A virtual assistant’s success can be measured in many ways, not just the number of clients satisfied with their service. To be a successful virtual assistant depends upon the person’s persistence and commitment to their job.
The perks of working from the comforts of your home and getting to choose your preferred working hours also come with its own challenges. Virtual assistants must keep in mind that before they are able to reach the successful stage, they must first build up their reputation for them to be well respected and stay on top of their client’s minds.
Being in this industry is like having your own company, where the virtual assistant is its own boss and employees. Thus, they need to be capable of doing both executive and administrative tasks. To be able to do this requires some level of organization and an entrepreneurial mindset.
Here are some of the special characteristics a VA should possess to have a successful career:
1. Organizational skills and time management
As stated earlier, being a virtual assistant requires some level of organization and discipline to thrive in the industry.
In handling multiple clients, keeping documents and important files organized can be a messy task. It is best to have specific folders for important files so that when the time comes, they will know where to find specific documents.
Proper time management is also helpful for virtual assistants as they are expected to handle multiple projects and tasks simultaneously. Despite having the liberty of time and being able to work remotely, VAs must set a strict working schedule depending on their own preference and personal daily routines. For instance, some virtual assistants work part-time, therefore, they are more likely to work at night.
Having quick decision making and well-scheduled plans or time frames is a crucial part of successfully completing important projects and productivity.
2. Secretarial, Administrative, and Writing Skills
Most virtual assistant services acquired by business owners rotate around secretarial, administrative, and content writing as these are the jobs that need some expertise and knowledge to do. Thus for a virtual assistant that is aspiring to gain success in their career, they must take effort to learn, at least, the basics of these.
Virtual assistants should have an above-average typing speed, be knowledgeable of the tenets of Microsoft Office, are tech-savvy, and have some idea of marketing strategies. Having such qualities will surely be an edge for virtual assistants.
3. Motivation and Focus
As humans, we normally have days when we feel demotivated or lack the urge to do work. Even though this is inevitable, virtual assistants must avoid being in such a mood. Not only does it affect the company or client they are working with but also their own reputation as a VA.
Working in your comfort zone usually means you are quite prone to distractions, which is detrimental to the main goal of staying focused and on track. Taking short breaks in between tasks can be helpful to refresh ideas and lessen exhaustion. Putting up your own office despite being at home can help in creating a work atmosphere that will promote focus.
4. Communication Skills
For a virtual assistant to have a good relationship with their clients, communication must be clear and adequate. Considering that a VA works remotely, the number one challenge is relaying tasks properly. The internet offers different tools that can cater to real-time communication, such as Skype.
Transparency on both parties is also crucial in the progress of the partnership. VAs should not be afraid to ask questions when they are struggling with a task or even with personal problems that can affect work. They should keep in mind that it is better to have a solution to such struggles than having a failed project.
Being detail-oriented is a pretty basic trait of a virtual assistant. As there is no room for mistakes in their job, they must be clear on every instruction and details of their tasks.
Keep in mind that the clients are entrusting the company to them, therefore every move and decision they commit can have a big impact on the business. They must double-check every detail and be mindful of the confidentiality of the details that are given to them.
6. Promptness and Professionalism
There will always be a time that a virtual assistant will encounter furious and impatient clients that will test their patience and professionalism. During such circumstances, they must maintain good rapport and courtesy towards them.
Having a clear time frame and deadlines will also help in ensuring the project is being completed to expectations and can avoid impatient clients. Even before a partnership is closed, both sides must be able to explain thoroughly the progress in which they are going to work. With such, the other party will know what to expect from each other. It also eliminates unanticipated misunderstandings between the client and the virtual assistant.
A good virtual assistant is passionate about their work. Their willingness to take initiative in every project they handle should reflect their dedication to the task.
A true passionate virtual assistant looks at the projects in-depth and tries to provide solutions and suggestions even without the clients asking them. Then, clients will feel that the VAs consider themselves as part of the company team and are truly concerned about the well-being of the company. Such an attitude also creates a good client-VA relationship.