Technical Requirements and Experience for Virtual Assistants
In our last article we looked at which soft skills make a successful VA. In this follow-on article we look at technical requirements and experience which will set yourself apart from other Virtual Assistants.
Perhaps the most important skill for any person working in the 21st Century, is a good set of IT skills. Rather worryingly, according to a McKinsey report “By 2030, two thirds of the UK workforce could be lacking in basic digital skills”
Virtual Assistants work remotely and therefore it is essential to have a decent set of IT skills as many duties will be performed via a computer. So, let’s take a look at what this might include:
Proficiency in Microsoft 365 and similar
Many organisations use Microsoft 365 and you may find yourself managing mailboxes, calendars, creating PowerPoint presentations and reports. However, since you may find yourself supporting a Mac user so it is also an advantage to have knowledge of Mac versions too.
Following on from having a good understanding of the basic package of word-processing, spreadsheet and email management, the next types of programmes to understand are cloud-based apps like Google Docs and Dropbox. These are essential for running a business efficiently.
You may find yourself being brought in to support a remote team and they might use apps such as Asana, Hubstaff, Trello, MeisterTask, Smartsheet, and others. Perhaps our favourite tool though is Toggl. Read how you can track your time and productivity in our article: Time Tracking for Business: Productive or a Pain?
Other areas of experience we have found useful over the years are:
One of the more advanced skills a Virtual Assistant can have is project management experience. A VA may be brought in to support company projects; to plan and organise your resources and people to make sure your project is finished on time, stays within budget and meets the requirements of the business. Project managers can juggle several tasks at the same time, have excellent ‘people’ skills and can lead a team, the perfect solution for the small business owner.
Social Media Management
Many companies cannot afford a full-time marketing person. Therefore, a VA who knows their way around social media can be a huge asset. Someone who can use a range of social media platforms, create and schedule content, cross-promote and engage with others will find an endless stream of clients.
If you find yourself an expert in some areas but not in others then don’t worry. The wonderful thing about being a Virtual Assistant is that we come in all shapes and sizes. Some VAs are all-rounders whereas others will support certain clients with specific needs. You may want to seek out other Virtual Assistants though to cover tasks that aren’t your particular strong suit and so that you can pass over new client enquiries when they come your way.