A virtual assistant is a home-based self-employed person who works remotely, does not directly comes to an office and provides various services to its clients. They usually get the work that is outsourced by small businesses but is not confined to them.
There is a huge list of work that companies get done through virtual assistants including
1. Website or social media management and marketing
In the era of the internet where the world is highly connected the companies need online sources to advertise and showcase their services and products. Social media and websites are the tools that are most effective in this regard but they require constant management and updating. Hiring a full-time employee for such a work is not an intelligent choice as this work can be effectively done through a virtual assistant.
2. Website content writing and updating
It is a well-known fact that good content writers are one of the company’s highest-paid professionals and can cost a company a lot which is not feasible for small businesses and companies. As a better option, they get this work done at a relatively lower cost through virtual assistants.
3. Writing and sending emails to customers
Customers are the topmost priority of any business and their satisfaction is important for their success. Customers stay connected with the company through their support emails for queries that they need to be answered or email newsletters that keep them updated on the upcoming events such as discounts and offers.
They also do many other things such as blog writing, product description writing, app designing, logo designing, data entry, report writing, etc. As their work is most diverse and they need to possess diverse skills and expertise to deal with the various types of works that are assigned to them. Sometimes one virtual assistant is hired for multiple tasks which make it even more crucial for the person to have grip and command on more than one skill.
They are hired because they are cost and time effective for the business. Hiring virtual assistants for routine or occasional work saves time that is spent on hiring a full-time employee, giving them a salary and training them. Companies hire expert virtual assistants from different cultures. Most virtual assistants are from developing countries where literacy rate is increasing but the rate of employment is relatively low. The jobs that they get therefore do not meet the needs of the population to achieve a pay scale that they deserve. As the currency exchange rate makes them satisfied with remote employers they opt for virtual assisting on a part-time or full-time basis.
Being a virtual assistant is not a piece of cake. Every person is not made for every job and the same is true for virtual assisting. Even if you are very good at a task you may not be able to do it as a virtual assistant effectively.
Alarming! Isn’t it?
No need to panic. There are some skills that you need to learn and can make you the most outstanding person as a virtual assistant. It may not be very easy but it is not as hard as impossible. Hard work and discipline is the key to be an excellent virtual assistant.
You need to have good communication skills to convey your thoughts effectively to the employer. Communication is art. Effective communication can add up to your success. People with good communication skills also have higher employment and repeat hire rate.
You must be able to understand that is required to be done as the first and most important thing before you start working on a task. It is very obvious that if you do not work according to what is required of you to do you will not be paid. Your time and hard work will go in vain.
3. Time Management
There is one thing that all employers demand from their employees i.e. work and not just work they demand work on time. Time is precious for every business as it is money. Working on time helps build a good reputation and satisfied clients.
You need to be kind as well as formal. I know it sounds like an incompatible combination but trusts me it is the essence of good collaboration. Non-serious and informal people are not at all required by any client. The same is true for the rude and arrogant ones. Therefore it is important to show kindness to the client and also maintain a formal tone.
Creativity is the tool that you can employ in generating unique and valuable marketing and website content. The creative content is your unique factor and a unique factor is an entire thing that you play your game on. It simply means that you advertise and gain more attention based on that factor. It makes you stand out of the crowd and increases your worth in the market place. Market place, since it has become global, is highly competitive and being just good is now no longer good enough because clients search for the best person to get their project done.
Things do not always go as they are planned and all humans make errors. We need to understand this when things go wrong and not as we desired them to work out. Self-control is important because stress ruins your ability to make the wrong things right, remove the errors and get to work all over again.
It is a well known saying that luck only knocks at the door once and to invite it into your life you need to be available at the door to welcome it and let it come inside. You need to alert and look for opportunities. Clients will not waste their precious time waiting for you and will move to someone else in case you are not available. Make sure that you are present and alert so that you can utilize the opportunities that come to you.
Certainly not! Soft skills are no doubt very important but they are nothing if you do not have any business skills. Soft skills alone cannot help you out in building an amazing carrier online you need to polish and enhance your business skills for increased productivity. Following are seven business skills that you must have.
1. Typing Speed
Amazing and unique content needs to be typed yourself and to get work done on time you need fast typing speed. This is especially true if you want to work as a data entry expert from home. It is not confined to data entry only writing good content, blogs and product descriptions in less time can help you in earning more.
2. Computer Skills
You certainly need a laptop or computer to work as a virtual assistant from home. It is important to be an expert at Microsoft Office to get most of the work done. You need to have the basic knowledge that you can get through institutes or online courses. YouTube tutorials can help you out if you are unable to figure out how to do a certain thing.
Research and other types of analytical skills are required here. I am not talking about scientific research here therefore you do not need to worry and think that it is a very difficult task. To get your project done effectively you need to search online for similar work done by others. This will help you get some ideas and guidelines from them but you need to keep in mind that you cannot copy anything.
4. Set Priorities
You need to understand projects and give most of your attention and time to most profitable ones. You do not need to leave the less profitable ones but you must understand what is more urgently important. At first, when you start working you might have to work on projects that do not pay you as much as the work demands but you have to do them to build up a better profile and portfolio. Once you have achieved this target you must start prioritizing.
You need to be good at planning so that you do not bite more than you can chew. I mean to say you need to have a schedule and understand that even if you are getting more projects you must not accept the ones you cannot meet the deadline as they will turn out to be bad for your reputation.
Even if you are not working in an office and you may never meet your client in person you must be committed to deliver quality work and give your one hundred percent effort to their project.
7. Cross-Cultural Sensitivity
Not all clients are from the same culture and you need to understand the limitations so that you don’t make them offended. It is essential when you work as a virtual assistant because you are exposed to a lot of culturally diverse people.
These are the things that I learned through my experience and I hope now you will have a clear idea of how to become a virtual assistant. Best of luck!