12 Skills You Need To Learn To Become A Top Virtual Assistant

Being a virtual assistant requires many skills but knowing the right ones can make a difference to your career.

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The virtual assistant profession is becoming more and more popular among businesses that need someone to help them with their day-to-day tasks, to keep order, and not miss anything important. 

To make a place for yourself in the virtual assistant market, you must stand out by having skills that make you better than average, and that makes your business grow. 

These skills range from organization to mastering different software. If you do not have these skills, do not worry, here you will learn which ones you should master and what to do to acquire them.

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1. Create Strategies And Establish Plans 

 

A strategy is a map that indicates the path you must follow to achieve the objectives of your company. 

The plans are the paths that you have marked in the strategy and that will take you to the objective. That great goal that you set for the growth of your brand must be long-term. 

Normally, you can be so busy with day-to-day tasks that you are not able to see what you want to be or achieve in a year. But you must and only then will you create those plans that will bring you closer to your great goal.

If you think that a year is too long and it is difficult for you to determine what you want to achieve in that period of time, try 3 months. 

Ask yourself the question “Where do I want my virtual assistant business to be in 90 days? I want to be contacted by larger magazines / digital publications/ podcasts / Instagram accounts for interviews or for my opinion on issues relevant to my brand ”. This would be your strategy. 

Now you must plan. 

“For the strategy to have the expected result, I will contact and establish relationships with the people that I consider are important in my industry. 

I will ask for their opinion on certain topics and will review them on my blog. I will mention them in my Instagram posts when I feel they can contribute to the content and I will ask my followers to mention who is that reference in the virtual assistance industry that they admire and why.”

Seeing in the long term is a skill that develops over time. Start with small periods of time and increase them as you meet your goals and you will see your business grow.

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2. Effective Communication

 

The key to any client/server relationship is effective communication. If you really understand the importance of communicating well, dealing with your clients will be much easier.  

If your communication skills are not good, start trying to improve them. You must use neat language, always, both when referring to your client, and when sending e-mails or communicating with other people that your work requires.

Effective communication is the ability to listen carefully to what the other person expresses, understand what he or she wants to say, and can respond in such a way that the messages arrive clearly and understandably, without misunderstandings or confusion. 

For a virtual assistant, effective communication is a must especially if you take into account that as a teleworker, many times your client will not be in the same country and may not even speak the same language. 

If your communication skills are not good, start trying to improve them. You must use neat language, always, both when referring to your client, and when sending e-mails or communicating with other people that your work requires.

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3. Personal And Professional Development

 

You must stay updated, not only in your professional area but in the virtual assistance industry and your personal growth. Would you like to be more productive? Take productivity courses. 

For example, if you become a more productive person, you will be able to handle more work and in a better way.

It is also very good for virtual assistants who are multi-faceted, to offer a greater range of services to their clients. 

Do you want to learn basic notions of accounting? Sign up for a course. 

This knowledge, no matter how basic, will help you provide a more complete and better quality service, which will position you better than other workers in your niche. 

Whatever knowledge you acquire, will help you advance in your endeavor and you will find a way to relate it to your professional and personal growth.

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4. Patience

 

Having patience in your work will help you to face your daily tasks in the best possible way. 

Not just to do your job well, but to tolerate customer criticism, sudden changes, and unexpected tasks. 

Always keep in mind that when a client suggests you to change some things, it is not because they do not value your work but because they want everything to turn out in the best possible way.

If you stay with a positive attitude and are willing to work, your work will be more bearable and the best thing is that you will surely receive a good remuneration. 

Also keep in mind that you can never satisfy everyone but that you should always give your best.

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5. Organization

 

You must be an organized person and manage both your own calendar and your client’s but you must manage your time to perform each task. 

If you are hired for 4 hours and you have a list of 20 items to do, you should know how to calculate how long it will take you to correctly handle customer expectations.

While some clients have a detailed list of the tasks they want you to perform, others will simply need your help and they will not have outlined tasks, but rather a delegation of those they cannot perform at the moment. 

You should look for the systematization, the scheme and suggest new tasks that you can perform if you see that your client does not assign them to you.

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6. Ability To Work Quickly

 

One of the qualities that a good assistant must have is multitasking, that is, knowing how to manage their time in such a way that they fulfill all the responsibilities that have been entrusted to them, which usually will not be few. 

Often a virtual assistant will have many tasks to carry out at the same time and serve several clients who will surely need quick results. If you cannot attend to them correctly and you create delays, they are likely to not feel comfortable continuing working with you.

This does not mean that all clients have the right to run over you with sudden last-minute tasks, but if you keep all your tasks up to date without any delay, it is likely that when something unexpected appears, you can react quickly and help your client. 

That will make you look very trained and professional. Rest assured that your client will want to recommend you to others.

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7. Management Of Different Softwares

 

The virtual assistant job can be strenuous since you have to keep an eye on many things and keep track of different clients, so you need all the help possible. 

The best thing you can do to increase your productivity and improve your workflow is to learn to handle software such as Excel and Google Calendar, which will help you remember events and tasks. 

It is also necessary that you keep abreast of the trends in your niche, of the new software on the market, of what other virtual assistants are using. 

Do not be left behind with technology and invest in equipment and programs that give you a better work experience. 

This is also something that your clients will value a lot since it will assure them that their virtual assistant is attending to them with the best professionalism and quality possible.

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8. Self-Discipline

 

To maintain your organization, to carry out the tasks to which you committed yourself (be it work for clients or work for your own business) you must be disciplined. 

Discipline will also help you to not lower your arms in the face of adversities that you must face many times as a “lonely” entrepreneur.  

Have self-discipline and determination to achieve the goals you set for yourself to have a successful virtual assistance business. 

Remember that by being a freelancer, you really won’t have any boss monitoring your work or telling you what to do. 

Although you will have clients, they will not know what happens behind closed doors, they will not know how you deal with procrastination, the overload of work, pending tasks, among others. 

Only you are the one who will decide how to deal with these difficulties and only you can demand from yourself the results you want to see.

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9. Reliability

 

One of the skills of being an excellent virtual assistant is reliability. It is the most important and seems to be the most common, but not all virtual assistants offer the same reliability to their clients. 

Clients outsource you and expect you to always be available to be their personal online assistant, they will entrust you with keys, plans, projects, and they want you to be discreet and also care about those projects as if you were also part of them.

On the other hand, your clients trust you with their workflow and they expected you to finish all tasks on time since any delay could mean a loss for them. 

You must inform the client of how the tasks are progressing, you should not tell them everything you do but it is good to keep them informed with significant progress. 

Being reliable and professional is necessary for this industry. Reliability is having good communication and keeping your customers up to date.

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10. Management Or Direction Skills

 

The ability to manage is essential when you own your own business and when you are going to assist people who own one. 

In both cases, the classic skills that any manager or company director has are those that you must develop to be successful: leadership, planning (you have to be able to put together a business plan), administration, etc. 

It is also very important that you acquire knowledge of marketing and communication to be able to spread, promote, and sell your services.

Being a freelancer, you will have to take care of many areas of your own business. 

Yes, you could indeed hire someone to help you with certain things, but when you are starting this is not a good option since you will not be making so much money yet, and taking care of your own business will serve you as experience to grow. 

On the other hand, surely you will also be serving clients who do not have management experience and that is why they are looking for you, so the more help you can offer them, the better.

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11. Eager To Learn

 

The desire and ability to learn must be an internal fire in each virtual assistant. Never say “no, I do not know how to do it” to your clients. 

Find out how to do it, ask them if they can teach you how they need things are done, research, and study. 

Each new skill that you learn to carry out will be a new job opportunity for you in the future, especially if you are a freelancer. If you still have doubts about this, you should learn how to become a freelancer online.

On the other hand, you will probably have to work with clients who are very different from each other and who work in different niches. 

To serve each client and know how to help them, you should get to know their jobs, business, and what they do, so surely you will have to learn a lot from each one. Everything you learn will help you expand your range of knowledge and thus you will be able to serve a wider variety of clients since many give importance to if you have already worked with clients similar to them. 

However, if you have to work with someone different from everything you have done before, you can guarantee them that you will learn about their business and that you will be able to serve and understand them. Remember that although it is not necessary to have a degree to work as a virtual assistant, taking courses will help you obtain the necessary knowledge.

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12. Sales Skills 

 

Selling is not easy and it is normal to feel frustrated when you try to sell your services and you come across objections that you have no idea how to answer. 

You also learn to sell and there are techniques created so that you can develop this skill and be able to answer objections effectively. This will benefit you when you deal with a new client who is not yet convinced to hire your services. 

Trust and credibility are earned by being confident in yourself and, of course, in the product or service you are trying to sell. It is essential to have security when justifying your rates and mode of work. 

Sales skills also include market knowledge, since the attitudes and skills detailed so far are useless if as a seller you do not know how and where to locate your potential customers, what are the trends in the sector, or the sales strategies that employ your competition. 

To be a good salesperson is to understand that the relationship with the client does not end with the sale but goes beyond. Follow up to know the degree of customer satisfaction and achieve customer loyalty in the long run. 

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Common Softwares You Should Learn To Use 

 

1. Google Calendar

 

Google Calendar makes it easy for you to organize both your calendar and your tasks and events on a single platform. 

This tool is free and combines an agenda, electronic calendar, event creator, and other functions that will help you improve productivity. 

You can synchronize Google Calendar with your Google account and thus invite your entire contact calendar to events.

Learning how to use google calender effectively you can tak a short course from Udemy such as the  The Gmail Productivity & Google Calendar Masterclass. that will teach you all the tips and tricks.

2. Slack

 

It is a platform where you can unify all the communications of a work team, you can make voice or video calls, write messages, integrate all the applications you need, upload files. 

It has a free plan that you can use for as long as you want and with as many people as you want.

If you want to learn how to use Slack you can do this course on Udemy paying $69.99: Slack (Beginners & Advanced): Fast Track Training

3. Trello

 

Trello is a project management tool used to monitor the progress of tasks and share documents. It helps you to group the work of a group of users into a single project no matter where the team members are. 

It can also be used by a single person to organize their own work. You can upload files, make checklists, labels, set expiration dates, notifications to know when there will be something important, and other elements. It syncs perfectly across all your devices.

If you want to learn how to use Trello you can do this course on Skillshare paying a monthly subscription of $19: Productive Prioritization: Tools to Build Your System | Learn with Trello

If you want to learn more skills related to virtual assistance, you can use platforms such as Udemy, Skillshare, LinkedIn learning, and EDX. 

In general, you will have to pay a monthly subscription or buy each course that interests you. Some platforms offer certificates which could be useful and impressive on your CV. 

There are also platforms like Freelancer, Upwork and Fiverr that will help you find a job as a virtual assistant. If you try the best freelance websites for beginners, you will surely find quality clients that will help you grow professionally.

Acquire The Right Skills And Stand Out

Many skills will be very helpful if you learn them, but the best thing about deciding to be a virtual assistant is that you do not need to have all these skills to start but you will acquire them along the way if you set your mind to it. 

However, it is important that you truly take care of learning new skills and improving as a virtual assistant, since this way you will be able to provide a better service to your clients and also stand out among other virtual assistants.

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