The internet has made it possible to work from home with virtual jobs being the future of work. As the job market moves online and on to virtual work, the most in-demand freelancers are virtual assistants. Working from wherever you are is everybody’s dream, and freelancing and virtual assisting is a business like any other.
To thrive online as a virtual assistant, you need to have and cultivate marketable skills that you can offer for a fee. However, contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be a jack-of-all-trades to thrive as a virtual assistant.
A single service can get you started while you learn the rest of the job. Additionally, there is the option of specializing in particular skill sets and charging a premium for the unique expertise you provide.
Nevertheless, regardless of specialization, you might want to and should be a generalist with some skills. Below is a closer look at sought-after skills you should have as a virtual assistant.
An essential skill for a virtual assistant, clear and concise communication is how you land that virtual assistant in the first place. Often, you will be communicating with a variety of people including your client, teammates, and your clients’ customers.
Therefore, it is imperative that your verbal and written communication skills be on per with your client’s requirements. Working online means, most correspondence is in writing.
This makes it especially important that your written communication skills are top-notch. Otherwise, poor communication skills will lead to confusion, which affects projects. Also note that you do not only need to communicate, you need to communicate effectively.
- Interpersonal and intrapersonal skills
Interpersonal skills mean you are able to interact with people professionally. You should be approachable and friendly which in turn eases interactions with everybody you contact.
If you are wondering how to do it when most interaction is online, just be pleasant, polite and professional in your writing. It shows! Even without personal meetings. On the other hand, you need to cultivate how you interact with yourself: intrapersonal skills. These skills help you control your emotions and manage your feelings and moods.
You might not believe it, but even phone or written communication tells the state of mind you are in. If you are always moody, nobody will want to deal with you. It pays to have a thick skin and have a grip on your emotions.
- Netiquette and Phone Etiquette
Knowing how to communicate respectfully online and over voice calls ensure there is harmony in the workplace. There is a reason orchestras sound so good because all participants are harmonious.
If you want to thrive as a virtual assistant, you should strive to avoid confrontation. Avoid offending your colleagues or clients and respect everyone you come across. As a thriving virtual assistant, you will be required to talk to a client or your client’s client over the phone or on skype.
Phone etiquette and netiquette guide you whether on call (voice/video) or on mail. Breaking a simple rule like “no all-caps” might be annoying or offensive to clients, and you do not need that if you are to thrive.
- Internet savvy
A virtual assistants’ job often involves doing web searches, social media management among other web-based tasks. While you might be familiar with google searches, you should be privy to other search engines such as Bing.
Other than that, you also need to be familiar with different software and their usage. In the case that you need to edit documents, knowledge of software such as the Microsoft office suite has its benefits.
The Social Pilot for social media management is great while basic knowledge of the likes of Canva or any free logo creator and Photoshop will go a long way in endearing you to your clients.
Being a virtual assistant needs you to be conversant and aware of new things to learn. There is always a new skill you can add to your suite if you want to thrive. For clients, the more skills you have, the merrier for them. Even they do not want to always be looking for and recruiting different people for different tasks. Parting shot: try and perfect all the skills you can master.