What is a Virtual Assistant?
Firstly, let’s look at what a Virtual Assistant actually is. Many people think a VA is a remote working PA or EA, but there’s so much more to the role. Whilst an element of the work is remote PA and administration, the service offering is more diverse and requires a multitude of skills.
From HR and finance support through to marketing and social media management, take a look at the full list of services that a VA can help you with in last months’ blog [link]. You could be monitoring emails one minute and scheduling social media the next, so VA’s need to be able and willing to turn their hand to many different tasks in quick succession. This is why the job welcomes people with all kinds of skills!
The good news is that you don’t need to have years of virtual assistant experience to do a good job or get started. Lots of people start from scratch and build a great career, either with no experience or bringing in transferable skills from another career.
What skills does a Virtual Assistant need?
You’ve probably already gained the skills you need for the job in another area of your life! If you’re organised, calm, approachable, hard-working and forward thinking then you’re a good candidate for a VA.
When it comes to the core VA tasks – such as managing inboxes, emails and diaries and looking at administrative tasks, then if you’re naturally good at organisation and problem-solving, you’ll be well equipped for these. Being organised, able to think ahead and also being a good communicator will be beneficial and you don’t need a degree in these things.
Your drive to succeed will be the most useful skill you could possibly have as VA. If you don’t know how to do something, you can learn to do it, and if you don’t have enough clients, you’ve got to be prepared to go out and get them. Tenacity will be worth so much more than worrying about whether you have enough experience.
What makes a VA different to a normal PA?
Virtual Assistants typically work remotely, so you’ve got to be open to this working arrangement where you don’t necessarily see your clients face to face every day.
This means good communication is essential, as you’ll often be jumping on Zoom or calls or even chatting on WhatsApp – it depends what suits your client best!
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you won’t just have one client. A traditional PA or EA might work for one or two individuals within one organisation or support a small team within one company, which means you’ll do things in line with company policy.
By contrast, a VA can work with a huge range of clients and individuals, all from different companies, which means you have to get your head round several different companies and clients at a time, they all might do things very differently, so you’ve got to be adaptable and flexible.
Does this sound like you?
If the above sounds like you, then a career as a VA could be the one for you! If you’re starting out, then we’d advise you have a think about what skills you’re best at, are you great with numbers or are you a brilliant event planner? Use your key skills as a starting point and go after clients who you could help with those skills.
We also run a brilliant VA Mentoring program which you can find more information about here on our website. We will support, encourage and guide you through the 6-week program, to give you the knowledge you need to run a successful Virtual Assistant business.