Anyone CAN’T be a successful Virtual Assistant
The title is a bold statement, I know. But you find me a successful Virtual Assistant who doesn’t have all three of the qualities listed in this blog, and I’ll find you a fibber.
Yes, there are more than three qualities you need to have to be a kickass Virtual Assistant, (we’re a talented bunch), but without these three as a basis, you will find yourself offering free work ‘in exchange for testimonials’ and browsing Reed for 9-5 employed roles before you know it.
So, if you’re an aspiring Virtual Assistant, tempted by the laptop lifestyle and convinced by the ‘anyone can do it!’ posts you’ve seen on social media, then read on to find out why, in fact, they can’t.
Yes, thank you Captain Obvious. But writing a blog about skills needed to be a successful Virtual Assistant and leaving this out would be like writing a ‘vote leave’ Brexit campaign and neglecting to mention that the marketing slogan you’d had emblazoned on the side of a bus was a complete lie….oh wait.
So yes, organisation is a pretty crucial skill if you’re going to be a Virtual Assistant. Your job is literally organising other people’s business admin.
Now I’m not saying you need to be the sort of person who has labelled storage jars for every type of pasta in your kitchen or your wardrobes Marie Kondo’d from top to bottom (ahem…not that there’s anything wrong with that!). Organisation takes different forms. But if you regularly spend 4 hours looking for emails you swear you’d filed sensibly, miss meetings that you ‘definitely’ put in your calendar, or worse still you don’t HAVE a calendar…then being a Virtual Assistant probably isn’t the career for you.
Strong communication skills
We can all fire out WhatsApp’s quicker than Alan Sugar fires his ambitious but completely clueless candidates, and you probably pride yourself on your ability to negotiate with a toddler about the peas on their plate whilst booking a hair appointment to sort your roots and texting your partner to remind them to grab milk on the way home…PHEW!
And yes, managing multiple communication forms is, of course, essential in the VA world. But I’m afraid there’s a heck of a lot more to it than that, so hold fire on that ticking this box for one second Brenda!
As a Virtual Assistant, the chances are you will never meet your clients in person, (weird huh?) – a sign of our increasingly digital world. But you will talk with them regularly – on Zoom, via text message, voice note, Slack, Voxer, Facebook...the list goes on. Can you communicate with them clearly? In a timely manner? Can you have a difficult conversation with them to manage their expectations without sending them running for the hills, tearing up the contract as they go? Can you phrase a confident email letting your clients know you are raising your rates, without letting on that you’re freaking out on the inside? Communication, my friend, is the cornerstone of any kickass Virtual Assistant business. Can you tick all those?
If you’re not motivated, you’ll work out real quick that this isn’t the career for you. You won’t even get your business off the ground, let alone land your first client.
Remember – you are the boss. There is no-one reminding you to get it done. No-one setting you performance-management targets or suggesting amazing CPD courses that give you a day off work on a jolly. It’s all on you. You’re in charge of it all – and while that offers some HUGE perks, (weekday off at the spa, anyone?), it also comes with responsibility. No motivation = no business.
And then, once you’ve pulled all your own business sh*t together, you’ve got to do it for someone else…and someone else…and someone else after that. Your clients! You have got to have the drive to push forward, and the initiative to keep moving. Remember, by definition, your client is time-poor. They might be juggling employees, other freelancers, and if they’re a parent, kids at home too - meaning they already get asked approximately 3291 questions a day. They don’t need you asking them if it’s ok for you to correct a spelling error in their newsletter.
In A Nutshell…
So, there you have it in a 700-word nutshell. Despite what you’ve read in ‘Virtual Assistant’s Weekly’, not everyone can take this career and make a success of it. However, many can. You don’t need to be Techie Tanya or Confident Colin. In fact, if you’re one of the more introverted among us, you may be interested to read how low confidence can be turned to your advantage in business here.
Anyway, if you’re fortunate enough to have been blessed with these three aforementioned skills, and possibly more, (creativity, problem-solving and adaptability to name a few), then you’re laughing all the way to the bank, my friend.
Whether you’re an aspiring Virtual Assistant, a newbie or a veteran, come and join my wonderful Facebook community – The Virtual Assistant Power Academy – to meet like-minded people and get a tonne of free support!