’ll be an outstanding virtual assistant and give the industry a new addition.