Being a Virtual Assistant could be the perfect job for a lot of people. You don’t need a degree to become one and you can turn pretty much any expertise into a service. Can actually anyone become a Virtual Assistant? Maybe. But not everyone can become successfulas a Virtual Assistant. 

So, what does it take? Which skills will help you grow a successful business as an awesome VA? I wrote you a list of the 10 essential skills you need.

1) Working alone, very alone

Although it is possible to work for a Virtual Assistant agency, most of you will probably be working as a solopreneur. This means that you’ll have no direct colleagues, no people around you. Especially when you were used to working in a (crowded) office, this can feel quite, well, alone. You could work in coffee bars every day, or work in co-working spaces, but public places have their downsides too (extra costs!). 

So, if you want to be a VA, you need to be able to handle the fact that you’re alone most of the time.

2) Organized is your middle name

As a VA, you will work with different clients at the same time andmanage your own business as well. In order to keep your sanity and stay on top, you really need to be organized. Keep track of all the deadlines, make sure you have all your notes where you can quickly find them and have workflows for recurring tasks: it will make your work so much easier!

3) Professionalism

Happy clients make great ambassadors! Clients trust you with a piece of their business, so you need to treat their business like it’s your own. If you mess something up: confess, apologize sincerely and fix it- at your own cost. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. 

Making your clients happy is the best thing you can do for your business: happy clients are willing to pay more and also recommend you in their network!

4) Effective communication

If you want to have Wednesdays client-free, so you can work for your own business, that’s perfectly fine. But tell your clients in advance. If your preferred hours for phone calls are between 14.00 and 17.00 PM, that’s perfectly fine. But tell your clients in advance. If you are going to miss a deadline, tell your client in time. If an assignment isn’t clear, tell your client. Your job is to function as a part of your client. And to be a part of your client, you need to be able to communicate seamlessly. The better the communication, the smoother the collaboration. The smoother the collaboration, the happier your client is, because that is when he reaps the benefits from working with you.

5) Time management like a pro

Multitasking makes you inefficient, less productive and more likely to make mistakes. So, you need to be able to focus on one task at a time (and that takes discipline and determination!) and also plan your day(s) ahead. 

Pro tip 1: when planning the next day/week, make sure you leave some time open for unplanned things that willcome your way. 

Pro tip 2: start batching similar tasks. Stop checking and answering your email 6 times a day, but start batching this into one or two moments a day. Do you have to make a quote image in Canva for social media? Use a template and make 10 images in one go! 

6) Resourcefulness

Your client is collaborating with you, because he wants to save time by outsourcing tasks. Chances are, you are going to get asked to do things you’ve never done before. So, you need to be able to work around a problem and find out how to do something. Be honest with your clients about what you can and cannot do and as for the rest: YouTube tutorials and Google can help you with a lot of things. 

7) The ability to plan and strategize

If you want to grow your business, you need to be able to actually grab and develop opportunities to grow. In order to do that, you need to see the bigger picture. Where is your business now and where do you want it to go? 

It’s so easy to get caught up in all the work that is right in front of you and only see one week ahead. But if you manage to take the time to look ahead one month, 3 months, 6 months ahead, it will be so much easier to see where you’re going and spot threats and opportunities in time.  

8) Focus on money-making tasks

You probably have a million things to do, from choosing a new colour scheme for your website to doing research for the best airline tickets for your client. But you needto understand that not all or your items deserve the same level of attention.  

At the end of the day, you’re in this business to make money. Without an income, you can’t pay your bills and have a comfortable life. So, focus on the tasks that are directly responsible for generating money. 

9) Sales skills

Since you don’t have a boss anymore that pays you a steady salary, you need  enough clients. To get clients, you need to be able to sell yourself. Luckily, it’s not as difficult or dirty as it sounds. What you need to do, is to consistently put yourself out there and share your message. 

The key here is to be yourself. Being you is what attracts your ideal client. And be sure to communicate what it is you’re good at. Tell prospective clients how you can help them and then make sure you do that.  

10) Discipline, discipline, discipline!

Since you don’t work from an office anymore and don’t have to answer to a boss, it can be very tempting to do other things instead of work. You are going to have to motivate yourself to work every single day. No one else is there to keep you on track, so you have to do that yourself. Everyday. Always.

Have you got what it takes? Are you ready to kickstart your new career as a VA?

Take our online VA Masterclass and you can get your own business up and running in just 6 weeks!

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