The first thing that pops into people's minds when a Virtual Assistant is mentioned is the typical checking of emails, returning phone calls, and managing calendars.
However, contrary to popular belief, a virtual assistant could cover many fields in business and some virtual assistants are simply better at what they do. Some — are considered experts in the field! This article will help you know how to be an expert virtual assistant.
What Is A Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is anyone who can assist business owners in professional administrative services. Virtual Assistants are usually home-based and work for small to medium size businesses.
The Virtual Assistant Job Description
A Virtual Assistant is in charge of managing a portion of the company's tasks such as advertisement, financing, and reports. Companies would go for virtual assistants because employers can focus more on reaching the company's goals and dealing with severe problems. Being a virtual assistant would demand the ability to utilize technology and applications to deliver clients' needs. And the way you communicate with an employer is through online messages, emails, video calls, and phone calls.
Some jobs will differ, which will depend on the company and business. In general, a virtual assistant will organize an employer's files, reply to emails, answer phone calls, schedule meetings, set travel plans, and create materials for a presentation.
New virtual assistants would typically go for services that are in their field of expertise. However, one great thing about being a virtual assistant is that you can have multiple jobs. Virtual Assistant jobs are very dynamic. You have the freedom to adapt, modify, add, and exclude certain services depending on the demands of the client or the needs of the business. Just make sure you can deliver the task efficiently and effectively.
Virtual Assistant Jobs
Virtual Assistants can work in various business fields, such as accounting firms, E-commerce, IT firms, law firms, marketing firms, and real estate. And among these, you will be tasked to manage at least one or more on the following: administrative support, advertisement, blogs, bookkeeping, content production, customer service, databases, emails, events, graphic designs, marketing, outreach, projects, schedules, social media, travels, or websites.
The Virtual Assistant toolkit
#1: Good computer.
The specifications of the laptop would differ depending on the type of task the virtual assistant. For heavy tasks such as video editing, it would require RAM of at least 16 GB, 256 GB hard drive, Multi-core Intel i9 processors, and AMD or NVIDIA graphics cards. Aside from that, a Core i3 processor with 4GB RAM laptop will get the job done for most virtual assistants.
#2: Stable internet connection.
Since most businesses are online, having a good internet connection will increase your ability to access information. An internet connection around 5 to 20 Mbps is adequate for most tasks.
#3: Professional Email Account and Phone Number.
Having a dedicated email address and phone number for contacting co-workers and clients will help control and organize your work-life. Using a different mobile device just for work will significantly reduce distractions and can increase focus.
#4: Utilize Essential Applications.
Applications will play an integral part in running tasks for virtual assistants. One should learn how to operate Google applications such as Calendar, Docs, Drive, Forms, Hangouts, Mail, Sheets, and Slides. Meanwhile, applications such as Asana, Trello, and Click Up will help in project management. Zoom and Skype are suitable for video calls and conferences. And, virtual layout artists and graphic designers use Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Canva.
The Expert Virtual Assistant Skillset
Be Open to Learning. Developing a new skill is vital in being a virtual assistant. Since you are dealing with various virtual assistant jobs, it is essential to have a vast skillset to improve the quality of accomplishing tasks. Having a curious mind will surely help you gain more knowledge and be adaptable to a changing environment.
Be Organized. Plan your work schedule and have proper time management. Create a routine that allows you to save time and eliminate unnecessary tasks. It will also significantly limit distractions and condition the brain to focus.
Be Reliable. Always give regular updates to your clients about the progress of your work. This will assure the company that you are doing the assigned task. Meanwhile, always beat deadlines and stay true to your commitments.
Be Flexible. You should be ready to adapt to changes in the workplace. Take criticisms as a source of self-improvement and don't take it personally. Learn from your successes as well as mistakes. You should also possess flexibility in time by achieving your work goals at the end of the day and finishing your work ahead of time.
Be Productive. Focus on the most urgent tasks first and divide it into smaller parts. Doing this will make the job seem less complicated and be more manageable. If you can, try to find and learn shortcuts that don't compromise quality to save time, energy, and be efficient with work.
Be Good with the Internet. If you plan to work online, one should have a good understanding of the internet so that getting started will be more comfortable. Business activities could vary between online and offline. That is why one should learn to be flexible and motivated. Your weakness should never impede you from discovering something new.
Be Irreplaceable. Try to identify your ideal client. Develop a good relationship with that client so that they will stay with you for a long time. Think of it as making yourself a valuable part of their business. Provide them with great value by placing their task as your priority and avoid multitasking with too many clients.
Be communicative. A virtual assistant should be an excellent communicator because the job entails discussing matters to clients and other audiences. Avoid using jargon and complicated words so that it would not confuse the person you are talking to. Be a good listener by understanding what your client is asking from you and clarify for any uncertain information. Remember always to respect your clients and ask for their feedback. If you are deficient in this area, it is recommended that you read books, take classes, or find a speech coach.
Be aware. Try to get a sense of the business's location, the type of clients, and the type of work you will be doing. This will give you an idea of what you are getting into and the kind of feedback you will receive. In some cases, the company can let you choose a workplace location, whether at home or to a specific location. All these factors will determine the time, effort, money, and quality of your work.