One of the most important decisions a client makes is selecting the RIGHT virtual assistant…and this is for a very good reason!
Think about how scary it is to handoff something that’s important to you. When you have this sense of ownership for something it’s difficult to let someone else take it over. Your fear is that they won’t be able to do it as well as you or that they will totally botch it. These feelings are normal, as most people consider their business to be their baby. Therefore, a client needs to trust you and will therefore be looking for the following qualifications in the virtual assistant they bring on:
Qualifications That Count
- Computer Skills – Can you navigate Microsoft Office Suite like a champ? Most clients expect their virtual assistant to have some knowledge in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. You should also know how to use other programs, such as time tracking software, and more.
- Communication Skills – You may be asked to call someone on the phone, type up a memo, or email on behalf of your client. I will come back to this in a moment.
- Basic Research Skills – Someone who knows how to navigate the Internet will get major kudos from a client who requires a lot of information gathering. You may also need to refer to the Internet for things you’re uncertain about.
- Organizational/Time Management Skills – Can you meet deadlines and prioritize based on level of importance?
- Common Sense – This may be obvious but unfortunately, common sense isn’t all that common.
Do you know what the most important skill-set is (at least in my book)?
The top reason relationships of all kinds don’t work is usually due to miscommunication, so it’s important to establish some grounds for it (sooner than later). I’ve had clients that want weekly touch-bases via a phone call and others who don’t like to talk on the phone at all. Sometimes there is a language barrier, which makes it difficult to adequately convey what you mean.
When one or both of you can’t communicate effectively via the mediums of communication that you’ve chosen, expectations won’t be met and frustration will ensue. A client will ideally be looking for someone that communicates like them and you should probably look for someone that communicates like you too. It just makes it easier on all parties involved!
Little to No Experience As A Virtual Assistant?
Similar to when you look for a job, clients may also request to bring on a virtual assistant with ‘X amount of years of experience’. However, you shouldn’t let that scare you. As they say, shoot your shot, and just see what happens. Find a way to make the skill-sets you currently have transferable to a virtual assistant position. If you’re still struggling, take a few courses to beef up your qualifications.
Education As A Qualification?
A common question that new virtual assistants ask is do I need to have a formal education to be a virtual assistant. The answer is no, unless the job is very technical and specific. Most VAs have at least a high school diploma or a GED, which is perfectly fine. You can learn things specific to being a virtual assistant by simply researching the Internet. Udemy actually has a ton of courses you could check out!
Landing your first few clients as a new virtual assistant may seem intimidating, but remain confident! You’re already equipped with tools in the toolbox; you just have to learn how to use them. With the above qualifications and a little patience, you’ll be able to land a virtual assistant gig in no time!