Soft Skills to be a Successful Virtual Assistant
Top of our soft skills list is organisation. This essential skill feeds into many areas of running a VA business and working with multiple clients. Strong organisational skills are the backbone – Virtual Assistants support business owners with email management, client information, social media and project management. Related soft skills include:
- Time Management – working with multiple clients means you will need to understand your clients’ needs, when you need to be available for them, multi-task and the ability to prioritise tasks in order to meet deadlines. You might be interested in our article about Time Tracking tools
- Self-Motivation – perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of working for yourself can be the ability to get motivated. However, a key aspect to being a good VA is discipline, so that you don’t fall behind on projects or distracted with surfing the internet. Having a regular work routine means it is easier to stay motivated during the day
In our eyes, the second most important soft skill is being a good communicator. This will of course include the usual areas such as the ability to write succinct emails, conversing effectively over the telephone and keeping in touch with clients by providing regular updates for tasks and projects.
However, perhaps even more important, is how to read the situation… this could be by analysing the tone of the email or phone call, what is said/not said etc. Providing invaluable insights to a situation can help a client or a colleague deal with a situation more effectively. Offer to proofread any communication for situations which are deemed delicate, and again send draft communications that you will be sending out, to your client/colleague for a second opinion first. You might be interested in our article Trust Your Instincts which explores this a bit further.
We also find that having the following soft skills will set you apart from other Virtual Assistants:
Initiative – you will often find yourself in situations where quick decisions need to be made and you need to think on your feet, especially if the business owner isn’t around. Having the ability to find a suitable solution based on the information to hand demonstrates aptitude, and any experience you have will make it easier for you deal effectively. Whilst we don’t have a crystal ball, sometimes using some quiet time to research material or information around anticipated challenges could stand you in good stead if the situation arises.
Detail-Oriented – Proofreading or checking over client communication means that you will be able to pick up any mistakes before they cause issues. If you are carrying out a complicated task for a client then make sure you understand exactly what has been asked of you.
Creativity – A VA with creative skills can work in many areas of business: social media, business development, marketing, new initiatives and much more. Business owners are often looking for someone to write blogs, refresh website content and manage their social media. Having a strong creative background that you can demonstrate effectively in business will often mean recommendation to other potential clients.
Reliability – Business owners are looking for reliable business support. If you are new to being a Virtual Assistant then do think carefully when taking on a client; do you have enough capacity to support the client, do you have the knowledge/skills, do you have cover for when you are on holiday? It can be handy to know other virtual assistants so that you can support each other’s clients should the need arise. Demonstrating reliability will build trust between the VA and client as time goes by.
You might also like to read the following related articles